Weedsport, NYMay 30, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
*Jeremiah Fish Photo

Matt Sheppard opened the 2010 Super DIRTcar Series with the fastest car. Sunday night he was also the first to finish as the second-generation star from Waterloo, N.Y. lapped up to the 10th-place car to score his first tour victory of the season dominating the Hall of Fame Classic 100 presented by Ferris at Cayuga County Fair Speedway.

Earlier in the afternoon his car owner Jeff Brownell Sr. was presented with the coveted Gene DeWitt Outstanding Car Owner award during the 19th Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the adjacent Northeast Modified Hall of Fame & Classic Car Museum.

“Jeff’s a great car owner, he gives me the best of everything so he deserved to go into the Hall of Fame today,” said Sheppard, who led the series last year with seven victories aboard Brownell’s potent JB Motorsports no. 9s Xtreme Lubricants/Bicknell machine. “So it’s nice to get a big win for him tonight. The car was definitely on rails out there.”

With the final 54 laps run without a caution, Sheppard opened up a straightaway advantage over runner-up Jimmy Phelps from Baldwinsville, N.Y., followed by Billy Decker from Unadilla, N.Y. and the brothers Johnson, Alan and Danny, falling in line under the checkers. Ryan Phelps from Baldwinsville, N.Y., Dale Planck from Cortland, N.Y., Billy Dunn from Watertown, N.Y., Brett Hearn from Sussex, N.J. and Tom Sears Jr. from Clay, N.Y. were the last to be scored on the lead lap in the century grind.

After earning consecutive Bilstein Shocks Fast Time awards at both Hagerstown Speedway in March and Fulton Speedway in April, Sheppard was fourth quickest in round three with Jimmy Phelps turning the quickest lap for the eighth time in his career and first-ever at The Port. Phelps re-drew to invert the top-four for heat race action and Sheppard settled for second behind Dunn in the fourth and final qualifier that locked the front-five into the feature race field.

A second draw among the top-12 qualifying race finishers was much more appealing to the pair as Phelps grabbed the pole on the feature grid and Sheppard selected third, one spot behind Decker and alongside Hearn as they shared row two to begin the 100-lap nightcap.

Phelps wasted no time jumping out front to pace the 30-car starting field, out-dragging Decker while leaving Sheppard and Hearn to watch from close behind. A multi-car skirmish exiting turn three slowed the action on the second circuit with Tim Currier’s mount coming to halt while Ryan Bartlett got turned around and backed into the outside retaining wall.

After a side-by-side duel in the early stages, Sheppard finally ducked under Decker across the line to complete lap eight while Phelps had the HBR Motorsports no. 98h Wave Energy Drink-Mohawk Northeast/Troyer entry dialed in a half-dozen car-lengths ahead. Phelps hit traffic on lap 15 and Sheppard joined in moving underneath once again on lap 23 in what would amount to the final lead change.

Pennsylvanian Dave Murdick slid off the track high in turn one to bring out a second yellow flag on 30, and 13 more laps were recorded before Gary Tomkins looped low in the no. 41 Murphy Racing ride rounding the first corner. At the halfway mark Sheppard, Phelps, Decker and the Johnsons settled into the top-five, and in 50 more laps around the banked 3/8-miler the end result would be identical despite Ryan Phelps twice swapping fifth with Danny Johnson over the final quarter of the race.

“I was just going in (turns) and letting my car drift up to where I felt it and once it stopped sliding I immediately looked for that little bit of brown coming off, and then came back across the track,” remarked Sheppard, whose first Hall of Fame Classic victory was also his first in Super DIRTcar Series competition at the home of DIRTcar Northeast. His 13th career tour triumph was worth $6,000 and secured him a guaranteed starting berth in the Syracuse 200 during Super DIRT Week in October at the New York State Fairgrounds where he is the defending champion.

“All night long I stayed on it a little longer in the turns, just trying to make up a little ground on the guys in front of me. If you can get in a little harder and keep your momentum up a little bit you can drive off a little faster. This (car) was just awesome tonight with the motor and shock package in place working so well,” added Sheppard, who moved nine points ahead of Decker in the current standings after trailing the two-time Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar champ by just one marker going in. Both drivers have placed first, second and third in the trio of 100-lappers held to date.

Feeling content with a runner-up tally after consecutive 10th-place tallies at Hagerstown and Fulton, Phelps fell five seconds behind ‘Super Matt’ at the stripe yet still vaulted from 10th to fourth-place on the updated points chart.

