Planck Captures DIRTcar 358-Modified Victory at Weedsport
Small blocks shift to Syracuse, Rolling Wheels for Super DIRT Week
WEEDSPORT, NY – Oct. 5, 2011 – By Kevin Kovac/DIRTcar Racing P.R. – Dale Planck of Homer, N.Y., kicked off Super DIRT Week XL in fine fashion, scoring a $4,000 victory in Wednesday night’s 75-lap DIRTcar 358-Modified Series event at Weedsport Speedway. (Alex Bruce photo)
The 41-year-old veteran dominated the caution-free feature at the three-eighths-mile oval. He marched forward from the seventh starting spot to take the lead from Danny Johnson of Rochester, N.Y., on lap 38 and raced unchallenged the remainder of the distance.
“The car was as close to perfect as you can get,” Planck said of his Twin Leaf Express Teo-Pro machine. “It was good anywhere – and when we would get to traffic, it was even better. If the guy was on the bottom I could just say, ‘Well, O.K., I’m just going around him on the top,’ or vice-versa.
“To have a car that good at this track, with my record at this track – that was by far an accomplishment for me. This place has been tough for me. I’ve always struggled here. I had a good run in ’08 (when he captured a Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified event), but haven’t really been good since.”
Planck, who recorded his second triumph of the 2011 DIRTcar 358-Modified Series, built a commanding lead of over five seconds – more than a straightaway – shortly after gaining command. His final margin of victory was a more modest but still convincing 2.956 seconds over Frankie Caprara of Watertown, N.Y., who overtook Johnson for second on lap 68 en route to a noteworthy runner-up finish.
Caprara, 29, wore a smile as big as Planck’s following the race. Making just his second competitive start of 2011 after spending the entire 2010 season out of the cockpit, the young driver flashed the talent that had once made him one of the circuit’s rising racers.
“I’ve got two kids now and I’ve been busy at work (at his family’s F.X. Caprara Car Companies), going on the road a lot buying cars for the dealership,” said Caprara, who returned to racing last month at Can-Am Motorsports Park in Lafargeville, N.Y. “That’s been my main priority, but Mike Burdick, the Bartletts and Billy Allen put this deal together and I decided to try and go out and play a little.
“When we got here, I was telling myself, ‘Let’s just qualify and go from there.’ We set fast time in our group (though he was disqualified for weighing in light), and I thought, ‘Maybe we got something here.’ It was kind of like I got back on the bike and it came back pretty quick.”
Caprara, who started fifth in a Bicknell car he ran as a teammate to Perry Francis of Akwesasne, N.Y., ran in the top five throughout the race. He actually sliced Planck’s advantage almost in half over the final seven laps after reaching second place.
“With a caution at the end, maybe we could’ve done something,” said Caprara. “I found a line in the middle that really was working for me. They said I burned off some of the straightaway lead that Dale had.
“It would’ve been great to win, but I’m real happy. I’m so proud to give them a run like this.”
Johnson, who led laps 16-37, settled for third place in Mike Payne’s car after starting fourth. Jimmy Phelps of Baldwinsville, N.Y., advanced from the 13th starting spot to place fourth and third-starter Brett Hearn of Sussex, N.J., finished fifth after briefly running as high as second early in the event.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., was hot on Hearn’s rear bumper at the checkered flag, placing sixth after starting 21st in the 4-Star Racing car. Chad Brachmann of Sanborn, N.Y., faded to seventh at the finish after racing off the pole position to lead laps 1-15. Randy Chrysler of Lewiston, N.Y., was eighth, Danny O’Brien of Kingston, Ont., took ninth and Tim Currier of Auburn, N.Y., placed 10th.
Carey Terrance of Hogansburg, N.Y., finished 11th, maintaining his lead in the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series points standings despite using a provisional to start 28th in the feature. But his edge over O’Brien shrunk from 25 to 17 points.
Thirty-nine cars were signed in for the event, which was promoted by Jeremie Corcoran.
Fast-timers in their respective group-qualifying sessions were Planck (16.496 seconds), Clayton Benedict of Akwesasne, N.Y. (16.469), Mario Clair of St-Edwards, Que. (16.433) and Hearn (16.526).
Heat winners were O’Brien, Benedict, Johnson and Hearn. The consolations were topped by McCreadie and Justin Wright of Piffard, N.Y.
