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Dale Planck Captures Cayuga County Hall of Fame Classic


Weedsport, NYMay 25, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
*Bill Moore Photo

In a matter of weeks Dale Planck doubled his career output as he put the RezX Racing no. 77x Grow It Hydroseeding-Action Race Parts/TEO in victory lane Sunday night at Cayuga County Fair Speedway after capturing the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Hall of Fame Classic presented by Ferris Mowers.

Click here to hear from winner Dale Planck, second place Danny Johnson, and third place Jimmy Phelps 

Planck’s fourth Advance Auto Parts Series win was his second-ever Big-Block Modified triumph at the home of DIRTcar NorthEast and netted him the $6,000 top prize plus pulled him to within three points of leader Brett Hearn in his bid for the elusive overall Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Championship.

“I tell you what, since the inception of this new team this year, these Teo Pro cars have been just unbelievable,” beamed Planck, 37, after scoring his second Advance Auto Parts Series win in a row. The Cortland, New York pilot copped the 50-lapper at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on May 4, with initial tour triumphs registered at Cornwall Motor Speedway in July of 2006 followed by an extra-distance win at Brewerton Speedway last August.

“Its actually turned my whole career around here. Usually I come to a track like this, it gets black and slickened up and I go backwards then get lapped. A lot of (success) is the Kevlar engine and the Teo car. We make little changes with it that other cars I had in the past just didn’t react. We make positive changes to it and it reacts really well. I’ve never had a race car that drives so good and I’m trying to be as sharp as I can, too,” Planck said.

The 76-lap Modified main was slowed by just three caution periods with Planck grabbing the lead from pole-sitter Justin Haers on lap 21 and outlasting last year’s Hall of Fame Classic co-winner Danny Johnson to claim the decisive victory. Reigning Cayuga County points king Jimmy Phelps charged into third at the stripe followed by Tim Fuller and Haers.

Two-time and defending Syracuse Rite Aid 200 Champion Vic Coffey kicked off the holiday weekend activity by setting his first-ever Advance Series fast time (17.492 sec.) in Integra Shocks Time Trials. Coffey was looking to make a sweep after collecting a win in the first of four heat races that helped sort out the 37-car field of Big-Blocks signed in. The Leicester, New York chauffeur drew “zero” (no inversion) to start on the pole in his qualifier yet selected 11 out of 12 to fill inside row six to start the main event.

A seven-time Modified feature winner himself at The Port, Haers finished third in his heat yet luck of the draw put him on the point in search of his first career Advance Auto Parts Series victory. The Phelps, New Yorker jumped out to an early lead, followed immediately by third-place starter Planck, Cayuga County regular Chad Homan, early season Weedsport winner Alan Johnson and teenage sensation Larry Wight.

Sean Beardsley slowed between turns three and four to force out the first yellow flag with three laps complete. ‘A.J. Slideways’ ducked under Homan for third on lap six and two laps later moving into fifth was his younger brother Danny Johnson with the JIR Motorsports no. 27J A&D Structures/Troyer riding the high line. The ‘Doctor’ disposed of Homan just as quickly and after 10 laps was chasing down Alan while Haers and Planck duked it out up front.

Lap after lap Planck shadowed ‘T-Bone’ until finally overtaking the talented 28 year-old on the high side as they exited turn four to complete lap 21. The leaders reached traffic soonafter and with 25 laps in the books, Jimmy Phelps had made his presence known replacing Homan among the front-five with still two-thirds of the race left to get the job done.

The only driver failing to record a lap time during time trials, Billy Decker was another man on the move, breaking the top-10 on lap 33 after a consolation round victory afforded him 21st-place on the original 30-car starting grid. Decker was far from satisfied and DIRTcar Racing NorthEast’s Big-Block win leader (8) charged into eighth spot as head starter Dave Farney crossed the flags indicating the halfway point had been reached. The top-five of Planck, Hears, Alan and Danny Johnson, and Phelps remained intact, followed by fast-moving Tim Fuller, Homan, Decker, Gary Tomkins and Ryan Phelps.

In the boldest move of the race —in a style typical of the ‘Doctor’ operating on all cylinders— Danny Johnson stuck his nose between Alan and a lapped car down the back straightaway and then carried the momentum high around Haers to vault from fourth to second on lap 46. When Holley Hard Luck driver Steve Paine stripped a spur gear in the distributor to incur just the second caution period on lap 50, the field was tightened back up with Johnson pulling up to Planck’s bumper on the ensuing restart.

