The City of Oswego has been transformed into the dirt Modified capital of the world this week to celebrate Racing’s Biggest Party – Super DIRT Week 51.
Nearly 300 cars are already entered among the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman and DIRTcar Pro Stocks – all vying for a big check from the more than $400,000 purse.
About 30,000 fans will experience the 51st edition of the biggest dirt racing event in the northeast, Oct. 2-8, which features new experiences off the track and new variables for drivers on track.
While not on the dirt, racing starts Tuesday night at Oswego Speedway with the inaugural Quarter Midget & Microd Mania, featuring drivers 5 to 18 years old racing in the track infield. It’s free to all spectators and free to watch on DIRTVision.
Fans will then get to see their favorite dirt racing machines up close during the City of Oswego Parade presented by Harborfest on Wednesday at noon. Practice for all divisions will follow shortly after at 2pm (fans can watch from the front stretch for free).
There will be a DJ Party every night, Wednesday through Saturday, and a live concert Saturday night at 10pm.
Thursday and Friday will see Time Trials and Qualifying Heats for the four divisions. Then, the weekend brings the biggest Feature events of the year. Saturday will showcase the DIRTcar Pro Stock 50 (at 4pm) and DIRTcar 358 Modified Salute to the Troops 150 (at 6pm).
It all leads to Sunday’s grand show. First, there will be an autograph session with the Top 30 drivers locked into the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at noon. Then, the DIRTcar Sportsman Chevrolet Performance 75 will open the racing action at 3pm. Opening Ceremonies for the ‘200’ are scheduled to start at 4:15pm before the $51,000-to-win, 200-lap, Billy Whittaker Cars 200 commences at 5pm.
Here are a few of the top storylines to follow for the week:
T-MAC IS BACK: One of New York’s fan-favorites, Tim McCreadie, of Watertown, NY, is returning to Super DIRT Week for the first time since 2018.
The multi-time national Late Model champion will drive the Petruska family’s #66 Big Block Modified and Small Block Modified. He won the Small Block title at Super DIRT Week in 2012 but has yet to win the prestigious Billy Whittaker Cars 200.
It’s a bucket list item for him. His dad, “Barefoot” Bob McCreadie, won it in 1986. If he can pull it off this year, he said it would rank as high, if not higher, than his Chili Bowl and World 100 wins.
SHEPPARD, MCPHERSON LOOK TO REPEAT: Matt Sheppard, of Waterloo, NY, is a three-time Billy Whittaker Cars 200 champion and has swept the ‘200’ and Salute to the Troops 150 in the same year twice – most recently last year. But he’s yet to win either in back-to-back years.
He’d like to change that this year as he’s also chasing his 10th Super DIRTcar Series title. Sheppard has scored three wins with the Super DIRTcar Series this year, the first locking him into the Billy Whittaker Cars 200. He enters with the momentum of a Fulton 200 win.
Cody McPherson, of St. Catharines, ON, is the returning DIRTcar Sportsman champion, looking to be the first driver since Dave Marcuccilli (2016-17) to win the Chevrolet Performance 75 in back-to-back years.
His win last year was his first in the event, and done so in dominating fashion. He scored the SRI Performance/Stock Car Steel Pole Award, won his Qualifying Heat and led all 75 laps of the Feature.
DOUBLE DUTY: Fifty-six drivers are planning on running double duty this week at Oswego Speedway. Fifty-four of them will split time between running a Big Block Modified and Small Block Modified – including the likes of Matt Sheppard, Mat Williamson, Brett Hearn, Max McLaughlin and Tim McCreadie.
The other two double duty drivers include Andrew Buff and Tyler Corcoran. Along with running their DIRTcar Sportsman, they’ll also be making their DIRTcar 358 Modified debut at Super DIRT Week. If they can make the Salute to the Troops 150, it’ll be their first start with the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series, as well.
Buff, the 2023 Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly champion, has a career best finish of fifth (2018) in the Chevrolet Performance 75 and Corcoran’s is 19th (2021).
SIX IN A ROW?: The DIRTcar Pro Stock 50 has seen an array of talent come through the division, highlighted by five different winners in the last five years – Rob Yetman (2016), C.D. Beauchamp (2017), Josh Coonradt (2019), Chad Jeseo (2021) and Nick Stone (2022).
A sixth different winner could be on tap this year with Stone not entered as he’s focusing on his business. Of those entered, drivers like Luke Horning, Shane Playford, Brian Carter, Rich Crane, and many more will be eyeing their first DIRTcar Pro Stock 50 title.
FRIESEN AFTER HEARN: Stewart Friesen and Brett Hearn have a chance to make history this week. If Hearn wins the Billy Whittaker Cars 200, it’ll be his seventh ‘200’ title, extending his record as the winningest Big Block Modified driver at Super DIRT Week. If Friesen wins the ‘200’, it’ll be his sixth and he’ll tie Hearn for the most.
However, Friesen’s week is still up in the air. After a hard crash in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, Friesen suffered some pain in his lower back but will practice on Wednesday and see how he feels after.
Hearn is debuting Teo Chassis’ new Elite RXD at Oswego Speedway. In the chassis’ first Super DIRTcar Series debut, Hearn finished second at Orange County Fair Speedway.
NEW ADVENTURE: Josh Coonradt is a Super DIRT Week regular and Super DIRT Week champion, but this year will be an all-new experience.
After five years of running a DIRTcar Pro Stock at Super DIRT Week – winning the DIRTcar Pro Stock 50 in 2019 – Coonradt will make his first appearance in a DIRTcar Sportsman at Super DIRT Week. It’ll be a whole new experience for the Fort Johnson, NY driver as he’s yet to make a start with the DIRTcar Sportsman Series.
SO CLOSE: Mat Williamson is a two-time Billy Whittaker Cars 200 champion (2019, 2021), but the DIRTcar 358 Modified Salute to the Troops 150 has continued to elude the multi-time 358 Modified champion.
He’s finished second twice in the ‘150’ and finished fifth last year. Could 2023 be his year? Williamson currently leads the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series points and has picked up several 358 wins throughout the year.
NEW PIT FORMART: Drivers and fans will get to see a whole new strategy play out during the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 this year.
The format removes the Lap 100 stop and no longer mandates a pit stop. There will now be a competition yellow –at or around– laps 75 and 125, freezing the lap counter. Teams will have the option to enter the pit at that time or remain on the track – but these will be the only two times they’re allowed to take fuel. Cars that remain on track will maintain their position. The cars that pitted will have four laps to get work done and will return to the track in the order they pitted – no passes will be made on pit road – lining up behind the cars that opted to not pit.
TICKETS: CLICK HERE
HOW TO WATCH: If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every lap of Super DIRT Week live on DIRTVision.