“I think we were a little too good too early, Matt had the car to beat tonight and I feel fortunate able to hang around there at the front until the end,” figured Phelps, 35, who also chased Sheppard across the line in last May’s Hall of Fame title event, however they placed fourth and fifth with Decker winning the 50-lapper that wasn’t part of the Super DIRTcar Series. “Our car was strong all night, his was too and he’s been fast all year with it.”

“Still happy with a second, it was a good run tonight on a tricky track. There were a lot of places to run out there. When I thought the car was working good on the bottom, I moved up in traffic and thought it was good there too. Looked everywhere and tried all the lanes tonight, Matt was obviously better. We’ll just have to go back to the shop and find a way to get one spot higher,” added Phelps, who finished third with one extra-distance tour victory behind reigning overall Mr. DIRTcar points king Hearn and Sheppard in the final 2009 standings.

After relinquishing the runner-up spot to Sheppard in the early stages, Decker held off numerous advances from ‘A.J. Slideways’ to claim the show position and continue his streak of consistency on the nation’s premier Big-Block Modified tour.

“It’s tough sledding right now, I ran with Matt for awhile then side-by-side with Alan for probably about 15 laps, just wasn’t good enough to catch the leaders today,” said Decker, 45, who garnered his first Hall of Fame victory in the a 75-lapper held in 1999 before returning to win last year’s 50-lap Cayuga County Fairgrounds holiday contest.

“It was just a matter of getting the right line out there. Think I had the preferred line on Alan and he was trying his hardest to find a way around me. He just had to go where (track) wasn’t as good. Our car wasn’t bad, just came up a little bit short,” noted Decker, following his third consecutive third-place finish registered in the LJL Racing no. 91 Gypsum Wholesalers-Stadium Int’l-Quality Hardwoods/Bicknell entry.

Added fourth-place finisher Alan Johnson who steered Raymond’s Car Care-RE Nolan Assoc.-Pizza Logs/Bicknell machine on Sunday, “Thought I was gonna get Billy there for a while, but once he sees you he gets an extra tenth or two in him and takes off. Think I lost a little toward the middle of the race, felt really good early, either the bottom went away a little bit … I tried everything, just didn’t have enough for the three (cars) in front of me,” relayed Johnson, 52, the only driver to win at least one Big-Block feature since the DIRTcar Racing organization was officially established in 1976.

On this night buckled in behind the wheel of the Currier Plastics-NorthStar Business Center/Bicknell no. 10 team car of teammate Tim Currier, Danny Johnson notched his second top-five finish in three starts to keep him in the early hunt for Big-Block supremacy on the Northeast circuit.

“The top really got slippery on us but there was still a lot of bite left on the bottom,” said the youngest sibling who turned 50 in March. I’m so fortunate to even come here with a ride today. We’re excited just to be out here now on the frontstretch with a fifth tonight. It’s been a tough beginning to the series so far, certainly looking for some stronger finishes after those weak starts.”

Teenager Larry Wight clinched a guarantee start in the Syracuse 358-Modified Championship held during Super DIRT Week in October. Wight placed 12th and also was voted as the Xtreme Lubricants Slick Move of the Race award winner after emerging as one of only two Small-Blockers to crack the feature race line-up. The other, Brian Sage, Salvaged 20th-place on the final scoresheet.

Super DIRTcar Series action returns in two more weeks with Grandview Speedway and Orange County Fair Speedway hosting a Big-Block doubleheader June 15-16. Featuring back-to-back 100-lappers, the winner of Bob Miller’s ‘Traffic Jam 100’ in Bechtelsville, Pa. and Brett Hearn’s ‘The Big Show 2’ in Middletown, N.Y. are in line to cash a $6,000 paycheck plus earn a guaranteed starting berth in the Syracuse 200 during Super DIRT Week in October.

