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Billings Makes SDW Sportsman Title Run

Matt Billings
Matt Billings - Alex Bruce Photo

Syracuse, NYOctober 10, 2009 – By Dave Medler, DIRTcar Racing Northeast Series Correspondent

Matt Billings came into Super DIRT Week XXXVIII never turning a lap on the “Moody Mile”. The recently crowned Brockville Ontario Speedway points champion took the lead at the drop of the green and totally dominated the 30-lap SDW Championship event that was stalled by to red flag periods before a single lap was turned.

Billings was not only the winner, he was also Ed’s Garage ‘Rookie of the Race’ and one of the youngest Super DIRT Week winners ever, matching the feat pulled off by another 16 year-old —Erick Rudolph— just last October at Syracuse’s famed one-miler.

“I talked to Sammy (Reakes IV) about this place and how to drive it,” remarked the Brockville, Ontario native after his command performance in the Billings Automotive no. 74 Stealth Racewear/Bicknell entry. “He said drive it flat out and never lift or be afraid of the place. I thought if he can do it so can I and that’s just what I did.”

On the first attempt to start the race a massive 10-car pile up unfolded between turns one and two that required a red flag situation as the track was blocked inside and out leaving no room for racers to safely navigate.

On the second attempt coming down for the green, front row starters Billings and Neal Williams made slight contact with Williams looping around to collect Eric Giguere who made hard contact with the concrete stage on the front stretch.

Just past the Williams and Giguere incident, cars started collecting each other with Matt Hitchcock flipping over and landing on his wheels. Also involved in the crash were reakes, Steve Gray, Eric Holgrem and Kevin Wills. After two red flags to start the race officials went to single file just to get the race underway.

Green lights were turned back on and Billings jumped out front as John McAuliffe and Jesse Cotriss kept pace with the leader. By the second lap Billings had already bolted out to a 10-car length advantage.

A yellow flew on lap five when the #4 car of Mike Ruggiero slowed on the back straight, but made it’s way to the inner cinder track out of harms way. The ensuing restart mirrored the previous with Billings winning the drag race to the first turn as McAuliffe, Cotriss, Justin Wright and Matt Hulsizer showed in the top-five.

As the laps clicked off Billings continued to build on his full straight away margin over McAuliffe, while Cotriss, Ryan Susice and Wright ran a distant third through fifth. At the halfway point both Billings and McAuliffe had checked out on the field. Cotriss and Susice were in a tight battle for third as Wright and Hulsizer showed on the leader board.

With 10 laps to go and no yellows to tighten the field up, Billings had built up a four-second lead. McAuliffe ran alone in second, with Cortiss and Susice continuing a solid battle for third.

A quick yellow on lap 22 erased the huge lead Billings built up. At that point the car on the move was original front row starter Williams who moved from the back of the field from an earlier red flag incident now found himself in sixth.

With 5 laps to go Billings once again built up a big lead of 3 seconds as he tried to run away and hide. McAuliffe now had company in Susice as the pair raced for second place.

Over the final circuits nobody had anything for Billings as he was under the checkers first by 4.0-seconds. McAuliffe and Susice came across the line nose to tail for 2nd and 3rd with Cortiss and Wright rounding out the top five.

“In the first accident I pretty much over drove it and got high, the next thing I know I hear yellow, yellow, yellow. Everyone was aggressive I hope everybody is okay. I’m sorry if I caused anything,” said the ’09 BOS points king about the first red flag period.

When asked if he had any idea how big his lead had been, Billings responded, ” I had no idea how big, I was just trying to catch the lapped cars. That’s how I always race, catch the car ahead of me. I just kept hitting my marks and stayed strong. Starting position is huge here.”

Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series Race #14 – New York State Fairgrounds, Oct. 10, 2009 “Super DIRT Week Sportsman Championship” Event Summary
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER
1 1 74 Matt Billings/Brockville,ONT®($4,000)
2 5 23 John McAuliffe/Ballston Lake, NY
3 10 k38 Ryan Susice/Ransomville,NY®
4 6 55c Jesse Cotriss/Akron,NY®
5 7 11j Justin Wright/Piffard,NY
6 8 55 Matt Hulsizer/Bridgeport,NY
7 2 0 Neal Williams/Pittsgrove,NJ®
8 26 13s Derek Smith/Ransomville,NY®
9 24 22 Chuck Buchman/Maple Shade,NJ®
10 32 66 Dan Wiesner/Geneva,NY
11 13 24 Brandon Sweet/Watertown,NY
12 15 54 Mark Chiddy/Boston,NY®
13 14 16s Eric Kormann/Vineland,NJ®
14 29 28w Sandy Pembleton/Lewiston,NY®
15 9 0k Kevin Wills/Ransomville,NY
16 19 26 Derrick McGrew/Ballston Spa,NY
17 23 87 Neil Stratton/Bennington,VT®
18 21 4r Mike Ruggiero/Newburgh,NY
19 16 17 Marcus Dinkins/Watkins Glen,NY®
20 3 67g Eric Giguere/Waterloo,NY
21 4 3e Erik Holmgren/Middletown,NY®
22 11 33 Matt Hitchcock/Stony Point,NY®
23 17 111 Allan Willis/Ransomville,NY®
24 18 2 Kale Groff/Wynantskill,NY®
25 20 83x Tim Sears Jr./Central Square,NY®
26 22 m1 David Marcuccilli/Cayuga,NY®
27 25 29g Steve Gray/Middlesex,NY
28 27 351 Jeremiah Munson/St.Johnsville,NY®
29 28 67 James Henry/Niagara Falls,NY®
30 30 94 Steve Nadeau/St-Robert,QUE®
31 31 77jr. B.J. Willard/St.Catharines,ONT®
32 33 92a Adam Turner/Picton,ONT®
33 34 17k Sammy Reakes IV/Palermo,NY
34 35 99p Greg Panunte/Port Colborne,ONT
35 36 01 Chris Raabe/Napanee,ONT
36 37 0x Jipp Ortiz/Ransomville,NY
*37 12 2k Rob Knapp/Niagara Falls,ONT
*Switched cars prior to race and did not start in rear of field.

LAP LEADER: Billings (1-30).
CAUTIONS: 2 (lap 5, lap 22); 2 RED FLAGS (2-lap 1).
ELAPSED TIME: 30 mins. 28 secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 59.068 mph.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 4.239 secs.
ED’S GARAGE ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Matt Billings.
HALFWAY LEADER: Matt Billings.
CORVETTES BY TURNER HARD CHARGER: Dan Wiesner.
GATER RACING NEWS BEST APPEARING CAR: #29g – Steve Gray.
NYSSCA ‘TOP MEMBER’ AWARD: John McAuliffe.
SPANO PAVING & CONTAINERS POLE WINNER: Matt Billings (34.003 sec/105.873 mph).
MOTORSPORTS SAFETY SYSTEMS OUTSIDE POLE WINNER: Neal Williams (34.058 sec/105.702 mph).
DIG SAFELY NEW YORK LAST CHANCE QUALIFIERS: Steve Gray, Derek Smith.
RACE ROOKIES®: 22
CARS ENTERED: 66.

