One week a year, dirt track fans from all over, embark to the Clay Palace in Oswego, NY, better known as Oswego Speedway. Super DIRT Week, as the event is referred to in modified country, serves as the sport’s biggest event. With $50,000 on the line to the winner the payday is unmatched, but the prestige and bragging rights that go with winning the 200-lap event is stuff of legends.
This coming week, four nights of racing are on tap at ‘The Clay Palace,’ where drivers from across the northeast will be gunning for 41 starting spots on Sunday night and a chance to add their name to the legendary winners list. Here’s a breakdown to gear up for the 47thAnnual NAPA Super DIRT Week.
A unique format is in place for qualifying. Drivers will run a practice session Wednesday afternoon. Thursday at 2:45pm will be the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified Billy Whittaker Cars 200 Time Trials where drivers will receive only two laps, locking in the top six in qualifying for the front three rows of the 200.
Friday evening, under the lights, will be the Triple 30s for the Big Block Modified’s which will qualify positions 7-30 for Sunday’s race. The first eight non-qualified finishers from each of the Triple 30s will qualify for the 200-lap race.
The remainder of the field will partake in the Last Chance Showdown for the Big Block Modified’s early Saturday afternoon. The non-qualifiers race will be a maximum 30-laps and will transfer three into Sunday’s 200-lap event.
The total purse for this year’s Billy Whitaker Cars 200 is over $170,000. The winner on Saturday will take home $50,000, while the runner-up pockets $25,000. The second-place finishers check is the second highest payday of the season with the Super DIRTcar Series. Each and every starter in the main event is guaranteed at least $1,500. Heat races even pay prize money during Super DIRT Week.
Dating back to 1972, there have been 22 drivers who have won Super DIRT Week. Brett Hearn, the 8-time Super DIRTcar Series Champion, leads all drivers with six wins in the event. Stewart Friesen is not far behind, as he has won five of the last eight Super DIRT Weeks. Tied for third with the most 200-lap victories are Gary Balough and Billy Decker with four 200-lap triumphs.
Five drivers who compete full-time with the Super DIRTcar Series have won at least once this season. Matt Sheppard currently holds four wins, Danny Johnson holds three, Jimmy Phelps holds two, Brett Hearn and Erick Rudolph both hold one.
Peter Britten experienced what many would call a heartbreak during last year’s 200 at Oswego Speedway after losing the lead on the final lap. Britten has been consistent on the series this season, sitting seventh in the point standings. Britten will be looking for redemption.
Strong Outsider Contingent
Countless of outsiders will be making their trek to the Clay Palace to stake their claim and compete again the best of the best. 216 drivers have attempted to qualify at least one Super DIRTcar Series event so far this season, several of which will be looking to invade come Super DIRT Week.
On-track activities will begin shortly after the procession of cars parading through the streets of Oswego on Wednesday, October 3. The first green flag for Super DIRT Week will then drop at 3pm at the Clay Palace in Oswego, NY.