Barberville, FL — February 14, 2009 – By Tom Skibinski, Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
*Bob Armbruster Photo
Brett Hearn just loves Valentine’s Day. Especially when its spent in victory lane at Volusia Speedway Park with a $5,000 check written in his name.
For the fifth time in the past six Advance Auto Parts Series Big-Block Modified mains held on February 14 at the popular Barberville, Florida oval, Hearn has been the first under the checkered flag. The New Jersey speedster wrestled away the lead from Andy Bachetti with nine laps to go and held on to close out the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH with a timely triumph in the Sunshine State on Saturday.
Two-time Florida Tour ’09 feature winner Pat Ward posted his third top-five finish in the four-race mini tour to secure his second Alltel DIRTcar Nationals points title.
“It’s always good to win the big one, this will make the trip home very sweet,” remarked Hearn, 50, who continued his streak in gator country, winning at least one feature every year but 2007 since the DIRTcar Modifieds from the Northeast returned to Volusia in 1998. Hearn owns 19 victories in Florida which is the standard for all divisions traveling south for race weeks competition in the winter time. “After last night we tried a couple things and just kept fine-tuning.”
“We’ve been messing around like we normally do down here but I was really getting worried that we were going to get shut out. I said we just gotta keep working. A lot of credit has to go to Andrew (Phillips, crew chief) and the crew for talking me into staying with this car for another night instead of unloading the old one. But it was right on tonight, just a matter of perseverance,” insisted Hearn, after finding his way to the winner’s circle aboard the brand new Madsen Motorsports no. 20 Wentworth Custom Homes-Kruger-WLR-BPG/TEO machine.
Bachetti’s second-place run was good enough to also place him second on the final points chart with Matt Sheppard and reigning Mr. DIRTcar Champion Billy Decker leading Ward across the stripe to fill out the front-five. Friday night winner Jamie Mills, Dale Planck, Jimmy Horton, Keith Flach and Frenchman Mario Clair rounded out the top-10, the last to complete the entire 50-lap distance.
While a brief shower beginning at the end of heat race qualification moistened the half-mile oval and delayed the program for nearly an hour, the track turned out to be the driest it had been all week for the Modifieds as they ran their feature for the first time after the Late Model A-Main. Pole-sitter Bachetti’s spirits were not dampened a bit as he out-dragged front-row partner Billy Decker after a pre-race draw determined the first three rows in the 26-car Big-Block field.
Ohioan Rex King Jr. came to a stop in turn four and on the ensuing restart Decker took command wheeling the LJL Racing no. 91 Gypsum Wholesalers-Stadium Int’l-Quality Hardwoods/Bicknell mount. Three more cautions over the next four laps kept the field in check, with Tim Kerr spinning in turn three/four and Dave Rauscher being towed off for his involvement in the same lap nine incident. King slid high to come to rest in turn three/four on the 11th circuit, with tour rookie Brian Sadler parking his no. 5 McLallen Construction-Perkins Law Group/Bicknell high in turn one to bring out the yellow lights on the following circuit.
Bachetti in the Steve Hough Motors/PMC mount remained on Decker’s rear bumper through every slowdown until returning to the point on the lap 12 restart. When Delaware driver Matt Jester looped out of turn three to instigate the final caution period, the ‘Wild Child’ led Hearn, Decker, Ward and Sheppard with nearly 30 laps left to run.
With the green lights remaining on for good, the leaders reached traffic at the halfway mark as they jockeyed for position lap after lap during the second half of the race. While Bachetti and Hearn seemed to pull away at will, Ward improved to third with 15 laps to go before losing his brakes in the Gypsum Express Ltd./Bicknell entry and opening back up the door for Sheppard and Decker to pass through on lap 38.
Inching closer and closer with each passing lap, Hearn finally slipped under Bachetti in turn three on lap 42 and when the checkered flag unfurled the ‘Jet’ had authored a resounding victory by a full five car-lengths at the stripe. Sheppard crossed the line over 1.0-second back to finish third in the potent JB Motorsports no. 9s Xtreme Lubricants/Bicknell entry.
