OSWEGO, NY – The highlight of Oswego Speedway’s Memorial Day Weekend Triple Header on May 24 will be the 23rd running of the prestigious Novelis Supermodified Jim Shampine Memorial.
Regarded by many as the greatest innovator and driver in Oswego Speedway’s Supermodified history, Jim Shampine set the standard of excellence in Supermodified design and driving at the ‘Steel Palace.’
After Shampine’s untimely passing at the Speedway in 1982, the Speedway dedicated its Memorial Day Weekend Supermodified main event in his honor beginning in 1991.
Paired with the Richie Evans Memorial and the Tony White Memorial each Memorial Day Weekend, the 75-lap Jim Shampine Memorial no doubt provides a ‘spring’ Classic feeling surrounding the steel gates and walls of the Speedway.
A total of eleven different drivers have visited victory lane in the Shampine Memorial with the event covering several different lap distances, before settling on 75 circuits in 2010.
Bentley Warren drove to the first Shampine Memorial victory in 1991, driving the Dunigan Racing No. 29, in a 125-lap event over Ken Williamson, Ed Bellinger Jr, Mike Ordway, and Kenny Bell.
The next season Doug Didero would climb behind the wheel of the Don Rammage owned No. 73 out lasting Pat Abold, Ordway, Dave McKnight, and Warren on the road to victory in the now 100-lap main event.
Didero would return to victory on two more occasions driving for Skip and Lois Matczak in 1996 and 1997.
Abold and Cliff Graves would drive to victory in 1993 and 1994 with Bellinger picking up his first of two wins in the Memorial in 1995. Bellinger would return to victory lane again in 1998, his final victory at Oswego Speedway.
Bob Goutermout grabbed his lone Shampine Memorial title in 1999 with Greg Furlong taking the honor in 2000. Furlong would grab two more victories in 2005 and 2008, at the time joining Didero as the only three-time winners of the event.
After finishing in the top five of the first two Shampine Memorials, Ordway would finally grace victory lane in the crown jewel event in 2001 and 2002, during his dominant years behind the wheel of the Clyde Booth No. 61.
A full weekend of rain in 2003 would see the 13th running of the event totally washed out, but in 2004 Craig Rayvals joined Didero and Randy Ritskes as Canadian champions of the Memorial.
Leading up to 2006, no drivers had won the Shampine Memorial more than Didero and Furlong, but in ’06 Otto Sitterly began an unprecedented run in the Memorial main.
Sitterly dominated the ’06 event in his own No. 79 machine before teaming with John Nicotra to collect four more victories in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. The Sitterly victory in 2009 was run on 4th of July Weekend, a 58-lap special, marking the only time the event has not been run on Memorial Day Weekend.
In between Sitterly’s victories, Canadian Ritskes laid his claim as a multiple champion of the Shampine Memorial.
In 2007 Ritskes drove to victory driving for fellow Canadian Rayvals, before returning in 2011 behind the wheel of the Darratt Farms No. 88 to earn another victory making himself, Ordway, Bellinger, Furlong, Didero, and Sitterly the only multiple champions of the ‘spring’ Classic.
The 23rd running of the Shampine Memorial this coming Saturday is sure to be another exciting event with an amazing field of competitors expected.
Five-time Shampine champion Sitterly, Supermodified Kickoff winner David Danzer, defending Budweiser International Classic champion Bob Bond, and two-time Shampine champion Ritskes are just a few of the many looking to lead the charge.
They will be joined by fellow regulars Joe Gosek, Jessica Zemken, Pat Lavery, Ray Graham, Joey Payne, Brian Sweeney, Jeff Abold, Michael Muldoon, Dave Gruel, Brandon Bellinger and more.
Joining the list of top flight competitors, with a special guest appearance this weekend will be midwest Supermodified pilot Dave Shullick Jr. in the Nicotra Racing No. 6.
On top of that, four new competitors are also expected to be on hand that were not in action on May 10.
Michael Barnes, Tim Snyder, Dan Connors Jr., and Keith Shampine are also planning on being back in action on Saturday night making one of the most competitive and desirable fields in all of open-wheel pavement short track racing.
Saturday’s Jim Shampine Memorial will see grandstand gates open at 2 p.m. with the beginning of hot laps. Heat racing will take the green flag at 5 p.m. beginning with Small Block Super heats followed by RoC Modified heats and Novelis Supermodified heats in that order.
Grandstand general admission is $25 with padded reserved seating available for $30. Pit admission is $35.
As always during the regular season at Oswego Speedway, kids 16 and under will be admitted free with a paid adult and active military are also free with proper identification.
For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com, follow on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway, or like on Facebook at facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.
Novelis Supermodified ‘Jim Shampine Memorial’ Champions:
1991 – Bentley Warren
1992 – Doug Didero
1993 – Pat Abold
1994 – Cliff Graves
1995 – Ed Bellinger Jr.
1996 – Doug Didero
1997 – Doug Didero
1998 – Ed Bellinger Jr.
1999 – Bob Goutermout
2000 – Greg Furlong
2001 – Mike Ordway
2002 – Mike Ordway
2003 – RAIN
2004 – Craig Rayvals
2005 – Greg Furlong
2006 – Otto Sitterly
2007 – Randy Ritskes
2008 – Greg Furlong
2009 – Otto Sitterly
2010 – Otto Sitterly
2011 – Randy Ritskes
2012 – Otto Sitterly
2013 – Otto Sitterly