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Sears Repeats In Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series Saturday At Merrittville

Tim Sears, Jr.
Tim Sears, Jr. - Alex Bruce Photo

Thorold, ONTSeptember 11, 2010 – By Dave Sully, DIRTcar Racing Northeast Series Correspondent

Back-to-back races, back-to-back new tracks, and now, back to back wins for talented sportsman driver Tim Sears Jr. from Clay, NY. The precocious 18-year old has now won three Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series races, all on tracks he had never seen before. In the last two tour stops at Ransomville and Merrittville speedways, he has not only won, but dominated.

On Saturday, Sept. 10 at Merrittville Sears triumphed over another quality field, taking the lead from pole-sitter and defending Sportsman trail champion Chris Raabe, who drew the pole for the second straight night. At the drop of the green, Sears lost the lead briefly in lapped traffic before regaining the point and holding it the rest of the way.

Showing a knack as a quick learner, Sears, who has the racing genes of the Sears racing clan, out-pedaled Raabe to the first turn, but it was Rob Knapp who applied early pressure, actually taking the lead on lap nine as he and Sears roared down on a slow running car on the front chute. Sears never panicked, clung to the bottom and reclaimed the lead a lap later.

Brandon Easey was the next to challenge, as he flew up from sixth on the outside to take second on lap 14 and then closed on Sears as he navigated through the slower cars. Sears held him off and opened up another lead before once again catching a gaggle of slower traffic and almost being taken out on lap 30 but for some quick reaction to avoid calamity.

A multi-car wreck after 32 green flag laps gave the front runners a chance to catch their breaths, with the restart showing Sears, Easey, Raabe, and Knapp the top contenders. Sears continued to steam around the bottom, earning himself a comfortable lead.
Knapp then decided to let it all hang out and began flying around the outside. He grabbed second by lap 40 and closed rapidly on Sears, actually drawing along side a couple times and seemed destined to take the lead, but his zeal got the best of him on lap 42 when he jumped the cushion in turn two and surrendered second to Easey.

From there, Sears drew away from Easey who desperately tried to keep up by moving down low. That tactic failed and Sears drew away, picking his way through lapped traffic and increasing his lead. At the line it was Sears by close to a straightaway, followed by Easy, Knapp, Greg Panunte, once again driving the Rick Bellante No. 62, and Cody McPherson, to round out the top-five. With the win, Sears has moved to the top of the Mr. DIRTcar point standings through five of 13 events.

On his uncanny knack for adapting to new tracks, Sears commented, “It actually took about half the race before I got into a rhythm. I’m more of a rhythm driver, so as the race went on for that long green, I started getting things figured out.”

Of the attack from Knapp, he noted, “I saw (him) coming and wasn’t sure what to think. I knew that I wasn’t going to test the cushion out there. I knew if he was going to screw up being on the top it was going to be a pretty big one so I was just pacing myself, trying to stay smooth on the bottom. It was hard to stay smooth because the track was really slippery down there, but it just worked out really good.”

He added, “It’s a good car, I just like it. I’ve got to thank my dad, he sets it up for me. “

A frustrated Easey, who made the most sustained attack until he faded, declared, “I should have stayed on the outside, but I always run the bottom here. I’m not really a hundred percent confident out there. I should have stayed out there. My friend Mike told me to stay out there. I thought I could get him on the bottom. The car wasn’t good in three and four. He was a little better. One and two I was better than him sometimes. He (Sears) is fast. I tried everything. I should have stayed on the top.”

Thirty cars were on hand for the evening’s trail race. With rain in the forecast, the show was moved along efficiently and ended just before the rain began to fall. Qualifying heat wins went to Easey, Jim Johnstone and Panunte.

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series action closes out its Niagara Frontier portion of the 2010 schedule as teams travel to Humberstone Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 12 with the 50-lap feature winner collecting $1,000.

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Race #5 – Merrittville Speedway, Sept. 11, 2010 ‘J&S Heating and Air Conditioning 50’ Event Summary
FEATURE (50 laps): 83x-TIM SEARS JR., O6-Brandon Easey, 2K-Rob Knapp, O1-Chris Raabe, 62-Greg Panunte, 7-Cody McPherson, 38-Ryan Susice, 77JR-BJ Willard, 29-Steve Gray, 9-Paul Gaboury, 95-Len Dignard, 88-Gary Lindberg, MR18-Brad Rouse, 54-Mark Chiddy, O-Jipp Ortiz, 99C-Nick Cupolo, 19W-Justin Wright, 53-Darrell Farraway, 15-Shane Pecore, 81-Christine Martin, 69P-Bill Podwinsky, 67-James Henry, 26H-Luke Carleton, 55C-Jesse Cottriss, 2X-Ken Cosgrove, 21JJ-Jim Johnstone, 5M-Ray Hockridge, 140-Mark Dixon, OO-Jesse Penner, 15L-Adam Leslie

