Some of the greatest drivers in motorsports history have competed at NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week. As we close in on the 50th anniversary of the event, we polled fans for their opinion on who are the 50 Greatest Drivers in the history of Super DIRT Week. Each week we’ll reveal another driver, in no particular order, leading up to the history-making 50th running of Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway Oct. 3-9, 2022.
WEEK 1 – BRETT HEARN: One of modified racing’s legends with more than 900 wins in his career, Hearn has won the Super DIRTcar Series Billy Whittaker Cars 200 six times and the DIRTcar 358-Modified main event six times, as well. Super DIRT Week solidified Hearn’s legacy as one of Modified racing’s most iconic drivers and will forever be associated with the event.
WEEK 2 – JACK JOHNSON: Dirt Modified icon, “Jumpin’” Jack Johnson, of Schenectady, NY, became the first New York driver to win the famed Super DIRT Week Big Block Modified race at the New York State Fairgrounds in 1979. Then, five years later, again behind the wheel of his famed #12A Modified, Johnson became the fourth driver in Super DIRT Week history to win the Big Block race twice.
WEEK 3 – JIMMY HORTON: A legend of dirt Modified racing and NAPA Super DIRT Week, Jimmy Horton, of Folsom, NJ, made his 45th consecutive Super DIRT Week start in 2021. Of those 45 starts, he won the prestigious Big Block Modified race in 1987 and 1994.
WEEK 4 – BILLY PAUCH: Billy Pauch is the king of speed at the former Syracuse “Moody Mile” having set the Sprint Car speed record around the mile track at 144.95 mph in 1994. He also won against the World of Outlaws the same year to get his second win during Super DIRT Week. His first came behind the wheel of a 358 Modified in 1987.
WEEK 5 – BOB McCREADIE: “Barefoot” Bob McCreadie is considered by some to be the “Mario Andretti of Super DIRT Week.” Like Andretti, a legend of open-wheel racing, who won the Indy 500 only once, McCreadie, a legend of dirt Modified racing, conquered the prestigious Big Block Modified race during Super DIRT Week just once in 1986.
He is also the father of World of Outlaws Late Model champion Tim McCreadie and rising Super DIRTcar Series star Jordan McCreadie.
WEEK 6 – ROCKY WARNER: While several drivers have won in various modifieds at NAPA Super DIRT Week, only one man can say he’s won the prestigious event in two completely different race cars. Rocky Warner, of Gloversville, NY, first won back-to-back Pro Stock Super DIRT Week championships in 2010 & 2011 before moving into a Sportsman Modified and continuing his winning ways. He won the DIRTcar Sportsman Super DIRT Week championship in 2012 and in 2015. He’s now looking to keep that impressive streak going with the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds and the Super DIRTcar Series Big Blocks.
WEEK 7 – MERV TREICHLER: Merv Treichler was one of the most dominant drivers at the Syracuse Mile in the early 1980s. He became just the third driver in history to win the prestigious Big Block Modified Super DIRT Week back-to-back years (1981-1982). Then he finished second in 1983 and third in 1984.
WEEK 8 – PETE STEFANSKI: A legend of DIRTcar Pro Stock racing, Pete Stefanski claimed the prestigious Super DIRT Week Pro Stock victory twice (2009 & 2012). In total, he finished on the podium of the event seven times, while at the New York State Fairgrounds. Further demonstrating his speed around the mile track, Stefanski claimed the Pole Award four times, as well (2001, 2004, 2007 & 2008).
WEEK 9 – KENNY BRIGHTBILL: Upon the creation of the Super DIRT Week record book, Kenny Brightbill was the first to have his name grace the pages of the icon book now spanning 50 years. Brightbill claimed the pole for the inaugural Super DIRT Week Big Block Modified race in 1972. He then went on to claim the pole again in 1978 before earning his sole Super DIRT Week victory in 1988. He continued to write his name in the record book by securing another pole in 1996 and finishing on the podium in 1999 and 2000.
