posted on February 26, 2007 11:45
DIRT Big-Block Modifieds pounded the pavement at Oswego Speedway for their lone appearance in 1992. The last time the mighty DIRT Modifieds circled Airborne Speedway was in 1989 when the track was dirt. Airborne and Oswego come full circle in 2007 as the two asphalt ovals host DIRT MotorSports NorthEast’s premier class of race car in a special two-race mini series. The Big-Block teams arrive at Airborne on Tuesday, July 24 and travel to Oswego on Wednesday, August 22 with $3,000 waiting the winner in each 40-lap main event.
"As a sanctioning group we are constantly looking at ways to expand our reaches to incorporate new tracks, fans and competitors," said DIRT MotorSports NorthEast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning Cory Reed. "While replicating the old DIRT/Asphalt days is not in our plans, some specials on blacktop provide us the means to do just that. Both tracks have great racing histories and we hope to write another chapter when the DIRT Modifieds ride into town over the summer."
Steve and Denise Fuller recently completed the purchase of Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y. from a Vermont corporation headed by American Canadian Tour (ACT) President Tom Curley. For the past two seasons, George and Julie Huttig and Mike Perrotte of Elizabethtown, NY had leased and managed the asphalt half-mile facility that first opened as a dirt track in 1954.
"I spoke with Cory last year at Oswego during a race that featured the dirt-style Modifieds and thought Airborne would be a great place for the DIRT cars to run," said current Airborne Promoter Perrotte, a four-time DIRT 358-Modified points champion at Frogtown Int’l Speedway with 26 career DIRT Modified feature wins, who was also co-owner of the track in 1988. "As soon as we introduced the dirt-style Modifieds as our premier division it generated a lot of excitement and interest from the fans and racers. Bringing in some of the DIRT Big-Block stars will be a great challenge for the locals and hopefully create a base from which we can try to build on for the future."
Home of the nationally recognized ‘International Classic’ for Supermodifieds, Oswego (NY) Speedway has been a continuously run weekly race track since it opened as a 3/8-mile dirt auto racing facility in August of 1951. The track was paved during 1952 and then enlarged to its current 5/8-mile size in 1961. The speedway was sold by members of the founding Caruso family in April of 2004 to Steve Gioia Jr. and Pat Furlong Sr.
"I’ve actually been talking to Cory about the DIRT teams coming back to Oswego for a few years, since the new management came on board," said Gioia, himself a former Oswego Speedway Supermodified track points champion and Classic winner. "Mike brought in his small-block racers from Airborne last year and I thought the Big-Block DIRT drivers would be a great drawing card this time around. They were a lot of fun to watch here in the 90s and I always wanted to bring them back."
Both events at Airborne and Oswego will be governed by the 2007 Official DIRT MotorSports NorthEast Rule Book outlined for the Big-Block Modified division. Special consideration regarding minimum weight will be given to those Small-Block teams interested in participating. In addition, each race can be used toward the regional points championship that will be up for grabs this season in the DIRT Big-Block Modified ranks.
The list of past DIRT Big-Block Modified feature winners at Airborne includes Bob Savoie (9/1/84), Alan Johnson (7/13/88), C.D. Coville (7/27/88) and Robert Ranger (6/21/89) while Jimmy Horton (8/2/92) outdistanced Kevin Collins, Bob McCreadie, Mike Stefanik and Lenny Boyd to capture the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series show at Oswego that doubled as a DIRT/Asphalt Challenge Series Championship event.
For further information, please contact the DIRT NorthEast office (315/834-6606) during the week or visit www.dirtmotorsports.com 24/7. You can also check out Oswego Speedway’s website at www.oswegospeedway.com or phone 315/342-0646.