Billy had a decision to make in 2010 ... Sprint Cars or Dirt Modifieds ? ... The Markle Family made that choice an easy one, as they offered up a Big Block Chevy Engine for Billy to use for the entire 2010 season ..... A used Bicknell chassis was purchased from The Ebersole Race team and "Big Block Billy V" was set to go Modified Racing at the Orange County Fair Speedway with Len & Jo's teamate Jeremy ' The Bullfrog' Markle. The Markle Family continued to support Billy in 2010 ... Racing at this level would not be possible without their help and it is greatly appreciated .
The Laner Family came through, once again, for Billy in 2010.... They continued to field a 305 Sprint Car that Billy would pilot in many shows with the CRSA Sprints.... On May 8th, 2010, Billy took the famed Laner Family #229 to Victory Lane in a CRSA Event held at The Orange County Fairgrounds in Middletown,NY ..... It was Billy's first trip to victory lane at the famed race track and the Laner Family's first win with a sprint car..... It was a memorable night ... Tom Laner provided Billy with a good , safe car to race with every time he brought it to the track.... Billy, at age 17, continues to appreciate this as he now is fully able to understand the hard work, time, and money that is involved with the sport of auto racing. .... Thank you, Tom and your entire family .
The modifed season started in Volusia County, Florida in February .... Billy and Jeremy made the trip south but did not qualify for any of the four feature races.... Billy gained valuable seat time and it was always fun to travel with the Len & Jo's team... Back at OCFS Billy failed to qualify for the opening night feature but qualified for each and every one for the remainder of the season..... He finished 15th in Big Block points in his rookie year.... The Eastern States 200 was held in October ... Billy's goal was to qualify for this prestigious event, and then attempt to finish the race ..... Billy V did just that!! ... He started the 200 lap race from 30th starting spot and ran every lap.. He finished in 17th position on the lead lap... The team was very proud of this accomplishment.
The team knew it was important for Billy to gain some experiance at different race tracks... so the team traveled as much as time and money would allow ..... Billy ran Big Block events at Selinsgrove,Pa..... Hagerstown,Md .... Penn Can Speedway..... Utica-Rome Speedway, and Charlotte,NC .... Special thanks to the Johnson & Conroy Insurance Agency of Port Jervis,NY for helping out with cost of travel.
Several people helped Billy during the 2010 season.... Pat Hedges and George Baran came aboard and worked countless hours for Billy and the Len & Jo's Race Team... Tommy Kline, Jimmy Williams, and Bernard Rhoades were always there to lend a helping hand as well..... If it weren't for the efforts of these men , Billy would not have been able to race in 2010 .... Thank you guys !
Billy competed in every race on the 2009 Tobias Speedstr Tour Schedule. The team traveled into Canada and as far south as Virginia. Billy won four tour races and captured the National Points Championship as well as the Northeast Regional Points Title. His victories came at Airborne Speedway, Shangri La II Speedway, Susquehanna Speedway, and Shenandoah Speedway. On the flip side of those great victories, there was one bad night which occurred in July at the Big Diamond Speedway. Billy took a wild ride out of the ballpark and completely destroyed his car. Billy was shaken up, but walked away uninjured thanks to a Hans device and the safety features built into the Speedstr Midgets by Rich Tobias.
There were some great race teams that competed with the Speedstr series in 2009. The Heiber Family, Tyler Potts, DJ Macri, Doug Rose, Paul Lotier, Jeff Gallup, Nick Pecko, Curt Weller, Doug Sherwood, and Steve Hicks are some of these great people who raced hard and clean all season long. It was great to meet and race against some Rev Star Speedstr drivers from Canada as well. Dominic Lussier, Yannick Poirier, Jean-Francis Tessier, Alex and Martin Roy, and Carl Labonte were some of these great Canadian compeditors.
There were two gentlemen who were most responsible for helping Billy earn his 2009 Championship Title . Rich Tobias continued to be a great friend and mentor in 2009. Richie actually gave up his car at race in Cornwall, Canada and allowed Billy to run it in the feature that night after Billy's #23 blew a motor. It was an honor to race with Rich Tobias and even better to call him a friend. Bernard Rhoades ("BR") joined the race team in begining of 2009. B.R.'s racing knowledge and work ethic quickly had an effect on Billy and the rest of the team. "BR" gave up a ton of his time during the week to make sure that the #23 Speedstr car was properly prepared to go racing. BR also worked hard at the race track each week. He was constantly checking things over and making sure that Billy's car was fast and safe.
