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Found 7 results

  1. Fuller Crowned King of the Big Blocks at Bridgeport Friesen and McLaughlin finish behind Fuller after 100 lap New Jersey clash SWEDESBORO, NJ – With his first win since 2018, Tim Fuller, hero of the North Country, took over the race lead at the halfway point and never looked back. If he had looked back, Fuller would have seen the looming shadow of Stewart Friesen getting larger but after relegating Max McLaughlin to third, the #44 Halmar Racing Big Block failed to reel in the leader by the conclusion of the 100-lap, $10,000-to-win King of the Big Blocks. Quentin Young photo Tim Fuller, from Watertown, NY, has now eclipsed the late Jack Johnson’s all-time Super DIRTcar Series win total with Series victory number 32 to his name. He did it after starting in the first position outside of the redraw, thirteenth, and dressing by the best Big Block Modified drivers around including fellow podium finishers Stewart Friesen and Max McLaughlin. Early in the race, Fuller had to make some gutsy moves but he was so fast that he avoided taking big risks along the way. By the halfway point the #19 St. Lawrence Radiology Big Block was in the lead. Then he hit lapped traffic and that’s where experience became vital. “I’ve been doing it so long that I’ve learned to be patient with lapped traffic and not rush it,” said Fuller. “I’ve seen people crash themselves out and lose the race because you are overdriving and it's stupid. I’ve lost them that way and I’ve won them that way. It’s your race to lose when you are leading. Protect the bottom and don’t get slid.” By holding on for the victory, Fuller attained some redemption after allowing Friesen to pass him late in the Thousand Islands 100 at Can-Am Speedway in April this year. The Halmar driver went into Bridgeport with a historic three-race win streak to start the championship season. “Friesen is the best in the business right now,” Fuller conceded. “There’s no question about it. He’s in the prime of his career. I remember being his age. He can still see very well! He has so much ability and he’s not going away for a while so anytime you can win one over him means you’re doing something right.” The racing on the track was intense with three and four-wide moments everywhere. The Hoosier Racing Tire compound game was just as hotly contested as the side-by-side action on the speedway. It played a crucial role in the outcome of the race. “I knew I had soft rubber on the left side and right front,” Fuller noted of his tire choices. “My right rear was as hard as you can get. I think the other guys were running the softer tire. I made a shock change on the right front before the Heat Race and I liked that. We just got better and better. The long-distance races here I’ll take them all day long.” After redrawing the eleventh starting position, Friesen took his #44 up 10 spots to pick up the second-place finish. “We were good,” said Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON driver Stewart Friesen. “We went as hard as we could get with the tire. I think some of those early cautions hurt us a bit when the tires got hot and cooled back off. We’ve got some momentum going and fast race cars. Big thanks to Halmar and Chris Larsen.” He won last year’s King of the Big Blocks and many had him touted as the favorite to win the 2021 edition. Ten more laps or one more restart may have put the ball in his court but the race stayed green and Fuller put too many lapped cars between himself and the #44 for Friesen to challenge him. Tire compound choice was vital. “We have a good notebook from last year,” Friesen noted. “We went as hard as we could go last year too and the track was more abrasive then. Tonight, for whatever reason it stayed a little bit slicker. We were good at the end but we just didn’t fire at the beginning. If you look at those cautions it’s a woulda/coulda/shoulda scenario. We’ll chalk it up and roll on to the next one.” Friesen steadily moved through the field to the front. “It’s an awesome race track,” he said. “Super racy. If you enter on the bottom you can get in there good but then you lose all your momentum to the guys sailing on the outside. It was a little bit sketchy on the restarts going three and four wide. It was fun.” Third-place finisher Max McLaughlin led the second-most laps of the race. The #32C started fifth but was soon mixing it up with the top 3 including pole-sitter and former HBR teammate Jimmy Phelps who had a strong night and ultimately finished fifth. “These races are too long to count on anything early,” McLaughlin said of his early domination. “I knew when we fired well on the restart and drove right to the lead that I may have made the wrong.” Again, the tire game in the pits made for an exciting Feature on the track. “I ran a 400 right year and 300s in the other three,” McLaughlin said. “They were running 400s and 500s so they [Fuller and Friesen] were better on the long runs. Even though we picked the wrong tire we still ran really well. I think we can build on that.” The Mooresville, NC native has one career Series win, the finale of DIRTcar OktoberFAST at Weedsport last October, but he’s been close to doubling up that total. “My stuff was pretty burned out at the end,” McLaughlin lamented. “I was playing defense more than I was attacking. It was a lot of fun. It’s always good racing with these guys. I love racing with the Series and we’ll get another win here soon.” Fourth-place finisher “Batman” Peter Britten was the hard charger award winner for advancing more positions than any other driver. He drove up 16 cars for his top 5 from twentieth. Demetrios Drellos, driver of the #111 from Queensbury, NY was the only driver to run a 16.0 and that was good enough for the $100 Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award winner. Young gun Alex Yankowski finished sixth against a field of elite Big Block drivers. He a $50 bonus from Ken Bruce for being the highest finishing Pennsylvania/Delaware/New Jersey driver plus a free Hoosier Racing Tire for drawing position number 12 in the redraw. NEXT UP: The Super DIRTcar Series goes to Weedsport Speedway and Lebanon Valley Speedway for a doubleheader May 30-31. Bookmark SuperDIRTcarSeries.com to stay informed on all the Big Block action. Plus, race fans can follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Feature (100 Laps) 19-Tim Fuller [13][$10,000]; 2. 44F-Stewart Friesen [11][$5,000]; 3. 32C-Max Mclaughlin [5][$2,500]; 4. 21A-Peter Britten [20][$1,800]; 5. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [1][$1,600]; 6. 84Y-Alex Yankowski [12][$1,400]; 7. 7MM-Michael Maresca [3][$1,300]; 8. 