|Friday, January 17, 2014
Supermodified Commitment Program Expands to 26 Race Teams
By Oswego Speedway @ 2:16 PM :: 1908 Views
OSWEGO, NY (January 17, 2014) – Oswego Speedway’s Novelis Supermodified commitment program roster will increase to 26 race teams for the 2014 season at the ‘Steel Palace.’
A total of 22 Pathfinder Bank SBS machines have signed on for the program this season, making a total of 48 teams on the combined commitment roster, tying the mark set during the 2013 season.
Two more spots are available in the Pathfinder Bank SBS division, which could make for a record of 50 commitment teams for the coming year.
By signing on to the Oswego Speedway commitment program teams are agreeing to enter each and every week of the regular racing season at the Speedway. In doing so, the Speedway agrees to pay an increased and guaranteed purse to start the feature every Saturday night to those teams. However, if for any reason a team misses more than one night of racing the commitment goes away, and the team is no longer in the program. At that point teams also have to forfeit any commitment dollars gained on top of a normal Saturday night purse.
On the Novelis Supermodified side of the roster, 20 of the top 24 teams in points from last season signed into the program for the coming year. Included among those teams are last year’s championship contenders Otto Sitterly, Joe Gosek, and Shaun Gosselin.
Dave Gruel will return to the program in 2014 but will be behind the wheel of a new Hawk chassis, owned by his own team, with his familiar No. 50. Gruel will again utilize Enders power plants and looks to continue his search for an Oswego Supermodified title.
His former teammate Pat Lavery will now be the lone bullet in the Double Deuce Racing chamber, driving the No. 22 for another season.
Joining 2013 feature winners Sitterly, Gosselin, Gruel, and Lavery in this year’s commitment program will be David Danzer and Kody Graham.
The Danzer Racing team is hard at work this off-season preparing a second Hawk chassis for 2014. The No. 52 and No. 72 are said to be ready for opening day, with the potential for guest driver appearances in the back-up machine during special shows.
Danzer had his best season to date in 2014, finishing 6th in the driver’s championship, as he added another feature win to his resume. The driver of the Craig Danzer owned No. 52 now has feature victories in each of his first three seasons behind the wheel of a Novelis Supermodified.
The Graham Racing team is also hard at work over these winter months, preparing machines for four different drivers, including 2013 feature winner Kody Graham.
Kody will join his father Ray as well as teammates Jessica Zemken and Joey Payne under the Graham Racing banner, with Strong Racing serving as the crew and weekly personnel on the Payne driven No. 99.
Word out of the Xtreme chassis shop is that two new racecars are in the works, one of which will by driven by Payne in his quest for a Novelis Supermodified track championship.
Zemken will again drive the No. 11 Supermodified as she looks to collect Rookie of the Year honors, along with potentially becoming the first female to win a Supermodified main event at Oswego Speedway.
Michael Barnes, Michael Muldoon, Dan Connors Jr., and Brandon Bellinger all finished in the Top10 of the driver’s championship in 2013 and will return to the full-time commitment program in 2014.
When the gates open for racing in May both Barnes and Muldoon will drive through the tunnel with brand new Supermodifieds.
As reported earlier this week, Barnes will be behind the wheel of a brand new Hawk chassis fielded by Syrell Racing with crew chief Joe Hawksby Jr. making set-up calls on the No. 68.
Muldoon will sit inside a new Muldoon Racing creation, coming out of the team’s home base in Baldwinsvile, NY as the No. 51.
Nine other Supermodified pilots will re-join the program that finished in the Top24 of the driver’s championship one year ago including Dave Cliff, Tim Snyder, Brian Sweeney, Tim Devendorf, Jerry Curran, Keith Shampine, Hal LaTulip, Lou LeVea Sr., and Lou LeVea Jr.
Looking to make a return to the scene this season will be Stephen Gioia III in the Gioia Racing No. 9. Gioia competed full-time in 2012, but only ran one Supermodified main event in 2013, coming behind the wheel of the back-up Strong Racing No. 98.
Jeff Abold will also look to be a more regular competitor at the Speedway in 2014 with the Abold Racing and built No. 05. The team’s new creation debuted in 2013, but after handling issues the car was parked for much of the season. Abold did compete in their older back-up machine in special events, with good results.
Of all 26 teams, one driver in the program is making a return after several years’ absence.
Bob Reis joins the commitment roster in 2014 with the No. 4, a former Muldoon chassis. Real has spent the past several years competing in 360 winged Sprint Cars, DIRT Sportsman Modifieds, asphalt Modifieds, and did run one ISMA Supermodified main at Oswego in 2013.
