Contact: Oswego Speedway
Danny Johnson, Speedway Reporter
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New Year, New Ride for SBS Rookie of the Year David LaTulip
Young Driver Joins TNT Motorsports in 2012
OSWEGO, NY (March 5) - Through the past couple of decades, fans have watched the progress of driver sthat have graduated from the Pathfinder Bank SBS division to the Novelis Supermodified class. 2011 brought a little twist to that, as we had our first batch of graduates from “The Bullring” make it to the Pathfinder Bank SBS division. “The Bullring” is the 1/12th mile clay go cart track located behind the second turn of the big track.
Also known as the Oswego Kartway, “The Bullring” races on Friday nights throughout the summer. Fast-forward to June 18th this past year. Bullring graduate and Pathfinder Bank SBS rookie driver David LaTulip raced his way into the Oswego Speedway history books, becoming one of a handful of drivers to ever win an Oswego Speedway feature event as a rookie, but he also became the first Bullring graduate to win on the big track.
David took off from his pole position starting spot that night, and drove a smart race. He protected the inside line, and forced the field to go around him on the high side if they were going to get by the high flying #27. As the 20 lapper wound down, fans realized they were watching an instant classic. David held back top dogs Barry Kingsley, Tim Barbeau and Jack Patrick enroute to the wildly popular win. “I dreamed of racing here, and to go on and win so young in my driving career is just so cool,” David said after his win.
That win, as well as a very consistent regular season propelled David to ninth in points, as well as Pathfinder Bank SBS Rookie of the Year honors for his 2011 season. “Last year was better than we expected,” David said looking back at his rookie campaign. “My guys gave me a great car every week, and that really helped me so much. Week in and week out, they gave me a car that was fast. We learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and did better than we expected. We are really happy with how the year turned out.”
David is currently an OCC student, looking to be a Phys. Ed teacher. While he is hitting the books this off-season, he also has been busy in the garage as well. “This coming year, I’m joining a new team this year. I’m joining TNT Motorsports, driving the old 25 car, now the #17.” David explained. “I have learned so much already this off season,as we’ve been in the garage working on the car. It’s a deal Tracy wanted to do, separate from Terry. “
“We just got the car back from Dan Dennie, as he worked on the back end of it,” David added. “It was right down to the frame, and we’ve been working at it. It’s the old 25 car, which is the car that was built directly after the car I drove last year. It’s pretty much a sister car to the car I drove last year, as there are a lot of similarities.”
“I’m really excited for this year to get going,” the sophomore to be driver mentioned. While he has the same guys helping him that he did last year, he has one of the most knowledgeable minds in the SBS side of the pits in his corner this year as well. “My guys were great last year, and now add Steve Reynolds as my crew chief, and that will help a lot too.” David said. “Steve knows his stuff and has a lot of experience.”
While everyone looks ahead to 2012, David took a second to look back his time at the Bullring. Many times, a driver has been asked if the PathfinderBank SBS cars have helped them as they graduated to the Novelis Supermodifieds. David said the Bullring helped him moving up to the fast 5/8’s. “No doubt,” he immediately answered. “The Kartway is a great place to start. I started at 14. It helped me learn to know where you need to run, and go carts are so quick, you have to be on your game right from the start. The guys on Fridays are a great group to run with, and they help each other out so much. It really did help me out running back there.”
“I really have to thank Tracy Solazzo for the opportunity,” David emphasized. “She has been in my corner, and believed in me, and had the faith in me. She is totally behind me, and said she wanted me to race her car. I can’t thank her enough,” David said. “They are a great group, and I can’t thank her enough for all her support and faith inme.”
“I can’t wait to get going,” he mentioned, as opening day gets closer. “We’ve been working on the car, and we hope to have it ready for the Gater show at the Fairgrounds coming up. We hope to have it there, and are looking forward to this year.” Also, the TNT Motorsports/David LaTulip fundraiser is April 21st at Lighthouse Lanes Hall of Fame Lounge.
David LaTulip raced his way into the Oswego Speedway record books in 2011 with a win in his 5th ever race at the speedway. He looks to improve on his Rookie of the Year season, and is doing so with a new team under him. David and his team are working hard to be all systems go for Opening Day 2012 at Oswego Speedway.
The 2012 racing season at Oswego Speedway begins May 5th. Events run May through September on most Saturday nights, culminating with the Fall Championship 75 on September 15th.
The annual Speedway open practice is scheduled for April 28th.
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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.