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Decker & Planck Split DIRT Challenge Cup At Rolling Wheels


Elbridge, NYMay 4, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
*Bill Moore Photo

Billy Decker successfully defended his title for a second straight year and Dale Planck scored his first-ever victory at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park as they each captured a leg of the Dig Safely New York 28th Annual DIRT Challenge Cup Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series event presented by Ferris Mowers on Sunday evening at the ‘Fast Track.’ The twin 50-lap Big-Block Modified feature races awarded the winners $3,000 each as well as valuable points in the 25-race Advance Auto Parts Series that culminates with the crowning of the overall Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Champion for a 33rd straight year in October.

Click here to hear from winners Dale Planck and Billy Decker as well as Runner-Up Steve Paine and third place Danny Johnson .

Brett Hearn was the best on the day, securing runner-up honors in the first round then placing fourth in the nightcap to overtake opening day winner Matt Sheppard atop the Advance Series point standings through three races.

Decker started on the outside-pole in the LJL Racing no. 91 Gypsum Wholesalers-Stadium Int’l-Quality Hardwoods/Bicknell entry and led the entire distance to score the convincing win in Rolling Wheels’ 40th season opener on a sunny but cool day in Central New York. Only three caution periods slowed the race with the 1998 Mr. DIRTcar titlist building up a comfortable 10 car-length margin over Hearn under the checkered flag, followed by Jimmy Phelps, Gary Tomkins and Sheppard.

“We did have a good starting spot, I think that the outside was a preferred line today,” remarked Decker, 43, following his sixth Advance Series triumph at Rolling Wheels. We just got a good run off turn four then just carried the momentum a little bit. Feel like we got away with one.”

Decker and front row partner Hearn led a strong field of 30 racers to the line with Decker out-dragging the ‘Corporate Jet’ by three car-lengths to begin his victory march. It took the ‘Franklin Flyer’ just eight laps to track down the back of the field and the following circuit his first victim, Shannon Whaley, slid around high in turn three to force out the initial yellow flag.

An early 1.4-second advantage was quickly erased and Hearn moved back alongside Decker on the restart with Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps, Frankie Caprara and Ryan Phelps the closest in pursuit. Moving as high as third in the early stages, Gary Tomkins returned to the top-five on lap 20 although Decker was still more than a straightaway ahead and at the halfway mark only 20 cars remained on the lead lap.

Caught in the thick of the battle for the fourth slot between Jimmy Phelps and Tomkins, Decker’s Gypsum Express teammate Larry Wight looped his mount high at the end of the back chute to incur a second caution period on lap 31. Phelps needed just one more lap under green to sprint past Sheppard and set his sights on runner-up Hearn.

Decker had built up a 10 car-length margin when the third and final slowdown bunched the frontrunners on lap 42. Steve Hulsizer spun off the track in turn one while second-year tour traveler Billy Dunn had his Number One Speed-American Traditions-Fast Lube Watertown/Bicknell machine stop in the third corner billowing a cloud of smoke. The set back did little to hold back Decker as he sped under the checkers 1.6-seconds ahead of reigning Mr. DIRTcar points king Hearn for his 10th career win at The Wheels.

“We’re gonna make some small changes, obviously you need to try and improve each and every time out,” said Decker from victory lane, with his eyes already focused on sweeping the opening day card in Elbridge. It seemed hardly a stretch considering the Unadilla, New York pilot had won the previous night at Can-Am and his recent romp extended his DIRTcar Racing NorthEast total to a division-high count of five feature wins at four different tracks.

“The Sportsman cars will probably slow the track just a little bit more. I think we’ve got some places for improvement but I just don’t quite know how to go about it but we’ll throw something at it. We’re going to try like mad (to double), although these twin 50s ….. its gonna be tough. I’m proud to be a part of this Gypsum family so we’ll go out there and give it our best shot,” added Decker, after wrapping up his 40th career Advance Series win (5th all-time) with his last scored at Rolling Wheels in September.

Decker re-drew and the top-12 positions were inverted to start the second 50-lapper. Outside pole-sitter Steve Paine quickly took advantage of his front row spot to jump ahead of point man Alan Johnson on the initial circuit. Paine ran untouched ahead of the pack until Planck finally tracked him down aboard Carey Terrance’s RezX Racing no. 77x Grow It Hydroseeding/TEO machine to forge the final lead change on lap 33.
The second-generation driver from Cortland, New York pulled out to over a three second lead at the stripe chased by Paine, Danny Johnson, Hearn and Jimmy Phelps.

