OSWEGO, NY – After another exciting campaign at Oswego Speedway in 2012, the coming year appears just as bright with a total of 48 racing teams being granted admission into the Speedway’s 2013 commitment program.
The full slate of 24 Novelis Supermodified spots have once again been filled, while for the first time in history the Pathfinder Bank SBS division has also reached its commitment maximum of 24 teams.
By signing on to the Oswego Speedway commitment program teams are agreeing to enter each and every week of the regular racing season at the Speedway. In doing so, the Speedway agrees to pay an increased and guaranteed purse to start the feature every Saturday night to those teams. However, if for any reason a team misses more than one night of racing the commitment goes away, and the team is no longer in the program. At that point teams also have to forfeit any commitment dollars gained on top of a normal Saturday night purse.
On the Novelis Supermodified side of the roster, 22 of the top 24 teams in points from last season once again signed into the program for the coming year. Included among those teams are last year’s championship contenders Otto Sitterly, Pat Lavery, and Joe Gosek.
Joey Payne, who finished third in the driver’s standings one year ago, is not listed on the commitment roster. Muldoon Racing has entered only the No. 51 machine of Michael Muldoon for the full slate of races but has registered the No. 20 for part-time contention and both Payne and Bob Bond have been mentioned as possible drivers of that machine.
Daratt Farms Racing, which finished 4th in last year’s Novelis Supermodified standings with the No. 88, has also re-joined the commitment program for 2013 but as of press time did not have a driver listed for the car. Randy Ritskes has been the pilot of the No. 88 the last two seasons at the Speedway.
Other top contenders and feature winners that have re-joined the program for 2013 include Michael Barnes in the Strong Racing No. 99, Dave Danzer in the family owned No. 52, as well as both Kody and Ray Graham in the No. 21 and No. 90.
Others in the 24 car program include Dan Connors Jr., Brandon Bellinger, Jeff Abold, Dave Cliff Jr., Tim Devendorf, Stephen Gioia, Jerry Curran, Shaun Gosselin, Bobby Haynes, Dave Gruel, and Hal LaTulip.
Tim Snyder looks to make a full-time racing return to the Speedway behind the wheel of the No. 0 in 2013. After missing the majority of 2012 with a medical issue, Snyder returned for the International Classic and came home with a tremendous fourth place finish.
Also returning to the program this season will be the Mike Murphy Racing No. 60 Supermodified which finished seventh in the overall owner’s points in 2012. While the No. 60 is registered for the commitment program, as of this week a driver has not been announced. Brian Sobus drove the Murphy machine in 2012, finishing eighth in the driver standings.
There are two new competitors joining the program this season making the full field of 24 in the Supermodified ranks.
Looking to come in all the way from Raymond, NH this season is the driver of No. 37, Jeff Locke. Locke has made quite the name for himself as a winged ISMA Supermodified standout and he appears as though he is up for the Oswego challenge after competing in his non-wing Supermodified twice at the Speedway in 2012.
The beautiful red No. 37 machine, a former Nicotra Racing mount, first appeared at the Speedway for last year’s International Classic and Locke promptly timed the car into the show 20th fastest of the 37 car field. In the 200, his first race behind the wheel of a non-wing racecar, Locke ran strong and found himself as high as seventh in the running order until fueling issues relegated him to an 18th place finish.
Just two weeks later Locke returned for Fall Championship Weekend at the Speedway and looked even better. This time the New Hampshire shoe clocked fourth fastest on the time trial charts with a lap of 16.612 seconds, and then ran as high as third for a good portion of the main event until a flat tire ruined his night.
Joining Locke as a first timer on the commitment list will be Clayton Brewer III, as he will jump behind the wheel of the Jake’s Automotive No. 23 Supermodified formerly driven by Jason Spaulding. Brewer, who competed in the No. 23 Supermodified once last season, has ample experience dirt racing and is looking to make the successful transition to pavement racing at the Steel Palace.
Locke and Brewer will join Tony Steiner and Lowell Zehr as current potential candidates for the 2013 Novelis Supermodified Rookie of the Year title.
Steiner, formerly a dirt modified driver who competed in the dirt Sportsman Classic during last year’s International Classic Weekend, was another commitment candidate for 2013 in the Supermodified division. With No. 07 on the side of the machine, Steiner will be in a Muldoon chassis for the coming year.
Another commitment candidate for 2013 was Brian Sweeney, who looks to return to the Speedway this year behind the wheel of a brand new Hawk chassis sporting his former No. 3. Sweeney formerly competed in the Novelis Supermodified division at Oswego from 2000-2004 with a top finish of seventh in points in 2003.
Should any of the 24 teams currently in the program fail to materialize in the early season, Sweeney and then Steiner would be eligible to move into the program.
For the first time there is now a 24 car commitment field for the Pathfinder Bank SBS division. While the division continues to build on the recent momentum of the Speedway, a veteran fan of SBS racing may have a hard time keeping up with some of the driver/owner changes this year as ‘silly season’ has taken full effect.
In all, 15 of the top 24 teams in points from a year ago registered by the December 28 deadline to commit for 2013. Among those 15 are defending Speedway champion Kreig Heroth in the Won 4 Racing No. 04, Jason Simmons in the Team Tapout No. 98, and Rob Pullen in the No. 2.
Jack Patrick, JJ Andrews, AJ Bernys, Dalton Doyle, Josh Kerr, and Dennis Rupert join the previous three as drivers making a return behind the wheel of the same team as they did in 2012.
