The groundbreaking transformation of Oswego Speedway from the “Steel Palace” to the “Clay Palace” for the 50th Running of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week commenced Wednesday morning at 7 a.m.
Led by John Wight and Jeremie Corcoran – who has garnered notoriety for his work on dirt tracks across the country – the Gypsum Express team began the process of loading dump trucks with clay, dumping it, spreading it from inside wall to outside wall, and repeating in an orderly fashion, using high-tech equipment like GPS systems that tell them how thick the clay is and CASE Construction Equipment.
Within a couple of hours, Turns 3 and 4 of the 5/8-mile track were covered. Another couple of hours, most of the front stretch.
The complete transformation of turning Oswego Speedway into a dirt track is expect to finish Thursday night or Friday morning. But the track prep process of grading, disking and rolling will continue as Corcoran sees fit.
After being brought in to examine the issue with the track breaking up last year, Corcoran stated the problem was the clay was too wet and laid down too thick. Taking charge of the process this year, he is planning on laying the clay down 8-inches thick, and adjusting where needed, making it easier to get the moisture out, so the track crew can control the amount of moisture they need for proper racing conditions. A potential track test will be scheduled if needed.
“We’re not going to hide anything, we had some challenges with the track last year,” said DIRTcar Executive Director of Events Jeff Hachmann. “But, we learned and we took notes immediately.
“(They’re) slowly putting it on, utilizing high tech equipment, GPS on some of the Dozers. They’re going to lay it out. That’s going to take two days. Once its laid out they’ll start grooving it. A little wind and sun won’t hurt anything. We got it dried so we can manage the moisture ourselves. We’ve got the best in the business, Larry Wight, John Wight, Gypsum Express and Jeremie Corcoran, who came in to help us fix the issues last year, has came in to take on the responsibility, working with the team right off the get-go. He’s laid down clay all over the country at different racetracks. We’re excited about the opportunity and we think the event is going to be special with the racing now also.”
The historic 50th Running of NAPA Super DIRT Week, set for Oct. 3-9, will again see hundreds of drivers between four divisions – the Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman and DIRTcar Pro Stocks – competing to itch their name in history. For the complete schedule of events, which include a multitude of fan activities, CLICK HERE.
Make sure to save money by buying your tickets ahead of time online, CLICK HERE.
Photos by Quentin Young