Oswego Public Library Celebrates Classic

OSWEGO – In celebration of the upcoming Classic race at the Oswego Speedway, the Oswego Public Library will be displaying photos from past Classics.

The public will have the opportunity to see black and white photos of the 1957 classic winner Jack Murphy, the 1958 winner Billy Blum, winners  Nolan Swift, Lee Bliss, Art Bennett and the more recent winners Mike Ordway, Doug Didero, Bentley Warren and Otto Sitterly to name just a few.

Included in the display are father/son racers the Abold and Gioia families.

Classic is not just about the racers, it also includes the safety crews and fans.

The collection is made possible through the efforts of photographers Don Kranz, Joe Oleyourrk, Ray Grela, Chris Burgess and Carol Ferlito.

The display will remain up until the end of August.

Bentley Warren
Bentley Warren

This photo of Bentley Warren was taken by Library Director Carol Ferlito.

The biggest Supermodified race in the world, the International Classic 200, hits Oswego Speedway every Labor Day Weekend.

Bentley Warren won his first International Classic back in 1969 driving the famous Howard Purdy Deuce, but would ultimately leave Oswego Speedway for a number of years in pursuit of other racing interests including USAC and the Indianapolis 500.

However, Warren would return to Oswego in the early 1980s, winning a track championship in 1983 for Team Heveron before teaming up with Bowley in 1984.

The 1984 season proved to be a dominating one for Warren and the Bowley Flyin’ 5 team, as Warren went on to win eight regular season feature events on his way to his second consecutive Oswego track title.

With Warren now a 2-time track champion, the only thing remaining was a second International Classic crown.  Just as in the ’84 regular season, Warren would prove to be nearly as dominant in the ’84 International.  After qualifying 5th fastest behind Ed Bellinger Jr., Joe Gosek, Steve Gioia Jr. and Warren Coniam; Warren would eventually work his way to the point, fending off a hard charging Dave Shullick Sr. to collect his first Classic triumph in 15 years.

Shullick, Gioia, Jamie Moore, and Gosek would complete the Top 5 in 1984, but the stage was now set for what would turn out to be a fantastic stretch of years for Bowley and Warren.

History from Oswego Speedway’s website, www.oswegospeedway.com

The Oswego Public Library is located at 120 E. Second St. across from the County Courthouse.

The Art Gallery is on the lowest level of the library, L2 in the elevator.

The library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

Oswego International Classic Winners
1957 – Jack Murphy
1958 – Billy Blum
1959 – Lee Bliss
1960 – Nolan Swift
1961 – Art Bennett
1962 – Dave Paul
1963 – Nolan Swift
1964 – Nolan Johncock
1965 – Gordon Dukes
1966 – Johnny Benson Sr
1967 – Nolan Swift
1968 – Nolan Swift
1969 – Bentley Warren
1970 – Jim Shampine
1971 – Nolan Swift
1972 – Nolan Swift
1973 – Ken Andrews
1974 – Jim Shampine
1975 – Gary Allbritain
1976 – Steve Gioia Jr
1977 – Warren Coniam
1978 – Chuck Ciprich
1979 – Chuck Ciprich
1980 – Jim Shampine
1981 – Doug Heveron
1982 – Doug Heveron
1983 – Ed Bellinger Jr
1984 – Bentley Warren
1985 – Ed Bellinger Jr
1986 – Bentley Warren
1987 – Warren Coniam
1988 – Ed Bellinger Jr
1989 – Bentley Warren
1990 – Bentley Warren
1991 – Joe Gosek
1992 – Joe Gosek
1993 – Ed Bellinger Jr
1994 – Ed Bellinger Jr
1995 – Mike Muldoon
1996 – Doug Didero
1997 – Davey Hamilton
1998 – Bentley Warren
1999 – Greg Furlong
2000 – Greg Furlong
2001 – Tim Snyder
2002 – Joe Gosek
2003 – Mike Ordway
2004 – Greg Furlong
2005 – Greg Furlong
2006 – Greg Furlong
2007 – Greg Furlong
2008 – Doug Didero
2009 – Otto Sitterly
2010 – Bobby Bond
2011 – Otto Sitterly

1 Comment

  1. what a community minded exhibit! great idea! those who love auto racing (esp. at Oswego) will love this, and maybe new people will appreciate one of the staples of summer entertainment that we have right here in our own city!

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