WEEK 10 – ERICK RUDOLPH: Before joining the ranks of the Super DIRTcar Series, Erick Rudolph, of Ransomville, NY, cut his teeth in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division, racking up several victories. Among those victories included the prestigious NAPA Super DIRT Week DIRTcar Sportsman championship title in 2008 at the New York State Fairgrounds. From there, he climbed the ranks of the dirt Modified ladder, finding success in the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds and now with the Super DIRTcar Series. In 2019, he finished second to Billy Decker in the NAPA Super DIRT Week DIRTcar 358 Modified Salute to the Troops 150.
WEEK 11 – MATT BILLINGS: At 16 years old, Matt Billings, of Brockville, Ontario, became one of the youngest NAPA Super DIRT Week winners in the history of the event. Running a small racing operation with his father, 2009 became the year everyone learned his name. He claimed the pole for the NAPA Super DIRT Week DIRTcar Sportsman event at the New York Start Fairgrounds “Moody Mile” and then went on to win the race from the pole, becoming the sixth DIRTcar Sportsman driver in the history of the event to do so.
WEEK 12 – JOHN FERRIER: DIRTcar Sportsman Modified star John Ferrier made history around the “Moody Mile” at the New York State Fairgrounds in 2006. He became the eighth different driver in a row to win with the DIRTcar Sportsman at NAPA Super DIRT Week and became just the third driver to win the prestigious event from the pole.
WEEK 13 – ROB YETMAN: Rob Yetman has been one of the most proficient DIRTcar Pro Stock drivers in the history of the division, picking up several victories and championships across the Northeast. Among those accolades includes a dominance of the DIRTcar Pro Stock division at NAPA Super DIRT Week. Yetman has claimed five straight Super DIRT Week titles (2013-2017), both at the Syracuse Mile and at Oswego Speedway. He also finished on the podium eight times, including in 2021, and claimed the pole for the event four times.
WEEK 14 – JEFF HEOTZLER: Jeff Heotzler holds a special place in history with the DIRTcar Small Block division during NAPA Super DIRT Week. The Wallkill, NY driver won the first Small Block event held at the prestigious event on Oct. 12, 1980. His success in the division with two more podium finishes and two Pole Awards. In 1997 he nearly had another historic triumph, coming one spot short of a NAPA Super DIRT Week victory with the Big Block Modifieds.
Heotzler will forever be engraved in the history of Northeast Modified racing, having been inducted into the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame in 2016.
WEEK 15 – STEVE KINSER: Along with being a Sprint Car Hall of Famer and 20-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion, Steve Kinser was also a “king” during the Super DIRT Week Sprint Nationals. He won the event at the New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse “Moody” Mile five times (1980, 1986, 1988, 1992 & 1995) – tied with Sammy Swindell for the most Sprint Car wins at the track. His win in 1995 was the last time the Sprint Cars ran at the famed mile track.
WEEK 16 – FRANK TWING: Accomplished Pro Stock driver Frank Twing, “The Wild Twing,” became the third driver ever to win the prestigious DIRTcar Pro Stock event during NAPA Super DIRT Week at the Syracuse Mile in 1999.
WEEK 17 – BILLY DECKER: Along with his three Super DIRTcar Series championships, Billy Decker has established himself as an icon of NAPA Super DIRT Week. The Unadilla, NY driver has collected four Big Block Modified titles (1998, 2000, 2001, 2005) and seven Small Block Modified titles (1991, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2019). He’s also collected eight Big Block Modified poles and five Small Block Modified poles. He came close to winning his first Big Block NAPA Super DIRT Week title at Oswego Speedway in 2021, finishing second.
WEEK 18 – TIM MCCREADIE: Tim McCreadie, son of dirt Modified legend Bob McCreadie, made a name for himself at NAPA Super DIRT Week, winning the 2012 Small Block Modified title, finishing second in the 2009 Block Block race and claiming the pole for the 2001 Big Block race.
The Watertown, NY driver went on to become a star across all forms of dirt racing, claiming the World of Outlaws Late Model championship and winning the Chili Bowl in 2006. He also won a national Late Model championship in 2021. He also sits 10th on the all-time win list for the Super DIRTcar Series with eight victories.