“I was just watching Andy running the cushion and I knew sooner or later I was going to have to try and get down the middle to make something happen like I did late in the race on Thursday,” noted Hearn, following his 16th career win at Volusia to improve his DIRTcar Big-Block total to 346 which keeps him second on the all-time list behind Alan Johnson. “Every time I started going down there I was able to gain just a little bit. Then we got into lapped cars, which always plays a factor, and I knew it was time.”
For Bachetti, his own time up front had suddenly run out as the talented chauffeur from Sheffield, Mass. could only watch as Hearn ducked underneath in the closing stages and navigated the fast half-miler without exposing a flaw.
“We’ve been good on the bottom here pretty much all week and Brett hasn’t, of course when its $5,000 to win Brett is good on the bottom and I’m not,” remarked Bachetti, 33, who tied Hearn for Alltel DIRTcar Nationals high point honors in 2005, the same week he garnered his only checkered flag at Volusia. “But that’s the way this deal goes sometimes.”
“My hat goes off to those guys on our team, they worked so hard and did an awesome job this week. They can down here and the car was just phenomenal. Lapped traffic sometimes gets in the way and that’s the way that deal goes. So my hat’s off to Brett and his whole team as well, they did what they needed to do and got the job done tonight,” Bachetti said.
Following an opening night skirmish with race leader Ward that resulted in a flat tire and 16th-place feature finish, Sheppard turned in the most consistent performances during the final three shows to close out his fourth career appearance in Volusia County.
“The car was real good tonight, we would’ve liked to see a caution with about 10 to go,” said Sheppard, 26, who once again steered possibly the quickest car of the night, with 2nd, 3rd and 4th-place finishes logged down the stretch. “I think we might’ve had a little something for them, we came on a little bit there at the end.”
“The big difference this week was our bad draws in the heat races and having to start back a little too far in the feature. We were able to work our way up to the front, but not the front, front. Its still a good way to start off the season, coming down here and having a shot to win every night out. After that flat we’ve been in the top-4 every night. We’ve got a good car so I’m looking forward now to getting back up north,” Sheppard added.
Joining the top-three finishers and Ward in victory lane was Jeff Brownell, who participated in the awards ceremonies that presented $500 in cash and $500 in Xtreme Lubricants Gear Lube and/or Hi-Performance Race Oil to the overall series winner.
“First, I have to thank Jeff as this is the first point fund we’ve run for down here,” said Ward, who earned his first Florida Tour title in 2004. “He’s got top teams out there we’re running against and we appreciate his help.”
“The Gypsum car was good all week. Tonight I was coming on, had a good line and was moving in on Brett and Andy until losing a brake line. Those guys were still sailing. We’re happy with fifth and we’ll take her. I knocked the rear-end out of the car last night and the guys worked all day and the car was good all week wherever we put it,” Ward summed.
With the 2009 Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH safely in the recordbook, teams packed up and headed home to get ready for the start of DIRTcar Northeast’s 34th season at their hometrack. The first major event of the points season is the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified opener scheduled at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway on Saturday, March 28.
Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series – Volusia Speedway Park, February 14, 2009
38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH Event #4
BIG-BLOCK MODIFIED FEATURE
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER/HOMETOWN
1 5 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ($5,000)
2 1 34 Andy Bachetti/Sheffield,MA
3 10 9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
4 2 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
5 6 42p Pat Ward/Genoa,NY
6 11 30 Jamie Mills/Milford,DE
7 16 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
8 18 5 Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ
9 4 43 Keith Flach/Ravena,NY
10 8 22c Mario Clair/St-Edmond,QUE
11 12 17 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY
12 21 85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA
13 19 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
14 3 29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY
15 14 52 James Friesen/St.Catharines,ONT
16 20 97 Michel Chicoine/Ste-Cecile de Milton,QUE
17 15 32 Jim Rasey/Southington,OH
18 7 42 Guy Sheldon/Nassau,NY
19 27 t21 Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY
20 28 07 Tim Kerr/Picton,ONT
21 25 88k Randy Chrysler/Lewiston,NY
22 26 79 Jeremy Markle/Port Jervis,NY
23 9 8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
24 24 1 Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA
25 13 165 Rex King Jr./Bristolville,OH
26 17 62 Matt Jester/Lincoln,DE
27 23 5b Brian Sadler/Erie,PA
28 22 48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
29 29 3g Jimmy Johnson/Bloomingburg,NY
DID NOT QUALIFY(3)
Lap Leaders: Bachetti (1-2), Decker (3-11), Bachetti (12-41), Hearn (42-50).
Cautions: 5 (lap 32, lap 9, lap 11, lap 12, lap 18).
Heat Races (10 laps, top 7 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Ward, Flach, Sheldon, Sheppard, King, Planck, Wight, Rauscher, Ra.Chrysler, Trice, Kerr.
#2: Bachetti, Brownell, Clair, Mills, Friesen, Jester, Chicoine, Sadler, Markle, J.Johnson, Camara.
#3: Hearn, Decker, Scagliotta, Beardsley, Rasey, Horton, Vauter, Greene, Ro.Chrysler, Brown (DNS).
Alltel DIRTcar Nationals Point Standings (FINAL)
PTS CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN
208 42p PAT WARD/Genoa,NY ($1,000)
202 34 Andy Bachetti/Sheffield,MA
196 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
196 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
172 30 Jamie Mills/Milford,DE
157 9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
151 43 Keith Flach/Ravena,NY
144 29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY
144 5 Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ
143 85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA
118 22c Mario Clair/St-Edmond,QUE
116 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
115 62 Matt Jester/Lincoln,DE
114 26 Dave Camara/Poultney,VT
114 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
112 165 Rex King Jr./Bristolville,OH
111 32 Jim Rasey/Southington,OH
106 88k Randy Chrysler/Lewiston,NY
103 17 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY
93 1 Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA
92 14j Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
90 8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
87 07 Tim Kerr/Picton,ONT
84 33t Brad Trice/Parsonsburg,MD
81 79 Jeremy Markle/Port Jervis,NY
80 48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
79 42 Guy Sheldon/Nassau,NY
76 52 James Friesen/St.Catharines,ONT
70 97 Michel Chicoine/Ste-Cecile,QUE
54 t21 Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY
52 9 Jeff Brown/Parsonsburg,MD
50 5b Brian Sadler/Erie,PA
40 33 Ray Swinehart/Bechtelsville,PA
10 923 Colin Jackson/Peckville,PA
2009 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified Roster (32)
Car# Driver/Hometown Team (Sponsor / Chassis / Engine)
07 Tim Kerr/Picton,ONT Bronskill & Coe-Greenbush Electric-Kerr Construction/Bicknell/Enders
1 Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA Greene Quality Bluestone-Blue Diamond Tools-TJ’s NAPA/Bicknell/Jensen Tech
3g Jimmy Johnson/Bloomingburg,NY Budweiser (LaRusse Distributing)-Valvoline-Lajoie Seats/TEO/GM
