OSWEGO, NY (August 20, 2014) – Oswego Speedway’s 58th annual Budweiser International Classic Weekend will kick-off on Friday, August 29 with Corr/Pak Merchandising ‘Fast Friday’ featuring ‘Fast 14’ pole day time trials for the Budweiser International Classic 200 at 6 p.m.
Unlike in previous seasons, Friday night’s ‘Fast 14’ Supermodified pole day time trials will take on a new sense of tension and importance, as only the ‘Fast 14’ times will be locked into the Budweiser International Classic 200 on Sunday, August 31. All racers timing in 15th on back on Friday night, must re-time in second round time trials on Sunday at Noon.
The last few seasons, drivers timing in 15th-20th on pole day could elect to stand on their times come Sunday. That rule is thrown out for 2014.
Adding even further intrigue is the possible return of Classic Sunday heat races, as the Budweiser International Classic 200 entry list continues to grow. Should the entry field hit 40 by second round time trials on Sunday, only 10 more cars will be taken from second round time trials for a total of 24 locking into the 200 on time. The remainder of the field will contend in one of two qualifying heat races, and potentially the Bud Light B-Main.
‘Fast 14’ pole day time trials will no doubt be exciting, with several fast racecars, and only 14 spots to fill. While starting position is not always the most important thing in the 200-lap Classic, knowing you are locked into the show come Sunday is always comforting, giving teams all of Sunday morning to work on race setups.
While he did not set on the pole for last year’s Classic, Bob Bond recently set the Speedway’s track record in May with a lap of 16.098 seconds in the Denise Merrill No. 47. Bond ran a lap of 16.0 in last year’s Classic testing, but fell short on pole day in 2013 only mustering a lap of 16.390 seconds for the fifth fastest time.
Despite not running the entire 2014 season, Bond will be a favorite for the pole position come pole day, looking for the first ever non-wing lap under 16-seconds.
Four other drivers have clocked laps under the 16.3-second range this season in time trials or heat racing.
Otto Sitterly, David Danzer, Joey Payne, and Ray Graham have all been sub 16.3-seconds this season, each clocking their laps at various points of the 2014 campaign.
Danzer and Payne have accomplished the feat most recently. Danzer driving one of the latest Hawk design Supermodifieds, with Payne in the latest Xtreme chassis.
Another pairing of Hawk and Xtreme chassis sees Michael Barnes and Kody Graham next in line, each having officially clocked laps in the 16.3-second bracket during the year.
Davey Hamilton and Dave Gruel have seen the 16.4-second range this season while Pat Lavery and Randy Ritskes have seen 16.5’s during the year.
While each of the 11 drivers mentioned above have clocked their laps at various times, during various conditions, it shows that right off the bat there are nearly a dozen drivers with the speed necessary to clock in the front four rows.
Last season the pole position was set by Lavery at 16.223-seconds, while it took a lap of 16.590-seconds to qualify in the top ten and a lap of 16.659-seconds setting the ‘Fast 14’ cut off.
Drivers qualifying in the ‘Fast 14’ last year, not already mentioned as fast timers this season include Shaun Gosselin, Ryan Litt, Joe Gosek, Dan Connors Jr., Dave Shullick Jr., and Keith Shampine.
The field is no doubt wide open for the pivotal front seven rows of this year’s International Classic, although the word in the pit area is that a lap in the 16.5-second bracket will likely need to be attained to sit in the front 14 come Sunday, depending on track conditions Friday night.
Drivers such as Brian Sweeney, Tim Snyder, and Michael Muldoon have all shown speed this year with additions of Mike Lichty, Tim Jedrzejek, and the open rides of the Graham Racing No. 11 and the Danzer No. 72 all capable of ‘Fast 14’ times, depending on driver.
Point being, a seat in the ‘Steel Palace’ on Friday, August 29 will be a necessity for the crucial first round of qualifying for the 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200.
Individual seating is available for all three days of Budweiser International Classic Weekend, with three day ticket packages also available.
Three day general admission seating is $105, with three day reserved seating set at $115, and three day pit passes for $125.
Kids 5 and under are free throughout all of Budweiser International Classic Weekend with three day child admission for kids 6-16 available for only $35.
