Sunday, July 22, 2018

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By CAMDEN PROUD

 

Yet another Oswego Kartway graduate will aim for this year’s coveted Novelis Supermodified ‘Rookie of the Year’ award as two-time Kartway Classic champion Nathan Schultzkie and Schultzkie Racing have acquired the former Brian Sobus No. 79 Supermodified for a full-time campaign at the ‘Steel Palace’ this season, joining fellow rookie Tyler Thompson as drivers in search of the Rookie of the Year honors.

Sobus had originally planned to run a select number of races at Oswego this season, but work and other personal vendettas made that challenging. Brian said, “This is bittersweet. I don’t want to be done racing, but probably done with owning a car. I have a family and a job where I put in a ton of hours, so it doesn’t make it convenient to do much of anything. I can’t devote the time. The part-time deal frustrated me more than anything last year. This is a good deal for Nate and his family, I know they are very excited and I’m looking forward to helping them out when I can.”

With Sobus looking to make a deal on the sale of his operation, enter kart racer Nate Schultzkie and his father Joe, who is a lifelong Oswego fan. Just two seasons ago, Joe had the opportunity of a lifetime to watch his son hot lap the Stephen Gioia No. 9 Supermodified and ever since Nathan got behind the wheel, he’s been hooked. Thanks to the help of primary backer UniFi, the Schultzkies were able to close the deal on the Sobus No. 79 this week and begin to make plans for the 2018 season at Oswego.

“I can’t believe I’m about to get the opportunity to race a Supermodified at the Oswego Speedway,” Schultzkie said. “I have a love for racing and have truly enjoyed my time in karting. We have met some great people and built some great friendships over the years.”

Nathan has seen great success in karting competition as well. A high school graduate last year and current freshman at Oswego State pursuing a career in mechanical engineering, Schultzkie has won dozens of races at Oswego Kartway which include the aforementioned ‘Classic’ along with the ‘Fall Frenzy’ event coupled with two feature wins in the Pro Class of the New York Dirt Kart Series. With his karting days more or less behind him, the 19 year-old now looks ahead to the challenge and learning curve that comes with wheeling a Supermodified.

“I am excited to take the leap into the Supermodified class,” Schultzkie continued. “I realize I have so much to learn, but I feel I’m up to the challenge. Learning how to handle this type of horsepower and trying to simply stay out of everyone’s way is my biggest goal at this point. I can’t thank my Dad, Mom and all my family and friends enough for their continued support and look forward to this upcoming season.”

Nathan’s father echoed in his son’s excitement as the father-son team begins to embark on making a longstanding personal dream become a reality.

“This is an exciting time both for myself and my son Nathan,” stated Joe Schultzkie. “This is something we always talked about, but always thought would just be a dream. We have so much to learn and know we will have ups and downs. Our goal is to simply get the greatly needed seat time and laps. I need to extend my many thanks to Brian Sobus for helping us put this together in such a short period of time. His kindness to deal with my millions of questions is greatly appreciated.”

Scultzkie continued by thanking his team’s new primary sponsor UniFi as well as his wife Lisa, his family, and friends for their continued support of his endeavors in motorsports.

“I have to thank our sponsor UniFi, because if not for their help and support this would be impossible,” Schultzkie added. “To my wife Lisa, who doesn’t always agree or sometimes understand my need for speed, but understands the father and son bond, I want to say thank you for always supporting us to the end as well as thank all of our friends for their continued support. Hopefully we are able to give everyone something to cheer about this season.”

UniFi, the primary sponsor of the Schultzkie Racing Supermodified, which will be numbered 26 in reflection of Nate’s days in hockey, is an equipment finance company based out of Ann Arbor Michigan. Oswego native RJ Grimshaw, CEO/President of UNiFi is quoted as saying “Some of my greatest memories growing up were at the Oswego Speedway with my Dad. Every kid's dream was to someday race there. I'm fortunate enough to help Joe and Nate live their dream.”

UniFi Equipment Finance has been helping clients acquire the equipment they need since 1978. ‘Obsessed with Your Success,’ UniFi has been a member with the Equipment Lease and Finance Association for 38 years. UniFi gives its customers the support they need and the financial solutions necessary to make your bottom line as healthy as it can be. Visit UniFi online at UniFiEdge.com.

Schultzkie Racing kicks off their 2018 Supermodified campaign at the speedway’s 68th Annual Opening Day set for Saturday, May 26. The program will feature Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50’s for the Novelis Supermodifieds along with a 35-lap Tony White Memorial main event for the Pathfinder Bank SBS. To order tickets, please call the speedway box office at (315)-342-0646.

For more information on Oswego Speedway, be sure to visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.

About Oswego Speedway: Oswego Speedway, a sports entertainment company, is a 5/8 mille 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.

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