WEEK 19 – DOUG HOFFMAN: After earning his first NAPA Super DIRT Week podium in 1987, Hoffman found himself in Victory Lane at the Moody Mile with the Big Block Modifieds for the first time in 1996. He became the 14th different winner of the prestigious event.
WEEK 20 – VIC COFFEY:A legendary name in the Northeast, Vic Coffey became the 10th driver to win two Big Block Super DIRT Week titles (2002 and 2007) – both at the New York State Fairgrounds “Moody Mile.”
Along with his Big Block titles, Coffey also earned the pole for the Small Block events in 2001 and 2008. His legacy continues today with the Coffey-McCreadie Enterprises team, which won races with rising-star Max McLaughlin the last two years and continues strong with Kyle Coffey.
WEEK 21 – DAVE MARCUCCILLI: When NAPA Super DIRT Week made the move from the New York State Fairgrounds to Oswego Speedway, Dave Marcuccilli didn’t waste any time putting his in the history books. He won the inaugural DIRTcar Sportsman Super DIRT Week event at Oswego (in 2016), and then became the first Sportsman driver to win back-to-back Super DIRT Week titles the next year. So far, he remains the only driver to accomplish that feat. He’s also the first, and only, Sportsman driver to win three consecutive poles for the DIRTcar Sportsman Chevrolet Performance 75.
Marcuccilli’s Sportman success in that time also spans to his 2017 DIRTcar Sportsman championship. And with that success, he’s now moved up to DIRTcar 358 Modifieds to expand his Super DIRT Week success into a new division.
WEEK 22 – C.D. BEAUCHAMP: In 2018, the DIRTcar Pro Stock champion C.D. Beauchamp added the biggest accolade to his stout career – winning the DIRTcar Pro Stock 50 at Oswego Speedway during NAPA Super DIRT Week. In doing so, the Ormstown, QUE driver became the 14th different Pro Stock driver to win the prestigious event.
WEEK 23 – PETE BICKNELL: Pete Bicknell, of St. Catharines, ON, a legend in dirt Modified racing, holds several NAPA Super DIRT Week accolades. He was the third driver ever to win the Super DIRT Week Small Block race at the Syracuse Mile in 1982 and then went on to win four more times (1983, 1998, 1999, 2000).
Along with his success as a driver, Bicknell is an iconic chassis builder, having his chassis find Victory Lane during Super DIRT Week several times.
WEEK 24 – RYAN GODOWN: Before establishing himself as a successful Big Block Modified driver, Ryan Godown made his way up through the ranks, winning big in the DIRTcar Sportsman divisions. His biggest win came in 2001 when he became the fifth driver to win the prestigious Super DIRT Week Sportsman title at the Moody Mile. The Ringoes, NJ driver also became the first person to win the event from the pole. When his focus changed to Big Blocks, he found success in 2013 during the 200-lap event, finishing third.
WEEK 25 – KENNY MARTIN: Kenny Martin was the first DIRTcar Pro Stock driver to write his name in the history books at Super DIRT Week by winning the inaugural event in 1997. The Capital Region driver made his way from sixth to the lead and ran away with a milestone victory.
WEEK 26 – TIM FULLER: Big-Block Modified Driver Tim Fuller is no stranger to Victory Lane. The Edwards, NY driver etched his name at the “Moody Mile” after winning the Big Block Super DIRT Week title in 2004. He’s also a 3-time Pole Sitter of the event. (2006, 2008, and 2009.)
WEEK 27 – JIMMY PHELPS: Jimmy Phelps etched his name in history in 2015 by winning the final 358 Modified Championship event at the New York State Fairgrounds. The Baldwinsville, NY driver also sat on the pole 3 times for the Big Block Super DIRT Week Championship. (2007, 2010, 2018).
WEEK 28 – LOUIE JACKSON: Louie Jackson won the 2006 Pro Stock Championship at NAPA Super DIRT Week, cementing his place in history at the New York State Fairgrounds. Jackson is also the first driver to win the event from the pole position.
