Super Dirt Week Favorites and Contenders – DTD Exclusive

By KEN BRUCE

It is back! Super Dirt Week returns in 2021 after not having been run last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams, campers and fans will start descending upon the Oswego Speedway starting today Sunday 10/3 to set up for what will be a return to racing’s biggest party. Once again, the Steel Palace will transfer over to the Clay Palace as the best of the best in dirt modified racing will all be searching for the title of Super DIRT Week Champion.

SDW 2021 promises to be a year for everyone to renew old acquaintance’s that had been put on pause for a year, to share stories and maybe a cold adult beverage or two along the way. It was very strange to not head north last season for the Columbus Day weekend spectacular. It felt like something was missing with the racing season and indeed it was. But so much for last season, this season SDW is back and it looks like it will be spectacular week of racing no matter if you will be at Oswego, or attending any of the surrounding planned events. It’s time to get the 411 on what is in store for this week.

Where: Oswego Speedway – Oswego, NY

When: Thursday Oct. 6th to Sunday Oct. 10th. Click here for the complete SDW schedule Schedule – Super DIRT Week



Winners Share: Big Block Modifieds – $50,000 plus contingencies, 358 Small Block Modifieds – $25,000 plus contingencies.

Favorites:

Stewart Friesen – How can Stewie not be a favorite? The Sprakers, N.Y., driver has won 29 Modified features this season, more than any other driver and is a master of the long races. Friesen is a five-time winner of the SDW classic and has some extra motivation going for him as he heads to Oswego Speedway this week. Friesen, who was deemed ineligible to compete for the SDS title due to not committing to the entire schedule and becoming a platinum member, would like nothing more than to take home the big $50,000 winner’s share of the purse. As always, Friesen will be aboard the Bicknell chassis, Billy the Kid Performance powered Halmar No. 44.

Matt Sheppard – Super Matt has had a great season with 25 wins, second to only Friesen. Sheppard comes into SDW with a commanding lead in his quest for an unprecedented eighth Super DIRTcar Series and will be looking to extend his lead. Two years ago, Sheppard was in the same position in regards to the points and was a DNF in the 200 which ultimately led to Mat Williamson catching him to win the title. Super Matt is a two-time winner of SDW (one at Oswego) and will be at the top of his game looking for win number three in the 200. Sheppard will be driving the Matt Sheppard Motorsports No. 9s Bicknell chassis, CC Performance, Hurlock Auto & Speed Modified.

Mat Williamson – Williamson is the defending champion of the NAPA SDW 200 and will be looking to defend his title driving the Buzz Chew Racing, Bicknell chassis, Billy the Kid Performance powered No. 88. Known affectionately as “Money Mat”, the St. Catharines, Ontario driver is having a great year especially driving his own cars. Williamson has struggled some aboard the No. 88 with only one win on the SDS but the team and driver are known to step up their game when the big money is on the line as witnessed by his many high dollar wins over the past couple of seasons. There is no way I would count Williamson out, especially with the way he has done over the past season when competing against Friesen or Sheppard in the big money races.

Contenders:

Larry Wight – Although “Lightning Larry” hasn’t racked up the wins this season like expected, this team is still very capable of winning on Sunday. Wight, who won this race back in 2018, has the experience and the team to win again and will be a formidable foe in 2021. Wight will be driving his familiar No. 99L Bickenell Chassis with LJL/Kevlar power under the hood.

Billy Decker – The three-time winner of SDW has not been able to visit the winners circle since the 200 switched to Oswego Speedway. Decker currently sits second in SDS points and has been very consistent on the series so far in 2021. In what will be his last SDW start with the John Wight owned Gypsum team, Decker would like nothing more than to give his long-time owner another SDW victory. As always, Decker will be behind the wheel the familiar No. 99 Bicknell with a LJL/Kevlar big block under the hood.

Mike Mahaney – Mahaney just won his first ever SDS race two weeks ago at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway and is on the verge of winning one of dirt Modifieds big races. Driving the potent Huttig owned No. 35 Bicknell, Mahaney will be a factor in the big race. The team has the experience to do it and needs just a little luck to be standing in victory lane on Sunday.

Peter Britten – Coming close to winning this race a few years back, Britten has always taken a liking to Oswego Speedway and has shown he has the speed to get the job done. Britten has visited victory lane here before in winning the 358 race back in 2018, and with a little luck, could’ve swept the weekend. Britten will be wheeling his familiar self-owned No. 21 Bicknell.

Chris Hile – Affectionately known as the ‘Hile Driver,’ Chris has come into his own the past two seasons running the SDS. Although not having been able to pull off a SDS win yet, Hile has been close and is competitive at most every race. The only thing lacking for the Hile team is experience in long distance races, but with their connections to the Gypsum team, I don’t look for that to be an issue. Hile will be driving the family-owned No. 5 Bicknell chassis with LJL/Kevlar power under the hood.

Ryan Godown – The Ringoes, N.J., driver is coming off a year where he has won eight times at the Bridgeport Motorsports Park and also was crowned track champion. Not entering as many races as normal has worked out well for the Godown team as they are prepared for each race as witnessed by their big victory three weeks ago in the Freedom 76 race at Grandview. Godown loves the challenge of running SDW and has had success over the years. This year will find Godown behind the wheel of the R&M Motorsports No. 26 Bicknell chassis big block.

Anthony Perrego – Perrego has had a tremendous season so far in 2021 with track championships coming at Orange County Fair Speedway in both the 358 and big block division along with the winning the title at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Perrego almost won this race back in 2019 when he was leading the way in the late stages only to run out of fuel. Perrego will be driving the Brian Smith owned No. 44 Bicknell chassis with Billy the Kid Performance power under the hood.

Tim Fuller – Fuller has not run the SDS full-time this season but when he does, the cagey New York veteran has been very competitive. Fuller has one SDS win under his belt this year winning at Bridgeport Motorsports Park back in May. Fuller doesn’t seem to have lost a step and it wouldn’t surprise this writer to see Fuller battling for a win on Sunday. Fuller will enter SDW behind the wheel of the No. 19 Bicknell modified with sponsorship from St. Lawrence Radiology.

Jimmy Phelps – The “Baldwinsville Bandit” has not racked up the wins this season like he is accustomed to, but when it comes to SDW, you can never count out Phelps. 2018 saw Phelps lead for most of the race only to be passed late by eventual winner Larry Wight before running out of gas. Phelps saves his best for the big races and is due for a 200 win at SDW. Phelps will be strapped into the familiar No. 98H Bicknell chassis with Bruneau power bolted between the rails.

Possibilities:

In such a long-distance race obviously, anything can happen with mechanical breakdowns, pit strategy and fuel strategy playing into the outcome. Here are some other drivers who I believe with a little luck and some good strategy can possibly pull off the big SDW victory: Tim Sears Jr, Justin Haers, Billy Dunn, Erick Rudolph, Max McLaughlin, Rocky Warner, Demetrious Drellos, Marc Johnson and  Kyle Coffey.

Sentimental favorites and multi-time winners of the 200 such as Brett Hearn, Jimmy Horton and Danny Johnson will also be in attendance looking to add their SDW legacies.

If you have any questions or comments. I can be reached at dirtracefan25@hotmail.com or on Twitter @dirtracefan25.