Former Oswego Speedway Champion considers return to supermodified racing with Syrell Team. Oswego, NY - Three-time Oswego Speedway supermodified champion Doug Didero left the area in the late-1990's to pursue a possible career in ...
Former Oswego Speedway Champion considers return to supermodified racing with Syrell Team.
Oswego, NY - Three-time Oswego Speedway supermodified champion Doug Didero left the area in the late-1990's to pursue a possible career in full-bodied racing down south. Didero, one of the most talented and prolific winners to have graced the Oswego Speedway, never forgot the thrill of supermodified racing. In 2003, he is mulling a return to the famed 5/8th's perhaps part-time, but a return nonetheless to the place where he was so successful. Oswego car owner and racer in his own right, Gary Syrell, may provide the opportunity for Didero's return. Syrell had a bad wreck in 2001, and due to long work hours, found himself unable to make the necessary repairs. This may have transformed Syrell from driver to car owner in 2003, opening the door for Didero to step in.
"It was toward the end of 2001 that I hit the wall pretty hard at Oswego," said Syrell from his Oswego home. "I ended up cutting the front end off the car and not running it again until late last year, and that was only a quick fix for Classic. It's hard for me to find the time to work on the race car. I work at Nine Mile and during outages; I work a lot of hours. For example right now I have worked 40 days without a day off. The money is helpful but there is no time for a race car. It's a trade-off actually."
Syrell, who would now be car owner and one of the wrenches of the team, began his racing career in 1990 and although he has run consistently at times, he has yet to taste victory in a main event. That might all change if things work out. "I'd like to think if Doug and I get things together that we might just fix the car that way it needs to be fixed and just maybe win some races. It would be great to be in victory lane for my first time. I'd like to think as a team we'd be an asset to the supers. I'll miss the driving part quite a bit, but we'll see what happens."
"It's all in the talking stages right now," said Didero from his North Carolina home confirming Gary's statements. "We brought out the car at last year's Classic and although the chassis seemed to be fine, the motor had some problems - something in the fuel lines possibly. We really didn't have the time to get it straightened out. I've talked to Gary over the winter and we are trying to work out some things. I'd like to bring the car down here and make some changes before we decide where and when we would run."
Didero, who was the 1984 Oswego Speedway Rookie of the Year, gained much experience during his formative years of the late 1980's which brought him into the 1990's ready to conquer - and conquer he did. Running for longtime car owners Skip Matczak and his wife Lois, Doug won three Oswego Speedway track titles in his famed number 3 supermodified ride from 1994 through 1996, tying a record held by the late Jim Shampine. Didero capped his 1996 title run with an International Classic triumph that saw him pit and chase down race leader Russ Wood in the latter stages to win the 200 lapper. In 1997, Didero fought Mike Muldoon for the track championship and finally settled for a second place spot at the end of the regular season. He finished 8th in the Classic that year, running low on fuel after a competitive run.
In 1998 his car owner Matczak sold the potent supers to the late Bill Kovacs of Ohio (one of which won the 2002 ISMA Super Nationals with Tim Jedrzejek aboard) and left supermodified racing on a full time basis. He saved one car for Didero to pilot that Classic and Doug brought it home to a third place finish. He still sits ninth in the All-Time Oswego Classic point list through last year. He was honored with a ninth place in the All-Time Top 50 Drivers chosen in 2000 at Oswego's 50th anniversary. Although inactive in supermodified racing for several years, he remained sixth on the All-Time Supermodified win list as of August 2002.
The transported Canadians, Doug and Cindy Didero keep busy over the winter in North Carolina's NASCAR hotbed. He, doing what he was also famous for - fabrication, and she in the accounting/bookkeeping business. "I stay busy down here," said Doug. "I do fabrication - building pit carts and all. We also spend a lot of the time redoing Winston Cup and other show cars. When NASCAR changes the specs, we have to redo all the bodies. I think we've completed 28 so far this season. It was a seven day-a-week job much of the winter up until about two weeks after the Daytona 500, then it dropped off. Now I have time to possibly work on the super if need be. Cindy has several race-related accounts she does the books for such as the Leonard Company and Bill Mitchell."
While his return is still up in the air in April, Didero was excited about the possibility of returning. "I'd very much enjoy getting into supermodified racing again. I haven't done any racing in the past couple years down here. I frankly, don't even watch much Winston Cup or Busch on TV, maybe 20 laps all year, that's it. As I said, Gary and I will keep talking to see what we can and can't do. We'd like to pick and choose races - some Oswego - some ISMA, if we can work things out. The main thing for me is to just get back in it and have some fun! That's really what I want to do."
While Oswego fans might not see this team opening day May 10th at Oswego Speedway, if things go right there's a slight chance the Syrell-Didero duo could be pulling into the pits for the Jim Shampine Memorial 50 for Oswego supers and ISMA 50 on May 24th. A lot has to occur before that would happen. It's a wait-and-see situation but one that could produce some highly positive results if it materializes.