51's Modified Madness Presented by Advance Auto Parts
News From The Ground Pounders - Dirt, Asphalt, North and South
Compiled from Series, Team and Track PR Reports
WMT: Modified Tour Title to Be Decided at Thompson World Series

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship will once again come down to the final event of the year at the Thompson International Speedway. A mere 26 points separate the top two contenders going in the XTRAMART World Series of Speedway racing at Thompson.

Donny Lia, looking to win his second series title, moved into the top spot following his win at the Stafford Motor Speedway this past weekend. Ryan Preece is the driver in Lia’s rearview mirror. Preece is only 26 points behind Lia and well within striking distance of the division’s crown. Ted Christopher saw his nearly season-long points lead disappear on Sunday when an accident knocked TC out of the competition. He was credited with a 31st place finish, dropped to third in the standings, and now faces an up hill battle to erase his current 109 point deficit. Rounding out the top five as they head for Thompson are Todd Szegedy and Rowan Pennink.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title is, more often than not, decided at the XTRAMART World Series of Speedway Racing and the 2009 champ will be crowned following the WMT 150-lap main event slated for Sunday, October 18th.

Championships are a big part of the three-day XTRAMART World Series. Chris Perley will lead the ISMA Super Modified contingent into their final event of the year and Tim Bertrand, holding a slim 18 points advantage over Mike Jarret, will attempt to secure the NEMA title at Thompson.

The XTRAMART World Series is a one-of-a-kind racing spectacle. Hundreds of race cars and racing trucks converge upon the huge Thompson Speedway complex to compete in one of the fourteen different divisions that make up this extra-special event. Racers from all up and down the east coast make the annual trek to Thompson to compete on one of America’s premier short tracks. The ultra fast, high banked 5/8ths mile oval, offers competitors a chance to be part of one of the largest racing events in the country.

Thompson’s Super 6 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will play a major role in the World Series with each providing, as they have all season long, exciting, wheel-to-wheel racing action. Racing trucks from the ARTS series, Pro 4 Modifieds and three “outlaw” divisions will round out the fourteen division event.

Practice and qualifying races for eight divisions will make up the on-track activity on Friday.  Saturday will feature qualifying for the WMT, ISMA, NEMA and the remaining divisions that will race on Sunday. Once Saturday qualifying is complete, eight feature races will make for an exciting and fun filled Saturday night. Sunday’s action starts at 12 Noon with the heavy hitters in six incredible feature races.

The XTRAMART World Series of Speedway Racing is also host to some of racing’s greatest party atmospheres. It’s the last major event of the season and race fans enjoy all of the food, fun and entertainment at the Raceway Restaurant and Lounge.

Tickets for the XTRAMART World Series at Thompson are available by calling the Thompson track office. 860-923-2280.The entire weekend’s schedule is available on the Thompson web page. www.thompsonspeedway.com

NSS: North-South Shootout Promises the Best of Both Worlds in 2009

Since it’s inception in 2003, owner and promoter Charles Kepley has strived to ensure that his North-South Shootout TM is the best-of-the-best in short track auto racing. Over the years, he has experimented with a host of different racing series to compliment the headlining Tour-Type Modifieds. In 2009, the Shootout will feature the best of both worlds as a contingent of Super Late Models, led by the Champion Racing Association (CRA) Super Series, will be part of the festivities.

“We were very honored when Charles Kepley with C&C Racing Promotions contacted us about coming down and handling the Super Late Model portion of the event,” remarked R.J. Scott, Managing Partner of Champion Racing Association. "Charles is extremely focused on taking care of the racers and fans, that is evident in the reputation this event has, and that's why we were so thrilled when asked us to be a part of it."

The CRA Super Series will sanction a 125 lap Super Late Model non-points event on November 6&7, 2009 at Concord Speedway joining the Tour-Type Modifieds, SK-Type Modifieds, TBARA Sprint cars, and Vintage Modifieds. This will be the first CRA sanctioned event ever held in the state of North Carolina.

All Super Late Models and Pro Late Models that are rule compliant will be welcomed to compete.

For over 10 years, the CRA Super Series has been sanctioning Super Late Model events in the Midwest. In 2009, CRA Super Series boasts a 16-race schedule at 10 different speedways throughout the Midwest (including a race in Nashville, TN). This season drivers competing with CRA have included the likes of Kyle Busch, David Stremme, Brian Ickler, Matt DiBenedetto, Jeff Fultz, and rising stars Tyler Millwood and Chase Elliott.

