Weedsport, NY — December 10, 2009 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
With Motorsports Safety Systems/G-FORCE Rookie of the Year award winners Rich Scagliotta (Big-Block Modified), Jeremy Wilder (358-Modified), Robert Humphreys (Sportsman) and Harvey Arquette Jr. (Pro Stock) making their way under the spotlight in the annual ‘Night of Champions’ celebration, plenty of fresh faces were found in victory lane as the DIRTcar Racing Northeast circuit completed its 34th straight season of operation in 2009.
Those same four touring divisions accounted for 60 first-time feature winners in 594 events; the equivalent to a new winner after every 10 checkered flags flew. Proving their trip to the winner’s circle was certainly no fluke, 19 from that same list of drivers made a return visit over the summer, becoming even more familiar to the fan following with solid showings in their respective home track standings.
Of the half-dozen first-time DIRTcar Big-Block winners, second-generation chauffeur Mark Flach Jr. from Lebanon Valley Speedway joined fellow eastern New York driver JaMike Sowle representing first-year member Glen Ridge Motorsports Park as the only drivers to repeat in the Northeast’s premier Modified division. The mighty Mod Squad staged 154 events at 23 tracks with 49 drivers reaching paydirt.
Contending in the Niagara Frontier, DIRTcar Sportsman graduate Mike Bowman (Merrittville) and third-generation namesake James Michael Friesen (Humberstone) joined Airborne’s asphalt stalwart Aaron Bartemy —each with 2 wins— among an elite group of 12 first-timers in the DIRTcar 358-Modified ranks. Thirteen tracks ran off 130 main events with 54 more drivers joining the finish line celebration.
Including multi-time winners Matt Hulsizer (7), Tim Sears Jr. (6) and Donnie Lawson (6), a grand total of 21 new drivers graced victory lane in DIRTcar Sportsman competition, with nearly a dozen promoters handing out trophies to at least one first-time winner. In all, 73 different drivers showed their prowess in 209 features contested at 18 tracks around the Northeast.
Matching last year’s count when autumn ended, 101 main events were charted for the Pro Stock class in ’09 and with the addition of Lernerville Speedway and Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway to the DIRTcar-fold, 21 of the 40 winners made their maiden voyage to victory lane at the 12 host tracks. Leading the way were PPMS stars Jake Simmons (7 wins), Bob Schwartzmiller (4) and Craig Koteles (3) while the list of top performers at Lernerville was headed by Joe Kelley (5) and ’09 track titlist Bob Lipinski (4).
For their own accomplishments, ‘09 DIRTcar NE rookies Scagliotta, Wilder, Humphreys and Arquette collected lucrative Motorsports Safety Systems prize packages at the season ending awards banquet in November that included a new G-FORCE helmet, set of six-point G-FORCE safety belts, pair of G-FORCE driving gloves, and a $225 gift certificate toward the purchase of a HANS device. Scagliotta was also rewarded with a ButlerBuilt Racing Seat valued at $2,000 following his first full season chasing Mr. DIRTcar points.
2009 Motorsports Safety Systems/G-FORCE Racing Gear
DIRTcar Racing Northeast Rookies of the Year
RICH SCAGLIOTTA – Bound Brook, N.J. (47 yrs. old) ….. $4,000 Big-Block Modified award
– driver of the no. 8 Central Jersey Trailer & Hitch Depot-Adamsville Maintenance/Troyer entry;
– competed at Canandaigua (20th pts/5 starts), Cayuga County (31st/3 starts);
– finished 17th in overall Mr. DIRTcar Modified pts (10th-place best at Cornwall Motor Speedway);
– G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; $225 HANS gift certificate; $1000 cash and Extreme Muffler package ….. plus $2,000 ButlerBuilt Racing Seat!
JEREMY WILDER – Fort Plain, N.Y. (19 yrs.) ….. $1,750 358-Modified award
– driver of the no. 22 James Edgar Company-Roosevelts/Bicknell entry;
– competed at Glen Ridge (16th pts/2 top-5, 3 top-10);
– finished 8th in overall Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified points (3 top-10 finishes in 10 events);
– G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; $225 HANS gift certificate; $750 cash; and Extreme Muffler package.
ROBERT HUMPHREYS – Elbridge, N.Y. (22 yrs.) ….. $1,500 Sportsman award
– driver of the no. 85H M&W Aluminum Products-Humphrey’s Garage/Bicknell entry;
– competed at Cayuga Co. (8th pts/1 win, 3 top-5, 6 top-10 finish, 15 starts);
– finished 29th in overall Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman pts (1 top-10 finish in 4 series starts);
– G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; $225 HANS gift certificate; $500 cash; and Extreme Muffler package.
HARVEY ARQUETTE JR. – Akwesasne, N.Y. (29 yrs.) ….. $1,250 Pro Stock award
– driver of the no. jr7 A&L Enterprise/Chevrolet Monte Carlo entry;
– competed at Mohawk (8th pts/1 win, 5 top-10), Cornwall (19th pts/2 Top-10);
– finished 17th in overall Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock pts standings (5 starts in 9 series races);
– G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; $225 HANS gift certificate; $250 cash;
and Extreme Muffler package.
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 annually in October 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.