by Nick Graziano October 5, 2021
Photo Dave Delsandro
With nearly 300 of the world’s best drivers, a weeks’ worth of racing, more than $400,000 in total winnings available and the return of thousands of fans to Oswego, NY, Racing’s Biggest Party is back
Seven days before the biggest race of the week, fans lined the streets at Oswego Speedway to get their campers in place. The rain didn’t bother them. They were finally back.
Finally, back at their “Super Bowl.” Finally, back at their “Knoxville Nationals.” Finally, back at NAPA Super DIRT Week.
The 49th running of Racing’s Biggest Party (Oct. 5-10) commences this week, featuring the Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman and DIRTcar Pro Stocks at Oswego Speedway. Racing kicks off Tuesday, Oct. 5, for the Demon 100 at Brewerton Speedway with the Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Pro Stocks. The event is the last chance for a Super DIRTcar Series and Pro Stock competitor to earn a guaranteed NAPA Super DIRT Week Feature starting position.
The party ramps up on Wednesday, Oct. 6, for “DIRTcar Day.” Fans are invited to wear their favorite racing attire and attend the popular NAPA Super DIRT Week parade (at noon) through the city streets of Oswego, featuring several of the cars that will be racing in the event. A special announcement will follow at City Hall with Mayor William Barlow.
Later that night, 358 Modified and Sportsman drivers will make their way to Weedsport Speedway for the NAPA Super DIRT Week Kickoff Party race.
Practice and Time Trials will place at Oswego Speedway on Thursday, Oct. 7, before a return to Brewerton Speedway later in the day for the Hurricane Harvey 75, again with the 358 Modified and Sportsman drivers.
Qualifying Heats for all divisions will headline the action on Friday, Oct. 8, at Oswego Speedway. The first main event of the week, the Salute to the Troops 150, for the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds will be on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. (ET). The party then continues through 2 a.m. with the band Dirt Road Ruckus and DJ Rick Uhl at the Island Stage for the Saturday Night Bash.
Then, Sunday, Oct. 10, is reserved for main events. The DIRTcar Sportsman Chevrolet Performance 75 will kick off the day at 11 a.m. An autograph session with the Top 30 Super DIRTcar Series competitors will follow at noon. The DIRTcar Pro Stocks 50 will be shortly after that before the ultimate event of the week. The prestigious $50,000-to-win, 200-lap, Billy Whittaker Cars 200 for the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds will start at 3 p.m.
Tickets are available by, CLICKING HERE. If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch the weeks’ worth of action on DIRTVision – either online or on the DIRTVision App.
Here are the top storylines to follow throughout NAPA Super DIRT Week:
Super DIRTcar Series
FOUR FOR FOUR: In the four years NAPA Super DIRT Week has been hosted at Oswego Speedway, there have been four different winners. Stewart Friesen, Matt Sheppard, Larry Wight and Matt Williamson. With that, there are two ways history will again be made this year. There will either be a fifth different consecutive winner or the first repeat winner at Oswego.
While the four previous winners are all on track for a potential repeat, others like Peter Britten, Mike Mahaney and Max McLaughlin have had strong 2021 seasons, picking up big Super DIRTcar Series wins, giving them the momentum to go after their first Billy Whittaker Cars 200 win.
EYEING BIG REPEAT: Defending Billy Whittaker Cars 200 winner Mat Williamson will have a busy schedule ahead of him as he tries to be the first to defend his NAPA Super DIRTcar Week championship at Oswego. Along with piloting his Buzz Chew #88 Big Block, he’ll pilot the #6 358 Modified at Oswego and his own 358 Modified for the satellite shows at Brewerton Speedway and Weedsport Speedway.
He said there is pressure to defend his win and chuckled when he said he’s not sure how he’ll handle it. To the Canadian, there’s nothing else like NAPA Super DIRT Week.
“There’s a list longer than my arm I could talk about good things for DIRT Week,” Williamson said. “How cool it is for a driver to be a part of it. There’s a lot of money, $50,000 to win. There’s prestige. People like Brett Hearn, Alan Johnson and Gary Balough, who have won this race in the past, it’s cool to have your name with them.”
FREEZE ZONE: NASCAR Truck Series star Stewart Friesen is taking a break from his chase for his first NASCAR championship to chase another win at what he considers one of the biggest events of the year. Friesen – a five-time Billy Whittaker Cars 200 winner – has been one of the strongest drivers all year long with the Super DIRTcar Series, picking up six wins.
He’s no stranger to making history at NAPA Super DIRT Week. He was the last driver to win at the Syracuse Mile and the first to win at Oswego Speedway.
