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Learning About The Oswego Speedway

todayMarch 30, 2021 149 3

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Welcome back to Wheel Hop Blog!

This week on the blog we are going to focus on our hometown track, the Oswego Speedway! I feel that many people do not realize just how much racing we have right here in our town! I will provide a summary of the Speedway and its Supermodified classes in this blog! Information contained in this blog, notably track history and lap records is courtesy of http://oswegospeedway.com

What is the Oswego Speedway?

The Oswego Speedway is located on the west side of Oswego, off of Albany Street.  Oswego Speedway was founded by the Caruso family in 1951, converting the former 3/8ths mile horse track into a dirt oval speedway. The track was paved in 1952, and in 1961 the 5/8ths mile layout that is ran today was created. The Torrese family now owns the speedway, and it is the home of supermodified racing and Super Dirt Week. Indianapolis 500 winners Mario Andretti and Gordon Johncock both raced at the speedway. In addition, many local stars have been able to compete in the 500. Some of the notable drivers are Joe Gosek, Bentley Warren, and Davey Hamilton.

What races at the Speedway?

The Oswego Speedway hosts 3 classes on a weekly basis, with a few special twists throughout the season. These classes are:

Supermodifieds

Supermodifieds are the main class at the Oswego Speedway. The class started due to the track’s open rulebook that fostered innovation. All kinds of technology have been tried and tested in the supermodified class throughout the years.. The current supermodified formula is based upon local legend Jim Shampine’s radical offset. This design puts the supermodified’s engine off of the left side of the car. This increases left side weight, which provides incredible grip in the corners. The supermodifieds are powered by methanol-fueled V8 engines, which provide more than enough power. The average supermodified lap time at Oswego is 16 seconds.

The track record was ran by Brandon Bellinger, who timed a lap at 15.769 in 2019. The marquee pavement race at the speedway is the traditional International Classic, a 200 lap main event for the supermodifieds usually held in the fall.

For some special events at Oswego, the supermodifieds run with large wings attached to the top of the car instead of the back. These cars run with the International Supermodified Association, or ISMA. The ISMA cars run about a second faster than the traditional supermodifieds due to the amount of grip the massive top wing provides. Mike Lichty holds that track record, with a 14.730 lap time around the speedway.

Small Block Supermodifieds

Designed to be a more affordable option for race teams, the Small Block Supermodifieds are the second of three classes that run weekly at the speedway. These cars are different than the supermodified in many ways. Firstly, they use a smaller “602” crate engine purchased from Chevrolet. This is different than the 800+ horsepower methanol V8’s seen in the supermodified class. Secondly, they do not run the radical offset design, instead centering the engine on the frame. These cars also run under other cost-saving rules, such as tire quotas. The class is home to many young drivers, many of which are using the class as their first true ‘big car’ experience. In addition, many competitors race this class to enjoy the thrill of racing on a more affordable and local level.

Russ Brown holds the Small Block Supermodified track record. He ran a 18.431 at the speedway in 2018.

350 Supermodifieds

The 350 Supermodified is a new class to the speedway. The class ran their first season in 2019.This class follows the same rules as the Star Speedway, a track located in New Hampshire. These cars share some things with both the Supermodified and Small Block Supermodified classes. Unlike the Small Block Super, these cars use the same chassis that the Supermodifieds race. However, the 350 Supermodifieds use a crate engine, a 604 crate engine from Chevrolet. This engine resembles the 602 engine the Small Block Supermodifieds use. This allows teams to race the same car at both tracks. In addition, unlike both classes, the 350 Supermodified runs a top wing. This wing creates a lot of grip in the turns. This means that the 350 Supermodified class provides a very fast car at a still affordable price.

The official 350 Supermodified track record was set by Jeffrey Battle in 2019. He ran a lap time of 16.956.

 

That’s a summary of what we have going on right here in our home town! The first race of the season takes place on May 8th! The track’s website is http://oswegospeedway.com.

Listen to Wheel Hop Radio on Mondays from 12-1 with Jarrad Wakefield and Jack Callahan, only on WNYO 88.9FM, the Laker Radio Network.

Listen to Wheel Hop Radio online on Mondays from 12-1 at WNYO Stream 1!

Written by: Jarrad Wakefield

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Welcome to the Wheel Hop Blog!

Hey everyone! My name is Jarrad Wakefield, and this an intro to the Wheel Hop Blog! This is based on the radio show I host with Jack Callahan on Mondays from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. I have also done live Oswego Buccaneers hockey, and plan to do more play by play and color commentating for the upcoming spring collegiate sports for our very own Lakers. What is Wheel Hop Blog? Wheel […]

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