Budweiser International Classic Weekend will kick-off on Friday, August 29 with Corr/Pak Merchandising ‘Fast Friday’ featuring Budweiser International Classic ‘Fast 14’ Novelis Supermodified time trials, Bud Light SBS Classic ‘Super 6’ Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super time trials, and the RoC Modified 100.
A full day of practice begins on Friday at 11:30 a.m. with Small Block Super ‘Super 6’ time trials hitting the Speedway at 6 p.m. followed immediately by Supermodified ‘Fast 14’ time trials at 6:30 p.m.
Classic Weekend’s Bud Light ‘Super Saturday’ will feature the final round of the ‘Steel Palace’ ISMA Super Series with the Bud Light ISMA Super Nationals, as well as the Bud Light SBS Classic 75, and the ATQMRA TQ Midget Classic.
Grandstands open at 3 p.m. on Saturday with qualifying getting underway at 5 p.m.
Budweiser International ‘Classic Sunday’ will see grandstand gates open at 9:30 a.m. and second round Supermodified time trials take to the Speedway at noon.
The 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200 is expected to take the green flag at 3 p.m.
To purchase tickets for Budweiser International Classic Weekend and the 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200, call the Speedway’s box office today at (315) 342-0646.
The Speedway’s box office will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each week day leading up to Classic Weekend for ticket sales.
For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway. Those interested in Speedway video programming online can subscribe to the Speedway’s YouTube Channel, ‘OswegoSpeedwayOnline’.
Top 10 Fastest Novelis Supermodified Drivers of 2014 (Time Trials, Heats)
1. Bob Bond: 16.098
2. Otto Sitterly: 16.242
3. David Danzer: 16.253
4. Joey Payne: 16.266
5. Ray Graham: 16.273
6. Michael Barnes: 16.304
7. Kody Graham: 16.340
8. Davey Hamilton: 16.436
9. Dave Gruel: 16.466
10. Randy Ritskes: 16.557
International Classic Pole Award Winners (1961 – 2012)
1961 – Gordon Johncock: 21.04
1962 – Dave Paul: 20.63
1963 – Ken Bartholomew: 20.72
1964 – Sam Sessions: 20.41
1965 – Nolan Swift: 20.44
1966 – Johnny Benson: 19.81
1967 – Bentley Warren: 19.96
1968 – Todd Gibson: 19.47
1969 – Bentley Warren: 19.29
1970 – Jim Shampine: 18.73
1971 – Ken Andrews: 18.79
1972 – Jim Shampine: 18.561
1973 – Jim Shampine: 18.592
1974 – Jim Winks: 18.575
1975 – Fred Graves: 18.247
1976 – Fred Graves: 18.228
1977 – Jim Shampine: 17.928
1978 – Chuck Ciprich: 17.919
1979 – Jim Shampine: 17.914
1980 – Ed Bellinger Jr.: 17.646
1981 – Doug Heveron: 17.687
1982 – Dave Shullick Sr.: 17.919
1983 – Warren Coniam: 17.648
1984 – Ed Bellinger Jr.: 17.607
1985 – Dave Shullick Sr.: 17.336
1986 – Bentley Warren: 17.454
1987 – Doug Heveron: 17.402
1988 – Bentley Warren: 17.391
1989 – Bentley Warren: 16.861
1990 – Bentley Warren: 17.050
1991 – Joe Gosek: 17.243
1992 – Gary Morton: 17.037
1993 – Dave Shullick Sr.: 17.002
1994 – Pat Abold: 16.931
1995 – Russ Wood: 16.775
1996 – Doug Didero: 16.681
1997 – Doug Didero: 17.061
1998 – Mike Ordway: 16.981
1999 – Pat Abold: 17.093
2000 – Greg Furlong: 16.650
2001 – Dave McKnight: 16.966
2002 – Russ Wood: 16.926
2003 – Mike Ordway: 16.673
2004 – Mike Ordway: 16.642
2005 – Greg Furlong: 16.601
2006 – Greg Furlong: 16.377
2007 – Doug Didero: 16.508
2008 – Joe Gosek: 16.865
2009 – Doug Didero: 16.212
2010 – Pat Lavery: 16.523
2011 – Randy Ritskes: 16.459
2012 – Pat Lavery: 16.242
2013 – Pat Lavery: 16.223
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.
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