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Stefanski Rolls To Pro Stock Series Win At the Wheels

Pete Stefanski
Pete Stefanski - Bill Moore, Jr. Photo

Elbridge, NYSeptember 25, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director

Four-time overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Champion Pete Stefanski showed a winded crowd why he remains DIRTcar Northeast’s all-time Pro Stock feature winner feature after leading flag-to-flag to capture the ‘World Series Fanfest 25’ Series show Saturday at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park.

In only his eighth event of the season, the Wheatfield, N.Y. chauffeur was never seriously challenged as he shrugged off four yellow flags over the opening seven circuits then cruised home to a score a convincing ¾-straightaway victory in round seven of the nine race Mr. DIRTcar Championship trail.

“It was just a fantastic night coming out here to Rolling Wheels,” remarked Stefanski, 40, whose first win of the 2010 campaign improved his DIRTcar NE best total to 89, with 24 registered in the Pro Stock Series. Both his RWR feature wins came in the World Series special held in September.

“The track crew did such an absolute incredible job on this speedway today. It was smooth and fast and very wide to race on. And we’re certainly glad to be here,” beamed Stefanski.

Hard charging Rocky Warner settled for second in his third tour outing of the season ahead of Joey Ladouceur, who emerged as the new Mr. DIRTcar points leader after posting his third Top-5 finish in seven Series stops. Eastern New Yorker Rob Yetman and P.J. Peters from Akwesasne, Que. rounded out the front-five with all but two of the 18 starters completing all 25 laps.

Stefanski was third quickest in pre-race time trials behind Ladouceur and Yetman, yet drew outside-pole to share front row with Scott Gribben in his first tour event of the year. Gribben jumped out to an early advantage before the initial green flag waved to force a complete restart even after the Western New York traveler spun his mount in turn one.

Stefanski was successful in overtaking Gribben on the ensuing restart yet Frenchman Stephane Lebrun slowed exited turn two to cause a second caution period immediately after. A turn two tangle between Chip Smith and Roch Aubin necessitated a third slowdown, with Yetman and Corey Wheeler the newest chasers as the lap counter read three circuits complete.

When Ricky Thompson looped his full-fender mount all alone in the second turn, the lap eight restart showed Stefanski, Yetman, P.J. Peters, Wheeler and seventh-place starter Warner at the front and only Lebrun missing from the field.

The final 18 laps ran straight through under green flag conditions with Stefanski failing to give up command while Warner and Ladouceur saved their best for last. Stefanski built up a straightaway lead at the halfway mark with Warner (4th) and Ladouceur (5th) continuing their steady march forward.

Stefanski finally reached traffic on lap 21 yet with plenty of room to maneuver, only second and third-place seemed up for grabs. Running the high line, Warner wrestled away the runner-up spot from Yetman and Ladouceur mirrored the move to make up the new top-three with just two circuits to go.

And that’s the way it finished as Stefanski put his Sunrise Racing no. 2 San Ter Sewing-PJ NFB Auto Sales/Chevy Monte Carlo in the winner’s circle for the second time at the ‘Fast Track’ to collect the $1,000 top prize and earn a guaranteed starting berth in the Super DIRT Week ‘BCN Motorsports 25’ on Oct. 10 in Syracuse where he is the defending champion.

“The car was good high and low, we felt (turns) one and two were better on the bottom and high in three and four,” figured Stefanski, whose two other Top-5 tour finishes were second-place at Cornwall (Ont.) Motor Speedway in May and Lebanon Valley (NY) Speedway just two weeks ago. “With no one being around us we could pick and choose where we wanted to be and it was just fantastic out there all the way around.”

“Have to thank my brother Rob and Jim, they put their heart and soul into this car. Also my buddies Shane and Ray, my wife April and daughter Emily are both here tonight and so is my sponsor San-Ter. Thanks also to everyone out there supporting us,” added Stefanski, who will contend in the final Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series events slated for Syracuse on 10-10-10 and Brockville Ontario Speedway on Oct. 15.

The last Pro Stocker to arrive Saturday at Rolling Wheels, runner-up Warner hauling west from Gloversville, N.Y., made the most in just his second-ever trip to the popular Elbridge oval.

“We were late trying to find a body to put on, this was our Syracuse car tonight,” divulged Warner, 29, recently crowned the DIRTcar points champion at both Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and Fonda Speedway in ‘10. “We smashed up some panels and just need to find something that fit right.”

“At the beginning we planned to run the low side all night long. But once I got stuck up high, I found a lot of bite and just kept running there and picking up spots. It was a really good track tonight, having two grooves to race provided plenty of room to move up if your car was right,” noted Warner, who will also be at Syracuse in two more weeks as he looks to qualify his West End Towing no. 79 Don’s Towing/Chevrolet Impala SS for his first Super DIRT Week title race.

