Story By: MICHELINA FRISS / DIRTCAR – CONCORD, NC – While 2022 was Anthony Perrego’s rookie season on the Super DIRTcar Series tour, his season stats might make you think otherwise.
Perrego, of Walden, NY, finished sixth in the points standings, assisted by five top-five finishes and ten top-10 finishes. By finishing ahead of fellow rookie contender Marc Johnson at the end of the season – by 11 points – he was also able to claim the 2022 Rookie of the Year title.
“We had a pretty decent year,” Perrego said. “Obviously, I raced before with Marc at Albany (Saratoga Speedway) and he’s definitely a tough competitor, so it was cool to beat him out.” He entered the season having previously making 27 Series starts and capturing two Series wins in 2020.
Perrego ran a solid first half of the 2022 season, finding himself second place in points going into a matchup at his home track, Orange County Fair Speedway, at the end of July. The 28-year-old battled intensely with the eventual victor Matt Sheppard, landing a season best second-place finish.
The schedule for the second half of the season brought some challenges, cultivating a need for growth.
“We got to some new tracks that I really haven’t been to, or a couple of tracks that I’ve been to once or twice,” Perrego said. “It definitely was a learning curve for us. We definitely got some good notes that hopefully, this year being our first year, we can carry over into next year.”
August was kind to Perrego and the Four Star Racing team, with two top-10 finishes during the inaugural SummerFAST event and a third-place podium finish at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Then came, arguably, the most anticipated event of the year, the 50th Running of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week, where Perrego brought both his Big Block and Small Block. He finished 20th in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 with his Big Block and fourth in the DIRTcar 358 Modified Salute to the Troops 150 with his Small Block.
“We were pretty decent with our Small Block,” Perrego said. “We obviously had some issues with our Big Block. It’s kind of disappointing to run 20th there. We’ve been really good at Oswego in the past. It was kind of disappointing to run 20th with the Big Block, but the Small Block we had a good run. It wasn’t a total loss.”
With one final event left on the Series’ schedule, positions fourth through seventh were separated by a thin margin of only 28 points. The competitors went into the World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte with three more chances to capture their best season finish. After a respectable overall performance, including two fourth-place finishes, Perrego sealed the deal as the 2022 Rookie of the Year.
In the off-season that he described as “increasingly shorter,” he simply plans on working hard to improve for next year. Even with this year’s accolades, new goals setting is already in the works.
“We would like to go and win a Super DIRTcar Series race next year,” Perrego said. “We were close on multiple occasions. It would be nice to win a race. And obviously, I think getting a podium in the points would be a goal that we would set.”