The Laner Family continued to allow Billy to drive their 305 Sprint Car in 2009 . Billy competed in about 10 races with the CRSA traveling Sprint Car organization. The team had several heat race wins and a 2nd place feature finish at The Woodhull Raceway in August. Tom Laner Sr and Jr both worked hard on the 305 sprinter and their efforts were greatly appreciated. Billy's relationship with the Laner Family Race Team was a good one in 2009 and will continue into the 2010 season.
Jeremy "The Bullfrog" Markle continued to support Billy's racing effort in 2009. Billy's racecar was, once again, housed at Jeremy's "Len & Jo's" Racing Garage in Port Jervis, NY . Jeremy and his dad, Danny, helped Billy throughout the season as did Len & Jo's crewmen, Tommy Kline and Jimmy Williams. On top of allowing the use of their garage, the Markle family allowed Billy to drive one of their Big Block Modified Cars. Billy drove the #79x modified on two separate nights in August of 2009. He was thrilled to qualify for the feature on one of these occasions. The Big Block power fascinated 16 yr old , Billy V and plans were made for more big block racing in 2010.
Ray Evernham and Rich Tobias teamed up and provided Billy with the opportunity of a lifetime. They gave Billy a season-long ride in one of Rich's new creations , a 2008 Speedstr Midget ! Billy competed on both dirt and asphalt tracks and ran every race on the 2008 schedule. He finished 3rd in the point standings. Billy raced against Ray Evernham and Rich Tobias in many of those races. ( photo above shows Billy #23 racing with Ray #98 at Clinton County , Pa )
Billy continued to race his #23 slingshot car during off weeks for the Speedstr midget. He won two slingshot races in 2008, including a Tour Race at the Hamlin Speedway.
Towards the end of the 2008 season, Billy was given yet another great opportunity. Tom Laner gave Billy a ride in his 305 Sprint Car. Billy piloted the Laner Family famed #229 in four shows with the C.R.S.A. 305 Sprint Car Series, finishing an impressive 4th place out of 32 cars in the King of the Catskills Race at The Accord Speedway.
The team continued to receive tremendous financial support from Hank Conroy Motorsports. Winter's Napa Auto Parts, Len and Jo's Racing, and Johnson and Conroy Insurance continued to support Billy's racing efforts as well.
The 2008 season was a great one, but it was certainly different. Billy's sister, Emily, continued to race the Tobias Slingshot cars at the Hamlin Speedway. Many times, this conflicted with Billy's Speedstr schedule, So the family was forced to split up and head in different directions on saturday nights. Thanks to the Wood Family, Tommy Kline, and Ben Whitaker, Mom and Emily were able to compete at Hamlin without Bill Sr and Billy being in attendance on several occasions.
PENNSYLVANIA NEW YORK New Jersey
Hamlin Speedway Oakland Valley Race Park Brideport Speedway
Borgers Speedway Oakland Valley Dirt Oval Atlantic City Indoor
Kutztown Fairgrounds Oswego Speedway New Egypt Speedway
Selinsgrove Race Park Accord Speedway
Selinsgrove Speedway Orange County Fair Speedway Other States
Greenwood Valley Action Track Starlite Speedway Talladega short track , Alabama
Linda's Speedway Five Mile Point Speedway Wilson's Motorsports Park, Alabama
Penn Can Speedway Caroga Creek Speedway Middleford Speedway, Delaware
Reading Fairgrounds Paradise Speedway Fort Wayne Indoor , Indiana
Wyalusing Valley Woodhull Raceway Shenandoah Speedway , Virginia
Clinton County Raceway Rolling Wheels Raceway Friendship Speedway, North Carolina
Grandview Speedway Fonda Speedway Ohio State Fairgrounds - Columbus, Ohio
Susquehanna Speedway Albany / Saratoga Speedway Autodrome Drummond - Drummondville, Quebec
NYS Fairgrounds Cornwall Speedway - Cornwall , Ontario
Canandaigua Motorsports Park Autodrome Granby - Quebec
Volusia Co Fairgrounds - Florida
Dirt track at Charlotte, North Carolina