Rick Bellante began a new chapter in his racing career last season when his company Rick’s Delivery became the title sponsor of Merrittville Speedway’s DIRTcar Sportsman Division.

When his second season at the forefront of the division he once competed in kicks off in the coming weeks, another page will turn in that chapter. “Like so many of us … I grew up as a fan,” revealed Bellante, 41 just prior to a late winter trip south, “I became a driver … car owner … took on a whole division last year and am back to being a car sponsor.” 2013 marked the final season for Bellante who now resides in Stouffville as a car owner for Sportsman competitor and friend Greg Panunte, adding “we’re both the same age … we’re moving on to different things in our lives like family … college and sports for Greg and my commute …  but our friendship that started through racing and went beyond the sport is solid.”

While every car in the division will again carry a Rick’s Delivery sticker in 2014, on one car that we saw for the first time at the recent Seaway Mall Race Car Show – it will be a little more prominent. The 2013 Mr. DIRTcar Champion and Napa Auto Parts Super Dirt Week Champion Brad Rouse will represent Bellante’s 16 year old company this season in addition to a long-standing relationship he has had with Rob and Kevin Knapp.

Brad and I have become friends over the years,” added Bellante, “we’ve always stayed in touch during the off seasons and when I learned of an opportunity that became available with his team …I thought it would be good exposure as he defends his titles.”

“Once again we couldn’t have asked for anyone that is more passionate about the sport and the division than Rick,” said (Merrittville Speedway GM) Erica Bicknell-Jones, “he’s been a lifelong fan having attended races as a kid with his Dad.” For 50 years, Rick’s dad Gabe was faithfully at Merrittville Saturday Nights and if you were at a special event anywhere across the DIRTcar Circuit – chances are you would see him there too. Gabe passed away this past October and to honor his later father Rick asked that a Night be reserved as a Memorial to him. The first Annual Gabe Bellante Memorial will close the 2014 David Chevrolet King of the Crates Series on Pen Centre Night Saturday August 23rd.

The 2013 King of the Crates Series Champion was Greg Panunte and despite his backing away from regular competition this season – he could  be in a car to attempt defending his Mini-Series Title. “Greg and my Dad were close friends,” said Bellante, “it would be special to both of us if he were to be behind the wheel again.”

Once the Seaway Mall Spring Sizzler provides the initial 2014 Event for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division – the Championship Chase kicks off May 3rd on Pinty’s Night with Cody McPherson as the overall Champion two straight years.

Rick’s Delivery is in the business of expediting Automotive Parts and General Freight and serves customers from Detroit Michigan to Buffalo New York, the G.T.A. and across the Niagara Peninsula. With a fleet of cargo vans and a 6 member Operations Team – Rick’s Delivery provides delivery solutions to meet timelines required by customers. For further information about your next shipment with Rick’s Delivery – call 905-988-3126.

“As a businessman I know the hard work and dedication needed to become successful,” revealed Bellante in an interview taking a minute away from his mobile Blackberry Office, “I’ve experienced that in recent years in all the Bicknell and Williamson families and staff at Merrittville have done for local racing … I am happy to help and real excited about this year!”

Bellante literally grew up at the race track – attending races since he was 5 years old and years later at the age of 34 he would give up his seat in the grandstands for one in a Sportsman. “I had so much fun as a fan but I just had to experience firsthand the fun of racing,” remembered Bellante, “with no previous experience it was a real eye opener but it was a great 4 years1”

One night he will always remember is May 23rd 2009 when he won the Sportsman Feature. “Growing up … my two favorite drivers were Davey Moore and Harvey Hainer,” shared Bellante, “and that’s where my number 62 came from … combining the two wall of famers numbers.” Rick Bellante like so many has experienced a lifetime in the sport with many memories.

The drivers in the 2014 Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division will contribute many more this season and in the years to come as will those throughout the Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Divisions.

For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 63rd Consecutive Season in 2014 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville). To reach Merrittville Speedway during the off season – call the Winter Office at 905-685-7223 or via e mail – ebicknell@cogeco.net.

Join us this season on a Saturday Night for a LUCAS OIL WEEKLY RACING SERIES EVENT featuring FIVE Divisions with local heroes and up and coming new stars. Make your plans … call your friends and enjoy a staycation at the speedway with plenty of free parking and camping spots – a night at the races is so much fun and so close to home! Your Local Dirt Track is where it’s at and the countdown to Saturday April 26th’s Seaway Mall Spring Sizzler has begun at Merrittville Speedway - the Best Family Entertainment in Niagara!

MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2013 62nd  Anniversary Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway’s 5 Divisions was brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – Bobcat of Hamilton, Rick’s Delivery, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning, Hoosier Tire Canada and Turn 4 Collision in addition to many marketing partners Visit them at . http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.htm and visit them when you require their products and/or services. Lucas Oil Products is one of the fastest growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry featuring a premium line of oils, greases and problem-solving additives. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top selling additive in the industry.   Race fans can look for Lucas Oil Products at their favorite automotive retailer or maintenance center including Drummond Home Hardware. KC Auto Parts, RCM Racing Equipment and Tim Phillips Garage.

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