OSWEGO, NY (December 4) – It is no secret that Jeremy Pitcher, a longtime DIRT racing standout, wanted to make his mark at Oswego Speedway and in 2012 he got his chance with the running of the Sportsman Classic on International Classic Weekend.
For the first time in history the 602 crate dirt Sportsman would take to the ‘Steel Palace’ with a $1,500 pay day on the line. Pitcher, along with several other weekly dirt warriors, would take the opportunity to put their name in the record book as a Classic Weekend champion.
Running in conjunction with ‘Fast 14’ time trials for the Budweiser International Classic 200 for Novelis Supermodifieds it would be Pitcher and Elbridge, NY pilot Rob Humphreys bringing the first time field to the green flag.
Pitcher, driving his Troyer Racecars No. 14, quickly jumped out to the top spot with Greg Kimball in the No. 59 besting Humphreys early on to move into the runner-up position.
It did not take long for Pitcher to build a half straight lead on Kimball, Humphreys, Dana Aikins, and Matt Parkhurst in front of the field.
By lap three the Humphreys No. 85 could see Pitcher driving away from the rest of the pack, forcing him to muscle his way back passed Kimball into second diving into the third turn. At that point it would become a two horse race at the head of the field between Pitcher and Humphreys.
Approaching the halfway mark Pitcher had built a commanding lead that either Humphreys or Parkhurst, who now sat third, was able to cut into. However, a caution at lap 14 for a spinning Earl Rudy would allow both Humphreys and Parkhurst to close back to the rear bumper of the No. 14.
On the restart Pitcher, Humphreys, and Parkhurst led Geoff Carner, Kimball, Aikins, Dave Marcuccilli, Sean McCarthy, Jim Introne, and Kyle DeMetro.
As the field came back to green the front four machines clearly proved to be the class of the field, with Pitcher the ring leader. Lap after lap Pitcher continued to pull further away, racing on to a convincing win worth $1,500 along with a preferred starting position in the Sportsman Championship at the New York State Fairgrounds as a part of Super DIRT Week.
Humphreys, Parkhurst, Carner, and Aikins would fill the top five positions in the 30-lap Classic main event.
“I love this place,” said Pitcher, standing in Chris Nelson Insurance Victory Lane. “I have been coming here since I was a kid and came here up until running dirt cars. It’s a great track, great fans, great drivers; this place is just really special.”
Pitcher used his momentum and great showing to find a seat in the Jason Simmons owned No. 93 Pathfinder Bank SBS machine during Fall Championship Weekend at the Speedway on September 15 of 2012. To the surprise of some, Pitcher shined in his SBS debut, time trialing in the front five positions and backing it up with a stellar fifth place finish during the 35-lap night cap.
As a result Pitcher has been named as the full-time driver of the TNT Motorsports No. 17 SBS machine in 2013 at Oswego, driven last year by David LaTulip. Pitcher will now realize his dream of racing weekly at Oswego Speedway as he runs for the 2013 SBS Rookie of the Year title.
The participation of dirt cars on International Classic Weekend opened the eyes of other drivers to Oswego Speedway including those of Tony Steiner. Steiner, who has spent quite a few years on the dirt, will also make the move to Oswego Speedway in 2013 behind the wheel of a Novelis Supermodified.
The ‘Best of 2012’ will continue each week leading up to opening day at the Speedway on Saturday, May 4 with the first round of the ‘Steel Palace’ ISMA SuperSeries.
To purchase season tickets for the 2013 racing season call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.