“The Steel Palace” Gearing Up for NAPA Super DIRT Week
Oswego, New York is a quiet town on the shores of Lake Ontario in Central New York State. It’s relatively small, with an area less than 30 square miles and a population of about 18,000, and it doesn’t boast of having a long list of prominent natives (although comedian Jerry Seinfeld and NBC weatherman Al Roker both attended college there). So in many respects it’s a kind of laid back area, known mostly by historians for the Battle of Fort Oswego during the French and Indian War.
But all that changes for one full week this October, when the 46th annual NAPA Super DIRT Week comes to Oswego Speedway for eight days of racing. Wait, … what? DIRT racing? Yes…Oswego Speedway, affectionately known as “The Steel Palace,” makes the transformation from an asphalt racing venue to become “The Clay Palace” with the addition of 9,600 cubic yards of clay covering its 5/8th-mile oval. This is the second time Oswego has hosted Super Dirt Week, after becoming the official host track with the closing of the Syracuse Mile in 2015.
It’s a Week-long Racing Extravaganza
The fans and race teams begin arriving Sunday, October 1, with early bird tech inspections opening up on Tuesday. But the real kick-off to Dirt Week takes place on Wednesday at noon, when the streets of Oswego come alive with a parade of horsepower featuring race cars from every division participating in Dirt Week taking a lap through downtown. On-track activities begin later that day, when the Big-Block Modifieds, DIRTcar Racing’s 358-Modifieds, and Sportsman Modifieds start practicing at 3:00 pm.
Time trials for the 358-Modifieds and the Big-Block Modifieds take place on Thursday, with 358-Modified and Sportsman Modified events set to run on Friday night under the lights. The finale for Friday will be the Triple-30 Big-Block Modified features. On Saturday, more practice sessions are scheduled along with “Last Chance Qualifier” rounds and the 358-Modified feature.
Sunday will start off with the Sportsman Modified Chevy Performance 75 scheduled for 11:00 am, the 75-lap DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship at noon, and the 46th Annual NAPA Super DIRT Week Super DIRTcar Series Oswego 200 at 2:00 pm.
For a more detailed schedule of the week’s events, click here…
Many of the Greatest Names in Dirt Racing Have Conquered Dirt Week
In its 45 year history, some of the greatest names in stock car racing on dirt have prevailed in the grueling Dirt Week competition. Legendary names like Emil “Buzzie” Reutimann, who took the Modified Championship in 1972 & 1973, and Kenny Brightbill, champion in Modified competition in 1988 and a four-time Big Block pole winner, along with marquee names like Brett Hearn, Gary Balough, Jimmie Horton, Bob McCreadie, and Dick Tobias, all have demonstrated their prowess in this demanding event.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Stewart Friesen is the defending Dirt Week Champion, having captured the Modified laurels for the past three years and five times in total (second only to Brett Hearn with six). In an 18-year career in dirt racing, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario native Friesen has compiled 256 feature wins.
And, if you’d like to take a look at the excitement of Dirt Week, check out this video…
(Photo credits: Oswego Speedway)