SUPER DIRT WEEK XXXVIII SPORTSMAN TIME TRIALS
FAST AVE
TIME MPH CAR# DRIVER
1 34.003 105.873 74 Matt Billings/Brockville,ONT
$500 – Spano Paving & Containers Pole
2 34.058 105.702 0 Neal Williams/Pittsgrove,NJ
$250 – Motorsports Safety Systems Outside Pole
3 34.224 105.189 67g Eric Giguere/Waterloo,NY
4 34.310 104.926 3e Erik Holmgren/Middletown,NY
5 34.409 104.624 23 John McAuliffe/Ballston Lake, NY
6 34.429 104.563 55c Jesse Cotriss/Akron,NY
7 34.434 104.548 11j Justin Wright/Piffard,NY
8 34.436 104.542 55 Matt Hulsizer/Bridgeport,NY
9 34.504 104.336 0 Kevin Wills/Ransomville,NY
10 34.509 104.321 k38 Ryan Susice/Ransomville,NY
11 34.522 104.281 33 Matt Hitchcock/Stony Point,NY
12 34.616 103.998 2k Rob Knapp/Niagara Falls,ONT
13 34.739 103.630 24 Brandon Sweet/Watertown,NY
14 34.741 103.624 16s Eric Kormann/Vineland,NJ
15 34.773 103.529 54 Mark Chiddy/Boston,NY
16 34.832 103.353 17 Marcus Dinkins/Watkins Glen,NY
17 34.844 103.318 111 Allan Willis/Ransomville,NY
18 34.848 103.306 2 Kale Groff/Wynantskill,NY
19 34.879 103.214 26 Derrick McGrew/Ballston Spa,NY
20 34.886 103.193 83x Tim Sears Jr./Central Square,NY
21 34.888 103.187 4r Mike Ruggiero/Newburgh,NY
22 34.906 103.134 m1 David Marcuccilli/Cayuga,NY
23 34.912 103.116 87 Neil Stratton/Bennington,VT
24 34.956 102.987 22 Chuck Buchman/Maple Shade,NJ
25 34.967 102.954 29g Steve Gray/Middlesex,NY
26 34.987 102.895 13s Derek Smith/Ransomville,NY
27 35.098 102.570 10 Josh VanBrocklin/Watertown,NY
28 35.103 102.555 67 James Henry/Niagara Falls,NY
29 35.108 102.541 99$ Anthony Rizzardo/Jordan Station,ONT
30 35.175 102.345 11 Dean Patterson/Philadelphia,NY
31 35.218 102.220 62 Rick Bellante/St.Catharines,ONT
32 35.219 102.218 05 Anthony Marro/Saratoga Springs,NY
33 35.224 102.203 351 Jeremiah Munson/St.Johnsville,NY
34 35.244 102.145 2xx Ally Amell/Watertown,NY
35 35.286 102.023 84 Steve Davis/Manville,NJ
36 35.299 101.986 66 Dan Wiesner/Geneva,NY
37 35.314 101.943 28w Sandy Pembleton/Lewiston,NY
38 35.327 101.905 68 Curtis Friesen/St.Catharines,ONT
39 35.329 101.899 9 Kevin Ridley/Geneva,NY
40 35.384 101.741 96 Corey Andersen/Mullica Hill,NJ
41 35.457 101.531 244 Jeff Leslie/Fly Creek,NY
42 35.489 101.440 92a Adam Turner/Picton,ONT
43 35.505 101.394 20 Jack Gentile/Ballston Lake,NY
44 35.649 100.985 jvs1 Jim Spano/Skaneateles,NY
45 35.783 100.606 81 Shawn Cassidy/Bethel,VT
46 35.803 100.550 99p Greg Panunte/Port Colborne,ONT
47 35.872 100.357 35 Jason Occhino/Fulton,NY
48 35.912 100.245 81m Christine Martin/Wellesley Island,NY
49 35.935 100.181 16 Earl Rudy/Phoenix,NY
50 35.988 100.033 94 Steve Nadeau/St-Robert,QUE
51 36.179 99.505 2x Kevin Knapp/St.Catharines,ONT
52 36.412 98.869 17k Sammy Reakes IV/Palermo,NY
53 37.112 97.004 77jr. B.J. Willard/St.Catharines,ONT
54 38.673 93.088 6r Nate Reynolds/Newfane,NY
55 42.877 83.961 01 Chris Raabe/Napanee,ONT
56 43.000 83.721 3m Henry Maier/Spencerport,NY
57 -NT- —– 0x Jipp Ortiz/Ransomville,NY
58 -NT- —– 44 Chris Stockham/Cicero,NY
59 -NT- —– 1 Jason Herrington/Troy,NY
60 -NT- —– 4 Daryl Hilkert/Potter,NY
61 -NT- —– 16 Billy Brown/Cheshire,NY
63 -NT- —– 58L Jim Larock/Seneca Falls,NY
64 -NT- —– 85h Rob Humphreys/Elbridge,NY
65 -NT- —– 88 Phil LaVare/Clifton Springs,NY
66 -NT- —– 92 John Behron/Clay,NY
*Top-24 locked into front 12 rows; 66 Cars Entered.

SUPER DIRT WEEK XXXVIII SPORTSMAN NON-QUALIFIERS RACES
Dig Safely New York Shootout #1 (8 Laps)
FIN CAR# DRIVER
1 29g Steve Gray/Middlesex,NY
2 351 Jeremiah Munson/St.Johnsville,NY
3 28w Sandy Pembleton/Lewiston,NY
4 81 Shawn Cassidy/Bethel,VT
5 10 Josh VanBrocklin/Watertown,NY
6 16 Earl Rudy/Phoenix,NY
7 20 Jack Gentile/Ballston Lake,NY
8 84 Steve Davis/Manville,NJ
9 2x Kevin Knapp/St.Catharines,ONT
10 62 Rick Bellante/St.Catharines,ONT
11 77jr. B.J. Willard/St.Catharines,ONT
12 99$ Anthony Rizzardo/Jordan Station,ONT
13 244 Jeff Leslie/Fly Creek,NY
14 35 Jason Occhino/Fulton,NY
DNS 9 Kevin Ridley/Geneva,NY
DNS 01 Chris Raabe/Napanee,ONT
DNS 0x Jipp Ortiz/Ransomville,NY
DNS 1 Jason Herrington/Troy,NY
*Top-3 advance to championship starting grid.