From here on out is where someone may need a pencil, with an eraser.
The TNT Motorsports No. 26, which carried Mike Bond to several victories over the years and a second place finish in the 2012 standings, is registered as a commitment team for 2013 but not with Mike Bond as the driver. Currently, there is no driver registered for the No. 26 amidst swirling rumors about who may be the potential suitor.
The Heagerty Racing team, which fielded the No. 79 for Tim Barbeau last season, has brought young Anthony Losurdo in under their wing. Losurdo will drive a brand new No. 1 FFB chassis this season and will garner the Heagerty’s points from last year to earn a commitment position for 2013. The No. 79 meanwhile is registered and will likely be at the race track although a firm driver has not yet been announced by the team.
Chris Tedd, the owner of Teddneck Racing, has once again expressed interest in returning behind the wheel and will use one of his three commitments from last season to field the No. 37 in 2013.
Other top 24 teams signing on include the TNT Motorsports No. 14 crew, which will field Rookie of the Year candidate Jeremy Pitcher in 2013. Pitcher will move into the program based off of David LaTulip’s 14th place finish in the standings from a year ago when the team ran as No. 17.
LaTulip however will not be left out even though he has moved on from TNT Motorsports. The young driver will now find himself behind the wheel of the No. 27 Saltalamachia Bros./Team Growl Motorsports machine, formerly driven as the No. 11 by John Ketcham which ended the year 17th in the standings.
The final team making the commitment program based on 2012 points will be another of the Teddneck Racing machines this year driven by Mike Bruce with his familiar No. 22.
The remaining nine teams to make the program earned positions by being first in line after the December 28 deadline.
After running a limited schedule in 2012 with a good bit of success, Chris Proud and the No. 3 team is ready for 2013. Proud, who has a total of eight SBS wins to his credit, won a qualifying heat during Classic Weekend last year but was involved in the turn three pile-up early on in the SBS Classic.
Justin Connell made his debut in the Pathfinder Bank SBS series in 2012 driving the No. 44 and will come back for more at Oswego in 2013.
A rookie to the division in 2013, Scott Black has entered this year driving No. 32.
Another rookie to the division this year but not at all a rookie to the Speedway is Jason Spaulding. A former Super Stock and Supermodified pilot at Oswego, Spaulding is scheduled to drive the No. 34 machine for Jake’s Automotive in 2013 and will battle for Rookie of the Year honors. Spaulding’s ride is the former Losurdo No. 1 before that driven as No. 58 by Tim Barbeau.
The final five positions on the commitment roster in the SBS division are held by Four Sevens Motorsports. The new team, which tabbed Cameron Rowe as the driver of the No. 74 in last year’s SBS Classic, will bring five racecars to the Speedway this season.
Rowe, the 2012 Classic champion, will once again drive for FSM in the same car that he won the Classic, only this year it will be No. 77.
It was mentioned earlier that Mike Bond will no longer be in the No. 26 and that is because he has made the move to drive for Four Sevens in the No. 74 in 2013. The machine will be a brand new FFB creation.
Driving another new FFB racecar for FSM in 2013 will be two time feature winner last season, Mark Castiglia. Castiglia will once again run another number this season, this time sporting No. 67.
Castiglia’s former car, a 2012 FFB chassis, will this season be in the hands of Butler Disposal Rookie of the Year Jon Tesoriero as No. 47. Tesoriero got his first crack at the ride during Fall Championship Weekend and ran quite well timing sixth fastest with a seventh place finish in the main event.
The final of the Four Sevens Motorsports rides in ’13 will be driven by rookie Dan Abt. Abt will drive the former Teddneck Racing No. 77 which set quick time during SBS Classic time trials with Dave Cliff Jr. at the controls. Abt will pilot the ride as No. 57.
The 2013 racing season at Oswego Speedway begins May 4.
Events run May through September on most Saturday nights.
The annual Speedway open practice is scheduled for April 27.
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NOVELIS SUPERMODIFIEDS (24)
00 – Joe Gosek
01 – Dan Connors Jr.
02 – Brandon Bellinger
05 – Jeff Abold
06 – Dave Cliff Jr.
0 – Tim Snyder
5 – Tim Devendorf
7 – Otto Sitterly
9 – Stephen Gioia III
21 – Kody Graham
22 – Pat Lavery
23 – Clayton Brewer III
24 – Jerry Curran
26 – Shaun Gosselin
37 – Jeff Locke
44 – Bobby Haynes Jr.
50 – Dave Gruel
51 – Michael Muldoon
52 – Dave Danzer
56 – Hal LaTulip
60 – Murphy Racing
88 – Daratt Farms Inc.
90 – Ray Graham
99 – Michael Barnes
PATHFINDER BANK SBS SERIES (24)
01 – Dalton Doyle
04 – Kreig Heroth
1 – Anthony Losurdo
2 – Rob Pullen
3 – Chris Proud
8 – Josh Kerr
9 – Jack Patrick
14 – Jeremy Pitcher
22 – Mike Bruce
24 – AJ Bernys
26 – TNT Motorsports
27 – David LaTulip
32 – Scott Black
34 – Jason Spaulding
37 – Chris Tedd
44 – Justin Connell
47 – Jon Tesoriero
57 – Dan Abt
67 – Mark Castiglia
74 – Mike Bond
77 – Cameron Rowe
93 – JJ Andrews
98 – Jason Simmons
99 – Dennis Rupert