Oswego Speedway Mourns the Loss of Former Supermodified Driver Shannon Groves
OSWEGO, NY (February 3, 2024) - Oswego Speedway is somber this weekend as the racing community mourns the passing of Canadian Supermodified competitor, Shannon Groves, who peacefully passed away at his home in Elma, Ontario, on Monday at the age of 50.
Shannon, originally from Russell, Ontario, will be best remembered by race fans for piloting his blue and yellow No. 07 Graves Chassis in the early 2000s.
Continuing the tradition set by celebrated Canadian competitors such as Warren Coniam, Kenny Andrews, and Doug Didero, Groves entered the Supermodified scene from north of the border in 1995. During his rookie year, he qualified for 11 out of 15 features with a best finish of 14th.
Undeterred, Shannon continued to carve his path, competing in nine of the 13 weekly features in the 1996 season with a best finish of 13th. He also earned a spot in the International Classic for the first time in his career, finishing in 20th place.
The 1997 season saw Groves run all but one feature, achieving three top-10 finishes. In 1998, despite a partial season, he managed to add three more top-10 finishes, starting off in the No. 46 car and concluding it in his familiar No. 07.
In 1999, Shannon did not set his sights on the Speedway until June but started off strong with a 7th place finish, marking a career-high. His breakthrough moment came three weeks later when he secured his first-ever podium finish behind Pat Abold and Jeff West in the July 31 50-lapper.
For the first time in his career, the 2000 season brought Groves’ participation in each and every points race, earning his first top-10 points effort with a ninth place, helped largely by a fifth-place performance in the season-opening Jim Shampine Memorial.
However, it was 2001 that was undoubtedly the pinnacle of Shannon’s Oswego career. A threat at the front almost every week, Groves tallied four top-five finishes, including two second-place runs first behind Howard Page in June and later Greg Furlong in August when he led 49 ¾ laps only to have Furlong steal the show on the last corner of the last lap.
Shannon stayed hot down the homestretch of the season with a third-place one week later as his No. 07 gave chase to Furlong and Tim Gareau. An impressive nine top-10 finishes in the 12 feature events secured Groves a solid fourth place in the Supermodified season championship, trailing only Furlong, Todd Stowell, and Dave Trytek.
Despite seemingly being at the height of his career, Groves decided to take the 2002 season off after finishing 13th in the 2001 Budweiser International Classic. He only returned briefly in 2003, making six starts before stepping away from the track.
Shannon's father, George Groves, occasionally competed in one of the family’s Supermodifieds as well. George, who passed in 2021, raced sporadically in 2003, 2004, and notably 2014 when he dusted off one of Shannon's older cars for one last race at the age of 71.
The staff and management of Oswego Speedway continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the Groves’ family and friends and we also express our gratitude for Shannon’s contributions to Supermodified racing.
Submitted By: CAMDEN PROUD