5 Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ Lincoln Auto Body-Schmidt Racing/Troyer/JPM
5b Brian Sadler/Erie,PA McLallen Construction-Perkins Law Group/Bicknell/Honest Abe
8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ Central Jersey Trailer & Hitch Depot-Adamsville Maintenance/Troyer/Feil
9 Jeff Brown/Parsonsburg,MD Chesapeake Paving/Bicknell/JB Auto & Machine
9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY Xtreme Lubricants-Seneca Auto Sales/Bicknell/C.C. Performance
17 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY Behron Auto Glass-Town Mechanical-JIR Motorsports/Troyer/Moshier
20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ Madsen Motorsports-Wentworth Custom Homes-Kruger-WLR-BPG/TEO/Enders
t21 Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY Iroquois Water-Randy’s Smoke Shop-Joey’s Sneaks/Bicknell/JanCen
22c Mario Clair/St-Edmond,QUE Bully’s Truck Stop-Bert Transmission-Batiments JDL/Bicknell/Morrison
26 Dave Camara/Poultney,VT Camara Slate Products/TEO/Finger Lakes
29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY Xtreme Lubricants-Seneca Auto Sales/Bicknell/C.C. Performance
30 Jamie Mills/Milford,DE I.G.Burton Car Dealership-ReMax Realtor-L&W Ins./Bicknell/DDE
32 Jim Rasey/Southington,OH Twin Oaks Services South-Alcon Mechanical/Dirt Wheels/Minors Performance
33t Brad Trice/Parsonsburg,MD Chesapeake Paving-Delmarva Improvement Services/Troyer/JB Auto & Machine
34 Andy Bachetti/Sheffield,MA Steve Hough Motors/PMC/JPM
42 Guy Sheldon/Nassau,NY Judd Construction-Heinz Inc./PMC/42 Racing
42p Pat Ward/Genoa,NY Gypsum Express,Ltd./Bicknell/Chevrolet
43 Keith Flach/Ravena,NY Flach Crane & Rigging-Gould Erectors & Riggers/TEO/Enders
48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY Magee Transportation Services-Monadnock Disposal Service/Bicknell/Morrison
52 James Friesen/St.Catharines,ONT Blue Moon Potatoes-New Generation Racing Engines/Bicknell/Al Blanchard(NG)
62 Matt Jester/Lincoln,DE Clearview Forms-Smith Concrete/TEO/Dan Denny(DDE)
77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY RezX Racing-Grow It Hydroseeding-Action Race Parts-Teo Fab./TEO/Kevlar
79 Jeremy Markle/Port Jervis,NY Len & Jo’s Restaurant-Advance Recovery/Bicknell/Precision
85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA Sportsburg.com-Community Bank & Trust/Troyer/Enders
88k Randy Chrysler/Lewiston,NY Signal Cigarettes-Randy’s Smoke Shop-Jacobs Tobacco Co./Bicknell/JanCen
91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY Gypsum Wholesalers-Stadium Int’l-Quality Hardwoods/Bicknell/Chevrolet
97 Michel Chicoine/Ste-Cecile de Milton,QUE GMCI Express-E.Beaudry Enterprises/Bicknell/Enders
99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY Gypsum Express,Ltd./Bicknell/Chevrolet
165 Rex King Jr./Bristolville,OH Jim Brown Seed Sales-Meander Homes-Reese Services/Bicknell/Jim Bailey
FLORIDA TOUR 2009 PIT NOTES
Saturday – February 14
*Hearn Third Alltel All-Star Big-Block Candidate…The ’09 edition of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH at Volusia is over and Advance Series DIRTcar racer Brett Hearn has joined Big-Block brethren Pat Ward and Jamie Mills in the fans’ voting as he is now in the running for the lucrative $10,000 top prize awarded to just one winning driver. “I think it adds a level of recognition to the cars and the guys who do this,” remarked Hearn about why fans should choose him as the Alltel All-Star. “It raises the level of professionalism of the event. This whole event is just an awesome event. It’s unbelievable racing every night. We were blessed with beautiful weather. It’s a blast. I really appreciate Alltel being here.” The final list of Alltel All-Star candidates and their text message Letter Codes are: Big-Block Modifieds – Pat Ward (i), Jamie Mills (L), Brett Hearn (n); Sprint Cars – Donny Schatz (b); Stevie Smith (d); Joey Saldana (f); UMP DIRTcar Modifieds – Jared Landers (a), Austin Dillon (c), Randy Hall (e); UMP DIRTcar Super Late Models – Darren Miller (g), Earl Pearson Jr. (h), Dan Schlieper (j); World of Outlaws Late Models – Josh Richards (k), Steve Francis (m). Fans can vote by visiting www.AlltelAllStar.com or texting their drivers code to 247253.
