LIVE UPDATES 10/12: Saturday At NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week
SYRACUSE, NY – Oct. 12, 2013 – NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week main-event action starts today with a doubleheader featuring the ‘Salute to the Troops’ 358-Modified Championship 150 and the DIRTcar Sportsman Championship 30.
On a brilliantly sunny and increasingly warm fall day, the headlining 150-miler for the small-block Modifieds is scheduled to take the green flag at 1:30 p.m. The race will be followed by the DIRTcar Sportsman Championship 30 at 4:30 p.m.
For the latest updates and a variety of news and notes, click the ‘Read More’ link below. Be sure to refresh your browser regularly to see the most up-to-date information.
New Sportsman winner
6:55 p.m. – Brad Rouse of St. Catharines, Ont., is back in the pit area after surviving a rough-and-tumble DIRTcar Sportsman Championship 30 to win the race for the first time in his career.
Rouse beat Jeremy Pitts of Clifton Park, N.Y., to the finish line by 0.560 of a second. Steve Barber of Joyceville, Ont., finished third, polesitter Brett Wright of East Chatham, N.Y., placed fourth and outside-polesitter Chris Herbison of Mallorytown, N.Y., completed the top five.
The complete order of finish for the Sportsman feature can be seen here.
‘Salute to the Troops’ 150 finish
5:35 p.m. – The complete order of finish for the ‘Salute to the Troops’ DIRTcar 358-Modified 150 has been released. It can be seen by clicking here.
Day not done yet
5:30 p.m. – There’s still racing left on today’s NAPA Super DIRT Week schedule. The DIRTcar Sportsman Championship 30 is lined up on pit road and will head onto the racetrack momentarily after a short big-block Modified practice session gets the checkered flag.
The lineup for the DIRTcar Sportsman Championship 30 is below….
DIRTcar Sportsman Championship 30 Lineup
Row 1: Brett Wright/Chris Herbison
Row 2: Shane Pecore/Cody McPherson
Row 3: Daniel Wiesner/Brett Martin
Row 4: Jeremy Pitts/Mathieu Desjardins
Row 5: Jenna David/Steve Barber
Row 6: James Henry/Michael Sabia
Row 7: Sammy Reakes IV/Justin House
Row 8: Eric Giguere/Corey Wheeler
Row 9: Ricky Quick/Jessica Power
Row 10: Martin Pelletier/Rocky Warner
Row 11: David Marcuccilli/Brad Rouse
Row 12: Adam Hilton/Kevin Wills
Row 13: Ryan Darcy/Robert Bublak Jr.
Row 14: Steve Bernier/Joey Ladouceur
Row 15: Boyd MacTavish/Louis Jackson Jr.
The official finish of the DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship 150 will be posted shortly….
Celebration for Brett & Co.
5 p.m. – Brett Hearn is posing on the winner’s stage with his team — a very happy winner after losing last year’s 150 to an empty fuel tank.
Fuller finished nearly a straightaway behind Hearn in second place. Alain Boisvert was a very excited third-place finisher, representing his home province of Quebec well with a career-best finish in his fourth 150 start but first since 1998. Jimmy Horton placed fourth in his 17th career 150 start and Matt Billings earned Hard Charger of the Race honors with his drive forward from the 36th starting to place fifth.
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Andy Bachetti, J.R. Heffner, Marc Johnson, Rookie of the Race Andrew Krause and Tim McCreadie.
Crushing turn of events for Dunn
4:45 p.m. – Billy Dunn ran out of fuel entering turn one on the final lap, handing the lead — and victory — to Brett Hearn, who lost last year’s 358-Modified 150 when his car’s gas tank ran dry in the final laps.
It’s the fifth 358-Modified 150 victory for Hearn, who crossed the finish line ahead of Tim Fuller, Alain Boisvert, Jimmy Horton and Matt Billings.
Lap 136: Terrance’s great ride ends
A long stretch of green-flag racing ended on lap 136 when Carey Terrance stopped on the homestretch, ending his best performance ever in the 358-Modified 150. He was running fourth and had briefly pressured Billy Decker hard for third place.
Terrance pitted and has returned, albeit now off the lead lap. It appears that he ran out of gas.
Billy Dunn, whose only previous start in the 358-Modified 150 was last year when he finished second, is closing in on the biggest victory of his career. He hasn’t received a serious challenge from Hearn since gaining command.
Billy Decker sits third for the lap-140 restart, followed by Fuller, Alain Boisvert, Horton, Matt Billings, Andy Bachetti, J.R. Heffner, Jimmy Blewett, Marc Johnson, Andrew Krause, Tim McCreadie and Erick Rudolph.
Lap 121: R.J.’s day ends
Just three laps after losing the lead Ronnie Johnson slowed and pulled onto the inner cinder track, his hopes dashed by a left-front flat tire.