Competitors from other series including the American Speed Association (ASA), the Georgia Asphalt Series (GAS), and the Blizzard Series along with southern local short track series aces including Concord Speedway’s own and even a host of invaders from north of the Mason-Dixon line are expected to compete fender-to-fender with the teams of CRA during the 7th Annual John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout. Chase Elliott, Tyler Millwood and others have already filed entries for the event.

“It made sense for us to work with the CRA Super Series for a number of reasons,” said Kepley of Lexington, NC. “This is a professionally run series, they have a strong following of competitors, and they run Hoosier tires, which is vitally important to us. Hoosier Tire South has been a huge part of the success of the Shootout since day one.”

Previously, C&C Racing Promotions had entered into an agreement with the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour. Unfortunately, unforeseeable obstacles for the series forced a change to the schedule.

The North-South Shootout 125 (for the Super Late Models) presented by WearCrete Diamond Concrete Polishing will use CRA Super Series rules and procedures, with some event specific guidelines that will make the event more entertaining. The event will pay $5,000 to win and $800 to start. The purse will also include several bonuses to representatives of the various Super Late Model Series and independent teams.

Qualifying for the Super Late Models will be similar to the procedure of the Tour-Type and SK Modifieds. The top five qualifiers will be locked into the starting grid through time trials. The fast qualifier will receive a $250 bonus from WearCrete Racing. Positions sixth through 20th will come from qualifying heats; positions 21 and 22 will come from a last chance race. Positions 23 through 26 will be guaranteed and provisional starters.

The guaranteed starters will have earned their place on the grid through several qualifying racing event. For a complete list of qualifying events for the WearCrete Diamond Concrete Polishing North-South Shootout 125 visit the event’s official website northsouthshootout.com.

"Our Super Late Model portion of the North-South Shootout will be very much like the Modified portion, in that it will feature the best Super Late Models from all over the country competing in the heart of racing country in North Carolina,” remarked Glenn Luckett, Managing Partner of Champion Racing Association. “Because of the reputation of this event, all the eyes in the racing world will be focused on the racing at Concord Speedway that weekend. We greatly appreciate Curtis Venable with WearCrete Diamond Concrete Polishing and WearCrete Racing coming on board to help sponsor this great event!”

Additional event information is available at www.northsouthshootout.com. North-South Shootout 125 presented by WearCrete Diamond Concrete Polishing Entry Forms and CRA Super Series rules and procedures are available at www.craracing.net .

For complete details on the 7th Annual John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout log on to the official website at northsouthshootout.com.

NASCAR WSMT: Brunnhoelzl Will Finally Get To Celebrate at Caraway

Finally, he will get to celebrate.

After winning last week at Ace Speedway, George Brunnhoelzl III (No. 28 Oval Speed/Fibrwrap/PT Ford) will get to pop the champagne this weekend.

The West Babylon, N.Y., native won his fourth race of the season Friday at Ace Speedway to build his lead to 150 points over Andy Seuss (No. 47 Advance Auto Parts/Q Racing Oil/Stuart Auto Dodge). Seuss finished second to prevent Brunnhoelzl from wrapping up the title. But the victory win set up Brunnhoelzl with the opportunity to win the 2009 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour title Saturday night at Caraway Speedway by simply taking the green flag to start the race.

“We had such a good car last week, and while we are not pouring the champagne just yet, we can see it getting closer,” Brunnhoelzl said after winning the Lightning Fast 150. “We did what we had to do to make it easier on us at Caraway. I am so thankful for my family and my crew to help me get here.”

Brunnhoelzl made it look easy last week and, in fact, has made it look easy all season long en route to what is shaping up to be his first NASCAR title. While he and his father, car owner and crew chief George Jr., have tried to avoid any mention of the title for fear of jinxing their chances, nothing short of not making the trip to Asheboro will prevent him from earning the championship trophy.

After his runner-up finish, Seuss all but conceded the title last week.

“We have had a good season but we just had some misfortune at a couple of events and George was able to get through this season and did a great job.”

Brunnhoelzl dabbled in fendered stock-car racing for a while after moving South with his family but returned to his roots climbing back into a modified car several years ago, and now he will soon get to celebrate as a champion in a division in which his father and grandfather made a name for themselves throughout the northeast.

“Winning any championship is special, but to win the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour title is something that would mean everything to me,” George said earlier this season. “We had a couple of bad breaks here and there but were able to get through them and that is why we are where we are today.”

Brunnhoelzl has collected an amazing 12 top-five finishes in 13 starts this season on the NWSMT. He is tied with Seuss for the most wins on the year with four and has won five Coors Light Pole Awards, the most on the Tour.

