Richest Big-Block Modified event of summer returns to Cayuga County in July

Date: 6/10/2010 9:40:47 PM


Ryan Phelps
Relishes Chance To Defend First All-Star Weekend Crown

Richest Big-Block Modified event of summer returns to Cayuga County in July 

Weedsport, NY – June 10, 2010 – Right around this same time last year, Ryan Phelps had already abandoned his points strategy at Cayuga County Fair Speedway and relegated himself to experimenting with his Big-Block Modified at the home of DIRTcar Northeast.

The timing ---and track conditions--- couldn’t have been any better come mid-July for the second-generation driver from Fulton, N.Y. as Phelps scored the biggest victory of his career in the inaugural All-Star Weekend 100, the richest short-track event of its kind in the nation.  

“We weren’t finishing as good as we hoped when summer arrived,” remarked Phelps, 26, recalling a number of mechanical issues and the handful of mediocre finishes posted at Cayuga County before suddenly stringing together back-to-back Super DIRTcar Series victories. The $20,000 payday in Sunday’s 100-lapper for the high school history teacher brought instant notoriety and his own place in the record book for generations to research.

“My uncle Doug (Phelps) and I made it a point to try out a lot of different combinations when the track turned slippery. We also found a different set-up for the longer races at Cayuga County and happened to hit everything just right last year. We were real happy on opening night when we won the first 50-lapper, so getting another one was pretty amazing. I even had to teach summer school the next day, and just trying to tell everybody what I did over the weekend was hard to believe myself,” Phelps said. 

With the Second Annual DIRTcar All-Star Weekend on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds is set for July 16-17, Phelps is far more prepared for a return engagement in Weedsport’s winners circle. He is certainly just as eager to regain his top-flight form as the historic ASW triumph was his last registered on the demanding DIRTcar Northeast Big-Block circuit.

“I think I’ve got as good a chance as anybody going in,” remarked Phelps, who settled for sixth in the Super DIRTcar Series Hall of Fame Classic held at Cayuga County over Memorial Day Weekend after salvaging fifth-place in the track’s 100-lap season-finale last September. He currently ranks ninth in the tour point standings after three events. “It would be a nice time to get back on the winning side and not just be a one hit wonder.” 

“We’ve had a Top-5 car the past four series races in Weedsport and knowing we have the potential to win is a pretty big confidence booster. It’s been a rough start so far this year but our crew is working like crazy trying to turn things around. I’m confident we’re making progress and starting to move back in the right direction. That’s kind of the way it was last year, too, so you just never know when you’ll have that break-out moment,” said Phelps, joined by crew chief Barry Knapp, and currently ranked eighth on the Cayuga County points chart behind fellow tour followers Matt Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps, Danny Johnson, Billy Dunn, Alan Johnson, Dale Planck and Tom Sears Jr.

With all eyes ---nationally as well as locally--- focused on the ‘Super DIRT Week of summer’ in one more month at Cayuga County, Phelps is banking on his next moment in the spotlight being even more memorable. Currently enjoying his third full-season following the Northeast’s premier Big-Block series, the ‘Rocket’ knows there is no substitute for experience running against the best in the business. 

“(ASW) is one of the biggest weekends with all the best DIRT drivers, and I already proved anything can happen,” noted Phelps, who will be back steering the same Big Red Towing no. 99 Dave Miller Auto Body/Bicknell entry owned by his father Roger Phelps, himself a former Modified and Late Model contender at Cayuga County in the 1970s and 80s. “It was definitely a huge milestone in my career, certainly a stepping stone to reaching a higher level and it has to raise the bar for how I perform from here on out.”

“Ever since I was a little kid and saw Frank Cozze win a big race I wanted to be part of that victory lane celebration. I remember him climbing the podium, being sprayed with champagne, getting covered with confetti and looking up at all those fireworks in the sky. All that happened to me when I won the All-Star and its something you just never forget,” Phelps added. 

Fans are growing just as anxious as Phelps in their return to the Cayuga County Fairgrounds for the 2010 edition of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend as advance ticket sales are moving at a brisk pace and nearly all reserved campsites have been sold. Reserved seat tickets remain on sale on-line by clicking the ‘Buy Tickets’ button at https://www.cayugacountyfairspeedway.com or by calling the ticket hotline at 315/834-6606.

A two-day (Fri-Sat) reserved ticket purchased in advance for All-Star Weekend is only $39 until July 5 and includes a Friday pit pass. Just a limited number of camping permits remain at $50 per reserved spot (includes water hookup) and $30 for general camping, while the popular Infield Tailgate Party offering trackside parking and access to the infield stage, will again be offered. 

Action at nearby Brewerton Speedway kicks off the extended DIRTcar All-Star Weekend on July 15 with a 50-lap Super DIRTcar Series event headlining the Thursday evening card. Cayuga County opens with another $3,000-to-win 50-lapper on Friday before racers return to the 3/8-miler on Saturday to conclude the richest short-track event in the country for Big-Block Modifieds

For general information call 315/834-6606 or visit www.allstarweekend.com and www.cayugacountyfairspeedway.com today. 

Additional details about ASW II can be obtained by contacting DIRTcar Northeast Promotions & PR Coordinator Amanda Hirko ahirko@dirtcar.com at the Cayuga County Fair Speedway office (315/834-6606 x222) or General Manager Cory Reed creed@dirtcar.com (315/834-6606 x227). More news and notes can also be found on www.superdirtcarseries.com and timely updates can be received directly by signing up with http://www.twitter.com/SuperDIRTcar.

DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event ---Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse runs annually in October featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.allstar100weekend.com and www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime. 

The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and Chizmark & Larson Insurance www.chizmarklarson.com, and contingency sponsors are Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, MSD Ignition www.msdignition.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Vicci Racing Apparel www.vicci.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.



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