A veteran on the Syracuse Mile, third-place finisher Ladouceur from Alexandria, Ont. is already focusing on the bigger picture after overtaking Louie Jackson in the Mr. DIRTcar point standings.

“Our goal was to take the points lead back home with us, but we know Louie has run good at Rolling Wheels before,” said Ladouceur, 34, who wore the Mr. DIRTcar crown in 2004 to join his father, Laurent (Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified, 1989), as the only father/son duo to earn DIRTcar Northeast’s highest honor. “That’s what we had really hoped for coming out here.”

“A caution could’ve made things a little more interesting at the end. But at the same time I almost didn’t want a yellow (flag) to fall being content knowing I had the lead with where Louie (8th) and everybody else finished.”

“Have to give a lot of credit to the track staff, these were the best conditions I can ever remember for the heats. There were two distinct grooves and the track was smooth and fast. What else can you really ask for this time of year?” Ladouceur added.”

Up next, the 2010 Hoosier-VP Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series makes its lone stop of the year at the New York State Fairgrounds when the Northeast’s top traveling teams converge on the Syracuse Mile for Super DIRT Week XXXIX and the BNC Motorsports 25 on Sunday, October 10.

STOCK TIPS
On the brink of concluding his sixth season of Pro Stock racing at age 40, Carl ‘Chip’ Smith Jr. is in line to earn DIRTcar Northeast’s Rookie of the Year accolades in 2010. Collecting track bonus points at Friday night hangout Glen Ridge Motorsports Park this year, Smith has spent most of his summers campaigning a full-fender ride at Fonda (NY) Speedway where he first teamed up with former Series follower Butchie Irwin in 2005. “Buddy (Hencke) convinced me over the winter to give the tour a shot and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” Smith remarked. “You get a little stale running the same track week in, week out with the set-up always about the same. I never even knew where half these tracks were, but being able to adjust has definitely made me a better driver when I come back to race at home” ….. Including fifth-place runner Smith, 14 of the Top-15 Mr. DIRTcar point-getters signed in on Saturday. Ladouceur entered with a 9-point deficit to Jackson and left the Elbridge oval with a 13-point advantage before heading to Syracuse ….. Third year Pro Stocker Corey Wheeler bolted on 4 year-old soft Hoosiers and held on to finish seventh and remain third on the Mr. DIRTcar points chart. Wheeler joined all heat winners on the night in a special autograph session underneath the main grandstand prior to feature time ….. Greatly improved track conditions were the talk of the pits —and the grandstands— with the week-long effort spearheaded by WRG Event Director Roger Slack. “Just getting back to basics, working hard digging, rolling and watering.”

Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Race #7 – Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, September 25, 2010 ‘World Series Fanfest 25’ Event Summary
Feature
FIN ST CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN
1 2 2 Pete Stefanski/Wheatfield,NY ($1,000)
2 7 79 Rocky Warner/Gloversville,NY
3 9 92 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT
4 3 7 Rob Yetman/Castleton,NY
5 6 73 P.J. Peters/Akwesasne,QUE
6 8 10 Buddy Hencke/Sand Lake,NY
7 5 47s Corey Wheeler/Cornwall,ONT
8 4 18 Louie Jackson/Akwesasne,NY
9 14 116s Chip Smith Jr./Durham,NY
10 11 88 Allen Peters/Westville,NY
11 10 48 Dion Oakes/Akwesasne,NY
12 12 47 Dave Bissonnette/Apple Hill,ONT
13 1 71 Scott Gribben/Royalton,NY
14 18 05 Jocelyn Roy/St-Helene,QUE
15 17 1r Ricky Thompson/Hogansburg,NY
16 15 188 David Papineau/Akwesasne,NY
17 16 4 Roch Aubin/Alexandria,ONT
18 13 6 Stephane Lebrun/Gatineau,QUE
LAP LEADER: Stefanski (1-25).
CAUTIONS: 4 (lap 1, lap 2, lap 3, lap 7).
HEAT WINNERS: Ladouceur, Wheeler.
SYRACUSE QUALIFIER: Pete Sefanski.
FAST TIME TRIALER: Joey Ladouceur (24.228sec/92.868mph).
CARS ENTERED: 18.
NEXT EVENT: New York State Fairgrounds “BNC Motorsports 25” – October 10, 2010.

