CONCORD, NC — When the Oswego Bacon Festival wraps up on Saturday night at Oswego Speedway, the magic begins. DIRTcar Racing and Gypsum Express crews will initiate the transformation of the historic Steel Palace, taking it back to its dirt racing roots for the most legendary racing event in the Northeast, Racing’s Biggest Party, the 47th annual NAPA Auto Part Super DIRT Week.
For the third consecutive year, Oswego Speedway will metamorphose into the Clay Palace for one thrilling week, Oct 1-7, as the Northeast’s finest and fastest Modified wheelers vie for the most coveted title of the season and their place in history.
“It’s the ultimate show,” said DIRTcar Director of Events Jeff Hachmann, who has spearheaded NAPA Super DIRT Week for the past seven years, “and the ultimate show needs the ultimate stage. Last year’s racing proved just how great it can be when the stage is set right. We want to make sure that this year’s fans and drivers get just as good a show or better.”
After last year’s excellent track conditions, the same track prep crew will take charge. Larry Fink of DIRTcar and Eric Kingsley of Gypsum Express will lead the track effort to lay and compact the material, preparing the track over the next three weeks leading into the event.
Last week, while crews spread a mixture of rock and gravel on the nearly one mile of camping roads to improve mobility and protect the grounds against rain, they also lined the interior of the 5/8-mile track with 20-foot, four-ton concrete barriers.
With favorable Central New York weather, the track will be ready for clay on Sunday morning, when crews begin the arduous task of dumping nearly 9,600 cubic yards of clay on the track – close to 600 truckloads.
Bulldozing dirt surgeons Kingsley and Fink will apply their skill and technique — improved and tweaked over the previous two years — to layer and compact the material. The sheer size of the 5/8-mile oval, with its wide and narrow contrasts, and the unique uphill/downhill configuration of the track make the layering process different in every corner and straight around the oval.
Crews will use a variety of equipment to carry out and fine tune the transformation: sheepsfoot, padfoot, Lely tillers, Kuhn resurfacers, graders, water trucks and a fleet of pack trucks.
On Sunday, September 30, NAPA Super DIRT Week will kick off with early parking for campers at Oswego Speedway. While track prep continues for the two days until the best Big-Block, 358 Mod, Sportsman and Pro Stock drivers in the country take the historic oval, campers can enjoy the facility upgrades. Since mid-August, crews have been working on new roadways around the campgrounds of Oswego Speedway, with improved access to and around the green and orange lots.
On-track activities will begin shortly after the procession of cars through the streets of Oswego on Wednesday, October 3 at roughly 12 p.m. Albany Street, which runs parallel to the front-stretch of the Oswego Speedway, will be closed to traffic during NAPA Super DIRT Week once again to make room for the event and team merchandise vendors, concessions, and sponsor displays.
Tickets and camping spots for the NAPA Super DIRT Week XLVII are available online or by calling 844-DIRT-TIX. Stay tuned to the Super DIRT Week, Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing social media channels for additional information regarding NAPA Super DIRT Week.
UPDATE: WITH MORE THAN TWO INCHES OF RAIN IN THE FORECAST AND AN AREA FLOOD WARNING IN EFFECT, THE CLAY APPLICATION WILL NOT BEGIN UNTIL TUESDAY OR EVEN WEDNESDAY MORNING AT 8AM. IF YOU’D LIKE TO RECEIVE UPDATES, PLEASE CONTACT [email protected]
-Super DIRT Week Press Release
-Photo credit: Mike Johnson