OSWEGO, NY (April 24, 2013) – For the 63rd consecutive season, Oswego Speedway will once again light up the Port City with racing action. Gater Racing News and North Country Home Builders present the first round of the Shea Concrete ‘Steel Palace’ ISMA SuperSeries on Saturday, May 4. The night’s events will be highlighted with an ultra-fast ISMA Supermodified 50-lap main event and the opening round of the Pathfinder Bank SBS ‘Road to the Championship.’
Grandstand gates will open at 3pm on May 4 with time trials set to start at 5pm followed by racing at 6:30pm.
The first of four ISMA Supermodified events at Oswego Speedway is guaranteed to be a special evening with the planned return of winged Supermodified star, Chris Perley.
Since 1992, Perley leads all drivers with seven career wing Supermodified victories at Oswego. The ‘Rowley Rocket’ scored his first win at Oswego back in 1995 and most recently held the checkered flag at the ‘Steel Palace’ during the 2011 edition of Budweiser International Classic Weekend. That victory would turn out to be his last start at the Speedway, that’s until the May 4th Shea Concrete ‘Steel Palace’ ISMA SuperSeries lid lifter.
Perley, who announced a semi-retirement at the beginning of the 2012 season, is Oswego Speedway’s winged Supermodified track record holder with a blistering lap of 15.198 seconds turned back in 2008. The all-time ISMA Supermodified wins leader and 6-time series champion will look to chase the record on May 4th behind the wheel of a new Vic Miller creation.
“We’re looking forward to getting back to Oswego,” said Perley. “The plan is to head to Stafford soon for a test with that new car, and see what we can do with it. We have spent a lot of time on that car and I am really looking forward to playing with it. I see no reason why it shouldn’t be any worse than the old ‘tried and true’ No. 11.”
The old ‘tried and true’ will now be in the hands of ‘Liquid’ Lou Cicconi, a 16-time winner on ISMA’s trail.
“Cicconi is going to be in the old car all season,” said Perley. “We have certainly had some good runs all over with that old car, especially at Oswego. I’m sure it’ll be tough going up against Lou in that car, but we will give him a run for his money.”
Perley will not only have to battle Cicconi, but also a host of talented Supermodified shoes in search of Oswego Speedway’s first winged Supermodified track championship.
Among the ISMA Supermodified regulars expected to be in action are defending series champion Mike Lichty as well as his new Lichty Racing teammate Rob Summers, who wheeled the Miller No. 11 in 2012.
Joining Lichty Racing and Vic Miller as top runners in 2013 will be the full-time return of Dunigan Racing with top pilot Jon McKennedy behind the wheel of the No. 79. A champion of the Valenti Modified Racing Series many times over, McKennedy is primed to drive for an ISMA Championship and it will start at Oswego Speedway.
Other top wing Supermodified regulars in action will be Mark Sammut, Dan Bowes, Tim Ice, and Danny Lane.
One new touch in 2013 will be the added influence of ‘cross-over’ drivers looking to compete both with the wing and without at the Speedway. A handful of that list includes Jeff Locke, Dave Gruel, Timmy Jedrzejek, Ray Graham, and Otto Sitterly.
Locke, a former winner on the ISMA trail, will be a full-time competitor with both ISMA and the Novelis Supermodified series at Oswego in 2013. The driver of the Locke Crane Services No. 37 quickly adapted to non-wing Supermodified racing in 2012, and will look to capture the Speedway’s Rookie of the Year title this season.
Gruel, the defending ISMA King of Wings champion at the Speedway, will once again run Oswego full-time with the Double Deuce Racing team while also climbing into the Steve Miller ‘Sweet 16’ at Oswego during the Shea Concrete ‘Steel Palace’ ISMA SuperSeries.
‘Timmy J’ will split his seat time in ’13 between the Soule Racing No. 32 ISMA machine and the Mike Murphy owned No. 60 Novelis Supermodified. Jedrzejek went to victory lane one year ago in the Bud Light ISMA SuperNationals at Oswego in the No. 32, but is still in search of his first non-wing victory at the fast 5/8 mile speed plant.
