Tuesday afternoon, ownership of the historic race track along Lake Ontario was transferred from Pat Furlong and Steve Gioia to brother's John and Eric Torrese. The Torrese's are the third ownership group at Oswego Speedway since it was built in 1951. The Caruso family built and owned the track from 1951 to April 2004.
"We bought it for the love of the speedway," new co-owner Eric Torrese said Tuesday evening. "There is no good business reason to buy it, we just love the place and the allure to it. There is a lot of work to do to it, but we will improve it. There will be a lot of changes, we just hope everyone is patient with us."
Race Director Chuck Handley echoed the Torrese's sentiments. "The sale was a long, legal process to finalize everything. It's a done deal, but is going to take a lot of work to be ready for opening day.." There is an open practice scheduled for May 14th, with the first race slated for Memorial Day Weekend. Supermodifieds have been the premier class of cars raced at Oswego Speedway since 1962. The Small Block Supermodifieds have been the
companion division at Oswego Speedway since 1992.
Rumors of a pending sale of the speedway circled around Oswego in 2010, during it's signature event, the International Classic on Labor Day Weekend. "It was a frustrating time, but we aren't looking back, "Torrese said. "We're looking forward. It's a great facility. It's the premier short track in the United States, and we'd like to get it back to it's luster.," He added that it will be a learning experience for them, but they are looking at improvements all around the facility. "It needs a lot of work, and it's a work in progress. We would like to see improvements every week."
The Torrese family lines run deep in Oswego Speedway history, as John and Eric's dad, John Sr., was one of the most popular drivers in the early years at Oswego. John Sr won features on both the dirt and asphalt in 1952 and 53 at Oswego Speedway. John Jr drove supermodifieds at Oswego in the 1980's, and recent in he past few years.
"We always went as kids," Eric said of their introduction to the speedway. "We always went as kids, and got more involved through the years."
Oswego Speedway was built in 1951, when Harry, George and William Caruso coverted the old Wine Creek Horse track into a 3/8's mile dirt track. It was paved in 1952, and enlarged to it's current configuration, 5/8 mile, in 1961.
"This is going to be a long process," Eric Torrese said. "But we're in it for the long haul. Sorry it too so long, but we're looking to have a great summer. Let's go racing!"
Those are the words race fans of Oswego Speedway have been waiting to hear for a long time.