When New York tore down the old dirt track at the state fairgrounds as part of the facility's $50 million renovation, fans were promised the Super DIRT Week races would remain in central New York. It was supposed to move to the new Central New York Raceway Park in Hastings, Oswego County. But when construction stalled there due to a disagreement with the state over reimbursements, New York officials moved it to the Oswego Speedway in 2016.
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow says he and others involved in the project seized on that opportunity to showcase what the Port City could offer.
"The speedway owners and city government, along with county government, - the three of us have worked all along to make DIRT feel welcome and to try to put on best event we can so that it’s easier for governor’s office and easier for DIRT to say, 'Let’s just leave it in Oswego for next year and beyond,'" Barlow said.
The question for Oswego officials after the 2016 races, and then again after 2017, was will it return? And although no official announcements have been made, that seems to be the case for 2018 as well.
Super DIRT is selling tickets to the races and camping spots at the Oswego Speedway. Event director Jeff Hachmann says all indications are that it's coming back.
"It’s a great venue," Hachmann said. "One of the few venues in central New York which we feel is the home of Super DIRT week, very centralized to where our competitors live and where they compete all year long and there are very few venues in that area that can be home to such a large event," Hachmann said.
According to New York's economic development wing, Empire State Development, the Hastings track still has the state's support, but it remains behind schedule. That's why Hachmann says they are planning for Oswego.
"Frankly, that project has been talked about as far back as 2010, 2011 and at this point there’s no progress," Hachmann said. "So we continue to plan and move forward with the facilities that are in place now."
As for whether that will be the case for any other future races, Hachmann wouldn't comment.