OSWEGO —The 48th running of the $50,000-to-win, $1,500-to-start NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week Billy Whittaker Cars 200 is set to run this Sunday.
Pre-race ceremonies begin at 1:30 p.m., with the green flag waving at 2 p.m.
In the race's history, thousands of drivers have attempted to qualify for the October classic, fewer still have finished the ultimate test of endurance in dirt racing, and only legends have celebrated SDW glory in Victory Lane.
Last year, Larry Wight electrified the crowd by holding off a charging Stewart Friesen to win his first SDW title. Wight is locked in and focused to go for number two.
Matt Sheppard, Danny Johnson and Jimmy Horton each have two Billy Whittaker Cars 200 wins and plan to make it three in 2019.
Sheppard comes into SDW with a 90-point lead over Mat Williamson in the Super DIRTcar Series standings, as he looks to lock up another points title.
Johnson, back in his familiar orange No. 27J racecar, enters SDW ninth in points in a tumultuous year for the Rochester driver.
Horton announced his intentions to add to his SDW championship trophy as well. Like Johnson, Horton has been battling the likes of Alan Johnson for decades. Alan Johnson will be back behind the wheel of the No. 14J car in an attempt to break into the four-win category. If Alan Johnson wins, he’ll join Billy Decker and Gary Balough in an elite tier of the win list.
Decker’s return to Gypsum Racing has put him fourth in points this season. He’s been fast and consistent, but he has yet to break through for a win. His last trip to Victory Lane in Series action came at the DIRTcar Nationals back in February. A fifth Billy Whittaker Cars 200 win would bump Decker into a tie with Stewart Friesen.
Friesen, a current NASCAR Gander Mountain Truck Series driver, returns to Oswego with the No. 44 Big-Block Modified looking for his sixth SDW crown. Friesen won four at The Syracuse Mile and took the very first Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Oswego Speedway. There is only one more step to reach the peak of SDW history. One more win for Friesen ties him with Brett Hearn.
Hearn only ran the SDS part time this season, splitting time with Orange County Fair Speedway, where he won the track championship. Hearn will be aiming to take his speed and make it seven SDW titles.
Billy Dunn, Tim Fuller, Kenny Tremont, Billy Osmun, Dick Tobias, Bob McCreadie, Kenny Brightbill, Richie Tobias Jr. and Frank Cozze all have at least one SDW title. Tremont carries a BWC 200 guaranteed start from winning Mr. DIRT Track USA at Lebanon Valley Speedway.
Erick Rudolph and Mat Williamson have battled throughout the season, while attempting to chase Sheppard in the standings. They also race head-to-head at DIRTcar 358 Modified Series races as well as weekly at Ransomville Speedway. Both Rudolph and Williamson are looking for their first SDW win.
Jimmy Phelps stretched the fuel in his No. 98H machine to the limit last year, but it didn’t pay off. Phelps will be joined by teammate Max McLaughlin, who competed in the NASCAR K&N Series this year.
Peter Britten won the Salute to the Troops 150 last year in the DIRTcar 358 Modified division so he knows what it takes to win at Oswego Speedway. The No. 21A car has had a rocky year, but is always fast off the trailer.
One of the big surprises this season is the full-time status of Ryan Godown. Godown has a guaranteed start from a runner-up finish to Sheppard at Orange County Fair Speedway. Godown is now looking to put on a show at Oswego Speedway.