It’s No Moody Mile, But The Clay Palace Kicks Off Super DIRT Week

Glenn Donnelly’s Columbus Day weekend show at the Syracuse Fairgrounds began in 1972 when Buzzie Reutimann beat Jerry Cook for the first Championship. This race eventually became the Super DIRT Week and ran at the fairgrounds until 2015, building legendary status along the way. Reutimann won the first two events and took second in 1980, making him one of the early heroes of the competition. Gary Balough cemented his reputation in history by winning four of the races in five years (1976,1977,1978,1980).

These early races were not easy feats to conquer with competitors like Will Cagel, Jerry Cook, Dick Tobias, Bobby Gerhart, Frank Cozze, Merv Treichler, and a young up-and-comer named Brett Hearn. Not only were the racers top quality, the vehicles that were brought to the track were incredible works of engineering. Kenny Weld’s infamous “Batmobile” took advantage of loopholes in the rules. Gary Balough drove the car to a win and was two-seconds faster than anything else on the track. The rule book was rewritten because of this car. Others, like Kenny Reece’s 3-1 Supermodified, was banned in 1979, before it could even make it to the track.

Weld’s Batmobile rewrote the rule book.

While the Syracuse Moody Mile is gone and no longer hosts the Super DIRT week, an asphalt track has stepped up to fill the void. Oswego’s Steel Palace is covered with thousands of truckloads of clay (becoming the Clay Palace) to provide the racing surface these racers are used to competing on. Brett Hearn continues to pursue his 7th win of the event, while modern day heroes like Stewart Friesen look to challenge Hearn’s record.

Look for Matt Sheppard, Brett Hearn, and Stewart Friesen, to continue to be favorites in the event with the fan’s sentimental favorite Peter Britten getting some extra support after heartbreaking disappointment in last year’s race. Max Mclaughlin and Erick Rudolph are likely players in the outcome of the race.

Reece's 3-1 supermodified was banned before it ever got to the track. Photos from www.jakessite.com.

While it is not Syracuse, the mystic still lives on, and this is the biggest Big Block Modified race in the world. The Daytona 500 of modifieds. You can live stream the entire Super DIRT Week on FloRacing using the FloSports app. For more information, visit them online at FloRacing.com

Past Podium Winners by Year:

SUPER DIRT Week Modified Winners – Syracuse (1972-2015) Oswego (2016)

