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By Clayton Johns
After a long offseason and a sometimes painful two-month break since big block modifieds were last on track, the Super DIRTcar Series is ready to fire engines for its 2018 season this Saturday at Fulton Speedway for the Highbank Holdup 100.
Sure, there’s been various modified races throughout the Northeast since the Super DIRTcar Series ran a trio of races at February's DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, but the opening points race on the series’ schedule always brings with it another level of anticipation.
Mike Perrotte, the director of the Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Northeast, is eager to get back to the track and begin the new campaign.
“We’re all excited to get going,” Perrotte said of his Super DIRTcar Series team. “You work all winter at something and you really look forward to watching some racing. Our whole team is excited and we’re ready to go. We’re looking forward to it because we’ve been planning for a while.”
The series underwent a number of changes over the course of the winter for the 2018 season, including the Super DIRTcar Series’ new agreement that will see several races throughout the season broadcast live on FloRacing. The series makes its FloRacing debut this Saturday at Fulton.
“I was really pleased to see the FloSports agreement put in place,” Perrotte said. “It will get our guys a lot of coverage nationally. I was really happy to see that happen. Now we’re really looking forward to going racing.”
The series also eliminated Hometrack points from its championship standings. Previously, drivers were required to run at a weekly DIRTcar home track. Their points from their home track were added to the series points to determine the overall series champion. This year, it's strictly series points to determine the season-ending winner and Perrotte believes the change is the principle reason a trio of new drivers have joined the tour for 2018.
“We have some new faces in JF Corriveau from Canada, Rusty Smith from Pennsylvania, and Adam Roberts (of New York),” Perrotte said, adding all three drivers expressed interest in running the tour full-time in previous seasons but lacked a local DIRTcar track to earn home track points.
Those three drivers are among the five new additions to the series, bringing the total to 17 full-time tour competitors in 2018. Veteran drivers Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY, and Danny Johnson of Rochester, NY, have also joined the talented cast of drivers.
“It’s really exciting to see new people come in,” Perrotte said. “We’ve got our core group again, as we’ve had in the past, but with the addition of Erick Rudolph and Danny Johnson back again on a full-time basis, I think they’ll be players in the mix (for the championship). Their records speak for themselves. It’s going to add another real flare to the series.”
Perrotte will continue to race this season as well at Airborne Park Speedway near Plattsburgh, NY, in the track’s weekly DIRTcar 358 Modified division (commonly referred to as “small block” modifieds). Perrotte’s previous and continued racing experience has helped him considerably in his role as series director, he said.
“It has helped a lot, not only in the relationship with the drivers but with race procedures and rules as well,” said Perrotte, adding that he hasn’t necessarily received any comments from drivers.
“If I don’t hear anything, that’s a good thing,” he laughed.
Catch live coverage of the Highbank Holdup 100 from Fulton Speedway live on FloRacing on Saturday, April 28, beginning at 3:45 PM (ET).