OSWEGO, NY – The return of Oswego Speedway’s Novelis Supermodified semi-final features will play a role in the 2016 point chase, as the extra added 15-lap qualifiers will award points this year toward the overall driver’s championship.
In 2015, the semi-finals were run merely as a line-up dash, with the winners starting on the front row for the main event.
This weekend however, the races will award championship points, with the top 12 finishers re-handicapped into the night’s 45-lap main event as was done for so many years at the Steel Palace.
Up until 1992, Oswego Speedway was run as a one division facility with only the Novelis Supermodifieds taking part in most Saturday night programs.
As a result, competitors would take part in one of three qualifying heat races, one of two semi-final features, and if need be a consolation. This all came before the night’s 45-lap main event.
This Saturday, the Speedway will return to this format for the Novelis Supermodifieds.
As has been done for the entire 2016 season, drivers will draw for starting position for the 12-lap heat races.
The top four finishers in each heat will then be handicapped into the two semi-final features, making up the front three rows of each. The remaining finishers in the heat race will line-up straight up in order behind the top 12 in the heat events.
The top six finishers in each of the 15-lap semi-finals will then be handicapped into the top 12 spots of the night’s 45-lap main event.
On a normal night a max point score for a driver that wins both the heat race and feature is 115 points. Heat wins award 15 points, with feature wins awarding 100 points.
Saturday a total of 135 points is up for grabs, as each semi-final will pay 20 points to the winner.
This added bonus for the evening will no doubt play a factor in the 2016 championship, which currently sees six drivers within 55 points of championship leader Dave Gruel.
Gruel’s closest competition heading into the weekend is Michael Barnes, driver of the Syrell Racing No. 68, who has also held the championship lead at various points of the season.
Barnes trails Gruel by only 1.5 points heading into the weekend and hopes the additional points on the line Saturday help him to re-gain the lead.
Mike Muldoon has made the biggest gains as of late, sneaking into the top three of the championship hunt with Gruel and Barnes, trailing the point leader by only 24.5 markers.
Like Gruel, Muldoon has yet to win a main event in 2016, but on last year’s semi-final night it was Muldoon pulling away to a sweep of the evening collecting heat race, semi-final, and feature race wins.
Otto Sitterly and two-time main event winner this season Pat Lavery complete the top five in the championship, each within 42 points of the top spot.
This year’s Mr. Novelis Supermodified Dave Danzer, Jeff Abold, Brandon Bellinger, Aric Iosue, and Kody Graham are currently the remainder of the top ten in the driver’s title hunt for 2016.
Before the retro race program gets underway on Saturday, the annual Oswego Speedway Old-Timers Reunion will take place at Lighthouse Lanes in Oswego.
The reunion, once again coordinated by longtime Speedway faithful’s Jim Ferlito and Jim Liccardi, will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 6 at Lighthouse Lanes, located directly across from the Speedway on Jim Shampine Drive.
Drivers, owners, racing families, officials, media members and longtime fans will be available throughout the afternoon to help celebrate Oswego Speedway and Supermodified racing for the 11th year.
The reunion itself will include barbecue chicken, pork, salt potatoes, tossed salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, along with non-alcoholic beverages. Tickets for the reunion and dinner are $12, which also includes a discount toward pit admission for the Speedway’s action later that night, which will begin at 6:30 p.m.
For more ticket information contact Liccardi at (315) 342-5149. Tickets may be ordered ahead of time, with payment made at the door.
The Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supers will join the program on Saturday.
Adult general admission will be set at $15 with $14 Price Chopper Tickets to Go available at any Price Chopper Supermarkets locations.
Kids 16 and under will be admitted free with paid adult.
For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com, follow on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway, or like on Facebook at facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.