QUALIFYING
FAST AVE
TIME MPH CAR# DRIVER
1 24.228 92.868 92 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT
2 24.336 92.456 7 Rob Yetman/Castleton,NY
3 24.469 91.953 2 Pete Stefanski/Wheatfield,NY
4 24.470 91.949 47s Corey Wheeler/Cornwall,ONT
5 24.569 91.579 18 Louie Jackson/Akwesasne,NY
6 24.644 91.300 73 P.J. Peters/Akwesasne,QUE
7 24.795 90.744 05 Jocelyn Roy/St-Helene,QUE
8 24.879 90.438 71 Scott Gribben/Royalton,NY
9 24.889 90.401 10 Buddy Hencke/Sand Lake,NY
10 24.909 90.329 88 Allen Peters/Westville,NY
11 24.923 90.278 79 Rocky Warner/Gloversville,NY
12 25.006 89.978 48 Dion Oakes/Akwesasne,NY
13 25.103 89.631 47 Dave Bissonnette/Apple Hill,ONT
14 25.136 89.513 116s Chip Smith Jr./Durham,NY
15 25.875 86.957 1r Ricky Thompson/Hogansburg,NY
16 25.910 86.839 4 Roch Aubin/Alexandria,ONT
17 26.681 84.330 188 David Papineau/Akwesasne,NY
18 62.487 36.007 6 Stephane Lebrun/Gatineau,QUE

Heat Races (8 laps, all transferred to feature; top 6 redrew)
#1: Ladouceur, Yetman, Stefanski, Jackson, Hencke, Gribben, Lebrun, Papineau, Thompson.
#2: Wheeler, PJ Peters, Warner, A.Peters, Bissonnette, Oakes, Smith, Aubin, Roy.

Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Point Standings (Sept. 25)
Rank No. Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Wins Top 5 Top 10 Starts
1 92 Joey Ladouceur 1,538 538 1000 0 2 3 6 7
2 18 Louie Jackson 1,525 540 985 -13 0 4 6 7
3 47s Corey Wheeler 1,507 522 985 -31 0 4 5 7
4 05 Jocelyn Roy 1,482 482 1000 -56 1 2 4 7
5 116s Chip Smith Jr.® 1,475 520 955 -63 0 4 6 7
6 47 Dave Bissonnette 1,468 493 975 -70 0 2 4 7
7 10 Buddy Hencke 1,459 474 985 -79 0 1 5 7
8 7 Rob Yetman 1,433 478 955 -105 1 3 6 6
9 1r Ricky Thompson 1,398 398 1000 -140 0 1 4 6
10 73 P.J. Peters 1,388 453 935 -150 1 2 2 7
11 48 Dion Oakes 1,324 359 965 -214 0 0 0 7
12 6 Stephane Lebrun 1,288 333 955 -250 0 0 0 7
13 88 Allen Peters 1,278 352 926 -260 0 0 1 7
14 188 David Papineau 1,239 299 940 -299 0 0 0 6
15 79 Rocky Warner® 1,209 209 1000 -329 0 1 2 3
16 15 Guy Viens® 1,205 265 940 -333 0 0 0 6
17 99 Ghislain Valade 1,186 231 955 -352 0 1 2 3
18 115 Stephane Lemire 1,169 184 985 -369 0 0 2 3
19 33 Bruno Cyr 1,153 153 1000 -385 0 0 0 3
20 17T Rod Tarbell 1,130 185 945 -408 0 0 0 4
21 8 Jay Corbin 1,085 85 1000 -453 0 1 1 1
22 97 Roland Hebert 1,075 110 965 -463 0 0 0 2
23 48 Francois Lareau® 1,073 118 955 -465 0 0 0 2
24 0 Francois Adam® 1,068 93 975 -470 0 0 0 2
25 69 Jody Swamp 1,060 130 930 -478 0 0 2 2
26 23 Chuck Towslee 1,047 62 985 -491 0 0 1 1
27 7e Ryan Stabler® 1,036 104 932 -502 0 0 0 2
28 7d Claudia Tarbell® 1,028 96 932 -510 0 0 0 2
29 243 Victor Hopkins 1,027 72 955 -511 0 0 1 1
30 08 Richard Bertrand 1,026 81 945 -512 0 0 0 2
31 12 Alain Brochu® 1,025 40 985 -513 0 0 0 1
32 3 Norman Voghell® 1,021 86 935 -517 0 0 0 2
33 47 Mario Gagnon® 1,020 80 940 -518 0 0 0 2
34 24 Robbie Speed 1,015 40 975 -523 0 0 0 1
35 315 Jon Routhier 1,005 40 965 -533 0 0 0 1
36 24 Jacques Robert 991 46 945 -547 0 0 0 1
37 8m Marc Lalonde 986 58 928 -552 0 0 0 1
38 55 George Renaud 986 41 945 -552 0 0 0 1
39 49 Ivan Joslin® 985 0 985 -553 0 0 0 0
40 10 Cale Kneer® 978 46 932 -560 0 0 0 1
41 50 Scott Kocher® 976 48 928 -562 0 0 0 1
42 27 Nick Stone® 975 0 975 -563 0 0 0 0
43 27 Jerremy Pitts® 975 0 975 -563 0 0 0 0
44 311 Brian Keough 974 44 930 -564 0 0 0 1
45 22 Frederic Lussier® 972 40 932 -566 0 0 0 1
46 17 Joceyln Chicoine® 970 40 930 -568 0 0 0 1
47 16 Jean-Pierre Labelle® 966 42 924 -572 0 0 0 1
48 TWO Luke Horning® 965 0 965 -573 0 0 0 0
49 41 Bill Smith IV ® 965 0 965 -573 0 0 0 0
50 14 Chris Tremblay® 964 40 924 -574 0 0 0 1
51 55 Donald Provencher® 962 40 922 -576 0 0 0 1
52 20 Francis Landerville® 960 40 920 -578 0 0 0 1
53 324 Jason Casey 945 0 945 -593 0 0 0 0
54 87 Walt Brownell 945 0 945 -593 0 0 0 0
55 78 Paul LaRochelle 940 0 940 -598 0 0 0 0
56 80 Bob Camilli® 936 10 926 -602 0 0 0 0
57 322 Jay Casey 935 0 935 -603 0 0 0 0
58 55 Emilien Foster® 932 0 932 -606 0 0 0 0
59 118 Jeff Kelmel 928 0 928 -610 0 0 0 0
60 52 Tom O’Connor® 924 0 924 -614 0 0 0 0

