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Kingston Contingent Ready to Tackle DIRTcar 358 Tour Opener

Todd Stewart
Todd Stewart - Jim Clarke Photo

Belleville, ONTApril 6, 2009 – By Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications

An age-old saying states there is strength in numbers. A group of Small-Block Modified stock car drivers from Kingston, Ontario hope it’s true as the Mr. DIRTcar tour kicks-off the 2009 season Saturday, April 18 at Can-Am Motorsports Park in LaFargeville, New York.

As many as a half-dozen runners from the Limestone City are expected to make the trek across the twin spans of the 1000 Islands bridge as the series makes an early season start at the northern New York half-mile oval.

Fans can expect to see top runners like Todd Stewart, Bobby Herrington, brothers Danny, Tim (and possibly Pat) O’Brien, and Andy Lloyd take on a healthy field including Alan Johnson, Billy Decker, Brett Hearn and other regulars. For Stewart, the early season start is something he’s been looking forward to.

“We finished 2008 really well,” Stewart said over the phone from his Bath, Ontario home. “To have an event of this status so close to home and so early in the season is very exciting. I hope we can keep up the momentum from ’08. It was one of our best seasons in years and a strong run at Can-Am would be terrific.”

Danny O’Brien, the middle of a trio of second-generation racing brothers can’t wait to get back on the track. The multi-time Brockville Ontario Speedway track champion signed a sponsorship deal with Global Warranty during the off-season and has been counting the days before getting his renumbered 7-Star 2009 Bicknell chassis into action.

“We’ve had the car displayed in a number of shows over the last month or so,” O’Brien said. “The bench racing is fun, but nothing beats the real thing. So many people have commented on how great the new car looks. I’ve told them – if you think it looks good now, wait ‘til you see it at the front of the pack. Every race car looks better going fast.”

The winter months were a time of change for a pair of Kingston area runners. Harrowsmith, Ontario’s Andy Lloyd obtained a TEO Pro Car formerly campaigned by Pennsylvania’s Doug Manmiller. Additional sponsorship support from Car Kingston could see the 3rd year pilot make selected tour starts.

Mark Hitchcock’s retirement at the end of the 2008 season allowed Tim O’Brien to move into the ride owned by Jim Primrose of Iroquois, Ontario. The newly numbered #88 TEO team will call Brockville and Cornwall their home tracks, but some early season tour starts can’t be ruled out.

Meanwhile, Bobby Herrington of Elginburg, Ontario – who just celebrated his 18th birthday – will get some early season seat time of his own. The third year Small-Block chauffeur will spend Easter weekend at Merrittville Speedway, taking part in Pete Bicknell’s Driving School before putting his newly-minted ’09 chassis through its paces on the half-mile layout at Can-Am a week later.

Other Kingston area drivers, including Chris King, ‘Stock Car’ Steve Bilow, Kurt Lee and Bryan Rodgers, may also decide to take in the opener at Can-Am but its looking like the Limestone City lads could be formidable opposition when the 2009 Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Series takes the green flag Saturday, April 18 at Can-Am Motorsports Park.

For more details, see www.canammotorsports.com.

Media contact: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications
clarkemotorsports@hotmail.com, 613/968-6410 or 613/922-0654

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