9S-Matt Sheppard [7][$1,200]; 9. 2L-Jack Lehner [16][$1,100]; 10. 83X-Tim Sears [17][$1,000]; 11. 88W-Mat Williamson [14][$800]; 12. 35M-Mike Mahaney [25][$700]; 13. 99L-Larry Wight [2][$600]; 14. 1T-Tyler Dippel [6][$575]; 15. 8A-Duane Howard [23][$550]; 16. 5H-Chris Hile [24][$525]; 17. 126B-Domnick Buffalino [4][$500]; 18. 28M-Jordan Mcreadie [22][$500]; 19. 14W-Ryan Watt [21][$500]; 20. 91-Billy Decker [9][$500]; 21. 4R-Kevin Root [28][$]; 22. 3M-Sam Martz [29][$]; 23. 22W-Brandon Walters [27][$]; 24. 118B-Jim Britt [18][$500]; 25. 17D-Marcus Dinkins [26][$500]; 26. 26-Ryan Godown [10][$500]; 27. 111D-Demetrios Drellos [8][$500]; 28. 25R-Erick Rudolph [19][$500]; 29. 30W-Joseph Watson [15][$500] Hard Charger Award: 21A-Peter Britten[+16] FULL RESULTS Contingency Awards: Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award – $100 – Demetrios Drellos Autism Awareness – $250 Tim Fuller VP Race Fuels – $50 – Matt Sheppard ASI Racewear -$50 – Matt Sheppard ARP – $50 – Matt Sheppard Cometic Gasket – $50 – Larry Wight Drydene Performance – $50 – Matt Sheppard COMP Cams – $50 – Larry Wight Fox Racing Shocks – $50 – Jack Lehner
  2. Countless hours, effort go into every World of Outlaws/DIRTcar event - No detail is left unturned when it comes to putting on the best dirt car racing events in the country CONCORD, NC – April 29, 2021 – Fireworks fired into the sky along the backstretch at Bristol Motor Speedway, in sync with the race cars passing by. Banners hung around the colosseum-like facility like art in a house. Merchandise trailers lined in an orderly fashion by the entrance of fans efficiently being entered into the track. Those fans saw the pageantry of four events between the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars, World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models, Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Modifieds at Bristol Motor Speedway executed to perfection. What they didn’t see were the days… no weeks… no months of planning and stress carried on the shoulders of many behind the scenes. And that’s not just for the historic Bristol events. That’s for every event under the World of Outlaws and DIRTcar banner. The birth of an event starts much further in advance than many may imagine. For Bristol, it started in July of last year, according to World of Outlaws and DIRTcar CEO Brian Carter. “It was all conceptual,” Carter said about the idea of returning to Bristol. “They didn’t know what the dirt would be or if it would even happen. It was a pretty significant timeline to make it happen. The key, for most of it, is to get where it balances itself into the schedule because pretty much every weekend is booked with our calendar. So, it has to fit inside the existing calendar. You’re trying to build it in conjunction with the rest of the schedule and the rest of the racing season. Between every weekend from February to November, we’re racing.” While in the development phase, Carter presented the idea to Jeff Hachmann, the executive director of events for the World of Outlaws and DIRTcar, who then takes it and draws out the blueprints before the foundation is made. Can the event be profitable? What are the expenses? What is the business relationship with the venue? What works for ticket prices? What are the storylines? How does it fit with sponsors? Will the facility work for the series in general? Those are just a few of the early questions that need to be answered to bring it all together, according to Hachmann. One of the key early questions to address is whether an event will be promoted by the track, by the Series or a joint venture between them. That’ll determine who is the lead on the rest of the important questions. “The historical events are all their own events. The promoters have been in business way before I got involved,” Carter said. “We’ve spent an extraordinary amount of money marketing and building the World of Outlaws brand, even into the year COVID last year we doubled our marketing campaign to raise awareness for the branding. All that advertising and marketing is captured through the fans coming through the gates. We’ve been joint venturing and renting racetracks to really get a return on that. “All of our new events and events established in the last decade have either been joint ventures or rentals with the racetrack. Candidly, with 200 big-event-style event nights with the Super DIRTcar Series and World of Outlaws, we can kind of mitigate the risk of losing an event to rain. We have a much higher tolerance for having a bad night, than a track itself, because we can mitigate it over 20 nights. If you lose one out of 20 in a month, it’s not that bad. We do joint ventures and rentals where we can.” Bristol is a recent example of a joint venture between the series and the track. The teams from both organizations worked together to make sure every day of the event, and the marketing prior, was flawless. Meetings were held once a week from the beginning of the year up until the day before the event, while departments from both organizations were in constant contact. In those conversations, there was the fine-tuning of the smallest details like where merchandise trailers need to be parked, what’s the extent of the use of the media center, making sure there are different color wrist bands for different purposes and who will handle ticketing at the gate. “We had to divide up all those assets and decide who is doing what, so we didn’t step on each other’s toes,” Hachmann said. “They have a great staff. We have a great staff. How do we use those two staffs to come together?” In contrast, Super DIRT Week (Oct. 6-10) at Oswego Speedway, another big event for the company, is an example of a track rental. That puts every detail, down to the smallest cell, on the shoulders of the company. With more than 900 camping spots on the property, steps need to be followed to ensure permits are in place with the health department. Due to a nuclear plant within five miles from the speedway, there needs to be approval from the Pentagon that there is a proper evacuation plan in place if there were to be an emergency situation. “When you’re creating an area like that, and you have these mass gatherings, you have to be aware of everything,” Hachmann said. “We have to be aware of noxious weeds, believe it or not. We have to make sure we have sanitizers in all bags and if there’s a high mosquito count, we have to provide info on what to do if bit by one. And there’s working with the police and the fire. “We have to worry about people crossing streets and the neighborhoods around the facility and make sure the flow of the traffic doesn’t hinder