Border Restrictions Force Officials to Cancel Canadian Mid-Summer Races

CONCORD, NC — Canada has extended the border closure with the United States through the end of July, and due to these restrictions the Super DIRTcar Series is forced to cancel and postpone several events that were scheduled north of the border. 

Also, the July 2 race at Land of Legends has been postponed until Wednesday, July 22. 

“With the ever-changing restrictions due to COVID-19, the Super DIRTcar Series schedule has been quite the juggling act,” Super DIRTcar Series Director Dean Reynolds said. “First with the extension of the Canadian border closing, and now with the uncertainty of executive orders in New York, we have to make some changes.

“We were all set for July 2 at Land of Legends, but with recent changes and the uncertainty of when or even how many fans would be allowed in the stands, Paul Cole and I determined it was best to postpone to later in the Summer where we hope to have better guidance from the state,” Reynolds said. “Our teams have been itching to get on the track so we are looking at some of our partnered tracks outside of New York in an effort to schedule a race or two where we’ve unfortunately lost dates.”

Super DIRTcar Series officials and Cornwall Motor Speedway ownership are working to reschedule their June 28 race on a future Sunday later this Summer. 

The June 29th event at Le RPM Speedway in Quebec is canceled. 

Drivers and fans were looking forward to being a part of Ohsweken Speedway’s historic 25th Anniversary season on July 6th, but the event will not be held in 2020. The Super DIRTcar Series and Ohsweken are looking forward to making it happen in 2021.

The fan-favorite “Quebec Swing” to Autodrome Granby on July 20 and Autodrome Drummond on July 21 have both been canceled. The gros blocs will invade Quebec once again in 2021. 

Stay tuned for information about Super DIRTcar Series at SuperDIRTcarSeries.com, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

MAHANEY MATTERS: Mike Mahaney is ready to fly in 2020

CONCORD, NC – King Ferry, NY’s Mike Mahaney has a reputation. In the pit area, the full-time Super DIRTcar Series competitor has a smile as wide as a front stretch is long but on the track, he’s known as a ferocious competitor.

2019 was a revolutionary year for Mahaney. He joined one of the most storied race teams in the history of dirt modified racing in the Northeast: The iconic yellow George and Julie Huttig-owned Adirondack Auto no. 35. 

NAPA Super DIRT Week fans will immediately recognize the yellow paint scheme as it has been entered in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 for many years with top drivers behind the wheel such as Mike Perrotte, Wayne Jelly, and Frank Cozze. 

Perrotte was the Huttig’s first driver and he brought the No. 35 to the team in 1985. It’s been emblazoned on the Huttig machine ever since. 

Traditionally, outside of NAPA Super DIRT Week, the Huttigs fielded a DIRTcar 358 Modified rather than a Big Blocks. But with Mahaney on board, the Adirondak Auto team enters a new era. 

As a full-time driver, any lull in action is difficult, especially one as extended as we are experiencing in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This whole thing has everyone nervous because we just don’t know what to expect,” said Mahaney. “It would be nice to get out there but the next best thing has been iRacing.” The only difference is that the dirt is digital and the cars are virtual but the competition has been incredibly fun for fans and competitors alike.

Mahaney has been competing in the World of Outlaws iRacing Invitationals against some of the best drivers across the country and even the world. His sponsors have been exposed to many thousands of people on FOX Sports, CBS Sports, and DIRTvision making the friendly competition well worth the time for a full-time racer who depends on sponsors. 

“We have been able to put on a show and advertise our sponsors where if we can’t get on the track this is the next best thing to keep their names out there and show them off a bit in a positive way,” said Mahaney. “There’s a lot of negativity out there and this was positive we can do.”

Since day one of the shutdown, the World of Outlaws and DIRTcar Racing have been working diligently to create racing entertainment for the present while we prepare for the “Return to Racing” and reaction to the iRacing shows has been tremendous. 

When it comes to the racing there are adjustments for real-life drivers to make. 