With 125 laps complete, Dunn is negotiating lapped traffic with Brett Hearn definitely within striking distance. Billy Decker is bit farther back in third and has a very racy Carey Terrance pressuring him hard for the position.
Lap 118: New leader
After Billy Dunn’s outside bid to pass Ronnie Johnson for the lead through turns one and two fell short on lap 117, he dived to the inside of Johnson in turn three and made the move stick. Dunn assumed command as lap 118 went on the scoreboard.
Lap 110: Battle heating up
If Ronnie Johnson needed any incentive to turn up the wick, he got it on lap 107 when Billy Dunn caught the leader and gave him a couple bumps in the back bumper heading down the backstretch.
Dunn is now all over Johnson, with Brett Hearn closing fast to make it a three-car race at the front. Billy Decker, Tim Fuller and Carey Terrance are also drawing closer.
Lap 97: Heartbreak for Friesen
Stewart Friesen appeared to be cruising toward becoming the ninth driver in history to win both the Syracuse 200 and 358-Modified event at NAPA Super DIRT Week, but he suddenly slowed racing down the backstretch on lap 97 and pulled off the track with terminal mechanical trouble. His crew has the car’s hood off and is trying to diagnose the problem.
Ronnie Johnson moved back into the lead as lap 98 was scored. He led Dunn, Hearn, Billy Decker and Fuller as lap 100 went on the scoreboard.
Lap 85: Raabe slows
Chris Raabe slowed in turn two to bring out the race’s fourth caution flag, continuing a rough day for the outside polesitter. Earlier, when he pitted on lap 24, he returned to the track with his gas can still attached to his car, forcing him to pit again and lose the lead lap.
Friesen was cruising during the seven-lap stretch of green-flag racing that preceded the caution for Raabe,racing comfortably ahead of Ronnie Johnson. Dunn sits third, followed by Hearn, Billy Decker, Fuller, Terrance, Boisvert, Sears and Horton.
Lap 70: Caution for Willy Decker
Willy Decker slowed in turn one, bringing out the race’s third caution flag. He limped into the pit area and went behind the wall.
Leader Rudolph and second-place Tremont pitted on lap 74, handing the top spot to Friesen. The two-time Syracuse 200 winner now sits in prime position to add a 358-Modified 150 victory to his burgeoning NAPA Super DIRT Week resume.
Ronnie Johnson sits second for the lap-78 restart, followed by Dunn, Hearn, Billy Decker, Fuller, Terrance, Alain Boisvert, Tim Sears Jr. and Jimmy Horton.
Lap 63: Here comes Stewy
Stewart Friesen showed his strength on lap 59, tossing his car to the outside of turn one to overtake Ronnie Johnson (and a lapped car) for third place. He’s now in the driver’s seat, closing in on leader Erick Rudolph and second-place Kenny Tremont.
Lap 50: One-third of the way home
As the lap counter reached 50, Rudolph held sway over Tremont, Ronnie Johnson, Friesen, Hearn, Dunn, Corellis, Decker, Fuller and Terrance.
Lap 40: Caution for Arbuthnot
Ryan Arbuthnot slowed in turn two, bringing out the race’s second caution flag.
Just before the caution, on lap 38, Erick Rudolph overtook Marc Johnson to grab the lead. The young driver, who is chasing his first-ever DIRTcar 358-Modified championship, is making his second career 358-Modified 150 start but first since 2009.
Rudolph opted to remain on the track as drivers who did not pit during the previous caution came in on lap 42. The Ransomville, N.Y., racer will head to the restart leading Kenny Tremont, who has not yet pitted, and Ronnie Johnson, who came out of the pits first on lap 24 and now finds himself in prime position to take over the top spot with his Palmer Motorsports mount apparently ready to go the remainder of the distance.
Lap 32: Marc Johnson in command
With many drivers, including leader Ronnie Johnson, choosing to pit on lap 24, Marc Johnson has moved into the top spot. He leads Erick Rudolph, Mat Williamson, Larry Wight and Kenny Tremont at lap 30.
During the lap-24 pit action, it appeared that Tim McCreadie was unable to get to his pit stall because other cars had it blocked. He then nearly collided with Billy Decker when Decker pulled out of his stall; McCreadie returned to the track and then pitted again on lap 26 for extra servicing, putting him well behind his rivals.
Lap 22: First caution
Quebec’s Yan Bussiere slowed in turn two, bringing the race under caution. He’s on pit road now and his crew has taken off the car’s hood.
Ronnie Johnson leads Billy Dunn, Chris Raabe, Marc Johnson, Stewart Friesen, Carey Terrance, Larry Wight, Mat Williamson, Erick Rudolph and Billy Decker, but many are about to pit.
