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Billy Van Pelt Scores Coveted 20th Woodhull Modified Title

Media Contact: Steven Ovens - For Immediate Release – January 26th, 2019 – Joe Kaminski Jr. photo -

(WOODHULL, NY) – 54 consecutive years in the running, Woodhull Raceway located in Steuben County of New York State, enjoyed an exciting season on the one-third-mile high banked oval. Ted and Brandi White enjoyed their ninth season at the helm of Woodhull Raceway and enjoyed a successful season full of great on-track action and increases in almost every statistical category from the area motorsports enthusiasts of the Southern Tier.

One of the big questions entering 2018, for the Insinger Performance Modifieds, was who could stop Billy Van Pelt and reunited car owner Kevin Chilson from obtaining his fifth straight track championship in the No. 2. That question wouldn’t be answered until late in the season, as rising stars Cory Costa, Dillon Groover, Joe Dgien and past champion Donnie Lawson certainly kept Van Pelt honest.

Van Pelt didn’t have a dominating season by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the beginning of the season was just plain disastrous for the Chilson-owned team, as motor failures plagued the team early and often starting with practice day in April. In Van Pelt’s first six races, the team started the season with a two wins, a second and three finishes of tenth or worse.

But it was how the Chilson team poured it on after getting off to a slow start that helped them close the deal to win the title. After June 16th, they only finished outside the top three spots once. Another victory, three second place finishes and three third place finishes put the exclamation point on his astonishing twentieth track title at Woodhull in the Modified division.

The Modified season at Woodhull was full of parity, seeing seven different winners in the 14 points races held during the season. Van Pelt not only won the track championship, but also locked up a huge win in the Short Track Super Series even held in August as well as winning the September Lyle Sherwood Memorial.

Cory Costa scored two wins and picked up the Hard Charger Award during the Short Track Super Series event in August. A great season for the driver out of Corning, who has proved he will be a driver to contend with for many years to come.

Dillon Groover finally had that breakout season that everyone knew was coming eventually. Groover scored three wins driving for new car owner Patrick Hoopes and looks to carry that momentum into a new challenge of racing weekly at Land of Legends Raceway in Canandaigua with former Woodhull rising stay Jeffrey Daugherty.

Joe Dgien had a bad fast car all season long, but the finishes were up and down to start the year out. But this team really hit its stride at the peak of Summer, finishing the points season with four top fives in the final five races.

After a dismal July and early August, Donnie Lawson got back on track with two-straight August Modified wins on August 18 and August 25. Lawson secured the final spot in the top five points positions. His father, Don Lawson Sr. was honored at the banquet with Woodhull Raceway’s Perseverance Award.

Dayton Brewer, in his Rookie campaign, nailed down his first two career Modified victories to secure Rookie of the Year honors in December at the banquet. One of those victories came by holding off the 20-time champion Van Pelt. That for sure had the grandstands buzzing as Brewer will be a star for years to come at “New York’s Toughest Bullring.”

The end of the year will leave racers and fans waiting until the March 15-17 Arnot Mall Car Show in Big Flats, NY to gather together once again to bench race in preparation for the 2019 season. The season will kick off on April 6 and 13 with open practice sessions, weather permitting, before kicking off with a special event on April 20 and the complete weekly program with Big Block/Small Block Modifieds on April 27.

For more information visit or visit Woodhull Raceway on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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