Super DIRTcar Series Race #3 – Cayuga County Fair Speedway, May 30, 2010, Ferris presents ‘Hall of Fame Classic 100′ Big-Block Modified Event Summary
1 3 9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY ($6,000)
2 1 98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
3 2 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
4 8 14j Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
5 6 10j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
6 7 99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY
7 5 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
8 12 49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY
9 4 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
10 15 62s Tom Sears Jr./Clay,NY
11 10 8r Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY
12 14 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
13 11 5h Chris Hile/Syracuse,NY
14 18 37e Eric Fisher/Bluff Point,NY
15 13 4* Michael Storms/Wantage,NJ
16 19 16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY
17 20 33 Mike Mahaney/King Ferry,NY
18 16 21a Peter Britten/Brisbane,QLD
19 21 10 Tim Currier/Auburn,NY
20 22 12 Brian Sage/Brockport,NY
21 25 8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
22 30 49er Johnny Guarino/Nanuet,NY
23 17 160 Johnny Hill/Hastings,NY
24 9 7x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY
25 23 41 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY
26 29 45m Mike Ward/Genoa,NY
27 28 61 Dave Murdick/Slippery Rock,PA
28 24 91h Chad Homan/Macedon,NY
29 27 21 Derrick Podsiadlo/Penn Yan,NY
30 26 39 Ryan Bartlett/Adams Center,NY
GATER RACING NEWS LAP LEADERS: J.Phelps (1-22), Sheppard (23-100).
CAUTIONS: 3 for 14 laps.
HEAT WINNERS: D.Johnson, Planck, A.Johnson, Dunn.
SYRACUSE 200 QUALIFIER: Matt Sheppard.
HALFWAY LEADER: Matt Sheppard.
BILSTEIN SHOCKS FAST TIME AWARD: Jimmy Phelps (15.853sec/85.157mph).
TOTAL PURSE: $27,750.
NEXT EVENTS: Grandview Speedway – June 15 & Orange County Fair Speedway – June 16, 2010.
16w-Lance Willix II/Theresa,NY
25-Paul Habeck/Penfield,NY
44-Shannon Whaley/Pavilion,NY
48too-Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
85-Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA

1 15.853 85.157 98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
*$100 Bilstein Shocks Fast Qualifier Award
2 16.002 84.364 99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY
3 16.015 84.296 4* Michael Storms/Wantage,NJ
4 16.034 84.196 9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
5 16.034 84.196 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
6 16.060 84.060 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
7 16.070 84.007 7x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY
8 16.122 83.737 8r Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY
9 16.157 83.555 49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY
10 16.182 83.426 10j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
11 16.229 83.184 160 Johnny Hill/Hastings,NY
12 16.325 82.695 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
13 16.367 82.483 62s Tom Sears Jr./Clay,NY
14 16.452 82.057 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
15 16.483 81.903 14j Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
16 16.488 81.878 91h Chad Homan/Macedon,NY
17 16.490 81.868 10 Tim Currier/Auburn,NY
18 16.524 81.699 48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
19 16.536 81.640 5h Chris Hile/Syracuse,NY
20 16.565 81.497 39 Ryan Bartlett/Adams Center,NY
21 16.579 81.428 85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA
22 16.641 81.125 16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY
23 16.660 81.032 61 Dave Murdick/Slippery Rock,PA
24 16.680 80.935 21 Derrick Podsiadlo/Penn Yan,NY
25 16.693 80.872 21a Peter Britten/Brisbane,QLD
26 16.701 80.833 16w Lance Willix II/Theresa,NY
27 16.712 80.780 41 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY
28 16.914 79.816 33 Mike Mahaney/King Ferry,NY
29 17.049 79.184 45m Mike Ward/Genoa,NY
30 17.056 79.151 8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
31 17.181 78.575 37e Eric Fisher/Bluff Point,NY
32 17.237 78.320 44 Shannon Whaley/Pavilion,NY
33 17.288 78.089 12 Brian Sage/Brockport,NY
34 17.293 78.066 25 Paul Habeck/Penfield,NY
35 17.433 77.439 49er Johnny Guarino/Nanuet,NY

Heat Races (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to feature; top 3 redrew)
#1: D.Johnson, Bellinger, R.Phelps, Storms, Hill, Currier, Homan, Bartlett, Rauscher.
#2: Planck, Decker, J.Phelps, Wight, Fisher, Sage, Habeck, Vauter (DNS).
#3: A.Johnson, Hearn, Hile, Sears, Bowman, Tomkins, Willix, Podsiadlo, Murdick.
#4: Dunn, Sheppard, Paine, Britten, Mahaney, Ward, Scagliotta, Whaley, Guarino.
Consolation Race: (12 laps, top 10 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Currier, Sage, Tomkins, Homan, Scagliotta, Bartlett, Podsiadlo, Murdick, Ward, Guarino, Habeck, Willix, Whaley, Rauscher, Vauter.

Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified Point Standings (Thru May 30, 2010)
Rank No. Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Wins Top-5 Top-10 Starts
1 9s Matt Sheppard 303 303 0 0 1 3 3 3
2 91 Billy Decker 294 294 0 -9 1 3 3 3
3 77x Dale Planck 236 236 0 -67 1 1 2 3
4 98H Jimmy Phelps 230 230 0 -73 0 1 3 3
5 20 Brett Hearn 226 226 0 -77 0 0 3 3
6 49 Billy Dunn 218 218 0 -85 0 1 3 3
7 7z Danny Johnson 216 216 0 -87 0 2 2 3
8 4 Michael Storms 214 214 0 -89 0 1 2 3
9 99 Ryan Phelps 198 198 0 -105 0 0 1 3
10 14J Alan Johnson 187 187 0 -116 0 1 1 3
11 99L Larry Wight 175 175 0 -128 0 0 1 3
12 42P Pat Ward 159 159 0 -144 0 1 2 2
13 62s Tom Sears Jr. 152 152 0 -151 0 0 1 3
14 7x Steve Paine 151 151 0 -152 0 0 0 3
15 3T Gary Tomkins 144 144 0 -159 0 0 0 3
16 8 Rich Scagliotta 133 133 0 -170 0 0 0 3
17 3H Justin Haers 130 130 0 -173 0 0 1 2
18 1F Stewart Friesen 121 121 0 -182 0 1 1 2
19 85v Dan Vauter 104 104 0 -199 0 0 0 2
20 10 Tim Currier 100 100 0 -203 0 0 0 2
21 32c Vic Coffey 97 97 0 -206 0 0 0 2
22 16 Lance Willix II 93 93 0 -210 0 0 0 2
23 33 Mike Mahaney 88 88 0 -215 0 0 0 2
24 10x Willy Decker 72 72 0 -231 0 0 1 1
25 5H Chris Hile 67 67 0 -236 0 0 0 1
26 48T Dave Rauscher 64 64 0 -239 0 0 0 1
27 8R Rob Bellinger 63 63 0 -240 0 0 0 1
28 16 Mike Bowman 60 60 0 -243 0 0 0 1
29 37e Eric Fisher 54 54 0 -249 0 0 0 1
30 66x Carey Terrance 52 52 0 -251 0 0 0 1
31 X Chad Phelps 50 50 0 -253 0 0 0 1
32 21K Randy Chrysler 50 50 0 -253 0 0 0 1
33 21a Pete Britten 46 46 0 -257 0 0 0 1
34 57 Donnie Corellis 46 46 0 -257 0 0 0 1
35 71 David Van Horn Jr. 45 45 0 -258 0 0 0 1
36 12 Brian Sage 44 44 0 -259 0 0 0 1
37 7 Rick Laubach 44 44 0 -259 0 0 0 1
38 56 Vince Vitale 43 43 0 -260 0 0 0 1
39 29 Jeff Brownell Jr. 43 43 0 -260 0 0 0 1
40 12a Ronnie Johnson 43 43 0 -260 0 0 0 1
41 49er Johnny Guarino 42 42 0 -261 0 0 0 1
42 160 Johnny Hill 41 41 0 -262 0 0 0 1
43 37md Jer. Shingledecker 41 41 0 -262 0 0 0 1
44 39 Ryan Bartlett 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
45 45m Mike Ward 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
46 61 Dave Murdick 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
47 91 Chad Homan 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
48 21 Derrick Podsiadlo 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
49 22c Mario Clair 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
50 24 Jim Witko Jr. 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
51 65 Rex King 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
52 88c Billy Pauch Jr. 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
53 44 Frank Cozze 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
54 14 Jimmy Horton 40 40 0 -263 0 0 0 1
55 37x Tom Sheetz Jr. 20 20 0 -283 0 0 0 0

