Makin’ Tracks – Outlaw SDS Worth Trek – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

There is that nostalgic feeling you get when you walk into the covered fairgrounds grandstand of the Outlaw Speedway.

Tracks like this are out of yesteryear and of those great memory times of fairground race tracks.

Sitting in the stands the wood under your rear end vibrates when the powerful big-blocks roar past. You immediately sit up as they definitely have your attention.

It was time for yet another road trip on Tuesday and with buddies Dave and John as we hit the road, dodging downpours at times, to see another Super DIRTcar Series event.




It was well worth the adventure (and the good part is we got home 90 minutes earlier than last time around).

Personally I thought the field was disappointing, but there were reasons. Outlaw isn’t a DIRTcar track so most Modified and Sportsman competitors had to travel. Certainly a core group of Mods who run on Friday nights were pit-side, but the majority were invaders. The home Sportsman needed to make too many adjustments to go racing with the DIRTcar Central tour. So the end result was 29 Modifieds, 22 Sportsman and 19 Fight Night Street Stocks (which were pretty good in heat action).

A rain shower hit around 5 p.m. and the schedule got pushed back a bit as eventually the time trials and nine heats along with one Mod consi ended about 8:16 p.m. Track repair for a difficult three and four area along with attempting to fix the big hole took until 9:10 p.m. So by the time the Mod and Sportsman mains ended it was 10:36 p.m. (Didn’t stay for Street Stocks).

Eventful Evening

Right out of the box Mike Maresca got the fans attention for something he wish didn’t happen. The 7m headed into turn three and either caught the hole or dug in and flipped three times getting a good amount of air time. Mike apparently wasn’t injured, but the car looked pretty bad.

Max McLaughlin continues to crank the 6H around and captured his second consecutive fast time on the tour. This time things got even better as he drew the pole after drawing 12 at Five Mile.

Heat action was interesting. McLaughlin started on the pole of heat one, had a nice lead over a loaded qualifier, but noted, “I got the big hole and slid up to the edge of the track”. He rallied for a draw spot with a fourth place behind Decker, Wight and Sheppard (Ironically, the top three in the main event).

Brett Hearn and Erick Rudolph captured the other Mod heats.

Mike Mahaney also slid over the bank between three and four in his heat.

In the main-event there is no way anyone could have lost interest in watching the action. Max led first and a lap later Stewart Friesen went past off two for the point.

On the 13th lap restart fourth place Wight decided to go out to the high lane in one as he simply roared around Sheppard and McLaughlin to go to second place. The 99L went to the front on the 16th lap.

Traffic played a role all night long despite assorted yellows.

It isn’t often you see a big-block spin completely around, keep going, losing only a couple spots and the yellow remaining in the holster in the starter’s tower, but that is what Sheppard did and in the end he put on another typical Super Matt show challenging for the win.

In the end watching Decker and Sheppard go through traffic while the 9s continued to dive inside (strong in one and two) it was a solid, competitive 100 lapper.

Outlaw Pit Stops

If you don’t enjoy watching Alan Johnson drive a race car then you aren’t a fan. He finished fourth, but was out of the shadows of the top three…

Interesting night at two Page Trucking cars, Billy Decker and Dave Marcuccilli were winners and both had good battles…

The Sportsman event highly competitive as the final ten laps Marcuccilli, Tom Collins, Ron Davis III and Rocky Warner were all contending…

Tyler Thompson drew the pole for the Sportsman main and finished ninth…

Asking Billy Whittaker how long he would run tour. He smiled and said, “As long as I have a provisional”. He did say, “I won’t need one tonight and I am racing it in.”

And he did. Got caught up in a late race jingle, but finished.

Some drivers who weren’t regulars on the tour included Steve Paine, Marcus Dinkins, Justin Haers, Randy Chrysler, Russell Morseman III, Brian Swarthout, Kyle Coffey, Eldon Payne, Derek Podsiado and Dave Rauscher…

Brett Hearn talked up his Big Show next Tuesday at Albany-Saratoga. He noted the drivers should give him a song for intros or “I will pick oneyou might not like”. Brett is going to have some surprises. In bringing new fans he said there was a group of 650 people coming and most had never been to the races.

Tyler Siri got a flat tire in time trials…

Sometimes folks don’t look too far back, but the move that Jimmy Phelps made on Eldon Payne on the final turn of the final lap of his heat moved Jimmy into the draw. He simply found room at the bottom of the race track to finish in fourth. He had a shot at the pole as he was drawing last, but just before him teammate Max McLaughlin drew the pole leaving Jimmy with starting spot eight…

The Mod consi was eventful as Pat Ward got the win, but Steve Paine lost a shock, Rich Scagliotta got heavy right rear damage and Rauscher got a left front flat…

Justin Haers apparently suffered a broken shock late in the Mod main…

Kyle Coffey appeared to lose a motor in a huge puff of smoke…

Hearn drew 12 and fought hard throughout to finish in eighth…

Jimmy Phelps and Max McLaughlin finished in sixth and seventh while Erik Rudolph finished fifth…

Ward, in his last two SDS shows, came from the back. He was irritated after Five Mile as he said, “I really think we had a top two or three car” and he raced to ninth at Outlaw from 19…

Corey Reed introduced me to Racin’ Russ who is an encyclopedia of dirt track racing knowledge…

Tyler Siri sure has put a lot of effort into this facility since he has taken over. He didn’t finish the main, but as victory lane gathered he rode up on his four wheeler, parked to the edge of the banner and watched with a big smile on his face. You got the feeling he was proud to have hosted the event. It would have been nice if the crowd had been bigger…

Good hearing Mike Mallett doing his first SDS show of the year along with old buddy Paul Szmal and Mel Thomas behind the microphones. Always fun to hear a familiar voice…

Outlaw was well worth the trek and yes there were moments…

Interesting, I received a note that it is my job to promote the sport when I write and talk even when things aren’t right at the track I attend. Sorry folks I write what I see. I have been a race fan for nearly 60 years and the chance to announce and write are something that I have done for decades. Being fair is what I attempt to do, but I don’t and will not sugar coat something. I try to give folks who didn’t attend an event the flavor of it and what went on behind the scenes as well as on the track. Hopefully, I accomplish this.

Well that’s it until next road trip.

Comments, news and stuff send along to foley395@hotmail.com