The DIRTcar 358-Modified Series continues its busy Super DIRT Week on Thursday night (Oct. 6) at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, N.Y. The tour will also contest the Nationwide Insurance 150 on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 8) at the one-mile New York State Fairgrounds.
Ticket information and details on all the action during Super DIRT Week is available at www.superdirtweekonline.com.
Results of Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Series at Weedsport Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (7) Dale Planck/75 $4,000
2. (5) Frankie Caprara/75 $2,500
3. (4) Danny Johnson/75 $1,500
4. (13) Jimmy Phelps/75 $1,200
5. (3) Brett Hearn/75 $1,000
6. (21) Tim McCreadie/75 $800
7. (1) Chad Brachmann/75 $700
8. (2) Randy Chrysler/75 $600
9. (9) Danny O’Brien/75 $550
10. (15) Tim Currier/75 $500
11. (28) Carey Terrance/75 $450
12. (8) Mario Clair/74 $400
13. (6) Jeff McGinnis/74 $375
14. (12) Mat Williamson/74 $350
15. (18) David Hebert/74 $325
16. (27) Travis Braun/74 $300
17. (19) Pierre Dagenias/74 $275
18. (10) Clayton Benedict/74 $250
19. (22) Justin Wright/74 $250
20. (11) Mike Mahaney/74 $250
21. (14) Mike Ward/74 $250
22. (16) Bobby Hentschel/74 $250
23. (30) Tommy Flannigan/74 $250
24. (26) Perry Francis/73 $250
25. (24) Bobby Henry Jr./73 $250
26. (29) Larry Welling/73 $250
27. (17) Tim Jones/61 $250
28. (25) Tony Steiner/55 $250
29. (20) Frank Cozze/39 $250
30. (23) Roy Bresnahan/3 $250
Time of Race: 22 Mins., 35.992 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.956 Secs.
Yellow Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Brachmann (1-15); D. Johnson (16-37); Planck (38-75)
Provisional Starters: Braun, Terrance, Welling, Flannigan
Heat No. 1 (8 laps – Top 5 Transfer): 1. Danny O’Brien, 2. Dale Planck, 3. Mat Williamson, 4. Jimmy Phelps, 5. Tim Jones, 6. Tony Steiner, 7. Rick Richner, 8. Casey Swamp, 9. Travis Braun, 10. Roger Chrysler
Heat No. 2 (8 laps – Top 5 Transfer): 1. Clayton Benedict, 2. Randy Chrysler, 3. Frankie Caprara, 4. Mike Ward, 5. David Hebert, 6. Larry Welling, 7. Carey Terrance, 8. Justin Wright, 9. Todd Stone, 10. Roy Shields
Heat No. 3 (8 laps – Top 5 Transfer): 1. Danny Johnson, 2. Mario Clair, 3. Chad Brachmann, 4. Tim Currier, 5. Pierre Dagenias, 6. Tim McCreadie, 7. Roy Bresnahan, 8. Todd Burley, 9. Anthony Rizzardo, 10. Tommy Flannigan
Heat No. 4 (8 laps – Top 5 Transfer): 1. Brett Hearn, 2. Mike Mahaney, 3. Jeff McGinnis, 4. Bobby Hentschel, 5. Frank Cozze, 6. Perry Francis, 7. Bobby Henry Jr., 8. Justin Sharp, 9. Don Mattison
Consolation No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): McCreadie, Bresnahan, Steiner, Braun, Burley, Richner, Flannigan, Rizzardo, Roger Chrysler, Swamp
Consolation No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Wright, Henry, Francis, Terrance, Welling, Stone, Sharp, Shields, Mattison
2011 DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Point Standings as of Oct. 6 (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Carey Terrance 1,600
2. Danny O’Brien 1,583 (-17)
3. Danny Johnson 1,573 (-27)
4. Mat Williamson 1,526 (-74)
5. Mario Clair 1,513 (-87)
6. David Hebert 1,507 (-93)
7. Travis Braun 1,396 (-204)
8. Stephane Lafrance 1,385 (-215)
9. Tommy Flannigan 1,363 (-237)
10. Matt Billings 1,315 (-285)
11. Luke Whittaker 1,289 (-311)
12. Claude Brouillard 1,263 (-337)
13. Tim O’Brien 1,261 (-339)
14. Joel Doiron 1,198 (-402)
15. Chad Brachmann 1,196 (-404)
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