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.
For more information on Oswego Speedway be sure to visit www.oswegospeedway.com. You can also LIKE the (Official) Oswego Speedway page on facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway, or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway. To purchase tickets or to order merchandise please call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.
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.