Courtesy Erica Bicknell
Thorold, Ontario ... Inaugural Duel on the Dirt Overall Champion Mike Dooley of St. Catharines will lead his Daytona Automotive Equipment Challenge Championship Team Merrittville into a new look series against the Brighton Speedway Pro Stocks in 2006.
The new format will see two Home Track events at Merrittville, (Monday May 22 and Monday August 7) and two at Brighton (Saturday June 10 and Saturday July 1). There will also be two combined events - Saturday September 3rd and Saturday September 10th at Brighton and Merrittville Speedways respectively.
"There will be points awarded to drivers for all 6 events," relates (Merrittville Speedway GM) Erica Bicknell, just in from shoveling around the flagpole proudly flying the Daytona Champions Banner, " our drivers were really proud of their achievement ...they'll be tough to beat again this year."
"I don't know," adds Brighton's Operations Manager Mark Rinaldi, " the D-shape at Merrittville is different ... but my Pro Stocks are quick learners and they'll be back with quite a vengeance."
"I knew this would happen ... as soon as last year's event ended - my guys were at each other all over again," says Joe Dennison, President of Daytona Automotive Equipment in Brighton Ontario.
Dennison's employees are two very big racing enthusiasts. Terry Kaiser is the Niagara area representative for Daytona Automotive Equipment while Dave Culford - who races a car at Brighton, is a Daytona Service Advisor.
"The new format should provide some great action at both tracks," says Dennison, "the excitement's going to build all season."
"Merrittville Speedway is celebrating its 55th season this year and the Hoosier Stocks will surely want their efforts to be a highlight of the year," boasts Kaiser, "last year we saw quite an exciting group of drivers ... both events were first class."
"But Terry you're forgetting," Culford steps in," you aren't a real driver until you have won a Pro Stock feature at Brighton Speedway ... the fans at both tracks were overwhelming and the finale - what a race ... 36 laps before caution slowed the hectic pace"
To date, drivers participating in the 6 event Duel on the Dirt Series will share in more than $15,000.00 in purse and point fund money monies. In addition to the Daytona Automotive Equipment $1000 Team Award, two other Brighton-area businesses Environmental Remediation Contractor D.L. Services and Lawns We Do provided funding in 2005.
"The corporate support for this event has just been phenomenal and it keeps getting bigger," relates Merrittville co-owner Nancy Bicknell, " Mark and I are proud that the Daytona Automotive Equipment Team Award is returning - drivers and fans from both tracks rallied together and made some new friends - the team concept is just awesome."
Daytona Automotive Equipment - with Head Offices and a warehouse facility in Brighton, Ontario - manufactures a line of automotive lifts, tire changers, wheel balancers and auto body frame machines for the automotive service and repair industry.
Merrittville Speedway's Duel in the Dirt portion September 9th is part of a 3 day Season Finale that features Friday Night and Sunday Afternoon action. The Rose Webber Memorial presented by J&S Heating attracts top Mod Lite and Dwarf Car teams from across Canada and the US for Friday and Saturday's events while a 100 lap Enduro and Demo Derby close out the weekend Sunday - a presentation of Konzelmann Estates Winery.
Brighton Speedway Pro Stocks are welcome to come up for Friday's Hoosier Stock Event - although not part of the Series - it will provide the eastern Ontario race teams with some valuable track time. The 25 lap event pays $300 to win and boasts a total purse of more than $1,500.
Free Camping is available for the entire weekend.
"I was up for the Friday night event last year," relates Rinaldi, " but had to return to Brighton ... from what I saw though - the camping area resembled that of a Super Speedway ... and the party continued all weekend."