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September 22, 2018

School’s Out for Summer: Universal Metal Works Night at the Races this Saturday at Oswego Speedway


OSWEGO, NY (June 12) – Four straight weeks of Speedway racing action will culminate this Saturday, June 16 with Universal Metal Works Night at the Races at Oswego Speedway.  The night’s festivities will include the rained out driver autograph session from last Saturday.

The autograph session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., in between practice and the night’s first heat race.  The evening’s first green flag is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. with grandstand gates opening at 4 p.m.

The annual driver autograph sessions serve as the perfect avenue to be up close and personal with the heroes of Oswego Speedway and their racing machines.  The Speedway novelty stand will have driver calendars available for sale, ideal for autographs and personal messages from drivers.  All proceeds from calendar sales will go back to the Speedway race team owners and drivers in 2012.

General admission prices for Saturday’s event are set at $15, with Price Chopper ‘Tickets to Go’ available at any Price Chopper location for just $14.

Kids 16 and under are admitted for free once again with a paid adult.  Active Military with ID are also free on Saturday night.

Oswego Speedway is proud to again announce their 2012 partnership with custom metal fabrication experts, Universal Metal Works.

Universal Metal Works, located at 159 Hubbard St. in Fulton, will be presenting the June 16 racing action at ‘The Steel Palace’ which will feature the mighty Novelis Supermodifieds and the Pathfinder Bank SBS Series.

With 300+ years of fabrication experience, Universal Metal Works offers expert services in design and engineering, complete assembly and pre-assembly, with knowledgeable and experienced certified AWS D1.1 welders.  Quality, strength, and reliability are the hallmarks of Universal Metal Works, and no job is too big or too small.

Contact Universal Metal Works today regarding your custom metal fabrication needs.  They can be contacted by phone at (315) 598-7607 or visit their website at www.universalmw.com

The last few weeks of Speedway action has seen a true rise in the battle of youth versus experience, as several younger drivers have been able to test the patience of many of the seasoned veterans in the field.

Dave Danzer, Dan Connors Jr., Kody Graham, Shaun Gosselin, and Jeff Abold have led the revolt in the Novelis Supermodified division as each have sported Top 5 finishes this season including Danzer’s victory last Saturday over Connors and Graham.  Long-time Speedway veterans Joey Payne and Otto Sitterly chased the youngest Top 3 in history across the line.

The Pathfinder Bank SBS Series has seen much of the same as Dalton Doyle, Mike Bruce, David LaTulip, and AJ Bernys continue to be fast week in and week out.  LaTulip won a feature event at the Speedway in 2011 while Doyle, Bruce, and Bernys are all knocking on the door of career win number one.

Last Saturday’s Novelis Supermodified feature event saw a little bit of everything throughout its 50 laps, including a hair raising turn two accident involving Randy Ritskes, Dave Gruel, Tim Snyder, Pat Lavery, and Joe Gosek.

Trying to avoid the spinning Ritskes, Gruel skipped over the right rear wheel of Mike Barnes and pounded the turn two outside retaining wall.  When Gruel’s car spun back around it made contact with the Ritskes No. 88 causing a massive fuel leak from the No. 50 which soon caught fire.  The methanol burning blaze forced quick exits for both Gruel and Ritskes, as each car was engulfed in flames.  Fellow racer, Snyder, quickly climbed from his machine as well and rushed to the aid of Ritskes who was having trouble exiting the No. 88.

Snyder was also involved in the turn three 1999 International Classic fire, which saw several drivers involved including Dave Shullick Sr. and Danny Soule.

The Oswego Speedway safety crew did an outstanding job, knocking the fire down within a matter of seconds. All drivers were ok, but the machines of Gruel and Ritskes sustained considerable damage.

Dave Danzer, 24, would go on to pass Michael Muldoon, 18, to take the race lead on lap 20 and would never look back on his way to the win.  A minor mistake on a late race restart nearly let Dan Connors Jr., 18, around Danzer for the lead, but Connors was unable to make the pass stick in the No. 01.

With his second career Novelis Supermodified win; Danzer now climbs to 4th in the championship standings, 52 points out of the lead.

Connors runner-up finish gives him finishes of 3rd and 2nd in the last two weeks of the season.  The No. 01 continues to look better each week, and was truly knocking on the door of that first win on Saturday night.  Two consecutive Top 5 finishes for Connors now thrusts him into the Top 10 in the point battle, sitting in position number eight.

Rounding out the youngest podium in Supermodified history at Oswego Speedway was 21-year old Kody Graham.  Graham ran 2nd for the majority of the 50-lap event before trying to mount a high side pass on Muldoon for the top spot after a restart.  That left the inside lane open, which Danzer and Connors both took advantage of.

Driving the Xtreme Chassis No. 21, Graham has been consistently up front the last few weeks and after a rough start to the season has climbed all the way back to 13th in the overall standings.

Otto Sitterly is still out front in the year-long battle for the Oswego Speedway track championship, and with another 5th place finish he again managed to distance his lead.  After winning the first two events of the season, Sitterly remains the only driver to finish in the Top 5 in every event this year.  Coming from deep in the field Saturday night, Sitterly lost a position early on to Joey Payne and was never able to recover it as the two raced through the field, tied together, to finishes of 4th and 5th.

