Super DIRTcar Series Returns To OCFS With First Ever “Battle Of The Midway”
By Jordan Sheehan
It has been quite some time since the Super DIRTcar Series rolled into town at The Legendary House Of Power, Orange County Fair Speedway. The Battle of the Midway will be the biggest racing event to take stage during the historic Orange County Fair, and it will include the best of the best in Big Block Modified racing as well as the best 358 division drivers the track has to offer.
The main event of the Thursday evening will be the Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Battle Of The Midway. This is the first time in many years that a mid season Super DIRTcar Series race has been scheduled at Orange County. Many drivers are looking to walk away with the big $10,000 check, and of them are the likes of Super DIRTcar Series points leader Matt Sheppard. Sheppard has been an almost unstoppable force for the past few seasons in any Modified event he competes in. His latest victory taking place at the Cornwall Motor Speedway in Canada.
When you think of the Super DIRTcar Series, one name normally comes to mind and that’s Brett Hearn. Hearn is no stranger to the ⅝ mile. He is still the all time winningest Modified driver the speedway has ever seen. A total of 175 wins so far, with the latest being Eastern States Weekend 2017. One is left to wonder will this be win 176 for The Jet.
With the series regulars, also comes another driver no stranger to victory lane at Orange County, and that being Stewart Friesen. Friesen recently this season invaded on a Saturday night show, and picked up a victory. Stew, like the others, is someone to never count out in any race.
With Sheppard, Hearn, and Friesen, an aggregation of drivers are lined up to represent the Super DIRTcar Series. Drivers including Jimmy Phelps and Max McLaughlin of team HBR, The driver from down under; Peter Britten, Danny Johnson, Billy Decker and others.
The home track drivers will be locked and loaded to do battle on their home turf. Leading the group into battle will be defending track champion Jimmy Horton. Horton had an outstanding 2017 season and has been consistent in the 2018 season so far.
The Montgomery Missile Anthony Perrego has been the man to beat in 2018 at the speedway. With back to back wins to kick off the season, Perrego has had great success in little time. His wins haven’t stopped at OCFS though, as he’s won elsewhere too.
Jerry Higbie will have his 97 ready to grab the big pay day. Jerry is no stranger to The Hard Clay, as he has been a mainstay for many seasons. Higbie is fresh off a win at the Accord Speedway in the Short Track Super Series, and looks to keep the momentum rolling into Thursday.
Expect these drivers and the likes of Tommy Meier, Rich Eurich, Craig Mitchell, new comer Rick Laubach and more to be in contention Thursday.
After mother nature was not so nice in the beginning of the season, the power to be, scheduled in the 358 division with the touring Super DIRTcar series. A months worth of racing was rained out at The Hard Clay and the already biweekly division lost many of its only races scheduled for the 2018 season. Some of the drivers were excited about the addition of the race.
“I think it’s awesome since we didn’t get to race that much this year because of mother nature. I think my season has gone pretty good so far. Opening night we grabbed a 4th place finish and all top tens besides one night we got 11th.” Said Allison Ricci.
“I’m adjusting to the new surface still. I like midweek stuff close to home for sure.” Said Chris Stevens.
“ I’m pretty excited. I’m better racing under pressure and when in the spotlight like when the big names are there.” Concluded Roger Henion Jr.
Currently there has been around 40 358 drivers to collect points this season so far with car counts staying in the low to mid 30’s when the division is in action. Currently Brian Krummel, who returned back to the speedway after a brief stint at the Grandview Speedway in Pennsylvania, is the points leader. Shane Jablonka, Anthony Perrego, and Tyler Boniface are the only drivers to pick up wins this season out of 4 races. Perrego was the only one to repeat wins so far. The 358 division will race for an increased purse come Thursday set at $3000 to the winner. This will be a points show for the 358 Modified division.
A bonus $3000 will be rewarded to any driver who can double up and win both the 358 Modified and Big Block Modified features. You don’t want to miss all this action during the historical Orange County Fair. Grandstands and the one and only drive in section will have the gates swing open at 5pm with racing to start shortly after at 6pm. This is for sure one race you don’t want to miss!