“Are you kidding? ….. Danny Johnson behind you at Weedsport on a slick, black track in a big Series race, you gotta believe I was a little nervous,” admitted Planck, who picked up his only previous Big-Block win at Cayuga County in April of 2006. The ‘Natural’ posted his first win of the ’08 campaign at Volusia (Fla.) Speedway Park in February during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals before adding another first closer to home at Rolling Wheels just three weeks ago.

“I was trying to get down to get some of the moisture off the bottom, just try to carry momentum through the corner. In lapped traffic it seemed like everybody was about the same speed, the only advantage I seemed to have was just the second I picked the throttle up to come off the corner I would get just a little bit. So it would take a lot of laps to get a distance (on Danny),” Planck noted.

The Advance Series points leader coming into Cayuga County, Brett Hearn was never a factor yet after starting 23rd the Sussex, New Jersey standout finally cracked the top-10 on lap 53 finding the outside lane to his liking aboard the familiar Madsen Motorsports no. 20 Wentworth Custom Homes/TEO mount. Passing was at a premium in the latter stages, with Hearn able to improve only one more position the rest of the way.

Derrick Podsiadlo slowed for the final time on lap 68 to send the yellow lights flashing around the speedway and give Johnson one last chance to overtake Planck in defense of his Hall of Fame title. But the ‘Doctor’ had no prescription for the leader and eventually fell back six car-lengths shy under the checkered flag.

“I can’t believe it, can’t thank Carey Terrance enough for giving me this opportunity,” added Planck from the winner’s circle, not knowing that car owner Terrance was claiming his first feature win of the season in DIRTcar 358-Modified competition the same night across the border at Cornwall (Ont.) Motor Speedway. “It’s just awesome to be here. And with Fulton coming up next we’re pretty confident we can be back again.”

Jimmy Phelps, who moved past Alan Johnson for fourth on lap 57, stole third from Haers on the lap 68 restart while 2007 Mr. DIRTcar runner-up Fuller crept forward from sixth to fourth over the final 15 circuits to post his first tour top-five finish of ’08. Decker’s stellar run to the front ended in sixth position behind Haers, which was still good enough to secure him the Bert/KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award.

“It’s great to get a good finish anytime, we’re ecstatic to get 2nd-place tonight,” said Johnson, 48, who was in search of his Advance Series-best ninth career victory at Cayuga County where he ranks third all-time with 61 Big-Block feature wins. “We had a great car here today, have to thank all the crew for giving me such a great one.”

“I also have to thank Jeff Isabell (owner), Morrison motor and Troyer incorporated for such a great ride here today because these guys really put me here (podium). We had a great hot rod. We were right there with (Dale), it was a tough go even with more laps. You never know which way the car’s gonna go, sometimes they get better, sometimes they get worse. We both had good hot rods, so it was a 1-2 finish probably,” Johnson added.

Continuing to display one of the most consistent levels of driving, Phelps added his third front-five finish in four outings to move within seven points of defending Mr. DIRTcar Champion Hearn. Last season the ‘B’Ville Blizzard’ finished third and fourth in the Hall of Fame Twin 53s, then improved to log second and third-place finishes in Cayuga County’s twin-bill on Labor Day Weekend.

“We’re off to a lot better start in the Series than previous years so we’re excited about that,” said Phelps, 33, who is yet to win on the DIRTcar circuit this year although the Baldwinsville, New York driver put the H&H Motorsports no. 98H Mohawk Northeast-New England Race Fuels-Joe Gibbs Racing Oil/Troyer entry in victory lane at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway in March. “We came here tonight hoping for a good run. It was tough, track position was huge today. So starting 10th I’m pretty happy we went forward.”

“We needed long green flag runs, the yellows didn’t help me much…cooled the tires off a little bit. We needed to stay green. If it was 100 laps who knows, I didn’t have anything for him at this point (76 laps) so we’re happy with third. I gotta thank everybody that works so hard for this deal. They gave me a great race car tonight and I’m very thankful,” Phelps concluded.

In two weeks the Advance Auto Parts Big-Block Modifieds return to action at Fulton Speedway for the first of four Saturday night shows scheduled during the regular season with the 10th Showdown at Sundown set for June 7. The 100-lap main event pays $6,000 to win and offers valuable points towards the 33rd Mr. DIRTcar Big-Block Championship.

Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Race #4 – Cayuga County Fair Speedway, May 25, 2008 17th Hall of Fame Classic presented by Ferris Mowers Big-Block Modified Event Summary
1 3 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY($6,000)
2 8 27j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
3 10 98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
4 12 19 Tim Fuller/Edwards, NY
5 1 3 Justin Haers/Phelps,NY
6 21 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
7 4 10 Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
8 6 84 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY
9 23 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
10 20 fx1 Frankie Caprara/Watertown,NY
11 11 32c Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY
12 14 99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY
13 22 49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY
14 18 9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
15 2 91h Chad Homan/Macedon,NY
16 5 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
17 17 29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY
18 15 6 Pat O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
19 27 18 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY
20 7 99b Chuck Bower/Lansing,NY
21 29 85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA
22 25 42b Kevin Bates/Lake Ariel,PA
23 9 48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
24 26 8 Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY
25 28 5 Jason Potter/Pulaski,NY
26 24 21 Derrick Podsiadlo/Penn Yan,NY
27 19 16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY
28 16 7x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY
29 30 44 Shannon Whaley/Pavilion,NY
30 13 93 Ryan Bartlett/Adams,NY
LAP LEADERS: Haers (1-20), Planck (21-76).
CAUTIONS: 3 (lap 3, lap 50, lap 68).
HEAT WINNERS: Coffey, Fuller, Planck, Wight.
INTEGRA SHOCKS FAST TIME AWARD: Vic Coffey (17.492sec/77.178mph).
TOTAL PURSE: $27,575.
NEXT EVENT: Fulton Speedway “Showdown at Sundown” – June 7, 2008.
7j-Joe Isabell/Pennellville,NY
11j-Alan Fink/Pennellville,NY
13-Tony Steiner/Jamesville,NY
33-Mike Mahaney/King Ferry,NY
56-Vince Vitale/Phoenix,NY
66w-Wallace Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE
79-Mike Storms/Wantage,NJ

1 17.492 77.178 32c Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY
*$100 Integra Shocks Fast Qualifier Award
2 17.512 77.090 99b Chuck Bower/Lansing,NY
3 17.527 77.024 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
4 17.530 77.011 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
5 17.535 76.989 10 Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
6 17.572 76.827 19 Tim Fuller/Edwards, NY
7 17.578 76.801 27j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
8 17.607 76.674 48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
9 17.608 76.670 98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
10 17.651 76.483 91h Chad Homan/Macedon,NY
17.651 76.483 99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY
12 17.659 76.448 84 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY
13 17.710 76.228 79 Mike Storms/Wantage,NJ
14 17.730 76.142 3 Justin Haers/Phelps,NY
15 17.747 76.069 6 Pat O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
16 17.791 75.881 7x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY
17 17.809 75.804 93 Ryan Bartlett/Adams,NY
18 17.823 75.745 9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
19 17.828 75.724 16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY
20 17.849 75.634 fx1 Frankie Caprara/Watertown,NY
21 17.884 75.486 29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY
22 17.886 75.478 56 Vince Vitale/Phoenix,NY
23 17.907 75.390 21 Derrick Podsiadlo/Penn Yan,NY
24 17.927 75.305 8 Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY
25 17.952 75.201 42b Kevin Bates/Lake Ariel,PA
26 17.979 75.088 49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY
27 18.099 74.590 5 Jason Potter/Pulaski,NY
28 18.111 74.540 85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA
29 18.208 74.143 13 Tony Steiner/Jamesville,NY
30 18.240 74.013 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
31 18.261 73.928 44 Shannon Whaley/Pavilion,NY
32 18.365 73.509 11j Alan Fink/Pennellville,NY
33 18.465 73.111 18 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY
34 18.485 73.032 66w Wallace Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE
35 18.534 72.839 33 Mike Mahaney/King Ferry,NY
36 18.595 72.600 7j Joe Isabell/Pennellville,NY
37 -NT- —– 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
Heat Races (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to feature, top 3 went to re-draw)
#1: Coffey, A.Johnson, J.Phelps, Bartlett, Brownell, Decker, Bates, Beardsley, Storms, Steiner.
#2: Fuller, Bower, Haers, R.Phelps, Sheppard, Dunn, Hearn, Vitale, Stacey.
#3: Planck, D.Johnson, Homan, O’Brien, Bowman, Podsiadlo, Potter, Whaley, Mahaney.
#4: Wight, Rauscher, Tomkins, Paine, Caprara, Vauter, Bellinger, Isabell, Fink.
Dig Safely New York Last Chance Races: (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Decker, Hearn, Bates, Beardsley, Vauter, Vitale, Storms, Steiner, Stacey.
#2: Dunn, Podsiadlo, Bellinger, Potter, Whaley, Mahaney, Isabell, Fink.