2010 Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified Roster (35)
Car# Driver/Hometown Team (Sponsor / Chassis / Engine)
X Chad Phelps/Mexico,NY Haun Welding Supply-Ashley Winery-Midstate Tree Service/Troyer/Morrison
4* Michael Storms/Wantage,NJ Keizer Aluminum Wheels-Four Star Transmissions/TEO/Morrison
5h Chris Hile/Syracuse,NY Ernie Kreis Heating Co.-Bradco Supply/Bicknell/Morrison
7x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY Swarthout Recycling-Tallmadge Tire-Terrell’s Potato Chips/Bicknell/Finger Lakes
8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ Central Jersey Trailer & Hitch Depot-Adamsville Maintenance/Troyer/Feil
8r Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY Westward Painting-Coffin Excavation-Lake Ontario Realty/Troyer/Finger Lakes
9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY Xtreme Lubricants/Bicknell/C.C. Performance
10 Tim Currier/Auburn,NY Currier Plastics-NorthStar Business Center/Bicknell/Mastin Engineering
10j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY Currier Plastics-NorthStar Business Center/Bicknell/Mastin Engineering
12 Brian Sage/Brockport,NY Sage Motorsports/Troyer/Carl McQuillen
14j Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY Raymond’s Car Care-RE Nolan Assoc.-Pizza Logs/Bicknell/Chevrolet
16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY Klaben Nursery-Premiere Yankee Windows & Siding/Bicknell/Finger Lakes-Bowman
16w Lance Willix II/Theresa,NY SUNY Canton-Nor-Shir Construction/Bicknell/Morrison
20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ Madsen Mtrsprts-Wentworth Custom Homes-Benjamin Moore Paints/TEO/Enders
21 Derrick Podsiadlo/Penn Yan,NY Penn Yan Mini Storage-Penn Yan Express Stop/TEO/Finger Lakes
21a Peter Britten/Brisbane,QLD Troyer Race Cars-JBR Motorsports/Troyer/Finger Lakes
25 Paul Habeck/Penfield,NY Hydra Pools-North Eastern Pool & Spa/Troyer/Bruneau
33 Mike Mahaney/King Ferry,NY Aloi Materials Handling-Mahaney Farms & Trucking/Bicknell/Enders
37e Eric Fisher/Bluff Point,NY Bully Hill Vineyards-Fisher Tree Service-Daily Electric/Ozcar/Finger Lakes
39 Ryan Bartlett/Adams Center,NY DP Bartlett&Sons Plumbing & Heating-Johnny D’s Mobile Food VendingTroyer/Barron
41 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY Murphy’s Racing-Purcell’s Wallpaper & Paint-Lamb’s Speed Shack/Bicknell/H.Murphy
44 Shannon Whaley/Pavilion,NY Davis Trailer World-D&M Precision-Valley Sand & Gravel/Bicknell/Morrison
45m Mike Ward/Genoa,NY Cal-East Collision & Street Rods/Bicknell/Chet Ward
48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY Magee Transportation Services-Monadnock Disposal Service/Bicknell/Morrison
49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY Number One Speed-Pemco Contracting-SUNY Canton/Bicknell/Finger Lakes
49er Johnny Guarino/Nanuet,NY Nick Nero Motorsports/Bicknell/DIRTcar 500
61 Dave Murdick/Slippery Rock,PA Zoom Internet-DG Construction-Steve’s Autobody/Troyer/Dunk Competition
62s Tom Sears Jr./Clay,NY Summit Auto Group-Mullen Industrial-Trackman Equipment/Bicknell/Morrison
77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY RezX Racing-Twin Leaf Express(Ft. Covington)/Bicknell/Kevlar
85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA Vauter Racing/Bicknell/Enders
91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY Gypsum Wholesalers-Stadium Int’l-Quality Hardwoods/Bicknell/Kevlar
91h Chad Homan/Macedon,NY DigTrack.com-Bytronics Inc./Bicknell/Campbell
98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY HBR Motorsports-Wave Energy Drink-Mohawk Northeast/Troyer/Bruneau
99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY Big Red Towing-Dave Miller Auto Body/Bicknell/Enders
99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY Gypsum Express,Ltd./Bicknell/Kevlar
160 Johnny Hill/Hastings,NY Tanner Wood Products-P.M. Mobile Service/Bicknell/Kevlar

Hall of Fame ‘10 Class
: Round number three of the Series at Cayuga County followed the 19th Annual Northeast Modified Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies staged in the adjacent Museum during the afternoon. This year three more drivers were added to the Hall of Fame Museum’s elite ‘Wall of Fame’: Southern Tier standout Lin Hough, popular Pennsylvania pilot Ralph Quarterson and north country favorite Gary Reddick. Also receiving special recognition on Hall of Fame Sunday were Leonard J. Sammons Jr. Outstanding Contributions to Auto Racing Award winners Brian Mulligan, Gene DeWitt Outstanding Car Owner Award recipient Jeff Brownell Sr. and Mechanic of the Year Andrew Phillips. Co-recipients of the eighth annual Gater Racing News Outstanding Woman in Racing Award were Tana Robinson, Judy Snyderman and Buffy Swanson. Other than Quarterson, all of the inductees and special award winners were in attendance for the annual festivities at the home of DIRTcar Northeast, with speakers Joe Marotta and Roy Sova joining the voice of the Super DIRTcar Series and emcee Shane Andrews during this historic event. Steve Kellogg (Hough) and Dave Roberts (Robinson) also offered some candid remarks during the presentations.

