Story By: JOE GRABIANOWSKI / DIRTCAR – WEEDSPORT, NY – When the Super DIRTcar Series hits the track again for the highly anticipated OktoberFAST races Oct. 6-11, viewers at home will be tuned in to DIRTvision to spectate from afar.
The six race event will take place at six revered and historic tracks across the state of New York, and give viewers from around the world a chance to watch some of the nation’s most heated dirt track competition.
Largely known for broadcasting the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car series races, the trip up North is actually a homecoming for America’s premiere Dirt Racing streaming service. DIRTvision’s roots go all the way back to the very popular “This Week on Dirt” program that was enjoyed by thousands of Northeast racing fans in the mid-’90s.
“DIRTvision was really a part of the acquisition when Boundless Motorsports purchased DIRT Motorsports from Glen Donnelly. It was a part of the operations at Weedsport Speedway and had been an integral part of what they were doing with ‘This Week on Dirt’ and the other pieces of television for the local area there when Glenn was building the business. DIRTvision really began in the Northeast and now we’re bringing DIRTvision in to be more prominent in the Northeast, and we’re starting with OktoberFAST. It’s a homecoming of sorts,” said World Racing Group CEO and frequent Pro Stock driver Brian Carter.
Due to travel restrictions, the DIRTvision crew got creative to line up the necessary people to pull off six nights of broadcasts. The onsite crew for an event like this consists of everyone from camera operators to the announcers, a producer as well as pit reporters. In this instance that constitutes a team of 14 members at the track. In addition to those on site, the studio in Concord, NC will be staffed with an additional five people who will put the finishing touches on the stream before sending it out to the fans.
DIRTvision Director of Broadcast Brian Dunlap says the available talent in the area has enabled the team to feel confident in being able to pull off the marathon broadcast.
“We have worked with Bret Moses [Weedsport Director of Production] and his team for several projects over the last few years. New York being a hot-bed of racing there is already a significant pool of very talented videographers. We have been fortunate enough to work most of these guys since our early days of streaming at the Syracuse Mile. When we looked at travel restrictions into New York State it only made sense to work closely with Bret’s team,” said Dunlap.
Dan Kapuscinski, PR Coordinator for Weedsport Speedway and color commentator for Weedsport Productions, sees it as a bit of a homecoming as well. The 20 year motorsports veteran will join the DIRTvision team with Super DIRTcar Series announcer Shane Andrews to give the broadcast that special New York touch.
“I actually worked as a part of WRG’s Media and DIRTvision crew as a Media Specialist from 2009-2011, so being able to join the team for this week of racing feels like a homecoming of sorts. Anyone that gets to work with Shane Andrews and this team should consider themselves pretty lucky. It’s an honor to be able to work with the group that is bringing this outstanding week of racing to fans across the country,” said Kapuscinski.
With 2020 being the year of COVID, officials and promoters were not able to work out a situation that would allow the traditional Super DIRT Week to take place. In an effort to bring some normality to racing fans in the Northeast, OktoberFAST was created as a vehicle to do just that. Having already raced without fans earlier in the year, DIRTcar and DIRTvision made the decision to turn the event into a virtual speedweek.
“It’s almost a flashback to May for the World Racing Group; really back to when we had to do this with all of the series. We did it with World of Outlaws Sprint Cars at Knoxville on May 8, without a crowd and we’ve done it with World of Outlaws Late Models at Jackson without a crowd. So we’re bringing the Super DIRTcar Series into the fold as best we can. We were hoping to have fans, but with DIRTvision, we can bring the Super DIRTcar Series into the racing highlights for the year 2020,” said Carter
The multi-night event also serves as an introduction to the Super DIRTcar Series’ new home on DIRTvision. For the past three years the Super DIRTcar Series and Super DIRTweek have been broadcast on FLOracing. In 2021 the series will make the transition back to DIRTvision, with the inclusion of the Big Block Modified, some of the other touring series and some highlighted tracks during the year, bringing the unique racing to the fans across the country that are already enjoying the World of Outlaws and DIRTcar Summer Nationals and other races that DIRTvision broadcasts.
“One of the primary objectives of getting this done is to introduce the Northeast fans back to DIRTvision. What we’re going to do with OktoberFAST is launch our coverage of the Big Block Modifieds and the other touring series to the Northeast fan. Give them a taste of the service and show them that they can use DIRTvision if they’re unable to travel to the World Finals or World Short Track Championship. They’ll be able to use DIRTvision to watch their favorite race car drivers and enjoy the racing from afar,” Carter said.
For Kapuscinski it’s a proper reunion.
“The roots of national media coverage for the DIRTcar Modifieds are buried at Weedsport Speedway, dating back to the former Rush Hour on DIRT broadcasts and the LIVE Empire Sports broadcasts of the 1990s. For many years DIRTvision became the extension of that work, so to have DIRTcar and the Super DIRTcar Series back as part of DIRTvision is huge for Northeast teams and fans. This week of racing is going to put Northeast teams, sponsors, partners and tracks in a spotlight they have not seen in quite some time.”
The six nights of racing include:
- Oct. 6 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway — Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar Sportsman, and DIRTcar Pro Stocks.
- Oct. 7 at Utica-Rome Speedway — Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, and Pro Stocks.
- Oct. 8 at Fulton Speedway — Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, and DIRTcar Sportsman.
- Oct. 9 at Can-Am Speedway — Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, and DIRTcar Sportsman.
- Oct. 10 at Land of Legends Raceway — Super DIRTcar Series Big Blocks and DIRTcar Sportsman.
- Oct. 11 at Weedsport Speedway — Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar Sportsman, and DIRTcar Pro Stocks.
The registration deadline for drivers and crew is Friday, Oct. 2.