DIRT: Danny Johnson Reunites With Honeoye Auto Parts For Super DIRT Week Return

Fresh off a dramatic run in owner Doug Dulen’s back-up Honeoye Auto Parts/Bicknell entry during Fulton 200 Weekend, Danny Johnson will reunite with first string driver Gary Tomkins in a two-car assault during Super DIRT Week XXXVIII at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, Oct. 7-11.

Prior to last Saturday’s sudden success at Fulton Speedway, Johnson teamed with Dulen just once before and the result was one of the most memorable performances in tour history. After abandoning the Freightliner team just hours earlier, the ‘Doctor’ rallied from 30th in the Trout Motorsports/Bicknell ride to overtake race-long leader Brett Hearn with two laps to go in the 1998 Super DIRTcar Series classic at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park.

“We’ve got two Syracuse cars and it would be a shame for someone like Danny not to be in the biggest race of the year,” remarked Dulen, who made the joint decision Sunday night with the full backing of Tomkins and crew chief Mike Payne. With motor trouble sidelining his primary ride, Johnson jumped into the #84J machine on Saturday afternoon in time to go from last to first in the consolation round, then finish third in the headline 200-lapper. “However, Gary is still our main man and will get our full attention throughout the week.”

“But we wouldn’t put just anybody in our car if we didn’t think we could win. Danny has already taken the trophy twice and Gary has a couple seconds so both guys can certainly get the job done,” Dulen said.

Tomkins will be back aboard the potent Honeoye Auto Parts no. 84 Rochester Americans-National Guard/Bicknell entry looking to claim that elusive victory on the Syracuse Mile while Danny is preparing to buckle into the same BRP mount that carried his older brother Alan Johnson to the Rite Aid 200 Championship in 2003. Tomkins drove the car to his initial second-place finish the following October.

“We just took the car out of the container and there’s still a lot of work to do,” admitted Dulen, who noted the Bicknell Racing Products creation still carries the same yellow paint scheme on the no. 1 machine, only this time with a Mike Mastin-prepared powerplant under the hood. “There’s only maybe four races on it but two of them are wins. When we get around to the final sheet metal work you just might see a 27J on the side to make it official.”

SK Modifieds: Rocco Closes Out Stafford Season With a Victory

Stafford Speedway (CT) returned to action its final NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature events of the 2009 season as part of CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend.

The 40-lap SK Modified® feature took the green with Wade Mattesen leading the first lap before giving way to Curt Brainard on lap-2.  Richie Pallai, Jr. followed Brainard past Mattesen and was all over the back bumper of Brainard, looking to take the lead.  The caution slowed the race with 4 laps complete for a spin by Jeff Malave and Chris Matthews.

Pallai moved to the lead on the restart, bringing Keith Rocco, Woody Pitkat, and Ted Christopher by Brainard, dropping him from the lead back to fifth place.  Pallai held the lead until lap-10 when Rocco moved to the front of the field.  Pallai’s day ended one lap later as contact from Christopher sent him into the turn 4 wall and brought the caution out.

Rocco continued to hold the lead back under green with Matt Gallo, Doug Coby, Pitkat, and Todd Owen behind him.  Coby quickly moved by Gallo for second place and Pitkat was also able to get by Gallo, dropping him back to fourth place.  This was the running order at the half-way point when the caution came back out for Darin Renihan, whose car was smoking heavily.

Rocco again moved to the lead with Pitkat moving into second.  Owen moved into third with Coby falling from second back to fourth with Josh Sylvester moving into fifth.  The top-5 ran in line until the caution came back out for a spin by Willie Hardie and Kirk Zervas with 27 laps complete.  On the restart, Rocco’s car didn’t come up to speed as quickly as other competitors and he fell back to third place as Pitkat took the lead and Coby moved into second.  Rocco reeled Coby and moved into second on lap-32.  The caution
came back out with 33 laps complete to slow the action. Pitkat held the lead back under green, but Coby took a trip through the backstretch grass and stalled in turn 3 to bring the yellow back out.

Pitkat maintained the lead with Rocco in second and Brit Andersen moving into third.  Pitkat’s great run ended on lap-36 as his car dropped off the pace and came to pit road, finished for the race.  Rocco was now out front with Andersen and Owen behind him.  Rocco pulled away from Andersen and Owen to take down his sixth feature victory of the 2009 season.  Owen got by Andersen for second in the closing laps with Gallo and Kerry Malone rounding out the top-5.