Hall of Fame Happenings: The experience of DIRTcar Racing Northeast history is its Hall of Fame, and the excitement of watching the old time race cars brouht back fond memories to our racing pioneers. It also provided an excellent opportunity to show today’s younger fans who the heroes of yesterday were. It made for an amazing day as race fans watched the present day racers thinking that someday, they’ll be Hall of Famers themselves. Joining in the race day festivities were Class of 1992 Hall of Fame charter member Billy Wimble, 2004 selection Dave Lape, Guy ‘Shorty’ Robinson ’93 and Carl Nagel ‘05. During intermission on Sunday, these Hall of Famers joined together with the newest members Hough and Reddick for a unique autograph session in the clubhouse. Irene Dudzinski (turns 90 in July), wife of original track owner Stan Dudzinski, was also on site serving as Grand Marshal and giving the order “Gentlemen, start your engines” to the Modified starting grid to create a true ‘Night of Nostalgia’ at the birthplace of DIRT.

Modern-Day HoF Heroes: Since the Northeast Modified Hall of Fame & Classic Car Museum was christened in 1992, 18 Hall of Fame Classics have now been run at Cayuga County with the 1995 headliner rained out. With the exception of last May, each of the events dating back to 2000 have been part of the Series schedule. Danny Johnson (2007, 2006, 2000, 1997) leads the pack with four HoF titles while Billy Decker, Gary Tomkins, Alan Johnson, Tim McCreadie and Tim Fuller are two-time winners with inaugural winner Steve Paine, Dave Lape, Bob McCreadie, Dale Planck and now Matt Sheppard also adding their names to the first-place trophy. Since Cayuga County hosted its first tour event in 1980, 17 drivers have reached the winner’s circle with Danny Johnson (8), Bob McCreadie (7), Alan Johnson (6), Decker (5), Jack Johnson (4), Tim McCreadie (3), and Fuller (3) accounting for all but 12 of those victories in the 48 extra-distance events run.

*Exemption Dash Qualifier: Along with earning guaranteed starter status for the Syracuse 200 in October during Super DIRT Week, defending race winner Matt Sheppard also collected an automatic starting bid to the ‘All-Star Exemption Dash’ during the 2nd Annual DIRTcar All-Star Weekend, once again scheduled on the first day of activity at Cayuga County Fair Speedway. A special qualifying series got underway in April for the July 16 event that provides a full purse in the 15-lap preliminary event, one that locks the top-two finishers into the pre-race draw for the first segment of the revamped ‘DIRTcar All-Star 100’ on Saturday, July 17. Continuing to shine the spotlight on those DIRTcar Racing Northeast circuit tracks hosting the Big-Block Modifieds on a regular basis, along with a select group of sites hosting a Super DIRTcar Series event prior to All-Star Weekend, the winner —or next in line without a spot— of each Exemption Dash Qualifier will earn a guaranteed starting berth in the $500-to-win Friday night showdown. Along with Sheppard, already earning spots in the dash are Dale Planck (Fulton), Bobby Varin (Glen Ridge), Dave Murdick (Lernerville), Steve Paine (Canandaigua) and Jeremiah Shingledecker (Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway).

2010 All-Star Exemption Dash Qualifying Series Schedule (remaining events)
*Super DIRTcar Series event; All events subject to change.
Sat-Jun 5 Lebanon Valley Speedway West Lebanon,NY
Sun-Jun 6 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Fri-Jun 11 Brewerton Speedway Brewerton,NY
*Tue-Jun 15 Grandview Speedway Bechtelsville,PA
*Wed-Jun 16 Orange County Fair Speedway Middletown,NY
*Wed-Jun 23 Mohawk Int’l Raceway Akwesasne,NY
Fri-July 2 Can-Am Motorsports Park Lafargeville,NY
*Sun-Jul 4 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Sun-Jul 4 Tri-City Speedway Franklin,PA
*Sun-Jul 11 Cornwall Motor Speedway Cornwall,ONT
@BRP Modified Tour Points Leader (thru July 11)

