Six Super DIRT Week Guaranteed Spots Up For Grabs During Super DIRTcar Series Events In ’23
Story By: NICK GRAZIANO / DIRTCAR – WEST LEBANON, NY – Super DIRTcar Series drivers will have six chances to lock themselves into the prestigious Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Super DIRT Week 51 this year.
Six events – across four tracks – will award six drivers with the illustrious prize, guaranteeing them a starting spot in the 200-lap Feature at Oswego Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 8.
The winner of each Super DIRT Week Qualifier Feature will be awarded the guaranteed starting spot. If the winner of the event has already earned a spot, it will go to the next driver in the finishing order who hasn’t won it yet.
Lebanon Valley Speedway’s King of Spring 100 on Monday, May 29, will be the first Super DIRT Week Qualifier of the year, adding another level of excitement to the $13,500-to-win Memorial Day special.
The event produced one of the best underdog stories of the season in 2022 with Connecticut’s LJ Lombardo scoring his first career Super DIRTcar Series win, and first Super DIRT Week guaranteed starting spot. His entire season changed after that, knowing he would run in his first Super DIRT Week.
“I’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been a little kid,” Lombardo said in Victory Lane at Lebanon Valley last year.
The Series will return to Lebanon Valley in September for the famed MR. DIRT Track USA event, which has been won by Andy Bachetti the last two years.
After Lebanon Valley, Weedsport Speedway will host its first of two $10,000-to-win Super DIRT Week Qualifier events. The Hall of Fame 100 will be on Sunday, July 16, and then the Cavalcade Cup Weekend will be Sunday, Sept. 10.
Jimmy Phelps, of Baldwinsville, NY, earned his first points-paying Series race since 2019 at Weedsport last year – a home track for his Heinke-Baldwin Racing team, which is located on the grounds of the facility. With the win came a Super DIRT Week guaranteed starting spot and a sigh of relief knowing he wouldn’t have to worry about qualifying for the event.
“It was a huge relief, taking the edge off a little bit, making sure we’re in the show,” Phelps said. “Obviously, the goal is to Time Trial well, start up front and get your track position. It’s nice to know if things go a little sideways on you during Qualifying that you can focus on your race package and not worry about making sure you’re doing everything you can to get into a qualifying spot.”
New to the list of Super DIRT Week Qualifiers, and to the Super DIRTcar Series 2023 schedule, is the addition of Autodrome Drummond in Drummondville, QC. The Series is returning to the 3/8-mile Canadian track, July 31-Aug. 1, with the second night of the event awarding a $10,000 pay day and Super DIRT Week guaranteed starting spot.
For the four Canadian rookies on the tour this year – Flex Roy, JF Corriveau, Mathieu Desjardins and Steve Bernard – it could be their best opportunity of the year to score a season defining victory in front of their home fans.
“All the drivers are excited about the return of the Big Blocks to race against the best in the business and try to beat them in front of the fans at home,” Autodrome Drummond promoter Yan Bussiere said. “There was only one driver who managed to take the victory several years ago. His name is Steve Poirier and the fans still talk about it. It was an incredible evening. The fans were euphoric.”
Albany-Saratoga Speedway’s Malta Massive Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 23, will be the final chance for drivers to secure a guaranteed starting spot before Super DIRT Week starts two weeks later (Oct. 2-8). Billy Decker was able to score the final spot last year with a second-place finish since Matt Sheppard, the race winner, already had a spot locked up.
FULL SUPER DIRT WEEK QUALIFIER SCHEDULE:
- Lebanon Valley Speedway (May 29) / King of Spring 100
- Weedsport Speedway (July 16) / Hall of Fame 100
- Autodrome Drummond (Aug. 1)
- Lebanon Valley Speedway (Sept. 2) / Mr. DIRT Track USA
- Weedsport Speedway (Sept. 10) / Cavalcade Cup Weekend
- Albany-Saratoga Speedway (Sept. 23) / Malta Massive Weekend