*General Motors Plants Seeds of Speed In Florida…What do DIRTcar Modified racers Brett Hearn and Jimmy Johnson share in common with World Racing Group officials Brian Carter and Gary Risch Jr.? Each logged track time at Volusia this past week behind the wheel of Risch’s Teo Pro Car that was the first to house an experimental GM Performance Parts Engine. “We’re very pleased with the forward progress made using this particular engine,” said Jeffrey Shaw, Powertrain & Performance Parts Specialist for GM’s Northeast Region. Shaw worked alongside DIRTcar NE Director of Technical Operations Bob Dini and tech assistant George Johnson monitoring nightly test runs made with the 572/720R powerplant. “This engine was originally developed for drag racing applications and built to provide a comfortable 720 horsepower. What we took down to Florida was really an unknown package in this type car so everything we learned will be a great asset for improving its performance in the coming months.”
*VP Racing Fuel Powers Big-Blocks At Volusia…Just in time for the DIRTcar Northeast’s 25th winter of competition in the Sunshine State, the World Racing Group announced that VP Racing Fuels recently signed a multi-year agreement to be the Official Racing Fuel of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series and in 2009 the only fuels allowed in the Big-Block Modified and 358-Modified divisions at sanctioned events will be VP110 and C12. The multi-faceted deal began with the season-opening Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park, where VP was the only fuel supplier at the high speed, half-miler. “We did a random fuel check for the first time on Thursday and the top-five all passed,” noted Fred Turza, VP Racing Fuels Research & Development Director based in Newark, Delaware, who singled out Big-Block winners Pat Ward, Jamie Mills and Brett Hearn as those finding immediate success in the recent transition. Ironically, Hearn was formerly a staunch supporter of VP Racing Fuels while associated with the no. 6 Freightliner Trucks of Newburgh team while Mills is currently a recognized distributor of VP Fuels to fellow racers in the Blue Hen State. “Teams will find that running VP will keep water temperature down around 10 degrees, and in the longer races that’s quite significant in the engine department. We’re confident that racers will also find our C12 to provide more consistency, something that will become evident as they grow more accustomed to its use on a regular basis,” added Turza, who served in a similar capacity with the NASCAR sanctioning body for a dozen years. With the timing of the VP Racing Fuels program, teams were allowed to burn off their own supplies of competing brand fuels during the week and VP reps stationed trackside even afforded them the opportunity to trade gallon for gallon up to a drum of their own fuel for the required VP blend.
*Cice, Señor…Making a rare appearance at the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals was Chuck Cice, proprietor of C.C.Performance, a high-performance engine builder based in Bolivar, Ohio. Looking to drum up more business in the Big-Block ranks after an exclusive arrangement with Carl Myers and his Sweeteners Plus Team was voided last season, Cice spent most of the week in the JB Motorsports camp tending to his newest customers, Matt Sheppard and Jeff Brownell Jr. “Matt has been using the ‘house’ engine and we’ve made more changes with him, although Jeff probably has the better of the two right now,” stated Cice, 55, who started building engines in 1978 that were later found under the hood of such noted Cup drivers as Harry Gant and the late Neil Bonnett. His creations also carried Vic Coffey to a pair of Super DIRT Week Rite Aid 200 victories, helped put Sheppard on the outside-pole in last October’s Advance Auto Parts Series Rite Aid 200 at the Syracuse Mile, and powered Tim McCreadie to the ’06 World of Outlaws Late Model Series points championship. “I began building off-shore power boat engines for Carl in the early 90s after one of my friends told me he was looking for more power. The first time out we broke the kilo record by 12 mph and after that won two world championships together. Jeff ordered two from us last summer and I’m hoping to bring similar success to more drivers this year not being under contract.”
