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Rain Forces 2nd Cancellation During 2007 DIRTcar Nationals At Volusia

 

Barberville, FL – Feb. 15, 2007 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRT NorthEast PR Director

 

For the second time in three days, Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series action for the Big-Block Modifieds fell victim to rain at Volusia Speedway Park. Persistent showers throughout the evening Thursday forced track officials to reluctantly put an end to the 10th day of short track competition scheduled during the 36th Annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals presented by Mopar Speed Shop. Heavy afternoon rain accompanied by streaks of thunder and lightning prompted the same decision on Tuesday.

 

Qualifying runs for the 360 OTC World of Outlaws Late Model Series season-opener were completed with intermittent sprinkles covering the spacious half-miler, yet with four laps scored in the first of four Big-Block Modified heat races the cars were pulled back into the pits as the rain increased in intensity. The official announcement to cancel the remainder of the program was made by VSP Chief Announcer Joe Linebarier at 9:40pm, with tickets for Thursday’s show accepted in full value for either Friday or Saturday evening events at the Barberville oval.

 

When pole-sitter Andy Bachetti assumed his starting position to begin the first Modified heat at 8:45, a light drizzle continued to fall although the track surface remained smooth and tacky as overcast skies earlier in the day had locked in every bit of moisture. Bachetti retained the point ahead of Jamie Mills, Tim Fuller, David VanHorn and Randy Chrysler when the call was made to clear the track just 10 minutes later. The last time traveling teams suffered a rain-out of a race was in the 2004 Florida Tour finale.

 

The Northeastern open-wheel stars and cars return to action Friday at Volusia with a 30-lap DIRT Big-Block Modified main headlining round number two of the winter bash. The overall 2007 Florida DIRTcar Nationals points champion will be crowned Saturday, Feb. 17 following the final night of open-wheel competition.

 

SKIDMARKS

Latest Entry: A 40-car field of Big-Block Modifieds filled the Volusia infield on Thursday, one more than the previous day, as transplanted New Jersey driver G.R. Smith signed in to steer Dave Schrader’s primary #6pack A&S Production-Superior Well Service-Lictus Keystone/Dirt Wheels entry hoping to dial it in on the fast Barberville layout. “The plan was to run the car only tonight just to try and work out some of the problems Dave encountered on opening night,” said Smith, 25, a former open-wheel Modified driver from Folsom, N.J. who now resides in Mooresville, N.C. with full-fender Late Model racing his biggest concern. “I helped out Dave before when he first bought the Dirt Wheels chassis so I just happened to be around today when he needed some help. Ironically, I have three Late Models and a crew back at the shop and I should’ve been racing here with the Outlaw Series tonight. Last year we qualified for two of the shows at Volusia during race weeks and we ended up running more than 70 events during the year. It was a pretty could rookie season coming away with a Southern All-Star win, this year we want to run a lot more major shows including maybe 20 World of Outlaws event,” added Smith, who racked up a total of six wins in 2006.

 

Room For Improvement: A lot has changed since Central New York standout Dale Planck ventured to Volusia Speedway Park last February, most visible was the switch in rides from Dave Thompson’s Quality Concrete-King Enterprises-Chiefs Tobacco & Gas/Troyer entry to Ryan Jacob’s East End Auto Parts & Construction-Jacob's Excavation/Bicknell machine; a new “lighter, brighter and more visible” blue and silver paint scheme adorns the ’07 mounts although each still carried Planck’s familiar no. 77x on the side panels. In the transition, Planck emerged as a solid contender in his first full season of following the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series and went on to capture his first victory last summer in DIRT MotorSports NorthEast’s premier traveling tour for the Big-Block Modifieds. “I’ve driven for 25 years and racing full-time in a series like this was always my dream, the Modifieds are the big class and this is THE series to follow in the Northeast.,” said Cortland, N.Y. open-wheel pilot Planck, 36, who ended up 11th in the final overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRT Modified point standings a year ago despite missing one event. “I’m excited to finally be considered with the best drivers. My goals at the start of last year were to time close to the fastest qualifiers at each event, finish every race and stay in the points hunt. With the experience we got at some of the tracks we raced for the first time I think we can make a solid run in be in contention all year.” Planck went out and recorded the fastest times in practice to open the ’06 Florida Tour and kicked off this year’s DIRTcar Nationals with a runner-up finish in the opening event on Wednesday. “We almost won the points title here last year, that one DNF really hurt,” noted Planck, who posted three top-five finishes ---including 2nd-place in the 50-lap finale--- to end up fourth on the final DIRTcar Nationals points chart. “We’re just as confident we can do well again this year. Volusia seems like a cross between Fulton and Lebanon Valley (speedways), and I like it because its so wide with a lot of room to race. But you have to be right on all 30 laps, with the fast spots on the track changing almost every lap it definitely makes things interesting. There’s always a lot of guess work here … how high will the cushion be, where is the track rougher and how much will it slicken up. So to win a points title down here would be pretty big. There’s a lot of talent signed up and to have bragging rights for a year would certainly be something special.”

