By Gary M. Spaid, DIRT MotorSports PRWEEDSPORT, N.Y. (November 7)
With the 34th edition of Super DIRT Week now officially in the record book, many race fans are looking towards the future and just what will happen to Super DIRT Week in 2006. Rumors have abounded concerning the future of this event! When Boundless (DIRT MotorSports, Inc.) took over operations in August of 2004, officials made it known that they wanted to shorten the annual autumn attraction from its present seven-day format to four full days. This was met with some resistance from the fans that had already purchased tickets as those sold at the 2004 event still showed a Monday through Sunday venue. Thus, shortening the 2005 event was not an option.
Why shorten the event at all? The idea of shortening the event came down to one of dollars and cents. Race teams, race fans and officials could save lodging costs for two nights, meal costs would be saved to the tune of six meals per person, race team members and race officials would have to take less time off their regular jobs, and finally it was felt that the same package of events could be put together in a more compact way during a shorter time period.
What racing divisions will SDW XXXV feature? DIRT MotorSports wants to highlight all of its regular NorthEast touring divisions so expect SDW to still consist of Pro Stock, Sportsman, 358-Modified and of course the big-block Advance Auto Parts Modified classes at the Syracuse Mile. A review of the customary 'satellite' events at nearby Brewerton Speedway and Rolling Wheels Raceway is also underway. Some are speculating that DIRT MotorSports may possibly feature its other touring divisions like the World of Outlaws Stacker 2® Late Models or WoO Sprints. Time will tell with regards to the exact program comprising these popular 'satellite' events, but race fans can expect them to remain part of Super DIRT Week for years to come.
What about all the perceived rule changes for Super DIRT Week '05? Fans responded this year to the posted rule 'changes' posted on the internet as well as seen in print. These rules, with the exception of the scaffolding and ARV rules, are actually the same ones that have served as guidelines for the past thirty years. 2005 only marked the first time that they were listed openly as DIRT MotorSports is now recognized internationally as a public company. Food was never before allowed to be brought into the main grandstands area, huge bonfires were never allowed (in many cases they were just ignored) while small campfires were, animals were allowed at the camping area but not in the grandstands unless the animal was used as a seeing-eye dog, and speed limits on ATVs and golf carts were restricted as was the abuse of these types of vehicles.
New in 2005 was the no scaffolding rule. The management of the NYS Fairgrounds, the City of Syracuse and the Town of Geddes, all became concerned about these structures and a decision was finally reached this year. Stringent insurance regulations also came into play so it became best to just forbid use of scaffolds altogether.
ATVs were also becoming an increasing problem as many children were racing them around the fairgrounds without proper supervision. Followed by many complaints by campers and fans in vender¹s row, restrictions needed to be placed on their use. None of these regulations are unreasonable when a large crowd of people assembles, especially for a multi-day event that requires security 24 hours daily.
What kind of schedule can is expect in 2006? A tentative schedule for Super DIRT Week XXXV has been outlined as follows: Camping will be allowed and 'early bird' inspections will begin Wednesday to allow for a full schedule of time trials and qualifying races on Thursday and Friday. Only one set of time trials will be offered to the big-block Advance Auto Parts Modifieds in place of the two-day format used in the past. That means the pole will be determined on Thursday, not Wednesday, making it possible for more drivers to take time off from their regular jobs and have an opportunity to earn a front starting spot. The remainder of the weekend schedule basically remains intact from previous years with Friday, Saturday and Sunday agendas following a similar path.