Lap 19: Dunn looking strong
Watertown, N.Y.’s Billy Dunn, who finished second in last year’s 150, has bolted forward from the 11th starting spot to sit in second place. He’s beginning to test leader Ronnie Johnson, who is negotiating some lapped traffic.
Lap 13: Settling in
Ronnie Johnson continues to set the pace as most drivers in the field appear to be putting in some laps as smoothly as possible. Stewart Friesen, though, has been making some moves, advancing from the ninth starting spot to his current sixth-place running position.
Lap 5: It’s R.J. so far
Ronnie Johnson grabbed the lead at the initial green flag and still holds it. He’s a few car lengths ahead of Chris Raabe, with Marc Johnson, Carey Terrance and Billy Dunn following.
One driver who had a rough opening lap was Tim McCreadie, who slid high between turns one and two and fell from eighth to 12th.
2:45 p.m. – Fans in the upper portion of the massive New York State Fairgrounds grandstand are ready for the start of the 150….
Ready or not….
2:35 p.m. – The command to fire engines has been giving and the 40-car field is beginning to roll onto the track.
Under rules for today’s 150, all drivers are required to make one pit stop, but there is not time frame for the servicing. Teams can pit whenever they chose; the only stipulation for the stop to be considered legitimate is that teams jack a wheel off the ground and touch the car with the fuel can.
Set to go
2:25 p.m. – Under a brilliant blue, cloudless sky — how many times can you say that about a day in Syracuse during NAPA Super DIRT Week? — driver introductions for the 358-Modified 150 are underway. The scene is pictured below….
2:05 p.m. – With all of today’s preliminary action complete (Rob Yetman topped Pro Stock time trials to earn the pole position for tomorrow’s 25-lapper; click here for full results), all focus is on the ‘Salute to the Troops’ 358-Modified Championship 150. The 40-car starting field is sitting angled in the their stalls on pit road and teams are making final preparations.
Driver introductions will be beginning soon, with the 150-mile race to follow. The starting lineup is below….
‘Salute to the Troops’ 358-Modified Championship 150 Starting Lineup
|7||6||Mat Williamson||St Catharines,ON|
|12||83X||Tim Sears Jr.||Clay,NY|
|16||115||Kenny Tremont Jr.||West Sand Lake,NY|
|23||5||Jimmy Horton||Neshanic Sta.,NJ|
|26||1H||David Hebert||St. Damase,QC|
|30||57||Donnie Corellis||Averuk Park,NY|
McDonald, Arbuthnot top 358 qualifiers
1:10 p.m. – Brian McDonald and Ryan Arbuthnot topped the pair of eight-lap 358-Modified Last Chance Qualifiers. The results are below:
358-Modified Last Chance Qualifier No. 1
358-Modified Last Chance Qualifier No. 2
|10||47w||Gary Wagner||3||5 Laps|
|DNS||959||John Lutes Jr.||0||–|
1 p.m. – Martin Pelletier, Rocky Warner and Dave Marcuccilli were victorious in the three 8-lap Last Chance Races for the DIRTcar Sportsman. The finishes of each race are below:
Sportsman Last Chance Race No. 1
|11||93J||Dave Constantino||2||6 Laps|
Sportsman Last Chance Race No. 2
|3||27b||Robert Bublak Jr||8||3.757|
Sportsman Last Chance Race No. 3
|8||18J||Louie Jackson Jr.||5||3 Laps|
Britten’s bad luck
12:30 p.m. – Armed with the sixth starting spot in last night’s first big-block Modified heat race, Australian Peter Britten was primed to secure a starting position near the front of the Syracuse 200. His hopes effectively ended on the opening lap, however, when he was the innocent victim of contact between two cars ahead of him.
As Britten was entering turn one, he saw two machines make contact. Then “something orange came off (Jeff) Rockefeller’s car and came right at me.” With Britten unable to avoid a flying object while traveling at full speed, the debris crashed into the hood of his Troyer No. 21a with great force, tearing a hole in the bodywork and inflicting residual damage underneath.
“I immediately started getting moisture coming up on my (helmet) shield,” said Britten. “Whatever it was knocked off the expansion tank and coolant started flying back up in my face. Then it shut the motor off and I had to pull in.”
Saddled with a 21st-place finish, Britten fell far short of earning a transfer spot to the Syracuse 200. Fortunately, though, the engine was not hurt by the incident – and, as a Super DIRTcar Series regular, Britten holds provisional-starter status for the 200 that grants him a starting spot at the front of one of tomorrow’s two Last Chance Qualifiers.
Britten has started the Syracuse 200 in each of the last two years, finishing 25th in 2011 and 27th in ’12.
