NORTHEAST: Friesen, Rudolph Could Skip I-88 Due to Platinum DIRTcar Status

Marshall Gabell Dirt Modifieds, Dirt Track Racing, Featured, Northeast, Super DIRTcar Series 0 Comments

A schedule conflict will see the Super DIRTcar Series compete against the Short Track Super Series on Wednesday night. (Kim Forcellina/Race Pro Weekly photo)

A schedule conflict will see the Super DIRTcar Series compete against the Short Track Super Series on Wednesday night. (Kim Forcellina/Race Pro Weekly photo)

WEEDSPORT, N.Y. — Super DIRTcar Series officials announced Monday the postponement of their scheduled Autodrome Granby event two days to Wednesday, July 27, throwing a monkey wrench into the northeast dirt modified schedule.

With all start times for the SDS event going off unchanged on Wednesday, the rescheduled date will force several platinum-contracted series regulars and platinum to look at adjusting their schedules, as by rule they would be prevented from competing in the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Halmar North Region’s ‘Crazy 8s Special’ at I-88 Speedway Afton Fairgrounds without stiff penalties.

Platinum Super DIRTcar Series drivers, who are competitors that must remain committed to the division and would be penalized if found racing in a conflicting event on a night when the series is racing, are listed below:

Peter Britten
Frank Cozze
Billy Decker
Keith Flach
Stewart Friesen
Tim Fuller
Brett Hearn
Mike Mahaney
Max McLaughlin
Eldon Payne
Jimmy Phelps
Erick Rudolph
Rich Scagliotta
Matt Sheppard
Pat Ward
Larry Wight
Mat Williamson

Among those listed, six (highlighted in black) have entered a Short Track Super Series event this season, and could now potentially have to miss the $8,888-to-win event at Afton Fairgrounds on Wednesday.

Platinum drivers Rudolph and Friesen, who both had intentions to compete for a Short Track Super Series championship, hold the top two positions in the Halmar North Region points standings — but will likely forfeit those spots following the ‘Crazy 8s Special’.

Friesen, who is second in Super DIRTcar Series points, was the defending victor of the event at the .375-mile dirt track. Rudolph, on the other hand, was hoping to extend his commanding lead in the standings.

Mike Mahaney (ninth) and Matt Sheppard (18th) will also lose ground in the STSS standings if they miss this week’s race.

Despite the schedule conflict, Short Track Super Series promoter and owner Brett Deyo responded to a Facebook status late Monday night, explaining he is still hopeful for a strong showing and does not expect the interference to affect car counts for either show.

“I don’t see it as a screw over at all,” Deyo commented on the post. “We are all in business to run races and they need to get theirs in just like we do. If we can’t manage to put together two good shows five hours apart there is something wrong. I know we will have a good field. I’m sure they (the Super DIRTcar Series) will too.”

Danny Johnson, Andy Bachetti, and Danny Creeden (third through fifth in Short Track Super Series points) hope to capitalize on Friesen and Rudolph’s potential absences and score a substantial check, along with a boost in the standings, on Wednesday night.

Though the series could miss out on some usual faces, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship contender and big-block modified standout Tyler Dippel has expressed interest in competing at Afton Fairgrounds on Wednesday.

15-year-old Dippel told Race Chaser Online that he wasn’t sure if he would travel up north for the event, but did not rule out the possibility. He and his team are still “hard at work,” preparing his brand new modified.

“We’re not sure yet,” Dippel admitted when reached via Facebook. “(The) new car is still not right. We’ll see though.”

Should any platinum-level SDS drivers elect to compete in Deyo’s event at I-88, the penalty would likely be a loss of 150 points and revocation of their platinum status, as evidenced after Brett Hearn skipped an SDS event last October to race in the Eastern States 200 at Orange County Fair Speedway.

Following Wednesday night, the Super DIRTcar Series heads to Merritville Speedway on Aug. 1, while the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Halmar North Region is off until Aug. 16 at Woodhull Raceway.

 

About the Writer 

Marshall Gabell is the Mid-Atlantic Correspondent for Race Chaser Online, and was also formerly the public relations director for NASCAR Next member Austin Hill. Gabell is currently attending Stephen Decatur High School in Ocean City, Maryland, completing his sophomore year. He is just 15 years old.

Email Marshall at: [email protected]

Follow on Twitter: @MarshallGabell

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