“The simulator has limitations. You don’t get a “seat of your pants” feeling from the race car of course but it works on your hand-eye coordination and you’re working on your audio coordination,” he noted. “The track changes. You have to move around to find the right groove. You gotta do trial and error with setups. It’s not necessarily the exact changes that we make in real life but you do have to try something to see if the car got faster. You get into that rhythm of what you do in real life.”

Mahaney has been paired against some of the best World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car drivers plus stars from NASCAR like Joey Logano, Will Byron, and even Formula 1 and IndyCar star Juan Pablo Montoya. 

“The best part of iRacing is that it doesn’t matter where you are, you can race against people from across the world. We are a Northeast division so it’s rare for us to run into drivers from California or Texas,” Mahaney said. “It’s cool not only because you can race with each other but you get to talk to each other too. We’re on the radio chatting it up and people are going a little bit of trash talking. Instead of fighting in the pits they just say what they want to say and it’s over.” 

Of course, sitting behind the wheel of a simulator in your basement or race shop mostly eliminates the risk factor of making a gutsy slider. Mahaney likens the racing to, “having 25 Jac Haudenchild’s out there going as hard as they can go every lap and not giving an inch. And why not? You don’t have a whole lot to risk.”

Of course, there’s no substitute for the smell of VP Racing Fuel, the heat of the Big Block’s exhaust, and the sound of a cheering crowd.

Race fans can catch Mahaney out on the Super DIRTcar Series trail when the tour starts up again. Additionally, the Adirondack Auto team will also be on the hunt for valuable Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship points at Albany-Saratoga Speedway and, new for 2020, Orange County Fair Speedway. 

Now in the second year of the DIRTcar Big Block Modified program, Mahaney and team are ready to rock. 

“We were going to be more prepared than ever before the pandemic but now all we have is time,” said Mahaney. “Without being able to race or test, we’ve learned more about what to work on in the shop. But we won’t know what to do with the cars until we run them.”

Between the Super DIRTcar Series, Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly racing at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Orange County Fair Speedway, plus select races at Utica-Rome Speedway, the team has to keep up a strict maintenance schedule rotating equipment in and out. 

On some weeks the Adirondack Auto machine will can potentially race four DIRTcar events. The common rulebook makes that possible. “Going from DIRTcar track to DIRTcar track we know we can run our Hoosier Racing Tires and Big Block,” said Mahaney. 

Mahaney is excited to start racing at Orange County. 

“There’s a big attraction to running Orange County. There’s a really good weekly purse and a great point fund. DIRTcar sanctioning means we know 100 percent what we are getting into for rules,” he noted. “There’s a strict rulebook and with Brett Hearn running it, I think knowing him as a racer and a professional, he’ll keep to the rulebook. You know what you expect.”

Needless to say when the Return of Racing comes to the Northeast, Mike Mahaney and his team will be ready. Of course they could not do it all without the support of their sponsors Adirondak Auto, Huttig Nissan, Marcella’s Appliances, Bosch, and Darcy Construction. 

Get connected to Mike Mahaney Racing. Check out his official website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Be sure to come out to the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Fridays, Orange County Fair Speedway Saturdays, and all along the Super DIRTcar Series tour.

PIT STOP: The View from Central New York

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. 

Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Oswego Speedway, 2018 – Chris Owens photo

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

The Legends

Wayne Reutimann charges down the backstretch of The Moody Mile, 1973 – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

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.

Chuck Ciprich all smiles at NAPA Super DIRT Week – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

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. 

Kenny Brightbill in Victory Lane at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, 1979 – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

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.

Brett Hearn and Billy Pauch talk shop, 1986 – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

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.

Danny Johnson, 2019 – Pete MacDonald photo

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.

Billy Decker triumphant, 2001 – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

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.

Alan Johnson in chase-mode in the Last Chance Showdown at NAPA Super DIRT Week before going on to win the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 from last, 1989 – Courtesy of the NAPA Super DIRT Week Program

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.

Matt Sheppard, 2019 – Pete MacDonald photo

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.

Mat Williamson, DIRTcar Nationals, 2020 – Joe Grabianowski photo

Others who will help maintain the high caliber of racing on the Series include Larry Wight and Erick Rudolph.

