LIVE UPDATES 10/9: Move-In Day At NAPA Super DIRT Week
More than 115 campers staged at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park — along with an endless line of RVs parked across the street from the New York State Fairgrounds — began rolling into the famed one-mile dirt oval when gates opened this morning at 8 o’clock to kick off NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLII.
The annual ‘move-in’ day was supposed to include both race car inspection and a ‘Happy Hour’ practice session for Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds, but DIRTcar officials decided to cancel this afternoon’s scheduled hot laps to allow the track crew more time to prepare the speedway’s surface after it was drenched by heavy rain earlier this week. With the cancelation, officials plan to start Thursday’s Modified practice a half-hour early at 9:30 a.m.
Skies are sunny and clear today in Syracuse, however, and NAPA Super DIRT Week action will continue tonight with the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series competing at Weedsport Speedway at the Cayuga County Fairgrounds.
And despite the cancelation, there are plenty of race teams working on their cars this afternoon in the Moody Mile’s pit area. Click the ‘Read More’ button below to check out some various news and notes happening today (and be sure to refresh your browser periodically to see the latest updates, including results from tonight’s action at Weedsport).
Capital District star
11:30 p.m. – Capital District standout Rocky Warner showed his stuff in central New York, passing Cody McPherson for the lead on lap 11 and then holding off Dave Marcuccilli to win the 30-lap DIRTcar Sportsman Series feature.
Marcuccilli finished just 0.480 of a second behind Warner in the runner-up spot and McPherson settled for third.
DIRTcar Sportsman Feature Finish (30 laps): 1. Rocky Warner, 2. Dave Marcuccilli, 3. Cody McPherson, 4. Ron Davis III, 5. Mathieu Desjardins, 6. Brad Rouse, 7. Kevin Ridley, 8. Martin Pelletier, 9. Adam Hilton, 10. Don Spatorico, 11. Justin Sharp, 12. Boyd MacTavish, 13. James Henry, 14. Nate Reynolds, 15. Michael Sabia, 16. James Michael Friesen, 17. Kane Bristol, 18. Joey Ladouceur, 19. A.J. Lloyd, 20. Daryl Nutting, 21. Ben Wheeler, 22. Kyle Fink, 23. Josh VanBrocklin, 24. Louie Jackson Jr., 25. Earl Rudy, 26. Jenna David, 27. Jessica Power, 28. Brandon Ford, 29. Steve Bernier, 30. Greg Martin
11 p.m. – Matt Sheppard marched forward from the sixth starting spot to pass Brett Hearn for the lead on lap 24 and never looked back en route to winning the 75-lap DIRTcar 358-Modified Series feature.
Keeping his challengers at arm’s length during the 40-lap run of green-flag racing that ended the race, Sheppard crossed the finish line 1.353 seconds ahead of Danny Johnson, who slipped by Jimmy Phelps off turn four on the final lap to steal the runner-up spot. Phelps, who played a pivotal role in preparing the Weedsport facility for action after the speedway was purchased by his Super DIRTcar Series big-block Modified owner Al Heinke, settled for third, Hearn slipped to fourth after leading laps 1-23 and Mike Mahaney placed fifth.
DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Feature Finish (75 laps): 1. Matt Sheppard, 2. Danny Johnson, 3. Jimmy Phelps, 4. Brett Hearn, 5. Mike Mahaney, 6. Dale Planck, 7. Larry Wight, 8. Tim McCreadie, 9. Pat Ward, 10. Danny O’Brien, 11. Ryan Godown, 12. Ryan Susice, 13. Mike Bowman, 14. Justin Haers, 15. Alan Johnson, 16. David Hebert, 17. Vic Coffey, 18. Roy Bresnahan, 19. Mat Williamson, 20. Erick Rudolph, 21. Chad Chevalier, 22. Brandon Easey, 23. Mario Clair, 24. Ryan Arbithnot, 25. Brian McDonald, 26. Stewart Friesen, 27. Carey Terrance, 28. Justin Wright, 29. Chad Brachmann, 30. Shawn Donath
10:05 p.m. – With the completion of qualifying (Ryan Godown and Carey Terrance won the 358-Modified consolations, and Joey Ladouceur and topped the Sportsman last-chance events), the 75-lap 358-Modified feature and 30-lap Sportsman headliner are the only races remaining on the schedule.
DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Feature Lineup:
Row 1: Brett Hearn/Mike Bowman
Row 2: Jimmy Phelps/Mike Mahaney
Row 3: Justin Haers/Matt Sheppard
Row 4: Brandon Easey/Dale Planck
Row 5: Stewart Friesen/Danny O’Brien
Row 6: David Hebert/Pat Ward
Row 7: Erick Rudolph/Danny Johnson
Row 8: Alan Johnson/Justin Wright
Row 9: Ryan Susice/Chad Brachmann
Row 10: Tim McCreadie/Shawn Donath
Row 11: Ryan Godown/Carey Terrance
Row 12: Roy Bresnahan/Larry Wight
Row 13: Chad Chevalaier/Mat Williamson
Row 14: Mario Clair/Brian McDonald
Row 15: Ryan Arbithnot/Vic Coffey
DIRTcar Sportsman Series Feature Lineup:
Row 1: Adam Hilton/Greg Martin
Row 2: Cody MacPherson/Ron Davis III
Row 3: Dave Marcuccilli/Rocky Warner
Row 4: Kevin Ridley/Martin Pelletier
Row 5: Brad Rouse/James Henry
Row 6: Boyd MacTavish/Don Spatorico
Row 7: Josh VanBrocklin/A.J. Lloyd
Row 8: Justin Sharp/Michael Sabia
Row 9: Nate Reynolds/James Michael Friesen
Row 10: Kane Bristol/Brandon Ford
Row 11: Joey Ladouceur/Mathieu Desjardins
Row 12: Jenna David/Kyle Fink
Row 13: Earl Rudy/Steve Bernier
Row 14: Ben Wheeler/Daryl Nutting
Row 15: Louie Jackson Jr./Jessica Power
9:45 p.m. – A red flag was thrown on lap eight of the first 10-lap 358-Modified consolation following a multi-car restart off turn four. Near the front of the wreck Randy Chrysler, who restarted in third place, was t-boned by Zach Aubertine, with Aubertine’s front end ending up in the left side window opening of Chrysler’s machine.
Safety crews carefully worked to pull Aubertine’s car away from Chrysler’s, and after a few minutes the always jovial Chrysler crawled out and waved to the crowd.
New Jersey’s Ryan Godwon went on to win the first consolation over Roy Bresnahan and Chad Chevalier.
Sportsman heats complete
9:05 p.m. – Greg Martin, Brad Rouse, Dave Marcuccilli and Don Spatorico captured the four 8-lap DIRTcar Sportsman heats.
Heat No. 1 Finish (8 laps/top 5 transfer to feature): 1. Greg Martin, 2. Martin Pelletier, 3. Cody MacPherson, 4. Josh VanBrocklin, 5. Nate Reynolds, 6. Joey Ladouceur, 7. Ben Wheeler, 8. John Ellsworth (DQ – light) Louie Jackson Jr.
Heat No. 2 Finish (8 laps/top 5 transfer to feature): 1. Brad Rouse, 2. Kevin Ridley, 3. Ron Davis III, 4. A.J. Lloyd, 5. James Michael Friesen, 6. Jenna David, 7. Earl Rudy, 8. Chris Daugherty, 9. Jeremy Pitcher
Heat No. 3 Finish (8 laps/top 5 transfer to feature): 1. Dave Marcuccilli, 2. Rocky Warner, 3. Boyd MacTavish, 4. Justin Sharp, 5. Kane Bristol, 6. Kyle Fink, 7. Mathieu Dejardins, 8. Steve Bernier, 9. Daryl Nutting
Heat No. 4 Finish (8 laps/top 5 transfer to feature): 1. Don Spatorico, 2. Adam Hilton, 3. James Henry, 4. Michael Sabia, 5. Brandon Ford, 6. Jessica Power, 7. Phil Vigneri III, 8. Ricky Thompson, 9. John Miller
358-Mod Heat action
8:40 p.m. – Brandon Easey, Brett Hearn, Danny O’Brien, Dale Planck and Mike Mahaney were victorious in the five 8-lap DIRTcar 358-Modified heats. They will be joined in the feature redraw by runners-up Justin Haers, Matt Sheppard, Mike Bowman (who nipped Erick Rudolph for second by inches in the third heat), Stewart Friesen and Jimmy Phelps.
Heat No. 1 Finish (8 laps/top 4 transfer to feature): 1. Brandon Easey, 2. Justin Haers, 3. David Hebert, 4. Justin Wright, 5. Randy Chrysler, 6. Kevin Bates, 7. Yan Bussiere, 8. Tyler Dippel, 9. Kyle Weiss, 10. Alan Therrien, 11. Dave Flannigan Jr.
