By BILL FOLEY
Super DIRT Week wasn’t quite the same as it has been.
Traditionally, thousands of Canadians pour across the unsecure northern border invading Oswego to the biggest dirt racing week of the year.
However, this year the Canadian government put up an invisible wall that was extremely, and in some cases impossible, to get over.
Surprising though as the cars rolled through the tech barn there was the 28 of Fort Erie, Ontario’s Gary Lindberg receiving its thorough inspection to allow it to compete in the 49th edition of Super DIRT Week.
Darren Kendrick, his 80-year-old father Wayne, Dave DiPietro Sr. and Dave DiPietro Jr. proved to be the skeleton team that would be keeping Gary’s car ready to go throughout Super DIRT Week.
This wasn’t an easy trek, but they accomplished their goal of getting there.
It has been extremely difficult to get racing teams from north to south this past season and Darren said, “In all honesty, getting here was based on corporate letters, a little lying, and a customs officer that was fair. Getting back into Canada all we needed was to be tested in the United States prior to our return back to Canada at a cost maybe DIRT will pay for.”
Darren said, “There were four of us making the trip to Oswego from Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada with a brand new Teo Race Car and the fear of putting in all this effort just to be turned back at the border was certainly a concern though we had to try.”
Continuing he noted, “With some luck, we all made it across the border and so here we are with only a part time big-block team to make it. With such a limited amount of hands for our team I really wanted to thank a lot of people.”
Lindberg did get in the Sunday event and received a bit of assistance from others to achieve the goal.
Darren said, “It starts with Teo Manufacturing, Matt Hearn, Vinny Salerno and the rest of the guys putting all the effort in. The Horton team helped us pit the car on Sunday when there wasn’t enough bodies for us to do it ourselves.”
He thanked the DiPietros and continued, “The class, respect and ongoing friendship with Justin Haers, his family, all of his race team personnel for everything they had given us with their time, parts, equipment and invitation for food at their table can never be forgotten. God bless them all. To Mrs. Haers thank you for instilling the importance of generosity into your son and for him to carry it forward with his team.”
Hopefully, Canadians will not have to confront obstacles to get to the 50th edition of SDW.
Kendrick said, “There was so much to look back at and reflected from SDW. and this is what I have reflected on. We all, as race teams, drivers and owners wish for success in all aspects towards any achievements in our sport. For my race team this year it started with crossing the border and attempting to get to Oswego and ended up with a choice starting sport at the 200. As many know we don’t race a lot, but the team was there to race and we did it.”
The determination, dedication and camaraderie are all a major part of grassroots racing and Darren Kendrick fit all of those categories as he was the lone Canadian Big Block team to compete in this years’ Super DIRT Week.