Mr. DIRTcar Series Sportsman Point Standings (Thru Sept. 11, 2010)
Rank No Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Wins Top 5 Top 10 Starts
1 83 Tim Sears Jr. 1430 445 985 0 3 4 4 5
2 38s Ryan Susice 1414 414 1000 -16 0 3 5 5
3 29g Steve Gray 1367 367 1000 -63 1 2 3 5
4 01 Chris Raabe 1338 338 1000 -92 0 2 2 5
5 11Jr Justin Wright 1328 353 975 -102 0 3 3 5
6 55c Jesse Cotriss 1259 304 955 -171 0 0 4 5
7 15 Shane Pecore 1234 259 975 -196 0 0 0 5
8 54 Mark Chiddy 1219 254 965 -211 0 0 2 4
9 140 Mark Dixon 1201 261 940 -229 0 0 1 5
10 66 Dan Wiesner 1173 208 965 -257 0 0 2 3
11 99p Greg Panunte 1160 160 1000 -270 0 2 2 2
12 0 Jipp Ortiz 1146 218 928 -284 0 1 2 3
13 67 Eric Giguere 1142 142 1000 -288 0 1 2 2
14 81 Christine Martin 1116 192 924 -314 0 0 0 4
15 7 Cody McPherson 1111 136 975 -319 0 0 1 2
16 77JR BJ Willard 1111 136 975 -319 0 0 2 2
17 m1 Dave Marcuccilli 1106 141 965 -324 1 1 1 2
18 2 Loren Lincoln 1099 167 932 -331 0 0 1 3
19 6 Brandon Easey 1080 95 985 -350 0 1 1 1
20 63 Chris Herbison 1080 95 985 -350 0 1 1 1
21 11n Ricky Newton 1069 124 945 -361 0 0 0 3
22 55 Matt Hulsizer 1068 68 1000 -362 0 0 1 1
23 4 Daryl Hilkert 1065 110 955 -365 0 0 0 2
24 5 Don Spatorico 1061 76 985 -369 0 0 1 1
25 67 James Henry 1047 107 940 -383 0 0 1 2
26 30 Brent Kelesy® 1045 70 975 -385 0 0 0 1
27 14 Jeremy Pitcher 1043 43 1000 -387 0 0 0 1
28 3a Adam Hilton® 1038 106 932 -392 0 0 0 2
29 1 Travis Back® 1033 78 955 -397 0 0 1 1
30 6r Nate Reynolds 1030 95 935 -400 0 1 1 1
31 17J Jamie Platt 1030 95 935 -400 0 0 0 2
32 20k Dave Dykstra 1024 102 922 -406 0 0 1 2
33 18r Brad Rouse 1021 56 965 -409 0 0 0 1
34 76 Rob Bussey 1020 80 940 -410 0 0 0 2
35 20 Randy Earl 1015 40 975 -415 0 0 0 1
36 25 Steve Bernier 1015 80 935 -415 0 1 1 1
37 2K Rob Knapp 1014 90 924 -416 0 1 1 1
38 83 Dylan Evoy 1010 10 1000 -420 0 0 0 0
39 4 Jeff Phillips 1005 50 955 -425 0 0 0 1
40 1 Jim Spano 1000 60 940 -430 0 0 0 1
41 18 Bodie Bellinger 1000 0 1000 -430 0 0 0 0
42 13s Derek Smith 999 54 945 -431 0 0 0 1
43 99c Nick Cupolo 995 50 945 -435 0 0 0 1
44 04 Greg Mrzywka 995 40 955 -435 0 0 0 1
45 2 Jenna David® 995 50 945 -435 0 0 0 1
46 9 Paul Gaboury 994 62 932 -436 0 0 1 1
47 11k Dillon Sallows 990 45 945 -440 0 0 0 1
48 3 Fran Hilton 988 68 920 -442 0 0 0 1
49 6m Mike Mainse 985 0 985 -445 0 0 0 0
50 27 Sheldon Hoogwerf 985 50 935 -445 0 0 0 1
10 Josh Van Brocklin 985 0 985 -445 0 0 0 0
18F Tony Farone 985 0 985 -445 0 0 0 0

2010 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE TRACK WINNER/LOCATION
Sat-Apr 10 Black Rock Speedway Steve Gray
Sun-Jun 13 Cornwall Motor Speedway Tim Sears Jr.
Sat-Jul 17 Cayuga County Fair Speedway Dave Marcuccilli
Fri-Sep 10 Ransomville Speedway Tim Sears Jr.
Sat-Sep 11 Merrittville Speedway Tim Sears Jr.
Sun-Sep 12 Humberstone Speedway Pt.Colborne,ONT
Fri-Sep 17 Mohawk International Raceway Akwesasne,NY
Sat-Sep 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Fri-Oct 1 Fulton Speedway Fulton,NY
Wed-Oct 6 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville,NY
Fri-Oct 8 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Sat-Oct 9 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY
Sat-Oct 16 Brockville Ontario Speedway Brockville,ONT

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, VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com and GM Performance Parts www.gmperformanceparts.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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