Weedsport, NY — January 26, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
*Alex & Helen Bruce Photo
In a classic paradox played out in the World of Warcraft, two of the most recognized factions are identified as the ‘Immovable Object’ and ‘Unstoppable Force’ by thousands of online gamers across the land.
On the DIRTcar Northeast circuit, the Big-Block Modified battles are just as fierce between reigning Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar points king Brett Hearn and rising heir to the throne Matt Sheppard, two of the most familiar combatants taking up sides trackside in their quest to conquer the competition.
When the 39th Florida DIRTcar Nationals By University of Northwestern Ohio gets underway, the often ‘immovable’ Corporate Jet and seemingly ‘unstoppable’ Super Matt will be ready to pick up where they left off last season, each looking to establish themselves as the man to beat when the Big-Blocks take center stage February 10-13 at Volusia Speedway Park.
“At this rate, Matt may someday be in a league all by himself,” figured Hearn, 51, responding to the question of retirement and who will succeed the Sussex, N.J. speedster atop the Modified world. “Right now nobody at his age has as much knowledge and experience, what’s needed to get the job done.”
“He’s proven his commitment to racing over the years, and there aren’t too many around that can work on the car everyday throughout the season. A lot of drivers have other jobs and can only show up at the races. Matt’s probably more like me when it comes to preparation, he’s a hands-on guy who has been successful working his way up,” added Hearn, prominent pilot of the Madsen Motorsports no. 20 Wentworth Custom Homes-Benjaimin Moore Paints-Kruger-WLR/TEO entry and a 7-time Florida DCN points champion with a winter tour best total of 19 feature wins.
Second-generation standout Sheppard is still in search of his first visit to victory lane in gator country, albeit this February will mark just his fifth race weeks while Hearn has journeyed south annually since 1998.
“I’d like to think we have as good a shot as anybody winning Mr. DIRT, but so do a lot of others,” remarked Sheppard, 27, who won the final three Super DIRTcar Series shows last season —including the Super DIRT Week Rite Aid 200 finale at Syracuse— to finish just four points behind Mr. DIRTcar titlist Hearn. The Waterloo, N.Y. warrior also led the Northeast with 20 Big-Block triumphs in ‘09.
“Brett had a good year, not phenomenal, yet he started out so strong that everybody had to play catch-up. We’ll just have to out-perform him like we did at the end of last year. But starting out this early its really hard to tell much until the season unfolds. A lot depends on who gets hot, has their program in order and can keep finishing up front,” noted Sheppard, who will be back aboard the potent JB Motorsports no. 9s XTreme Lubricants/Bicknell machine for a third season.
Among the 40 Northeastern Modified teams signed up for Florida, Hearn and Sheppard will contend together for the first time in 2010 when the Big-Blocks square off in a 30-lap feature Feb. 10 at Volusia. Activity continues with 30-lap main events on Thursday and Friday before a big $5,000-to-win 50-lapper brings the curtain down Sat., Feb. 13. An optional practice day is set for Tue., Feb. 9.
Tickets are on sale now 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, and for more information visit www.DIRTcarNationals.com.
Big-Block Modified news is available online at www.superdirtcarseries.com, and by signing up on http://www.twitter.com/SuperDIRTcar fans can receive updates anywhere at anytime as 2010 gets underway. Be the first to find out about all the happenings at Volusia by registering on http://www.twitter.com/DIRTcarNats.
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.