Column By: TOBY LAGRANGE / RPW – GLOVERSVILLE, NY – With the summer season in full effect, it’s time to start thinking about the pots of gold at the end of the DIRTcar rainbows…the 2022 DIRTcar Championships.
With the exception of the Fall Championship Series for the DIRTcar Sportsman Series, all regional series, track championship races and the Hoosier Tire Weekly Championship events are in full swing.
If you have been looking for my column over the past few weeks, I unfortunately had to put it on hiatus due to a very sudden death in my immediate family. My mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly on Sunday morning June 12th and ever since my racing has taken a back burner. I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this time as does my wife and children who I passed them along to.
Since my last column here on Race Pro Weekly, seven of the eight scheduled DIRTcar Sportsman Series events have been contested over all of the regions. The latest two – the Central Region events at the Can-Am Speedway (June 29th) and Land of Legends Raceway (June 30th) will be covered in my next column.
The Merrittville Speedway in Thorold, Ontario kicked off the DIRTcar West Region (Canada) Series for the Sportsman division back on May 28th. When all was said and done Fort Erie, Ontario’s Brad Rouse picked up the feature win. Cody McPherson finished second with Curtis Friesen third, James Michael Friesen fourth and Darrell Farraway fifth.
A total of 23 drivers entered the event with heat race wins going to McPherson, Taylor Vanderzanden and James Michael Friesen. The next event on the West (Canada) Region schedule will be on July 3rd at the Humberstone Speedway. You can watch it free (delayed) on GForce TV, which can be found on YouTube. You can also find the Merrittville event replay on GForce TV.
On Saturday June 11th the DIRTcar Sportsman North Region (Canada) Series kicked off at the Brockville Ontario Speedway, just over the border in Brockville, Ontario. The 40-lap event was won by Dan Ferguson.
Adam Rozon took the early lead over defending track champion Bobby Herrington. Meanwhile, Shane Pecore began to move through the pack and on lap ten, took over the lead from Rozon. Herrington moved out front on lap 24 and held the top spot until lap 37. Jessica Power took the lead on the restart and held it until Ferguson was able to power by for the win on the final lap.
Ferguson claimed the win over Power, Rozon, Shane Stearns and Fire Swamp. Heat races were won by Rozon, Herrington and Xavier Andrews with Shane Stearns setting fast time in time trials with a lap of 15.438 seconds. A total of 28 drivers entered the event.
The next event on the DIRTcar Sportsman North (Canada) Region Schedule is set for Autodrome Drummond on July 2nd.
Shane Pecore picked up the win in the combined DIRTcar Sportsman North (U.S.)/East Region event at the Airborne Speedway on July 15th. The event was postponed from April 30th.
Cedric Gauvreau held the early race lead in the 30-lap event before giving way to Pecore on a lap 17 restart. Once out front Pecore would hold on for the win over David Rogers, Gabriel Cyr, Gauvreau and Codie Aubin. A total of 54 drivers originally entered the event more than a month ago with heat races being won by David Bosclair, Pecore, Rogers, Jamy Begor, Zach Buff and Andrew Buff. Matt Lashua set quick time in time trials with a lap of 19.224 seconds. The Last Chance Showdown’s were claimed by Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Richie Simmons and Beau Reeves.
The scheduled event at the Mohawk Raceway on Thursday June 23rd was postponed due to weather. Once a new date is announced I will pass it along.
The next event on the DIRTcar Sportsman North (U.S.) Region Schedule is set for the Can-Am Speedway on September 9th.
The Genesee Speedway, located in Batavia, New York, played host to round number one of the DIRTcar Sportsman West Region (U.S.) Series. Local standout Phil Vigneri, III of Elba, New York picked up the win in the 30-lap event.
Vigneri, known as “PV3” led every lap of the event, including the last two without power steering.
“With a couple laps left my power steering went,” said Vigneri. “If a caution would have come out, I’m not sure how it would have finished.”
The win was PV3’s second of the season at the Western New York track and came over Ryan Barrett, Jim Harbison, Billy Bleich and Cameron Tuttle. In all 22 drivers entered the event on a stormy Thursday night. Heat race wins were claimed by Harbison, Noah Walker and Mike Fowler. Walker also set quick time in time trials with a lap of 17.497 seconds.
The next event on the DIRTcar Sportsman West (U.S.) Region Schedule is set for Friday July 1st at the Ransomville Speedway. It will be the Chris Moore Memorial.
On Sunday June 19th the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park played host to round number two of the DIRTcar Sportsman East Region Series. When the night was through, rookie Zach Buff stood tall in victory lanes as the winner of the 40-lap feature event.
Buff, the defending Limited Sportsman Track Champion just picked up his first career DIRTcar Sportsman win one week earlier at The Ridge and followed it up with the biggest win of his young career.
Buff picked up the win over his older brother, Andrew, Cody Ochs, Justin Buff and Ricky Quick. Heat races for the 16-car field went to Andrew and Zach Buff with Andrew picking up the fast time in time trials with a lap of 13.419 seconds.
“That was tough!” Zach Biff said. “I really didn’t know where to go and then I saw him (Andrew) under me and that made the end really crazy.”
You can find the replay of this event on The Cushion. The next event on the DIRTcar Sportsman East Region Schedule is slated for Saturday July 30th at the Bear Ridge Speedway in Vermont.
The Hoosier Tire DIRTcar Sportsman Weekly Championship takes the best 16 finishes that a driver has at DIRTcar Sportsman sanctioned tracks, adds them together to determine the standings. This excludes series events.
A look at the DIRTcar Sportsman standings following events on Sunday June 26th shows Andrew Buff (862) on top by 46 points over Alan Fink (816). Zach Sobotka sits third with 774 points, Tyler Corcoran fourth with 770 points and Amy Holland fifth with 719 points. Cody Manitta, Brandon Carvey, Cameron Tuttle, Kyle Devendorf and Cody Ochs round out the top ten.
Until next time, please remember to support those that support racing.