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Off-Season Notebook – DTD Exclusive

012014 - Mallett

An ongoing collection of news and notes from the the silly-season that has already begun in the Northeast dirt racing scene.  Be sure to check back often as our team adds additional items all winter long. If you have any news of interest – drivers or teams changing tracks/chassis/series, or anything of interest, please email mikemallett@dirttrackdigest.com .

January

(1/23) Chris Herbison announced his plans to compete weekly in the 358 modified ranks at Brockville Ontario Speedway and Cornwall Motor Speedway.  Herbison is a former sportsman regular and he’ll pilot a Jim Primose owned mount.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/chris-herbison-to-compete-in-358-modified-division-in-2014-driving-for-car-owner-jim-primrose-will-race-weekly-at-brockville-speedway-and-cornwall-speedway/

(1/20) Ransomville, Merrittville and Humberstone Speedway’s make it official that they’ll have a tri-track 358 modified series for the 2014 season.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/tri-track-series-set-to-launch-in-2014-at-humberstone-merrittville-and-ransomville-speedways/

(1/20) Danny Johnson officially turns to the Lisa Maroney owned No. 27J for the 2014 racing season with a big-block powerplant.  Plans have not yet been set where Johnson will compete on a weekly basis.

(1/14) Several drivers updates from the annual Motorsports show in Fair Oaks, Pa., promoted by Len Sammons Productions.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/quick-notes-from-motorsports-2014-dtd-exclusive/

(1/2) Dave Murdick made his plans known that the Western Pa., star will once again be competing in a late model and big-block modified in 2014.

December

(12/28) Ryan Susice and Billy Van Pelt announced their plans to team up for special events at the Ransomville Speedway in 2014 as well as Susice running weekly at the Merrittville Speedway.

(12/11) Steve Kinser makes it official that 2014 will be his last with the World of Outlaw STP Sprint Car series.  The 60-year-old driver is giving fans one last opportunity to cheer on the ‘King of the Outlaws.’

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/king-of-the-outlaws-to-make-final-run-at-21st-world-of-outlaws-stp-sprint-car-series-crown-during-2014-campaign-dubbed-salute-to-the-king/

(12/10) Big Blocks are back at the Ransomville Speedway for the Alex Friesen Memorial Summer Nationals to be run on Tuesday August 5th.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/big-blocks-making-2014-return-to-ransomville-speedway-for-30th-annual-alex-friesen-summer-nationals/

(12/10) Jenna David, Mohawk International Speedway sportsman driver, will make the jump to weekly 358-modified competition for the 2014 racing season.  Craig Revelle released the news in his column.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/border-patrol-a-weekly-look-at-racing-from-both-sides-of-the-1000-islands-12913/

(12/2) Jeff Brownell Jr., will return to the seat of the family owned No. 29 for 2014 competing weekly at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park driving for his father.

November

(11/28) Jake Spraker and Bobby Varin will join forces once again for the 2014 season as they return to the Track of Champions (Fonda Speedway).

(11/28) Matt Sheppard made it official that he is moving to Heinke Baldwin Racing for the 2014 season.

(11/23) Doug Emery confirmed that Stewart Friesen will once again pilot his No. 33 sprint car in select events in 2014.  Friesen is also currently attempting to track down a 410 powerplant for use when the Outlaws and All-Stars come to New York.

(11/23) Peter Britten will return to the Albany-Saratoga Speedway for Friday night action behind the wheel of a Jerry Darrah owned machine once again in 2014.

(11/23) The Empire Super Sprints second Assault on the Asphalt has been scheduled for Saturday, June 7, at the Evans Mills Speedway.  Kevin Ward Jr., won the event in 2013.

(11/21) David Gravel is named the new driver of the Phoenix Racing No. 59 for the 2014 season.  Gravel and company plan on competing in close to 60 shows during the season.

(11/21) Canandaigua Motorsports Park announces relationship with DIRTcar as they schedule a Super DIRTcar series event for April 19th at the historic facility.

(11/21) Selinsgrove Speedway announces that the 360/358 class at the track will win $2,000 on a weekly basis for the A-Main event with a total purse of $9,985.00.

(11/21) Davey Moore, the Canadian Blast, plans to return to weekly racing action at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

(11/21) Some notes from the Pennsylvania circuit courtesy of our good friend Jamie Weaknecht and his Club Wago blog:

-BPG Racing shutting down leaving Duane Howard rideless

-Big Diamond joins DIRTcar & announces raised purses ($3,200 to win weekly if 33 or more cars show up, $2,800 if less than 33)

-New Egypt announced they were raising their purse (now $2,500 to win)

-Selinsgrove announced weekly 360 class, replacing the 358 sprints

-Rick Laubach named full-time replacement for Tim Buckwalter aboard Gary Spotts #91, team will run weekly at Big Diamond

-Big Diamond and Grandview sportsman champ Jared Umbenhauer moving up to modifieds for weekly action at Grandview (hissportsman owner Derfler Motorsports also moving up)

-Another Grandview sportsman star, Brett Kressley, will be moving up to the modified division, but will run weekly at Big Diamond

-Late model driver Kyle Merkel has traded in his late model equipment for modified equipment. He will run all Deyo’s shows and will also run weekly at Big Diamond

A couple other notes from Jamie as well.

-Mel Schrufer announced his retirement, he will focus on being a car owner.