The 20-lap SK Light Modified feature took the green flag with Lauren Cooper and Earl Pelletier getting hooked together into the turn 1 wall with one lap complete to bring the yellow out.  John Hanafin moved by Kyle Spencer to take the race lead on the restart, with Heather DesRochers, Tony Santangelo, John Montesanto, and Tommy Membrino, Jr. making up the top-5.

As the laps were clicking off the board, Membrino was making his way towards the front of the pack, moving into second behind Hanafin when the caution came out with 18 laps complete for a spin by Harry Wheeler in turn 3.  Shawn Brule spun on the restart in turn 4 to bring the yellow flag back out.  The next restart saw Hanafin and Membrino touch wheels while dueling for the lead, which sent Hanafin around and collected the cars of Erica Santos and Adam Skowyra and brought the yellow back out.

The final restart attempt saw DesRochers move to the outside of Membrino and power by to take over the race lead.  DesRochers stayed out front for the final two laps of the race and she took down her second feature win of the 2009 season.  Membrino finished second, with Montesanto, Santangelo, and Jay Goff rounding out the top-5.

Waterford: Championship Battles Come Down to The Wire This Weekend

The Waterford Speedbowl’s annual Finale event scheduled for this weekend, October 9, 10 and 11 caps a tremendously competitive year.  All told, nearly 500 laps of racing among 12 divisions will take place at the traditional closing race weekend.

A season’s worth of racing all comes down to one race to decide champions in three of the Speedbowl’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions – the SK Modifieds, Street Stocks and Norwich Bulletin Mini Stocks.  Bruce Thomas Jr. of Groton has already claimed his third consecutive title in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models.   There have been 33 different winners across the four divisions in 2009.

Saturday, October 10 will host all qualifying and feature racing for the NEATV Truck Series (25-laps), Allison Legacy North Racing Series (25-laps), Legends Cars (20-laps), Super X-Cars (20-laps), X-Cars (20-laps), X-Modifieds (20-laps), and Bandolero’s (12-laps).  The Speedbowl will also host a 25-lap Outlaw Stock race, giving race teams from other tracks and divisions opportunity to compete at the shoreline oval.  The Women on Wheels will be back as well, with both a 4 & 8 cylinder event planned.  Pit gates open at 8:00am with practice following.  The action gets underway at approximately 1:00pm.  Grandstands open at 9:15am.

On Sunday October 11, the annual pit party begins the day at 10:00am.  The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season comes to a close with the Norwich Bulletin Mini Stocks (50-laps), Street Stocks (50-laps), Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models (100-laps) and SK Modifieds (100-laps) in competition.  Pit gates open at 8:00am, with racing getting underway following the pit party, at 12:30pm.  Grandstands open at 10:00am.

Friday, October 9 is practice for all divisions. Pit gates open at 12:00pm.

The SK Modified points race is the tightest as just six points separate Wallingford’s Keith Rocco, who has led the points race from his victory in the Saturday night opener, back to Groton’s Ron Yuhas Jr.  Both drivers seek their first open-wheel title at Waterford.  To date nine different drivers have entered the winner’s circle this year in the division, making their 100-lap race the exclamation point to another competitive campaign.  Rocco won last year’s Finale.

The Street Stock title is led by Uncasville’s Brandon Plemons.  Buoyed by consistency, he leads Chaplin’s Walt Hovey by just eight points, Old Saybrook driver Ronnie Oldham Jr. by 14 and defending champion Al Stone III of New Haven by 24.   Their 50-lap race will have all eyes on the contenders and keep everyone’s math skills sharp.

The Norwich Bulletin Mini Stocks have Danny Field of Deep River leading in his quest for a third track championship, but first since 2006.  He leads Rhode Island driver Kyle James by 18 points and Lisbon’s Louis Bellisle III by 22.  

Pro Four Modifieds: Wrenn Wins Again

The Pro Four Modifieds of New England (PFMNE) completed their twelfth race of the season at Twin State Speedway. Fifteen modifieds hit the pavement for the Bot-L-Gas and RF Logic feature at Open Wheel Sunday in Claremont, NH. The #58 of Henry Sirigano and the #00 of Dave Richardi won their respective heat races and also finished in the top five for the feature. But it was the #1m of Norm Wrenn who proved unstoppable in the race to the finish.

The PFMNE 25-lap main event was led by D. Richardi and the #07 of Phil Lausier. Wrenn started in ninth, but quickly moved into the high groove, passing the #31 of Michael Crawford, the #26 of Mike Patnaude, and Sirigano on the first lap. By lap three, Wrenn tucked in behind the #4 of Cory Cleary, who saw an open door under the #11a of Dan Meservey. Coming out of turn four on the sixth lap, the #86 of Mark Charette drove outside the #34 of Mark Giordano for eleventh as he chased down a spot in the top ten. Wrenn found an opening below Cleary and passed him on lap seven for the fourth position. On lap seven, a caution came out for the #99 of Billy Joerres who spun in turns three and four.

