Column: To Journeyman Racer Brian Whittemore, Super DIRT Week’s The Event Of The Year

Column By: NICK GRAZIANO / DIRTCAR – OSWEGO, NY – Brian Whittemore has been the first Super DIRTcar Series entry for NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway for the last three years.

In part, he just likes to get it done. But to the Pittsford, VT native, Super DIRT Week is the event of the year.

It’s his vacation. It’s that date on the calendar he has circled every year and anxiously waits for – especially with this year being the 50th Running of NAPA Super DIRT Week.

“We bought a big camper we haul behind one truck, and we come down here (to Oswego, NY) for the week,” Whittemore said. “We enjoy it. We always do the parade. That’s fun to go through the city there. I definitely enjoy it.”

With a passion for fast cars and big tracks, Whittemore dreamed of racing at the “Moody Mile” in Syracuse but couldn’t afford it. Then, he started Whitt’s Auto Repair, a mechanic shop he runs himself. The business became successful enough that he was able to purchase a Big Block Modified and make his dream come true.

However, in his first attempt to make the show at Syracuse he suffered a motor issue. And then, the Mile went away. But when the event moved to Oswego Speedway, he made sure to never miss a race.

Whittemore has been racing since the late 1980s, getting his first taste of the sport in a spectators’ race at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Vermont – his home track.

“I was back the following week with a Four-Cylinder car,” he said.

From there his racing career took off, going from Four-Cylinders to Pro Stocks to Late Models to Modifieds, then back to Late Models and then back to Modifieds – which he’s stayed with ever since.

He used to race his Big Block Modified weekly at Albany-Saratoga Speedway but eventually bought a new car, layered with new equipment, that he saves solely for Super DIRT Week every year.

“I brought it to Devil’s Bowl just for practice last year,” Whittemore said. “Probably bring it there again (this year) for practice and then go to [Oswego Speedway for the 50th NAPA Super DIRT Week].”

Misfortunes have hindered him from qualifying for the event, such as getting wrecked out last year. But with a fresh motor and a car with all new parts just for Oswego, he said he’s confident this could be his year.

“I think I can get in as long as nothing happens,” he said. “I think we have a good chance.”

If he does, Whittemore joked while he doesn’t drink anymore, he’d probably have to pick it up again to celebrate.

“It would be one hell of a party,” he said.

But if he doesn’t, he’ll still plan on enjoying the week. With eight of his closest friends coming to help him every year, Super DIRT Week is more than another race week for the 57-year-old. It’s his favorite party of the year, already planning to be at the gates first thing Sunday morning on Oct. 2 to get parked – a mentality he never sees going away.

“I’m going to do it until I can’t anymore,” Whittemore said.

Along with Whittemore, Jackson Gill (DIRTcar 358 Modifieds), Andrew Buff (DIRTcar Sportsman) and Michael Clark (DIRTcar Pro Stock) where the first drivers to enter for NAPA Super DIRT Week this year. Clark was the first overall.

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