Erick Rudolph, DIRTcar Nationals, 2020 – Terry Page photo

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. 

Peter Britten, Airborne Speedway, 2019 – Joe Grabianowski photo

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.

Jimmy Phelps on the gas at Autodrome Drummond, 2019 – Joe Grabianowski photo

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.

Demetrios Drellos, Autodrome Granby, 2019 – Joe Grabianowski photo

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.

Jack Lehner, Weedsport Speedway, 2019 – Joe Grabianowski photo

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.

Chris Hile, Eldora Speedway, 2019 – Mike Mallet Photo

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.

Corey Wheeler and Todd Root race door-to-door at Oswego Speedway, 2019 – George Smith

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.

Thunder Mountain Speedway: DIRTcar Track Spotlight

CENTER LISLE, NY – 2020 marks a new era at Thunder Mountain Speedway. The Center Lisle, NY dirt oval will host Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship DIRTcar 358 Modifieds and DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds in the upcoming season. The Super DIRTcar Series makes a historic first-time visit to the speedway as well on Tuesday, August 4.

Drivers and fans alike are excited about the addition of DIRTcar support in 2020. The numbers of DIRTcar 358 Modifieds have grown in recent years. The high level of competition in the 358s prepares our drivers for the jump to DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds. 

Meanwhile, there are more DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds in the Northeast than virtually any other race car. With the enhanced support from Hoosier Racing Tire, the division is sure to take off at Thunder Mountain. 

For the first time in history, the Super DIRTcar Series will bring the noise to Thunder Mountain Speedway on Tuesday, August 4. The visit from the premier Big Block Modified tour in the Northeast is highly anticipated and will pay the winner of the 100 lap event a cool $7,500. 

Thunder Mountain is already embracing the benefits of using the DIRTcar rulebook as they join 26 other race tracks in the Northeast and Canada under the DIRTcar banner. Utica-Rome Speedway and Thunder Mountain have announced a mini-series between the two tracks with calculated points for 358 Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds, and street stocks called the Back Roads Battle Series

Joining the two DIRTcar divisions are Thunder Mountain’s own modifieds, budget sportsman, street stocks, factory stocks and 600cc modifieds making for an action-packed event each Saturday night. 

Other highlights on the schedule include the Empire Super Sprints on Saturday, May 16, The Mike Colsten “Mr. Ford Power” Memorial 51 lap Modified event paying $5,100-to-win, Randy Decker 50 Lap Street Stock Shootout on Saturday, September 12, and the Versus Monster Trucks Show featuring the Monstah Lobstah Crushstation September 26 and 27. The multi-use facility also hosts a concert by Kolby Oakley on Friday, July 17 and so much more. 

Make a day of your visit to Thunder Mountain Speedway. Greenwood Park has been called “beautiful, scenic, and serene” featuring year-round outdoor fun and would make a perfect stop with the family on the way to the track. 

For those of a discerning taste in libations, be sure to visit French Distillers & Alchemists which they describe as “an artisanal distillery dedicated to making hand-crafted whiskeys in small batches using only locally grown grains including corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley.” 

Thunder Mountian is also a stone’s throw away from the picturesque city of Binghamton, New York.  

Be sure to follow Thunder Mountain Speedway on social media on Facebook and Twitter. The future is bright for racing in Center Lisle, NY we want DIRTcar fans and drivers to be a part of it. 

PHOTO: Jeremy Smith plans to run the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds at Thunder Mountain in 2020. He’ll be a major threat against the Super DIRTcar Series regulars come August.