Advance Auto Parts Series Point Standings (Through May 25, 2008)
Rank No. Driver Total Series Diff Wins Top-5 Top-10 Starts
1 20 Brett Hearn 271 271 0 0 3 4 4
2 77x Dale Planck 268 268 -3 2 2 3 4
3 98h Jimmy Phelps 264 264 -7 0 3 4 4
4 91 Billy Decker 260 260 -11 1 2 4 4
5 27J Danny Johnson 253 253 -18 0 2 3 4
6 84 Gary Tomkins 240 240 -31 0 1 4 4
7 9s Matt Sheppard 240 240 -31 1 1 2 4
8 7x Steve Paine 221 221 -50 0 2 2 4
9 3 Justin Haers 218 218 -53 0 1 3 4
10 FX1 Frankie Caprara 206 206 -65 0 0 3 4
11 14J Alan Johnson 203 203 -68 0 0 2 4
12 99 Ryan Phelps 185 185 -86 0 0 1 4
13 99L Larry Wight 171 171 -100 0 0 1 4
14 49 Billy Dunn 150 150 -121 0 0 0 4
15 29 Jeff Brownell Jr. 149 149 -122 0 0 0 4
16 6 Pat O’Brien 138 138 -133 0 0 0 4
17 42B Kevin Bates 133 133 -138 0 0 0 4
18 19 Tim Fuller 130 130 -141 0 1 1 2
19 4 Duane Howard 105 105 -166 0 1 1 1
20 79 Mike Storms 102 102 -169 0 0 0 3
21 99b Chuck Bower 100 100 -171 0 0 0 3
22 11j Sean Beardsley 96 96 -175 0 0 0 3
23 8 Rob Bellinger 86 86 -185 0 0 0 3
24 16 Mike Bowman 85 85 -186 0 0 0 3
25 21 Derrick Podsiadlo 84 84 -187 0 0 0 3
26 5 Jason Potter 83 83 -188 0 0 0 3
27 44 Shannon Whaley 80 80 -191 0 0 0 3
28 48T Dave Rauscher 79 79 -192 0 0 0 2
29 56 Vince Vitale 77 77 -194 0 0 0 2
30 32c Vic Coffey 70 70 -201 0 0 0 1
31 1w Billy Pauch 66 66 -205 0 0 1 1
32 15x Billy Pauch Jr. 63 63 -208 0 0 0 1
33 85 Wade Hedrickson 62 62 -209 0 0 1 1
34 71 David VanHorn Jr. 59 59 -212 0 0 0 1
35 14 Rick Laubach 54 54 -217 0 0 0 1
36 91h Chad Homan 53 53 -218 0 0 0 1
37 20R Josh Richards 48 48 -223 0 0 0 1
38 85 Dan Vauter 43 43 -228 0 0 0 1
39 43 Keith Flach 43 43 -228 0 0 0 2
40 39w Steven Downs 42 42 -229 0 0 0 1
41 357 Stewart Friesen 41 41 -230 0 0 0 1
42 93 Ryan Bartlett 40 40 -231 0 0 0 1
43 62s Tom Sears Jr. 40 40 -231 0 0 0 2
44 43 Jimmy Horton IV 40 40 -231 0 0 0 1
45 777 Kevin Bolland 40 40 -231 0 0 0 1
46 88 Steve Hulsizer 25 25 -246 0 0 0 1
47 13 Tony Steiner 20 20 -251 0 0 0 0
48 11J Alan Fink 20 20 -251 0 0 0 0
49 7J Joe Isabell 20 20 -251 0 0 0 0
50 1 Darwin Greene 20 20 -251 0 0 0 0
51 66w Wallace Stacey 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
52 33 Mike Mahaney 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
53 22 Rick Wegner Jr. 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
54 19h Chris Higgins 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
55 37c Eric Fisher 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
56 09 Kyle Lewis 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
57 14R Ryan Odasz 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
58 7 Paul Guererri 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
59 7J Joe Isabell 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
60 29H Kenny Wallace 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
61 HR2 Jimmy Horton 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
62 37X Tommy Scheetz Jr. 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
63 M40 Mark Forte Jr. 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
64 40 Mark Forte 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
65 8 Rich Scagliotta 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
66 10 Kyle Strickler 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
67 15 Brett Tonkin 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
68 13 Greg Monica 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
69 7a Chic Cossaboone 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
70 30 Jamie Mills 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0
71 R2 Rusty Smith 10 10 -261 0 0 0 0

Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar Modified Entries – May 25 (37)
® Rookie
CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN TEAM (Sponsor / Chassis / Engine)
fx1 Frankie Caprara/Watertown,NY F.X. Caprara Car Co.-Auto Value-JK Contracting/Troyer/Dan Bedell
3 Justin Haers/Phelps,NY Phelps Cement Products-SMV Motorsports-Jeff Jolly Masonry/Bicknell/Finger Lakes
5 Jason Potter/Pulaski,NY Dick’s Auto Specialties-Fat Nancy’s Tackle Shop/Bicknell/Feil
6 Pat O’Brien/Kingston,ONT 730 Truck Stop-Gypsum Logistics-Newells Garage/Bicknell/Enders
7j Joe Isabell/Pennellville,NY JIR Motorsports-A&D Structures/Troyer/Morrison
7x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY Tallmadge Tire-Swarthout Recycling-Instant Heat Wood Pellets/Troyer/Finger Lakes
8 Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY Mini-Storage of Watertown-Westward Paintng-Lake Ontario Rlty/Troyer/Finger Lakes
9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY Advanced Lubrication Specialties-BPG/Chad Sinon Motorsports/Bicknell/Finger Lakes
10 Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY Tri-State Roofing-Dirt Works-Cedar Ridge RV/TEO/Terry Vince
11j Alan Fink/Pennellville,NY® JIR Motorsports-A&D Structures/Troyer/Morrison
13 Tony Steiner/Jamesville,NY® NY Tech Supply-Antonio’s Restaurant/Troyer/Finger Lakes
16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY Klaben Nursery-Fulton Springs/Troyer/Finger Lakes-Bowman
18 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY Town Mechanical,Inc-Bradco Supply-Pipe Pros/Troyer/Moshier
19 Tim Fuller/Edwards, NY Street Wise Fight Wear-JL Motorsports-G&R Auto Parts/TEO/Enders
20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ Madsen Motorsports-Wentworth Custom Homes-Kruger-WLR/TEO/Enders
21 Derrick Podsiadlo/Penn Yan,NY Penn Yan Mini Storage/Bicknell/Finger Lakes
27j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY JIR Motorsports-A&D Structures/Troyer/Morrison
29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY Advanced Lubrication Specialties-Seneca Auto Sales/Bicknell/Finger Lakes
32c Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY Sweeteners Plus-CME,Inc./Troyer/C.C. Performance
33 Mike Mahaney/King Ferry,NY® Aloi Materials Handling-Binns Excavation/Bicknell/Enders
42b Kevin Bates/Lake Ariel,PA Blaise & Son Racing-Locklin’s Bottled Gas/Bicknell/Murray
44 Shannon Whaley/Pavilion,NY Davis Trailer World-D&M Precision/Bicknell/Morrison
48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY Magee Transportation Services-Monadnock Disposal Service/Bicknell/Morrison
49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY Number One Speed-American Traditions-Fast Lube Watertown/Bicknell/Finger Lakes
56 Vince Vitale/Phoenix,NY V & V Racing/Troyer/Enders
66w Wallace Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE Bully’s Truck Stop-CFF,Inc./Bicknell/RL Performance-Morrison
77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY RezX Racing-Grow It Hydroseeding-Action Race Parts-Teo Fab./TEO/Kevlar
79 Mike Storms/Wantage,NJ® Mike Sparta Trucking-Skyline Construction-Four Star Transmissions/TEO/Enders
84 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY Honeoye Auto Parts-Red Parker & Son Excavating/Bicknell/Mastin
85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA Community Bank &
91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY Gypsum Wholesalers-Stadium Int’l-Quality Hardwoods/Bicknell/Enders
91h Chad Homan/Macedon,NY,Inc./Bicknell/Campbell
93 Ryan Bartlett/Adams,NY D.P. Bartlett & Sons Plumbing & Heating-Village Peddler Bikes/Troyer/Sonny Barron
98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY Mohawk N.E.-New England Race Fuels-Joe Gibbs Racing Oil/Troyer/Finger Lakes
99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY Big Red Towing-Dave Miller Auto Body/Bicknell/Enders
99b Chuck Bower/Lansing,NY Ingles Performance-United Fasteners-Bradco Supply/Bicknell/Finger Lakes
99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY® Gypsum Express,Ltd./Bicknell/Enders

