By BILL FOLEY
Several thousand feet in the air somewhere between Syracuse and Sarasota Ì had a couple of hours to do absolutely nothing.
In heading back south my mind shifts to racing as just weeks away I will join a talented Dirt Track Digest team at All Tech for the Short Track Super Series and then shift over to Volusia for the Super DIRTcar Series along with World of Outlaws Late Models and debut of the wingless Extreme Sprints.
Òne very notable èvent for 2022 is the no conflict between STSS and DIRTcar. I wondered when professional Modified drivers would draw a line in the sand and apparently it happened. There were indications that some drivers weren’t going to sign platinum contracts. The item of contention apparently was over the inability to run the massive paying Fonda show as it conflicted with the Gerald Haers SDS event at the Land of Legends.
It seemed that in a matter of days this was settled as the Haers event no longer had the SDS label on it.
I’ve been around a long time and seldom have I seen the drivers get a win over a track or organization.
Well done as this benefits drivers and fans.
Now with no conflicts there are 50 or so point races, Florida, a 25 grand to win at Orange County and so many more Modified races. On top of that SDS chasers need home track points. There are so many races. Hopefully the non professional drivers can survive the year.
However, the pros and well financed teams will chase the 25 grand and 25 grand plus to win shows. Those fields will be spectacular. I think as in the past STSS and DIRTcar will have their regular supporters. Remember engines are substantially different between the two Series so that is a major constraint.
The face of racing is changing a bit.
Billy Decker will no longer be at Brewerton with the Gypsum reduction. So his fans will see him at Utica-Rome. This is a great addition for the Deyo promoted Track.
Will Max McLaughlin run Brewerton with his new Crazy 8? (upon landing learned Maxie would be regular at Orange County).
John Wight said no tour for his son Larry and Larry told me at Charlotte he would hit high paying shows. He does have an STSS powerplant in the shop. Lately I have been hearing scuttlebutt The 99L will be a platinum driver. Waiting to see what evolves. I reached out, but was told no comment when I asked about definite plans.
Don’t have anything definite on Pat Ward. However wouldn’t he be a perfect mentor for some younger driver on a team that had a couple of Big Blocks?
Waiting to see Stewart Friesen’s schedule. Wondering if he hops in Late Model and what Mod shows he will run.
Matt Sheppard can go wherever he wants, chase all kinds of championships and I’ll bet his checkbook gets bigger.
Who will run both Series?
I would think Stew, Matt, Batman Peter Brittan, Money Mat Williamson, and Anthony Perrego.
The Super DIRT Week schedule is out and moving the Sunday 200 to five o’clock will be beneficial for a good show.
Ya know I simply don’t understand the naysayers who criticize Oswego.
The Mile is GONE! It ain’t coming back. Get over it. Some say they won’t go to Oswego because it’s not Syracuse. Super DIRT Week no matter where it is is still better than no Super DIRT Week. The City of Oswego has embraced dirt car racing in a city known for high powered Supermodifieds.
Dirt fans are lucky look what happened to asphalt Race of Champions.
Legendary Langhorne Speedway was torn down and race moved to Trenton. Trenton demolished and on to Pocono three quarter mile. Then Flemington and Oswego. Today it’s run in Erie, PA where it’s found it’s home the last few years.
Super DIRT Week lives and I have a feeling the track will be what it was for the good three years when the track was perfect. Last year the perfect storm turned the surface. There was little that could be done.
Rolling Wheels isn’t the answer, logistically it simply doesn’t work. Sadly it appears the Wheels is headed for the same demise of other legendary tracks like Reading, Flemington, Nazareth, the short track at Pocono and the much anticipated but you knew it would never happen Central New York Raceway Park,
As I sit strapped at 30,000 feet I wonder about Modified racing future for weekly tracks.
A few years ago the late Harvey Fink told me the only way to make money was to run support class shows. I mentioned that to John Wight last year, and despite rumors, he said that would not happen at Brewerton.
A few years ago Wight dropped big-blocks at Fulton and went with 358s on a weekly basis.
It is beginning to pay dividends as many Sportsman drivers are making the move.
In some cases it is also a place for drivers who simply find big-blocks too expensive or find running for 1oth is not fun.
Andrew Ferguson sold his big-block stuff to Derrick McGrew and Mike Payne. He will go 358 racing this year weekly at Fulton with maybe a few Friday night appearances at Can-Am.
Looking for info on other new faces in 358 and Big Blocks.
2022 has so much potential for race fans.
The Empire Super Sprints are back at Utica-Rome and Fonda with full point shows. Those tracks who were loyal to ESS for years never should have lost those shows in the first place.
All Stars at Utica with some highly regarded new faces.
A reworked Weedsport.
World of Outlaws at the Port.
The Fulton, Brewerton and LOL three night in a row SDS shows.
50 grand to win at Fonda.
The 50th Anniversary of Super DIRT Week.
The ever growing Cajun Series and growth of mods in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas.
And still awaiting schedules for more reasons for anticipation to grow.
So as this flight winds down my anticipation over grassroots racing is as high as ever. There will be so much to see and do. I am looking so forward to providing extensive coverage for you throughout the upcoming season and it all starts in early February at All Tech in northern Florida. (Maybe earlier if I head to opening USCS race at Hendry on February
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