Huge car counts, nightly entertainment, Oswego parade set tone
By Joe Grabianowski, Jordan DeLucia, Rob Knowles, Bill Foley and Chris Dolack
OSWEGO, NY — Oct. 10, 2019 — By the time tech inspection was completed Wednesday night, NAPA Super DIRT Week officials had inspected 250 cars, with more entering the inspection area ahead of Thursday morning’s practice sessions. DIRTcar Sportsman led with 81 cars, followed by 79 DIRTcar 358 Modifieds and 75 Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds. The Pro Stocks, which don’t hit the track until Friday, have had 14 already through the technical inspection process.
QUEBEC WELL REPRESENTED: Several Quebec based DIRTcar 358 Modified teams have made their way to the “Clay Palace” in Oswego for NAPA Super DIRT Week. Steve Bernier and David Hebert are the province’s top two competitors from the 2019 season. Bernier collected championships at Autodrome Granby and Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway, while Hebert secured titles at Autodrome Drummond and Le RPM Speedway.
“I am very happy with the success we had this season,” Bernier said. “Last season we were behind on adjustments for Oswego, I think we will be competitive this season.”
Other notable Quebec drivers in attendance include, Yan Bussiere, François Bernier, Michael Parent, Mario Clair, Sébastian Gougeon, François Bellemare Alex Therrien, Alan Therrien and Mike Stacey.
HAPPY HOUR RECAP: Seventeen-year-old Central Square High School senior Tyler Corcoran came out in the first group of Sportsman as the division baptized the spanking new surface of the Oswego Speedway.
Corcoran with a time of 21.804 was the quickest of 64 competitors in the first practice session of 2019. Adam McAulliffe was second quick at 21.821 just .017 of a second behind Corcoran.
Corcoran, who also turned fast time in his group at Weedsport later in the day, was overjoyed with his accomplishment.
The grandson of former Brewerton-Fulton Speedway owners Harvey and Joan Fink; the son of former Canandaigua Speedway promoter and former driver Jeremie Corcoran and the cousin of talented Sportsman driver Alan Fink was overjoyed.
“I was speechless,” he said. “The track had a little bite in it, but it slicked off right away. I was just trying to do my best. Everyone has had a tremendous amount of faith in me and I just want to do what is right and have fun.”
Tyler has improved considerably since starting behind the wheel at 15 and noted, “I think what has helped is that I am learning to set up the car.”
Completing the top 10 in practice times were Andrew Buff, Adam Pierson, Scott Kerwin, Connor Cleveland, J. F. TGessier, Ryan McCartney, James Michael Friesen and Chris Mackey.
Practice was relatively smooth with only a few slowdowns for spins and slowing cars with mechanical problems on the track.
Australian Dale Corbett, in his first SDW, had gearbox problems in his 47 and also slowing and pulling to the outside of the track was Robert Delormier (who was 25th overall).
In the DIRTcar 358 Modified division, Mat Williamson, Jimmy Phelps, Chris Hile, Billy Whittaker and Anthony Perrego were the five fastest cars.
Williamson appeared in the first group and his 21.465 second fast lap kept him on top of the leader board throughout. Phelps and Hile were the only two other drivers to have a fast lap time below 21.500 seconds. Phelps and Hile had times of 21.484 seconds and 21.491 seconds, respectively, with 69 cars tripping the scoring monitor during the Wednesday practice session.
The Super DIRTcar Series division wrapped up the Happy Hour practice with Matt Sheppard (21.126 seconds), Mat Williamson, Anthony Perrego, Jimmy Phelps and Stewart Friesen atop the leader board.
THAT’S A PARADE! Nearly 50 race cars and NAPA Super DIRT Week vehicles participated in the annual kickoff parade through the streets of Oswego. It was the largest crowd to see the parade in the four years since NAPA Super DIRT Week has moved to Oswego. Among those riding in the parade was Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow in the pace car.
RACING’S BIGGEST PARTY! Nightly entertainment during NAPA Super DIRT Week is at The Island, a new tent-covered venue between the pits and the green camping near manufacturer’s row. Mean Gene and the Flame Throwers at 7 p.m. on Thursday night, DJ Rick Uhl is back on Friday night — along with Big Wheel races — as well as on Saturday night. Check out the schedule on dirtcar.com/new-sdw (or download the app) for a full schedule of events during the week.