If one asks Super Late Model icon Dick Barton how many championships he has amassed at Stateline Speedway, Barton can hold up both of his hands with his fingers and thumbs fully extended.
Barton, of Ashville, captured his 10th Super Late Model season points championship at the Busti based dirt track oval this season. The popular driver known as “King Richard” earned his latest title driving for Lacki Racing and owner John Lacki of Sinclairville.
Lacki fielded two cars this season at Stateline, also providing a ride for Super Late Model standout David Scott of Garland, Pa. Barton won three races there. Scott won two and finished fifth in points.
“It was a good season at Stateline for us but we never set out to say, ‘alright, let’s win a championship this season,’ ’’ Barton said. “Ultimately we wanted to win the championship but we didn’t want to race for points. We race each and every weekend to win the race.
“When the outcome was done at the end of the season we were ahead. A lot of it had to do with our crew and the fact that we weren’t DNF-ing,” he said in reference to finishing each race.
While understandably proud of his career, during which he’s won numerous races and championships at a variety of tracks, Barton maintains a humble demeanor, often passing the credit to crew members with whom he has worked.
“I think these championships are more a tribute to the crew and team than it is to me because I’ve always said that all I do is turn left,” Barton said.
Of Barton’s three victories at Stateline this year, the first two came consecutively in June. The other came July 20. Barton was on the way to what seemed a very probable fourth victory this season at Stateline on Aug. 3, only to be passed by Scott on the final corner of the final lap.
Barton is grateful to Lacki for the dedication and hard work that he has given to the race team in support of Barton, Scott and the crew.
“John fielded two race cars and the simple fact of the matter is that a lot of guys golf, a lot of guys fish and a lot of guys do a lot of things and John Lacki races,” said Barton. “He took time off his job to help this team. This car I’m driving is not a new car but it’s something I’ve never driven before. It was a used car. John went through it and showed his devotion. He loves this sport.”
Lacki, who occasionally drives race cars is still smiling about his team’s championship season.
“It’s been the best year I’ve had so far,” Lacki said. “We fielded two cars for the season. It’s been a lot of work. Everybody has their own talent I guess. I guess we’ll all be back together next season to try to accomplish more. We won five features between the two cars at Stateline and both cars finished in the top five in points at Stateline. We’re all very happy about what we’ve done.”
Many fans wonder when Barton, now in his late 50s, will finally hang up his helmet and call it a career. One thing appears to be certain. It will not be for at least another year.
“Usually I’m hesitant to commit but my team has given me no reason to want to hang it up,” Barton said while sporting a nice smile. “These guys work as hard as anybody I’ve ever had. It’s important to note that my guys that I’ve had with me for years are still with me helping on the Lacki team. I will drive for this team next year. Absolutely. It’s all good.”
In addition to trying to achieve an 11th title at Stateline next season, Barton has another goal he can shoot for. With his three victories this season at Stateline, Barton has 78 career feature wins at Stateline, just one behind the 79 the track’s all-time feature race winner, Bobby Schnars, compiled.
If history is any indication, Barton has a very good chance of obtaining this lofty goal.
• Champions for 2013 at Raceway 5 in Batavia are: John Venuto, Sportsman; Dave Dubois, 360 Late Models; Ron Mogavero, Street Stocks: Val Stephens, Mini Stocks; and Carl Stephens, Bandits.
• The rain postponed the NASCAR Pro Modified Bud 100, scheduled for Sept. 7 at Holland Motorsports Complex. The race is set to be run at a date to be determined next season, according to Holland General Manager Tim Bennett.
• Champions crowned this season at New Humberstone Speedway are: Erick Rudolph, Modifieds; Gary Lindberg, DIRT.car Sportsman; Rob Ledingham, DIRT.car Late Models; James Thompson, Street Stocks; Mike Toovey, Pro 4 Trucks; Kyle Pelrine, Mini Stocks; Sam Iftody, Pure Stocks.