Dirt Racing’s Biggest Party is all ready to celebrate 50 years with a brand new trophy and a week of events.
Fifty years of any event is an amazing accomplishment; add in a location change and it’s a major feat if you don’t miss a beat.
That’s exactly what the team at World Racing Group have been able to do with the nationally-known Super DIRT Week which will celebrate its 50th edition in early October.
To celebrate, the group unveiled the golden anniversary trophy the New York State Capital in Albany, NY this Thursday, June 23, 2022. Technically, 2022 marks 51 years, but the party was pushed back a year from 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 35-pound trophy represents the origins of Super Dirt Work along with its current incarnation, showcasing both the now defunct “Moody Mile” in Syracuse, NY and the current “Clay Palace” in Oswego, NY.
“Between the history of the race and its significance, there is no bigger event this year than the 50th NAPA Super DIRT Week,” Jeff Hachmann, DIRTcar Executive Director of Events said. “We wanted to emphasize that with this year’s trophy for the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 by highlighting the history of the event and its roots that we all cherish.”
The weeklong spectacle of speed was first held at the New York State Fairgrounds in 1972 where it remained until the facility was torn down in 2015. It then moved to the famed Oswego Speedway where DIRTcar officials threw clay down on the “Steel Palace” and kept the tradition alive.
While the location changed, the prestige of winning an event during Super DIRT Week remained the same.
One driver who’s looking to take the 50th anniversary trophy home is six-time Super DIRT Week Big Block Champion Brett Hearn. From an early age, Hearn understood the magnitude of the event and to say he was able to conquer it once, let alone six times, was a major accomplishment in his career.
“From the first time I went to the race in 1976 (at about four or five years of age), it had already established itself as something very unique,” Hearn said. “It became an event that several drivers and teams targeted. They knew that, even if you ran one night a week, you went to Syracuse and Super DIRT Week because that’s where the best drivers were.
“If you won a race at Super DIRT Week, against the very best guys, it really legitimized you as a top-notch driver,” he said. “You became ‘big time’ when you won this event.”
Hearn reiterated the role technology has played in bringing Super DIRT Week to a wider audience.
“Through television coverage, and now internet streaming, this event is shown throughout the entire country,” he said. “Whether you’re from California or North Carolina or New York, drivers pay attention to other series and this was our exposure to the world. Eventually, it attracted other world class drivers who wanted to win races at Super DIRT Week and say ‘I want to be a part of this’. National drivers came to just say they tried to win this race.”
Super DIRT Week’s 50th run takes off in Oswego, NY and the surrounding areas this coming October 3-9. Even though there will be a lot of action on track, there’s plenty of additional programming to keep racers and fans entertained. A kickoff party, golf and cornhole tournament, city-wide parade, autograph sessions and fireworks are just a few of the many activities that are set for people to enjoy.
“This truly is racing’s biggest party,” Hachmann said. “Camping has been sold out since last year. We’ve been planning this since the 2021 edition ended. Our CEO, Brian Carter, has been planning this since the 40th edition. Ticket sales are going great and we just want this to be the best event ever.”
Now, it’s time to see who will go down in history as the 50th annual winner of the Super DIRT Week Big Block Modified Championship.
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