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ONE RACE AT A TIME: Cody McPherson makes good on ‘win every race’ mindset

7M Cody McPherson

McPherson accomplished the crown jewel trifecta of winning the DIRTcar Sportsman Series title, Super DIRT Week Chevrolet Performance 75 and Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly championship

Cody McPherson had an unconventional answer when asked what his goals are for a season.

“I’m not one to really set goals,” McPherson said.  “I just always go one race at a time. I just want to win every race that I’m in. That’s it. I don’t have any goals.”

The St. Catharines, ON driver capitalized on that mindset in 2022,  winning the DIRTcar Sportsman Series title, the Chevrolet Performance 75 title during the 50th Super DIRT Week, the Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly championship, and four track championships (Humberstone Speedway, Merrittville Speedway, Ohsweken Speedway and Weedsport Speedway).

And he did it all with the same setup at every race.

“For me, I don’t change anything with any racetrack that I go to,” McPherson said. “I tell everyone that. A lot of people don’t believe me. But it doesn’t matter which racetrack I’m at, I showed up to every racetrack I was at this year and last year, I had the exact same setup in my car, exact same four shocks, exact same four coils.

“I feel like a lot of people overthink this sport, especially in Sportsmans. They see something new or think they can reinvent something to make it better. A lot of times it just gets you in trouble and puts you behind the eight-ball.”

During the season he notched two Series wins and 12 victories under Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly racing.

When the last stretch of the season came, his focus transitioned to the most coveted prize – winning the DIRTcar Sportsman Chevrolet Performance 75 during the 50th Running of NAPA Super DIRT Week. McPherson gave one of the most dominating performances of the season, leading for all 75 laps – sticking to his philosophy of not changing his setup or even a tire all week.

“It was special,” McPherson said. “Like I said, I’m a fourth-generation racer. My family has had success here and down the road at places. But we haven’t been able to win on that big of a stage. I was close a couple times at The Mile. I time trialed really good. Been in it, got wrecked. So, we were close before at The Mile, and just to get it done here at Oswego, there’s so many people that message you and congratulate you.”

He hasn’t let the success get to his head, because “in this sport, you’re only as good as your last race.”

That’s why with the post-season celebrations over, he’s back to what he’s been doing for the past 15 off-seasons; working on his car in the garage.

“These races are won in the shop,” McPherson said. “They’re won on the racetrack, but when it comes down to it, they’re won in the shop. You gotta put the effort in, you gotta put the time in, you gotta go through everything. You gotta just make sure everything is perfect, because there’s 30 other cars on the track that’s making sure theirs is.”

Keep an eye on and the DIRTcar Northeast Twitter page for the 2023 DIRTcar Northeast Series schedules.

The 51st Running of Super DIRT Week will be Oct. 2-8, at Oswego Speedway. Tickets are now on sale, CLICK HERE.

Photo: Brent Smith

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