the neighbors. We have to make sure there’s access for them to go to the grocery store or go to Dunkin’ Donuts.” Before coordinating those details, there’s the challenge of finding a proper spot on the schedule for the event. That’s not only to find a prime spot on the schedule for fans to attend, but it’s also for making sure the travel makes sense logistically for the drivers and teams. “There’s a lot of trial by fire in our world,” Carter said. “The calendar is mostly set. Sprint Cars are quite a bit more established. For the Late Models, the calendar is a little more flexible. It’s also built around events we have less control over. But from a Sprint Car perspective, you’ve got your month of money, you’ve got your huge shows in the summer, we know when we’re starting the season and where we’re ending the season. It all has to fit in, and not only that, you have to manage 20 different businesses going up and down the road with you. “Bristol is a little bit unique because it provided a pretty large opportunity for us, as a sport for awareness, for the racers as merchandise sellers, a huge crowd, and a big paying purse. So, you can put that kind of an event in a place that may not make sense logistically because of the opportunity.” The pandemic threw an unexpected curveball at the company last year, forcing the cancellation, re-creation and creation of events throughout the year. While challenging, the World of Outlaws and DIRTcar came out of it stronger. It showed new methods that could be implemented, where the company can be more efficient and the strength of its team being able to salvage a successful season. That was put to use again this year when the Spring West Coast Swing had to be canceled and less than three weeks later an entirely new Spring schedule was released. “We learned a lot during COVID,” Carter said. “We learned the fans are as flexible as we can be, relative to promoting a show. The shortest show we just pulled off was going back racing. In three weeks, we changed it from going to California to going back to Florida (in March). We learned a lot about what was necessary to put on a good show. We learned the value of having a direct relationship with the customer. We can communicate directly with emails, with our social following, with our website and through DIRTVision, we can communicate directly to the race fans. And the better the communication is, the more flexible we can be with the events. We can capitalize on the direct relationship with the customers, which was started a decade ago when we created our own ticketing system.” Once the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed, race day can commence. And the on-track portion of the event is “the easiest part,” according to Hachmann. That’s due to there being efficient formats established for every series, series directors making sure drivers and teams have all the necessary information and the race directors keeping control of the on-track action. Everything off track – the display of banners, DIRTVision’s broadcast, fan engagement, ticketing and media relations – is handled by the coordinators of each element. For Hachmann, he just makes sure everyone has what they need to make each of those elements issue-free. Most of that work will go unnoticed by fans, but that means everything went as planned. That’s a testament to the hours, days, weeks and months of work that goes into every event between the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars, World of Outlaws Late Models, Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing – more than 200 of them in a year. “How long does it take to put on an event?... It never stops,” Hachmann said. Work continues for the upcoming events, such as the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars at Jacksonville Speedway (April 29) and I-70 Motorsports Park (April 30-May 1), the World of Outlaws Late Models at Boone Speedway (April 30-May 1), the Super DIRTcar Series at Bridgeport Speedway (May 4) and the season-ending World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Nov. 4-6). For tickets to World of Outlaws events, CLICK HERE. For tickets to Super DIRTcar Series events, CLICK HERE. And for tickets to DIRTcar events, CLICK HERE. If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision with the annual Platinum FAST PASS subscription for $299/year or the monthly FAST PASS subscription for $39/month.
  3. Friesen Doubles Up at Thunder Valley - Super DIRTcar Series Big Blocks close out stellar Bristol Throwdown; Friesen, Drellos, and McLaughlin take podium in finale BRISTOL, TN - Stewart Friesen went two-for-two with the Super DIRTcar Series Big Blocks at Bristol Motor Speedway, picking up his second $10,000 grand prize of the historic weekend Sunday afternoon. The victory was also his third Series win in a row – the first driver to accomplish that feat. The Halmar #44 finished ahead of second and third-place finishers, respectively, Demetrios Drellos in the #111 and “Mad Max” McLaughlin in the #32C. “The Last Great Colosseum” provided the perfect stage for Big Block Modifieds to put on an unforgettable show. While Friesen may have swept the weekend, the racing was intense throughout the entire field. Between great track preparation and the superior Hoosier Racing Tires fitted on Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds, drivers could make moves from the top to the bottom of the famed half-mile throughout the 40-lap Feature. “It was a great weekend,” Friesen said, grinning. “Proud to be here. Proud of our division to be here. I am really proud of my crew chief, and Chris Larsen, and the whole Halmar race team. It’s a pleasure to work with those guys.” No one knew what to expect from the dirt-covered Bristol but Friesen has more laps on it than anyone else after competing in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Cup Series races. But Big Block Modifieds are their own unique animal. “It’s neutral ground so we don’t have any notes to go off,” Friesen noted. “Our tires are so much different than the Goodyears we ran on the truck and the Cup car. The track responded differently. There was a little character in Turns 1 and 2. It had a little bit of a chop that made me tight. We were pretty tight but as long as I didn’t make a bad corner we were good.” For the second race in a row, Mike Mahaney of King Ferry, NY, drew the SRI Performance pole and picked up a $500 bonus for his trouble. Friesen lined up on his outside of the #35 Huttig Racing machine to start. At the drop of the green, the chase was on as 31 Big Blocks poured through the highbanked Bristol turns. Mahaney cultivated a lead in the early going but