By THOMAS COUGHLIN
For the Recorder
Super DIRT Week is here and many of our area racers have been out West at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, since Tuesday, prepping for the 41st annual NAPA Auto Parts VP Small Engine Fuels 200, Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series 200 on Sunday.
Bobby Varin, Stewart Friesen, Darwin Greene and Kenny Tremont, will be attempting to qualify for both the 200 and also the Gander Mountain 150, 358 Modified Championship Race, which will run today.
Other drivers from the Capital District trying to qualify for Sunday's feature include Ronnie Johnson, Marc Johnson, Jeff Rockefeller, Keith and Mark Flach, Mike Perrotte, Eddie Marshall and Donnie Corellis.
The top six qualifiers for tomorrow's 200 are Billy Decker on the pole, for his fifth time, with a time (in seconds) of 32.997, David Hebert 33.230, Peter Britten 33.330, Brett Hearn 33.352, Bobby Varin 33.456, and Gary Tomkins 33.542.
Drivers attempting to qualify for the 358 feature include Glen Ridge Champions Jeremy Wilder and Rocky Warner, plus Jack Gentile, Jimmy Cottrell and Wayne Jelley.
Sunday will also see the NAPA Auto Parts XLI 25 lap Pro Stock Championship race. Fonda 2012 champion Pete Broderson and Chuck Dumblewski will be two area drivers attempting to qualify for this event, which has been won by Rocky Warner the past two years. Ray Zemken will be trying to race his way into the 30-lap SDW XLI Sportsman Championship, which is scheduled for today.
Wednesday, saw the modifieds at the Weedsport Speedway for the first time in 2012 and for what may the last time ever. Tim McCreadie was the winner over Brett Hearn, Matt Shepard, Danny Johnson and Stewart Friesen.
On Thursday night at the Brewerton Speedway, Decker came away the winner in the SUNY Canton Hurricane 100 presented by Ferris Mowers. Friesen was second, with Matt Delorenzo fifth.
Also on Thursday at the Rolling Wheels Raceway the World of Outlaws, Late Model Series held its feature event which was won by series regular Rick Eckert for the second year in a row. Vic Coffey finished fourth, Tim Fuller ninth, and McCreadie came in 12th.
In the companion, 358 modified race Brett Hearn took the win, with Johnson second, and McCreadie fourth.
Tonight, the Wheels will also host the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. Jessica Zemken, will be in her new ride, which is a sprinter from the Pennsylvania area.
There is also a Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified race tonight, with the winner being guaranteed the 45th starting position in Sunday's feature at the Moody Mile.
The Fulton Speedway held its Outlaw 200 last week, with Pat Ward winning over Brett Hearn. Both the 2011 Fonda Speedway modified champion Ronnie Johnson and the 2012 champion Stewart Friesen were running near the front when they suffered mechanic difficulties, taking them out of contention, for the win.
Also tonight, Five Mile Point Speedway near Binghamton, will present its fifth anniversary Short Track Super Nationals for Modifieds. Varin will be driving the #19v that he raced a couple of weeks ago at the Grandview Speedway, where he had a fine second place finish after leading for part of the feature.
Six-time Fonda modified champion Bobby Varin suffered a major loss last week when his race shop in Sharon Springs was broken into and more than $15,000 worth of tools and equipment were stolen. Anyone that may have information can contact the Cobleskill State Police barracks at 234-9400.
Chris Economaki, known as the "Dean of American Motorsports Journalism," who wrote and reported about the sport for over 70 years, passed away last week, just three weeks shy of his 92th birthday.