The World of Outlaws and DIRTcar Racing would like to thank our Fans, Drivers, Race Teams, Tracks, Partners and Suppliers for their amazing support. We also need to acknowledge stakeholders from every major sanctioning body who have been working together behind the scenes in such unprecedented fashion. The motorsports world embodies the definition of community, and the efforts being made by so many for the safety and stability of our community will pay dividends for years to come.
We are pleased to announce the launch of our Return to Racing initiative and our Resource Center which is now available on online. The dirt track community faces a unique set of challenges; from the varied size and ages of our facilities to the fact that there is a dirt track in all but one State in America (c’mon Rhode Island). The Resource Center has been designed as an open-source portal for all of our sanctioned racetracks to use in support of their individual efforts to Return to Racing.
These Guidelines and Procedures have been developed with the support of motorsports experts Agajanian & Anthony, P.C., Mr. Jeff Ladd at Sports Insurance Specialists, LLC and Dr. Jack Faircloth, MD. Dr. Faircloth is a Coordinating Panelist for the North Mecklenburg (NC) COVID-19 Response Team and has been a strong advocate of the Clean-Cover-Confine strategy included in our plan. We have studied guidelines issued by CDC, OSHA, FDA and more. The documents in the Resource Center will be updated weekly with the latest information and research available as the response to COVID-19 remains very dynamic.
To be clear, the World of Outlaws does not yet have any specific event or timeline targeted for its Return to Racing and DIRTcar Racing has not sanctioned an event since early March. We want to get back to the track soon, but in the safest and most responsible manner possible. In order to so, this may include Tracks being limited to practice days, participant-only events, and/or limited crowd events for a period of time in some States, while others may simply not allow motorsport events of any kind for a longer period of time. =
Included in our Resource Center is a 10-Step Guide for a Return to Racing that is relevant regardless of where a Track is located and what level of restrictions may be present in that area. There is also an editable Executive Summary document that we encourage Tracks to use as if it were their own to reflect the conditions in their area. We suggest that Tracks use these two documents as a tool to reach out to their Local, City and/or County Officials first, as we believe this is a situation where it is in fact better to ask for permission than beg for forgiveness.
In racing we all want to be First, but in this case the trophy will go to the Best. Please let that be your guiding principle as you Return to Racing.
OSWEGO, NY – As we all wait impatiently for the start of this year’s edition of the Super DIRTcar Series, I look back to when it all started. I was just a junior in college at SUNY Oswego.
There had been various modified racing series over the years. There were Challenge Cups and there were attempts to have team races representing tracks from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Canada with three members to each team. A novel concept.
However, none had them staying power of what has become the Super DIRTcar Series. But who are the legends, the men to beat, and the future stars of the series? Let’s start with the all-time Super DIRTcar Series Feature winners list.
Top 10 All-Time Super DIRTcar Series Feature Winners List (Points and Non-Points)
140 Brett Hearn 89 Danny Johnson 78 Matt Sheppard 70 Billy Decker 57 Alan Johnson 39 Bob McCreadie 32 Stewart Friesen 31 Jack Johnson 31 Tim Fuller 28 Jimmy Horton
I remember when the Schaefer Circle of Champions raced the what would become the first series shows back in 1972 at tracks like Five Mile Point, Rolling Wheels, Fonda, Flemington, Twin Valley, Orange County, Nazareth, East Windsor, Lebanon Valley, Weedsport, Merrittville and The Mile.
Winners included the likes of Buzzie and Wayne Reutimann along with Will Cagle, Kenny Brightbill, Dick Hansen, Don Beagell, Chuck Ciprich, Stan Ploski, and Bobby Rossell. These names were always at the top of the results in the race papers.
The Super DIRTcar Series has been the lone series that brought together the elite of Northeast Modified racing on a regular basis. For fans, it is treated to have so many of the legends of the tour still with us today and competing on a regular basis.
The winningest driver is Brett Hearn and although he has taken up a management role at Orange County, he hasn’t totally walked away from possibly running a Super DIRTcar Series show from time to time.
Whoever would have thought that Danny Johnson, who won his first tour race in 1983, would be second in the all-time win list and still be racing when the resumption of action commences in 2020.
Youthful compared to the guys he is surrounded by in the all-time win list, Matt Sheppard is third and he’s managed to achieve that climb in just 15 years.
The other still competitive drivers in the top 10 list of all-time winners include Billy Decker, Alan Johnson, Tim Fuller, Stewart Friesen, and Jimmy Horton.
Alan Johnson still finds time to hit the tour while The Sensational One Jimmy Horton is usually on the roster for NAPA Super DIRT Week and when the tour hits Orange County.
Tim Fuller has been running the tour on and off for years successfully. His win total would be far more substantial it not for his years following the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model tour.