Graham, a 2-time winner in Novelis Supermodified competition at Oswego in 2012 behind the wheel of his familiar No. 90, will also take the controls of the Clyde Booth No. 61 on the ISMA Supermodified trail in 2013. With one career victory in ISMA competition, Graham looks to help bring Booth back to prominence on the wing trail.
Defending Novelis Supermodified Oswego Speedway track champion Otto Sitterly couldn’t be more excited to go wing racing this season. ‘Five-Time’ will pilot his new Hawk chassis, driven last year to victory in Oswego’s Fall Championship, in at least the four ‘Steel Palace’ ISMA SuperSeries events at the Speedway.
Sitterly says the challenge of wing racing has always caught his eye.
“We are really excited to do both this season,” said Sitterly. “John Nicotra and I love Oswego Speedway and that is our main focus, but I have never had much success wing racing and I know I can do it. We have to put a bit more work into our wing program and have put a lot of emphasis on this new car to try and get it to go with the top wing. A lot of times with my driving style I have the tendency to burn the right rear off the car with the wing, but we hope to change that this year.”
Other potential ‘cross-over’ drivers include Michael Barnes, Jeff Abold, Lou LeVea Jr., Brandon Bellinger, and Joe Gosek.
Former Oswego Speedway and ISMA Supermodified regular Joey Payne also announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he plans to make his first ISMA start in six years at Oswego Speedway on May 4.
“We will be in a Mike Muldoon car for the ISMA show,” said Payne. “We are hoping to be in town the night before by 7pm to try and get some laps in with the car, as long as everything comes together at work.”
Joining the ISMA Supermodifieds for Oswego’s 63rd Opening Night will be the Pathfinder Bank SBS series, which will begin their long ‘Road to the Championship’ on May 4.
A growing field of SBS racers is expected including defending track champion Kreig Heroth as well as other contenders Andrew Schartner, Jason Simmons, Rob Pullen, and Jack Patrick.
Last year’s championship runner-up Mike Bond will be behind the wheel of a brand new FFB chassis in 2013, part of the five car Four Sevens Motorsports team. Bond will run as No. 74 in ’13 and will join his fellow teammates Cameron Rowe, Mark Castiglia, Jon Tesoriero, and rookie Dan Abt.
Abt will be one of many rookies in the SBS field this season, helping to expand the division for the coming year. Abt will be joined by Anthony Losurdo, Josh Blackwell, Jeremy Pitcher, Nate Noto, Scott Black, Jason Spaulding, Zach Amo, Barry Silmser, Scott Shafer, and Greg O’Connor.
Two drivers planning full-time returns to the series this season are Tim Gareau and Russ Brown, each of whom started in the Limited Supermodified division in the early 1990’s.
Gareau will drive full-time for TNT Motorsports, the former championship team that fielded rides for Mike Bond. Gareau will run as No. 17 with the hopes of ramping up his results from 2012, which saw him collect one top five finish in his return to the division.
Brown will once again team with Ray Hedger in search of another series championship behind the wheel of the same No. 13 Hedger chassis that he ran in last season’s Bud Light SBS Classic.
To purchase tickets for Oswego Speedway’s 63rd annual Opening Night call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646. Once again in 2013, kids 16 & under will be admitted free of charge with a paid adult.
For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com, follow on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway, or like on Facebook at facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.
ABOUT OSWEGO SPEEDWAY: Oswego Speedway, a sports entertainment company, is a 5/8 mile semi-banked pavement racing oval located off the shores of Lake Ontario in scenic Oswego, NY. Oswego Speedway has been a continuously run weekly racing venue since August, 1951. The premier open-wheel pavement short track cars in the world, Supermodifieds, run weekly at Oswego Speedway making Oswego the only weekly Supermodified racing venue in the world. The Small Block Supermodifieds accompany the full blown Supers on a weekly Saturday night schedule which runs from May through September. Oswego Speedway is mentioned in racing circles as the “Indy of the East,” as no fewer than a dozen past and present competitors have competed at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway including Mario Andretti, arguably the greatest driver of all time, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, along with former International Classic Champions Bentley Warren, Joe Gosek, and Davey Hamilton.
From Danny Kapuscinski, Public Relations Specialist / Oswego Speedway