Hall of Fame ’08 Class
: Round number three of the Advance Auto Parts Series at Cayuga County followed the 17th 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’: popular Floridian Wayne Reutimann, New Jersey favorite Carl VanHorn and former National Champion Dick Nephew. Also receiving special recognition on Hall of Fame Sunday were Leonard J. Sammons Jr. Outstanding Contributions to Auto Racing Award winners Joe Marotta and the late Jack Burgess, Gene DeWitt Outstanding Car Owner Award recipient Carl Myers and Mechanic of the Year Charlie Langenstein. Co-recipients of the sixth annual Gater Racing News Outstanding Woman in Racing Award are Zelda Reakes and Marilyn Toal. Marotta joined the voice of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Shane Andrews as emcees of the historic event. Gary Nephew, son of Dick who passed away September 26, 1996 at the age of 67, accepted the award on his behalf while Chris Burgess came up to the podium in place of his late father and was joined by family members.

Langenstein Mission Goes Beyond Track: Activity for Charlie Langenstein and his wife Beth goes far beyond the track. Their 5-year-old daughter, Riley Nikole Langenstein, was born 9 weeks early on August 6, 2002 at CMC Northeast Medical Center in Concord, N.C. At birth she suffered a massive brain bleed and a stroke and the first diagnosis by doctors was a slim chance that Riley would not live and if she did survive she would be much depleted, never using her arms or legs and that she would have extreme mental disorders and possible retardation. Miraculously, Riley defied all odds despite the grim prognosis, although she still suffered from a mild version of cerebral palsy and most recently was discovered to have epilepsy as a result of her injuries from birth. Doctors, hospitals, and therapy have been the path to Riley meeting so many other children who share the same misfortunes. Charlie and Beth wanted to recognize and bring awareness to Riley and her friends’ disabilities so they started the Riley & Friends Foundation. Using their race team Kar Racing, they thought to spread the word about Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy at many races throughout the USA and Canada. Riley & Friends Foundation is a NON Profit Organization, preparing all sorts of fundraisers to benefit the local Children’s hospital and help those less fortunate. One of the first fund raising projects created is ticket sales to win Riley’s Racer! This is the racecar that Santa Claus brought to Riley last Christmas. A web site was designed in her honor, please visit the Riley & Friends Foundation on-line at Also visit United Cerebral Palsy Organization at and the Epilepsy Foundation at to learn more about the disabilities that Riley and her friends are fighting.

Modern-Day HoF Heroes: Since the Northeast Modified Hall of Fame & Classic Car Museum was christened in 1992, 16 Hall of Fame Classics have now been run at Cayuga County with the 1995 headliner rained out. The previous nine events have been part of the Advance Auto Parts Series schedule. Danny Johnson (2007, 2006, 2000, 1997) leads the pack with four HoF titles while Gary Tomkins, Alan Johnson, Tim McCreadie and Tim Fuller are two-time winners with inaugural winner Steve Paine, Dave Lape, Bob McCreadie, Billy Decker, Tim Fuller and now Dale Planck also adding their names to the first-place trophy. Since Cayuga County hosted its first tour event in 1980, 15 drivers have reached the winner’s circle with Danny Johnson (8), Bob McCreadie (7), Alan Johnson (5), Jack Johnson (4), Tim McCreadie (3), Decker (3) and Fuller (3) accounting for all but nine of those victories in the 42 extra-distance events run.

