Countdown to Classic: 17… Muldoon Makes His Mark, Claims ’95 International Classic 200

OSWEGO, NY – With the battle for another Oswego Speedway track championship set to be settled tomorrow night as a part of Bosco & Geers/Oswego County FCU Track Championship Night, we move back 17 years to 1995 and a day the Muldoon family will never soon forget.

The 1995 Oswego Speedway regular season was absolutely dominated by Doug Didero, in the Matczak No. 3, and Mike Muldoon, in his own No. 50.

The Didero/Muldoon tandem went on to win 11 of the 16 main events during the ’95 campaign with Muldoon earning four of those in consecutive weeks from June 10 to June 24.  Muldoon would come up just 41 points shy of his first Speedway championship, as Didero’s seven main event triumphs were simply too much to overcome in the battle for the title.

Come Classic time, despite never really being a threat in the 200 in previous years, Muldoon was a heavy favorite for the 200 title.

Couple that with Bentley Warren coming on board to drive the Muldoon back-up No. 80, and Team Muldoon looked very formidable in 1995.

Time trials for the ’95 International would see another new track record.

Team Dunigan was back after a year’s absence due to a dispute over a rules infraction in 1994, with Russ Wood and Mike Ordway behind the controls of the 29 and 26 Supermodifieds. Wood would put the No. 29 on the pole position in ’95 with a brand new Speedway record of 16.755 seconds, shattering the previous record of 16.931.

Muldoon would time second fastest in the No. 50 to sit outside of the front row come race time with Wood’s teammate, Ordway, relegated to the third row.

International Classic rookies in ’95 included Limited Supermodified graduates Tim Gareau and Rookie of the Race winner Scott Landers.

As the green flag waved on the 1995 Budweiser International Classic it was Muldoon from the outside of row one moving out into the lead. Eventually Danny Soule in the No. 32 would come on to challenge Muldoon for the point with Ordway, Didero and Wood waiting in the wings.

Past the lap 50 mark it became apparent that several past Classic contenders would likely not figure into the running of the ’95 event.

Eddie Bellinger Jr. and Steve Gioia Jr. rode in the Top 10 positions, but were not challenging up front.

Warren and Joe Gosek each ran outside the Top 10, and did not look to be threats.  Even Pat Abold, who had been red hot in the previous five International’s, was battling handling issues with the No. 05.

Gosek would eventually tag the third turn foam in the No. 00 and during that caution Soule would head into the pit area with an overheating problem.

Abold and Gioia would soon meet their demise as well coming together on lap 73.

Muldoon would go on to lead past halfway with Didero, Ordway, and Wood immediately in tow.

At lap 135 however Muldoon began to falter as Ordway blasted passed and into the lead.  Muldoon would slip back to fourth place in a hurry and looked to be in trouble until another caution hit the Speedway on lap 139 for Davey Hamilton driving the Gioia back-up machine.

A lot happened under this caution period, including Wood calling it a day in the Dunigan No. 29 with overheating issues.  Wood’s issues would move Muldoon back to third under caution, and at the same time Warren would bring the Muldoon No. 80 to the pits for service.

Warren went in and out without losing a lap and several laps later, just before the field would come back to green, Muldoon too would pit the No. 50.  Under one caution period the Muldoon pit crew serviced two separate Supermodifieds with neither losing a lap in the process.

The race would turn green once again just prior to lap 150 with Ordway and Didero out front, as they had elected not to make stops.  Gary Albritain, driving the Shea Concrete No. 27, was up to third ahead of Jamie Moore and Dave McKnight in the Top 5.

Meanwhile, Muldoon was working his way steadily through the pack moving into the Top 5 just prior to lap 170.  Muldoon worked passed Albritain for third on lap 177 and then snuck under Didero for second at lap 186.

Now all that remained was Ordway out front in the No. 26.

A caution flag at lap 189 put Muldoon on the back bumper of Ordway, and he then began his charge at the point.  Finally, on lap 197 Muldoon slid underneath Ordway for the top spot, but the race was not finished there.

With two laps to go Gene Lee Gibson and Joe Hawksby came together on the front stretch, forcing the race to go passed the 200-lap mark.

The race restarted on lap 204, with both Ordway and Didero giving one last shot at Muldoon, to no avail.

Mike Muldoon would be the 1995 International Classic champion, realizing a dream 13 years in the making.

Ordway came home second ahead of Didero, Albritain, and Jamie Moore in the 1995 Top 5 order.

(Statistical references credited to 50 Years: Oswego Speedway International Classic; Caruso Jr. and Haynes)

Tickets are on sale now for Budweiser International Classic Weekend through the Oswego Speedway box office, located just outside of the main pit gate at the Speedway.

To order tickets over the phone be sure to call (315) 342-0646.  Box office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Three day adult general admission passes are $104, while reserved three day admissions are $115.  Three day kids’ admission, ages 6-16, is $35, while children ages 5 and under are FREE for the weekend.

Individual day general admission prices are as follows: Friday – $25, Saturday – $42, and Sunday – $52.

Oswego Speedway events run May through September on most Saturday nights, culminating with the Fall Championship 75 on September 15.

For more information on Oswego Speedway be sure to visit www.oswegospeedway.com.  You can also LIKE the (Official) Oswego Speedway page at facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway, or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway.  To purchase tickets or order merchandise please call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.