WEEK 29 – DAVE BLANEY:“The Buckeye Bullet” Dave Blaney is the next driver announced in the Top 50 Greatest drivers at NAPA Super DIRT Week. Blaney was the 1987 and 1993 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Champion at the New York State Fairgrounds, and a 3-time Runner-up in Big Block competition at “The Moody Mile” (89, 93,94).
WEEK 30 – KENNY TREMONT: In 1999, Kenny Tremont capped off a strong season by winning the Big Block Championship at NAPA Super DIRT Week. The “Sand Lake Slingshot” also scored four victories in the 358-Modified Championship. (86, 92, 96, 97).
WEEK 31 – KYLE INMAN: Kyle Inman joins the list of NAPA Super Dirt Week 50 Greatest drivers on the strength of his 2019 Sportsman Victory at Oswego Speedway. The Darien, NY driver held on for the final 25 laps to score the win.
WEEK 32 – BILLY DUNN: Joining the list of the top 50 Greatest drivers is Billy Dunn. The Watertown, NY driver etched his name into NAPA Super DIRT Week history by winning the 2013 Big Block Championship at the New York State Fairgrounds. Dunn also started on the pole for two 358-Modified Championship’s, one at “The Moody Mile,” and one at Oswego Speedway.
WEEK 33 – TOM CANIZZARO: Tom Canizzaro quickly established himself as one of the top DIRTcar Pro Stock drivers to get around the “Moody Mile.” He finished second in the inaugural Pro Stock event in 1997 and then won at the New York State Fairgrounds track in 1998.
He finished on the podium two more times with a third-place finish in 2000 and another runner-up finish in 2002. He also claimed the pole for the event in both years, becoming the first Pro Stock driver to earn the pole more than once at Super DIRT Week.
WEEK 34 – JIPP ORTIZ: Jipp Ortiz, a second generation driver from Ransomville, NY, made history with the DIRTcar Pro Stocks at the “Moody Mile” by becoming the first driver to win back-to-back Super DIRT Week Pro Stock championships (in 2000 and 2001). After years of conquering major accomplishments in the Pro Stock division, Ortiz moved on to making a name for himself in the Sportsman ranks, as well.
WEEK 35 – LARRY WIGHT: Larry Wight, of Phoenix, NY, become the second driver to win NAPA Super DIRT Week while at Oswego Speedway in 2018. Before then, he secured the pole for the the prestigious 200-lap race during its finale at the “Moody Mile.” He also finished second in the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block event in 2013 and third in 2017.
WEEK 36 – RICHIE TOBIAS JR.: Richie Tobias Jr., son of 1975 Super DIRT Week Big Block champion Dick Tobias, claimed his own Super DIRT Week title in 1992 – making he and his dad the first, and currently only, father-son duo to win a Super DIRT Week Big Block title.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Tobias’s win, and he’ll celebrate it by returning to race in the 50th Running of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week. He’ll drive at special #17 Big Block Modified for Clayton Racing.
WEEK 37 – DANNY JOHNSON: Iconic dirt Modified driver Danny Johnson, of Rochester, NY, became the second driver in NAPA Super DIRT Week history to win the Big Block and Small Block races in the same year (2006). In total he claimed two Small Block (1994, 2006) and two Big Block titles (1997, 2006). Still racing today, he’s expected to return for the 50th Running of NAPA Super DIRT Week, Oct. 3-9.
WEEK 38 – STEWART FRIESEN: Stewart Friesen, from Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada, has made himself one of the best NAPA Super DIRT Week drivers in a short period of time across both incarnations of the event. He’s a five-time Super DIRTcar Series Billy Whittaker Cars 200 winner (2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016) and the 2021 Salute to the Troops DIRTcar 358 Modified winner.
Of this victories are two landmark wins. He won the finale at the New York State Fairgrounds in 2015 and then the inaugural NAPA Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway in 2016.
WEEK 39 – ALAN JOHNSON: Alan Johnson, of Phelps, NY, became the fourth driver in NAPA Super DIRT Week history to win three Big Block titles and the seventh to win a Big Block title overall at the “Moody Mile.” He won in 1983, 1989 and 2003.