Rookie Rage At the Port: Five Big-Block rookies contended Sunday night in the Advance Auto Parts Series show at Cayuga County with only first-year driver Larry Wight qualifying for the 30-car feature while Alan Fink, Mike Mahaney, Tony Steiner and Mike Storms loaded up early. Easily the youngest chauffeur in the field, at 15 years of age ‘Lightning’ Larry is also one of the most talented, continuing to generate excitement wherever he travels. “Tonight we’ve got a new Bicknell car, never raced with it before but it already feels 10 times better than the old one,” said Wight, after time trialing fourth fastest, copping his first-ever heat win in Advance Series competition, then drawing five to start the Modified main inside row three aboard the potent LJL Racing no. 99 Gypsum Express,Ltd./Bicknell ride. “The old one had trouble getting off the corners. I think we definitely have a shot to win if things fall into place. Just have to start out keeping the car straight and stay out of trouble. When the track gets rubber laid down just try to find it.” In the opening four races of the ’08 Advance Series, Wight finished eighth at Virginia with 28th and 18th-place finishes at Rolling Wheels. He dropped to 16th on the final scoresheet at Cayuga County and was the last to complete the entire 76-lap distance. “We started out just trying to make each race, get a lot of track time and hopefully finish in the top half of the field. So far its been going pretty much according to plan. We’d like to follow the whole Big-Block tour but the 358 Series was our original goal. We’ll just have to wait and see how we stand when the first conflict comes up.”

Son of open-wheel veteran Jim Mahaney, 18 year-old Mike was looking to qualify for his second Big-Block feature this season at Cayuga County after posting a 14th-place finish in April. “We’re happy here at Cayuga County and looking to run Fulton later on, chasing rookie points might become a goal later in the season,” suggested Mahaney, who captured his lone checkered flag at Cayuga County last June en route to a fourth-place tally in the final DIRTcar Sportsman Modified track point standings. “Right now our main concern is just qualifying, getting track time and getting used to the car. You use the pedal a lot more with the Big-Block and don’t go full throttle too often, you’re looking for traction not momentum like in the Sportsman. You also have to drive the corners different with a Big-Block and I know I need to learn how to run the outside better of I want to do well.”

’08 Series Debut: Joining first-year driver Mahaney in their 2008 Advance Auto Parts Series debuts on Sunday were defending Syracuse Rite Aid 200 Champion Vic Coffey, second-generation driver Ryan Bartlett and Cayuga County regular Chad Homan. After setting fast time, Coffey (11th) was the best of the bunch finishing head of Homan (15th) and Bartlett (30th) in a race that he never even firmed up plans to attend until the past week. With his step-father Carl Myers selected as the ‘Outstanding Car Owner’ award winner planning to be in attendance for the afternoon ceremonies conducted at the nearby Hall of Fame building, Vic made it a point to be on site throughout the day. “That was probably a little motivation, they don’t come to the races very often,” said Coffey, referring to the presence of Myers, his mother Ann, and most of the Coffey clan that also helped celebrate Hall of Fame Day at The Port. “We’ve got a lot of things going on with the new baby and moving into a new house so we were 50/50 when it came to racing today. But when I was reminded that Carl was getting honored at the Hall of Fame there wasn’t any question that I’d be here. Right now I’m filling my schedule as I go, not looking too far ahead, but I want to do as many Series shows as possible especially all the big Fall events. I’m still going for the late model rookie so when it comes to those points it hurts you a lot more by missing a race than actually helps out if you’re there.”

Pot Holes: Despite not yet reaching victory lane in the Advance Auto Parts Series, career Advance Series winner Brett Hearn (98) still tops the Big-Block Modified points chart after opening up the ’08 tour with three consecutive top-five tallies. Yet now lurking just three markers back is Dale Planck and only four points further back is Jimmy Phelps, each in search of their first-ever overall Mr. DIRTcar Championship. Veterans Billy Decker and Danny Johnson come next in the standings with 18 points separating first through fifth…..DIRTcar Racing NorthEast’s all-time winningest Big-Block Modified driver Alan Johnson was looking ahead to the Advance Series stop at Fulton Speedway even before taking the first green flag Sunday at Cayuga County. “I should have a new motor by then and hopefully things will be a little different,” said Johnson, already with three feature wins scored this season at Brewerton, Fulton and Cayuga County Fair speedways. “The one we got right now isn’t too bad, just wait until the good one comes in”…..Billy Decker is the hottest Big-Block driver on the circuit, with exactly double the total of his nearest challenger. But its been 10 years since wearing his only Mr. DIRTcar Modified crown and 1998 seems so long ago. “We had a little bit of a difference with our Olsen set-up that year that nobody else had, nowadays when you buy a car its really good right out of the box,” said Decker, who owns eight first-place trophies this year including an Advance Series win at Rolling Wheels on May 4. “I don’t want to say too much right now or we might start doing bad again, things can change almost overnight in this business. So far all our stuff is working real well. It’s the same car as last year that we ended up running so well. We’re messing around with a few things like shocks, but we also want to stick with what works”…..Defending his home turf against many of the Advance Series stars, Jimmy Phelps was confident going into the Hall of Fame Classic but still wanted more laps to get the job done. “When the Series comes to town you gotta take advantage of races like this,” Phelps figured. “This is the best we’ve done early on with the points. Usually we dig a hole this time of year and all summer have to claw our way back into the picture. I definitely like one race instead of double features but 100-lappers certainly fit my style better. Once a track slickens up things take so much longer to happen and you need more laps to get where you want. “

