OSWEGO, NY – When Oswego Speedway celebrates its 65th anniversary on August 8 of the coming racing season, not only will fans be invited into the grandstands for only $5, they will also be treated to two former Oswego Supermodified traditions – semi-final qualifying, and the 45-lap feature event.
Since Oswego Speedway became ‘Home of the Supermodifieds’ in 1962, the ‘Steel Palace’ was noted as being a single division program straight through 1991, running only the heralded Novelis Supermodified on a weekly basis.
Through several of those years the Speedway’s Supermodifieds contended not only in heat races, consolations if need be, and the feature event – but also semi-final qualifiers.
Running more laps than a weekly heat race, but less than a feature, the semi-finals were used as a second layer of qualifying before the main event, only for those cars qualifying to be a part of them from the heat races.
Those drivers that did not qualify for the semi-finals from heat racing would go directly to the consolation to try and qualify for the night’s main event.
Once the Speedway became a two division program in 1992 with the inception of the Small Block Super, the semi-finals were officially laid to rest on a weekly basis, although they were run once during an open competition format event at the Speedway in 2005.
To celebrate the rich history and tradition of Supermodified racing at Oswego, the semi-finals will return on August 8 for the Supermodified division, providing fans two extra action packed events that will prove pivotal in starting position for the night’s historic 45-lap main event.
Supermodified heat races on August 8 will again be 12-laps in distance, but with a little extra on the line.
Only the top six qualifiers from each heat race will qualify for the semi-finals, with an opportunity to start in the front 18 spots for the night’s main event.
Drivers finishing seventh on back in each heat will have to run the consolation if need be, or will start 19th on back in the main event.
This will make for two, nine-car semi-finals running for 15 laps.
Drivers finishing in the top four in each heat race will receive their handicap position for the semi-finals, with the top six starting spots in each semi-final being inverted based on handicap.
Starting positions seven through nine in the semi-finals will line up straight-up from heat race finishes.
The semi-finals will prove crucial in starting position for the 45-lap main, as the feature event for the night will line up straight-up from the finish of the semi-finals with the winners of each starting on the front row.
The results of semi-final number one will make the inside nine rows of the main event, while the results of semi-final number two will make the outside nine rows of the main event.
From there it is green flag racing for 45 laps in the Speedway’s 65th Anniversary main event, which in itself is another historic tradition.
When the Speedway first opened in 1951, main events were 20 laps in distance.
Through the years, that number increased to 25, 30, 35 and eventually 45 laps to begin the 1967 season.
From 1967 through 2010 the standard Supermodified main event would be contended for 45 laps, a unique number and tradition set solely at Oswego Speedway.
Since 2011 the standard feature event has been raised to 50 laps at the ‘Steel Palace’ but not on August 8 of this coming season, as some of the best open-wheel racing pilots in the country will have to work a little harder to get to the front as a part of a traditional 45-lap main.
The 65th Anniversary at the Speedway will be made even more special as past Supermodified and Small Block Super champions of the Speedway will be sent formal invitations to come and spend the night as the Speedway’s guests to help celebrate the evening.
For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway.
Oswego Speedway Anniversary Night Winners
1955 – Nolan Swift
1960 – Nolan Swift
1965 – Ron Lux
1970 – Jim Shampine
1975 – Steve Gioia Jr.
1980 – Eddie Bellinger Jr.
1985 – Joe Gosek
1990 – Pat Abold
1995 – Jeff West
2000 – Tim Gareau
2005 – Greg Furlong/Bob Goutermout
2010 – Jerry Curran