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D.J. Dominates To Close Out Volusia DIRTcar Nationals; Wears 3rd Mod Crown
Posted:2/18/2007
D.J. Dominates To Close Out Volusia DIRTcar Nationals; Wears 3rd Mod Crown

Barberville, FL – Feb. 17, 2007 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRT NorthEast PR Director

The curtain came down on the 36th Annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals presented by Mopar Speed Shop at Volusia Speedway Park for the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series Big-Block Modifieds on Saturday with Danny Johnson winning the 50-lap finale to clinch the rain-shortened three-race Florida Tour points title.

"You always want to start out the season like this but with a brand new car you just never know," said Johnson, 46, after scoring his second Florida Tour triumph in four days that rewarded him with the $5,000 top prize. The Rochester, N.Y. star showcased his dominance this week at the popular Volusia half-miler by scoring his 11th career victory while clinching a third DIRTcar Nationals points championship in the annual winter road trip for DIRT MotorSports NorthEast’s top traveling teams. "We’re happy to finish every race down here. The top side was definitely the fastest way around tonight and the car was working great with the conditions we had. The crew did their job and I did mine and everything fell into place after that."

With the coveted Florida DIRTcar Nationals Championship was on the line coming into the Saturday showdown, the title was in the sight of heat winners Danny Johnson and Dale Planck. Pole-sitter Planck and third-place starter Johnson topped the points chart entering the 50-lap finale as they were the only two drivers to post a pair of top-five feature finishes while D.J. took victory laurels in the Wednesday opener.

Older brother Alan Johnson out-dragged front row partner Planck to lead the initial circuit yet Planck held his line low to move back in front the next lap around the wide half-mile clay oval. Despite starting third on the 28-car grid, Danny Johnson dropped off the pace momentarily before wrestling away the runner-up position from defending Florida Tour points champion Brett Hearn as Alan faded among the front-five.

Danny chased down Planck and made the winning pass on lap nine and put Dave Thompson’s no. 27J Chiefs Tobacco & Gas/Troyer mount on cruise control for the duration. The night ended for 2003 DIRTcar Nationals Big-Block Modified champion Pat Ward on lap 22 when his Gypsum Express ride came to a stop on the front stretch and at the halfway mark Johnson held a comfortable lead over Hearn, previous night’s winner Tim Fuller, Planck and Jimmy Horton.

Fuller grabbed the second spot from Hearn with 29 circuits complete and set his sights on the ‘Doctor’ as positions changed lap after lap in their rear view mirror. In his maiden voyage to Volusia, Canadian Pat O’Brien came to a stop high in turn four to force out the third yellow flag and with 15 laps still to go Johnson led Fuller, Horton, Hearn and third-generation pilot David VanHorn. Fuller tried in vain to track down D.J. over the closing circuits but hopped the turn three berm with just five to go to bring his night to sudden end. Johnson coasted home for a commanding 10 car-length victory at the stripe followed by Horton, a fast-charging Alan Johnson, VanHorn and Hearn. Following Danny Johnson (176) in the final 2007 Florida DIRTcar Nationals points chase were Dale Planck (144), Jamie Mills & Brett Hearn each with 134, and Jimmy Horton (132).

With the 2007 Florida DIRTcar Nationals safely in the recordbook, teams packed up and headed home to get ready for the start of DIRT MotorSports NorthEast's 32nd season at their hometrack. The first major event of the season is the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series Big-Block Modified opener scheduled at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway on Saturday, March 31.

Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series – Volusia Speedway Park, February 17, 2007
36th Annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals presented by Mopar Speed Shop Event #3
BIG-BLOCK MODIFIED FEATURE
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER/HOMETOWN
1 3 27j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY ($5,000)
2 8 42 Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ
3 2 14j Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
4 6 71 David VanHorn/Phillipsburg,NJ
5 11 20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
6 17 34 Andy Bachetti/Sheffield,MA
7 5 42x Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
8 15 44s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
9 12 30 Jamie Mills/Milford,DE
10 1 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
11 10 14 Rick Laubach/Quakertown,PA
12 14 21k Randy Chrysler/Lewiston,NY
13 19 81 Rich Rutski/Somerville,NJ
14 25 79 Jeremy Markle/Port Jervis,NY
15 28 t21 Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY
16 16 88 Dick Larkin/Alford,MA
17 18 6pack Dave Schrader/Endeavor,PA
18 9 07 Tim Kerr/Picton,ONT
19 20 45 Wayne Jelley/Pittsfield,MA
20 23 79s Mike Storms/Wantage,NJ
21 22 923 Colin Jackson/Peckville,PA
22 27 8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
23 26 m40 Mark Forte,Jr./Blue Anchor,NJ
24 21 118 Sean Merkel/Gilbertsville,PA
25 4 19 Tim Fuller/Edwards, NY
26 13 6 Pat O'Brien/Kingston,ONT
27 7 42p Pat Ward/Genoa,NY
28 24 44 Gary Hager/Stewartsville,NJ
DID NOT QUALIFY(8)
0-Russ Hefti/Elbridge,NY
1-Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA
1w-Billy Pauch/Frenchtown,NJ
9-Brad Trice/Parsonsburg,MD
27m-Dan Hartgraves/Troy,NY
32c-Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY
48too-Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
66w-Wallace Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE
Lap Leaders: A.Johnson (1), Planck (2-8), D.Johnson (9-50).
Cautions: 4 (lap 7, lap 22, lap 35, lap 46).
QUALIFYING
Heat Races (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Planck, Decker, Kerr, O’Brien, Bachetti, Jackson, Scagliotta, Trice, Coffey.
#2: A.Johnson, VanHorn, Laubach, Ra.Chrysler, Schrader, Merkel, Hager, Hefti, Stacey.
#3: D.Johnson, Ward, Hearn, Sheppard, Rutski, Storms, Forte, Rauscher, Pauch (DNS).
#4: Fuller, Horton, Mills, Larkin, Jelley, Markle, Hartgraves, Greene, Ro.Chrysler.
Consolation Round (10 laps, top 8 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Merkel, Jackson, Storms, Hager, Markle, Forte, Scagliotta, Ro.Chrysler, Hartgraves, Rauscher, Greene, Trice, Coffey, Hefti (DNS), Stacey (DNS), Pauch (DNS).

Final Florida DIRTcar Nationals Point Standings (Top-10)
176-Danny Johnson, 144-Dale Planck, 134-Jamie Mills & Brett Hearn, 132-Jimmy Horton, 130-Andy Bachetti, 122-Matt Sheppard, 120-David VanHorn, 113-Alan Johnson, 110-Pat O’Brien.

2007 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series Big-Block Modified Roster (36)
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
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 Brad Trice/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
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
42x Billy Decker/Unadilla,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/TEO/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.
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
118 Sean Merkel/Gilbertsville,PA Merkel Rebar-Reid Automotive/TEO/Lombardo
923 Colin Jackson/Peckville,PA Ashford Cottages Bed& Breakfast-Jackson Excavating/Bicknell/Griffin

 

 

 

       

 

       
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