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Six Qualifying Races Increases Eastern States 200 Starting Grid Four-Fold


Middletown, NYOctober 18, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
*Bob Armbruster Photo

The starting grid for the 47th edition of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Eastern States 200 Modified Championship neared completion on Saturday as 24 more drivers made their way into the line-up for Sunday’s $20,000-to-win DIRTcar NorthEast Big-Block finale.

The front four rows were established on Friday led by the top-six from Friday’s WLR Construction Time Trials which locked in pole-sitter and defending Eastern States 200 Champion Jeff Heotzler, past Mr. DIRTcar Champion Tim Fuller, Big-Block Rookie Michael Storms, multi-time ESW winner Danny Johnson, and Orange County favorites Chris Shultz and Chuck McKee, plus guaranteed 7th-place starter Tommy Meier (Lebanon Valley) and eighth-place starter Ric Hill (Syracuse)

The top-four finishers from each of the six qualifying heats settled into positions 9-32 with popular Pennsylvanian Rick Laubach, eight-time Eastern States 200 Champion Brett Hearn, 2008 Orange County points king David VanHorn, Steve Paine in the borrowed JB Motorsports ride, second-generation standout Ronnie Johnson and Central New York veteran Pat Ward copping the 10-lap heats on Saturday. That leaves the final openings to be filled in by a dozen more drivers to make up the 44-car field from Sunday’s three consolation round qualifiers plus provisional starters.

Heat Races (10 laps, top-4 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Laubach, Eurich, Dodd, Gibbs, Varin, Tittle, J.Johnson, Jackson, King, Coons, O’Brien (DNS).
#2: Hearn, Decker, Mill, Heotzler Jr., Creeden, R.Phelps, Kellogg, McGannon, Eggers, Haubrich.
#3: VanHorn, Flach, Mills, Caprara, Bachetti, A.Johnson, Sherlock, J.Horton, Ferrier, Moulton, Wilson (DNS).
#4: Paine, Higbie, Tremont, Hulsizer, Dunn, Ro.Chrysler, Edwards, Kolka, Hayes, K.Horton, Bayles (DNS), Hitchcock (DNS).
#5: R.Johnson, Tomkins, Haers, Wight, Sheppard, Planck, Dagenais, Willix, Wildrick, Gagne (DNS), Ra.Chrysler (DNS).
#6: Ward, J.Phelps, Hindley, Cozze, Mitchell, Yannone, Romano, Hanson, Bicknell, House (DNS).

1 74 Jeff Heotzler/Wallkill,NY
2 19f Tim Fuller/Edwards, NY
3 4 Mike Storms/Wantage,NJ®
4 j66 Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
5 24 Chris Shultz/Pawling,NY
6 19 Chuck McKee/Middletown,NY
7 33-1/3 Tommy Meier/Waldwick,NJ
8 53 Ric Hill/Lafayette,NJ
9 14 Rick Laubach/Quakertown,PA
10 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
11 71 David VanHorn/Phillipsburg,NJ
12 9x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY
13 2 Ronnie Johnson/Duanesburg,NY
14 42p Pat Ward/Genoa,NY
15 10 Rich Eurich/Warwick,NY
16 91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
17 77f Mark Flach Jr./Selkirk,NY
18 47 Jerry Higbie/Slate Hill,NY
19 84 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY
20 98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
21 88 Steve Dodd/Middletown,NY
22 73 Rick Mill/New Windsor,NY
23 21 Clinton Mills/Middletown,NY
24 115 Kenny Tremont/West Sand Lake,NY
25 3 Justin Haers/Phelps,NY
26 1h Tim Hindley/Monticello,NY
27 55 Mitch Gibbs/North Norwich,NY
28 j17 Jeff Heotzler Jr./Wallkill,NY
29 fx1 Frankie Caprara/Watertown,NY
30 88h Steve Hulsizer/Bridgeport,NY
31 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY®
32 44 Frank Cozze/Wind Gap,PA

Heat Races (10 laps, top-2 finishers transfer to feature)
#1: Varin, Creeden, Tittle, R.Phelps, J.Johnson, Kellogg, Jackson, McGannon, King, Eggers, Coons, Haubrich, O’Brien.
#2: Bachetti, Dunn, A.Johnson, Ro.Chrysler, Sherlock, Edwards, J.Horton, Kolka, Ferrier, Hayes, Moulton, K.Horton, Wilson, Bayles, Hitchcock.
#3: Sheppard, Mitchell, Planck, Yannone, Dagenais, Romano, Willix, Hanson, Wildrick, Bicknell, Ra.Chrysler, House, Gagne.

*All times/events subject to change.
Pit Gates & Grandstand Gates open, 8:00 am;
Race Against Drugs Eastern States Pit Party, 9:30-10:30 am;
Pro Stock Hot Laps, 11:00 am;
Big-Block Modified Hot Laps;
Pro Stock heat races, 12noon;
Big-Block Modified consolation races-2 (8 more qualify), 12:30 pm;
Pro Stock consolation race, 12:50 pm
Big-Block Modified consolation races-2 (8 more qualify), 1:00 pm;
Eastern States 25, Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series event, 1:30 pm;
47th Eastern States 200, Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series event (44 cars to start), 2:30 pm.

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, Hoosier Racing Tire and Sunoco Race Fuels. Promotional partners include AMB i.t., Rite Aid Corporation and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Integra Shocks, MSD Ignitions, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks and Wrisco Industries.