 

Florida Still A Family Affair: When it came to competing for the first time in the Florida DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park, family priorities for Pat O’Brien and Dave Schrader were the only real factors used to determine their final agendas. O’Brien was accompanied by his while Schrader was on his own. “The family is all grown up now and I’m looking toward retirement so this is a trip to race and have fun,” said Schrader, 54, who finally made the trip to Volusia after working obligations forced him and wife Carol to cancel their racing plans outlined over the last three winters. “Something always seemed to come up, even last year we couldn’t get the paperwork done in time with our new rig so we worked with Jim Rasey instead of bringing our own car. It was a great time, I just love the open-wheel cars and the quality of competition makes it a fun deal to be involved with.” Schrader has maintained his own business since the mid-1970s, mixing in racing as part of his life-long passion just as long. Family commitments forced him out of the pits from 1988-99 yet the Endeavor, Pa. veteran looks forward to expanding his schedule even more during the ’07 oval track campaign. “I’ve pretty much been a regular closer to home from the time I started at Tri-City and Sharon, and run at Lernerville as well as Raceway 7 and Mercer. I’m working out a deal to sell the company so I want to try out the New York circuit this season and visit places like Canandaigua, Weedsport and Brewerton. I hope to make a few Super DIRT Series shows if things work out. Whatever happens it all comes down to having fun,” added Schrader, who captured his lone Big-Block Modified points championship at Sharon Speedway in 1987.

 

The O’Brien family spent time at Walt Disney World in nearby Orlando, Fla. In December of 2005 and after meeting with the crew decided to turn it into a racing vacation to begin the ’07 season. “We’ve got three families together camping and trying to do minimal work on the car but that fell through the first night,” said O’Brien, 42, who was involved in a first lap crash in his heat before qualifying through the consolation round and finishing (7th) one spot ahead of defending Florida Tour champ Brett Hearn in the Big-Block Modified main. “We had some bad weather early in the week at Disney so I never saw the track until Wednesday. I heard that it had been tough to pass on but it was really good when we got out. After tearing off the axle in the accident I just wanted to stay out of trouble and try to run as good as possible. The track looks narrower than it probably is, where I race up north there aren’t any outside walls and plenty of run-off room. When I see that white it seems a little close sometimes.” O’Brien is a four-time overall Hoosier-Sunoco Mr. DIRT 358-Modified Champion (1995, 1992, 1990, 1988) who owns 139 DIRT-sanctioned Small-Block Modified features wins and another 22 in Big-Block competition. The second-generation driver from Kingston, Ontario has also collected 20 track point titles (3 Big-block) and plans to race weekly in the empire State at Can-Am Motorsports Park and Thunder Alley Speedpark during the upcoming season up north steering the red no. 6 730 Truck Stop-Gypsum Logistics-Newells Garage/Bicknell entry.

 

Race To Repair: In the hardest hit of the week for the DIRT Big-Block contingent, Gary Hager joined Pat O’Brien in the Modified heat race mishap that resulted in his blue no. 44 Quality Drywall-Building Specialties/TEO being cradled off the frontstretch on  Wednesday without a single lap complete. The race against time to make repairs began immediately after and didn’t come to an end until the first green flag flew on Thursday. After hours work included installing a new torsion rack, new rear and front ends, new radiator and bumpers, while the chassis was welded back up in the process. “We did what we could to salvage the car, but the chassis is pretty much junk after Florida,” declared Hager, 34, who posted his first career Big-Block Modified win last September at Bridgeport (NJ) Speedway wheeling the same TEO Pro copy. The Stewartsville, NJ driver last competed at Volusia in 2001, qualifying for every main event to finish 18th in points with a single-race best finish of 16th-place. “We only had six races on this car. After a couple more hits it probably won’t be too safe to drive. Now we’ve got to try and decide what to do when we get back home. Definitely not a good way to start out the season, obviously not what we expected coming down here.”

