OSWEGO, NY – As C’s Beverage-Days Inn/Travelodge Night at Oswego Speedway prepares to take the green at 6:30 p.m. today, we continue to look ahead to the biggest Supermodified race in the world, the Budweiser International Classic 200.
Today’s journey back in time brings us to 1989, and Bentley Warren’s fourth International Classic 200 championship, and first for his car owner Mike Mazur.
Warren had an outstanding 1989 campaign in the Mazur owned No. 61. Six regular season feature wins would hand Warren his fifth Oswego Speedway track championship by nearly 100 points over runner-up Joe Gosek. Steve Gioia Jr., Jamie Moore, and Eddie Bellinger Jr. would complete the Top 5 in the championship in ’89, watching Warren walk away with another Oswego title. Mazur would become the third different car owner to win a championship with Bentley at the wheel joining Tom Heveron and Ed Bowley.
Time trials for the Classic were washed out on Friday, moving them to Sunday. The fans in the stands would not be disappointed on this day as 10 different drivers broke the existing track record with Warren clocking the first official time under 17 seconds, at 16.961 seconds in the Mazur No. 61. That lap would earn Warren the pole position over Mike Muldoon’s lap of 17.078 seconds.
With the track fast and aggressive, several drivers had issues making their way into the big show. Mike Ordway, Dave Shullick Sr., Gene Lee Gibson and AJ Michaels all had to qualify for the ’89 International through heat races. Two-time Classic champion Doug Heveron was worse yet, as he had to make his way into the 200 by winning the always exciting Bud Light B-Main.
A few different drivers would make their first starts in the 1989 International including local fireman Bobby Smith, young Scott Martel, and eventual rookie of the race Pat Abold.
When the green flag waved on the ’89 International Classic it would be Muldoon and Gosek blasting out front early, setting a torrid pace on their Goodyear Racing Tires. Warren, on the unproven Hoosier Racing Tire, began to set an early comfortable pace with intentions of setting himself up for a late race charge.
By lap 50 Muldoon had the lead ahead of Gosek, Gary Albritain, Randy Ritskes, Doug Didero, and Warren. Gosek however began to pressure Muldoon for the top spot at lap 75, and just as Gosek looked to have the lead, the motor let go on the No. 00 sending him pit side.
Ironically, Gosek had motor issues very early on Sunday morning with his trusty old No. 00 which had provided him with great success through the 1980s. The team decided early on to go with the brand new No. 00 for the 1989 Classic, and the car looked great from the start, until losing the motor on lap 79. Gosek would go on to have tremendous success with the new No. 00 in the early 1990s.
By halfway Muldoon continued to lead in the Magari No. 10 ahead of Didero, Ritskes, Warren, Bellinger, Gioia, Doug Saunier, Dave McKnight, and rookie Abold.
After leading the entire distance Muldoon would head pit side with the No. 10 at lap 105 handing the lead over to Didero in the Don Rammage No. 73. Didero would hold court for several laps over Ritskes, Warren, Gioia, and Albritain.
A caution at lap 130 for a spinning Timmy Nelson bunched the field up one more time and gave Warren the look he needed at the lead. By lap 150 Warren began to position himself for a run at the point and on lap 151 he made his move past Ritskes for second. Just four laps later he chased down Didero, making an outside move to impressively grab the top spot in the No. 61.
From that point on it was all Bentley Warren on his way to International Classic win number four.
Didero, Albritain, Ritskes, and Saunier would come across the line as the Top 5 finishers in 1989. The top three cars at the finish were all driving Hoosier Racing Tires, ending the belief that the Hoosier rubber would not last 200 laps.
(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.