Sunday, March 8, 2015

Commentary: The Battle For the Moody Mile

Since 1972, Super Dirt Week has been a staple of the North East modified diet. It was unthinkable that it would ever be in jeopardy, the annual festival of speed played out on the legendary "Moody Mile" at the New York State Fairgrounds.  Throughout the week, the area tracks host satellite events, but the bigger part of the action takes place at the "mile". It's a huge week with historical significance. And right now, those of us who love everything there is to love about the sport of dirt racing are hoping we don't have to refer to it in the past tense. 

A local county executive, one Joanie Mahoney, (no, we're not making that up, though it does sound like something a 4 year old would create) announced this week that a plan which would tear down the existing grandstand to make way for an amphitheater and other assorted venues where the track currently sits, has been undertaken.  The plan would basically put an end to SDW as it's currently constructed.

Okay. So surprisingly, we've heard the following from a good deal of fans after the announcement. "The 200 is boring."  "Never did like the Mile, what's with the pit stops." "It's a fuel mileage race, I won't miss it." "It's a race for rich guys."

Every dirt fan takes the risk with every ticket they buy, the risk that the race you're paying to see could be dull, boring, or a caution fest. But, you do drink in the atmosphere, and take in the sensory experience of racing, and normally there's at least a few battles worth watching. 

Every fan is entitled to their opinion of course. We acknowledge that at TDN. But even if you've never been to SDW, even if you're not a huge modified fan, or even if you watch nothing but sprints, it's in your best interest to take note and try to help. To say "let it rot" because you're not a particular fan of it, is senseless. 

Why? Because SDW is about much more than a race, it's a party. It's where friends meet up every year. It's where drivers and fans interact and get to know one another. It's where memories are made. Super Dirt Week is a cherished event, it's important to everybody that makes plans to attend year after year.  Imagine what would happen if your favorite crown jewel, the one race that you look forward to every year, the race you've gone to with your family for years on end...was taken away. 


Not only that, taken away by a politician that's probably never been to a race before, that doesn't understand the culture, and more importantly, would probably happy to put the culture in it's "proper place" which she figures is underneath an amphitheater, hockey rink, and equestrian facility. This isn't just a Sprint, Late Model, or Modified thing, it's a DIRT thing! 

Without getting too preachy, DIRT Nation really needs to become the sum of it's parts here. The battle's begun. And, it might not even make a difference in the end, but it needs our support. You can sign this petition electronically Syracuse Petition

Let them know how we feel as a collection of fans, tell them you're interested in attending, tell them how important it is. We're not saying it'll turn the tide, but if enough people say something, it could be enough to get the right people thinking about alternatives. Even if it doesn't...don't let the Moody Mile go without a fight! 

Gary Heeman- Administrator 


  1. Dear Gary and all beloved Moody Mile fans,
    There isn't much more than a day that goes by that I reminisce, in grief, of it's demise. I still can't believe that there apparently wasn't enough "dirt people" or moody mile fans, to thwart off the dictator style of politics that persists in our city of Syracuse and County of Onondaga when it came down to the end of it all.! Where the Hell was everybody when you needed them. Question, why isn't, or is there, any recourse of action to create, by force of numbers, a class action suite against these tyrant dictators, who pledge that they will serve the people as needed, even though we are past the period of destruction, to either, possibly resurect, as originally destroyed, or replace as a modern facility racing venue, there, on the same grounds that it was born on over 100 years ago. Are we a week number to accomplish this or are we just too late against the powers to be...? I have trouble dealing with myself in that I regret for not joining in and contributing more to the battle when the war was starting. I seriously have had dreams of a brand new racing facility being promoted and contracted on the same NYS fair grounds site and only wish that my dream would come true. I first was taken to a race, there, (AAA Big Cars)by my past Father, in 1954. I was 8 years old then. I Love him for that.
    Still Grieving,
    Ron Centner Sr. (Canastota, NY)

  2. PS. Why was this Racing Venue never placed on the State or Federal Historical Registry to protect it from this act of government Tyranny..?