Column By: TOBY LAGRANGE / GLOVERSVILLE, NY – When the final checkered flag waves on the DIRTcar Sportsman and DIRTcar Pro Stock seasons in October at the Dirt Track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the time period between the final weekend in August and Labor Day Weekend will be remembered as a pivotal one in the championship chases.
Starting with the Mike Bonesky Memorial at the Ransomville Speedway where the DIRTcar Sportsman West (U.S.) and Central regions came together through the final checkered flags this coming Sunday at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and the Humberstone Speedway, multiple track titles will be decided as well as the 2022 Hoosier Tire Weekly Championship for both divisions.
The Bonesky Memorial would see all qualifying events held on Wednesday evening August 24th with rain forcing the feature event to Thursday evening. When all was said and done, Brett Senek, a Ransomville native, would pick up the big win in front of his hometown crowd.
Senek dominated the event which was a companion to the Super DIRTcar Series event for the Big Block Modifieds. Senek crossed the finish line ahead of Cody McPherson, Zach Sobotka, Nelson Mason and Dave DiPietro.
“Starting on the front row definitely helped, it was big tonight,” Senek said. “But I had one heck of a hot rod tonight. I can’t thank Johnny Coco, Randy Williamson, enough for giving me advise, trying some new stuff tonight. The thing was a rocket.”
McPherson, who also holds the Hoosier Tire Weekly Championship points lead for the DIRTcar Sportsman division finished second after an excursion near the turn one wall.
“The single-file restart, you couldn’t see much going into (Turn) one and all of the sudden I was heading toward the wall,” McPherson said. “Luckily we didn’t do too much damage and where able to battle back.”
David Rogers continues to lead the Central Region standings for the DIRTcar Sportsman Series. With two races remaining in the region (Can-Am on 9/9 and Weedsport on 9/11), Rogers holds a scant four-point advantage over Tyler Corcoran and 16 over Mike Fowler. Andrew Buff (-26) and Zach Sobotka (-28) round out the top five.
With his seventh-place finish, Cameron Tuttle was crowned the DIRTcar Sportsman Western Region (U.S) champion. Fowler finished second in the region with Dalton Martin, Ryan Barrett and Noah Walker rounding out the top five.
The Brockville Ontario Speedway hosted round number three of the four round DIRTcar Sportsman North Region (Canada) Series on August 27th. Shane Pecore made it three different winners in as many events within the region with the win in the 50-lap event.
Pecore, who also has a win in the North (U.S.) Region at the Airborne Speedway on June 15th, crossed the finish line ahead of Bobby Herrington, Dylan Kirkland, Xavier Andrews and Jessica Powers. With the win, Pecore retains the points lead heading into the final round of the region on September 10th at Autodrome Drummond in Quebec.
In addition to the regions, the DIRTcar Sportsman division has competed in the 2022 Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship all season long. The championship uses a driver’s best 16 finishes at non-series DIRTcar sanctioned events to crown a champion. The top 20 in the final point standings earn money and gift certificates. The champion will receive $1,000.
Heading into the final weekend of action, Cody McPherson leads the standings by 12 points over Andrew Buff. McPherson has 12 wins, three seconds and one third place finish to bring his total to 940 points. Buff meanwhile has 10 wins, four seconds and two third place finishes to bring his total to 928 points.
This means that in order for McPherson to increase his points total he will need to finish first or second once and win two more times if he runs three DIRTcar events this weekend. Buff will run three events this weekend (Albany-Saratoga, Fulton and Glen Ridge) and he will need to finish first or second twice and win once in order to increase his point total.
For example, if McPherson finishes outside the top three in all events he runs this weekend, then Buff would need to at least two second place finishes and a win in order to tie McPherson or a win and one second place finish to also tie. Two feature wins would earn Buff 16 extra points which would mean McPherson would need one second place finish to tie.
McPherson can clinch the championship with a win or two second place finishes (clinches a tie) or to win the championship outright, a win and a second-place finish or three second place finishes.
In the DIRTcar Pro Stock division, the 2022 Hoosier Tire Weekly Championship standings are close however they have fewer scenarios. The division is competing for the same purse as the DIRTcar Sportsman division.
Chad Jeseo, a regular at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway and Lebanon Valley Speedway holds an 18 point advantage over Luke Horning. Horning, who clinched his fifth DIRTcar Pro Stock championship at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park last weekend, also competes weekly at Albany-Saratoga.
With 13 feature wins and three second place finishes, Jeseo has clinched at least a share of the championship. The best that Horning (11 wins, three seconds, a third and a fourth) can do is win both events, which would tie him with Jeseo. He would also need to win Saturday night at Lebanon Valley to have any hope of winning the championship outright. A feature win by Jeseo would clinch the championship for him.
Make sure you keep your eyes on the DIRTcar Sportsman and DIRTcar Pro Stock divisions this weekend as they each move closer to their respective championships.
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