While the Pathfinder Bank SBS division saw a massive shake up before the 2013 season, this year again sees some seat swapping in the highly competitive small block category.
In all, 15 of the Top24 teams from 2013 made the call by the January 13 deadline into this year’s commitment roster. Among those 15 are championship candidates Mike Bond, Jason Simmons, JJ Andrews, and Kreig Heroth.
Missing from the list is defending SBS champion Russ Brown and title contender Rob Pullen.
Brown and the Hedger Racing No. 13 will not compete at Oswego full-time in 2014 but plan to enter a few special events at the Speedway, including the Bud Light SBS Classic.
Pullen will move to the Novelis Supermodified division this year, driving the No. 71 Supermodified driven occasionally in 2013 by Bill Sharkey. With one Supermodified event under his belt, coming in the 2013 Fall Championship, Pullen is looking forward to more seat time this year.
Returning to the program as feature winners in 2013 are Andrew Schartner, Dalton Doyle, Jack Patrick, Danny Abt, and Mark Castiglia.
With the formation of Missile Motorsports, Castiglia will bring Cameron Rowe back into the fold as a teammate driving the No. 68.
Seven other drivers from the Top24 in last year’s standings will also come back in 2014 including Anthony Losurdo, Josh Kerr, Mike Bruce, Jon Tesoriero, Scott Shafer, Greg O’Connor, and Dennis Rupert.
David LaTulip, who competed part-time in 2013, will re-sign with the program in 2014 once again behind the wheel of the No. 27.
New faces to the program are Rookie of the Year candidates Alex Hoag and Camden Proud.
Hoag, the son of Oswego SBS champion Dean Hoag, has competed in all types of racing divisions; both full fender and open-wheel. The SBS rookie will drive the No. 41 for Jim Paternoster, who fielded the championship winning small block machines for Dean in the mid-1990’s.
Proud, a 15-year old graduate of quarter midget racing will drive the No. 54. Tim Proud, Camden’s father and former Supermodified driver, built the racecar which went through its paces in 2013 with Chris Proud driving the racer as No. 3.
The final two drivers on the SBS commitment roster are newly returning faces, and former feature winners; Barry Kingsley and Steve Abt.
Kingsley will join Team Tapout teammates Jason Simmons and JJ Andrews in the No. 91. A former Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS champion, Kingsley drove part-time for Team Tapout in 2012 and will re-join the team full-time in the coming year.
Abt will take over the controls of the Four Sevens Motorsports No. 67 driven in 2013 by Castiglia, Tim Barbeau, and Dave Cliff. Winner of the 2010 Bud Light SBS Classic, Abt has not competed at the Speedway since his attempt to field a Novelis Supermodified in 2011.
The 2014 racing season at Oswego Speedway begins May 3rd as the Pathfinder Bank SBS series joins the mighty ISMA Supermodifieds to open the Speedway’s 64th season of competition.
The Novelis Supermodifieds will open their campaign with the 53rd annual ‘Oswego Super Kick-Off’ on May 10 with a 50-lap feature go.
Open practices will be held at the Speedway on April 26 and May 2.
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NOVELIS SUPERMODIFIEDS (26)
00 – Joe Gosek
01 – Dan Connors Jr.
02 – Brandon Bellinger
05 – Jeff Abold
06 – Dave Cliff Jr.
0 – Tim Snyder
3 – Brian Sweeney
4 – Bob Reis
5 – Tim Devendorf
7 – Otto Sitterly
9 – Stephen Gioia III
11 – Jessica Zemken ®
21 – Kody Graham
22 – Pat Lavery
24 – Jerry Curran
26 – Shaun Gosselin
50 – Dave Gruel
51 – Michael Muldoon
52 – David Danzer
55 – Keith Shampine
56 – Hal LaTulip
66 – Lou LeVea Sr.
68 – Michael Barnes
83 – Lou LeVea Jr.
90 – Ray Graham
99 – Joey Payne
PATHFINDER BANK SBS SERIES (22)
01 – Dalton Doyle
04 – Kreig Heroth
1 – Anthony Losurdo
8 – Josh Kerr
9 – Jack Patrick
18 – Andrew Schartner
22 – Mike Bruce
27 – David LaTulip
41 – Alex Hoag ®
47 – Jon Tesoriero
54 – Camden Proud ®
57 – Danny Abt
67 – Steve Abt
68 – Cameron Rowe
69 – Mark Castiglia
74 – Mike Bond
76 – Scott Shafer
90 – Greg O’Connor
91 – Barry Kingsley
93 – JJ Andrews
98 – Jason Simmons
99 – Dennis Rupert
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.