On the restart, D. Richardi and Lausier continued to lead the field, followed closely by the #10 of Brian Vincent and Wrenn. Within one lap of the restart, Wrenn drove outside Vincent and had begun racing side by side with Lausier. The battle continued for a lap before Wrenn’s machine claimed the second position. Meanwhile, Meservey and Cleary raced side by side, vying for the fifth position, but Cleary was able to keep his advantage. Wrenn challenged D. Richardi for the lead, and the two raced side by side for several laps—with neither holding the advantage for very long. By lap fourteen, however, Wrenn’s machine completed the pass and would took over the lead for the rest of the race with D. Richardi at his heels. On that same lap, Cleary drove under Vincent to claim the fourth position. On lap sixteen, Joerres was about to pass Charette but had an unfortunate spin in turns three and four that brought out the second caution of the event.

Wrenn and D. Richardi led the field on the restart, followed by Lausier and Cleary. Sirigano restarted in seventh, but quickly made his way around Meservey and was looking to pass Cleary as well. But on lap seventeen, Cleary headed to the pits and was unable to return to the track. The third caution of the event occurred on lap twenty, when the #16 of Stan Mertz and Joerres spun on the frontstretch.

A single file restart brought on some side by side racing in the back of the field, but within five laps, it was Wrenn who claimed his tenth victory of the season. He was followed by D. Richardi, Lausier, Vincent, and Sirigano to complete the top five. Meservey, Patnaude, Mertz, Charette, Joerres, Crawford, Giordano, Cleary, the #56 of Dave Bedard, and the #07x of Robin Berghman rounded out the rest of the finishing order. Stan Mertz was the first Limited Pro Four to cross the finish line, followed by Joerres and Giordano.

The PFMNE’s next race will be at the D. Anthony Venditti Memorial at Seekonk Speedway on Saturday.

TVMRS: D A V Fall Classic To Close Out 64th Season at Seekonk Speedway.

On October 9, 10 & 11, Seekonk Speedway will hose the 18th annual DAV Fall Classic. There will be plenty of invaders coming to town for this event. Co-headlining the weekend will be the True Value Modifieds, NEMA Midgets, NEMA Lites and Pro4 Modifieds. They will be joined by open competition racing for Pro Stocks/Super Late Models, Late Models, Seekonk Sport Trucks/Mini Stocks and Street Stocks. Our Fast Friday classes will also be a part of the action, as the Seekonk Youth Racing Association, Pure Stocks and Sport4 divisions will be running.

Friday, October 9 will feature an open practice session for all divisions participating in the Fall Classis, as sanctioning bodies will allow. This has provided competitors that normally run elsewhere a chance to get acclimated with the tricky 1/3 mile.

Saturday will start with practice followed by qualifying for all divisions. Heats and consolations will be run as needed. On Saturday, features will be run for the Pro4 Modifieds, NEMA Lites, Pure Stocks, Seekonk Youth Racing Association 750 and 600 classes, and the Sport4 divisions.

Closing out Saturday's events will be the Kraze's Speed Equipment Pro4 Powder Puff race in The Race Against Cancer, featuring the ladies of the Pro4 Modifieds. This Powder Puff race will be the 1st Annual Race for a Cure for the Pro4 ladies. In a charity event that has been run once at the 4 Cylinder Nationals, Gary Sagar and the Pro4 community wanted to give Southern New England a chance to help in the Brest Cancer Awareness cause. Al proceeds and donations will go directly to the Race Against Cancer.

Sunday will feature twin 100's for the True Value Modifieds and the Pro Stocks. The Pro Stocks have been a staple at Seekonk Speedway since 1979, headlining the speedway from 1980 until the present. This race has become a fan favorite over the years, as competitors and champions from the Northeast compete against the Seekonk greats. The TVMRS are winding down their season, and with only one more race on their schedule, each position weighs heavily in the chase for the title. Also running main events are the NEMA Midgets, open competition racing for the Late Models, Street Stocks and Seekonk Sport Trucks/Mini Stocks.

For advance tickets and more information, check out our website at Seekonkspeedway.com.

DIRT: Fuller Looking To Repeat In Rite Aid 200

Tim Fuller is undoubtedly the hottest driver on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Now the Watertown, N.Y. star is hoping all his sweet full-fender vibes will transfer to his DIRTcar Modified assault on Super DIRT Week XXXVIII, which runs Oct. 7-11 at the Syracuse Mile on the New York State Fairgrounds.