Up to speed
11:40 a.m. – The racetrack has been run in and practice is now well underway. DIRTcar Sportsman have been on the speedway and DIRTcar 358-Modifieds are now turning fast circuits.
The schedule has been revised slightly to have today’s racing begin shortly with the three 8-lap Last Chance Qualifiers for the Sportsman. The 358-Modified Last Chance Qualifiers and Pro Stock time trials will follow, setting the stage for the 358-Modified 150 that officials hope to start as close as possible to the scheduled 1:30 p.m.
11:30 a.m. – After losing last night’s final big-block Modified heat to Larry Wight thanks to some trouble with a lapped car, Jimmy Phelps’s HBR Troyer No. 98H is sitting in the pit are with its engine noticeably missing from its frame rails.
What gives? Did Phelps’s powerplant expire as he rode across the finish line in second place?
“It’s nothing real serious,” Kurt Weigel, Phelps’s chief mechanic, said this morning. “The motor had been pushing some coolant out, so we decided to take it out and send it back to our motor builder to have him go through it and make sure everything’s O.K.”
Of course, the shop of the team’s engine builder, Bob Bruneau, is located in Connecticut, so taking the powerplant in for some preventative work isn’t a simple hop, skip and a jump from Syracuse. It’s roughly a five-hour drive each way to Bruneau’s headquarters, so it’s a bit more involved undertaking than you’d think.
Weigel said the team has quality backup engines in the trailer, but they want to do everything they can to stick with their primary motor because rules for the Syracuse 200 state that drivers must relinquish their starting spot and take the green flag from the rear of the field if they change engines. Phelps is scheduled to start third in tomorrow’s 200, so the team had DIRTcar officials stamp their primary engine before taking it away to Bruneau’s.
“We should have the motor back later today,” said Weigel.
Drying the track
10:40 a.m. – After the DIRTcar 358-Modified drivers who went out on the speedway found the surface still a bit too wet following overnight track work and a damp morning for them to get up to speed, the start of today’s action has been delayed slightly. Pro Stocks along with some track-prep equipment are currently on the oval attempting to complete the packing process so practice can commence.
Below are the lineups for today’s five Last Chance Qualifiers that will precede Pro Stock time trials and the pair of headline events.
358-Modified Last Chance Qualifiers
Race No. 1
Row 1: Yan Bussiere/Brian McDonald
Row 2: Brandon Sweet/Bob McGannon
Row 3: Kevin Albert/Jasmine Levelle
Row 4: Neal Williams/Olden Dwyer
Row 5: Rich Scagliotta/Henry Maeir
Row 6: Brian Swarthout/Aaron Jacobs
Row 7: Gary Wagner/Bob Sarkisian
Row 8: Ryan Godown
Race No. 2
Row 1: Ryan Arbuthnot/Chad Brachmann
Row 2: Clement Therrien/Tim Currier
Row 3: Scott Flammer/Tommy Flannigan
Row 4: Darwin Greene/John McClelland
Row 5: Matt Billings/Chad Jeseo
Row 6: Jeff Rockefeller/Scott Boudinot
Row 7: Dan Humes/Dominick Buffalino
Row 8: John Lutes Jr.
DIRT Sportsman Last Chance Qualifiers
Race No. 1
Row 1: Martin Pelletier/Joey Ladouceur
Row 2: Brad Rouse/Ricky Thompson
Row 3: Ryan Darcy/Jimmy Spellman
Row 4: Chris Daugherty/Corey Winters
Row 5: Taylor Lamb/Jack Gentile
Row 6: John Aumick/Matt Farnham
Row 7: Dave Constantino
Race No. 2
Row 1: Boyd MacTavish/Adam Hilton
Row 2: Rocky Warner/Mike Maresca
Row 3: Matt Janiak/Robert Bublak Jr.
Row 4: Steve Hicks/Brent Kelsey
Row 5: Robert Delormer/Troy VanAllen
Row 6: John Miller/Kevin Ward
Row 7: Sean Letts
Race No. 3
Row 1: Louie Jackson Jr./Gary Lindberg
Row 2: Dave Marcuccilli/Kevin Wills
Row 3: Steve Bernier/Chris Hulsizer
Row 4: Bob Reis/Ryan Stabler
Row 5: Jimmy Maier/Chris Thurston
Row 6: Troy Arnold/Allen Wills
10:15 a.m. – DIRTcar 358-Modifieds are now on the Moody Mile warming up to get Saturday’s on-track action going. The first racing will be begin shortly when two 8-lap Last Chance Qualifiers for the 358-Modifieds are contested with the top-three finishers from each moving on to the 150.
Today’s schedule also includes three 8-lap Last Chance Qualifiers for the Sportsman (two qualify from each) and time trials for tomorrow’s DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship event (the 24 qualifiers lock into the feature).