Get Out The Word First: RACEceiver is the Official Driver Communicator of DIRTcar Racing NorthEast. A compact radio receiver that conveniently fits into a driver’s pocket, a RACEceiver allows each driver to hear directions from series officials, which greatly enhances the safety and timeliness of events. A similar version available to fans will allow RACEceiver users to hear what information series officials are relaying to the drivers. For more information about RACEceiver, visit, call 866-301-7223, or look for their sales trailers at various events.

Tracks Know The Score: In DIRTcar Racing’s ongoing effort to assist every member track affiliate with presenting the best possible race programs, World Racing Group has teamed with AMB i.t. which continues to be recognized as the Official Timing System of DIRTcar NorthEast. AMB i.t. is the world’s leader in automatic race timing and scoring systems and WRG is proud to retain the company as a valued partner in the timing and scoring of all sanctioned events.

Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series race chasers open up a new month with the lone event slated for June 7 at Fulton Speedway. Advance Series action heats up the next month beginning with the Independence Day special on July 3 at Ransomville Speedway and following up with the ‘Great Canadian Tour’ north of the border. Cayuga County hosts a second Advance Auto Parts Series stop on August 31 of Labor Day Weekend ’08 with Twin 54s for the Big-Block Modifieds taking center stage.

2008 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Schedule
NP=Non-Point event.
*All events subject to change.

Wed-Feb 13 Volusia Speedway Park-NP Billy Pauch
Thr-Feb 14 Volusia Speedway Park-NP Brett Hearn
Fri-Feb 15 Volusia Speedway Park-NP Dale Planck
Sat-Feb 16 Volusia Speedway Park-NP Jimmy Horton
Sat-Mar 22 Hagerstown Speedway Weather-Cancelled
Thr-May 1 Virginia Motor Speedway Matt Sheppard(G)
Sun-May 4 Rolling Wheels Raceway Billy Decker(G)
Sun-May 4 Rolling Wheels Raceway Dale Planck(G)
Sun-May 25 Cayuga Co Fair Speedway D.Planck/Danny Johnson(P)
Sat-Jun 7 Fulton Speedway Fulton,NY
Thr-Jul 3 Ransomville Speedway Ransomville,NY
Thr-Jul 10 Brockville Ont Speedway Brockville,ONT
Fri-Jul 11 Autodrome Granby Granby,QUE
Sat-Jul 12 Autodrome Drummond Drummondville,QUE
Sun-Jul 13 Cornwall Motor Speedway Cornwall,ONT
Wed-Jul 16 Grandview Speedway Bechtelsville,PA
Thr-Jul 31 Orange Co Fair Speedway Middletown,NY
Mon-Aug 4 Merrittville Speedway Thorold,ONT
Fri-Aug 8 Brewerton Speedway Brewerton,NY
Sat-Aug 9 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua,NY
Sat-Aug 16 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville,NY
Sun-Aug 31 Cayuga Co Fair Speedway Weedsport,NY
Mon-Sep 1 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Sat-Sep 6 Lebanon Valley Speedway West Lebanon,NY
Fri-Sep 12 Lernerville Speedway Sarver,PA
Sat-Sep 20 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua,NY
Sat-Sep 27 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Sun-Oct 12 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY
Sun-Oct 19 Orange Co Fair Speedway Middletown,NY

Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts, a leading automotive aftermarket retailer of parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items in the United States, serves both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets As of April 19, 2008, the Company operated 3,291 stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Additional information about the Company, employment opportunities, customer services, and on-line shopping for parts and accessories can be found on the Company’s web site at

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 and Hoosier Racing Tire. Rite Aid Corporation is a promotional partner and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks, Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Dig Safely New York, Holley HP Carburetors, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks, Rislone Oil Stabilizer and Wrisco Industries.