“Wow, I just can’t believe it. This place, every time its dry and slick I just seem to go backwards and just can’t seem to get going,” noted Planck, 37, who was fast all night, touring the spacious 5/8-mile Elbridge oval in a time of 20.094 seconds for an average speed of 111.974 mph to earn the Integra Shocks Fast Timer award in qualifications. “I’m ecstatic, I think I’m gonna wake up here and it was all just a dream.”

“The first race we were pretty decent, probably better than I’ve ever been here. Then we got the tire situation under control and made a gear change and a shock change. And I’ll tell you what, the car just about drove itself. It’s the best I’ve ever felt here,” said Planck, who’s late father Denny Planck won his only Big-Block feature at Rolling Wheels in July of 1979, with a Small-Block triumph logged there three years earlier.

Mirroring the opening lap move made by Decker in round one, Paine rolled around pole-sitter Alan Johnson in similar fashion to easily gain command at the outset. Justin Haers, Danny Johnson and fifth-place starter Planck followed in line with the inversion forcing Decker and Hearn to battle further back looking for room in the top-10.

Constant green flag action allowed Paine to extend his advantage over the field and it took the ‘Hurricane’ a dozen circuits to reach traffic. Planck dove past a fading Haers machine on lap four, then ducked under Danny Johnson down the front straightaway on lap 16 with only leaders Paine and Alan Johnson standing in his way of the elusive victory by the halfway point.

A.J. Slideways wasn’t as stubborn as his younger brother, as Planck sped underneath DIRTcar NorthEast’s all-time Big-Block winner on lap 27 and offered a carbon-copy of the move low in turns one and two as he authored the final lead exchange.

It wasn’t until lap 37 when Tom Sears Jr. slowed high in turns three and four that the field could take a breath after the first of just two yellow flags flew. Jeff Brownell Jr. looped his Advanced Lubrication Specialties/Bicknell entry in the same spot as Sears just handful of laps later yet this only afforded Planck a clear track ahead for the final five-mile dash.

While Planck sprinted ahead unchallenged, the Madsen Motorsports no. 20 Wentworth Construction/TEO machine of Hearn charged toward the front just as fast in the closing stages. Sandwiched in seventh between Haers and Tomkins with 10 laps to go, the Sussex, New Jersey speedster maneuvered both high and low charting a course into the front-five.

Hearn went by Haers high on the back chute on lap 42, needed two more circuits to move around Jimmy Phelps for fifth-place, then blasted by Danny Johnson to secure fourth with three laps to go. Amidst a wild scramble up front at the end, Alan Johnson suddenly dropped back opening up a hole for Danny to fill past Hearn for third at the wire while Phelps edged Alan to finally settle the score.

“Winning here was probably the most important,” figured Planck, following his third Advance Series victory in the past three seasons. Sunday marked his first-ever tour-top-five at RWR. “I remember my first year racing I came here …. it was Sept. 23, 1989. I took a wild ride and got knocked out, was unconscious. Don’t know if that had anything to do with this or what. I just can’t thank everybody on the team enough. Also my family for their support with me being gone all the time, this makes it all worthwhile.”

Harboring three Advance Series wins of his own at the ‘Fast Track,’ Paine was more than content with his runner-up tally in the second race after a dismal start in the first 50-lapper.

“Along with Billy Colton, my dad and Lee (Osborne) made some changes for the second feature, we were way off in the first one,” admitted Paine, following his second top-five finish in the opening three Advance Series stops, including fourth on Thursday at Virginia Motor Speedway. “I was really surprised how two or three little things could make it that much better. I hope we can work off of that and make it a little more better.”

“We’ve just got good information, we’ll keep working with these (Troyer) cars. I had a real good driving car for the first time here in probably 3-4 years. After the first race we were really depressed and just wanted to go home, then when they draw you the front row you think it’ll be okay. So working on the car made it better and it was a lot of fun leading. I saw 2nd-place changing on the scoreboard and I knew (Planck) was coming. When he got by and we stayed green I stayed right with him. But then after the cautions I just couldn’t get it going again. Second is still pretty good,” said Paine, who registered his last top-five in a tour race at Rolling Wheels on Labor Day in 2004.

Success at Rolling Wheels has also eluded third-place finisher Danny Johnson, himself a five-time points champion at The Wheels. Prior to posting just one top-five tally in seven Advance Series races staged at RWR last season, the ‘Doctor’ last cracked the front-five at the ‘Fast Track’ in September of 2003 and last won there in 2000.

