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Oswego Speedway Commitment Program Soars in 2012
24 Novelis Supermodifieds Sign On for Coming Season
OSWEGO, NY (February 7) – With the 62nd consecutive season of racing at Oswego Speedway knocking on the door, 46 weekly competitors have signed on for the 2012 Speedway commitment program. The Novelis Supermodified division has already filled its 24 spots, while the Pathfinder Bank SBS Series is proving it is back on the rise with 22 teams signed on for the weekly commitment.
By signing on to the Oswego Speedway commitment program teams are agreeing to enter each and every week of the regular racing season at the Speedway. In doing so, the Speedway agrees to pay an increased and guaranteed purse to start the feature every Saturday night to those teams. However, if for any reason a team misses more than one night of racing the commitment goes away, and the team is no longer in the program. At that point teams also have to forfeit any commitment dollars gained on top of a normal Saturday night purse.
For 2012, the available 24 spots in the Novelis Supermodified program are already filled. In that field are last season’s top championship contenders Joe Gosek, Randy Ritskes, David Gruel, Ray Graham Jr. and Otto Sitterly. Returning to join the Top5 from last season is the strong contingent of weekly warriors from 2011 including feature winners Dave McKnight and Dave Danzer.
Also returning weekly this season are two drivers competing in new rides for 2012.
Kody Graham, who had a breakout season in 2011, returns to weekly competition in 2012 but will do so from a different seat. Although Graham will still be driving No. 21 it will instead be behind the wheel of the Graham Racing Xtreme Chassis, which was run sparingly by his father Ray and Bentley Warren in 2011.
The Hawk style chassis that Kody competed with last season, which put him 4th on the starting grid for the Budweiser Classic 200, has moved to a new shop. Supermodified sophomore Brian Sobus and team now have possession of the former No. 21 and will re-number it to No. 60 for the coming year. A former Pathfinder Bank SBS Series standout, Sobus had his fair share of struggles in the regular season but once again managed a Top10 finish in the Budweiser Classic 200 in 2011 behind the wheel of the Graham Racing C&C Chassis No. 79.
Another driver in a new seat will be New Jersey’s Joey Payne. Payne will join Muldoon Racing for the coming year, which has two cars listed on the commitment list. Currently Payne has put together a limited schedule for the No. 20 machine, while Michael Muldoon is penciled in full-time behind the wheel of No. 05 for his sophomore season.
New to the commitment program for 2012, but not at all new to the division, are three central New York competitors.
Mexico’s Michael Barnes is back in 2012, this time as the lead driver for the No. 99 Strong Racing machine. A former championship runner-up in 2007 and a 3-time Novelis Supermodified feature winner driving the No. 22 Double Deuce Racing mount, Barnes recently spent time in the Osetek-Buske No. 66 before landing with Strong Racing as a teammate to Joey Payne in 2011. With Payne on his way to the Muldoon Racing stable in 2012, Barnes will take the lead seat with the Strong Racing team.
Pennellville’s Jeff Abold has placed his name on the commitment program list this season behind the wheel of the No. 05, which was of course made famous by his father Pat, the 1992 Oswego Speedway Novelis Supermodified track champion. Jeff has never competed weekly at Oswego in a Novelis Supermodified, but has had a number of good runs in the Budweiser International Classic 200, including a 3rd place finish in the 2007 edition of the race.
Mexico’s Andy Noto is also back on the commitment roster for the coming season. After fielding his own car for several years, Noto had a quick stint in the Darratt Farms Racing No. 48 last season, but now finds himself in the seat of the Coon/France Motorsports No. 03. Noto plans to run the full Speedway slate in the new Coon/France machine, a Steve Gioia built racecar that has never seen the Speedway’s racing lane.
The Pathfinder Bank SBS Series currently has 22 teams committed for 2012. Among the 22 are last year’s championship players Mike Bond, Jack Patrick, Mike Bruce and Kreig Heroth.
Heroth, formerly the driver of the Crow Motorsports No. 44, has formed a new team for 2012. Heroth and Won 4 Racing will field a Hedger Chassis No. 04 machine for the coming season in conjunction with owner Doug Soucy.
