Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Commentary: Super Dirt Week's New Beginning Could Be Welcome Change

Perhaps Oswego brings an opportunity, one that may bring the racing up to the level of the party...

It doesn't feel right.  It doesn't seem natural. Super Dirt Week at any place other than the Moody Mile is a notion that is hard to get a handle on at first. And fans are allowed to feel one way or another on the matter. We're not here to judge tastes, and we're also not here to wax romantic on how good the racing at Syracuse was either. There were great races there, and there were some that made people want to fall asleep.

And for those who hold their memories of the mile in a special place, never to be surpassed by any other event for as long as they live, you're entitled. After all, your commitment to the event for 40 plus years as a group made Super Dirt Week's future a strong priority last off season.

But the events that transpired this week, the laying of tons of clay on top of the asphalt at the legendary Oswego Speedway, have piqued the interest of many, including many of which have never been before. And fans who have been going since day one should be excited too. Excited because maybe that much more of the track will be visible. Excited because it may lead to drivers who couldn't really run Syracuse with their program may now have a chance to compete and not just to bow out in the last chance races and party on Sunday. Excited to see their friends they see every Super Dirt Week in a different place where no one knows for sure what to expect.

Gary Risch Jr Photo

I'm not saying there won't be some rough moments. Doing the first of anything with this particular scope and magnitude in unfamiliar surroundings will need some time to iron out. I'm not saying the racing will be perfect at Oswego either. I'm sure there will be a challenge or two to overcome.

"I think it's going to be very interesting," Australian Super Dirt Car touring series driver Peter Britten said.  "It's a big blindside for a lot of teams."

But, at least all the drivers will be looking at the same challenge more or less together and putting their brains to work on how to adjust.

"It's going to be a different experience," Tour driver Larry Wight said.  "After 6-8 hot laps we're going to have a good idea of what to do, we do it at all the different tracks we go to" (tour guys)

Gary Risch Jr Photo

I'm betting the challenges from a surface standpoint are going to be probably less than most people are thinking. Yes, we've heard horror stories from some places where laying dirt over asphalt has not gone according to plan. But there have been successes too. And with a lot on the line, in front of a huge audience, the stakes are high, but will probably bring out the best in those who will be the caretakers of the surface. The current crew have new dirt, and every manner of equipment and expertise necessary to get the job done and then some.

"We've worked really hard here the last few weeks," World Racing Group's Gary Risch Jr. said Tuesday at the kickoff press conference. "We came together with the Wights and Eric Kingsley. putting wood chips down to preserve the asphalt surfact. We're going to be ready to go.  The staff here has been really helpful.  It's been great having good equipment.  We can do some two and three wide racing here which we couldn't' do at Syracuse because of the shape here"

So welcome to the newest chapter in the Super Dirt Week story. It could be the welcome change that was necessary to bring it to a new level. And if it becomes a permanent fixture at Oswego, here's betting that the memories become just as strong and vivid for a new generation to enjoy.

It was always dirt racing's biggest party, full of some of the heartiest, most passionate fans in the world. Oswego brings hope, that the racing will equal the intensity of the party, for good reason.

Full Super Dirt Week Opening Press Conference Here

For all details, schedule and events at Super Dirt Week check out the official website here

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