“I had a great working car, its just lacking only a little bit,” noted Johnson, who won four Advance Series races last season and finished eighth on the final overall Mr. DIRTcar points chart. “Its probably not just one thing, maybe a combination of a couple different things. But every day the sun still comes up and it’s a new day. Just try to get faster every day. Have to thank Jeff Isabell for enabling me to get on the podium tonight. Hopefully, we’ll continue to get things turned around.”

Big-Block Modified race teams following the Advance Auto Parts Series get a three-week break from tour action before returning to Central New York for the traditional Memorial Day Weekend stop across town at Cayuga County Fair Speedway in Weedsport. On tap Sunday, May 25 is the 17th Annual Northeast Modified Hall of Fame Classic, this year highlighted by a 76-lap main event offering a $6,000 winner’s share plus valuable points towards the 33rd Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Big-Block Championship.

Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Races #2 & #3 – Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, May 4, 2008 Ferris Mowers presents ‘28th DIRT Challenge Cup Twin 50s’ Big-Block Modified Event Summary
Feature #1
1 2 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY($3,000)
2 1 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
3 6 98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
4 4 84 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY
5 5 9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
6 3 fx1 Frankie Caprara/Watertown,NY
7 8 99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY
8 12 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
9 13 27j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
10 7 3 Justin Haers/Phelps,NY
11 11 7x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY
12 25 10 Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
13 9 29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY
14 15 6 Pat O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
15 10 42b Kevin Bates/Lake Ariel,PA
16 21 56 Vince Vitale/Phoenix,NY
17 19 99b Chuck Bower/Lansing,NY
18 20 16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY
19 26 21 Derrick Podsiadlo/Penn Yan,NY
20 22 79 Mike Storms/Wantage,NJ®
21 23 8 Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY
22 28 43 Keith Flach/Ravena,NY
23 27 5 Jason Potter/Pulaski,NY
24 16 49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY
25 18 88 Steve Hulsizer/Bridgeport,NY
26 14 62s Tom Sears Jr./Clay,NY
27 24 18 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY
28 29 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY®
29 30 44 Shannon Whaley/Pavilion,NY
30 17 48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
LAP LEADER: Decker (1-50).
CAUTIONS: 3 (lap 9, lap 31, lap 42).
HEAT WINNERS: Planck, Decker, Hearn, Tomkins.
INTEGRA SHOCKS FAST TIME AWARD: Dale Planck (20.094sec/111.974mph).
TOTAL PURSE: $13,785

Feature #2
1 5 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY($3,000)
2 2 7x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY
3 4 27j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
4 11 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
5 10 98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
6 1 10 Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
7 3 3 Justin Haers/Phelps,NY
8 7 fx1 Frankie Caprara/Watertown,NY
9 9 84 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY
10 12 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
11 6 99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY
12 24 49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY
13 8 9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
14 16 56 Vince Vitale/Phoenix,NY
15 13 29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY
16 17 99b Chuck Bower/Lansing,NY
17 20 79 Mike Storms/Wantage,NJ®
18 28 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY®
19 21 8 Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY
20 23 5 Jason Potter/Pulaski,NY
21 22 43 Keith Flach/Ravena,NY
22 15 42b Kevin Bates/Lake Ariel,PA
23 19 21 Derrick Podsiadlo/Penn Yan,NY
24 18 16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY
25 26 62s Tom Sears Jr./Clay,NY
26 29 44 Shannon Whaley/Pavilion,NY
27 *27 18 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY
28 14 6 Pat O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
DNS 25 88 Steve Hulsizer/Bridgeport,NY
DNS 30 48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
*#18 Beardsley started rear in #11j Alan Fink car.
LAP LEADERS: Paine (1-31), Planck (32-50).
CAUTIONS: 2 (lap 37, lap 42).
TOTAL PURSE: $13,785.
NEXT EVENT: Cayuga County Fair Speedway “Hall of Fame 76” – May 25, 2008.
09-Kyle Lewis/Pennellville,NY
1-Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA
7-Paul Guererri/Geneva,NY®
7j-Joe Isabell/Pennellville,NY
11j-Alan Fink/Pennellville,NY®
13-Tony Steiner/Jamesville,NY®
14r-Ryan Odasz/Ballston Spa,NY
19h-Chris Higgins/Syracuse,NY®
37c-Eric Fisher/Bluff Point,NY®

