Weedsport, NY — March 18, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
Rick Young Photo
Brett Hearn is ready to do something that he has done six previous times in his 35 years circling race tracks around the Northeast.
Yet opening up his defense of the Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Championship for a record seventh time in 2010 will be far different than any other experienced in the past. His daughter will be entering college this year.
“We always set ambitious goals with winning races and championships at the top, but this year I probably need the money a lot more than before,” smiled Hearn, now 51, who is ready to send off his oldest offspring, Brooke, to Montclair State University just 40 miles from his shop in Sussex, N.J. “This is my living, I can’t take it lightly. So that means I’ll probably be racing at least three more seasons to help out with tuition.”
Already recognized up and down the Atlantic coast among the most successful drivers in any division, more records await Hearn as he leads the Big-Block Modified parade into Maryland for the Super DIRTcar Series season-opening ‘North-South Shootout’ at Hagerstown Speedway on March 27.
That trek may seem rather disheartening for some of the competition as Hagerstown has always been one of Hearn’s favorite facilities. The Garden State superstar begins a new decade already holding the track mark of 25 Modified victories, with one of his 20 Big-Block triumphs posted in the 2006 series stop south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
“It’s a whole different ball game whether racing during the day or night at Hagerstown, but whenever we run, that track is always ready to race,” remarked Hearn, who will have the familiar blue and white Madsen Motorsports no. 20 Wentworth Custom Homes-Benjamin Moore Paints/TEO machine race ready when Saturday arrives. “As soon as we pull in everybody has a good feeling and it usually stays with us all night. In most cases we head home with a win so it’s certainly disappointing any time a show is lost to weather there.”
Hagerstown’s century grind leads off the current 22-event series agenda that features extra-distance races at 16 dirt tracks in four states and two Canadian provinces. More bad news for the opposition lies in the fact that the ‘Corporate Jet’ has failed to reach victory lane at only one of these sites in the last quarter-century following the tour.
“Personally, I’d like to finally win a race at Fulton, that’s probably the only hole right now,” noted Hearn, who has placed among the front-four the past three years at John and Laura Wight’s high-banked bullring in Central New York without taking a checkered flag. “But Guy (Madsen, owner) wants to win Syracuse pretty bad, something he hasn’t done yet.”
“We’re at a point where we’re never satisfied, constantly challenged to win the next time out and keep going until we can get another championship. Managing the team, keeping everyone happy and healthy, has become just as challenging. Whatever it takes to stay ahead of the game we’ll work harder at and try to make it even better,” added Hearn, who owns the Super DIRTcar Series standard of 103 career wins with 75 scored on those tracks active today on the 2010 schedule.
Looking to blaze his own trail on tour this season is recently crowned Florida DIRTcar Nationals champion Matt Sheppard, who also captured the prestigious Rite Aid 200 last autumn on the New York State Fairgrounds ‘Moody Mile’ in October. Joining Hearn and Sheppard in pursuit of the coveted Mr. DIRTcar Championship will be front-runners Billy Decker, Jimmy Phelps and Dale Planck, Alan and Danny Johnson, young guns Justin Haers, Ryan Phelps, Billy Dunn, Michael Storms, Larry Wight and leading rookie candidate Lance Willix II.
An ‘Octoberfest’ qualifier for Small-Block Modifieds will fill out Hagerstown’s dirt doubleheader on March 27 with pit gates scheduled to unlock at 3:00 p.m., grandstands opening at 4:00 p.m. and warm-ups starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by Integra Shocks Big-Block Time Trials. Hagerstown Speedway is located on U.S. Route 40, four miles west of I-81.
For more information, contact DIRTcar Racing Northeast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning Joe Skotnicki (704/796-4566) or log into www.superdirtcarseries.com for additional news & notes. Be sure to sign up on http://www.twitter.com/SuperDIRTcar and receive updates anywhere at anytime. The speedway office can be reached by phoning 301/582-0640 and the track website remains www.hagerstownspeedway.com. Visit www.bretthearn.com for the most updated material about B.H. Racing Enterprises.
Hagerstown Speedway – All-Time Modified Feature Winners (1983-2009)
*Total includes 79 Big-Block events.
WINS DRIVER FIRST LAST
25 Brett Hearn 8/24/84 10/25/09
12 Doug Hoffman 9/30/90 10/27/02
10 Bob McCreadie 3/11/90 10/2/94
7 Billy Pauch 10/23/88 10/31/99
5 Kenny Brightbill 5/20/84 10/27/02
4 Craig VonDohren 9/29/91 3/25/01
3 Frank Cozze 10/15/89 3/16/97
3 Mike Romano 3/24/96 3/27/99
3 J.R. Heffner 10/29/00 10/30/05
3 Matt Sheppard 10/31/04 3/14/09
2 Jack Johnson 8/23/85 3/4/90
2 Roger Laureno 4/5/92 3/26/00
2 Gary Tomkins 3/30/02 3/27/04
2 Alan Johnson 3/23/03 6/23/05
2 Rick Laubach 3/25/07 11/9/08
1 Freddy Brightbill 6/26/83
1 Ray Bateman Jr. 3/12/89
1 Lou Blaney 3/12/89
1 Scott Irwin 10/15/95
1 Bruce Kline 3/16/97
1 Jeff Strunk 3/1/98
1 Deron Rust 3/27/99
1 Mitch Gibbs 10/31/99
1 Steve Paine 3/31/01
1 Todd Burley 10/28/01
1 Jamie Mills 2/24/02
1 Andy Bachetti 10/26/03
1 Brian Weaver 10/26/03
1 Keith Hoffman 3/7/04
1 Billy Decker 10/29/06
1 Danny Johnson 10/29/06
1 Tim Fuller 3/31/07
1 Kevin Hirthler 10/28/07
1 Wade Hendrickson 10/28/07
1 Jimmy Phelps 3/15/08
1 Richie Pratt Jr. 3/7/09
1 Tim McCreadie 10/25/09
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.allstar100weekend.com and 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.