The first edition of Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway (NY) has come and gone with an event that was as tough on man and especially machine as many had predicted. In the weeks leading up to the event, hundreds of truckloads of clay were brought in to cover the 5/8 mile ribbon of asphalt for the week of racing. After holding up well the first few days, the track was subjected to a soaking rain on Saturday leading into the event on Sunday, where potholes became the subject of raceday.
“The nemesis was the holes. The track tore up, there was a lot of holes, and I just tried my best to avoid them to save the car. Got in a mode where it was just saving, saving, saving and it still broke,” said Mike Mahaney to Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Nothing you can really do at that point, we just tried fixing it, my crew was awesome, we changed two shock mounts and two shocks and stayed on the lead lap.”
The efforts of the Buzz Chew crew could only keep Mahaney going for so long as the No. 88 would fall out of the race late.
With a compressed schedule following the rainout Saturday, the Super DIRTcar Series event was shortened from 300 to 200 laps to ease time constraints. It turned out to be a blessing for most of the teams who made it the distance, but for some drivers it was a little too late, including Larry Wight who chased eventual race winner Stewart Friesen late in the day.
“We had the car to beat. I was riding around and hoping that Stewie, I let him go and he was just beating the hell out of his car, hoping he was going to break and we could move on up through, process of elimination. Unfortunately, we had a left rear axle break on our car and that’s what took us out,” Explained Wight.
While it was difficult for drivers to dodge the bumps and keep their cars out of danger, it was coming down to the crews to tough out the hard effort and keep their cars running. Many teams ended the day disappointed, including Peter Britten and HBR.
“The track was really rough, we broke a few components along the way and ended up breaking a drive flange and getting spat into the outside wall. Surviving was the key today obviously, I think only 12 cars finished, that was the key,” Said Britten. “My team did a great job, we had a couple of broken shocks along the way that they changed. It wasn’t an easy day in the office for them, they kept me going as long as they could.”
With Super DIRT Week currently set to return to Oswego in 2017, lessons of survival may be best to remember going forward at present while suggestions of how to improve the surface are currently lacking.
“It looks like I ran hard, I didn’t run as hard as I thought I could, just trying to stay out of the ruts and find a clean line up there that nobody was in. It is what it is. It’s easy to criticize after the fact, it’s a big undertaking. How they fix the surface? I’m not a guy that knows how to do that,” said fifth place finisher Tim McCreadie.
The Big-Block Modifieds don’t have long to lick their wounds as the Super DIRTcar Series heads north to Brockville Ontario Speedway this coming Saturday for the DIRTcar Northeast Fall Nationals.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Mojo Photos