‘Four Wide-Four Wide’

Published Jul 15, 2018 at 9:00am

A couple weeks ago on the NASCAR broadcast when the racing at Chicagoland Speedway was getting to the last lap. Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch were really duking it out and on the final turn of the race Larson dove underneath Busch and drifted up in front Busch and took away the spot (until Busch bumped him from behind and went on to win the race). As this was happening NBC play-by-play announcer Dale Earnhardt Jr. was yelling, “Slide Job-Slide Job!” 

A “slide job” according to the Urban Dictionary is “a manuever where one car takes the low line around a turn and allows their car to drift or “slide” up in front of the a car taking the high line, completing the pass and blocking the overtaken car from crossing over.”

The NASCAR nation was now introduced to the term “slide job” during the broadcast and Earnhardt Jr. is now hailed as a genius. However “slide job” is not a new term to everyone in dirt car racing here in central New York or anywhere in the dirt racing world.

So, Earnhardt Jr. introduced everyone to “slide jod.” I’m going to introduce everyone to “four wide.”

“Four wide” is that phenomenon where cars go through a corner trying to pass each other and there are four different lines that the drivers have taken to try and complete a pass. It is very exciting to see and happens on a regular basis at Brewerton, Fulton and Utica-Rome speedways.

Of course, as the cars are going through the corners four wide something has to give as they exit the corner because straight aways notoriously squeeze the competitors or their cars handling won’t allow them to hold the line down the front or back stretch. Bottom line someone has to lift. 

“Four wide” can be as fleeting as a rainbow, you see it then something changes and it’s gone. Fortunately we have camera’s and we can document some of these great racing anomalies.

More commonly we have “two wide” and “three wide” racing. Still very interesting, especially last Sunday night at Utica-Rome Speedway when Stewart Friesen would inch up on race leader Jimmy Phelps during the 100-lap Freedom Super DIRTcar Series race.

However, during the Empire Super Sprints B-main there was incredible four-wide moment that takes your breath away because any wrong move by any of the drivers will send someone flipping.

Fulton and Brewerton — each track not as spacious as Utica-Rome — offer numerous opportunities to get two, three, four and even five wide. From where I’m standing it is extremely entertaining.

Let’s face it the racing that happens each week at these great “grassroots” level tracks is stunning and seriously deserves our attention.

This week there is autograph nights on tap for both Fulton and Utica-Rome speedways so if you want to get down to the track and meet your favorite driver this is the weekend to do it.

See you at the races.