  • 2017 – 200 laps: 1. Matt Sheppard, 2. Peter Britten, 3. Larry Wight
  • 2016 – 200 laps: 1. Stewart Friesen, 2. Brett Hearn, 3. Carey Terrance
  • 2015 – 200 laps: 1. Stewart Friesen, 2. Kenny Tremont 3. Jimmy Phelps
  • 2014 – 200 laps: 1. Stewart Friesen, 2. Matt Sheppard, 3. J.R. Heffner
  • 2013 – 200 laps: 1. Billy Dunn, 2. Larry Wight, 3. Ryan Godown
  • 2012 – 113 laps: 1. Brett Hearn, 2. Matt Sheppard, 3. Jimmy Phelps
  • 2011 – 200 laps: 1. Stewart Friesen, 2. Billy Decker, 3. Vic Coffey
  • 2010 – 200 laps: 1. Stewart Friesen, 2. Jimmy Phelps, 3. Jimmy Horton
  • 2009 – 200 laps: 1. Matt Sheppard, 2. Tim McCreadie, 3. Tim Fuller
  • 2008 – 200 laps: 1. Frank Cozze, 2. Matt Sheppard, 3. Duane Howard
  • 2007 – 200 laps: 1. Vic Coffey, 2. Tim Fuller, 3. Richie Tobias,Jr.
  • 2006 – 200 laps: 1. Danny Johnson, 2. Jimmy Horton, 3. Alan Johnson
  • 2005 – 200 laps: 1. Billy Decker, 2.Todd Burley, 3. Ronnie Johnson
  • 2004 – 200 laps: 1. Tim Fuller, 2. Gary Tomkins, 3. Pat Ward
  • 2003 – 200 laps: 1. Alan Johnson, 2. Kenny Tremont, 3. Frank Cozze
  • 2002 – 203 laps: 1. Vic Coffey, 2. Gary Tomkins, 3. Jimmy Horton
  • 2001 – 202 laps: 1. Billy Decker, 2. Ken Tremont, 3. Ron Smoker
  • 2000 – 200 laps: 1. Billy Decker, 2. Steve Paine, 3. Kenny Brightbill
  • 1999 – 188 laps: 1. Kenny Tremont, 2. Kenny Brightbill, 3. Tim Fuller
  • 1998 – 191 laps: 1. Billy Decker, 2. Bud Christmann, 3. Dick Larkin
  • 1997 – 188 laps: 1. Danny Johnson, 2. Jeff Heotzler, 3. Brett Hearn
  • 1996 – 188 laps: 1. Doug Hoffman, 2. Danny Johnson, 3. Kenny Tremont
  • 1995 – 188 laps: 1. Brett Hearn, 2. Dave Blaney, 3. Steve Paine
  • 1994 – 188 laps: 1. Jimmy Horton, 2. Dave Blaney, 3. Danny Johnson
  • 1993 – 188 laps: 1. Brett Hearn, 2. Ken Tremont, 3. Bob McCreadie
  • 1992 – 135 laps: 1. Richie Tobias,Jr., 2. Randy Glenski, 3. Frank Cozze
  • 1991 – 188 laps: 1. Brett Hearn, 2. Steve Paine, 3. Jack Johnson
  • 1990 – 188 laps: 1. Brett Hearn, 2. Alan Johnson, 3. Jeff Trombley
  • 1989 – 188 laps: 1. Alan Johnson, 2. Dave Blaney, 3. C.D. Coville
  • 1988 – 188 laps: 1. Kenny Brightbill, 2. Jimmy Horton, 3. Alan Johnson
  • 1987 – 188 laps: 1. Jimmy Horton, 2. Charlie Rudolph, 3. Doug Hoffman
  • 1986 – 125 laps: 1. Bob McCreadie, 2. Billy Pauch, 3. Jack Johnson
  • 1985 – 125 laps: 1. Brett Hearn, 2. Jack Johnson, 3. Bob McCreadie
  • 1984 – 125 laps: 1. Jack Johnson, 2. Carl Collis, 3. Merv Treichler
  • 1983 – 125 laps: 1. Alan Johnson, 2. Merv Treichler, 3. Dave Lape
  • 1982 – 125 laps: 1. Merv Treichler, 2. Alan Johnson, 3. Brett Hearn
  • 1981 – 125 laps: 1. Merv Treichler, 2. Lou Blaney, 3. Brett Hearn
  • 1980 – 125 laps: 1. Gary Balough, 2. Buzzie Reutimann, 3. Frank Cozze
  • 1979 – 125 laps: 1. Jack Johnson, 2. Will Cagle, 3. Ken Brenn,Jr.
  • 1978 – 100 laps: 1. Gary Balough, 2. Frank Cozze, 3. Stan Ploski
  • 1977 – 100 laps: 1. Gary Balough, 2. Dick Tobias, 3. Elvin Felty
  • 1976 – 100 laps: 1. Gary Balough, 2. Bobby Gerhart, 3. Will Cagle
  • 1975 – 100 laps: 1. Dick Tobias, 2. Billy Osmun,3. Wayne Reutimann
  • 1974 –  95 laps: 1. Billy Osmun, 2. Merv Treichler, 3. Gary Balough
  • 1973 – 100 laps: 1. Buzzie Reutimann, 2. Tommy Corelis, 3. Will Cagle
  • 1972 – 100 laps: 1. Buzzie Reutimann, 2. Jerry Cook, 3. Stan Ploski

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
Read My Articles

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