*Unmatched Track record…Spearheaded by winter tour head groundskeeper Gary Risch Jr. from Western Pennsylvania, the unheralded track maintenance team of Empire State transplants Eric Fink and Larry Fink, and Lernerville (Pa.) Speedway prep master Chad Alchier had no rivals in February as they produced one of the finest racing surfaces ever presented for 12 consecutive shows at Volusia Speedway Park. With upwards of 90 UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, an average of 70 Late Model contenders, nearly 50 Sprinters and 34 Big-Block Modifieds, hundreds of laps were turned in less than two weeks of continuous head to head competition from short-track stars converging on the ultra-fast 1/2-miler from throughout the United States and Canada.
*Stat Attack…For more than a decade of DIRTcar Big-Block Modified competition in Florida, 148 of the 179 drivers entered have qualified for feature events. The average annual car count during this 12-year span is 40 with a DIRTcar Nationals record 56 drivers participating in 2006 and 31 entered in 1999. Including events staged at East Bay Raceway outside Tampa, nearby Putnam County Speedway in Palatka and Volusia, 48 feature races have been run since 1998 and 16 drivers have now qualified for at least half: Brett Hearn (48), Jamie Mills (43), Danny Johnson (40), Pat Ward (37), Tim Fuller (35), J.R. Heffner (35), Jimmy Horton (32), Ray Swinehart (30), Alan Johnson (28), Jim Rasey (28) Tim McCreadie (27), Doug Hoffman (27), Deron Rust (27), Vic Coffey (26), Rick Laubach (26), and Andy Bachetti (25). In 2009, open-wheel racers Jeff Brownell Jr., Dave Camara, Michel Chicoine, James Michael Friesen, Matt Jester, Rex King Jr., Brian Sadler and Guy Sheldon made their maiden voyages to VSP while Jeff Brown and Brad Trice qualified for their first feature after first circling the Barberville oval in 2006. Vermont veteran Camara towed down his Small-Block in 1991 and scored a feature win at Putnam while Nassau, New York Sheldon’s rookie season in ’95 opened at St. Augustine Speedway where he place 15th in the four-race finale…..Despite just one blemish on his Florida Tour transcript, Brett Hearn continued his unparalleled streak of success down south. Saturday’s victory was the fifth 50-lap triumph for Hearn in the Sunshine State and he has now captured at least one Alltel DIRTcar Nationals feature every year since 1998 except for 2007, when he mustered just a single top-five. The ‘Jet’ has now cracked the winner’s circle 19 times —16 at VSP— and taken the checkered flag among the top-five finishers in 39 of 48 starts…..The 2009 trip to gator country was the 25th for DIRTcar Northeast Big-Block travelers and Pat Ward emerged as the third driver in a row to cop the tour opener and continue on to claim the overall Advance Auto Parts mini-series points title. Jeff Kappesser was the first to pull off the feat in 1982 and with Ward’s recent reign has now been done 11 times since…No formal recognition was given to the race hard charger in the DIRTcar Modified mains yet if there was, Jamie Mills (Finish=6/Start=20, Feb. 11), Jimmy Horton (F=11/S=21, Feb. 12; F=8/S=18, Feb. 14) and Andy Bachetti (F=5/S=22, Feb. 13) would have collected the phantom hardware for their perseverance throughout the week…..Customary pre-race driver draws were held all four nights and for the first time the top-two heat race finishers redrew to help determine the feature line-ups with the remainder of the field staged using a standard heads-up format. With exactly 45 pills filling the basket nightly, New Jersey drivers Brett Hearn (10.0) and Rich Scagliotta (16.3) and New Yorker Jeremy Markle (12.3) had the best average draw for the four events while ’08 Rookie of the Year Larry Wight (34.0), Maryland upstart Brad Trice (34.0), two-time Florida Tour Champion Jimmy Horton (31.3) and Trice’s brother in-law Jeff Brown (31.0) had the worst. Overall points king Pat Ward (18.8) was among the top-third while…..The first time Pat Ward collected the overall Alltel DIRTcar Nationals Championship hardware was in 2004 as he topped both Brett Hearn and Doug Hoffman by a 154-152 point margin heading into the traditional 50-lap finale that was ultimately cancelled due to rain. A brief evening rainfall threatened to reproduce the same scenario this year, although the seasoned chauffeur from Genoa, New York erased any doubt with a fifth-place finish to hold off Andy Bachetti, 208-202, in the final Big-Block standings. The big difference was a pair of runner-up feature race finishes for Ward in ’04 while he reached victory lane twice in the ’09 edition.
