Super DIRT Week 42 kicks off with Outlaw 200 @ Fulton – Story/ Audio by Steven Ovens
The temperatures are cooling off, the leaves are changing color in Central New York and the unofficial start to Super DIRT Week 42 takes shape this coming weekend at the Fulton Speedway with the running of the Outlaw 200.
The Outlaw 200, formerly the Victoria 200, was started in the mid 80’s in 1986. ’86 was a good year; I graced this earth that year after all. The race changed names from the Victoria 200 to the Outlaw 200 in the mid 2000’s and caused quite a buzz with the traditional DIRT Modified fan. The rights to the name “Victoria 200” now rests at the famed Utica-Rome Speedway.
The race is a long 200 laps around the 3/8 mile high banked clay surface. The format is simple: 100 laps, followed by a halftime break where cars can return to the pit area for adjustments and finishing off with a second 100 lap segment for all the money.
The strategy for the Outlaw 200 you ask? For the first 100 laps it is simply to survive. The phrase “To finish first, you must first finish” absolutely applies here. Whether you start in the front or the back, you have to survive Segment 1. And believe me, there is no segment 1 sandbagging. 13 times out of the 27 Outlaw 200’s that have been run- the leader at the end of Segment 1 has won the race.
Cars at the tail of the field must move forward and move forward quickly. Cars get lapped very early on and it is near impossible to recover from going a lap down at Fulton in the 200. The other key to this race is keeping your cool. No, not the engine temperature, but keeping your driver cool above and between the shoulders. Twice in the past 3-4 years, drivers have lost their cool for one reason or another and taken themselves out of the running for the Outlaw 200 win.
In recent years the rivalries have come down to Stewart Friesen and Jimmy Phelps & ‘The Doctor’ Danny Johnson vs. ‘Super Matt’ Sheppard. All four of these drivers look to be in the running for the best one day modified show of the fall.
Past Winners to keep your eye on: Alan Johnson, Danny Johnson, Billy Decker, Pat Ward, Brett Hearn
Drivers to watch who have never won the Outlaw 200: Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen, Jimmy Phelps
‘Young Guns’ who could factor into deciding the winner: ‘Lightning Larry’ Wight, Rob Bellinger, Peter Britten, ‘The Rocket’ Ryan Phelps
WANT MORE? Sit back and enjoy 25 minutes of Super Dirt Week conversation and memories in two parts between RaceChasers Steven Ovens and Tom Baker
PART TWO of the conversation is right here!