OSWEGO — More than 100 DIRTcar Sportsman racers could be packed into the Oswego Speedway pits this week during NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week.
This year a record number of cars have been in competition in the Northern, Central, and Western series.
Now they all come together to chase not only the Chevrolet Performance 75 crown, but the series title in a grueling and compact schedule that also includes races nightly at Utica-Rome, Weedsport, and Brewerton, in addition to Oswego.
Though the regional champions, Shane Pecore (North), Kevin Root (Central), and Brad Rouse (Western) are having outstanding seasons, there are numerous others who could be in the spotlight this week.
Pecore has 14 wins this year (9 at Cornwall, 5 at Mohawk) and is one of the favorites of Super DIRT Week. He is the defending champion of the Chevrolet Performance 75.
“We had 14 wins, two track championships and three mini-series titles,” Pecore said. “It has been a sensational year. To win the title would be a nice paycheck, but it’s tough with the races during NAPA Super DIRT Week, and we have just one car. It would mean everything to win the title as we are racing against the best the Sportsman (division) has to offer.”
Rouse has had a solid year in winning three track championships and 17 features.
“To win the title would mean everything, especially to the guys who work on the car,” Rouse said. “This Sportsman field is as tough of a field as you will find anywhere and there could be 40 cars capable of winning.”
Root captured three track titles as well as the Central title and is defending his Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman crown.
“We are racing against the best in the business and I would like to win the race at Oswego more than the title,” Root said. “You really have to bring your ‘A’ game and it’s tough. The schedule is grueling during Super DIRT Week, but we are all in the same boat.”
There are many other DIRTcar Sportsman drivers who figure to be very competitive this week.
Brianna Ladouceur has several runner-up finishes to Pecore and has wins at Mohawk and Cornwall. She is also the first woman to win a qualifier at NAPA Super DIRT Week in Oswego.
Moise Page has recently burst onto the scene with a new ride and proved himself on the Quebec circuit. With six wins on the year, he could be a sleeper.
Even Racine won his first feature last year, but this past season he cemented himself as Quebec’s rising star with seven wins.
Alex Lajoie won a career-high six races across Granby and Drummond and picked up both track titles.
Robert Delormier was a threat to win weekly at Mohawk and ran occasionally at Cornwall. He won two times at each track.
Connor Cleveland is the 2019 Albany-Saratoga champion and has multiple victories at both Malta and Plattsburgh.
Robert Bublack is hottest at the best time of the year as he reeled off two of the last three wins at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
Travis Bruno has shown consistency throughout the season at Plattsburgh and has a DIRTcar North Series victory.
Central New York really hasn’t had a dominant driver as there were so many standing in victory lane. At Fulton Speedway, there were regularly nearly 60 Sportsman in the pits and twin features nightly were common.
The balance of central New York competition was amazing. Nearly 120 drivers earned points at Fulton during the 2019 season where 22 different drivers captured feature events.
Jackson Gill, track champ at Fulton, captured the point title by two points, but in his 15 starts at Fulton he won two and finished in the top-five nine times. He edged out Chris Mackey by two points for the track title. Mackey collected three Fulton feature wins and also won twice at Brewerton.
Kyle Inman ranks among the best from the Western Region, with seven wins as he vies regularly at Utica-Rome (where he was second in points).
James Michael Friesen finished 10th in the overall weekly Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship points.
Matt Janzcuk had five wins at Fulton and captured the track crown at Utica-Rome with four feature wins.
Taylor Caprara edged out Gill for the Can-Am crown.
Alan Fink chalked up three wins at Brewerton, where he finished five points behind Kevin Root for the track title. He also added two wins at Fulton.
There are so many other drivers who could be celebrating either at Oswego or at the satellite shows, but no matter what the outcome the Sportsman field will be highly competitive.