WEEDSPORT, N.Y. – DIRTcar Racing’s Sportsman Modified Series kicks off its 14-race 2015 season on Saturday, April 25, at Fulton Speedway, and expectations are high as the tour will roll through New York, Ontario and Quebec throughout the year.
“We averaged just over 35 Sportsman at each Series race last year,” said DIRTcar Northeast Director of Series and Sanctioning Mike Perrotte. “All indications are that we will have strong car counts in this class once again. I’m excited to see the caliber of competition these drivers will bring to the tracks we will be running.”
In 2014, champion Mathieu Dejardins of Sorel, Quebec, clinched the title by just one point over Shane Pecore of Cornwall, Ontario. Each had two wins to their credit on the highly competitive 13-stop circuit and each is looking to best that performance starting with the opening show next weekend at Fulton.
Cory Reed, Director of Marketing for the John and Laura Wight owned Fulton & Brewerton Speedways, is looking forward to Fulton being the opening track.
“The Sportsman are a perfect complement to the Big-Block DIRTcar Northeast Series event we are running on that same date,” Reed said. “We believe in the DIRTcar Northeast product. Having the 2015 DIRTcar Northeast Series program begin at Fulton Speedway gives us the opportunity to showcase our facility and the competitive program we run weekly. We’re real pleased to be involved.”
After starting the season at Fulton Speedway the Sportsman Series will make its next visit to CanAm Speedway on Wednesday, June 3, in LaFargeville, N.Y.
Fulton and CanAm are new to the schedule after an absence of several seasons, providing some neutral territory for competitors and making it anyone’s guess who might win. Sportsman Series action resumes in July with a two-day trip to Quebec’s Autodrome Drummond on July 20 in Drummondville and Autodrome Granby on July 21 in Granby.
The tour then shifts into September for a busy stretch with races Sept. 6 at Cornwall (Ontario) Motor Speedway, Sept. 11 at Ransomville (N.Y.) Speedway, Sept. 12 at Merrittville Speedway in Thorold, Ont., Sept. 13 at Humberstone (Ont.) Speedway, Sept. 19 at Mohawk Speedway in Akwesasne, N.Y.), and finally Sept. 20 at RPM Speedway (DeRichelieu, QUE).
The championship run in October includes a busy NAPA Super DIRT Week. Not only will the class compete at the famous ‘Moody Mile’ in Syracuse, N.Y., but it will also race at Weedsport (N.Y.) Speedway on Wednesday, Oct. 7, and at Brewerton (N.Y.) Speedway on Thursday, Oct 8.
Weedsport Speedway promoter (and Super DIRTcar Series star) Jimmy Phelps is pleased about the opportunity for the Sportsman to compete at Weedsport during NAPA Super DIRT Week.
“The Sportsman division has not only played a key role in the early success of Weedsport, but it is a big part of our overall season,” Phelps said. “We are very proud to be able to bring a DIRTcar Series race to our venue during such a big week as Super DIRT Week.”
The management team at Brewerton echoes those sentiments. Reed is looking forward to the Sportsman class running at Brewerton during Super DIRT Week.
“Brewerton makes a perfect back-to-back opportunity for more participation by the Sportsman on that Thursday night. The 358 and Sportsman teams will now be able to race at two prominent central New York facilities.”
Action at NAPA Super DIRT Week XLIV wraps up with the drivers taking on the Mile for 30 laps of competition in a non-point race on the sport’s biggest stage. The prestige, and even more importantly, the momentum of a win at Super DIRT Week will be important heading into the season’s championship finale.
Brockville (Ont.) Speedway will once again welcome the Sportsman competitors for the 2015 championship finale. The annual DIRTcar Fall Nationals weekend will be the final showcase, and if history repeats the 2015 DIRTcar Northeast Sportsman Series championship will go right down to the checkered flag.
“There is a lot of team commitment to the Sportsman Series program,” Perrotte said. “We’re very optimistic this class will continue to be strongly supported at the local level, at Super DIRT Week and throughout the Series season. I think the fans will be pleased with the level of competition they will see at all DIRTcar Northeast Sportsman events.”
-DIRTcar Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com