With wins in seven of the last 11 WoO LMS A-Mains – including the last tour event contested on Sept. 6 at Pennsylvania’s Tri-City Speedway – Fuller is riding high as he returns to his Modified roots for the Northeast open-wheel circuit’s biggest show of the season. He’ll race for nearly $75,000 in first-place cash during the extravaganza of speed, which is headlined by the $50,000-to-win Rite Aid 200 Presented By Ferris & Snapper Mowers for DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds on Sunday (Oct. 11).

“It sure would be nice to keep things going at Syracuse,” said Fuller, who will also enter the $20,000-to-win 358-Modified ‘Salute To The Trrops 150’ on Saturday (Oct. 10) and a 100-lap Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Series event that offers a $4,000 top prize on Thursday night (Oct. 8) at Brewerton (N.Y.) Speedway. “There’s a lot of money on the line and I’d like to get some of it.”

Fuller, 41, will make all his Super DIRT Week starts at the Syracuse Mile in equipment fielded by the Smith Brothers Concrete team, a long-running Big-Block Modified operation from the Middletown, N.Y., area that is co-owned by Steve Hastings and Joe Knoth. Fuller joined the team earlier this season to run selected Big-Block events that fit into his busy dirt Late Model schedule.

But while Fuller’s cars will sport the No. 74 that Hastings and Knoth have displayed on their Modifieds for years, the machine he’s set to run in the Rite Aid 200 is actually his own proven Syracuse car. Fuller has entered the 2006 Teo-Pro mount in the last three Rite Aid 200s, finishing seventh (2006), second (2007) and fifth (2008) while winning the pole position with a fast time-trial lap in both ’06 and ’08.

Hastings and Knoth agreed to make Fuller’s car a Smith Brothers No. 74 for Syracuse duty early in their partnership. They took the Mod to car builder Bobby Hearn’s northern New Jersey shop for updating several months ago and recently installed a new big-block engine that they had constructed by New York’s Precision Engine Service.

“We’ll be good (with the big-block car),” stated a confident Fuller, who spent the past few days making final preparations on the car in his shop. “The big thing is that I’m not going into the week in a car I don’t know. I know I have a good, fast car that works well at Syracuse.”

Fuller, who will run the 358-Modified Syracuse 150 in a separate Smith Brothers No. 74 and Brewerton’s midweek satellite event in a small-block owned by central New Yorker Joe Beyea, won the Rite Aid 200 in 2004 and 358-Modified Syracuse 150 in 2005 while making his living as a full-time DIRTcar Modified driver. He’d love to repeat in both races – not only for his own bank account, but to provide Hastings and Knoth a huge highlight for their careers as car owners and reward them for backing him in 2009.

Earlier this year, on Aug. 8, Fuller captured a Super DIRTcar Series event at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Speedway – the first win Hastings and Knoth enjoyed on the Northeast’s premier big-block Modified tour in two decades. They have not realized great success in limited Super DIRT Week appearances over the years, so Fuller has a chance to bring them a second rare experience in his first season as their driver.

“Racing for these guys has been perfect,” Fuller said of his ’09 Modified outings, which also included a spring victory in the DIRT Challenge Cup at Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge, N.Y., and a second-place finish in the inaugural $20,000-to-win DIRTcar All-Star 100 in July at Cayuga County Fair Speedway in Weedsport, N.Y. “I couldn’t ask for a better deal. They’re out to run good but also have a good time, so they fit my program real well.

“They’re giving me everything you need to win at Syracuse and hopefully we can get the job done for them.”

Fuller has been a Super DIRT Week fixture since 1992, when he finished 33rd in his first start in the 358-Modified event. He’s started every Rite Aid 200 since 1996, with his average finish of 12th ranking among the best of all drivers during that span.

And even as he continues to develop into a true national dirt Late Model star, he can’t fathom spending Columbus Day weekend doing anything but running a Modified on the famed ‘Moody Mile’ in Syracuse.

“I enjoy going (to Super DIRT Week) because it’s still one of the premier events in the country,” said Fuller, a former champion of the overall Mr. DIRTcar Big-Block Modified (2005) and Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified (1993 and 2003) points races. “I really enjoy race day (of the Rite Aid 200) and the challenge of trying to win the race. I’ve always said that you haven’t made it in Modifieds until you’ve won it.”

