Weedsport, NY — January 18, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
*Lee Smith Photo
Garden State legend Billy Pauch has confirmed plans to compete in the 39th Florida DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park in three more weeks, raising the bar further as more than 40 drivers have now declared their intention of traveling south for the annual race weeks showdown in February.
“After staying home last year, I just didn’t want to miss out again,” remarked Pauch, who tied recently crowned Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Champion Brett Hearn atop the final 2008 Florida tour Big-Block Modified point standings in his last effort at Volusia. “I really enjoy running down there and always seem to do well, whether in a Modified or Sprint. And its also nice to get a chance to talk with some of the Cup teams that come over from Daytona to see us race.”
“I feel pretty confident right now getting everything ready and would like to get that title again. Winning races and championships is what we do all this for. At my age, you never know when it will be your last one,” said Pauch, 52, who also captured DCN high-point honors in 1982 and ’85, collecting a handful of checkered flags along the way.
Pauch joins an already stacked roster of past DIRTcar Nationals Big-Block mini-series titlists including seven-time DCN champion Hearn, brothers Alan and Danny Johnson, Jimmy Horton, Andy Bachetti and reigning points king Pat Ward. That same star-studded cast accounts for 45 feature wins since the mighty Modifieds from the Northeast first ventured to gator country in 1978.
Billy ‘The Kid’ will be pitside for practice on Tuesday, Feb. 9 before the four-race southern swing kicks off the following night. February 13 will mark the last day of competition with a $5,000 first-place prize on the line in the big 50-lap finale. Two more 30-lappers are scheduled in between, Feb. 11-12.
“You always try to have fun going to Florida, but its not really a vacation once you get to the track,” noted Pauch, who will be back aboard a #1 Bicknell Racing Products machine, this time owned by Kevin Bifulco and backed by K&A Excavating Contractors-Pioneer Pole Buildings-Greenfield Dodge, with a Pat Morrison-prepared powerplant under the hood. The Frenchtown, N.J. chauffeur was buckled in behind the wheel of Will Brown’s BRP ride in ’08, although Brown is hoping health issues won’t stop him from helping out at VSP when February finally arrives.
“We’ll be pretty much on the same page as Will’s car starting out with his set-up notes. We’re planning to leave a couple days early, dig in and be ready for practice on Tuesday to try and get the car tuned in. Right now I think we’re already really good in the chassis and strong in the motor departments,” Pauch said.
Yet so are the other contenders towing in from six states and Canada for the traditional Florida stop. Not only will Pauch be facing many of his familiar foes from the past three decades, the 2010 DCN entry list has also filled up with plenty of new talent that will provide even more competition for the seven-time Super DIRTcar Series race winner.
“I’m always motivated wherever I go, whoever I race against,” commented Pauch, who owns 75 DIRTcar Big-Block wins, his last registered at Volusia in the 2008 journey south. “We’ll just give it our best effort and hopefully get off to a good start. If you can do that, it kind of sets the tone for when you get back up north.”
“In ‘08 the track was very racy considering all the cars on it before us. But its still the same shape with the same amount of banking, only a lot neater and cleaned up more than I remember awhile back. We’ve got a solid combination that we’re putting together, hopefully the results will be just as good as the last time we were there,” Pauch added.
Drivers still needing to update team information for the pre-race roster, please contact DIRTcar Northeast PR Director Tom Skibinski by phone (585/350-8997) or through e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org correspondence. Specific questions regarding rules should be directed to DIRTcar NE Chief Technical Inspector Bob Dini (845/358-5049, email@example.com) and Director Joe Skotnicki (704/796-4566, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tickets remain on sale for the 39th Annual DIRTcar Nationals, February 2-13, available for any individual night and also in blocks for each headline division at Volusia. Along with the Big-Block Modifieds, competition also features Sprint Car racing (Feb. 3-7), Late Model action (Feb. 8-13) and UMP/DIRTcar Modified activity (Feb. 2-9).
A FREE Fan Pit Pass has been made available to every ticket buyer who comes through the main gates each night of the DIRTcar Nationals at VSP beginning on Feb. 2. All fans have to do once they arrive at the track is take their grandstand ticket and head toward the pits, where a table will be set up to sign-in for an up-close look at the cars and stars who will be racing that night. To purchase tickets call Volusia Speedway Park at 386/985-4402, for more information visit www.DIRTcarNationals.com.
Big-Block Modified news is always available on-line at www.superdirtcarseries.com and www.dirtcar.com. Be sure to sign up as a Super DIRTcar Series follower on Twitter by visiting http://www.twitter.com/SuperDIRTcar and receive updates anywhere at anytime as the 2010 season gets underway. A direct connection to all the happenings at Volusia in February can also be made by registering on http://www.twitter.com/DIRTcarNats.
2010 Florida DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH – Volusia Speedway Park
Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified Roster (thru Jan. 18)
0 Richie Pratt Jr./Woodbury Heights,NJ
01 Brett Ballard/Pennsville,NJ
07 Tim Kerr/Picton,ONT
1 Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA
1f Stewart Friesen/Niagara-o-t-Lake,ONT
1p Billy Pauch/Frenchtown,NJ
3d Dexter Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE
7 Rich Laubach/Quakertown,PA
8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
8r Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY
9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
10v Bobby Varin/Sharon Springs,NY
14 Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ
14j Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
19h Chris Higgins/Syracuse,NY
20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
21k Randy Chrysler/Lewiston,NY
t21 Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY
22 Mario Clair/St-Edmond,QUE
23 Billy VanInwegen/Sparrowbush,NY
29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY
30 Jamie Mills/Milford,DE
33 Ray Swinehart/Bechtelsville,PA
34 Andy Bachetti/Sheffield,MA
m40 Mark Forte Jr./Blue Anchor,NJ
r40 Ryan Forte/Blue Anchor,NJ
42p Pat Ward/Genoa,NY
43 Keith Flach/Ravena,NY
48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
49er Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
56 Vince Vitale/Phoenix,NY
65 Rex King/Bristolville,OH
66w Wallace Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE
79 Jeremy Markle/Port Jervis,NY
85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA
85j H.J. Bunting III/Milford,DE
91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
97 Michel Chicoine/Ste-Cecile de Milton,QUE
98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
165 Rex King Jr./Bristolville,OH
DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event —Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse runs annually in October featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime.
The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include Rite Aid Corporation www.riteaid.com, Dig Safely New York www.digsafelynewyork.com and the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks www.barsproducts.com, Bert Transmission www.berttransmission.com, Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, Brodix Cylinder Heads www.brodix.com, Ferris Industries www.ferrisindustries.com, Integra Shocks www.integrashocksandsprings.com, Intercomp www.intercomp-racing.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Rislone Oil Stabilizer www.barsproducts.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.