Dig Safely New York Shootout #2 (8 Laps)
FIN CAR# DRIVER
1 42P Pat Ward/Genoa,NY
1 13s Derek Smith/Ransomville,NY
2 67 James Henry/Niagara Falls,NY
3 94 Steve Nadeau/St-Robert,QUE
4 68 Curtis Friesen/St.Catharines,ONT
5 96 Corey Andersen/Mullica Hill,NJ
6 81m Christine Martin/Wellesley Island,NY
7 2xx Ally Amell/Watertown,NY
8 66 Dan Wiesner/Geneva,NY
9 3m Henry Maier/Spencerport,NY
10 92a Adam Turner/Picton,ONT
11 05 Anthony Marro/Saratoga Springs,NY
12 11 Dean Patterson/Philadelphia,NY
13 17k Sammy Reakes IV/Palermo,NY
14 6r Nate Reynolds/Newfane,NY
DNS jvs1 Jim Spano/Skaneateles,NY
DNS 99p Greg Panunte/Port Colborne,ONT
DNS 44 Chris Stockham/Cicero,NY
*Top-3 advance to championship starting grid.
Guaranteed: B.J. Willard, Dan Wiesner, Adam Turner, Sammy Reakes IV, Greg Panunte, Chris Raabe, Jipp Ortiz.

UPCOMING EVENTS
On the heels of the Super DIRT Week specials at the New York State Fairgrounds and Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, just two more events remain before the overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman champion is crowned for a 20th consecutive season. Teams travel across the border next weekend for the inaugural DIRTcar Northeast Fall Nationals at Brockville Ontario Speedway on Oct. 17 before the curtain drops the following Saturday, Oct. 24 at Black Rock Speedway in Dundee, N.Y.

2009 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE LAPS TRACK LOCATION/WINNER
Sat-Apr 5 75 Black Rock Speedway Sammy Reakes IV
Fri-Apr 17 30 Can-Am Motorsports Park Chris Raabe
Thr-Jul 2 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park rain-cancelled
Fri-Jul 3 30 Brewerton Speedway Tim Sears Jr.
Sun-Jul 5 50 Cornwall Motor Speedway Chris Raabe
Sat-Jul 18 30 Cayuga County Fair Speedway Justin Wright
Mon-Sep 7 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Jipp Ortiz
Fri-Sep 11 50 Ransomville Speedway Don Spatorico
Sat-Sep 12 50 Merrittville Speedway B.J. Willard
Sun-Sep 13 50 Humberstone Speedway Chris Raabe
Fri-Sep 18 33 Canandaigua Speedway Jipp Ortiz
Fri-Sep 18 33 Canandaigua Speedway Ryan Susice
Sat-Sep 19 30 Genesee Speedway Chris Raabe
Sun-Oct 4 30 Fulton Speedway Ryan Susice
Wed-Oct 7 30 Can-Am Motorsports Park rain-cancelled
Fri-Oct 9 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park rain-cancelled
Sat-Oct 10 30 New York State Fairgrounds Matt Billings
Sat-Oct 10 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Ryan Susice
Sat-Oct 17 30 Brockville Ontario Speedway Brockville,ONT
Sat-Oct 24 50 Black Rock Speedway Dundee,NY
@Driver’s (2) worst finishes dropped through September; last (7) events count.

DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event —Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse— runs October 7-11, 2009 featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime.

The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include Rite Aid Corporation www.riteaid.com, Dig Safely New York www.digsafelynewyork.com and the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks www.barsproducts.com, Bert Transmission www.berttransmission.com, Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, Brodix Cylinder Heads www.brodix.com, Ferris Industries www.ferrisindustries.com, Integra Shocks www.integrashocksandsprings.com, Intercomp www.intercomp-racing.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Rislone Oil Stabilizer www.barsproducts.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.

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