Thunder Mountain Speedway 2020 Race Schedule

Saturday, April 18 – Open Practice 1 pm

Saturday, April 25 – Season Opener: Modified $1,992-to-win, full program except for open practice and $500 Dash for DIRTcar 358 Modified (Series race at Fulton Speedway)

Saturday, May 2 – Full Program plus CRSA Sprints

Saturday, May 9 – Full Program

Saturday, May 16 – Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints, Mod, DIRTcar Sportsman Modified, Wheeler Excavating SS, 600cc Mod, – No Rookie Sports, No 358 Mod

Saturday, May 23 – DIRTcar 358 Modified, DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds, Wheeler Excavating Street Stock, Rookie Sports, Pop’s Automotive Factory Stock, 600cc Modified, MODIFIEDS Open Practice/$500 Dash

Sunday, May 24 – Lightning on the Mountain STSS Modified $5,000 to win, plus STSS Crate 602 Sportsman $1,250, Wheeler Excavating Street Stocks

Saturday, May 30 – Full Program

Saturday, June 6 – Full Program

Tuesday – June 9 – Mike Colsten “Mr. Ford Power” Memorial Race – $5,100 to win 51 Lap Modified, Crate Sportsman, 600cc Modified (rain date Wednesday, June 10)

Saturday, June 13 – Fan Appreciation

Saturday, June 20 – Full Program plus CRSA Sprints

Saturday, June 27 – Full Program

Sunday, June 28 – Horsepower Horse Pull – 2 Weight Classes

Saturday, July 4 – Red, White & Blue Special $1,776 to win Mod. plus Full Program & FIREWORKS!

Saturday, July 11 – Full Program – Kids Bike Race

Friday, July 17 – “I’m Here Drive-In Concert” featuring Kolby Oakley

Saturday, July 18 – Full Program

Saturday, July 25 – Full Program plus Dirt Nostalgia Tour

August 1 – OFF for Broome County Fair

Tuesday, August 4 – Super DIRTcar Series Big Blocks, DIRTcar 602 Crate Sportsman, 600cc Modified

Saturday, August 8 – Full Program

Saturday, August 15 – Full Program – Kids Power Wheels Race August 22 – Full Program

Saturday, August 29 – Full Program

Saturday, September 5 – Championship Night – Final Points Night

Sunday, September 6 – Wade Decker Memorial Race – Mod., Street Stock, DIRTcar Sportsman Modified, 600cc Mod

Saturday, September 12 – Randy Decker 50 Lap Street Stock Shootout, Modified, 600cc Modified (Rain date Sun. 9/13)

Saturday & Sunday, September 26 & 27 – Versus Monster Trucks Show featuring the Monstah Lobstah Crushstation

Schedule subject to change without notice

Gates open at 4 pm, Hot laps at 6:20 pm and Racing at 7 pm

A full program consists of Modifieds, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman Modified, Rookie/Budget Sportsman, Wheeler Excavating Street Stocks, Pop’s Automotive Factory Stocks, 600cc Modified unless noted

Super DIRTcar Series on the Card at Motorsports Racecar and Trade Show

CONCORD, NC – January 9, 2020 – The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing will be on hand at the Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports Racecar and Trade Show Friday to Sunday, January 17-19 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa. 

Stop by and chat with DIRTcar officials about the upcoming season, check out the HBR No. 98H of Jimmy Phelps, and get a head start on the season with new Super DIRTcar Series gear at the apparel trailer. Make sure you also fill out an entry form to win two, week-long, tickets with pit access to NAPA Super DIRT Week XLIX!

The off-season is quickly coming to a close but not before race fans get a chance to plan out their year of racing action. Schedules for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars, World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models, Super DIRTcar Series, and DIRTcar Racing special events will be available at the booth.  

There’s nothing like getting up close to racecars in January to cure the off-season blues. Be sure to snap a photo of the showroom clean Bicknell chassis No. 98H of The Baldwinsville Bandit. Jimmy Phelps has over 200 starts, 14 wins, and 85 top fives in Super DIRTcar Series competition.

A little over one month later, the very same car will take to the dirt at the Volusia Speedway Park for the annual DIRTcar Nationals. The Super DIRTcar Series will take to the fast Florida oval on February 11-15.  

Directly behind is the DIRTcar Racing display is the Super DIRTcar Series ASI Racewear merchandise trailer featuring t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and more. 

Get connected with the Super DIRTcar Series on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the brand new Super DIRTcar Series website. Don’t forget to tag us on social media with your photos from the show.