Weedsport, NY — January 25, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director
*Dale Planck (77x) Chases J.R. Heffner (74) In ’07 Alltel DIRTcar Nationals Big-Block Action (Bob Perran Photo)
At 37, talented second-generation DIRTcar Modified driver Dale Planck hopes to be reaching his peak at just the right time. Not only when it comes to the experience gained following the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series, but in sponsorship support that has come his way to begin the 2008 race season.
Carey Terrance, welcome to the world of Big-Block Modified racing.
“There were some other commitments with last year’s team and Carey was around when I was looking for a new ride,” said Planck, who will now be recognized aboard his new owner’s RezX Racing no. 77x Grow It Hydroseeding-Action Race Parts entry with two brand new —another with just four laps— Teo Pro Car chassis, a trio of Kevlar motors and plenty of spare parts stocked away in their Hogansburg, New York garage. “We were friends before when I raced up north and I’ve helped him out in the past with set-ups. Carey still plans to follow the DIRTcar Small-Block Series so I hope he can make it out to see a lot of my Big-Block tour shows. But its mostly my deal now and he’s letting me call all the shots.”
Planck is among 40 entries already signed up for the 37th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida. Race action begins Wednesday, February 13 and concludes Saturday, Feb. 16 with a big $5,000-to-win 50-lapper. Two more Big-Block shows are scheduled in between on Feb. 14-15 with an optional practice day saved for Tuesday, Feb. 12.
“I’m going down there to win the whole thing (points) but I still don’t even have a win. That sounds kinda strange but last year we probably had the fastest car every night yet something always happened before the end. And we still managed some good finishes even with the car messed up after every race,” noted Planck, who has steered three different chassis the past three winters at Volusia. The Cortland, New York standout went from 21st in 2005 to runner-up status last February in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals points chase, while settling for 4th-place laurels in 2006. Although posting five career DIRTcar Big-Block Modified feature wins in his career, the ‘Natural’ is still in search of his first checkered flag in the Sunshine State.
“I’ve become good friends with all the chassis builders over the years and am pretty familiar with every style car. Bobby (Hearn, TEO Fabrications owner) has definitely made some changes since I last drove one of his in ’05. It’ll probably take a little time to get used to but I seem to do good under pressure. I don’t have any specific expectations at this point, just try to be prepared the best I can every time out,” Planck figured.
Planck began following the Advance Auto Parts Series full-time in 2006 and has since posted a pair of 100-lap victories. He placed 11th in overall 2006 Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship points and moved up into the sixth slot last season by logging four top-five finishes in the 32-race tour, with his lone win registered at Brewerton (NY) Speedway.
“The biggest challenge right now is building a team capable of following the whole Advance Series around the Northeast,” added Planck, listing Taylor Hill as his crew chief to head the handful of helpers coming together for the trip to Florida. We’ve got three more weeks to put all the pieces in place, it’s a long way to go if you’re not prepared. And on this tour you’ve got to be prepared and organized. Its not as hard to run up front when you get to the track feeling confident. Last year we were twice as good as in ’06 so we’re hoping to keep improving and moving up the ladder.”
Volusia Speedway Park (386/985-4402) is located 15 miles west of Daytona Beach on State Road 40 in Barberville, Fla. For additional information, contact the DIRTcar NorthEast Office during normal business hours or log into www.superdirtcarseries.com. Reserved seat tickets for each night of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals can be purchased online at www.VolusiaSpeedwayPark.com.
Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts is the second-largest retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items in the United States, based on store count and sales. As of October 6, 2007, the company operated 3,228 stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The company serves both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets.
The Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Advance Auto Parts, Hoosier Racing Tire and Sunoco Race Fuels. Promotional partners include AMB i.t., Rite Aid Corporation and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Integra Shocks, MSD Ignitions, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks and Wrisco Industries.