Story by RaceChaser Online Senior Editor Tom Baker – Photo By Bill Taylor –
As this article is being written, Charlotte, N.C. racer Andrew Schartner is somewhere in an airport or flying the friendly skies north to Syracuse, New York, where he will then hop in a car and head even further north to the shores of Lake Ontario to begin another season of weekly competition with the Crow Motorsports Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super Series (SBS) team at the famed Oswego Speedway on Saturday night.
Schartner, raised in the tiny town of Weedsport, New York about 30 miles southwest of the Speedway, moved to Charlotte to attend UNC-Charlotte for Mechanical Engineering. In late 2011, with diploma in hand, he went to work for a Brake manufacturer in the Queen City. He gives up his weekends between May and September to fly or drive North because he is a racer.
Andrew has won the coveted Mr. Small Block Supermodified race, the Race of Champions race twice and the Oswego SBS Classic twice. In 2014 he is seeking to conquer the one prize that has eluded him each season. He wants to be the Oswego Speedway SBS Track Champion.
“We’ve never been able to put together a full season good enough to be first in points,” Schartner said. “It seems like we either get off to a slow start and then get hot too late to make up ground or we start off strong, lose ground in the middle and can’t make it up. It isn’t lack of effort or knowledge. It’s just the nature of the beast in this division. In this particular class, you don’t have the high horsepower or the big tires like you do in the Supers so a lot of times passing is tough because the cars are so equal. If you start toward the back it’s all you can do to get to the front, so you’d better be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities when you can.”
This year, Andrew says his team is well-prepared and he is hoping for at least a top five run to start the season on Saturday. “Our team works hard all year to be on top of what we’re doing as much as possible. I’m very thankful to everyone on our team who gives their time and effort to help me keep racing. We’re not in a position to spend lavishly so we try to be efficient with the budget we have. We’ve upgraded the motor and made some changes to the car for this year and after winning the Classic last year we’re pretty confident in our program going into this season. Russ Brown tested the car for me last Saturday and I want to thank him for that. He’s the best and he’s been such a big help to me as a driver as well as to our team, which he raced for in the past. I think we’re definitely ready to come out of the box strong. But we won’t be the only ones so it will be as hard as always to get to the front and stay there.”
What does the future hold in store for Andrew in terms of his racing? “I’m not really thinking about that right now,” the personable racer said. “We’re just focusing on this year and winning races and the championship. I wouldn’t turn down a quality Supermodified opportunity if it became available, but that costs more to race so like everyone else we have to consider dollars and cents. I just bought a house in Charlotte, so if an opportunity came to race closer to home in the South in a Late Model or something we’d look at that as well but for right now I’m just excited to be racing at Oswego in the SBS class. It’s a pain in the neck having to travel every weekend but I really have fun racing at Oswego so we’ll focus on this year and see what the future brings.”