Missing from the commitment list is last season’s runner-up finisher in the Pathfinder Bank SBS Series championship and the other driver for Crow Motorsports, Andrew Schartner. Schartner won the prestigious 20th running of the Bud Light SBS Classic in 2011 in the No. 18, but since then Schartner has graduated from college in Charlotte, NC and recently took a job in the Charlotte area. Despite Schartner’s new career path he still plans to run a partial schedule in the Crow Motorsports No. 18.
Back on the list for 2012 also include feature winners from a year ago Rob Pullen, Barry Kingsley, Cameron Rowe, and David LaTulip.
LaTulip, who won the 2011 Rookie of the Year award in the Teddneck Racing No. 27, will join forces with a new team for 2012. In the off-season Tracy Solazzo formed TNT Motorsports and hired LaTulip to drive the No. 17 FFB Chassis. The car is the former No. 25 machine out of the TMS Motorsports garage and ran as a teammate to Mike Bond with previous drivers Pullen and Jason Simmons.
As in the Novelis Supermodified ranks, there are a few new faces on the 2012 commitment list for the Pathfinder Bank SBS Series, and again each has previous experience in the division.
Young Dalton Doyle has made the move from the Oswego Kartway to a full-time driver in the Pathfinder Bank SBS Series this season driving the No. 01. Doyle got his feet wet in the series in 2011 and even earned Rookie of the Race honors in the Bud Light SBS Classic with an 11th place finish.
After a year’s absence, Dennis Richmond looks to make a return to SBS racing in 2012. Richmond will climb behind the wheel of the former Mark Castiglia No. 90, now re-numbered No. 7. Castiglia will stay in the division for 2012 and will do so in a big way. The Castiglia team has been hard at work this off-season building a brand new FFB Chassis for the coming year, and looks to re-number the ride to No. 69.
With David LaTulip on his way to the TNT Motorsports No. 17 this season, the Teddneck Racing No. 27 remains on the commitment list but with a new driver. Nate Sitterly, son of 2011 Budweiser International Classic 200 champ Otto, will slide into the seat of the No. 27 when the season starts in May. Sitterly spent some time in the seat of the Heagerty No. 79 SBS mount in the early part of last season and had some success, before vacating the ride for series veteran Tim Barbeau.
JJ Andrews is back full-time in 2012 as a member of Team Tapout along with teammate and car owner Jason Simmons. Simmons took ownership of the Andrews No. 93 in the off-season, which was driven part-time by JJ in recent years, and he will field the car weekly for Andrews this season.
The last of the newer faces on the commitment list this year for the SBS division is actually a pair of brothers. Bryan and Brad Haynes are both signed up to compete in 2012 with Bryan being the latest driver in the Teddneck Racing stable. After finishing in the Top10 in the 2011 Bud Light SBS Classic with Teddneck, Bryan will make the move full-time in 2012 driving No. 87. Brother Brad will field the Haynes Motorsports No. 88.
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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In order of 2011 Owner standings (24):
00 – Joe Gosek
88 – Randy Ritskes
50 – David Gruel
90 – Ray Graham Jr.
7 – Otto Sitterly
99 – Pat Strong (Michael Barnes)
0 – Tim Snyder
08 – Dave McKnight Jr.
22 – Pat Lavery
52 – Dave Danzer
21 – Kody Graham
24 – Jerry Curran
9 – Stephen Gioia III
20 – Mike Muldoon (Joey Payne)
60 – Brian Sobus
44 – Bobby Haynes Jr.
87 – Keith Gilliam
01 – Dan Connors Jr.
26 – Shaun Gosselin
1 – Shawn Muldoon
35 – Jeff Holbrook
03 – Andy Noto
05 – Jeff Abold
05 – Michael Muldoon
PATHFINDER BANK SBS SERIES
In order of 2011 Owner standings (22):
26 – Mike Bond
9 – Jack Patrick
22 – Mike Bruce
2 – Rob Pullen
79 – Tim Barbeau
69 – Mark Castiglia
24 – AJ Bernys
17 – David LaTulip
98 – Jason Simmons
77 – Cameron Rowe
99 – Dennis Rupert
43 – William Hadcock
87 – Bryan Haynes
88 – Brad Haynes
01 – Dalton Doyle
93 – Jason Simmons (JJ Andrews)
37 – Chris Tedd
7 – Dennis Richmond
04 – Kreig Heroth
27 – Teddneck Racing (Nate Sitterly)
23 – Barry Kingsley
00 – Brian Osetek
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.