*See You Next Year…The 39th Alltel DIRTcar Nationals By UNOH has been scheduled for February 2-13, 2010. Reserved tickets will go on sale on-line at www.dirtcarnationals.com beginning June 1. To renew current reserved seats for the following winter, call the Volusia Speedway Park office at 386/985-4402 on Monday, Feb. 16 and get an early jump on next season.
FLORIDA TOUR BIG-BLOCK MODIFIED POINT CHAMPIONS: 1978-2009
YEAR CHAMPION (wins) TRACK(S)
*2009 Pat Ward(2) Volusia Speedway Park
*2008 Brett Hearn(1)/Billy Pauch(1) Volusia Speedway Park
*2007 Danny Johnson(2) Volusia Speedway Park
*2006 Brett Hearn(2) Volusia Speedway Park
*2005 Brett Hearn(1)/Andy Bachetti(1) Volusia Speedway Park
*2004 Pat Ward Volusia Speedway Park
*2003 Tim Fuller(1) Volusia Speedway Park
*2002 Brett Hearn(2) Putnam County, Volusia Park
*2001 Brett Hearn(3) East Bay, Volusia Park
*2000 Brett Hearn(3) Volusia Speedway Park
*1999 Jimmy Horton(1) Volusia Speedway Park
*1998 Brett Hearn(2) Volusia Speedway Park
1996-97 -no races-
*1995 Doug Hoffman(1) St. Augustine
1994 -no races-
*1993 -Invitational- Volusia County
1990-92 -no races-
*1989 Alan Johnson Volusia County
1988 Danny Johnson(1) Volusia County
*1987 Danny Johnson(3) Volusia County
*1986 Jimmy Horton(2) Volusia County
1985 Billy Pauch(3) Volusia County
1984 Kenny Brightbill(2)/Jack Johnson Volusia County
*1983 Alan Johnson East Bay, Volusia County
*1982 Jeff Kappesser(2)/Billy Pauch East Bay, Volusia County
*1981 Jack Johnson(1) Florida State Fairgrounds
*1980 Kenny Brightbill(3) Florida State Fairgrounds
1979 -no races-
1978 Walt Breeding(1) Volusia County
FLORIDA TOUR BIG-BLOCK MODIFIED FEATURE RACE WINNERS: 1978-2009
(108 events / 5 tracks / 33 drivers)
WINS DRIVER FIRST WIN LAST WIN
19 Brett Hearn Volusia County, 2/11/93 Volusia Park, 2/14/09
11 Danny Johnson Volusia County, 2/9/87 Volusia Park, 2/17/07
9 Kenny Brightbill Volusia County, 2/13/78 Volusia County, 2/13/87
8 Doug Hoffman Volusia County, 2/18/84 Volusia Park, 2/14/98
6 Jack Johnson Tampa Fairgrnds, 2/14/81 Volusia County, 2/14/89
6 Jimmy Horton Volusia County, 2/12/86 Volusia Park, 2/16/08
5 Tim Fuller Volusia Park, 2/15/01 Volusia Park, 2/16/07
5 Billy Pauch Volusia County, 2/11/85 Volusia Park, 2/13/08
3 Merv Treichler Volusia County, 2/13/82 Volusia County, 2/17/83
3 Doug Ingalls East Bay, 2/15/83 Volusia County, 2/16/84
3 Jamie Mills Volusia Park, 2/15/00 Volusia Park, 2/13/09
2 Will Cagle Volusia County, 2/17/78 Volusia County, 2/18/78
2 Tommy Hager Volusia County, 2/16/78 Tampa Fairgrnds, 2/8/80
2 Gary Iulg Volusia County, 2/12/78 East Bay, 2/8/82
2 Jeff Kappesser East Bay, 2/7/82 Volusia County, 2/10/82
2 Kenny Tremont Volusia County, 2/13/93 Volusia Park, 2/12/99