the #44 was soon making his presence known. Friesen struck early but Mahaney fought back and reclaimed the lead. But then, smoke began to puff from the front of the #35 and for the second night in a row, Mahaney fell from the lead and out of the podium. “The power steering problem didn’t cause us to slow down but it did get tougher to drive,” Mahaney said. “We had a really fast car all weekend and there were a lot of positives to build on. It’s great having the points lead going into Bridgeport.” While Mahaney battled his issue, both had to navigate their way through heavy lap traffic. “It was close,” Friesen said. “It was a lot of fun. We put on the hard compound and waited for it to come in. The lapped traffic was pretty wild. I was trying to set up Mahaney in traffic and got bottled up and he got by me. He was really fast. I think he had a power steering problem. I can’t imagine turning a lap around here without power steering.” A power steering issue is exactly what plagued Mahaney, who is currently the highest full-time driver in points. Friesen took advantage and worked his way around the outside of Mahaney for the lead. From there, he was off to the races, cutting through lapped traffic to keep his advantage. Demetrios Drellos, from Queensbury, NY, started fifth and stayed toward the front of the field all night. Friesen’s lead was far from comfortable, especially when lapped traffic as fast as Peter Britten in the #21A came into play. “It was tough,” Friesen said. “I got to Britten there. He was opening up his entry so I couldn’t get on the outside of him. I’d hit the cushion once good and then miss it the second time. It was a challenge. I got underneath him and on that last lap I didn’t know what to do. I just let it slide for the fence in Turn 4 and was thankful Drellos wasn’t any closer.” The high speeds of Bristol Motor Speedway harkened back to the days of Big Blocks motoring around the one-mile New York State Fairgrounds oval where Friesen won the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at NAPA Super DIRT Week five times. “I don’t know what the top speed was at the end of the straightaway but we went back to our Syracuse notes and used some aero stuff that we did there,” Friesen noted. “I knew it was going to be fast. It was fun. There is nothing like driving one of these things wide open. It’s just an awesome feeling. Hopefully we can do it again next year. Drellos has had a shaky start to the 2021 points season with a DNF during the season-opening race at Can-Am Speedway and 25th place finish in the first Bristol Throwdown Feature after making race-ending contact with seven-time champion Matt Sheppard. But in this race, Drellos was in on the money. “The car was about as good as it’s gonna get,” Drellos said. “I couldn’t really ask for anything else. Maybe if the lapped cars played a little better or had a luckier redraw but I couldn’t ask for anything more. Friesen was hammering the top which is probably why he lost a little speed late. I was rolling the bottom probably 35 of the 40 laps other than to get by lapped traffic and then I went in the middle. The grip never really went away.” There are still 24 points races left but Drellos is eager to get the show on the road and dig out of his hole. A second place goes a long way in doing that and he now sits 14th in points. “This is a good boost for the whole team,” he noted. “Whoever thought we were going to race at Bristol let alone be in contention to win at Bristol? It gives us some momentum going into Bridgeport. We’ve had a really rocky start to the year even going back to speed weeks (OktoberFAST) last year.” The final step on the podium was filled by 2021 DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator champion Max McLaughlin, from Mooresville, NC. The driver of the #32C was in Drellos’ tire tracks across the line and was also reeling in Friesen as well. “Mad Max” wants another chance at a Bristol sword. “I hope we get to come back because that was awesome,” McLaughlin said. “From my point of view, the track was as racy as it could get for a daytime show. I think we were almost three-wide for the lead there. I said yesterday that this place is more fun on asphalt so I gotta take back my words there.” McLaughlin had a shot at the lead when lapped traffic entered the picture. “I think we were both better,” he noted. “If there were more laps we were closing in really good. I think we found the middle before anyone else did. Friesen was up top. You could go anywhere. I was running the bottom early. I felt good on the bottom. But you could run anywhere.” “The Hile Driver” Chris Hile, pilot of the red #5H, started the night out on top by setting the quickest lap during Time Trials awarding him the Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award. NEXT UP: The Super DIRTcar Series invades Bridgeport Speedway to decide who will be crowned the King of the Big Blocks. Mat Williamson, Matt Sheppard, Larry Wight, and more will go toe-to-toe against New Jersey/Pennsylvania favorites like Ryan Watt and the legendary Billy Pauch. Bookmark SuperDIRTcarSeries.com on your favorite browser and make sure you are following the Series on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more. Feature (40 Laps) 1. 44-Stewart Friesen [2][$10,000]; 2. 111-Demetrios Drellos [5][$5,000]; 3. 32C-Max McLaughlin [4][$3,000]; 4. 35-Mike Mahaney [1][$2,500]; 5. 14W-Ryan Watt [3][$2,000]; 6. 1D-Tyler Dippel [8][$1,700]; 7. 91-Billy Decker [9][$1,500]; 8. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [13][$1,200]; 9. 2A-Mike Gular [6][$1,100]; 10. 9S-Matt Sheppard [10][$1,000]; 11. 20-Brett Hearn [15][$1,000]; 12. 25-Erick Rudolph [11][$1,000]; 13. 3-Justin Haers [19][$1,000]; 14. 83JR-Tim Sears [31][$]; 15. 3J-Marc Johnson [17][$1,000]; 16. 28-Jordan McCreadie [23][$1,000]; 17. 83-Brian Swartzlander [22][$1,000]; 18. 88-Mat Williamson [20][$1,000]; 19. 42P-Pat Ward [26][$1,000]; 20. 5H-Chris Hile [12][$1,000]; 21. 21A-Peter Britten [27][$1,000]; 22. 66X-Carey Terrance [24][$1,000]; 23. 19M-Jessey Mueller [25][$1,000]; 24. 22-Brandon Walters [18][$1,000]; 25. 17D-Marcus Dinkins [28][$1,000]; 26. 48T-Dave Rauscher [30][$]; 27. 4R-Kevin Root [29][$]; 28. 99L-Larry Wight [7][$1,000]; 29. 2-Jack Lehner [14][$1,000]; 30. 1-Jackson Gill [21][$1,000]; 31. 3B-Chad Brachmann [16][$1,000]
