The top six starting positions are now set for Super DIRT Week 51’s DIRTcar Sportsman Chevrolet Performance 75 with a first-time polesitter.
Fifteen-year-old, Nicholas Root, of Geneva, NY clocked the quickest time (22.819 seconds) out of 82 DIRTcar Sportsman Series drivers at Oswego Speedway, earning the SRI Performance/Stock Car Steel Pole Award.
While Root is still a teenager, he knows Sportsman inside and out. He’s spent many summer nights with his dad, Kevin Root, at Land of Legends Raceway and the Super DIRTcar Series tour. That time with his dad has transitioned into a shot at the biggest win of his career – before he can even get his driver’s license.
“We were watching the track closely and it started getting faster towards the end,” Root said. “This is just my second time racing here. I felt good but I think I could have been a little bit better. But we did what we wanted to do which is start on the pole.”
Challenges demanded attention from the team in practice right off the bat, but they pushed through.
“We had a mishap with a vibration in practice, but we were still fast,” he said. “We still have a little bit of a vibration, but we’ll fix it. We need to change the car around for the 75. Hopefully, we finish at least the top three.”
Root’s run was made even more impressive considering the talent level of the drivers in his wake. Matt Janczuk, from Oneida, NY, laid down the second quickest lap (22.852 seconds) which was good enough for the $250 Fratto Curbing Outside Pole Award.
“The key is to stay ahead of it,” Janczuk noted of the changing track. “But it’s a crapshoot. The track could get faster, or the track could get slower. We brought out an awesome TEO Pro Car with only one race on it so it’s fresh. You really just gotta keep your head in it to know that you can lay down a good lap.”
While laying down the second fastest lap, Janczuk wasn’t sure he’d get there after his first trip around the 5/8-mile track.
“The first lap was pretty slow actually. I didn’t get into three good and on the second lap I could have gotten even better,” Janczuk added. “Hats off to Nick for laying down a heck of a lap as the last car on the track. You can’t see a lot while waiting. I was watching the jumbotron as much as possible. I was trying to watch the faster guys and it seemed like the track didn’t lose speed.”
Championship contender Mike Fowler will roll off third, Sportsman Classic 75 winner Richard Murtaugh starts fourth, Canadian sensation Jessica Power fifth, and Zach Buff rounds out the top six starting positions for the Chevrolet Performance 75 on Sunday, Oct. 8.
Next, the DIRTcar Sportsman Series will run four Friday Night Lights Qualifying Heat Races at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday, Oct. 6.
For tickets to Super DIRT Week 51, CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision.