Story By: TIM BALTZ / CAN-AM SPEEDWAY – LAFARGEVILLE, NY – It all began in 1988 as a promotion with Modified driver Dave Lape and the late Andy Fusco, to promote a show featuring the best of the best in Modified racing.
That first event, saw the late Doug Hoffman picking up the win, over 1986 Super DIRTcar Series Champion Charlie Rudolph and Brett Hearn.
23 years later, The Can Am Speedway in Lafargeville New York will continue to showcase the best of the best in Modified racing as the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds make their only stop up north. Stewart Friesen is looking to go back to back since Tim McCreadie did it in 2002 and 2003, but local drivers over the years have made it tough on the tour regulars to get just one victory.
In 1990, 4 time DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Champion and Northeast Hall of Famer, Pat O’Brien made history, as he shocked the Modified world by holding off Brett Hearn to claim the win. Many locals still talk about that night, stating that if you weren’t a fan of Pat before, you became a fan of his that night. Watertown New York native Steve Roberts also thrilled the crowd, finishing 5th with a small block motor, while track regular Sandy Roberts brought his small block home in 10th that year.
Five years later, Danny O’Brien would take down the series stars, as he held off Frank Cozze to score his only series win. Danny’s win was not only popular with the Can Am crowd, but to this day, Danny also grins about the fact that coming off turn 4 to the checkered flag, he blew a left rear tire and still was able to make it to victory lane.
Tim Fuller is the reigning Whitesboro Plowshop DIRTcar 358 Modified Track Champion at Can Am, but also has some history in this event. The Edwards New York native, put his name on the map by finishing 4th in his series debut, against drivers like Alan Johnson, Brett Hearn and Kenny Tremont in the 1993 event. Fuller also went on to win the series title in 2004 along with a series win at Can Am in 2007.
Overall since 1988, 3 time series champion Billy Decker is the only driver to compete in every series race at the speedway. The Hurricane, Steve Paine leads all driver with 4 series wins, while Brett Hearn leads all drivers with 11 top 5s and 16 top 10 finishes, in the 20 events he has competed in.
The DIRTcar Pro Stock Series will be on the card for their series opener at Can Am and all eyes will be on Chad Jeseo as he comes into the season as the defending series champion.
Jeseo had a banner year in 2021, winning track titles at Albany Saratoga Speedway and Lebanon Valley. He closed out a championship season with his first tour win during the Mohawk Nationals weekend at the Mohawk International Raceway in September. If that wasn’t enough, Jeseo also earned his first ever NAPA Auto Parts Super Dirt Week DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship win, after several years of trying.
Can Am fans will have plenty to cheer about in the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series, with defending FABCO DIRTcar Pro Stock Champion Justin White, Tyler Bushey, Eli Gilbert and opening day winner Bruno Richard, all in the line up and looking for a strong showing in the tour opener.
Pit gates open at 3pm with spectator gates opening at 4pm. My Place Hotels Time Trials for the Super DIRTcar Series and Time Trials for the DIRTcar Pro Stocks begin at 6:30pm with the first heat going green at 7:15 for the Big Blocks.