  4. Friesen cuts through the field to win Super DIRTcar debut at Bristol - Friesen, Williamson, and Dippel take Bristol Showdown podium after intense 40-lap Feature at Bristol Motor Speedway BRISTOL, TN - Stewart Friesen added to his list of Hall of Fame-worthy accomplishments Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, winning the Super DIRTcar Series’ debut at “The Last Great Colosseum.” GT Smith photo He did so in a gladiator fashion worthy of the iconic sword he was awarded after piloting his Halmar Racing #44 chariot from eighth to the lead in the 40-lap World of Outlaws Bristol Throwdown Feature. “This is a huge stage to get a win on in our Northeast Modifieds and I appreciate everyone inviting us here,” Friesen said. “Our cars put on excellent racing like they do at Charlotte and Volusia. It was really cool for us and to get the first win here is really special.” Friesen was fastest overall in Time Trials and took the Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award by running a 16.574 sec. lap. That time was nearly a second faster than the Quick Time set during Thursday’s practice session. He then won his Heat Race, but drew the eight in the redraw – a fate of luck he initially thought killed his chance at a win. From there, he passed seven cars on his way to claim his now coveted World of Outlaws Bristol Showdown sword. “I found the top side pretty early,” Friesen noted. “I thought pulling eighth in the redraw was going to be the kiss of death with the way the Heat Races went. The track crew did a great job working the outside. I started thinking about the top when Tyler Courtney in the Sprint Car’s Last Chance Showdown was on the outside making some hay. I knew it was there but it just needed to be cleaned up. We raced all around the track for the first few laps and when my tires came in, away we went.” Bristol Motor Speedway can be intimidating to some drivers, but Friesen has been circulating the Bristol highbanks more than anyone else over the last month. He raced in both the NASCAR Cup Series race on dirt as well as the Camping World Truck Series race. For the Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON native, the initial shock and awe has worn down and he could approach the race like any other. “The NASCAR experience on the dirt here helped,” Friesen noted. “Not with the setups though. I got a lot of help from some of the late model guys. That paid off. We did a lot of homework.” With the fast-time award, a Heat Race win, and a racy Feature victory, Friesen looks tough to beat at Bristol. Mike Mahaney, from King Ferry, NY, started the race in the top spot after redrawing first place and collecting a special bonus from SRI Performance. He built a huge lead in the early going before cautions allowed Friesen a few opportunities to pass cars and get up to the rear bumper of the #35. After the #44 went by him, Mahaney held tight to second place until Keith Flach slowed in front of the leaders on the backstretch and bottled Mahaney up. Three cars got around him but he was able to hold on for fifth after dominating the early stages. Tyler Dippel picked up a career-best second-place finish with the Super DIRTcar Series. His #1D Teo Pro Car stayed up front all race after rolling off from third. At the initial start of the 40-lap Feature, Dippel won the drag race with defending Series champion Mat Williamson, from St. Catharines, ON to grab second. After that, the only car to pass him was Friesen on his way to the win. “Once Friesen went around and showed us the top would work I started searching around,” said runner-up Dippel. “The crazy part to me was working through the dirty air. When you got up on someone close you had to have the left or right front sticking out to get the nose in the air. I’ve never felt that in a dirt car besides the Syracuse Mile. “The speed sensation is unbelievable. The G-forces really suck you down into the seat. It was fun. I had a blast out there.” The final podium step was filled by Mat Williamson, driver of the #88 Buzz Chew Racing machine. Williamson and his team worked hard to squeeze a few more tenths of a second out of his Bicknell Racing chassis and Billy the Kid engine. We spent last night testing some things and trying to get better but tonight is the best we’ve gotten it,” Williamson said. “You’re going so fast I didn’t expect the race track to race as well as it did. When Friesen went around me on the top I had fully expected there to be no one up there.” While some drivers wanted to draw comparisons, like Lebanon Valley Speedway in respect to its speed or Cornwall Motor Speedway in respect to its banking, it’s clear Bristol is unlike any other track. “It’s a whole different ball game down here,” Williamson noted. “It was a good thing that no one had a hometrack advantage because it had us all figure it out together.” Williamson has won some huge races in front of some big crowds but Bristol is incomparable. “I’m happy and I hope it was a good show for the fans,” he said. “It’s really cool for the modifieds to get an opportunity like this. The Feature was hotly contested from the top to the bottom of the field. Erick Rudolph, from Ransomville, NY, took his #25R up 15 positions to claim the night’s hard charger award. He finished in the eighth position after 40 laps and 20 miles of racing. The legendary “Franklyn Flyer” Billy Decker in the #91 Gypsum Racing Big Block had a difficult start to the night as he spun on the first lap of his Heat Race and was collected by Chad Phelps in the #X car. He was forced to take provisional but passed 15 cars himself to finish twelfth. Tim Sears Jr., in the #83X, has backed up his great finish at Can-Am Speedway with a fourth-place finish on the Bristol high banks. It’s going to get tough for Sears to sneak up on the Series stars because now they know that yellow #83X is coming for the front. Mike Mahaney, from King Ferry, NY, started the race in the top spot after redrawing first place and collecting a special bonus from SRI Performance. He built a huge lead in the early going before cautions allowed Friesen a few opportunities to pass cars and get up to the rear bumper of the #35. After the #44 went by him, Mahaney held tight to second place until Keith Flach slowed in front of the leaders on the backstretch and bottled Mahaney up. Three cars got around him but he was able to hold on for fifth. Race fans can catch the Super DIRTcar Series again tomorrow at the World of Outlaws Bristol Throwdown finale. It’s a 40-lap, $10,000-to-win Feature, which also pays $1,000-to-start. Get your tickets at BristolMotorSpeedway.com or tune in live on DIRTVision. Feature (40 Laps) 1. 44-Stewart Friesen [8][$10,000]; 2. 1D-Tyler Dippel [4][$5,000]; 3. 88-Mat Williamson [2][$2,500]; 4. 83JR-Tim Sears [6][$1,800]; 5. 35-Mike Mahaney [1][$1,600]; 6. 84-Gary Tomkins [5][$1,400]; 7. 3B-Chad Brachmann [3][$1,300]; 8. 25-Erick Rudolph [23][$1,200]; 9. 21A-Peter Britten [7][$1,100]; 10. 32C-Max McLaughlin [15][$1,000]; 11. 9S-Matt Sheppard [14][$900]; 12. 91-Billy Decker [27][$800]; 13. 99L-Larry Wight [21][$700]; 14. 42P-Pat Ward [10][$650]; 15. 5H-Chris Hile [26][$600]; 16. 2-Jack Lehner [9][$600]; 17. 2A-Mike Gular [12][$600]; 18. 14W-Ryan Watt [11][$600]; 19. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [18][$600]; 20. 83-Brian Swartzlander [22][$600]; 21. 28-Jordan McCreadie [24][$600]; 22. 3-Justin Haers [25][$600]; 23. 19M-Jessey Mueller [13][$600]; 24. 20-Brett Hearn [20][$600]; 25. 111-Demetrios Drellos [19][$600]; 26. 22-Brandon Walters [30][$]; 27. 17D-Marcus Dinkins [28][$600]; 28. 4R-Kevin Root [29][$]; 29. 3J-Marc Johnson [16][$600]; 30. 43F-Keith Flach [17][$600]
