NORTHEAST: Oswego Confirms Whelen Modified Tour Return During Bud Classic Weekend

RaceChaser Staff Asphalt Modifieds, Featured, New England, Northeast, Touring Series 2 Comments

OSWEGO, N.Y. – official track release — Billie Weiss/Getty Images for NASCAR photo —

As first reported on Race Chaser Online on Tuesday, after a near thirty year absence from the steel confines of Oswego Speedway, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make its long awaited return to the ‘Steel Palace’ on Saturday, Sept. 3 as part of the 60th annual Budweiser International Classic Weekend lineup at the Port City oval.

Since 1957, Oswego’s International Classic has featured the best of the best in Supermodified racing, and over the years the Labor Day weekend spectacular has grown to include a plethora of open-wheel stars and divisions to join the weekend leading up to the International Classic 200 finale on Sunday afternoon.

However, it has been since September 2, 1989 that the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has graced the fast 5/8 mile.

“Budweiser International Classic Weekend is a staple event in open-wheel pavement racing and it should be treated as such,” said Oswego Speedway co-owner, John Torrese.  “As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of this amazing racing weekend we felt the time was right to work together with NASCAR to bring back one of the traditions of this great weekend.  A long distance, Saturday night special, featuring some of the best Modified drivers anywhere in the country – fighting for the distinguished right to be called a Classic champion at Oswego.”

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will contend in a 150-lap Classic event during the Saturday portion of the weekend, pairing with the ISMA Supermodified Bud Light Super Nationals.

“We continue to take in and review a lot of fan feedback and this addition to the weekend was certainly called upon by several of our current and former Classic Weekend attendees,” said Torrese.  “While Oswego Speedway is the Home of the Supermodifieds, the Modifieds themselves have played a huge role in our historic journey and we are excited to bring the Whelen Modified Tour not only back to Oswego, but to upstate New York so the many Modified fans in this area can join us again for an entire open-wheel racing weekend.”

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour first came to Oswego in 1988, running a total of eight events between ’88 and 1989.

Brian Ross won the first two NASCAR events ever held at Oswego with Mike McLaughlin and George Kent also collecting victories in ’88.  Kent’s triumph was the first NASCAR sanctioned event held at the Big O during International Classic Weekend.

NASCAR’s ’89 schedule at Oswego belonged to Tony Hirschman. Hirschman won three of the four events held at the ‘Steel Palace’ that season including the most recent Whelen Modified Tour stop during Classic Weekend. Mike Stefanik was the only other Modified winner that season at Oswego, adding his name to the short list of NASCAR sanctioned victors on the 5/8 mile.

While Oswego has not been on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule in some 27 years, the tour itself has not visited upstate New York since July of 2009 when second generation racer Erick Rudolph went to victory at Williamson, NY’s Spencer Speedway.

Since the year 2000, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has visited upstate on only eight occasions at facilities such as Watkins Glen International, Holland International, Chemung Speedrome, Spencer Speedway, and Adirondack International, making this year’s stop in Oswego a rare opportunity to see the northeast’s premier asphalt modified tour locally.

Oswego’s Budweiser International Classic Weekend will officially kick-off on Friday, September 2 with ‘Fast Friday’ pole-day qualifications for the Novelis Supermodifieds and Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supers.

CREDIT: Oswego Speedway

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