*Engaging Experience: A lot has changed since Ryan Phelps headed into Memorial Day one year ago. The second-generation standout from Fulton, N.Y. went on to score his first career Super DIRTcar Series victory in dramatic fashion, ultimately picking up back-to-back wins in the inaugural All-Star Weekend run last July. Then just a month and a half earlier (April 19) became engaged to his future wife Amber with a wedding date planned for New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2010. Both teachers in Newark, N.Y., Amber instructs 4th-graders in the elementary school while Ryan is employed as an 11th-grade history teacher at the high school where he also serves as head coach of the wrestling team. In Sunday’s Hall of Fame Classic, Ryan hovered around the front-five all evening before settling for 6th-place and currently ranks ninth in the point standings through the initial three tour events.

*All-Star Preview: A solid field of 35 racers filed into Weedsport over Memorial Day Weekend, including 16 registered tour travelers plus more than a half-dozen track regulars; 9 of the Top-10 in Cayuga County points are also Super DIRTcar Series staples, continuing to showcase the Route 40 oval as the top stop in the area on Sunday evenings throughout the summer months. Among this elite group (CCFS regulars in bold) of touring stars are reigning overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar points king Brett Hearn, Matt Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps, Billy Decker, Justin Haers, Gary Tomkins, Ryan Phelps, Danny Johnson, Alan Johnson, Michael Storms, Dale Planck, Larry Wight, Jeff Brownell Jr., Billy Dunn, Steve Paine, Rich Scagliotta and Tom Sears Jr. All these and many, many more will be in competition when All-Star Weekend II takes center stage in Weedsport on July 16-17. The 2nd Annual All-Star 100 Weekend, this year featuring three straight days of racing at both Cayuga County and Brewerton Speedway (July 15), concludes with an exciting new format on Saturday. The winner’s take will still be $20,000, yet more than one driver may share the cash prize with three pieces to the 100-lap puzzle hanging in the balance. The first $5,000-to-win 25-lap segment represents the famous Modified qualifying format while the second 25-lap segment, which also pays $5,000-to-win, incorporates an inversion mirroring the tough handicapping system that drivers face at their weekly tracks and the importance of a driver’s ability to search out new lines, pass and work traffic to get to the front in a short amount of time. The 50-lap finale ultimately pits the top stars side-by-side against one another in a long distance special for the big $10,000 prize.

DIRTcar Series Destinations: Joining All-Star 100 Weekend in 2010 will be the ‘Great Canadian’ tour in Quebec that visits autodromes Drummond and Granby, July 19-20, with Super DIRT Week XXXIX on the Syracuse Mile, Oct. 6-10, and DIRTcar Fall Nationals at Brockville Ontario Speedway, Oct. 16-17, two of the biggest autumn attractions. The Hoosier Tire-VP Race Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship concludes competition for the first time ever as a major part of the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (NC), Nov. 4-6, joining the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and the World of Outlaws Late Models as all three series wrap up their seasons with nationally recognized championship-deciding point events.

*Twitter Keeps Series Connection: Fans were once kept abreast of all the activity throughout the Super DIRTcar Series show at Cayuga County with their ‘Twitter’ connection providing Big-Block updates both on-line and through text messages on cell phones. Along with the brief bulletins offered Twitter ‘followers’ of the SDS during each race night, fans can also expect to receive breaking news and interesting notes between tour stops. To sign-up as a SDS Big-Block ‘follower’ on Twitter and receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://www.twitter.com/SuperDIRTcar.