1 20.094 111.974 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
*$100 Integra Shocks Fast Qualifier Award
2 20.197 111.403 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
3 20.376 110.424 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
4 20.384 110.381 98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
5 20.414 110.218 7x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY
6 20.417 110.202 99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY
7 20.558 109.446 6 Pat O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
8 20.581 109.324 84 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY
9 20.664 108.885 42b Kevin Bates/Lake Ariel,PA
10 20.690 108.748 29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY
11 20.711 108.638 3 Justin Haers/Phelps,NY
12 20.719 108.596 9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
13 20.768 108.340 8 Rob Bellinger/Dexter,NY
14 20.816 108.090 56 Vince Vitale/Phoenix,NY
15 20.845 107.940 fx1 Frankie Caprara/Watertown,NY
16 20.887 107.723 49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY
17 20.898 107.666 48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
18 20.917 107.568 62s Tom Sears Jr./Clay,NY
19 20.954 107.378 99b Chuck Bower/Lansing,NY
20 20.993 107.179 16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY
21 21.051 106.883 27j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
22 21.052 106.878 88 Steve Hulsizer/Bridgeport,NY
23 21.065 106.812 11j Alan Fink/Pennellville,NY®
24 21.071 106.782 79 Mike Storms/Wantage,NJ®
25 21.079 106.741 19h Chris Higgins/Syracuse,NY®
26 21.095 106.660 14r Ryan Odasz/Ballston Spa,NY
27 21.096 106.655 18 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY
28 21.143 106.418 44 Shannon Whaley/Pavilion,NY
29 21.191 106.177 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY®
30 21.249 105.887 10 Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
31 21.253 105.867 21 Derrick Podsiadlo/Penn Yan,NY
32 21.305 105.609 43 Keith Flach/Ravena,NY
33 21.445 104.920 37c Eric Fisher/Bluff Point,NY®
34 21.450 104.895 5 Jason Potter/Pulaski,NY
35 21.465 104.822 7 Paul Guererri/Geneva,NY®
36 21.492 104.690 7j Joe Isabell/Pennellville,NY
37 21.543 104.442 09 Kyle Lewis/Pennellville,NY
38 21.802 103.202 13 Tony Steiner/Jamesville,NY®
39 21.878 102.843 1 Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA

Heat Races (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to feature, top 3 went to re-draw)
#1: Planck, Paine, Bates, D.Johnson, Rauscher, Bellinger, Higgins, Wight, Lewis, Fisher.
#2: Decker, R.Phelps, Brownell, Sears, Hulsizer, Potter, Odasz, Steiner, A.Johnson, Vitale.
#3: Hearn, Haers, Caprara, O’Brien, Bower, Beardsley, Podsiadlo, Fink, Greene, Guererri.
#4: Tomkins, Sheppard, J.Phelps, Dunn, Bowman, Storms, Flach, Isabell, Whaley.
Dig Safely New York Last Chance Races: (10 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Vitale, Bellinger, A.Johnson, Potter, Wight, Higgins, Steiner, Fisher, Lewis, Odasz.
#2: Storms, Beardsley, Podsiadlo, Flach, Whaley, Isabell, Fink, Guererri, Greene.

