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Danny Johnson, Speedway Reporter
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Barbeau Joins HRW Construction Team for Championship Assault
Heagerty, Barbeau In Search of Oswego SBS Title
OSWEGO, NY (March 21) - “We are spending the time in the garage, going through every detail of the car, getting prepared to hopefully make a run at the championship this year,” veteran Pathfinder Bank SBS driver Tim Barbeau said looking forward to the 2012-racing season at Oswego Speedway. “It’s the same car we ended last year with, it’s a championship winning car with David Cliff, and it’s a good car.”
Barbeau enters his tenth year of SBS/Limited Supermodified competition at Oswego Speedway in 2012, after coming from a very successful career in go-karts. Looking at his start on the fast 5/8’s in 2003, Tim reflected, “The first few years, there were the typical ups and downs; it was really a learning experience. I’ve mostly done this on my own, but have had a lot of help from a lot of great people that I can’t thank enough.”
“My mom, Dave Knoop and his wife Judy, Dan Taylor, Tony and Wayne White, Steve Abt, all the FFB guys, and many more people really helped me along the way,” Tim added. “I’ve been lucky to have all these people that had experience, that I could lean on when I needed it.”
Looking at his résumé, Tim has had a stellar career in the Pathfinder Bank SBS division, as he is solidly in the top ten of all time points in the division, has four career wins at Oswego, and is a consistent top finisher in the points, finishing in the top ten the last six years in the season long SBS point standings.
While he is looking ahead to 2012, he took a glimpse back at 2011. “We were pretty disappointed last year,” Tim admitted. “We went into it, hoping for the best for a good, strong season. We had a slow start, and just couldn’t get the car dialed in.”
Fans will remember that Tim did not end the season in the car he started out in. Tim picks up the story from there. “About midseason, the car was starting to run good. Then the night of the powder puff race, the car got wrecked in it, and that wreck really hurt the car. It was going to need a lot of time to fix.”
That was the end of that car for Tim in 2011, but as is the case in short track racing, friends came to the aid of one in need. “I’ve known the Heagerty’s for a while, and they offered me the 79 ride for the rest of the season. Timing was perfect. We worked together for the rest of the year, and things started to fall into place.”
Tim was back consistently in the top five as the season progressed, and the team was building momentum. “We’re back with the Heagerty’s again this year, and I can’t thank them enough. We have been friends for a while, and we’re really looking forward to this season.”
“There aren’t too many changes to the car,” Tim said of his ride. “We made a few minor changes, sent the motor out to be freshened, as we were down a bit on power last year, but that’s about it. It always takes a little while to get used to a car, as you have to make a few changes, but we had that adjustment period last year, so we hope to hit the ground running this year.”
This weekend is the kickoff for Tim and the 79 team, as their fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday at noon. “It’s fundraiser season, and it always fun to get together with everyone, start talking about racing and seeing everyone again,” Tim said. “The fundraiser starts at noon and goes until we sell out, and is at Lighthouse Lanes. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again.”
“I can’t thank the Heagerty’s enough” Tim said in closing. “They have been friends, and helped me out a lot. I also would like to thank the longtime sponsors, and the fans that come. Also big thanks to John and Eric Torrese for everything they have done at the speedway, giving everyone new life and a fresh perspective at Oswego Speedway. It’s on the way back, and it’s fun to be part of it.”
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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All-Time Pathfinder Bank SBS Series Statistics for Tim Barbeau
||(4), Tied for 17th All-Time (First Win August 12, 2006 - Last Win August 21, 2010)
||(23), Tied for 16th All-Time (First Top5 August 14, 2004 - Last Top5 August 20, 2011)
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.