October means that the local racing season is almost over, but it also means some major year-end events. This week is completely packed with action for both dirt and asphalt fans, with NAPA Super DIRT Week in Central New York and the Sunoco World Series at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Super DIRT Week has already begun, with the bulk of events focusing on the “Billy Whittaker Cars 200” on the temporary dirt surface at Oswego Speedway on the banks of Lake Ontario. Four tracks local to the area host midweek “satellite” events, with Utica-Rome Speedway on Tuesday night, Weedsport on Wednesday, Brewerton on Thursday and Fulton Speedway’s annual “Win & You’re In” event on Saturday night, where the winner is guaranteed a starting spot in the 200 at Oswego.
Oswego is the hub, and qualifying action starts on Thursday and Friday. The DIRTcar 358 Modified Series’ “Salute the Troops 150” is Saturday afternoon, followed on Sunday morning by Sportsman Modifieds and Pro Stocks, with the 200-lap, $50,000-to-win Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified 200 at 2 p.m.
At Thompson, a whopping 20 different divisions converge on the sprawling facility from Friday through Sunday. The Granite State Pro Stock Series is the Friday highlight, along with Thompson’s weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model division and two groups of vintage Modifieds.
On Saturday, the American-Canadian Tour’s 75-lap season finale is the headliner, along with the Valenti Modified Racing Series, NEMA Midgets, the Northeast Mini Stock Tour, Pro Trucks and five other feature divisions.
Sunday’s finale is almost completely open-wheel divisions, with the track’s weekly NASCAR Sunoco Modified and Limited Sportsman divisions, the wicked-fast ISMA Supermodifieds, the NEMA Lite Midgets and the 150-lap championship finale for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Plainfield, New Hampshire’s Rich Dubeau is poised to wrap up his first ACT Late Model Tour championship, but he also runs well at Thompson and could go out with his third victory of the season. Dubeau was leading the World Series event last year when he got turned around from behind with seven laps to go, opening the door for local star William Wall to grab his first ACT win.
ACT rookie Ryan Kuhn was a major contender in the Tour’s June event at Thompson, mixing it up with eventual winner Jimmy Hebert for most of the distance. Multi-division star Woody Pitkat finished second to Hebert; Pitkat is scheduled to compete in four divisions during the weekend.
— Wrapping up some of the regional action from last weekend, a few notable moments:
— Saturday’s Fall Brawl 151 will go down as the last Late Model race held at “Speedway 51” in Groveton, New Hampshire, as the track will revert to its longtime “Riverside Speedway” name for 2020 under new ownership. Wolcott’s Marcel Gravel scored the biggest win of his young career in the race, and promptly wrecked the left-front suspension when he hit the backstretch wall during a celebratory burnout. Gravel said that the $5,000 winner’s purse will more than pay for the damage.
— East Theftord’s Brandon Gray had a fun little double last weekend, winning Enduro races on the asphalt at White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday and on the dirt at Bear Ridge Speedway on Sunday. Even better, his win at White Mountain came aboard a well-used Mercedes Benz, which just might be the most Brandon Gray thing ever.
— Plainfield’s Will Hull wrapped up his fourth championship of 2019 on Saturday at RumTown Speedway in Rumney, New Hampshire, officially putting a bow on his Sprint Cars of New England crown. Hull also collected Sprint Car track titles at Bear Ridge and Devil’s Bowl Speedway, as well as the USAC Dirt Midget Association championship.
— Lee USA Speedway’s annual “Oktoberfest” weekend was full of surprises, but two of them were moments that nobody likely could have imagined. First, Walter J. Hammond hopped aboard a pavement Modified for the first time in six years and, driving for Stuart Bean, promptly won his division’s feature race. And then Sammy Swindell went out and won the NEMA Midget feature. Hammond was 2019’s tough-luck poster child on dirt, getting his car upside-down on three different occasions at Devil’s Bowl. Tennessee legend Swindell, 63, extended his personal record to 49 consecutive years with at least one victory; he is a 394-time winner with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and the Lee USA win was his first in an asphalt Midget.
Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford
LAST WEEK: East Thetford’s Brandon Gray won Sunday’s “Fun Day” Enduro season finale.
NEXT EVENT: The championship finale is Saturday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park as part of the three-day Sunoco World Series weekend.
RumTown Speedway – Rumney, New Hampshire
LAST WEEK: Jake Williams won Saturday’s season finale for the Sprint Cars of New England, and Plainfield’s Will Hull clinched the championship. Nick Comeau won the Wingless Sprint Car race, and Allan Hammond was the Sportsman Modified winner.
Speedway 51 – Groveton, New Hampshire
LAST WEEK: Wolcott’s Marcel Gravel won Saturday’s Late Model “Fall Brawl 151.” Danville’s Derrick Calkins won the Tiger Sportsman race and Barre’s Jeff Martin Jr. won the Street Stock feature. On Friday, Shelburne’s Kaiden Fisher won the Daredevil youth race. THIS WEEK: The Octoberfast season finale Enduro and Demolition Derby is Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
White Mountain Motorsports Park – North Woodstock, New Hampshire
LAST WEEK: Emerson Cayer won Saturday’s Northeast Mini Stock Tour race at the track’s season finale, Dustin Jackson took the Strictly Stock Mini feature, and East Thetford’s Brandon Gray won the Enduro.
Justin St. Louis is a motorsports journalist, publicist, broadcaster, historian and former driver. Email: email@example.com / Twitter: @Justin_StLouis