Oswego Speedway’s 2008 season officially came to an end Saturday night October 25th, as the Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet in the Oneida-Mohawk rooms at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. End of year awards, prize money, and six well deserving Hall of Fame inductions were the headliners as the curtain was brought down on a successful 2008 campaign at the lakeside oval.
Sponsor recognition kicked off the awards portion of the evening as Novelis representatives Mike Domicola and Carol Dillabough were thanked by speedway officials for their involvement with the supermodified division. Domicola and Dillabough, in turn, gave a trophy to speedway owners Pat Furlong and Steve Gioia for their continued support in the can collection area, with the main goal of building a Habitat for Humanity house in the city of Oswego.
Pathfinder Bank’s Jim Dowd recalled his history at Oswego, as well being main SBS series sponsor once again. Dan Dorsey proudly took the microphone and announced Budweiser’s support for the 2009 Classic Week, which will be Bud’s 40th year as a speedway sponsor, and 28th consecutive year it will be known as, Budweiser Classic Weekend.
Bobby Magner and Jerry Curran were officially inducted into the $1000 Club. The only way to gain entrance in this elusive club is to win a supermodified feature at Oswego Speedway. Magner and Curran, who grew up around the speedway as youngsters, fulfilled lifelong dreams as they took their first wins in 2008.
The Ed Clark Spirit Award was presented by former winner Brian “Roads” Conzone, to Ed’s wife, Kathy. It was an emotional and popular presentation, as Kathy and Ed were inseparable at the race track in years gone by, both extremely popular with officials, teams and fans.
The Oswego Speedway Recognition Award was presented to “Red” the Eagle, who entertained fans throughout the racing evenings in the summer.
Samantha Todd picked up her “Hoosier Mama” Powder Puff trophy from her win in the derby late in the year. The Powder Puff race was an overwhelming hit, and the ladies kept the grandstand on the edge of their seats as they came across for the checkered flag.
Eagle Fan Club President Larry Lee presented a check to Marg Mackereth, who represented the Gibson family, as Terry Gibson earned a check from the fan club. Terry was taken from us in a racing accident in July at Toledo Speedway.
PathFinder Bank SBS Series Point money was next in line, as the top 20 in points came across the stage to accept their hard earned checks from both the speedway and the Eagles Fan Club. Track Champion Kevin Knopp thanked his family, crew, sponsors and any one that had a hand in giving him his first SBS championship.
Novelis Supermodified drivers accepted their prize money next. Two time champion Otto Sitterly recalled the story that brought him to his current ride in the Nicotra Team car, and how proud he was to give longtime speedway supporter Johnny Nicotra his first championship.
Kreig Heroth was awarded the SBS Racing News SBS Series Rookie of the Year, while Lou Levea Sr. picked up the Cleaning for a Reason Novelis Supermodified Rookie of the Year award. The Hoosier Tire SBS Crew of the Year was presented to Gnomey Racing and Nicotra Racing won the Hoosier Tire Novelis Supermodified Crew of the Year award.
The Steve Gioia Sales, Inc. SBS Car Owner of the Year went to Terry Solazzo and Jake Ratcliff picked up the Supermodified Car Owner of the Year from Steve Gioia sales, Inc.
The saying “Save the best for last” came into play once again, as the highly anticipated Tony White Memorial Award and Jim Shampine Memorial Award were the last honors given out and presented by the Eagles Fan Club. Longtime speedway supporter, driver, crew man, and all around good guy, Chip Wood, won the Tony White Memorial award. Chip and Tony were good friends for years, and no award could mean more to Chip than winning the award in honor of his fallen friend. Loyal speedway driver Craig Rayvals had a smile from ear to ear as his name was called in winning the Shampine award.
The night was rounded out with the 2008 Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame inductions. Bob Goutermout and Mike Bond became the first two drivers from the Small Block Super Series to enter the Hall of Fame. Carol D. Haynes became the first ever female to enter the Hall of Fame. Jerry Rich, Jim Ferlito and Doug Heveron rounded out the class of 2008 for the Hall of Fame. Watch the Inductees Video
It was a successful close to a 2008 racing season that saw momentum gain weekly at Oswego Speedway, with anticipation higher than it has been for years, as the 2009 racing season looms ahead at Oswego Speedway. Watch the Banquet Videos