By CLAYTON JOHNS
CONCORD, NC – On the 2017 Super DIRTcar Series schedule, Brett Hearn’s Big Show 9 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway appears the same as every other race. But make no mistake; the 100-lap, $10,000-to-win event on Tuesday, June 27 is one of the biggest on the schedule this season and a race that drivers make sure they can attend.
“It’s kind of a fun diversion for me personally to put that show together and make some big things happen,” Hearn said. “Like every year, we have some pretty cool plans to make the show feel different than it does on a Friday night. I’ve tried to create an event that somebody marks on their calendar back in January or February and says “that’s a race I have to be at.”
The ninth edition of Hearn’s Big Show will feature an autograph session from 5:00pm to 6:00pm with Super DIRTcar Series and Albany-Saratoga drivers as well as Ms. Motorsports 2017 Taylor Albert and 1991 Midi Miller.
Fans will also have the opportunity to win up to $1000 with the Pick the Quick Contest. Players who select the top-five fastest cars in time trials (in any order) will split a $1000 jackpot. Hearn is also working on what he calls his “Yankee Stadium” sound system.
“We have a DJ production coming in, so it’s going to have a whole different feel,” Hearn said. “The sound system is going to be amazing. We’ll be integrating a lot of different music into the feel of the show.”
Hearn has been hard at work compiling an impressive list of sponsors to raise the purse to a $10,000-to-win event. Recovery Sports Grill is the primary sponsor for Hearn’s event, along with Halmar International, Fox Racing Shocks, VP Racing Fuels, Cedar Peaks Enterprises and JMMB. While he has help, recruiting sponsors is a big part of promoting the show for Hearn.
“I’m behind the scenes trying to get guys excited about being there and getting my sponsors put together so that we can do different things,” Hearn said.
With the Super DIRTcar Series invading the Malta, NY track to battle the Albany-Saratoga regulars, fans will see the best Big-Block Modified racing has to offer.
“Obviously when you bring the Super DIRTcar Series in you have all the best drivers and right now the Series has 17 guys that are going to all the races,” Hearn said, “plus all the regular guys that run there on Friday night. We’ll have probably an amazing field of 40 to 45 Modified cars alone.”
On race night, Hearn has added tasks as a promoted that keep him occupied. He has a supportive team behind him to help keep the show running efficiently when he switches hats from promoter to driver.
“It’s hard, because the night of the event, at some point I have to switch to Brett Hearn the driver and forget about being Brett Hearn the promoter,” he said. “There are some distractions, I have to admit, but fortunately it’s a track I run on a weekly basis, so I kind of know what to expect. I can kind of lose my focus a little bit and still get back on it at the end.”
Albany-Saratoga is an exciting 3/8-mile oval where action happens quickly and all around the track. The best drivers in the Northeast are sure to take full advantage of the space afforded them with a $10,000 payday on the line.
“It’s elbows up,” Hearn said. “It’s a really racey track and it’s easy on tires. It’s multi-groove. You’re not locked into one place you have to be on the track. You can slide across the middle, you can curl the bottom, you can run the cushion – you can do whatever’s working for you on that night. It’s just a fun place to race.”
Stewart Friesen is the most recent winner of the Big Show while Jimmy Phelps won the 2015 edition, his second career Big Show victory. Hearn’s only win in the event he promotes came in 2013. Hearn would like to win it for the second time now as much as ever.
His last Super DIRTcar Series points win came at Cornwall Motor Speedway on August 23, 2015. Hearn is the winningest driver in Series history with 136 victories and is quickly approaching 900 career Feature wins, with 897 to his credit so far. A win at the Big Show 9 would help both causes.
“I hope I do it before then, but if it comes down to that, maybe that’ll be the one,” Hearn said of ending his current Super DIRTcar Series winless streak. “We’ve had good cars this year, good speed. Our time will come.”
Advanced reserved tickets for the Brett Hearn’s Big Show 9 are available for the top two rows of seating for $35. VIP tickets, including food, beverages, a pit pass and an optional reserved seat are available for $75 or $90. General admission purchased on race day is $25 for adults. To buy tickets or to find additional event information, visit www.thebigshow9.com or www.albany-saratogaspeedway.com.