There is no doubt that within the next 10 years The Doctor, Billy, Alan, Tomkins, Fuller, and Tremont will find other things to do other than sit in the cockpit of a Modified.
Okay, so maybe The Doctor will never quit, but you never know.
The Men to Beat
Obviously, Matt Sheppard has set the bar and after four consecutive years of winning the title will continue to be the man to beat.
Mat Williamson had the season of his life a year ago in capturing the Super DIRTcar Series title and the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at NAPA Super Dirt Week and he too is going to be around for a long time to come.
Others who will help maintain the high caliber of racing on the Series include Larry Wight and Erick Rudolph.
Stewart Friesen also should find his way to his share of SDS shows as he too is one helps the tour maintain its luster.
I think Peter Britten and Mike Mahaney will continue to be mainstays on the tour fielding strong entries year after year.
Teams change goals and aspirations. For some, the thrill of running on the tour and the prestige that comes with it is a dream or their ultimate goal in racing. They try it, for maybe a year or two, and say, “Well, I did it.” However, others are in for the long haul.
Jimmy Phelps is a driver that can get hot any minute and be a real threat on the tour.
Betting on Futures
How does it feel predicting the future Super DIRTcar Series stars? Let me use just one word…Unpredictable.
Certainly, Demetrios Drellos made his presence known last year as a rookie and getting his first tour win as even when I talked to him in February still couldn’t believe his team actually won in the very first year.
Jack Lehner is still quite young and he has a program that might allow him to be in this thing for the long run. He’s still learning and getting his feet wet. Jack made strides last year and he is one of the Young Ones.
Chris Hile, a regular in Central New York, has proven to be competitive the series races he selects to run. He is doing the tour for the first time this year and if he can adapt to some tracks he’s never seen he could be a contender. There is no reason why he couldn’t finish in the top ten in the point standings.
If anyone has followed Tim Sears Jr. they know just by watching him for one single night that this kid has talent. The team has received some assistance from John Wight over the years when they are in need, but he would be a tremendous addition to the series. He is the future of Big Block Modified racing and needs to find a ride.
There are a bunch of DIRTcar 358 drivers with the talent to make that step up if sponsors and support can be found including Davie Marcuccilli, Corey Wheeler, Kyle Dingwall, Ryan Arbuthnot, and Jordan McCready.
However, my base of operation is in Central New York so those are the drivers that stand out to me. Series talent comes from all parts of the Northeast and Canada.
It’s difficult to see what the future might hold especially in the crazy world we are currently surviving in. When the economy eventually bounces back, the sponsors and fans will be able to remain involved and the longest Big Block Modified series in the Northeast will continue to give fans their fill of the stars of racing.
There is no crystal ball, but in witnessing racing since the late 60’s I thoroughly understand that times change, drivers change, racing changes, but our sport and in this case the Super DIRTcar Series live on.
Billy Foley is a prolific writer for racing news website Dirt Track Digest and announcers weekly at Brewerton and Fulton Speedways.
WEEDSPORT, NY – The Stirling Lubricants Modified Series, presented by Champion Racing Oil, will give the best in Modified racing multiple opportunities to cash-in at Weedsport Speedway in 2020, with increased purses across the board including the $17,000 to win Super DIRTcar Series Cavalcade Cup 100 on Saturday, September 12.
The full slate of Stirling Lubricants Modified Series events at Weedsport will also see the $7,500 to win Super DIRTcar Series Heroes Remembered 100 on Monday, May 25 and the $12,020 to win Super DIRTcar Series Hall of Fame 100 on Sunday, July 26.
“Thanks to our great partnership with Stirling Lubricants, distributor of Champion Racing Oil, we have rebranded our Modified dates into a progressive series of high paying events,” said Weedsport Speedway Promoter, Jimmy Phelps. “Each of our Super DIRTcar Series events will pay more to win, and more to start, as the intensity of the season builds. We hope that intensity will reach a fever pitch at our Cavalcade Cup 100 in September, with an even bigger announcement still to come.”
The Memorial Day Heroes Remembered 100 will pay $500 to take the green flag with July’s Hall of Fame 100 paying a minimum of $600. September’s Cavalcade Cup 100 will award a hefty $700 to start.
Stirling Lubricants Modified Series events at Weedsport on Sunday, June 7, Sunday, June 14 and Friday, September 11 will pay $3,000 to win.
In total, there will be six Big Block Modified events at The Port in 2020, brought to fans by Stirling Lubricants and Champion Racing Oil.
Stirling Lubricants is a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialty industrial, cutting, hydraulic & way oils as well as a distributor of high-quality major branded lubricants.
Established over 50 years ago, Stirling Lubricants has become a leading distributor for industrial, machining, agricultural, automotive, construction, trucking, logging, and high-performance motorsports lubricants!
