Super DIRT Week, the 5-day car racing event, put down its roots in Oswego this October. And with those roots came nearly 400 campers.
Although nearly 70% of camping is done in public campgrounds, racing fans descended upon the 500 camping spots made available on the Speedway’s grounds for a combination of camping and tailgating.
Some campers decided to rough it, while others opted for a more glamorous experience. Ransomville resident Megan Wendt spent her time in a pop-up trailer alongside the 385 other racing fans who stayed in the Green Lot. Wendt stated that she rode her bike to shower every morning and would choose “whatever bathroom was closest.”
Julie LaLone, a fan from West Monroe, decided to camp with all of her creature comforts — a practice commonly known as “glamping.” Her trailer featured pressurized hot and cold water, a built-in generator, a full bathroom, and even a garage for her ATV.
Regardless of their camping preferences, participants were in attendance to watch the races and to party hard. Bars were set up, and one camper even brought his professional DJ equipment for the trip. The mood among the campers was one of upbeat relaxation.
Super DIRT week moved to Oswego this year, after losing its home at the New York State Fairgrounds. The move will cost New York State taxpayers $1.1 million. Despite issues with the dirt track and rain-related problems, most spectators deemed the event a success.
The race is slated to return to the Oswego Speedway in 2017, but Super DIRT Week will later be moved to the Central New York Raceway Park in Hastings. That location is where the event was supposed to take place this year, but construction changed that plan. Mayor Billy Barlow hopes to change DIRT Week officials’ minds.
Super DIRT Week poses a significant financial benefit for Central New York. By drawing fans and competitors from across the country and around the world, the event is estimated to infuse nearly $12 into the local economy. Given the potential for tourism and tax benefits, it’s no surprise that Barlow wants to put in the work to make the Oswego location more attractive and viable for plans beyond next year.