DIRTcar 358 Modifieds
BACK ON DECK: You’d be hard-pressed to miss Billy Decker’s name in the NAPA Super DIRT Week history books. Especially when it comes to DIRTcar 358 Modified competition. In 2019, he became the winningest 358 Super DIRT Week champion in history by claiming his seventh title.
The Sidney, NY driver will be back behind the wheel of his Gypsum Racing #91 machine to chase another Salute to the Troops 150 win and further extend his presence in the history books.
NOT ‘DUNN’ YET: Billy Dunn has won the Billy Whittaker Cars 200, claimed the pole for the Salute to the Troops 150 and finished second in the prestigious DIRTcar 358 Modified race twice. This year, he’s poised to fill that gap and finally park his #49 358 Modified in Victory Lane Saturday night.
The Watertown, NY driver has had a solid year in the DIRTcar 358 Modified ranks, picking up eight wins at three different tracks and finishing second overall in Hoosier Tire Weekly Championship points.
RUN, RUN RUDOLPH: Erick Rudolph has had a busy race season. Along with running the full Super DIRTcar Series tour, he’s competed weekly at Ransomville behind the wheel of his #25R 358 Modified Speedway – finishing second in points – ran weekly at Mohawk International Raceway – finishing fourth in points – and tied for fifth in the DIRTcar 358 Modified Hoosier Tire Weekly Championship.
With that plethora of seat time, the Ransomville, NY driver will look to translate it into his first Salute to the Troops 150 win. He finished second to Billy Decker in 2019.
CAREER LAUNCHER: Along with being a prestigious event for DIRTcar Sportsman drivers, it’s also acted as a career accelerator for those that win the Chevrolet Performance 75. The defending champion, Kyle Inman, has moved up to 358 Modifieds this year, and the only repeat winners of the event, Rocky Warner (2012, 2015) and Dave Marcuccilli (2016, 2017), have moved up to Big Block Modifieds.
Several other former Super DIRT Week Sportsman winners have gone on to race 358 and/or Big Block Modifieds as well, like Matt Sheppard (2000), Erick Rudolph (2008), Chad Brachmann (1999) and Ryan Godown (2001). In 21 editions of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Sportsman Modified racing, there has been 19 different winners. It’s become a race where you’re watching future stars in the making.
BUFFING UP: Andrew Buff will get the best shot of his career this October to earn his first NAPA Super Dirt Week victory after an excellent year behind the wheel of his West End Towing & Repair #92 car.
As of mid-September, the Latham, NY driver won 10 races in DIRTcar competition, spanning four different tracks. He also wrapped up his second career Sportsman track championship at Glen Ridge and comes into this year’s Chevy Performance 75 looking to better his fifth-place run from 2018.
YOUTHFUL CHAMPION: Tyler Corcoran, 19, continued his success in the Sportsman ranks this year with his second consecutive track championship at Can-Am Speedway, defeating several other Super DIRT Week hopefuls for the title.
The teenager from Central Square, NY, sits ninth in Hoosier Weekly Points as of mid-September with five victories to his credit. Corcoran also leads the Central Region Series points with five top-10s through the first five races. He shoots for his second career Chevy Performance 75 start this year after dropping out of his first appearance in 2019.
DIRTcar Pro Stocks
ON THE HUNT: Josh Coonradt hopes to repeat after standing tall in Victory Lane in 2019. The West Milton, NY driver, has built momentum in 2021, scoring a DIRTcar Northeast Pro Stock Series win at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.
If Coonradt can pull off a thrilling win for the second time at “The Clay Palace,” he’d become the sixth driver to win the event multiple times.
CAPITAL REGION KING: The Pro Stock driver with more wins than any other driver in 2021 is Chad Jeseo. The Averill Park, NY driver has 10 wins—five at Albany-Saratoga Speedway and five at Lebanon Valley Speedway. He also won the track championship at both Capital Region venues.
Jeseo hopes to cap off the season with a victory at NAPA Super DIRT Week. It’s his first attempt to qualify for the event since 2012 when he finished 24th at the New York State Fairgrounds.
NORTH COUNTRY CONTENDERS: Justin White and Burton Ward are two of the names to keep an eye on entering NAPA Super Dirt Week.
White is the 2021 Can-Am Speedway Track Champion and won a September DIRTcar Northeast Pro Stock Series race there in September. He had four victories at the Lafargeville, NY facility this season.
Burton Ward finished second to White in the battle for Can-Am’s track title and found Victory Lane once during the season.
Those drivers join a list of stout competitors across the Northeast, all hoping to etch their name into the NAPA Super DIRT Week history books.
For the full NAPA Super DIRT Week schedule, CLICK HERE.
For everything on NAPA Super DIRT Week, including maps, news, schedules, FAQs, results and more, make sure to download the NAPA Super DIRT Week App.