 

Solo Performance: While Gypsum teammates Billy Decker and Tim Fuller have traded paint back and forth in the open-wheel Big-Block Modified and full-fender Late Model ranks for the past two weeks, DIRT Modified veteran Pat Ward has concentrated only on the exploits of the trusty LJL Racing no. 42P Gypsum Express,Ltd.-Stadium International/Bicknell for owner John Wight. “Sure, I’d like to drive the late model more but I’m not worrying about that right now,” said Ward, 49, the 2004 Florida DIRTcar Nationals points champion, who has only competed in a LM car on three occasions. A pair of red Enders-powered Rocket machines driven by Decker (no. 91) and Fuller (no. 19) have helped fill the track LM rosters at Volusia, as well as East Bay Raceway and Golden Isles Speedway, with Fuller the most successful at each site. “Running the Modified is what I’m here for. The track is pretty smooth this year with only a couple dips. Sometimes its tough to pass in the heats, but I prefer a slick track and it usually comes around to the way I like it by feature time. I should’ve done better (finished 9th) in the opener but got stuck behind two crashes and never got a chance.”

 

Florida DIRTcar Nationals Point Standings

POINTS   CAR#  DRIVER / HOMETOWN               

60        27j       Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY

56        77x      Dale Planck/Cortland,NY

52        91        Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY

50        44s      Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY

48        34        Andy Bachetti/Sheffield,MA

46        30        Jamie Mills/Milford,DE

44        6          Pat O'Brien/Kingston,ONT

42        20        Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ

40        42p     Pat Ward/Genoa,NY

38        42        Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ

36        71        David VanHorn/Phillipsburg,NJ

34        14        Rick Laubach/Quakertown,PA

32        21k      Randy Chrysler/Lewiston,NY

30        32c      Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY

28        88        Dick Larkin/Alford,MA

27        8          Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ

26        81        Rich Rutski/Somerville,NJ

25        79s      Mike Storms/Wantage,NJ

24        6pack Dave Schrader/Endeavor,PA

23        1          Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA

22        45        Wayne Jelley/Pittsfield,MA

21        14j       Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY

20        0          Russ Hefti/Elbridge,NY

20        19        Tim Fuller/Edwards, NY

20        1w       Billy Pauch/Frenchtown,NJ

20        74        J.R. Heffner/Stephentown,NY

10        07        Tim Kerr/Picton,ONT

10        9          Jeff Brown/Parsonsburg,MD

10        t21       Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY

10        27m    Dan Hartgraves/Troy,NY

10        33        Ray Swinehart/Bechtelsville,PA

10        m40    Mark Forte,Jr./Blue Anchor,NJ

10        44        Gary Hager/Stewartsville,NJ

10        48too  Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY

10        66w     Wallace Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE

10        79        Jeremy Markle/Port Jervis,NY

10        98        Glenn Richards/Wyoming,DE

10        118     Sean Merkel/Gilbertsville,PA

10        923     Colin Jackson/Peckville,PA

 

2007 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series Big-Block Modified Roster (40)

Car#     Driver/Hometown         Team (Sponsor / Chassis / Engine)

0              Russ Hefti/Elbridge,NY            Clearview Windows-Sunsetter Awnings/Bicknell/Carr Power (Tommy Carr)

07            Tim Kerr/Picton,ONT                Saxony-Bronskill&Coe-Grenbush Elec.-Hubert Kerr Const./Bicknell/Enders

1              Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA Greene Quality Bluestone-Big Diamond Tools-TJ's NAPA/Bicknell/Morden

1w           Billy Pauch/Frenchtown,NJ     Will Brown's Truck Repair-Holly Hill Farms/TEO/Lombardo

6              Pat O'Brien/Kingston,ONT       730 Truck Stop-Gypsum Logistics-Newells Garage/Bicknell/Enders

gr6           G.R. Smith/Mooresville,NC       A&S Production-Superior Well Service-Lictus Keystone/Dirt Wheels/Burnett

6pack      Dave Schrader/Endeavor,PA  A&S Production-D&C Racing/Bicknell/Krem's Speed Equipment

8              Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ Central Jersey Trailer & Hitch Depot-Adamsville Maintenance/Bicknell/Enders

9              Jeff Brown/Parsonsburg,MD  Chesapeake Paving/Dirt Wheels/Lombardo

14            Rick Laubach/Quakertown,PA                Alpha Mills-Reiley & Sterner Auto Sales-Werner's Auto Body/TEO/Enders

14j           Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY   Bully's Truck Stop-CFF,Inc./Bicknell/RL Performance

19            Tim Fuller/Edwards, NY          Native Poker-Chiefs Tobacco & Gas-G&R Auto Parts/TEO/Enders

20            Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ           Madsen Mtrsports-Wentworth Custom Homes-Kruger-WLR/TEO/Enders

