Super DIRT Week Gets Underway at Oswego Speedway for the 50th Consecutive Year – The Oswegonian

The ground has once again been laid at Oswego Speedway when the ‘Steel Palace’ becomes the ‘Clay Palace’ for one week into the racing season. This time for the 50th anniversary of Napa Auto Parts Super DIRT Week. There is additional excitement surrounding the event as more than 230 cars converge on the 5/8 mile track.

The teams were able to enter the facility on October 3 along with the fans who have been camping out on the track all week. Many drivers prepared for the events to come this weekend in Oswego, but first had to focus on satellite races in central New York.

On October 4, 358 DIRTcar Modified, DIRTcar Sportsman and DIRTcar Pro Stock competitors traveled to Weedsport Speedway for the Super DIRT Week Kickoff Party. The night of racing featured plenty of fireworks as Matt McLaughlin returned to the top of victory hill in the 358 Modified for HBR Racing.

The next day, the 358 Modified and Sportsman teams traveled south to Brewerton Speedway in Syracuse for another night of competition. Mat Williamson and Zach Sobotka would go on to win their respective races in their divisions.

As the teams head back to Oswego for the rest of their week of racing, Zachary Buff is excited to be back for another week of racing. This year’s Super DIRT Week is the second time the sport driver has taken part in the historic event and he talked about how special it is to be in the 50th edition.

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“It’s the 50th anniversary and that’s once in a lifetime,” Buff said. “We just hope to have a good time and get to the show. We’re just here to have fun.”

Buff finished 20th in the Hurricane Harvey 30 at Brewerton Speedway on Oct. 5. The driver of car 01 improved 10 positions over the course of the 30-lap race. The Latham native spoke about how the schedule at Oswego Speedway allows for a lot of adjustments and seat time.

“Getting out on the track today will definitely help,” Buff said. “We can fine-tune the car and the time trial on Friday. That’s what will prepare us for our hot flashes. If we don’t time well, it will be a long weekend.”

There is a lot of work in this week-long event for the teams off the track. Mike Mahaney rides in both the modified DIRTcar 358 series and the Super DIRTcar series. Mahaney touched on the importance of that preparation before the start of race week, especially in the Super DIRTcar series.

“This takes a lot of preparation, especially to build that quick-fill system for the pit stop,” Mahaney said. “It’s different planning 200 laps and a lot of practice. We’re five hours from home, and we’re not going home for nothing. Vendors bring lots of supplies.”

Mahaney enters race week sitting 20th in the DIRTcar Super Series. The driver secured a victory this season in the Super DIRTcar Series Showdown at Albany-Saratoga Speedway on June 24 after beating Marc Johnson.

This month, Mahaney runs for another reason. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Team 35 will raise awareness for the cause with a partnership with Lighthouse Lanes, the local bowling alley in Oswego.

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“To raise awareness, we put out some pink wraps on our cars,” Mahoney said. “It’s close to home for us. We have some friends and family who are fighting for this. It’s a very emotional experience for everyone involved in that.”

More action continues tonight with qualifying heats for the DIRTcar Sportsman and Super DIRTcar series. Riders will be ready to go at 7:15pm on October 7th with time trials starting in the afternoon at the Clay Palace. Racing will continue through the weekend with the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 scheduled for 5 pm on October 9.

Photos provided by nicole hube

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