Advance Auto Parts Series Point Standings (Through May 4, 2008)
Rank No. Driver Total Series Diff Wins Top-5 Top-10 Starts
1 20 Brett Hearn 206 206 0 0 3 3 3
2 9s Matt Sheppard 186 186 -20 1 1 2 3
3 91 Billy Decker 184 184 -22 1 2 3 3
4 7x Steve Paine 181 181 -25 0 2 2 3
5 98h Jimmy Phelps 173 173 -33 0 1 3 3
6 84 Gary Tomkins 171 171 -35 0 1 3 3
7 77x Dale Planck 163 163 -43 1 1 2 3
8 27J Danny Johnson 155 155 -51 0 1 2 3
9 FX1 Frankie Caprara 144 144 -62 0 0 2 3
10 3 Justin Haers 137 137 -69 0 0 2 3
11 14J Alan Johnson 128 128 -78 0 0 1 3
12 99 Ryan Phelps 127 127 -79 0 0 1 3
13 99L Larry Wight 116 116 -90 0 0 1 3
14 4 Duane Howard 105 105 -101 0 1 1 1
15 29 Jeff Brownell Jr. 101 101 -105 0 0 0 3
16 49 Billy Dunn 94 94 -112 0 0 0 3
17 79 Mike Storms 92 92 -114 0 0 0 3
18 42B Kevin Bates 91 91 -115 0 0 0 3
19 6 Pat O’Brien 91 91 -115 0 0 0 3
20 56 Vince Vitale 67 67 -139 0 0 0 2
21 1w Billy Pauch 66 66 -140 0 0 1 1
22 15x Billy Pauch Jr. 63 63 -143 0 0 0 1
23 85 Wade Hendrickson 62 62 -144 0 0 1 1
24 71 David VanHorn Jr. 59 59 -147 0 0 0 1
25 14 Rich Laubach 54 54 -152 0 0 0 1
26 99b Chuck Bower 53 53 -153 0 0 0 2
27 11j Sean Beardsley 50 50 -156 0 0 0 2
28 20R Josh Richards 48 48 -158 0 0 0 1
29 8 Rob Bellinger 46 46 -160 0 0 0 2
30 16 Mike Bowman 45 45 -161 0 0 0 2
31 21 Derrick Podsiadlo 44 44 -162 0 0 0 2
32 5 Jason Potter 43 43 -163 0 0 0 2
33 43 Keith Flach 43 43 -163 0 0 0 2
34 39w Steve Downs 42 42 -164 0 0 0 1
35 357 Stewart Friesen 41 41 -165 0 0 0 1
36 62s Tom Sears Jr. 40 40 -166 0 0 0 2
37 44 Shannon Whaley 40 40 -166 0 0 0 2
38 19 Tim Fuller 40 40 -166 0 0 0 1
39 43 Jimmy Horton IV 40 40 -166 0 0 0 1
40 777 Kevin Bolland 40 40 -166 0 0 0 1
41 48T Dave Rauscher 35 35 -171 0 0 0 1
42 88 Steve Hulsizer 25 25 -181 0 0 0 1
43 1 Darwin Greene 20 20 -186 0 0 0 0
44 22 Rick Wegner Jr. 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
45 19h Chris Higgins 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
46 37c Eric Fisher 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
47 09 Kyle Lewis 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
48 14R Ryan Odaz 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
49 13 Tony Steiner 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
50 11J Alan Fink 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
51 7 Paul Guererri 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
52 7J Joe Isabell 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
53 29H Kenny Wallace 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
54 7J Joe Isabell 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
55 HR2 Jimmy Horton 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
56 37X Tom Scheetz Jr. 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
57 M40 Mark Forte Jr. 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
58 40 Mark Forte 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
59 8 Rich Scagliotta 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
60 10 Kyle Strickler 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
61 15 Brett Tonkin 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
62 13 Greg Monica 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
63 7a Chic Cossaboone 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
64 30 Jamie Mills 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0
65 R2 Rusty Smith 10 10 -196 0 0 0 0

Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar Modified Entries – May 4 (39)
CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN TEAM (Sponsor / Chassis / Engine)
09 Kyle Lewis/Pennellville,NY Stadium International-Piluso’s Service/Bicknell/Enders
1 Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA Greene Quality Bluestone-Big Diamond Tools-TJ’s NAPA/Bicknell/Jensen Tech
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
7 Paul Guererri/Geneva,NY® Pumphouse Tavern-Gevo’s Rears & Gears-Al Raymond Collision/Bicknell/Tommy Carr
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
14r Ryan Odasz/Ballston Spa,NY Chet’s Floor Covering-Wholesale Transactions/TEO/Dan Bedell
16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY Klaben Nursery-Fulton Springs/Troyer/Finger Lakes-Bowman
18 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY Town Mechanical,Inc-State Water Heaters-Pipe Pros/Troyer/Moshier
19h Chris Higgins/Syracuse,NY® Line-X Spray On Bedliners-American Traditions-TRS/Bicknell/John Higgins
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
37c Eric Fisher/Bluff Point,NY® Bully Hill Vineyards-Fisher Tree Service/Ozcar/Finger Lakes
42b Kevin Bates/Lake Ariel,PA Blaise & Son Racing-Locklin’s Bottled Gas/Bicknell/Murray
43 Keith Flach/Ravena,NY Flach Crane & Rigging-Gould Erectors & Riggers/TEO/Enders
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
62s Tom Sears Jr./Clay,NY Mullen Industrial-Commercial Roofing & Sheetmetal/Bicknell/Bleskoski
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
88 Steve Hulsizer/Bridgeport,NY Thompson Road Tavern-Circle S Stables/Troyer/Kevlar
91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY Gypsum Wholesalers-Stadium Int’l-Quality Hardwoods/Bicknell/Enders
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

