Big-Block Modified drivers may have only had 16 minutes of practice at Oswego Speedway (NY) on Wednesday, but that time was enough for them to appreciate the racing surface that they’ll be racing on throughout Super DIRT Week.
After last year’s inaugural Super DIRT Week at Oswego, a track that normally hosts asphalt racing events, much of the conversation surrounded the not-so-stellar racing surface. With a few lessons learned, better weather and more time, DIRTcar officials and track crews have done everything in their power to provide a better racing surface this time around.
So far, what they have done has worked.
“There’s not a ripple in it. I’m not even sure you need shocks,” Tim Fuller told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s just that smooth. I’m afraid it may take rubber in those long races, which I hope not. They’ll probably do something to the track and tear it up a little bit and stop it. There’s going to be a lot of cars on it tomorrow, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I think maybe this weather will help; sometimes it does this at Syracuse, too.”
Tim McCreadie set overall fast time during the rain-shortened practice session with a fast lap of 21.654 seconds around the 5/8-mile dirt oval. Like Fuller, he too was very complimentary of the racing surface on Wednesday.
“I truly believe they have a gem right now,” McCreadie stated. “It’s their hard work. I know a lot of them who work on it, I’ve been around them my whole life, and I think they realize let’s get it packed in and then we can do something to it if we have to. But I think what you’re going to see is an event that is going to be pretty special.”
Oswego isn’t the first asphalt track that McCreadie has raced on; he also competed at the dirt-covered Berlin Raceway (MI) during a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race. Based on his experience at these two events, he believes that simplicity is the key to a smooth racing surface.
“I’ve been to Berlin when they put the dirt down there and it’s tough to put dirt down, hammer it and then farm it deep,” McCreadie explained. “Farm it deep because you’re worried about dust and worried about other things. These guys learned here that you hammer it, hammer it, hammer it. It’ll seal over and the dust will go away and then you can maybe, which they didn’t do today, but maybe can tickle some spots on the top or the bottom to make it racy.”
Carey Terrance, last year’s third-place finisher at Super DIRT Week, also noticed a big difference in the track surface compared to one year ago.
“It’s a lot smoother,” he said matter-of-factly. “I like the race track the way it is. There’s a lot of bite on the bottom this time. I hope it doesn’t go one lane on the bottom, but I imagine with this rain they’ll get some track time to fix it tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.”
Race fans can find a full video recap of Wednesday’s practice session by becoming a premium subscriber to the Speed51 Network.
The Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds will return to the race track for practice at 11 a.m. on Thursday leading into the all-important time trials at 2:45 p.m. ET.
Follow Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage beginning at 10 a.m. ET.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com