Florida DIRTcar Nationals Big-Block Roster Riding High
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Weedsport, NYJanuary 11, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
*Lee Smith Photo

With entries already representing six states and two Canadian provinces, an admirable Big-Block Modified preliminary pre-race roster for the 39th Annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park boasts nearly 40 drivers geared up to take the trip south in February.

The anticipated trek to Volusia kicks off with an optional practice day on Tuesday, Feb. 9, opens for racing on Wednesday and concludes Saturday, Feb. 13 with a big $5,000-to-win 50-lapper. Two more Big-Block shows are scheduled in between, Feb. 11-12.

“The momentum is building as more teams continue to firm up plans to make the haul to Florida next month,” remarked Joe Skotnicki, DIRTcar Racing Northeast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning. “There’s a great mix of series veterans and rising young talent ready to carry on a tradition that is like no other during the winter months.”

The current cast of stars and cars from the Northeastern Big-Block Modified ranks includes over 20 drivers from last year, with 11 of the Top-12 in final 2009 Florida Tour points once again slated to depart for the Sunshine State in the coming weeks.

Headlining the list are defending overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Champion Brett Hearn, reigning Florida DIRTcar Nationals points king Pat Ward and DIRTcar Northeast’s all-time winningest Big-Block Modified driver Alan Johnson. Hearn holds the current mark with 19 career DCN victories while Johnson is the only driver to win at least one Modified feature every season in DIRTcar Racing’s 34 years of existence.

That legendary trio is joined by Super DIRTcar Series standouts Jimmy Phelps, Danny Johnson, Gypsum teammates Billy Decker and Larry Wight, Xtreme Lubricants racers Matt Sheppard and teammate Jeff Brownell Jr., and ’09 Motorsports Safety Systems/G-FORCE Presented By ButlerBuilt DIRTcar NE Big-Block Modified Rookie of the Year Rich Scagliotta.

New York notables include Bobby Varin, Dave Rauscher, Keith Flach, Rob Bellinger, brothers Randy & Roger Chrysler, plus Jeremy Markle and rookie Billy VanInwegen in his maiden voyage from the Empire State. Tim Kerr is the lone entry from Ontario while Frenchmen Mario Clair, Michel Chicoine along with Wallace and Dexter Stacey are slated to make the long haul from Quebec.

Veteran Jimmy Horton, brothers Ryan & Mark Forte Jr. and partners Richie Pratt Jr. and Brett Ballard are signed up from New Jersey while Rick Laubach, Ray Swinehart, Dan Vauter and Darwin Greene will be representing Pennsylvania in their journey south.

’09 DCN points runner-up Andy Bachetti from Massachusetts is the only New Englander ready to roll into gator country while Rex & Rex King Jr. will be flying the Ohio banner for another year. A race winner last February at VSP, Jamie Mills will be towing into town for the 13th consecutive winter while First State foe H.J. Bunting III can’t wait for his inaugural start in DIRTcar’s 22nd Sunshine State showdown.

Drivers wishing 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 tskibinski@dirtcar.com correspondence. Specific questions regarding rules can be directed to DIRTcar NE Chief Technical Inspector Bob Dini (845/358-5049, bdini@dirtcar.com) and Director Joe Skotnicki (704/796-4566, jskotnicki@dirtcar.com).

Tickets are 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.

In addition, every person that purchases a ticket for the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia before January 15 will be entered in the “Fan of February” contest currently being held. The winner will be announced on January 16 and will receive two tickets for each of the (4) Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified shows run at VSP In February, as well as a free hotel stay during that time. Winners will also be selected for the World of Outlaws Sprint Car and WoO Late Model Series portion of the 2010 DCN, as well as the UMP DIRTcar Modified segment. For more information visit www.fanoffebruary.com.

Big-Block Modified news is always available on-line at www.superdirtcarseries.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.

2010 Florida DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH – Volusia Speedway Park
Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified Roster (thru Jan. 11)

0 Richie Pratt Jr./Woodbury Heights,NJ….Only other Florida trip made in 2004
01 Brett Ballard/Pennsville,NJ….Pratt’s partner in Sal DeBruno’s South Jersey ride
07 Tim Kerr/Picton,ONT….4th voyage to VSP with 12th-place best in ’09 opener
1 Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA….Now with both dirt & asphalt experience
3d Dexter Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE….2nd-generation teenager set for Fla. debut
7 Rich Laubach/Quakertown,PA….Returns for title run with best equipment ever
8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ….Furthest traveler on ’09 Big&Small-Block tours
8r Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY….Qualified for 3 races in 2008 inaugural appearance
9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY….DIRTcar NE’s winningest in ’09 looks for more
10v Bobby Varin/Sharon Springs,NY….Secures proven ride with Saya & Kingsley
14 Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ….Past DCN champion & winner knows VSP
14j Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY….Launches 35th straight year in DIRTcar Big-Block
20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ….Since 1998, went home winless only once in Feb. ‘07
21k Randy Chrysler/Lewiston,NY….2002 overall Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Champion
t21 Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY….Older half of popular Western New York tandem
22 Mario Clair/St-Edmond,QUE….2007 overall Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Champ
23 Billy VanInwegen/Sparrowbush,NY…Transition from open-cockpit to open-wheel
29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY….Out of Sheppard’s shadow after ’09 track title
30 Jamie Mills/Milford,DE….Sunshine State staple ready to open 3rd decade at VSP
33 Ray Swinehart/Bechtelsville,PA….DCN’s most seasoned chauffeur at 57 years
34 Andy Bachetti/Sheffield,MA….Earned lone VSP feature win & points crown in ‘05
m40 Mark Forte Jr./Blue Anchor,NJ….Joined father Mark Sr. for 2008 trip to Florida
r40 Ryan Forte/Blue Anchor,NJ….Set for maiden voyage with Big-Block brother
42p Pat Ward/Genoa,NY….Kicks off new decade as defending Fla. tour champ
43 Keith Flach/Ravena,NY….3 Top-10s solid in 3rd trip to Volusia last winter
48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY….Posted 14th-place best a year ago
49er Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY….Experimental ride lined up for Fla. DCN veteran
65 Rex King/Bristolville,OH….Veteran recovered after last winter hip surgery
66w Wallace Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE….Hauling down 3 cars w/son & Alan Johnson
79 Jeremy Markle/Port Jervis,NY….Teaming with Modified rookie VanInwegen
85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA….Consistent competitor with 4th-place best in ‘09
85j H.J. Bunting III/Milford,DE….DCN debut for ’08 Georgetown Super Series winner
91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY….Only Mr. DIRTcar champ in field without DCN crown
97 Michel Chicoine/Ste-Cecile Milton,QUE….2 starts in 1st trip to Fla. last winter
98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY….Only other DCN runs made in 2006 & ‘08
99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY….1 of 3 17 year-olds registered for 2010 at Volusia
165 Rex King Jr./Bristolville,OH….scored 7th-place best in 1st trip last February

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.