-Granby sportsman champion Steve Bernier is moving up to modifieds full-time. He will focus solely on running at Granby.

(11/20) Mohawk International Raceway and Atomic Productions will present the first annual “Atomic Spring Clash” on April 26 and April 27, 2014.  While the event is not exactly a “Lions, and  Tigers, and Bears, Oh MY!” event,  it will feature an action filled combination of late models, sportsman, and sprints.  Day 1 will feature a $2000/win ESS Sprint event, a complete Go Nuclear! Late Model Series event, and a full program of sportsman modifieds.  Day 2 will feature the Go Nuclear Late Models “Fission 50” program including two 25-lap feature events, a $1500/win DIRTcar sportsman series event, and an endure.  Adult tickets for the entire weekend will be only $30.  Fans purchasing the weekend pass will be entered into a drawing for over $10,000 worth of cash and prizes! (courtesy Shayne Tenace)

(11/20) Brett Deyo announces the Hard Clay Open at the Orange County Fair Speedway set for March 23, 2014.  It will be a $30,000 purse with a minimum of $500 to take the green flag.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/spring-fling-unique-hard-clay-open-to-kick-start-orange-county-fair-speedway-2014-season-on-sunday-march-23-featuring-30000-purse/

(11/19) Brett Deyo announces that the Short Track Super Nationals will return to the 1-88 Speedway for the 2014 season bringing the event back to where it started in 2006.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/working-mans-race-returns-home-to-i-88-speedway-for-2014/

(11/16) Jeremie Corcoran announces that Canandaigua Motorsports Park will allow aluminum wheels in the Sportsman division. Sportsman will be running a modified Tire in 2014 but the brand has yet to be determined at this point. Canandaigua will also follow Utica-Rome Speedway and Can Am Speedway Pro Street/Stock rules for 2014.

(11/13) Central Pennsylvania sprint car driver Brent Marks plans to hit the road in 2014 racing as many times as he can with the World of Outlaws in hte hopes of securing a ride on the series long time. Jeremy Elliott of the Patriot News has the full story.

Link: http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/11/brent_marks_planning_hitting_t.html#incart_river

(11/9) Several announcements were made at the Utica-Rome Speedway banquet including a weekly NASCAR sanction for the 2014 season meaning the Modified track champion now earns $13,000 with the opportunity to win an additional $12,000 as state champion and another $25,000 as national champion of the NASCAR Home Tracks program.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/utica-rome-speedway-inks-weekly-nascar-sanction/

(11/9) Todd Burley announced his retirement from the Modified racing world at the Utica-Rome Speedway banquet. Matt Janczuk, the 2013 Sportsman champion, confirmed that he’ll go Big-Block Modified racing for the 2014 season.

(11/9) The Cole Cup at the Utica-Rome Speedway in 2014 will $10,000 to win with a minimum of $500 going to drivers who qualify for the A-Main.

(11/9) David Gravel is looking for a ride in 2014 so he can compete full-time with the World of Outlaws for a second consecutive season.  Jeremy Elliott with the story.

Link: http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/11/rising_star_david_gravel_confi.html#incart_river

(11/8) Shane Stewart inked a deal to race for a team funded by Kyle Larson for the 2014 season in the hopes of being a full-fledged World of Outlaw team for 2015.  The Patriot-News has the story.

Link: http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/11/shane_stewart_inks_deal_to_run.html#incart_river

(11/7) Lance Dewease has found a new home for the 2014 season with Dietz Motorsports.  He’ll compete in 60-65 races for his new team next season.

Link: http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/11/lance_dewease_finds_a_sprint_c.html#incart_river

(11/5) Fulton Speedway finalized their 2014 rules for the Modified division. Drivers can declare as a BB modified or SB Modified in order to run for DIRTCar home track points. Brewerton Speedway continues as a Big Block track.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/2014-brewerton-fulton-speedway-modified-and-sportsman-plans-put-in-motion-at-informational-meeting/

(11/1) Matt DeLorenzo is formally announced at the 2014 Fonda Speedway promoter. DeLorenzo and company will begin work immediately on the historic facility in an attempt to bring it back to it’s former glory.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/delorenzo-ready-for-new-challenges-at-fonda-speedway-dtd-exclusive/

October

(10/31) Christopher Bell replaces Tim Shaffer behind the wheel of the CH Motorsports No. 83 for the 2014 season leaving Shaffer to look for a ride.  We go to Pa Sprint Car writer Jeremy Elliott for the full story.

Link: http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/10/young_phenom_chris_bell_joins.html#incart_river

(10/25) Greg Hodnett makes it official as he inks a deal to compete for Michael Heffner in 2014 in the Lelands.com No. 27.

Link: http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/10/done_deal_greg_hodnett_inks_de.html#incart_river

(10/18) Let the Sprint Car silly-season begin as Jac Haudenschild agrees to leave the No. 59 team to compete for Destiny Motorsports full-time for the 2014 season.

Link: http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/10/jac_haudenschild_inks_interest.html#incart_river

(10/11) Brewerton and Fulton Speedway officially return to the DIRTcar fold for the 2014 season along with the Big Diamond Speedway for the first time in it’s history.

Link: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/SDWLIVE/?p=1513

September

(9/18) Mike Sowle announced as the new promoter of the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. He’ll be switching to a Sunday night program for the Modifieds, 602 Sportsman and the Pro Stocks while flying under the DIRTcar banner.