Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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OSWEGO, NY (February 21, 2019) - Doug Syer, a Canadian racing veteran and former Oswego Supermodified feature winner passed away yesterday at the age of 88 following a lengthy illness.

 

Driver of the red and gold No. 72 from Burlington, Ontario, Syer appeared frequently at the speedway in the early 1970's. He competed on a semi-regular basis during the '71, '72, '73 and '74 seasons. 

 

After qualifying for the 1970 International Classic in his very first Oswego start, Syer came back for more in 1971 and later managed his first career top five finish behind Nolan Swift, Ken Andrews, Norm Mackereth and Warren Coniam in the regular season finale.

 

Two weeks later, Syer qualified for his second consecutive Classic and impressed with an 11th place run which turned out to be his career best finish in Supermodified racing's crown jewel. 

 

Syer returned for several starts throughout the 1972 season which began with another top five effort behind Jim Shampine, Norm Mackereth, Fred Graves and Ollie Silva on Opening Day. 

 

He posted an additional top five run in July of '72 before qualifying seventh fastest for the Classic behind fellow Canadians Kenny Andrews and Warren Coniam. Unfortunately, misfortune struck and Syer was only able to manage a disappointing 25th place finish. 

 

After bad luck in the Classic, things finally swayed Syer's way on September 9th of 1972. 20 laps into the main event, Syer closed in on early race leader Brian Herb and eventually wrestled the lead away.

 

Ron Wallace, who was piloting the Classic winning 10-Pins, and Jim Shampine in the 8-Ball, closed the gap in quick order, but following a late race caution flag, Syer managed to hold off two of Supermodified racing's all-time greats to pick up his first career checkered flag at Oswego Speedway. 

 

Syer did not appear quite as frequently in 1973, but was successful in his few visits to Oswego. After leading several laps, he finished second to Ken Andrews on August 25 of 1973, marking a memorable one-two finish for the 'Burlington Bandits,' both natives of the same city in Ontario. 

 

With a solid run under his belt, Syer approached Classic Weekend with confidence and qualified his No. 72 on the inside of row two behind front row starters Jim Shampine and Jim Winks. Syer's lap of 18.661 seconds earned him rights to 'Fastest Canadian Qualifier’ honors for the '73 Classic. 

 

Syer finished 14th in the 200. He drove to the final top five finish of his career in May of 1974 behind Jim Shampine, Nolan Swift, Bob Stelter and Jimmy Spencer before taking one last crack at the Classic in '74 and finishing 17th. 

 

The staff and management of the Oswego Speedway extends our deepest sympathies to Doug's family and friends.

 

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