OSWEGO, NY – Family ties run deep at Oswego Speedway and Oswego native Aric Iosue will mark the next chapter in that story when the Novelis Supermodifieds take the green flag at the Steel Palace on May 9 presented by Planet Fitness and Mitchell’s Speedway Press.
Iosue, the son of longtime Oswego Supermodified crewman Dave Iosue, the grandson of Supermodified driving veteran Donald Allbritain, and the nephew to 1975 Budweiser International Classic 200 champion Gary Allbritain, will make the jump from crewman himself to his first auto racing start of any kind on May 9 driving the Graham/Iosue Racing No. 11 Supermodified piloted last season by both Jessica Zemken and Bobby Santos.
A childhood fan of Oswego Speedway and Supermodified racing, Iosue got his start in the pit area in 2009 helping his brother-in-law Ray Graham.
“I grew up with racing and was always in the stands, but didn’t start working on a car until my dad started helping Ray, who at the time was dating my sister, Callie,” said Iosue. “It only took a couple races before I was completely hooked and was at the shop as much as possible. We helped Ray until 2011, and I learned a ton about setting the racecar up from my father during that time.”
Following a three year stint on the Graham crew, Iosue found himself teaming with an old friend in Bill Samuels, where he progressed to doing a great portion of the set-up work on the Pat Lavery Double Deuce machine under the advisement of Samuels.
From 2012-2014, the Double Deuce team with Lavery at the controls became a weekly threat for victory and a yearly championship hopeful.
With Iosue on the wrenches Lavery earned his first career Novelis Supermodified win in 2013, qualified on the pole position for the Budweiser International Classic two consecutive years, finished top five in the driver’s championship three consecutive years, and took runner-up honors in the 2014 International Classic.
Despite a great deal of success as a man behind the scene, driving was always a dream of Iosue’s and this season the opportunity came about to make it a reality.
“We came up with an arrangement where Ray (Graham) is letting us use the No. 11 car and we will be known as Graham/Iosue Racing with the car being kept at my father’s shop where we will be doing all the wrenching on it ourselves,” said Iosue. “It is the same car that we worked on for years with Ray, it’s my favorite car so it really adds to my own anticipation and excitement.”
The car that Iosue refers to was driven to a top five finish and a heat race victory by Zemken just last year with Santos driving the racer to a fourth place finish in the International Classic after qualifying eighth overall at 16.169 seconds.
A 2009 graduate of Rutgers University with a doctorate in pharmacy now working for Kinney Drugs in Oswego, Iosue will have the good fortune of a great racecar and experienced crew at his side but realizes that as a freshman driver, gaining experience will be the main key in 2015.
“The ultimate goal is to win. It’s really the only thing that brings me to the track every week. That’s obviously unrealistic,” said Iosue. “My goal is to get as much seat time as possible, and learn to race the right way. The last thing I want is to be a guy that nobody wants to race against because I am unsafe. Realistically, I’m looking to be competitive late in the season and if we can get some top ten finishes that would be great in my mind.”
Iosue will join second generation driver Logan Rayvals in the race for Novelis Supermodified Rookie of the Year in 2015.
“I expect to have some growing pains, but I would love to win Rookie of the Year. Without any experience at all though, it may be a longshot,” said Iosue, referring to Rayvals’ years of NEMA Lite and kart racing experience.
While Iosue may not have any racing experience, he does believe that his knowledge of setting up a racecar may set him apart from his competition down the road.
“The most interesting part for me is going to be how the chassis changes translate onto the track. I know what all the changes are supposed to do, but now I will be able to feel them on the track,” said Iosue. “It’s one thing that I hope can cut down the learning curve, and eventually gives me an advantage over some of my competitors.”
At the end of the day the story of Aric Iosue is that of a families overall desire to compete at Oswego Speedway, as they have done for so many years.
“This is going to be a family affair,” said Iosue. “Without the love and support, both financially and mentally, of my parents and without my sister and Ray allowing me to use the car, none of this would be possible. It really is a dream come true and an enormous opportunity that I’m certainly not taking for granted.”
Oswego Speedway’s 2015 racing season will kick off on May 9 with the 65th annual opening night celebration featuring the lid lifters for the Novelis Supermodifieds and Pathfinder Bank SBS, as well as the 75-lap Richie Evans Memorial for the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series presented by Planet Fitness and Mitchell’s Speedway Press.
For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com or call (315) 342-0646.
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