OSWEGO, NY – As the anticipation begins to build for the 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200 for Novelis Supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway, it was announced this week that heat races will once again be an option during the Sunday qualifying format for the richest and most prestigious Supermodified race in the world.
Should the Novelis Supermodified entry field for the International Classic reach the 40 mark by second round time trials on Sunday, August 31, two heat races will be contended before the always exciting Bud Light B-Main.
In recent years, with the Classic entry field below the 40 mark, Sunday’s second round time trials would fill positions 21-28, leaving the remainder of the non-qualified field to vie for final spots in only the Bud Light B-Main.
In 2014, the overall format will change slightly, with the anticipation of 40 Supermodifieds by Sunday.
Friday’s first round time trials will once again lock in the ‘Fast 14’ qualifiers to the first seven rows of the Classic field. In the past, positions 15-20 in first round qualifying had the option of sitting on their time come Sunday electing not to take laps in second round time trials.
That process will change this year, with only the ‘Fast 14’ locking in and all qualifiers from 15th on back automatically moving to second round time trials on Sunday at noon.
If there are 39 total Supermodifieds in the pit area, or less, come Sunday’s second round time trials, positions 15-28 will be locked in after qualifying with the rest of the field coming from the Bud Light B-Main.
However, if there are 40 or more Supermodifieds by second round time trials on Sunday, positions 15-24 will be locked in with the remainder being split into two qualifying heat races, and of course the Bud Light B-Main.
The numbers of cars qualifying from each heat race and the Bud Light B-Main will be determined by race officials on August 31.
The Budweiser International Classic 200 field will not start more than 34 Novelis Supermodifieds.
Budweiser International Classic 200 heat races were last contended in 2005 with Gary Morton and Doug Heveron collecting victories over fellow qualifiers Craig Rayvals, Michael Barnes, Jon Henes, Kelly Miller, Keith Shampine and Dan Kapuscinski.
Johnny Payne would go on to win the Bud Light B-Main that season to become the final starter for the 2005 Budweiser International Classic.
Heat races were again on the weekend schedule for the 50th annual Budweiser International Classic in 2006, but terrible weather all weekend forced the remainder of qualifying and the 200 to Monday, with only a Bud Light B-Main being contended.
The format has remained the same for the past seven years.
This year’s 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200 entry blanks will be available at this weekend’s ISMA Supermodified Sandusky Speedway Hy-Miler Nationals, as well as on Oswego Speedway’s website. Entry blanks returned to the Speedway by August 9 will receive a discounted entry to the event.
The announcement of possible heat racing on Sunday of Classic Weekend comes behind two other changes to the 58th annual running of the event including the return to guaranteed driver status, as well as an increased starting purse for the Bud Light B-Main.
ISMA competitors Jon McKennedy and Rob Summers join MSA Supermodified runners Trent Stephens, Charlie Schultz, and Kyle Edwards as winged Supermodified guaranteed starters for the Classic.
Otto Sitterly, Dave Gruel and Small Block Super point leader Andrew Schartner join as the Oswego contingent locked into the event.
All guaranteed starters must time within .4 of a second of the final qualifier in second round time trials on Sunday.
Those who must contend in the Bud Light B-Main to fight for a final spot in the 200 are guaranteed a minimum of $500 should they start the B-Main, and not qualify.
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