  5. Super DIRTcar Series Drivers Hit Thunder Valley for the First Time - Five different drivers ran fastest laps in five separate practice sessions at Bristol, Mike Gular fastest overall BRISTOL, TN - The excitement and anticipation finally came to a head at Bristol Motor Speedway when the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds turned its first-ever laps on the famed Tennessee half-mile. Mike Gular, driver the #2A, laid down the fastest lap overall with a 17.361 second lap, which means he drove at an average speed of 112mph. While many of the drivers were in awe of racing in The Last Great Colosseum, they quickly turned their focus toward turning the quick laps. Four other drivers topped their respective groups: Stewart Friesen, Marc Johnson, Matt Sheppard, and Max McLaughlin. The track remained consistently fast all night. Drivers were utilizing the bottom, middle, and top to get around the track, which bodes well for the 40-lap, $10,000-to-win, NAPA Super DIRT Week qualifiers. Gular, from Greene Lake, PA, was the only driver to enter the 17.3 second bracket around the half-mile. His time of 17.361 edged Stewart Friesen by just .042 seconds. Although he clocked the fastest lap overall, it took some time for him to find the sweet spot. “We’re just trying to find whatever speed we can get,” Gular said. “We’re gaining on it. We went from twentieth-something to running the fastest lap so we are happy. We’re going to keep trying a little bit more here.” The speeds were impressive and the track created multiple lanes of racing from the bottom to the top. However, it did not slow down much as the night progressed. The top times in all the sessions were separated by the smallest margins. “The track is getting a shine to it but it’s not slowing down at all,” Gular noted.” I think the goal is to go flat around this place. That’s what we’re dialing it in to do.” Stewart Friesen, from Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, ripped his Halmar Racing #44 around the Bristol high banks in only 17.411 seconds during the first practice session of the evening. He barely topped Larry Wight and Jack Lehner on the final lap of the session. “It’s pretty awesome,” Friesen said. “I’m proud of the Halmar guys. It’s really good to unload fast and be quick time in the first session.”The car started out a little tight and then it freed up in the second session. I don’t think the tires came in as well as the first. It’s badass. It’s a lot of fun running around the top. I hope that continues.” Friesen participated in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race as the NASCAR Cup Series race at the end of March. No one has turned more laps on the dirt at Bristol than him but the Big Block is much different than a stock car/truck. “It’s way different than racing in the truck,” Friesen noted. “When you sit in the truck you sit so low with the big body all around you, and then sitting in an open cockpit car like a modified here you can see so much more. It feels like you are going a heckuva lot faster. It feels almost as fast as going around on asphalt.” Marc Johnson, from Guilderland, NY, is coming off a huge win at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway opener. He dominated a field that held a significant number of Series drivers. Now he’s wheeling the #3J at the top of the charts on Bristol Motor Speedway. Johnson was quickest in practice session two running a 17.542 sec. lap. “We’re trying to learn the track and find speed,” Johnson said. “I’m just trying to feel where the car is best for me. In the beginning, I was almost flat but I felt better rolling out of it a little and keeping the car straight. If guys are wide open out there then God bless them.” One of the best parts of the evening was how the track was able to be fast on the top, middle, and bottom grooves. “The track is very racy but it’s still a huge challenge.” Seven-time Series champion Matt Sheppard, from Savannah, NY, wasn’t necessarily looking to top the charts but via his process of getting comfortable on the Bristol banks, he did. Sheppard ran a 17.522 sec. lap in the fourth practice session of the evening. “We were looking at all aspects, not just qualifying,” Sheppard said. ‘We’re monitoring tire wear and scuffing some tires for the weekend. We were working on short-run speed and I guess we’ll digest it all tonight and see if we can sort it out for tomorrow.” Mooresville, NC native Max McLaughlin ran quickest in the final practice session where Heat Race conditions were simulated. “We put more fuel in the car for this run because it was 8 laps and wanted to see how the car would turn with the extra fuel,” McLaughlin said. “I made a change that I wanted to try and it definitely helped. Honestly, it was weird, I was decent the first half of the run but in the second half started driving it like the asphalt car here. It just was like a different race car. Once I calmed down a little bit and drove it like the asphalt stuff here it was like a familiar Bristol.” McLaughlin has experience running at Bristol in the NASCAR K&N Series and he recently got some advice from a driver who turned thousands of laps at Bristol on the pavement. “Last week I was teammates with Ryan Newman at Martinsville and he told me to drive it exactly the same,” McLaughlin noted. “It clicked in my head on that run and I drove it like that and it helped a lot.” The #32 was fast but the driver played it safe. “I wasn’t running up top at all like those other guys. The car wasn’t turning as well as I think it should and I’m not going to put it in the fence in practice.” The excitement level is ratcheted up another notch as the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified race for $10,000 and a guaranteed starting position at NAPA Super DIRT Week in October. Forty laps are set to separate the best of the best at Bristol Motor Speedway. Get your tickets now at BristolMotorSpeedway.com. If you can’t make it to the track, be sure to catch all the action live on DIRTVision.