Fuller will be back behind the wheel of his Gypsum Express No. 19 dirt Late Model just three days after the Rite Aid 200 when he enters the WoO LMS ‘Topless Showdown’ on Wed., Oct. 14, at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. The unique 50-lap event boasts a top prize of as much as $30,000, depending on the starting position of the winner.

Currently ranked fourth in the WoO LMS points standings and tied with Josh Richards for the most wins (seven), Fuller will close out the tour’s 2009 season on Nov. 5-7 with the third annual running of the World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track.

SK Lights: Thomspon Adds SK Sunoco Light Modifieds to World Series Card

The XTRAMART World Series of Speedway Racing continues to grow. The 36th edition of this great auto racing weekend will now host fifteen divisions of race cars and race trucks. The newest addition to the lineup will include the SK Sunoco Light Modified division.

“During the past couple of years, we have been asked about including the SK Light cars in our World Series event. This year, the interest expressed by competitors was such that we felt we had to make room in the program to feature this exciting division of open-wheel modified cars,” said Thompson owner and promoter, Don Hoenig.

The division will be known as the SK Sunoco Light Modifieds and will participate in practice and qualifying on Friday, October 16th. Their 20-lap feature race will be part of the action packed Saturday night program.

Competitors in this division should know that their home track (SMS) rules will apply and that even their home track, SMS, tires will be available at Thompson. However, based on testing results on Thursday, October 8th, competitors may be allowed to change the ‘chip’ in the car. Thompson officials feel very strongly that the SK Sunoco Light Modifieds should not have to make any significant changes in their cars in order to participate in the XTRAMART World Series of Speedway Racing. This will be the first time that this division has competed at the ultra-fast Thompson Speedway and the track wants to make that first experience a good one.

The XTRAMART World Series of Speedway Racing has grown in size and scope during its 35 year history and will continue to expand and improve. The popularity of this incredible three-day weekend of racing continues to grow as hundreds race fans literally move in for the weekend with their campers.

The most exciting and most diversified collection of race vehicles gather each year for this amazing season-ending event. Race cars including the winged Super Modifieds, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NEMA Midgets lead the lineup of the 15 division schedule. Race fans from far and wide make the trip to Thompson for this annual event.

World Series: Texas Hold’ Em Tournament Set To Benefit Sonny “King” Richards Memorial

On Friday, October 16, 2009, at 8PM, the friends of Sonny “The King” Richards will host the first-ever Texas Hold’ Em Poker Tournament at the Raceway Golf Club Restaurant on the grounds of Thompson International Speedway during the running of the World Series of Speedway Racing. There will be a $40 buy-in with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Sonny Richards “Education is King” Scholarship Fund. The payout will be determined by the number of players. Prizes will be paid out to the top-three finishers.

Known to many as the “King”, Sonny Richards was a longtime supporter of Modified racing and friend to the entire Motorsports community.  A fan since the days of the coupe, Sonny was a fixture at Modified races throughout the decades.  He began his love affair with the auto racing as a journalist covering the sport for the Connecticut Daily News and later as the field representative for Speedway Scene. Sonny passed away at his home in Hartford, CT in July of 2001 after having enjoyed an action-packed Modified race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The King was a man who gave so much of himself to others. The Sonny “King” Richards Memorial was created by a group of his closest friends shortly after his death to help ensure that his spirit lives on.  Tributes to Sonny include a memorial award and the Scholarship fund.

Any active participant in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour or their families actively enrolled in a collegiate program is eligible to receive the “Education is King” Sonny Richards Memorial Scholarship. Past recipients of scholarship include Megan Clifford and Kelly Coby-Silk. Megan and her parents remain active in the racing community today. Kelly, along with her husband Ronnie Silk and brother Doug Coby, are among the new generation of the Modified Tour. Anyone interested in the “Education is King” Sonny Richards Memorial Scholarship should contact Dale Wolbrink at (508) 847-0565 or racinpr@aol.com for application requirements.

Proceeds from the Texas Hold’ Em Poker Tournament will help to support the educational aspirations of another member of the racing community. Noted journalist and avid Poker player Shawn Courchesne of the Hartford Courant has agreed to organize the tournament.

Tickets are available for the Texas Hold’ Em Poker Tournament by emailing racinpr@aol.com or by calling (508) 847-0565.

Also, during the weekend, a member of the Modified Tour Racing community will walk away with the 9th Annual Sonny Richards Memorial Award.  Each year as part of the ongoing tribute to the late Richards, the memorial award is presented to the owner, driver, crewmember, or official deemed by the media as the best representative of the Whelen Modified Tour. Some truly outstanding people have won this special recognition including Art Barry, Tony Ferrante, Sr., Ralph Solhem, Tom Baldwin, Sr., Jerry Marquis, Howie & Mary Hodge, Mark Mockovak, and Bill Brice.