21k          Randy Chrysler/Lewiston,NY NECO Distributors-Randy's Smoke Shop-Joey's Sneaks/Bicknell/Campbell-JPM

t21           Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY  Iroquois Water-Randy's Smoke Shop-Joey's Sneaks/Bicknell/Campbell-JPM

27j           Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY Thompson Motorsports-Chiefs Tobacco & Gas/Troyer/Kevlar

27m         Dan Hartgraves/Troy,NY        New England Disposal Technologies-Diversified Sign/Bicknell/Malcuit

30            Jamie Mills/Milford,DE              I.G.Burton Car Dealership-ReMax Realtor-L&W Ins./Bicknell/FingerLakes-DDE

32c          Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY         Sweeteners Plus-CME,Inc./Bicknell/C.C. Performance

33            Ray Swinehart/Bechtelsville,PA J & L Speed Supplies-PK Moyer & Sons/Troyer/R&R Machine(SB)

34            Andy Bachetti/Sheffield,MA    Steve Hough Motors-Troy’s Garage/PMC/JPM

m40         Mark Forte,Jr./Blue Anchor,NJ Stone Grille Restaurant & Bar-BSR Products/TEO/Finger Lakes

42            Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ Millennium Car Wash-Grosso Trucking-Metal Fab Race Pro Shop/TEO/Feil

42p          Pat Ward/Genoa,NY                Gypsum Express,Ltd.-Stadium International/Bicknell/Enders

44            Gary Hager/Stewartsville,NJ  Quality Drywall-Building Specialties/TEO/Burnett

44s          Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY   BKS/G-U-Currier Plastics-Magee Transport-Adam Ross/Bicknell/Finger Lakes

45            Wayne Jelley/Pittsfield,MA      K&F Modular Homes-Freedom Plains-TLC Contracting/PMC/Dan Bedell

48too       Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY  Magee Transportation Services-Monadnock Disposal Service/Bicknell/Morrison

66w         Wallace Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE Bully's Truck Stop-CFF,Inc./Bicknell/RL Performance

71            David VanHorn/Phillipsburg,NJ Harmony Sand&Gravel-Diamond Hart Ent.-Art's Radiator/TEO/D.VanHorn,Sr.

74            J.R. Heffner/Stephentown,NY                A.Colarusso & Son-Turner Auto-Miller's Automotive/Bicknell/JPM

77x          Dale Planck/Cortland,NY         East End Auto Parts & Construction-Jacob's Excavation/Bicknell/Kevlar

79            Jeremy Markle/Port Jervis,NY Len & Jo's Restaurant/Bicknell/Precision

79s          Mike Storms/Wantage,NJ        New York Truck Parts-Liberty Rock Crushing/TEO/JPM

81            Rich Rutski/Somerville,NJ        BRB Construction-MMI Properties-Total Automotive/Bicknell/Feil

88            Dick Larkin/Alford,MA             Advance Auto-Bedell Race Eng.-PromotionalIncentives.com/TEO/Dan Bedell

91            Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY          Gypsum Wholesalers-Stadium Int'l-Quality Hardwoods/Bicknell/Enders

98            Glenn Richards/Wyoming,DE  Hatteras Press-Alessi Construction-Coastal Marine/TEO/Morrison-Barnett

118          Sean Merkel/Gilbertsville,PA   Merkel Rebar-Reid Automotive/TEO/Lombardo

923          Colin Jackson/Peckville,PA      Ashford Cottages Bed& Breakfast-Jackson Excavating/Bicknell/Griffin

 

DIRTcar Nationals Showcased On DIRTVision.com: DIRTVision.com launched its fourth consecutive season at Volusia Speedway Park with LIVE Cybercast video coverage of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series races on Wednesday, February 14 and continues through Saturday, Feb. 17 beginning at 7:30pm, ET. LIVE coverage is for DIRTcar Nationals CyberPass subscribers only so sign up today! Log onto www.dirtvision.com then click on the “DIRTcar Nationals CyberPass” link to subscribe and hang on for the ride of your life. Users can sign-up today for $19.99 using a Visa or Mastercard on our secure payment server at DIRTVision.com.

