OSWEGO, NY (November 8, 2013) – Strong Racing announced on Friday a partnership with Graham Racing to field a brand new Xtreme Chassis Supermodified full-time at Oswego Speedway in 2014 with New Jersey open-wheel ace Joey Payne as the driver.
Just weeks ago Strong Racing’s former driver, Michael Barnes, announced that he would be leaving the team to drive for Syrell/Hawksby Racing this season.
The Strong team will now bring Payne back to the fold, who drove weekly for the team from 2009-2011 before moving on to Mike Muldoon Racing in 2012.Payne did not compete weekly at Oswego in 2013, instead racing closer to home with the NEMA Midget Series.
“I’m excited to be back at Oswego full time,” said Payne.“My fans always ask me to come back, and I am really glad to be back with the Strong team, we have some unfinished business to go after.”
In three previous seasons with Strong Racing, Payne never finished outside the top six in the point standings, twice finishing as a runner-up to Otto Sitterly.Payne brought the Strong team their first career victory in 2009, adding another in 2011.
Strong Racing will team with Graham Racing on a brand new Xtreme Chassis Supermodified built by Paul Colloca for the coming year.Crew Chief Pat Strong and his long-time team will maintain the car weekly out of the Strong Racing stables.
“I have to thank Ray Graham and his whole family for this new partnership,” said Payne.“I’m looking forward to wheeling one of those potent Xtreme machines.Paul and Meg (Colloca) build awesome cars and I’m really excited about 2014.”
Payne will once again make the weekly commute from New Jersey to compete at the ‘Steel Palace.’
“I have to thank Sue and the kids,” said Payne.“It’s going to be tough with Anthony racing NEMA Lites and Sue taking him there.We will make the best of it and I expect Anthony to move into Supermodifieds in the near future.To all my fans you are the best, I’m back!”
Since 2011 Strong Racing has continued their weekly success at Oswego, garnering two more feature wins in 2012 with Barnes at the wheel.The team briefly led the Oswego Speedway championship in 2013, before slipping to 7th in the late going.
Graham Racing has of course scored multiple wins in recent seasons with both Ray and Kody Graham at the controls.
Since 2009 the team has claimed ten Oswego victories and just this past year fielded an entry in the Budweiser International Classic for Jessica Zemken, who became the first woman to qualify for the Classic.
In 2014 the two teams will join forces with the hopes of bringing each their first career Oswego Speedway championship, with Joey Payne behind the wheel.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Bill Taylor