Heat No. 2 Finish (8 laps/top 4 transfer to feature): 1. Brett Hearn, 2. Matt Sheppard, 3. Pat Ward, 4. Ryan Susice, 5. Mat Williamson, 6. Chad Chevalier, 7. Mark D’llario, 8. Brian McDonald, 9. Tommy Flannigan, 10. Ryan Arbithnot, 11. Mike Ward
Heat No. 3 Finish (8 laps/top 4 transfer to feature): 1. Danny O’Brien, 2. Mike Bowman, 3. Erick Rudolph, 4. Chad Brachmann, 5. Mario Clair, 6. Larry Wight, 7. Jeff McGinnis, 8. Shane Donath, 9. Brian Sage, 10. C.G. Morey
Heat No. 4 Finish (8 laps/top 4 transfer to feature): 1. Dale Planck, 2. Stewart Friesen, 3. Danny Johnson, 4. Tim McCreadie, 5. Carey Terrance, 6. Roy Bresnahan, 7. Vic Coffey, 8. Roger Chrysler, 9. Jordan McCreadie, 10. Bill Mullin
Heat No. 5 Finish (8 laps/top 4 transfer to feature): 1. Mike Mahaney, 2. Jimmy Phelps, 3. Alan Johnson, 4. Shawn Donath, 5. Ryan Godown, 6. Pierre Dagenias, 7. Zach Aubertine, 8. Bob Winters, 9. Roger Levesque (DNS) Roy Shields
7:50 p.m. – Quebec’s David Hebert was the fastest overall qualifier in the DIRTcar 358-Modified group time trials, turning a lap of 16.056 seconds. He will start from the pole position in tonight’s first of five 8-lap heat races (top four qualify/top two redraw).
Dave Marcuccilli, meanwhile, was the fastest overall Sportsman qualifier at 17.234 seconds.
DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Heat Race Lineups/Qualifying Times:
Heat No. 1
Row 1: 1H-David Hebert (16.056)/06-Brandon Easey (16.291)
Row 2: 21x-Justin Haers (16.619)/11J-Justin Wright (16.646)
Row 3: 21K-Randy Chrysler (16.781)/21w-Kyle Weiss (16.931)
Row 4: 21-Yan Bussiere (16.944)/55-Kevin Bates (17.073)
Row 5: 39a-Alan Therrien (17.231)/74-Dave Flannigan Jr. (17.521)
Row 6: 1T-Tyler Dippel (N/T)
Heat No. 2
Row 1: 20-Brett Hearn (16.162)/9s-Matt Sheppard (16.401)
Row 2: 42P-Pat Ward (16.457)/6m-Mat Williamson (16.576)
Row 3: 12-Chad Chevalier (16.588)/38-Ryan Susice (16.853)
Row 4: 08-Mark D’llario (16.884)/R70-Ryan Arbithnot (16.922)
Row 5: 45-Mike Ward (16.942)/151-Brian McDonald (16.978)
Row 6: 72-Tommy Flannigan (17.014)
Heat No. 3
Row 1: 71-Mike Bowman (16.189)/17d-Danny O’Brien (16.302)
Row 2: 22c-Mario Clair (16.526)/25-Erick Rudolph (16.586)
Row 3: 3b-Chad Brachmann (16.664)/99L-Larry Wight (16.763)
Row 4: 1R-Jeff McGinnis (16.840)/12s-Brian Sage (16.865)
Row 5: z28-Shawn Donath (16.874)/14G-C.G. Morey (17.644)
Heat No. 4
Row 1: 7-Stewart Friesen (16.388)/7z-Dale Planck (16.395)
Row 2: 4*-Tim McCreadie (16.413)/27J-Danny Johnson (16.419)
Row 3: 66x-Carey Terrance (16.557)/02-Roy Bresnahan (16.722)
Row 4: 32c-Vic Coffey (16.750)/21T-Roger Chrysler (17.244)
Row 5: 9J-Jordan McCreadie (17.414)/3-Bill Mullin (17.578)
Heat No. 5
Row 1: 99J-Jimmy Phelps (16.495)/33-Mike Mahaney (16.515)
Row 2: 14J-Alan Johnson (16.779)/53-Shawn Donath (16.806)
Row 3: 124-Pierre Dagenias (16.829)/747-Ryan Godown (16.886)
Row 4: 3-Zach Aubertine (17.191)/R1-Bob Winters (17.291)
Row 5: 24b-Roger Levesque (18.667)/82s-Roy Shields (N/T)
DIRTcar Sportsman Series Heat Race Lineups/Qualifying Times:
Heat No. 1
Row 1: 4-Greg Martin (17.328)/92P-Martin Pelletier (17.360)
Row 2: 7-Cody MacPherson (17.363)/24-Louie Jackson Jr. (17.394)
Row 3: 92-Joey Ladouceur (17.486)/10-Josh VanBrocklin (17.486)
Row 4: 6R-Nate Reynolds (17.491)/11-Ben Wheeler (17.567)
Row 5: 316-John Ellsworth (17.737)
Heat No. 2
Row 1: 15-Brad Rouse (17.306)/20x-Kevin Ridley (17.322)
Row 2: 32R-Ron Davis III (17.327)/1F-A.J. Lloyd (17.552)
Row 3: 19J-James Michael Friesen (17.581)/2-Jenna David (17.718)
Row 4: 45-Chris Daugherty (17.750)/16-Earl Rudy (17.774)
Row 5: 14-Jeremy Pitcher (N/T)
Heat No. 3
Row 1: m1-dave marcuccilli (17.234)/79-Rocky Warner (17.281)
Row 2: 31-Kane Bristol (17.481)/8s-Justin Sharp (17.487)