 

As part of DIRTVision’s February Special, ALL registered users will now have 24/7 access to our 2004, 2005 and 2006 On-Demand & Cybercast archived videos from around the world of DIRT MotorSports racing. Dirt Radio Network listeners will still be able to enjoy each and every event for FREE as well. Users can sign-up using Visa or Mastercard on our secure payment server at DIRTVision.com. (Monthly & Season CyberPass subscriptions will be available to purchase in March of 2007)

 

If you are unfamiliar with our LIVE Cybercasts, click on the “Help/FAQ” menu for tips and requirements for viewing the DIRTVision Cybercast. Make sure that you register well in advance of our next show to help troubleshoot any problems you may encounter. Your basic tools will be a DIRTVision.com account, Internet Explorer 5 or higher, and Windows Media Player 9; both of which are FREE. For technical support or questions, e-mail customerservice@dirtvision.com.

 

Dirt Radio Network Broadcasts: Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series announcer Shane Andrews will host all the action with FREE audio on the DIRT Radio Network broadcast on DIRTVision.com. Thousands of fans enjoyed these free audio broadcasts in 2006. Enhanced features for Registered users listening to the Dirt Radio Network broadcasts include our popular text chat and AMB Scoring/Results. All Dirt Radio Network Shows are slated for 7pm ET from Volusia Speedway Park.

 

Get Out The Word First: RACEceiver is the Official Driver Communicator of DIRT MotorSports. 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 www.raceceiver.com, call 866-301-7223, or look for their sales trailers at various events.

 

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

 

UPCOMING EVENT
The 2007 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series point race schedule for Big-Block Modifieds takes the green flag further north in the springtime. Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway is slated to host the tour opener on March 31 when the Advance Auto Parts SDS big-block teams compete in the 100-lap North-South Shootout paying the winner $6,000 from the total purse in excess of $27,000.

 

2007 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series Schedule

NP=Non-Point event.                                   

DAY-DATE    LAPS  TRACK                                   WINNER/LOCATION

Wed-Feb 14  30-NP Volusia Speedway Park      DANNY JOHNSON

Thr-Feb 15     30-NP Volusia Speedway Park      -RAIN-

Fri-Feb 16      30-NP Volusia Speedway Park      Barberville, FL          

Sat-Feb 17    50-NP Volusia Speedway Park      Barberville, FL          

Sat-Mar 31     100     Hagerstown Speedway        Hagerstown, MD

Thr-May 3         60      Virginia Motor Speedway    Saluda, VA   

Sun-May 27   2-53    Cayuga Co Fair Speedway Weedsport, NY

Sat-Jun 9        100     Fulton Speedway                  Fulton, NY

Thr-Jun 14      100     Susquehanna Speedway     Newberrytown, PA

Tue-Jul 3        2-50    Rolling Wheels Raceway     Elbridge, NY

Fri-Jul 6          100     Ransomville Speedway        Ransomville, NY

Sun-Jul 8        100     Cornwall Motor Speedway   Cornwall, ONT

Mon-Jul 9       100     Autodrome Drummond         Drummondville, QUE

Tue-Jul 10      100     Brockville Ont Speedway     Brockville, ONT

Wed-Jul 18    100     Grandview Speedway          Bechtelsville, PA

Fri-Aug 3        100     Brewerton Speedway           Brewerton, NY

Mon-Aug 6     100     Merrittville Speedway           Thorold, ONT

Thr-Aug 9       2-50    Canandaigua Speedway     Canandaigua, NY

Sat-Aug 11    100     Lebanon Valley Speedway  West Lebanon, NY

Wed-Aug 15  100     New Egypt Speedway          New Egypt, NJ

Sat-Aug 18    2-50    Can-Am Motorsports Park   LaFargeville, NY

Sun-Sep 2      2-53    Cayuga Co Fair Speedway Weedsport,NY

Mon-Sep 3     2-50    Rolling Wheels Raceway     Elbridge,NY

Sat-Sep 8      200     Lebanon Valley Speedway  West Lebanon,NY

Sat-Sep 22    3-50    Rolling Wheels Raceway     Elbridge,NY

Sun-Oct 7       200     New York State Fairgrnds    Syracuse,NY

Sat-Oct 13     2-60    New Egypt Speedway          New Egypt, NJ

Sun-Oct 21     200     Orange Co Fair Speedway Middletown,NY

TBA                100     Orange Co Fair Speedway Middletown, NY

*All events subject to change.

 

ADVANCE AUTO PARTS MODIFIED SERIES SPONSORS
The DIRT MotorSports™ Advance Auto Parts Series 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., F.X. Caprara Car Companies and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, DART Machinery, Holley HP Carburetors, MSD Ignitions, Miller Electric Manufacturing Company and Wrisco Industries.

 

 

       

 

       
Volusia Dirt Car Nationals

 


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