Postcard weather conditions a day earlier at the New York State Fairgrounds did a 360 overnight forcing an early cancellation of all track activity schedule on day two of Super DIRT Week XXXVIII on the oh so Moody Mile.
Yet while the customary “Happy Hour’ practice session for Modifieds slated for Wednesday afternoon was scrapped by lunchtime, car inspection continued for a second straight day with teams rolling their mounts under the main grandstands despite whipping winds and intermittent rain testing both man and machine throughout the all day affair.
“The wind made it feel like about 20 degrees and with a handful of showers mixed in you just felt a chill all day,” lamented Chief Registrar Joyce Parsels, as she tallied up the second day total of cars inspected in the Big-Block, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Sixty-seven new entries were accounted for on Wednesday, elevating the two-day count to 144 in all four open-wheel and full-fender classes.
“What made it nice this year was that there never seemed to be more than six or eight cars in line at a time, somehow the interval between groups remained constant all day long. In the past there always seemed to be an endless line when you looked up to take a breath, so having a steady flow today kept everything running smooth,” Parsels added.
While a cool mist enveloped the historic fairgrounds oval as teams began to arrive, technical inspections got underway at 8am and the DIRTcar staff never flinched until the final car was checked off at 6:10pm. Of the nearly 70 racing machines that circled under the familiar front stretch structure, the majority were Big-Block and 358s while 18 Sportsman racers were able to an early jump on the week ahead.
“It was another seamless day, everybody seemed fairly content after bringing their car down the line with little difficulty,” noted Bob Dini, Director of Technical Operations for DIRTcar Racing Northeast. “It was a long one but we got a lot done and we’re getting closer to what everybody is really here for --- to race. And then we’ll move our whole operation to the infield, hopefully it will continue to run just as smooth.”
The biggest day of Super DIRT Week XXXVIII so far will be Thursday, October 8 when the final Modified inspection comes to a close and gives way to back-to-back practice sessions for Big-Blocks and 358s, with all competitors drawing for their time trial order in the morning. Big-Block hot laps are scheduled for 10am and warm-ups for 358-Modifieds take place immediately after. The customary 'Media Day' press conference is slated to go off at 12noon in the infield media center, at which time former Syracuse University basketball standout Gerry McNamara will be welcomed as the Grand Marshal of Super DIRT Week and take on some DIRTcar stars in a unique foul shooting contest.
Combination practice/qualifying sessions for the 358-Modified and Sportsman ‘Futures’ classes begin at 1pm with 358-Modified Time Trials starting at 1:30. American Traditions Motorsports/TEO Pro Car Big-Block Modified Time Trials are scheduled to start at 2:45 followed immediately by consecutive Futures finales for aspiring 358-Mod and Sportsman contenders at 4 o’clock. In the evening trackside action moves north off Route 81 to Brewerton (NY) Speedway for a Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Championship event. Race time is set for 7:30pm.
While inclement weather kept many fans inside during the day, a full house was on hand at the nearby Quaker Steak & Lube enjoying the ‘Super DIRT Week Launch Party’ that featured numerous Modified drivers and their teammates. Headlining a special autograph session were defending Rite Aid 200 Presented By Ferris & Snapper Mowers winner Frank Cozze, two-time Rite Aid 200 champion Vic Coffey, ’07 Rite Aid 200 pole-winner Jimmy Phelps and his cousin Ryan Phelps, winner of the inaugural DIRTcar All-Star 100 at Cayuga County Fair Speedway in July. A commemorative poster was provided the first 500 fans arriving for this Super DIRT Week send-off with drivers increasing the value with their personalized signature.
The Super DIRT Week satellite show on Friday under the lights at Cayuga County Fair Speedway is billed as a 360 Sprint Car Challenge expected to feature a huge field of URC, ASCS and ESS series all-stars. An added bonus for fans in attendance at the home of DIRTcar Northeast headquarters will be a special appearance by some World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series stars, including the ‘King’ himself Steve Kinser, as they conduct Goodyear Tire tests during and after the event. The nationally renowned WoO contingent competed for the sixth and final time at Cayuga County in 1993, with Kinser sandwiched between winner Dave Blaney and Weedsport’s very own Craig ‘Cricket’ Keel, while Jeff Swindell and Kenny Jacobs chased the tricycling trio across the line. Earlier in the day on Friday, Kinser will lead a pack of four WoO Sprinters back to the Syracuse Mile for a four-lap exhibition, with an Outlaws Series points race headlining the Saturday night card across town at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park.