DIRT WEEK NOTES: Racers Finally Hit The Track

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OSWEGO, N.Y. — With Friday morning dawning bright and clear, though some 20 degrees cooler, action kicked as scheduled at Oswego Speedway.

The first 358 modified practice session hit the dirt-covered asphalt at 10 a.m. with starter Dave Farney waving the first green flag of the week at 10:05 a.m., kicking off a combination of Thursday’s scheduled activities and the regular Friday program, which will culminate in the Friday Night Lights qualifying program.

Not surprisingly Matt Sheppard, who swept both the 358 and big-block features a year ago, was quickest during the first practice session.

– With no cars hitting the speedway Wednesday or Thursday dueto rain, teams were eager to see how their cars worked as well as how the racing surface would hold up. Everyone was encouraged when, after the first session, the track surface still looked fresh and new.

– Before hot laps, multi-time big-block and small-block winner Brett Hearn was out checking the surface, apparently no worse for wear after a vicious nose-to-tail flip during Brewerton Speedway’s Thursday night 358 show.

When asked how his back held up during the incident, Hearn tipped that working in the shop is harder on his bad back than racing.

– One of the pleasures of Super DIRT Week is the chance to catch up with Pennsylvania modified hero and Hall of Fame driver Kenny Brightbill.

Long known as the king of the Reading Fairgrounds, Brightbill also had a great run in the NDRA late models back in the day. His stories of how different his cars were and how they worked are priceless.

While he still looks like he could get in and get the job done in a modified, Brightbill tells us that he now spends most of his time working on his farm.

– The modified entry list for Super DIRT Week shows 74 big blocks, while the small-block contingent numbers some 67 entries. The sportsman field topped the car-count standings with a huge turnout of 87 cars.