OSWEGO, NY (March 28) - There is little doubt that the Novelis Supermodified class, and Oswego Speedway, has a certain mystique about them. Ever since the formative years there have been teams that have driven hours upon hours, hauling passed other speedways, on their way to racing Supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway.
In the early days drivers like Art Bennett, Sammy Sessions, and ‘Jungle Jim’ Gresley towed 12 hours to run the Big O. Years after, Norm Mackareth, Todd Gibson, Mike Ordway, Doug Didero, and Skip Matczak made Oswego their home tracks.
That tradition continues today, as Fairlawn, NJ driver Joey Payne has made the 5-hour trip for the past half-decade to run an Oswego Supermodified.
“It’s funny, Wall Stadium is right up the road, but Oswego Speedway is my home away from home,” the ‘Jersey Jet’ said, looking forward to the May 5th opener. “I have a lot of great friends, and fans up there, and they have all welcomed me with open arms.”
This year will see Payne switch rides, having switched seats from the Strong Racing No. 99, to the Muldoon Racing stable.
“Pat and Terry are great people,” Payne reiterated. “We did very well together, and I wish them luck with Michael, he’s a really talented driver, and they’ll get some wins for sure. The two-car team just didn’t work out for me. Things didn’t work out as well as I had hoped for. I decided to step back and look at things. ”
Payne now teams up with someone he has driven for in the past, former Track Champion, Budweiser International Classic Champion, and Oswego Speedway Hall of Famer, Mike Muldoon.
“Mike sure has a fleet of cars,” Payne laughed. “It actually kind of started last year, when Michael was looking for a little help. I like helping guys out, and he was looking for some help with the car. Mike wanted to get some information, and asked me to help.”
“Michael was a rookie, and didn’t really know what he was supposed to feel with the car,” Payne continued. “The super is a big adjustment to what he was used to, and he was working hard at trying to learn these cars. It was fun helping, and Michael is a great kid. He was like a sponge. It’s just like anything else, info, help, anything is always better when it comes from someone else. I would tell him to follow me when we went out for warm ups, I would show him the line to run, and things like that. Michael did really well last year, and had a good year. He was getting quicker and quicker, and running a good line.”
Muldoon cars are no strangers to the front of the pack, and that fact isn’t lost on the ‘Jersey Jet’. Muldoon cars have won multiple Track Championships, multiple Classics, and over two dozen feature events.
“Mike builds a great car,” Payne said. “I think we can win some races together, that’s for sure. As of now, it looks like we’ll be part time, but I want to run Oswego full time. Oswego is my home away from home, and there are some races I really want to win this year. I really, really want the Classic, and I would really like to win the Mr. Supermodified race. Those two are really high up on my list.”
The car Payne will drive is a new one out of the Muldoon shop in Baldwinsville, NY. This past weekend Joey made the 5-hour haul to Central New York, and there wasn’t even a race.
“I went to Mike’s shop last weekend, and we did a few things,” he said. “My LaJoie seat doesn’t fit in the car, so we put a different one in. I cut my LaJoie seat down and am going to put it in my midget. I’m looking forward to getting started this year.”
It may not be at Oswego, but his season has already started with the indoor midget races in Atlantic City and Providence. The outdoor part of 2012 starts this weekend at Waterford, with the NEMA season starter.
“It will be a busy season, between NEMA, Oswego and my son racing,” Payne said looking at his calendar. “Anthony has three cars, and is a good driver. He needs time, and seat time, but I really enjoy the time spent at the track with him as well.”
It may be a busy 2012 season, but the ‘Jersey Jet’ Joey Payne, makes time for it all. He’ll wheel the NEMA midget, the Muldoon super, and have his son’s cars race ready each week. He is one of the all-time hot shoes at Oswego Speedway, currently solidly residing in the top 100 in all time Oswego points. With three feature wins, two runner-up’s in track championship chases, and 29 all-time top fives, he is one of the fan favorites at the Steel Palace.
“We’ll be there for the opener, and hopefully if things work out, a whole lot more.”
Joey Payne is one of those drivers that loves Oswego Speedway, its fans, and everything involved with it. Driving 5 hours each way every weekend for the past handful of years proves that fact. The combination of Joey Payne and Mike Muldoon is surely one to watch in 2012.
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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For more information on Oswego Speedway be sure to visit www.oswegospeedway.com. You can also LIKE the (Official) Oswego Speedway page at facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway, or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway. To purchase tickets or order merchandise please call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.
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.
Oswego Speedway is honored to recognize several sponsors and corporate partners that help to bring the racing action to you each Saturday night (listed alphabetically): All Seasons Inn, Alliance Bank, Best Western/Quality Inn, Blue Bowl Sanitation, Bonded Motor Sales, Bosco & Geers, Bracy’s Transmission Services, Bridge Street Jewelers, Burke’s Home Centers, Butler Disposal, Canales Restaurant, Century 21 Galloway Realty, City Electric, CNY CPR, Compass Federal Credit Union, Constellation Energy, CPS Electric, C’s Beverage Center, Davis Bros. Meats, Days Inn/Travelodge, Dufore’s Jewelers, Dunkin Donuts, Eagle Beverage, Ellsworth Heating and Cooling, Entergy Northeast, G&I Homes, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Hofmann’s, Hoosier Racing Tire, Hudson Dairy, Johnston’s Propane, K&G Lodge, Longley Dodge, Marollo Racing Engines, May’s Country Store, McCaffrey Chiropractic, Mickey’s Magical Vacation, Munski’s Auto and Marine, Novelis, Ontario Orchards, Oswego County Federal Credit Union, Oswego Health, Oswego Inn, OTB/Western Region, Par-K Enterprises, Pathfinder Bank, Performance Harley Davidson, Pizza Villa, Precision Balancing, Press Box, Price Chopper, RE Davis and Son, RJ Caruso Tax & Accounting, Rudy’s Lakeside, S&S Tractor, Scriba Electric, Scriba Meats, Steve Abt Auto, Stop DWI – Oswego County, Sunset RV Park, Supercuts, Universal Metal Works, Vashaw’s Collision Service, Yogi Bear’s Jelly Stone Park