Rolling Wheels Rookie Round-Up
: Helping make up a solid field of 39 racers at Rolling Wheels were seven rookie drivers on the DIRTcar Big-Block circuit. Alan Fink, Eric Fisher, Paul Guererri, Chris Higgins and Tony Steiner were looking for starting spots in their first Advance Series shows while Mike Storms and Larry Wight qualified in their tour debuts on Thursday at Virginia Motor Speedway where Wight finished eighth and Storms settled for 21st in the Sawyer Memorial. Along with their Advance Series stints, regular Saturday stops in ’08 include Can-Am Motorsports for Wight and Orange County Fair Speedway for Storms. Higgins also frequents Can-Am while Fisher and Guererri call Canandaigua Speedway home on the weekend. Central New York circuit followers Fink and Steiner plan to spend most of the summer gaining valuable track time at sister tracks in Brewerton and Fulton.

Planck Off To Fast Start: For the second straight Advance Series outing, Dale Planck posted the fastest time in practice but at Rolling Wheels on Sunday the Cortland, New York standout went on to set fast time. He helped his own cause by grabbing the zero-numbered ping pong ball out of the Advance Auto Parts cap negating any inversion for the heat race line-ups. Planck went on to win his qualifier yet selected the highest number (12) possible to start the first 50-lapper outside row six and went on to finish eighth. The ‘Natural’ proved it was certainly no fluke in the nightcap as he charged from fifth to first in 32 laps under green flag conditions and opened up nearly a 3.5-second margin of victory at the stripe.

Timely Tour Event: The 40th Season-Opener at Rolling Wheels was run off at a steady pace with 34 DIRTcar Sportsman Modified teams joining the nearly 40 drivers participating in Big-Block activity. Integra Shocks Time Trials required just 18 minutes to clock all 39 Advance Series entries, with less than an hour needed to run off 100 laps of tour race action. The opener was slowed by three yellow flags and round two required just two slowdowns with only green flag laps counting in both main events. Sunny, windy conditions did their best to tarnish the track surface, but the professional race teams on hand put forth a superb effort to keep the show rolling, with the final checkered flag falling well before 9pm.

Pot Holes: In the customary pre-race drivers meeting pre-empted by an invocation from Pastor David Wells, a prayer was sent along to Modified pilot Brett Tonkin who was involved in a serious highway accident on his way home Thursday from Virginia Motor Speedway…..LJL Racing mainstay John Wight provided $100 bonuses on behalf of
Gypsum Wholesalers, Inc. & Gypsum Express Ltd. with Pat O’Brien (race 1, 14th) and Rob Bellinger (race 2, 19th) receiving awards in the random pre-race drawing for payoff positions…..Additional random drawings will be made before every Advance Series race to determine the Penske Power Positions. A $100 Penske Shock certificate will be the reward in this unique product promotion, with Steve Hulsizer (25th) and Kevin Bates (22nd) among the first recipients. David VanHorn (13th) collected the initial award at Virginia Motor Speedway on May 1…..Matt Sheppard was hoping his fifth-place draw at Rolling Wheels would result in the same success enjoyed at VMS where he pocketed the $10,000 top prize after also starting fifth. He finished in the same position in the first 50-lapper before fading to 13th in round two…..Sean Beardsley kicked off the ’08 Advance Series in Virginia steering Alan Fink’s no. 11j JIR Motorsports/Troyer and finished up in it Sunday at Rolling Wheels. In between, Beardsley ran his own no 18 Town Mechanical- State Water Heaters/Troyer machine in the RWR opener before suffering mechanical problems to finish 27th and earn a Holley Hard Luck Award in the aftermath…..Continuing to follow a specials-only format, Rolling Wheels hosts the second of its three tour events on Labor Day with a 110-lap feature on September 1 commemorating the 10th successive season of support from the nationally recognized Advance Auto Parts chain.

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.

Competition in the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series closes out the month of May with the first of two events slated to run at Cayuga County Fair Speedway in Weedsport this season as the 17th Annual Hall of Fame 76 takes center stage at The Port on May 25 of Memorial Day Weekend.

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
Sun-May 4 Rolling Wheels Raceway Billy Decker
Sun-May 4 Rolling Wheels Raceway Dale Planck
Sun-May 25 Cayuga Co Fair Speedway Weedsport,NY
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 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 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.