Super DIRT week kicks into gear at Oswego Speedway for 50th straight year – The Oswegonian
The dirt has been placed down once again at Oswego Speedway as the ‘Steel Palace’ turns into the ‘Clay Palace’ for one week in the race season. This time for the 50th anniversary of the Napa Auto Parts Super DIRT Week. There is additional hype around the event as over 230 cars converge on the 5/8-mile track.
Teams were able to load into the facility on Oct. 3 along with fans who have been camping out at the track all week long. Plenty of drivers prepared for the events that would come this weekend in Oswego, but first had to focus on the satellite races across central New York.
On Oct. 4, the 358 DIRTcar Modified, DIRTcar Sportsman, and DIRTcar Pro Stock competitors traveled to Weedsport Speedway for the Super DIRT Week Kickoff Party. The night of racing featured plenty of fireworks as Matt McLaughlin got back on top of victory hill in the 358 Modified for HBR Racing.
The following day, the 358 Modified and Sportsman teams traveled south to Brewerton Speedway in Syracuse for another evening of competition. Mat Williamson and Zach Sobotka would both win their respective races in their divisions.
As the teams return to Oswego for the rest of their race week, Zachary Buff is excited to return for another week of racing. This year’s Super DIRT Week is the sportsman driver’s second time in the historic event and touched on how special it is to be in the 50th edition.
“It’s the 50th anniversary and that’s once in the lifetime,” Buff said. “We are just hoping to have a good time and make it into the show. We are just here to have fun. “
Buff finished 20th in the Hurricane Harvey 30 at Brewerton Speedway on Oct. 5. The driver of the 01-car improved 10 positions over the course of the 30-lap race. The Latham native spoke on how the schedule at Oswego Speedway allows for plenty of adjustment and seat time.
“Hitting the track today is definitely going to help,” Buff said. “We can fine tune the car and time trial good on Friday. That is what is going to set us up for our heats. If we do not time good, it is going to be a long weekend. “
There is a lot of work that goes into this weeklong event for teams away from the track. Mike Mahaney is entered in both the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series and the Super DIRTcar Series. Mahaney touched on how important that preparation is before taking on race week, especially in the Super DIRTcar Series.
“This does take a lot of preparation especially to build that quick fill system for the pit stop,” Mahaney said. “It is a different thing to plan for 200 laps and lots of practice. We are five hours from home, and we are not going home for anything. Vendors bring a lot of supplies. “
Mahaney enters the race week holding the 20th place in the Super DIRTcar Series. The driver secured one win this season in the Super DIRTcar Series Showdown at Albany-Saratoga Speedway back on June 24 after holding off Marc Johnson.
This month, Mahaney is racing for another reason. October is breast cancer awareness month and the 35 team will bring awareness to the cause with a partnership with Lighthouse Lanes, the local bowling alley in Oswego.
“To raise awareness, we brought out some pink wraps on our cars,” Mahoney said. “It is close to home for us. We have some friends and family that are fighting through this. It is a very emotional experience for everyone that is involved with that. “
More action continues tonight with qualifying heats for both the DIRTcar Sportsman and Super DIRTcar Series. The racers will be ready to go at 7:15 pm on Oct. 7 with time trials beginning in the afternoon at the Clay Palace. Racing will continue through the weekend with the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 scheduled for 5 pm on Oct. 9.
Photos provided by Nicole Hube