The World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson is one of the most fun and unique race events of the season. The friends of Sonny Richards are proud to be a part of the festivities.

DIRT: Troyer Adds New Car Bonus To SDW Rite Aid 200 Halfway Leader

There’s no prize bigger than what awaits the winner of the 38th Annual Rite Aid 200 Presented By Ferris & Snapper Mower on Sunday of Super DIRT Week. Yet Troyer Race Cars President Billy Colton has made leading at the halfway mark just as rewarding for one lucky driver.

Colton recently spiked the ‘Halfway Lap Leader’ bonus in DIRTcar Racing Northeast’s marquee event at the Syracuse Mile with the lap 100 leader on Oct. 11 collecting a brand new 2010 HT Max-Flex Troyer Chassis valued in excess of $7,000.

With the Troyer contingent led by 2007 Rite Aid 200 pole-winner Jimmy Phelps, two-time race winner Vic Coffey and second-generation favorite Richie Tobias Jr., who also won in 1992, 45 drivers are scheduled to take the green flag on Sunday each with a chance to own a new car even before 2010 arrives.

Phelps and Pennsylvania pilot Dave Murdick are the only drivers to experiment so far with the hi-tech Troyer creation, and the production line at the Rochester, New York-based chassis builder’s shop will be in full gear throughout the winter months taking orders for the most advanced model on the market today.

All new features for the 2010 HT Max-Flex Chassis include: new driver & engine location for better balance, revised torsion rack design and location for added traction and versatility, enhanced radius rod locations for better drive, improved chassis “flex points” along with new body design that maximizes aerodynamics and provides added down force and side bite in slick conditions.

Over the years it has become a tradition recognized by every race competitor. Whatever description is afforded the Lap 100 Award, cashing in at both the century mark and at the end of the Rite Aid 200 has so far proven to be a near impossibility. In fact, since the inception of this lucrative award, the feat has been mastered only once before and never even on the same day as Billy Decker returned to the Syracuse Mile in November of 2005 to garner the unique award.

For the 23rd consecutive year, the leader at the halfway point of the Rite Aid 200 stands to collect the highly sought after bonus that has become an integral part of the Sunday show. Only time will tell if patient pit stop execution and a victory lane appearance are compatible in the 2009 edition of the world's richest DIRTcar event for Big-Block Modifieds --- one made even more lucrative this week by Troyer Race Cars.

Year-Lap 100 Leader (Rite Aid 200 Finish)

2008-Justin Haers (10th), 2007-Andy Bachetti (34th), 2006-Rick Laubach (31st),  2005-Billy Decker (1st), 2004-Pat Ward (3rd), 2003-Danny Johnson (19th), 2002-Jerry Higbie (24th), 2001-Pete Bicknell (8th), 2000-Frank Cozze (22nd), 1999-Danny Johnson (16th), 1998-Bobby Varin (5th), 1997-Billy Decker (27th), 1996-Rick Mill (24th), 1995-Danny Johnson (8th), 1994-Dave Blaney (2nd), 1993-Dave Blaney (26th), 1992-Frank Jashembowski (25th), 1991-Frank Cozze (24th), 1990-Danny Johnson (20th), 1989-Frank Cozze (17th), 1988-Doug Hoffman (6th), 1987-Alan Johnson (18th).

Adhering to its promise of quality service with 100% satisfaction, Troyer Engineering was founded in 1977 by Maynard Troyer, multi-time Race of Champions winner and one of the all-time greats in Northeastern Modified racing. Troyer had a successful career as both a driver and builder of asphalt and dirt Modifieds and established one of the most successful race car manufacturing businesses in the country.

George Brunnhoelzl, III will clinch the 2009 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship by just starting the Caraway race.  (Jim Dupont Photo)
Donny Lia (#4) and Ryan Preece (#3) are the main players in the WMT title fight with one race to go.  (Jim Dupont Photo)
The North South Shootout has always been about all types of Modifieds.  This year, the Late Models will be part of the show too.
Norm Wrenn won the Pro Four race at Twin State.  (TSS Photos)
Fuller in victory lane.
Ted Christopher (#36) and Todd Szegedy (#2) still have a shot at the championship - but because of a few incidents like this, they have much more ground to make up.  (Jim Dupont Photo)
Keith Rocco (#88) leads Tom Bolles (#76) in the Fall Final SK Modified race.  (Rick Ibsen Photos)