Hearn Seeks Sixth Super DIRT Week Crown
WEEDSPORT, N.Y. – Brett Hearn, five-time winner of the VP Small Engine Fuels 200 and seven-time Super DIRTcar Series titlist, is looking ahead to Oct. 3-7 for the biggest annual DIRTcar race of the season, the 41st NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds.
“Syracuse is a much different race and is a much different animal than anything we ever run,” said Hearn on Tuesday afternoon as the first guest on weekly Super DIRT Week calls with media members. “You don’t go there to watch a 30-lap sprint, you go there to watch a long race. Now you’ve got pit strategy and crew members playing into it.”
Given the nature of the race, Hearn struggles deciding whether to build a car special for the VP Small Engine Fuels 200, a 200-mile Big-Block Modified race Sunday, Oct. 7, or use a car he has been familiar and successful with during the season. Last year, Hearn decided to build a new car and plans to use that car again this year.
“This year we’re going back to the same car,” said Hearn, who qualified 20th and placed 35th last year. “Hopefully this year we can be a little faster off the trailer and have a little more preferable qualifying position. It seems like if you’re not good right off the trailer, you just struggle all week.”
Hearn is excited to see the growing sponsorship, with NAPA Auto Parts stepping in as title sponsor and Gander Mountain sponsoring the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Championship Saturday, Oct. 6.
“Anything that makes it bigger than it ever was is a good thing,” Hearn said. “There was a time when we didn’t know if there was going to be a next year, and it’s nice not to worry about that.”
Hearn said his two most memorable Super DIRT Weeks were his first win in 1985 and his unexpected victory in 1993.
“The aura of Syracuse was so unique for me,” Hearn said. “To win it in ’85 was like a dream that come true that came too soon. (In 1993) we were just a car length away from going down a lap. That was the most unbelievable win and the most unexpected win.
“Last year’s track at ‘the mile’ was completely different than any other year. It was absolutely, completely different. There was a lot of passing, the track was four-tenths wider than it usually is, and it was really fun,” Hearn said. “I’m hoping they can duplicate what they had there last year because if they can do that, it’s going to be a really fun race.”
NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLI runs from Wednesday, Oct. 3, through Sunday, Oct. 7, at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse with satellite events at Cayuga County Fair Speedway in Weedsport (Oct. 3) and Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge (Oct. 4 and Oct. 6).