OSWEGO, NY – Oswego Speedway, the home of the Budweiser International Classic 200 and Supermodified racing, has also been a home away from home for some of Canada’s top short track open-wheel competitors.
Beginning in 2015, young Brockville, Ontario native Logan Rayvals will open his chapter in a long standing Canadian story at Oswego, coming in as a Supermodified rookie with a familiar name.
Champions Doug Didero, Ken Andrews, and Warren Coniam lead a long list of Canadian standouts including Randy Ritskes, Dave McKnight, and Norm Mackareth, each of which has made their mark on Oswego Speedway and Supermodified racing through the Speedway’s storied history.
Part of that rich Canadian history at Oswego Speedway is Craig Rayvals, Logan’s father.
A former Small Block Supermodified Classic champion at Oswego, Craig quickly adapted to Supermodified racing, winning the prestigious Jim Shampine Memorial in May of 2004 in an effort with Oswego Classic champion Mike Muldoon.
Craig returned to victory lane in August of 2008, picking up his second career Supermodified win at the ‘Steel Palace.’
In total, the elder Rayvals has scored 15 top five finishes in Supermodified competition at Oswego, but in recent years has begun to foster the driving career of his son Logan.
A veteran of kart racing and NEMA Lites midget competition, Logan will make the jump to Novelis Supermodified action at Oswego next season, looking to become the first Canadian Supermodified Rookie of the Year at Oswego since Mike Hooper scored co-rookie honors in 2004.
Rayvals, who will be just 18 years of age when he takes his first green flag in 2015, says everything he has done in racing to this point has pointed him to Oswego Speedway.
“Oswego has really been the home track for my family, I have been going to the track with my dad for a very long time, and I have always wanted to be able to race there (Oswego),” said Rayvals. “I’ve had a couple chances to race at Oswego with the Midget. Once last year and at this year’s Race of Champions. The Midget is a great learning curve, and I am going to miss them, but the hour and a half drive to Oswego is easier than the usual six to seven hour drive to run the Midget.”
Rayvals finished the 2014 NEMA Lites season in seventh position overall with podium finishes at Evans Mills Speedway, Waterford Speed Bowl, and Star Speedway. Despite his recent success in the Midget ranks, Rayvals understands the move to Supermodified racing will be a big step.
“I have always wanted to drive a Supermodified,” said Rayvals. “It is going to be a really big change from the Midget, and they are two very different race cars. I’m excited to try our Supermodified out though, and I am happy to be back at Oswego weekly. We have made many great friends there over the years.”
In a bit of irony, the Supermodified that Rayvals refers to will be the former Locke Racing No. 37 Hawk machine that Canadian native Ritskes drove to three main event wins and a podium finish in the Speedway’s 2014 driver standings.
Rayvals Racing recently took possession of the Supermodified to begin preparation for young Logan’s rookie campaign.
“I’m not expecting to go out the first race next season and win or even finish in the top ten,” said Rayvals. “I have learned from racing the Midget that you need to get comfortable with the car you’re driving before you can start taking it to the edge. If the car is in one piece and I can say I am getting comfortable, then I will be happy.”
Recently, although now a US citizen, Ritskes has carried on the Canadian lineage at Oswego along with ISMA Supermodified champion and International Classic veteran Mike Lichty. Rayvals will look to continue that tradition in 2015, as he hopes to build momentum in his new ride.
“Once I am comfortable with the car and the setup is there, a few good finishes would be great,” said Rayvals. “Overall, everyone with our team is excited to be back at Oswego, and if we can win the Rookie of the Year title that would be more than great.”
For more information on Rayvals Racing and driver Logan Rayvals, visit their Facebook page online.
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