Monday, October 3, 2016

Super DIRT Week XLV Preview

Super DIRT Week Moves to Oswego

This is the heading we've been hearing about for months, and well, racing's biggest party is finally here! A new venue presents new challenges for everybody involved, all the way down to the fans.

If you're like me, you're going into SDW I'm a little lost. I am a creature of habit for sure, and I it takes a bit to adjust to change. I've had the same seats at Syracuse for years (Section 2, Row JJJ, Seats xx, xx, and xx) and now having never been to the "Steel Palace," I am being forced to make quite a change in my normal DIRT Week procedure.

Here's the thing...I stand 100% behind the move. Sure, NYS looks like the big bully here and they kicked us out of our home. They also ensured that SDW would remain in Central New York for years to come. They ensured that the venue would be top notch and good to go by Wednesday (first cars on track at 3pm!). I applaud them. They did renovations that typically would have taken a year or more in roughly 90 days. That hard work shouldn't go unnoticed, and I believe we will see that it paid off after 300 hard fought laps on the temporary clay surface we now see as Oswego Speedway.

Think about it...we will see four different series duke it out first for the clay track record! Then the first heat winners! And the first SDW winners at an all new to DIRT venue. Personally, it's really cool to me to see so many firsts, and it'll be awesome to see how passionate the drivers and crews will be about it. Everyone will want to say "Yeah, I won the first SDW of the new era." 

Talk about bragging rights.

Car Counts

I expect the overall car count to be UP this year. Mainly because every crate sportsman on the planet will be there. Big block modifieds will most likely hold what they had last year, maybe a handful more or less...although I wouldn't mind seeing the number be much larger. It still takes a lot to prepare a SDW car no doubt, and drivers still may be a little cautious with how this year will go.


Weedsport, Brewerton, and Fulton are the three tracks with DIRTcar sanctioned events after the daily events conclude at Oswego. 

  • Utica-Rome has a RoC Modified race on Tuesday along with the Empire 360 Super Sprints. 
  • Wednesday brings the 358 modifieds and sportsman modifieds to Weedsport. 
  • Thursday they are back in action at Brewerton for the 24th annual Hurricane 100. 
  • If you don't plan on coming for the Camping World Friday Night Lights at the "Steel Palace," you can visit the Five Mile Point Speedway in Kirkwood, NY for a 45 lap $5000 to win small block/big block race. 
  • And on Saturday the Craftsman World of Outlaws Sprint Cars are in action at Fulton along with the big block modified "Win and You're In" show for the 41st starting spot at Oswego.
  • If sprints aren't your thing, then after the 358 race at Oswego, you can hustle down to the I-88 Speedway in Afton, NY for Brett Deyo's Short Track SuperNationals which is 50 laps and $5000 to win.

There's a lot of good racing with no bad choice.

Big Winner

Seeing that Oswego is almost half the size as Syracuse, and it's more of a typical Saturday night home track, I believe we will see a lot of passing, and a lot less conserving. That said, more fuel will be burned. This race will most likely be a two pit stop race fuel wise, unless a caution falls close to or at halfway. Even then it would be a stretch. Tires will also be a question. Will the surface eat tires? There are so many variables that are yet to be found that will make this race very interesting, and strategy could shake it up big time. We saw it with Billy Dunn at Syracuse...he made a late stop for fuel and a new RR tire, drove his tail off, and forced everyone else to run out of gas. 

It is a whole new ball game in uncharted territory for the big block modified drivers. There is absolutely no telling who will be a threat and who will be a dud. But it's drivers like Stewart Friesen, Matt Sheppard, Brett Hearn, Billy Decker that adapt quickly that are all dangerous to win the Bud Light 300.

Our team took the time to discuss who the thought would be the big winner...

Gary Heeman: Tim Fuller
Tyler Beichner: Matt Sheppard
Josh Bayko: Tim Fuller
Frank Iudiciani: Stewart Friesen
Kyle Symons: Matt Sheppard
Brian Compton: Jimmy Phelps

and for me? Well I think it'll be Larry Wight as long as he can keep it in one piece and not use up the equipment.

What do you think? Who will be $50k richer after they win the first Bud Light 300 at Oswego?

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