“We’re once again excited to be a major sponsor of the series of six Modified events to be held at Weedsport Speedway,” said Stirling Lubricant’s, V.P. of Marketing, Scott Baubie. “Stirling Lubricants is a 50-year old company that likes to help support racers and speedways by sponsoring events.”
A product of Stirling Lubricants is Champion Racing Oil & High-Tech Lubricants!
Founded in 1956, Champion Brands has been a globally recognized leader in specialty lubricants for over 60 years. Champion produces over 300 products for a range of markets including automotive, agricultural, heavy truck, and specialty markets. Their product line includes fuel, brake fluid, oil and engine additives, and lubricants.
BARBERVILLE, FL – February 12, 2020 – Brett “The Jet” Hearn started on the pole, but it was Larry Wight, from Phoenix, NY, who lit the afterburners and squeezed between the No. 20 and the front stretch wall for the victory.
The defending DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford champion is white-hot at The World’s Fastest Half-MileVolusia Speedway Park. The No. 99 Gypsum Racing Big Block Modified has now graced Victory Lane at Volusia two out of the last four races at the speedway.
As he often does, Wight found purchase on the high side.
“That thing just came alive on the top. We were able to run that middle-to-top through 1 and 2 and right through the middle in 3 and 4,” said Wight. “It felt like the car was just glued to the track, so I just kept running that line and I didn’t see anyone showing a nose. It’s one of those deals where you’re the leader and you don’t know what line is better.”
After making the fateful pass on Hearn, Wight built a lead. A few restarts bunched up the field and Stewart Friesen drew in.
“As soon as he showed that nose I knew it was time to go to the bottom. I knew if I could get a couple lapped cars and not have to get off the bottom, we’d be alright. I caught Jeremy Smith and I just stayed there. I knew Stewie would have to Bonzai-it to make it work.”
Wight’s DIRTcar Nationals success has come with a lot of trial and error and heartbreak.
“We’ve always enjoyed coming down here. We’ve been really close over the past six years. There were a lot of wins we let slip out,” noted Wight. “I just think we have a better handle on the car. The crew is meshing. Brandon and Jake are just working their tails off on this thing. We finished last season on a high note and this is a great way to kick off this season.”
Once Wight established his lead it was Stewart Friesen, from Sprakers, NY, that stepped up to the plate. Late in the race, Friesen caught Wight in lapped traffic. Friesen drove the Halmar Racing No. 44 deep into turn 1 but failed to get alongside Wight. After 30 laps Friesen finished in second.
“The track narrowed up late in the race and I wasn’t able to get a run on him,” said Friesen.
Friesen is currently second in Gator Championship points. He also busy day at the Daytona International Speedway with 2 practice sessions in his NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series No. 52.
DIRTcar Nationals Championship points leader and defending Series champion Mat Williamson rounded out the podium. The Buzz Chew No. 88 driver from St. Catharines, ON pulled eighth in the Albany-Saratoga Speedway/The Big Show 12 Top 8 Redraw. It took five calculated moves to pick up a third-place finish.
Williamson and his team know as well as anyone that consistency wins championships.
“There are 3 more races in this deal. It just goes to show you how good this Buzz Chew team is. We unloaded fast and that’s because of all the hard work during the winter in the shop,” said Williamson.
The track conditions at Volusia Speedway Park always keep the drivers guessing and hitting the right set up is key.
“The track was a little bit slippier,” noted Williamson. “I felt our car was a little better last night than it was tonight. When you start on the pole you can get into clean air and control the race. I think we’ve got a little bit of work to do.”
It looked as though the stars were aligning for Brett Hearn when he drew the pole position in the Albany-Saratoga Speedway/Brett Hearn’s The Big Show Top 8 Redraw.
At the start, Hearn was immediately contested by Larry Wight. The No. 99L drew alongside the Madsen Motorsports No. 20 and after a lap-long door-to-door, Wight bested the 900 plus Feature winner coming out of turn 4. He finished fourth in the 30-lap Feature.
Hearn crossed the line second to Erick Rudolph in his Heat Race and was coming on strong before Dave Farney threw the checkered flag. It appears that ‘The Jet’ is fully armed and ready for take-off.
The Gypsum Racing No. 91 of The Franklin Flyer Billy Decker struggled in Time Trials, which set him back in the Heat Race. Fortunately for the race fans in attendance at Volusia Speedway Park, Decker passed 9 cars to go from sixteenth to seventh making him the race’s hard charger.
Join us tomorrow night at Volusia Speedway Park for the race three of the 2020 DIRTcar National presented by Bozark Ford. If you can’t make it to the track, log in with DIRTVision and get a month-long Fast Pass to catch all the action live.