  6. Friesen Brings the Noise and Tames The Nasty Track Stewart Friesen bested an elite field of Super DIRTcar Series drivers to win Thunder in the Thousand Islands 100 LaFARGEVILLE, NY – Stewart Friesen, from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, wheeled his way to the front and picked up a healthy $7,500 for a night’s work. The #44 flashed across Can-Am Speedway’s start/finish line just ahead of Tim Fuller, who led the most laps. Lightning Larry Wight, from Phoenix, NY, brought the #99L home third. Max McLaughlin, the 2021 DIRTcar Nationals champion, led the field to the green flag with veteran Big Block pilot Carey Terrance. Almost immediately, the #32c was swallowed up and faded back into the field, eventually pulling the car behind the wall on lap 83. Tim Fuller took the early lead and began driving away from the field, however, he wasn’t alone. Fuller was towing an eager Erick Rudolph in his wake. Rudolph, in the #25R, slowly gained on Fuller as the laps clicked off. Finally, Fuller hit lapped traffic at lap 30. Rudolph closed in and the #19 and #25R swapped first and second positions multiple times in a heated battle. At that point, it looked as though Rudolph and Fuller were going to lap the field and Friesen watched them get farther and farther away. At the halfway point Fuller began to pick away at the lapped cars, which became more and more difficult to get around. Rudolph was not able to keep up Fuller’s pace of passing cars and fell back. Meanwhile, Friesen got to work on Larry Wight, from Phoenix, NY, who was occupying third. “I got by a couple of guys but then when I got up to Larry he’d move and take my line away,” said Friesen. Eventually, Friesen was able to motor by Wight on his path to the win. Lap 70 turned out to be a fateful lap for the Halmar Racing team. Rudolph slowed down and had back to go to the pits for a repair and brought out a caution flag. This lined Friesen up next to Fuller on the restart and the #44 was able to power around the #19 to make a winning pass. Friesen’s car came to life at just the right time but it wasn’t a coincidence. “I had the car set up for the beginning of the race with a heavy fuel load so it would come in towards the end,” said Friesen. “It got good around lap 60 or 70. I thought early on I would be able to make the top work in turns one and two and see if I could sneak by a few cars. I went up there and skated. It was a little dusty but then the middle cleaned off and that was pretty good.” This was his 36th career Super DIRTcar Series victory. Friesen is only three away from Bob McCreadie on the all-time list. Runner-up Tim Fuller was not pleased with his second step on the podium after leading most of the race’s laps. Fuller described the pass: “He [Friesen] came down and I got out of it so we both didn’t crash but he’s an incredible talent, Fuller said. “You hate to get beat that way. I think we were better than the first place car but we got snookered there a little bit. It happens.” he was satisfied with the effort and the drive but not the result. “I just wish I’d had a taller spoiler,” Fuller cracked. “But I wouldn’t have done anything differently.” The Gypsum Racing machine of Larry Wight crossed the line third after battling in the top five the entire race. Wight was searching for a way to compete with Fuller and Friesen but just couldn’t find another gear. “I stayed on the bottom because of a hole on top but once I saw Friesen show his nose up there I knew I had to move up and try it,” Wight noted. “We were a third-place car though. We’ll take it and build off of it for the next one.” Track conditions for dirt surfaces can be tricky for the first race of the year however the Can-Am Speedway track crew brought the best out of our drivers and they were appreciated. “Great job by the track crew for grading the track and giving us something to race on,” said Friesen. Wight added, “For the first race of the year the track was beautiful besides one blemish but that was nothing to complain about. We weren’t sure what the track was going to do. Sometimes when they scrape the top layer off it turns into a dust bowl. The track took it though and the water soaked in. It actually had a middle line to it. We could run the top too.” Race fans were elated to have the Super DIRTcar Series back underway and the 28-car starting field did not disappoint. The 100-lap battle was fought all across the track, from the very top, through the middle, and the bottom. For example, hard charger Mike Mahaney, from King Ferry, NY, made use of the racy surface by picking up 17 positions after starting 25th. Seven-time Series champion Matt Sheppard was involved in battles constantly but the #9S did not stray far from its starting position. After redrawing 10th Sheppard looked to be on the move but a stubborn Peter Britten, from Queensland, Australia, would not give up position number six. Next up for the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds are a pair of $10,000-to-win, NAPA Super DIRT Week qualifiers at the dirt-covered Bristol Motor Speedway for the World of Outlaws Bristol Showdown. Get your tickets now or purchase a DIRTVision FAST PASS and enjoy all the World of Outlaws and DIRTcar Racing that you can handle. Stay tuned to Super DIRTcar Series social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram plus SuperDIRTcarSeries.com has full results, highlights, recaps, and more. FEATURE RESULTS (100 laps) Pos No. Name 1 – 44 Stewart Friesen 2 – 19 Tim Fuller 3 – 99L Larry Wight 4 – 91 Billy Decker 5 – 83X Tim Sears Jr. 6 – 21a Peter Britten 7 – 9S Matt Sheppard 8 – 35 Mike Mahaney 9 – 3 Justin Haers 10 – 42p Pat Ward 11 – 7M Michael Maresca 12 – 2L Jack Lehner 13 – 5H Chris Hile 14 – 60 Jackson Gill 15 – 88 Mat Williamson 16 – M1 Dave Marcuccilli 17 – 28 Jordan McCreadie 18 – 48T Dave Rauscher 19 – 17 Marcus Dinkins DNF 32c Max Mclaughlin DNF 2 Rusty Smith DNF 25 Erick Rudolph DNF 98H Jimmy Phelps DNF 7t Billy Dunn DNF 66x Carey Terrence DNF 4r Kevin Root DNF 111 Demetrios Drellos DNF 98w Rocky Warner DNF 22 Brandon Walters PHOTO: Joe Grabianowski
  7. Big Block Modified Legend ‘Jumpin’ Jack Johnson Passes Away - Andrews, Decker remember Super DIRTcar Series hero of the famous #12A BY Super DIRTcar Series WEEDSPORT, NY — The Super DIRTcar Series and all of the dirt racing community are mourning the loss of four-time Series champion Jack Johnson. Courtesy of Super DIRT Week program Johnson, who passed away on Thursday at 76 years old, easily ranks among the all-time greatest Big Block Modified drivers, and for many race fans and former competitors, he is the greatest without question. “Jumpin Jack” was a part of the very origins of the Super DIRTcar Series circuit. His first Series Feature win came at Ransomville Speedway on Aug. 7, 1973. Johnson’s excellence behind the wheel of the flashing orange #12A brought him 30 more wins until his final Series victory in 2001 at Orange County Fair Speedway. Jack Johnson had many loyal fans following him across the Northeast during his incredible career, but one of them became the voice of the Super DIRTcar Series. Shane Andrews shared his heartfelt thoughts on the passing of Jack Johnson. “Jack Johnson has left an indelible impression on so many race fans in the Northeast,” Andrews said. “Growing up in Central New York, when you walked into a race track, whether it was Utica-Rome, Weedsport, Rolling Wheels, Albany-Saratoga, but most of all Fonda Speedway you were greeted with an absolute sea of orange. It was the orange of the #12A of Jack Johnson.” In addition to his four Series championships, Johnson took the checkered flag at NAPA Super DIRT Week in 1979 and 1984. He became the first New Yorker to capture the crown jewel of dirt modified racing at the famed Syracuse Mile. “He had talent,” Andrews said. “He had a big smile and rock star looks. He was the man. He had great equipment, great sponsors, and he had a personality. He was approachable and personable. He was a gasser. He was smooth. Those years that he won 12 races at Fonda he had to start in the back every race because of the handicapping. He could race through the field. He was up on the wheel every lap. He knew what it took to win. He was a driver that a young race fan could meet and that was important.” Clearly, Jack Johnson made an impact with fans and racers throughout his career. “If you spend any amount of time around racing in the Northeast you’ll see Jack’s influence,” DIRTcar Racing CEO Brian Carter said. “Whether it was the way he raced on the track or the way he connected with fans in the pits, he was a hero to so many people.” Andrews described seeing Johnson for the first time: “At my first race, my parents told me to pick a car to root for and I picked this orange #12A and they bought me a picture of it. He won the race that night at Utica-Rome and I instantly became a fan and stayed one my entire life. We went to the pits and I got him to autograph it. I still have that picture to this day. He made me a race fan. He was my racing hero and still is. There is nobody that will ever take the place of Jack Johnson in racing to me. He is the ultimate racing hero for me and I am not the only one that feels that way. Heroes live forever and Jack Johson will always be the man to many people.” Andrews still sees the legacy of Johnson’s driving ability live on amongst active drivers. “A lot of drivers that are racing to this day still try to race like he did,” Andrews noted. “He helped forge a lot of racers that you see racing today. He took the time to talk to up-and-coming drivers and to give them pointers.” Without Jack Johnson’s affable nature and willingness to reach out to his fans, we may not have Shane Andrews on the mic as heroes inspire many to achieve success. “I was awestruck every time I talked to him,” Andrews said. “Then I started getting into announcing. We’re not supposed to have favorites as announcers, but I couldn’t help kick it up a notch when he was on the track. I’ll admit it. If Jack Johnson was winning a Heat Race, I picked it up a little more. If Jack Johnson was winning a Feature, the meter was pegged. I loved announcing races when Jack Johson won and I had the opportunity to do that. I was able to interview him in Victory Lane and that to me in a lifetime highlight.” One driver that learned a lot from Jack Johnson was Billy Decker, from Unadilla, NY. Decker, with three Series championships, is one behind tying the great #12A. “Jack Johnson was special to me,” Decker said. “We raced, we hunted together, and I stayed at his house and helped work on the car between racing at Albany-Saratoga and Fonda. He was very important to me and my racing.” Jack Johnson’s prime spanned the careers of some of the best drivers to ever take on the Super DIRTcar Series. “He made it really tough to go out and win on the Super DIRTcar series,” Decker noted. “I got into it when we had all these powerhouses [Brett Hearn, Danny Johnson, etc.]. Jack was at the top of the list of competitors. He made it tough to compete. You had to be able to drive hard and work on your stuff to compete and he and his team did that. They did their job. No one was harder to race than Jumpin’ Jack.” “He was going to race you hard. Not dirty, but hard. You were going to have to be all over the steering wheel if you were going to pass him. He didn’t block, but he drove hard. When he strapped in, he was gassed up. That’s it. It was fun.” When the Super DIRTcar Series returns Saturday, April 10, at Can-Am Speedway, there will likely be a lot of orange in the pit area. Johnson touched the lives of many in the Northeast. “Jack was a legend, but he never made you feel that way,” Decker said. “That goes for his crew, too. It was always fun. He would help us out and we had a lot of laughs together. What was really amazing was the amount of support for Jack later in his life that immediately made his legacy apparent.” Super DIRTcar Series Director Dean Reynolds also grew up a fan of Johnson. “The word icon might be overused in today’s society, but I just can not think of a truer word to describe Jack Johnson,” Reynolds said. “One of the greatest to wheel a dirt Big Block Modified, a champion, a fan favorite and of course a Hall of Famer. While we lost Jack Johnson, let’s remember all the joy, and memories he brought us over the years. My thoughts are with his son Ronnie and the entire Johnson family.” Rest assured, the legend of “Jumpin’ Jack” will live on forever in the hearts of fans and racers for all time. Courtesy of Super DIRT Week program
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