WEEK 40 – SAMMY SWINDELL: Three-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion Sammy Swindell was one of the most dominant Sprint Car drivers when the Series was once a part of Super DIRT Week. He’s tied with Steve Kinser for the most wins at the “Moody Mile” with five.
Swindell is also one of the rare drivers who got to compete in both a Sprint Car and Big Block Modified at Super DIRT Week. He sat on the pole in 1985 and had a shot at the win if it were for a tire losing air.
WEEK 41 – DICK TOBIAS: Richard “Dick” Tobias, also “Toby” to some, became the third driver in history to win Super DIRT Week in a Big Block Modified at the “Moody Mile” and this first to win the prestigious event from the pole. The Lebanon, PA driver accomplished that feat in 1975 – 17 years before his son, Richie Tobias Jr., won Super DIRT Week himself, making them the first, and currently only, father-son duo to win Super DIRT Week.
WEEK 42 – BILLY OSMUN: Billy Osmun, of Asbury, NJ, became the second driver in Super DIRT Week history to win the prestigious Big Block Modified event in 1974.
Osmun won the first rain-shortened event, ending at 95 laps in the original 100-lap event at the New York State Fairgrounds. He had joined the Statewide Highway Safety Team and drove its Whip Mulligan-built No. 3 Chevy-powered Modified to victory.
WEEK 43 – FRANK COZZE: After 40 years of trying to win at Super DIRT Week, Frank Cozze, of Wind Gap, PA, finally scored his first Big Block title at the “Moody Mile” in 2008. Previously, he had finished second in 1978, third in 1980, third in 1992 and third in 2003.
WEEK 44 – SAMMY REAKES IV: Now an established Sprint Car driver, Sammy Reakes IV initially piloted a bright yellow #17 Sportsman Modified to great success, including a Super DIRT Week victory. The Palermo, NY native won the 2007 DIRTcar Sportsman Super DIRT Week title from the pole in 2007. He then claimed the pole for the prestigious event again in 2008, becoming the first driver in the division to win multiple Super DIRT Week poles.
WEEK 45 – DAVE SCHULZ: Dave Schulz, of Lockport, NY, became the fifth different driver to win the DIRTcar Pro Stock championship at Super DIRT Week in 2002. Then, with two more titles in 2004 and 2005, he became the first driver in the division to win three titles – all at “The Moody Mile” in the New York State Fairgrounds.
WEEK 46 – MATT SHEPPARD: Eight-time and defending Super DIRTcar Series champion Matt Sheppard is currently the only driver in the history of Super DIRT Week to have won the iconic event in all three Modified divisions.
The Waterloo, NY driver first won at Super DIRT Week in the DIRTcar Sportsman division in 2000. Then, he won in the DIRTcar 358 Modified division in 2003. Six years later he won his first Super DIRTcar Series Billy Whittaker Cars 200 title. And in 2017, he won in the Big Block and 358 Modified divisions – the first driver to win in both divisions at Oswego Speedway.
WEEK 47 – GARY BALOUGH: Gary Balough, of Fort Lauderdale, FL, became the fourth driver in history to win Super DIRT Week and the first driver to win it three times in a row (1976, 1977, 1978) – still only one of two drivers to accomplish that feat. And then, in 1980, he became the first driver to win the prestigious event four times.
His fourth victory is his most iconic due to it coming in the #112 ‘Batmobile.’ The radical design of the car – which inspired the evolution of the modern-day dirt Modified – helped Balough pace the field two seconds faster than he ever did before. He sat on the pole for the race and was untouchable in the Feature – even with running on seven cylinders. The car was then outlawed after the race and he never ran it again.
WEEK 48 – MAT WILLIAMSON: Mat Williamson, of St. Catharines, ON, Canada, became the first driver to win back-to-back Billy Whittaker Cars 200 titles during Super DIRT Week’s tenure at Oswego Speedway last year. His first win came in 2019, then Super DIRT Week was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. Williamson will try to make history again in 2022, during the 50th Running of NAPA Super DIRT Week by becoming the third driver in the history of the event to win it three straight times.