Payne continues to move up in the championship standings as he now sits 3rd overall, 51 points out of the lead.  After getting by Sitterly early on, Payne was able to hold off the No. 7 through the entire 50-lap distance Saturday night on his way to his 4th place effort.

Pat Lavery is now the championship runner-up in the No. 22, 44 points back of Sitterly.  Lavery was again able to use the high side of the Speedway to his advantage on Saturday night, racing his way back to a 6th place finish after being involved in the turn two accident on lap 3.

The hard luck driver of Saturday night was clearly Gruel in the No. 50.  Gruel entered the night 2nd in points, but the devastating end to his day in turn two now knocks him all the way back to 5th in the standings, 69 points shy of Sitterly.  After finishing in the Top 10 in the first three races of the season, Gruel now has a long road ahead to close in on Sitterly in the standings, and a long road ahead just to repair the No. 50.

After returning to victory lane two weeks ago, Joe Gosek had another up and down night last Saturday.  After being involved in the lap 3 accident, Gosek had to work back through the field and battled quite often with Snyder, Jerry Curran, and Jarett Andretti.  Gosek was eventually able to salvage a 10th place finish, and even climbed one spot higher in the point standings, moving to 6th overall.

Shaun Gosselin returned to 2012 form last week, after having a rough night on June 2.  The No. 26 stayed out of trouble all night long to race his way to a 9th place finish, just ahead of Gosek.  Gosselin remains comfortably inside the Top 10 in the standings, currently riding 7th.

Brian Sobus in No. 60 continued his best season in a Supermodified with another Top 10 finish last Saturday as he rides 9th in the standings ahead of Jeff Abold finishing the Top 10.

Tim Devendorf ran a great race last week behind the wheel of No. 5.  Devendorf ran in the Top 5 for the majority of the event before falling into the clutches of Payne, Sitterly, and Lavery late.  A 7th place finish for the Mod Lite driver was his best of the season in 2012.

Jarett Andretti managed to start his first career Novelis Supermodified feature on Saturday night.  After being caught up in a heat race accident, Andretti had to run the consi, but he qualified the No. 1 and ran all 50 laps on his way to an 11th place finish.

Ray Graham returned in the all-new Xtreme Chassis No. 90, finishing 2nd in his heat race behind Muldoon.  However, Graham would run into issues under the hood of the No. 90 before feature time and would not be able to take the feature green flag.

Dave Cliff was also in attendance in the No. 06 in his drive for Rookie of the Year, but once again the machine was loaded up before heat racing action with engine problems.

The Pathfinder Bank SBS Series saw a first time winner Saturday night in the driver of the No. 69, Mark Castiglia.  Castiglia led every lap on his way to victory over good friend Jason Simmons.  After finishing 3rd on opening night, Castiglia battled through some adversity the past couple weeks, to eventually visit Chris Nelson Insurance Victory Lane last Saturday.

The victory pulls Castiglia into the Top 10 in the championship as he becomes the 4th different winner in four races this season in the SBS division.

Kreig Heroth now takes the series point lead in the SBS class, becoming the 3rd different championship leader in four weeks.  Heroth was able to pull down yet another Top 5 finish on Saturday night in the Won 4 Racing No. 04, using a series of consistent finishes to lead the championship.  With the fastest unofficial lap time of the season at 19.1 seconds, Heroth looks to use that speed to his advantage to get to victory lane for the first time in 2012.

Just behind Heroth in the tight championship battle is defending champion, Mike Bond.  Bond started deep in the field Saturday night and followed JJ Andrews up through the pack to a 7th place effort.  The No. 26 has yet to lead the point battle this season, but has been stalking the top spot since week two.

Early championship leader and opening night winner, JJ Andrews rides in the 3rd spot overall only 6 points back.  Andrews bounced back Saturday night with a 6th place finish after a disappointing 17th on June 2.  The Team Tapout driver won a heat race last week, earning valuable points in his continued battle for the championship.

With his close runner-up finish on Saturday, Jason Simmons moved to 4th in the standings behind teammate Andrews.  Simmons also won a heat race on Saturday, and is currently just one point behind the No. 93 for 3rd overall.  The No. 98 continues its search for career win number one and after coming from 8th on the grid Saturday, it seems to be in sight.

Completing the Top 5 in the point battle is last week’s championship leader, Andrew Schartner.  Schartner had all kinds of problems in his heat race on Saturday, forcing him to start deep in the field in the feature event.  The No. 18 managed to work its way through for a 9th place finish, but as a result slipped four spots in the standings.

Completing the Top 10 in the hunt for the title are Tim Barbeau, Rob Pullen, Cameron Rowe, Castiglia, and Doyle.

Oswego Speedway events run May through September on most Saturday nights, culminating with the Fall Championship 75 on September 15.

For more information on Oswego Speedway be sure to visit www.oswegospeedway.com.  You can also LIKE the (Official) Oswego Speedway page at facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway, or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway.  To purchase tickets or order merchandise please call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.

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