Thursday, December 13, 2018

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04

By CAMDEN PROUD

 

After taking last year off from Oswego Speedway as far as full-time competition is concerned, the Danzer Racing No. 52 and ten time feature winning driver Dave Danzer will return to the ‘Steel Palace’ on a weekly basis in 2018.

Danzer ventured to several ISMA events throughout the 2017 season, but the 2011 Novelis Supermodified Rookie of the Year is preparing for a change in direction in the coming weeks after only a handful of Oswego appearances by Danzer and teammate Timmy Jedrzejek last year.

“I’ve been talking to my crew guys the past several weeks and we’ve just kind of been hinting at going back to Oswego,” Danzer said Thursday evening. “Our wing program isn’t really where I want it to be right now. I designed a new top wing and air strut system that we wanted to test and just don’t have everything where we want it at this time with all of that stuff.”

Although the team fielded two cars for its Oswego shows last year, that won’t be the case in 2018 as Danzer noted, “The other car is being cut up, so we will just have the one for now, but I think it will be rebuilt and maybe everyone will see a new Danzer car for 2019 so don’t rule that one out yet.”

Danzer said that several competitors, including former track champions Dave Cliff and Michael Barnes have recently enticed his team to head back to their home track. Car owner Craig Danzer has supported Oswego for many, many years with several different drivers including Dave, Bill Sharkey, and more.

“A couple weeks ago I was talking to Dave Cliff and Michael Barnes and they have been trying really, really, really hard to get me back at Oswego,” Danzer mentioned. “I went golfing with Cliff on Sunday, so we beat around the bush for awhile and this past week I kind of said screw it, we’ll go back to Oswego this year and swing towards the fence.”

Although the independent front suspension dominated last year’s Supermodified points race in the form of Dave Shullick Jr, Danzer’s No. 52 is still a straight axle Hawk Chassis, but at this point, that doesn’t concern him too much at all.

“Our car usually runs pretty good,” Danzer commented. “I actually think it’s one of the fastest straight axle cars out there. Anytime we showed up last year it was really fast and I think we will be able to compete really well this year. Maybe next year we can put independent on it and see what happens.”

Dave is well aware of his father Craig’s long tenure as an Oswego car owner and the Danzers are looking forward to returning to the ⅝ mile, perhaps with even more horsepower than in years past.

“It’s absolutely great to come back to a place that we’ve been around for so many years, that’s for sure,” Danzer said. “We are actually going to leave the ISMA engine in it and that should provide us with a little bit more horsepower than our other engines do, so we’ll give that a try and see how it goes, but I think that will make things pretty interesting.”

Danzer Racing has received a great deal of support from its dedicated crew following this decision and actually picked up some new backing ahead of their return to Oswego Speedway including from former Supermodified car owner Mike Murphy.

“Our crew from last year is still there, but we’ve actually picked up a few new guys for this year at Oswego,” Danzer mentioned. “Mike Murphy wants to come onboard and do our tires for us for the year and he’s extremely excited for us to be back there, so right now everything is looking pretty decent for this year and we’re excited as well.”

Notably, in the last season Danzer ran full-time at Oswego, the former International Classic ‘Rookie of the Race’ was virtually dominant in marquee events, winning the Jim Shampine Memorial 75, a Twin 35, and the 30th running of the $10,000 to win Mr. Novelis Supermodified event in 2016. He’s also won on Opening Night, Championship Night, the Summer Championship, Spring Championship, and all other regular events in May, June, July, and August throughout his relatively short Supermodified career.

“I think Classic and the Independence Weekend 75 race are the only two shows I have not won at Oswego,” Danzer noted. “This year I’d like to get up to the front and knock off the two of them, but yeah I think other than those two, I’ve won them all in August, July, I’ve won the Opener, won Mr. Super, a Twin 35, Shampine Memorial, so I would really like to get those last two out of the way.”

After chasing so many different races at so many different race tracks in 2017, not to mention with two cars, this season will hopefully be a little bit easier on equipment for the family owned race team. One thing is for sure; it will definitely bring a lot less travel.

“It’s definitely nice to be closer to home and it will be easier on all of us this season,” Danzer mentioned. “Besides the Prouds and Snyders I think we are the closest race shop to the track, only about a mile away so it beats traveling 400 or 500 miles a weekend to go and race. That’ll help us out for sure.”

Danzer’s announcement of his Oswego plans came just 25 days before the start of the season, and the excitement level surrounding the ‘Big O’ right now is perhaps as high as it has been in many, many years. 33 Supermodifieds are officially registered for action including three rookies.

“Seeing all these cars come back is great,” Danzer stated. “It’s nice to see all the rookies coming in, its good for the division and exactly what the track needs to be successful. I just hope we can be right in the mix and on Classic Weekend, hopefully we are right where we want to be too. If we can contend for some wins and the championship this season I’d be very happy.”

Danzer Racing will open their 2018 season at Oswego Speedway’s Open Practice session set for Saturday, May 19 before shifting gears to come back for the 68th Season Opener and the first ever running of the Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50’s a week later on Saturday, May 26. To purchase 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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