OSWEGO, NY – The 602 crate Sportsman division took to Oswego Speedway for the first time on Sunday, August 19 for a test and tune session leading up to the Sportsman Classic, which will be run as a part of Budweiser International Classic Weekend on August 31. A total of ten teams took part in the four hour test session.
Drivers included Rob Humphreys, Geoff Carner, Justin Thompson, Jeremy Pitcher, Greg Kimball, Sean McCarthy, Dave Marcuccilli, Matt Parkhurst, Kyle DeMetro, and Earl Rudy.
Humphreys and Carner shared the fastest lap of the day with a time of 19.864 seconds at an average speed of approximately 114mph. Thompson and Pitcher also made their way into the 19-second bracket.
Fast-timers Humphreys and Carner were pleased with how the afternoon progressed.
“It was a fun day. They need to let us come run here more, I appreciate it,” said Humphreys. “I’ve never seen the Sportsman on a pavement track before, but it will be some good racing. The Sportsman fields stay close, with some good racing, the crates help with that.”
“The crate Sportsman put on a great show, they are all pretty much equal,” said Carner. “These cars are a lot of fun to watch, and they will put on some good racing here at Oswego.”
Carner, who unfortunately had engine issues toward the end of the test session, looks forward to coming back and racing at a track he grew up at.
“I grew up coming to Oswego,” said Carner. “I think I came to my first race here at six months old and we went every week up until about ’93 or ’94. Just to race here is going to be awesome, and I am so thankful that Oswego is going to have us.”
Phoenix native Earl Rudy has raced at the Syracuse mile at the NYS Fairgrounds in the past, but like Carner, he grew up coming to Oswego at an early age and is ready to take on the Steel Palace.
“When I was a lot younger I used to come up and watch Jimmy Shampine, (Mike) McClaughlin, (Doug) Heveron, Joe Gosek and those guys,” said Rudy. “I’ve always wanted to come here and race, it is like a dream come true.”
In discussing driving styles and set-up, Rudy compared Oswego to the ‘Moody Mile’ in Syracuse.
“It is really kind of like Syracuse at the Mile,” said Rudy. “We’re actually going faster here (at Oswego), which is hard to believe, but we are carrying a lot of speed through the corners. Running here at Oswego is a riot; it is a lot of fun.”
The Oswego/Syracuse comparison will prove to be a key factor in the Sportsman Classic show during Classic Weekend, which offers a preferred starting spot in the Sportsman Championship at Super DIRT Week XLI to the highest finishing Sportsman on Hoosier Racing Tires.
Like the others, Rudy believes Oswego will lend itself to plenty of good racing action for the Sportsman teams.
“These guys really like to go at it,” said Rudy. “We are usually upwards of around 24-26 cars, and it is action. These guys aren’t afraid to stick it in there, and they will put on a good show for sure.”
So far, two other bonuses have been offered for the Sportsman Classic at Oswego to go along with the healthy $7,300 purse that will see $1,500 go to the winner and $100 to start.
Finish Line Web Design of Ontario, Canada has offered a $100 bonus to the highest finishing driver in the field from Brockville, Can-Am, Cornwall, or Mohawk speedways.
Mike Mitchell of Auburn has also put up a $50 bonus to the highest finishing driver from Canandaigua Speedway in Canandaigua.
To see video and driver interviews from the Sportsman Classic test and tune, be sure to visit www.oswegospeedway.com or watch the OswegoSpeedwayOnline YouTube channel.
Tickets are on sale now for Budweiser International Classic Weekend through the Oswego Speedway box office, located just outside of the main pit gate at the Speedway.
To order tickets over the phone be sure to call (315) 342-0646. Box office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Three day adult general admission passes are $104, while reserved three day admissions are $115. Three day kids’ admission, ages 6-16, is $35, while children ages 5 and under are FREE for the weekend.
Individual day general admission prices are as follows: Friday – $25, Saturday – $42, and Sunday – $52.
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.
CLASSIC WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday, August 31 – Budweiser International Classic 200 Novelis Supermodified Top14 Time Trials; Bud Light Classic 60 Pathfinder Bank SBS Qualifying Heats; 602 Crate Dirt Sportsman Classic 30
Saturday, September 1 – ATQMRA TQ Midget 25; 21st Annual Bud Light Classic 60 for Pathfinder Bank SBS; ISMA Supermodified Supernationals 60
Sunday, Septmber 2 – Budweiser International Classic 200 Novelis Supermodified 15-28 Time Trials; Novelis Supermodified Bud Light B-Main; 56th Annual Budweiser International Classic 200 for Novelis Supermodifieds
SPORTSMAN TEST AND TUNE ROSTER:
M1 – Dave Marcuccilli – Cayuga, NY
14 – Jeremy Pitcher – Fulton, NY
15D – Kyle DeMetro – Holland Patent, NY
16 – Earl Rudy – Phoenix, NY
20 – Sean McCarthy – Port Byron, NY
44C – Geoff Carner – Baldwinsville, NY
59 – Greg Kimball – Volney, NY
85 – Rob Humphreys – Elbridge, NY
93 – Matt Parkhurst – Oswego, NY
954 – Justin Thompson – Scriba, NY