2 Bob McCreadie Volusia Park, 2/10/99 Volusia Park, 2/16/01
2 Billy Decker Volusia Park, 2/12/04 Volusia Park, 2/16/05
2 Pat Ward Volusia Park, 2/11/09 Volusia Park, 2/12/09
1 Lou Lazzaro Volusia County, 2/10/78
1 Walt Breeding Volusia County, 2/11/78
1 Kevin Collins Tampa Fairgrounds, 2/13/81
1 Ray Dalmata Volusia County, 2/15/84
1 C.D. Coville Volusia County, 2/16/85
1 Alan Johnson Volusia County, 2/11/86
1 Richie Tobias Jr. Volusia County, 2/13/89
1 Jeff Heotzler St. Augustine, 2/14/95
1 Steve Paine St. Augustine, 2/16/95
1 Tim McCreadie Volusia Park, 2/16/02
1 Craig VonDohren Volusia Park, 2/11/03
1 J.R. Heffner Volusia Park, 2/13/04
1 Andy Bachetti Volusia Park, 2/15/05
1 Dale Planck Volusia Park, 2/15/08
2009 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Schedule
NP=Non-Point event; SP=Show-Up point event;
TBA=To Be Announced; TBD=To Be Determined.
DAY-DATE TRACK LOCATION/WINNER
Wed-Feb 11 Volusia Speedway Park Pat Ward
Thr-Feb 12 Volusia Speedway Park Pat Ward
Fri-Feb 13 Volusia Speedway Park Jamie Mills
Sat-Feb 14 Volusia Speedway Park Brett Hearn
Sat-Mar 28 Hagerstown Speedway Hagerstown,MD
Sun-May 24 -TBA-
Sat-Jun 6 Lebanon Valley Speedway West Lebanon,NY
Sun-Jun 7 Airborne Speedway Plattsburgh,NY
Sat-Jun 13 Fulton Speedway Fulton,NY
Fri-Jul 3 Ransomville Speedway Ransomville,NY
*** GREAT CANADIAN TOUR ***
Thr-Jul 9 Brockville Ont. Speedway Brockville,ONT
Fri-Jul 10 Autodrome Granby Granby,QUE
Sat-Jul 11 Autodrome Drummond Drummondville,QUE
Sun-Jul 12 Cornwall Motor Speedway Cornwall,ONT
Mon-Aug 3 Merrittville Speedway Thorold,ONT
Fri-Aug 7 Brewerton Speedway Brewerton,NY
Sat-Aug 8 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua,NY
Fri-Aug 21 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville,NY
Thr-Aug 27 Lebanon Valley Speedway West Lebanon,NY
Sun-Sep 6 Cayuga Co.Fair Speedway Weedsport,NY
Mon-Sep 7 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Fri-Sep 18 Lernerville Speedway Sarver,PA
Sat-Sep 19 -TBA-
Sat-Sep 26 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Sun-Oct 11 New York State Fairgrnds Syracuse,NY
-TBA- Orange Co.Fair Speedway Middletown,NY
-TBD- Big Diamond Raceway Minersville,PA
-TBD- Cayuga Co.Fair Speedway Weedsport,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 www.advanceautoparts.com.
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 VP Racing Fuels. Promotional partners include Rite Aid Corporation, Dig Safely New York and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks, Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Ferris Industries, Holley HP Carburetors, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks, Racing Electronics, Rislone Oil Stabilizer and Wrisco Industries.