Tom Time Blog: Oswego Speedway King of Wings, Old Timer’s Reunion Provide Backdrop for Big Weekend!

Tom Baker Featured, Midwest, Northeast, Sprints & Midgets, Supermodifieds, Tom Baker Blog 0 Comments

Blog By RaceChaser Online Senior Editor Tom Baker – Photo By Brian Lorcher – For the second time in the last month, I am sitting in the “Port City” of Oswego, New York.  Nestled on the shores of Lake Ontario, Oswego Speedway is the home to the fastest short-track cars on the plant – The Supermodifieds.

Tomorrow night, the supers do something the only do a few times at year at “The Steel Palace”.  They bolt on the top wings and take to the fast 5/8-mile oval turning laps in the low 15 second range.

Last year, Dave Shullick, Jr. found another realm and drove his Jim Bodnar built No. 94 around the track in 14.9 seconds.  That’s an average speed of 150mph!  He will lead a lion’s den of hungry drivers into the pits for the always-anticipated “King of Wings” race.

Shullick will have a teammate tomorrow night in the form of five-time Oswego Speedway (unwinged) Supermodified track champion Otto Sitterly.  Sitterly will be piloting the car Shullick set the track record with last year, nicknamed “Ice” for it’s ice blue trim.  Shullick straps behind the wheel of Bodnar’s newest rocketship, “Fire”, trimmed in red.

ISMA Supermodified legend Chris Perley will be in competition as well, along with a host of others including Ohio’s Trent Stephens, who is a guaranteed starter in this year’s Budweiser International Classic 200 for the unwinged Supers by virtue of his lead in the MSA (Midwest Supermodified Association) point standings.

Other ISMA stars set to run for the coveted title include Canadian Mike Lichty, who has numerous winged wins at Oswego including the most recent ISMA race there in June.

Along with the Supers, the Small Block Supermodifieds (SBS) will be on the card.  This division has been led all season by 24-year-old Andrew Schartner in the Crow Motorsports No. 18, who comes from Charlotte, North Carolina each week to race at Oswego.

Schartner has two wins, two seconds, a third and two fifth place finishes in his first seven starts this year and leads the SBS standings.  His goal is to win his first track championship and he continues that pursuit on Saturday.

But the promotional team at Oswego put up a guaranteed starting spot in the “Classic” for the SBS racer who was leading the points at the end of June, hoping that would help that racer find a ride in the “big block” supers for the division’s richest race.  Schartner earned that guaranteed start and the effort to find him a competitive ride for the big one is ongoing.

An SBS championship and making your Supermodified debut in the world’s biggest race for the division would be a fine way to end your fourth season at Oswego, no?

Drivers in the SBS division hoping to keep Schartner from win number three on Saturday include a pair of Oswego High School students who have exceeded expectations this year, 15-year-old Camden Proud and 16-year-old Anthony Losurdo.  Anthony got his first win earlier in the year, while Camden led that race for many laps, finishing third.

Both students are hopeful of eventual steps up into the Supermodified division, and both are marketable young personalities who have helped to keep the Supermodified-loyalist fans tuned into the SBS class this year.

Michael Bruce has two wins this season, including last week’s feature.  Bruce has a new teammate in Matt Magner, who is getting his feet wet on pavement after running a few years on dirt in the ESDCA Mod Lite division at nearby Brewerton Speedway on Friday nights.

Jack Patrick is the driver chasing Schartner for the points lead, and a racer who is subject to a win at any time.  Patrick is a strong competitor each week who only needs luck to be a lady for once to visit victory lane.  The same is true for both Kraig Heroth and Dave LaTulip.  Any of these three racers, with some help from the luck bank to keep them out of other racer’s troubles, could see victory lane on Saturday.

Aside from the on-track action, the always enjoyable “Old Timer’s Reunion” will take place on Saturday, beginning at 10am.  Drivers from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s will be on hand at Lighthouse Lanes (on the Speedway grounds) to turn the bowling alley into a haven for historians like me who get the chance to reminisce with their heroes of the day.

Just a few of the names scheduled to be on hand include Wayne Landon, Todd Gibson, Freddie Graves, Kempton Dates, Warren Coniam, Norm Mackereth and Johnny Spencer, among many others!

RaceChaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman and I will co-emcee the event, and you can bet that means a lot of future “Where Are They Now” material for our site and our radio shows in the coming weeks!

Anytime I have the opportunity to come home to the place where my passion for racing was planted, it’s always fun.  I’ve reached an age where I love talking about “the good old days” while feeling grateful and blessed for today.

This weekend, beginning tonight when Jacob and I have some fun on the microphones at the Oswego Kartway (the 1/8-mile dirt track where future Oswego stars are born!), I’ll be hoping for time to stand still, just for a little while, so I can enjoy it all.

For more information about this weekend’s racing at Oswego, go check out their website at www.OswegoSpeedway.com.

Wherever you are this weekend, take some time to go enjoy some “short-track” racing.  Watching stuff on TV is nice and all but it’s no substitute for the sights, smells and excitement of being “at the races”!

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