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Billy Rafter Returns For May 30 Hall of Fame Happening

Billy Rafter
Billy Rafter - Ken Dippel Photo

Weedsport, NYMay 21, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, Super DIRTcar Series PR Director

Coming to a climax with the headline ‘Hall of Fame Classic 100’ on May 30, the Memorial Day Weekend Super DIRTcar Series showdown on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds is just 9 days away. The historic Weedsport, New York speedway comes to life for the traditional holiday special with the 100-lap Big-Block Modified winner on Sunday waiting to take home a cool $6,000 top prize.

Helping commemorate the past two decades of Hall of Fame happenings at the home of DIRTcar Northeast, highlights from many of the past induction days will be recalled in anticipation of the first big holiday racing event of the season.

Among the lucky 13 charter member inductees to the Hall of Fame, ‘Wild’ Bill Rafter will be making his first appearance at The Port since that landmark occasion which brought together some of the most legendary drivers ever to strap into a mighty Modified machine. Among those joining Rafter in this year’s trackside tribute will be fellow Class of ‘92 Hall of Famers Dutch Hoag & Billy Wimble, along with ‘Irish’ Jack Murphy (2000) and Dave Lape (2004), as they meet fans and sign autographs during intermission.

Rafter was just 17 when he began his career at Buffalo’s venerable Civic Stadium in 1949, chasing checkered flags in the days of no roll bars and taped head lights, and when the word ‘stock’ meant just that. He went on to score over 100 feature wins at Civic Stadium while venturing south to contend at Daytona’s beach course and later the superspeedway as he attempted to establish a grand national career in the late 1950s. Closer to his Western New York home he once won five features in three days; beginning Friday with a 100-lap championship race at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, two more 100-lappers on Saturday afternoon on the Syracuse Mile and Civic Stadium at night, before closing on Sunday with an afternoon victory at Merrittville Speedway and first-place that same night back in the states at Waterloo Speedway. Following years of success on dirt, the 1959 New York State NASCAR Champion ultimately ended his career on asphalt, switching to the Late Model Sportsman division in the early 1970s before a fiery blown motor incident put an end his colorful career.

Northeast Modified Hall of Fame Classic Big-Block Modified Winners
2009 – Billy Decker on May 24; 2008 – Dale Planck on May 25; 2007 – Danny Johnson and Tim Fuller on Aug. 19; 2006 – Danny Johnson on May 28; 2005 – Tim Fuller on May 29; 2004 – Gary Tomkins on May 30; 2003 – Alan Johnson on May 25; 2002 – Tim McCreadie on May 26; 2001 – Tim McCreadie on July 5; 2000 – Danny Johnson on May 28; 1999 – Billy Decker on May 30; 1998 – Gary Tomkins on May 24; 1997 – Danny Johnson on May 25; 1996 – Alan Johnson on May 26; 1995 – Rain; 1994 – Bob McCreadie on May 29; 1993 – Dave Lape on April 4; 1992 – Steve Paine on April 12.

The 19th Hall of Fame Classic at Cayuga County Fair Speedway on Sunday, May 30 is round three of the 2010 Super DIRTcar Series. Log into the homepage at www.superdirtcarseries.com to find out more about the nation’s premier Big-Block Modified tour and be sure to sign up as a Super DIRTcar Series follower on Twitter by visiting http://www.twitter.com/SuperDIRTcar. For further track information, access http://www.CayugaCountyFairSpeedway.com or phone 315/834-6606 during the day.

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.allstar100weekend.com and 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 the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and Chizmark & Larson Insurance www.chizmarklarson.com, and contingency sponsors are Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, MSD Ignition www.msdignition.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Vicci Racing Apparel www.vicci.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.

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