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Super DIRT Week begins Tuesday at NYS Fairgrounds

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It’s that time of year again when Dirt Motorsports unveils another edition of Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The event sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts runs from Tuesday through Sunday.

There will be several north country and Canadian drivers making the trek down Interstate 81 to compete in one of the several divisions.

The event concludes Sunday with the annual Small Engine Fuels 200-lap race for big-block modifieds.

Last year’s championship race ended somewhat in controversy. Stewart Friesen won his second straight event, beating four-time champion Billy Decker by just 1.087 seconds across the finish line. During post-race inspection, a violation was found on Friesen’s fueling system. He was fined $25,000, but he was still awarded the win.

Several area drivers competed in the race. Tim Fuller, the 2004 winner, finished fourth. Watertown native Tim McCreadie was 14th. Watertown’s Billy Dunn, who started on the outside pole, was in contention for several laps before he became involved in an accident. Rob Bellinger of Dexter had mechanical problems and did not finish the race.

Fuller and McCreadie are among several drivers who will also race in Saturday’s small-block modified feature. They will also compete in Thursday’s World of Outlaws late-model series race at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge.

Many drivers said that the practice time on the track for the big-block drivers has been reduced in recent years. DIRT Motorsports officials added racing events during the week on the track.

Dunn said he has heard criticism in the past over the track conditions, but he said the last couple of years there has been improvement.

“You are able to run two wide in the corners now,’’ he said. “If you have a good car you can pass the guy in front of you. The officials have done some things on the track to widen it.’’

While it is up to the drivers to get to the finish line first, the race is usually decided in the pits.

“Decisions made in the pits can make or break you,’’ Fuller said.

McCreadie said the key to the 200-lap race is being patient. He said it is a long race (200 laps) and anything can happen.

The three big-block drivers actually will get more time on the track than a lot of the drivers as they are among several that will race in Saturday’s small-block modified 150-lap championship race.

Last year, McCreadie finished third and Fuller was fourth behind winner Decker.

Besides the modified championship features, there will be the pro stock and sportsman championship races. There will also be DIRTcar Future races.

While McCreadie and Fuller are not in the running for the points in either modified race divisions, Dunn is fourth and Bellinger eighth. Matt Sheppard is the leader in the big blocks series point race, while Dale Planck leads the small-block points chase.

Following Super DIRT week, the series goes to Brockville, Ontario, Middletown and finishes at Charlotte, N.C.

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