Row 3: 11F-Kyle Fink (17.516)/41-Boyd MacTavish (17.540)
Row 4: 25*-Steve Bernier (17.583)/3m-Mathieu Dejardins (17.628)
Row 5: 42-Daryl Nutting (17.942)
Heat No. 4
Row 1: 3s-Adam Hilton (17.440)/5-Don Spatorico (17.555)
Row 2: 29-James Henry (17.599)/7s-Michael Sabia (17.613)
Row 3: 18-Brandon Ford (17.807)/8a-Jessica Power (17.920)
Row 4: 44-Phil Vigneri III (17.953)/1Rx-Ricky Thompson (17.962)
Row 5: 12-John Miller (18.223)
7:30 p.m. – Five drivers enter tonight’s DIRTcar 358-Modified Series action locked in a nip-and-tuck struggle for the division’s overall championship. Young Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y. — the son of former Mr. DIRTcar Modified titlist Charlie Rudolph — sits atop the standings, holding a 34-point edge over fellow Niagara Frontier racer Mat Williamson. David Hebert and Carey Terrance are tied for third (-46 points) and Mario Clair is fifth (-47 points).
Just three more events remain on the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series schedule: tomorrow night at Brewerton (N.Y.) Speedway, Saturday at the New York State Farigrounds and Oct. 19 at Brockville Ontario Speedway.
Underway at Weedsport
7:10 p.m. – Banner fields of 52 DIRTcar 358-Modifieds and 35 DIRTcar Sportsman are signed in for tonight’s doubleheader at Weedsport Speedway, which is hosting its first event of 2013 and first since it was purchased by DIRTcar Modified team owner Al Heinke.
Under Heinke’s ownership, the DIRTcar flagship track has reverted to its original Weedsport Speedway moniker from the Cayuga County Fair Speedway name it has used for three decades. A big crowd is packing the stands and the pit area is overflowing with cars; in fact, about a dozen haulers are situated in the spectator parking lot behind the grandstand because there is no room left in the pit area.
Time trials for the two divisions are currently taking place….
Calling it a day
3:35 p.m. – DIRTcar officials shut down the technical inspection a short time ago, ending today’s official activities at the Mile. Officials inspected 66 entries for the big-block Modified competition and 51 machines in the 358-Modified ranks.
The big-block Modified entry list includes several 358-Modified competitors that entered the same car in both divisions for additional track time.
Just too wet
2:40 p.m. – The decision to cancel today’s ‘Happy Hour’ practice for big-block Modifieds was made by officials at approximately 12:30 p.m. after it became apparent that the racing surface needed more time to dry out from the heavy rain that struck over the weekend and into Monday afternoon.
“The track crew determined that they just couldn’t bring the surface up to optimal standards for practice today,” said NAPA Super DIRT Week pit steward Dennis Moquin. “The surface is still very wet from all the rain that fell, so we decided that it would be best to let it dry out one more day so it’s right when cars go out there for the first time.”
The skies over Syracuse are brilliantly sunny today with temperatures in the 60s — and weather forecasts seem to indicate more of the same conditions are in store for the remainder of NAPA Super DIRT Week. But the days leading up to today’s ‘move-in’ day were certainly a different story. Not only was there heavy rain over the weekend and again on Monday, but the precipitation was accompanied by strong winds that inflicted damage across the Fairgrounds. Among other things, the winds ripped the facade from the ticket center (at Gate 6) and brought down the frame structure; scaffold towers were knocked askew; fencing was toppled; and virtually all banners and signs attached to fences were torn apart.
NAPA Super DIRT Week staff worked hard to clean up the damage in time for the arrival of campers today.