Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – ALBANY, NY – Super DIRT Week isn’t just a race. It’s an event, and in 2022, that “event” will be celebrating a major milestone.
Started in 1972 at the Syracuse Mile on the grounds of the New York State Fairgrounds, Super DIRT Week (SDW) now calls the famed Oswego Speedway home, but the history and prestige of the event still resonates throughout the racing world.
On Thursday, DIRTcar officials were in the capital of New York State (Albany) to unveil the special edition trophy for this year’s weeklong spectacle of speed at the ‘Clay Palace.’ To celebrate the golden anniversary, a 35-pound award was designed by MTM Recognition to represent the origin of Super DIRT Work along with its current incarnation, showcasing both the Mile as well as the track in Oswego.
“For us, the track outline is something we’ve never done before,” said CJ Norton, an account manager at MTM. “We always start off with a little bit of direction but then go from there.”
The piece was finished in May and will now set out on a trophy tour through the state of New York. It started Thursday in Albany but will now visit such locations as Time Square in New York City (and maybe even Yankee Stadium), Niagara Falls, Lake Placid, Watkins Glen, just to name a few.
While the trophy is something special to behold, the event itself is amazing in its own right, and the golden anniversary event in 2022 will be an event not to be missed.
“The 50th Super DIRT Week will be extremely special,” Jeff Hachmann, DIRTcar Executive Director of Events said. “It’s not just special for the drivers. It’s special for the fans as well. Camping’s been sold out since last year and we’ve got more events planned outside of the on-track activity. We’re going to be doing a lot more than in year’s past.”
Even with all of the activities going on, the action on track will be just as heightened with a varying schedule and additions to the money race teams can take home.
“We’ve increased the total purse for the event to over $430,000 and we’re changing the schedule up a bit from year’s past,” he said. “Obviously, it’s Central New York in October. The weather’s always unpredictable. We’ve seen over the years that the track may race a little bit better at night. For this year, we’ve split up the action a tad.”
What does that mean, exactly?
“The DIRTcar Pro Stocks and 358-Modifieds will be running on Thursday and on Saturday,” he said. “The Sportsman and Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds will be running on Friday and Sunday. That will be less laps put on the track. Hopefully that will help with some of the challenges we faced with the surface last year.”
Another change being implemented is later start times.
“There will not be a car on the track before 1pm on any given day,” he said. “That will allow us time to prep the track properly and get us into the later hours of the day when the sun goes down. We hope, not racing under the sun as much won’t affect the track too bad. We’re doing everything we can to make the 50th Super DIRT Week extra special on track as well as off.”
DIRTcar is making sure that the racing will be special, but also that that the fans have an amazing time while they’re enjoying the week at Oswego and the surrounding tracks.
“Dean (Reynolds, Super DIRTcar Series Director) worries about what’s going on with the on-track activities and we worry about everything else,” he said. “From the bands to the DJ’s, the golf and cornhole tournaments and everything else in between, we truly want to make this Racing’s Biggest Party.”