DIRTcar Pro Stock Entries – Sept. 25 (18)
CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN TEAM (Sponsor / Make-Model / Chassis)
05 Jocelyn Roy/St-Helene,QUE Remorcage 05-Lettrage Lucy/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/CRT
1r Ricky Thompson/Hogansburg,NY Brass Horse Grill-Fatty Cats-S&L Constr./Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
2 Pete Stefanski/Wheatfield,NY Sunrise Racing-San Ter Sewing-PJ NFB Auto Sales/Chevy Monte Carlo/JACR
4 Roch Aubin/Alexandria,ONT Home Hardware-Mr. Sew & Sew/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
6 Stephane Lebrun/Gatineau,QUE Patio Vidal Restaurant-United Auto Parts(UAP)/Pontiac Grand Prix/Wild Thing
7 Rob Yetman/Castleton,NY Lazzaro’s Auto Body-Madsen Overhead Door/Pontiac Grand Prix/JACR
10 Buddy Hencke/Sand Lake,NY Stinger X/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Stinger X
18 Louie Jackson/Akwesasne,NY Adams Marina-Keegan Smoke Shop/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Black Widow
47 Dave Bissonnette/Apple Hill,ONT Totem Pole Novelties-Sweet Dreams/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
47s Corey Wheeler/Cornwall,ONT Valade Backhoe-RSI Industrial Supply-PM Promotions/Cadillac ETS/Cannizzaro
48 Dion Oakes/Akwesasne,NY Oakes Racing-Noah King Family-Akwesasne Gas/Chevolet Impala/Cannizzaro
71 Scott Gribben/Royalton,NY Gerry’s Service-Advance Auto Parts-Top Shop Collision/Chevy Impala/Black Widow
73 P.J. Peters/Akwesasne,QUE Sunrise Racing-Hair Secrets Salon/Chevrolet Impala/JACR
79 Rocky Warner/Gloversville,NY West End Towing-Don’s Towing/Chevrolet Impala SS/EMS
88 Allen Peters/Westville,NY Sunrise Racing-PJ NFB Auto Sales-JACR Chassis/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/JACR
92 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT Coffrage 20-20-Minimax Express/Cadillac STS/Stinger X
116s Chip Smith Jr./Durham,NY Cricketdale Farm/Pontiac Grand Prix/Cannizzaro
188 David Papineau/Akwesasne,NY D&D Constr.-Totem Pole Novelties-Team Papi/Chevy Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro

UPCOMING EVENT
Racing in the Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series takes next weekend off before returning to action as part of Super DIRT Week XXXIX, Oct. 6-10, in the Salt City. Time trials are slated for Saturday before the consolation round and BNC Motorsports Championship run off on Sunday, October 10.

2010 Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE TRACK WINNER/LOCATION
Sun-May 23 Cornwall Motor Speedway Joey Ladouceur
Fri-Jun 25 Autodrome Granby *Rob Yetman
Sat-Jun 26 Autodrome Drummond Jocelyn Roy
Wed-Sep 1 Mohawk International Raceway P.J. Peters
Sat-Sep 11 Lebanon Valley Speedway Rob Yetman
Sat-Sep 18 Mohawk International Raceway Joey Ladouceur
Sat-Sep 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Pete Stefanski
Sun-Oct 10 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY
Fri-Oct 15 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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