*Pot Holes: The Cayuga County HoF field included no less than a dozen new faces with Eric Fisher (finished 11th), Australian Peter Britten (18th), Brian Sage (20th), Johnny Guarino (22nd), Johnny Hill (23rd), Mike Ward (26th), Dave Murdick (27th), Chad Homan (28th), Derrick Podsiadlo (29th) and Ryan Bartlett (30th) qualifying for the 100-lapper while Paul Habeck and Shannon Whaley missed the cut. Serving as crew chief for Rich Scagliotta in the opening rounds at Hagerstown and Fulton, Britten completed all but one lap in his Series debut some 30 hours from his home downunder … The only driver to win at least one Modified feature every year since DIRTcar was launched in 1976, Alan Johnson had his 3 year-old grandson Mason Cruz Baye draw for him for the first time prior to the start of the 100-lap main … SDS regular Larry Wight will be forced to miss the upcoming Grandview/Orange County twin-bill due to classroom commitments. On the brink of completing his junior year at John C. Birdlebough H.S. in his hometown of Phoenix, N.Y., DIRTcar Northeast’s 2008 Motorsports Safety Systems Big-Block Modified Rookie of the Year has early morning regents tests slated for mid-June in both English and Biology, forcing him to remain closer to home June 15-16 … The no. 10 Currier Plastics/Bicknell machine driven by Tim Currier was the latest to carry the letter “J” as Danny Johnson got the nod on Sunday. With Johnson teaming up with Currier over the winter, Tim and his father John came to the rescue after Danny’s engine expired in the more familiar no. 27J ride while leading with just one lap to go the night before at Canandaigua Speedway. The ‘Doctor’ responded with a solid 5th-place effort at Weedsport … Offered use of a provisional starting spot to join the rear of the field, first-year tour traveler Lance Willix II politely turned down 30th position and a guaranteed payday at The Port. Remarking how bad his car was running, the act of good sportsmanship opened up the door for downstate driver Johnny Guarino and the Nanuet, N.Y. native took advantage of the rare opportunity, eventually joining the back of the pack steering the Nick Nero Motorsports no. 49er Bicknell entry powered by a DIRTcar 500 engine … Gary Tomkins continues to land rides for the series with his latest effort put forth behind the wheel of Brian Murphy’s no. 41 Bicknell ride. The Clifton Springs, N.Y. chauffeur ran only 47 laps in the feature to finish 25th on the final scoresheet. Tomkins placed 17th in the Hagerstown Speedway opener driving for Chad Brachmann and followed up with a 13th-place tally at Fulton Speedway in the same Brachmann Racing no. 3 Mighty Taco-Power Trip Energy Drink/Bicknell special.

Following the scheduled Hall of Fame Classic at Cayuga County Fair Speedway, Super DIRTcar Series action takes a 2-1/2-week break before returning to action in mid-June when Grandview Speedway and Orange County Fair Speedway stage the first doubleheader of the season. Thunder On The Hill series promoter Bob Miller brings the ‘Traffic Jam 100’ back on tour June 15 at Grandview for the 12th time since luring the top Big-Block travelers to the Keystone State in 1998, just one day before ‘The Big Show 2’ presented by veteran racer Brett Hearn is held at Orange County on June 16.

2010 Super DIRTcar Series Schedule
NP=Non-Point event; SP=Show-Up point event;
Wed-Feb 10 Volusia Speedway Park-np Stewart Friesen
Thr-Feb 11 Volusia Speedway Park-np Matt Sheppard
Fri-Feb 12 Volusia Speedway Park-np cancelled
Sat-Feb 13 Volusia Speedway Park-np Matt Sheppard
Sat-Mar 27 Hagerstown Speedway Billy Decker
Sat-Apr 10 Fulton Speedway Dale Planck
Sun-May 30 Cayuga County Fair Speedway Matt Sheppard
Tue-Jun 15 Grandview Speedway Bechtelsville,PA
Wed-Jun 16 Orange County Fair Speedway Middletown,NY
Wed-Jun 23 Mohawk Int’l Raceway Akwesasne,NY
Sun-Jul 4 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Sun-Jul 11 Cornwall Motor Speedway Cornwall,ONT
Thr-Jul 15 Brewerton Speedway Brewerton,NY
Fri-Jul 16 Cayuga County Fair Speedway Weedsport,NY
Sat-Jul 17 Cayuga County Fair Speedway Weedsport,NY
Mon-Jul 19 Autodrome Granby Granby,QUE
Tue-Jul 20 Autodrome Drummond Drummondville,QUE
Mon-Aug 2 Merrittville Speedway Thorold,ONT
Thr-Aug 26 Lebanon Valley Speedway West Lebanon,NY
Sun-Sep 5 Cayuga County Fair Speedway Weedsport,NY
Sat-Sep 18 Mohawk Int’l Raceway Akwesasne,NY
Sat-Oct 2 Fulton Speedway-sp Fulton,NY
Sun-Oct 10 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY
Sun-Oct 17 Brockville Ontario Speedway Brockville,ONT
Thr-Nov 4 The Dirt Track at Charlotte(qual.) Concord,NC
Fri-Nov 5 The Dirt Track at Charlotte Concord,NC
Sat-Nov 6 The Dirt Track at Charlotte Concord,NC

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.