Oswego, NY Bentley Warren the name conjures up "legend". What can be said of a 61-year old who has raced almost anything, anywhere, over five decades? One thing. Bentley is back. And, he's behind the wheel of a supermodified and he'll be at the ...
Oswego, NY Bentley Warren the name conjures up "legend". What can be said of a 61-year old who has raced almost anything, anywhere, over five decades? One thing. Bentley is back. And, he's behind the wheel of a supermodified and he'll be at the Sandusky Hy-Miler next weekend to compete. The Hy-Miler is an event Warren has mastered three times in his illustrious career, which includes driving in the Indy 500, winning the Little 500, the Copper World Classic, six Oswego Classics and six Star Classics. Car owner Paul Dunigan provides the ride for Warren in 2002. The team came back together recently at Cayuga Speedway in Ontario, Canada where Bentley finished sixth in his first outing in the car. He also plans on running several other ISMA shows during the 2002 season, including the Oswego Super Nationals on Sept. 1.
"We've been talking for several months now," said Bentley from his Ipswich Trucking business recently, "and I decided that I wouldn't mind getting back behind the wheel of a Dunigan car. I knew it was a good car. It was built by Brian Allegresso, Eric Lewis and the crew and they are the best. I finished sixth at Cayuga but everything went well. The car was real good."
Warren's last big supermodified win may have been his 1998 Oswego Classic win when he rode into town on his Harley, jumped behind the wheel of a Jeff West super and went on to beat the cream of the crop of supermodified racing. His first Classic win was in 1969 and his last 1998 what an accomplishment! Along the way he has had hundreds of feature wins and titles driving for himself, the Snyder's, Ed Bowley, Howard Purdy, Mike Mazur, Paul Dunigan and several others. Of late, Warren has mainly concentrated on his USAC Silver Crown ride and on any given Silver Crown race night, Ben can be seen on television in competition driving the car owned by Bob Seymour and Ken Schrader and sponsored by Wirtgen and Boot Hill Saloon in Florida. He's always a crowd favorite and the announcers especially in the age department, never overlook him.
It will be a homecoming of sorts next weekend when Warren pulls into Sandusky, a track he owned and helped manage for many years. The Kennebunkport, Maine/Florida resident will still have some of his former teammates and competitors to vie with when he pulls onto the Sandusky half mile on July 26 and 27. Also looking for wins in the prestigious Hy-Miler-ISMA Nationals will be Ben's teammates Russ Wood a three-time winner of the 100-lapper himself, and Joe Gosek, a two-time winner. Joey Payne, a former Hy-Miler winner, defending race champion Dave McKnight, and Jim Shirey, a one-time winner will be tough competition as well. Four-time Hy-Miler champion Dave Shullick Sr. may not be in a super, but his son, Dave Jr. has proven that he is quite capable of taking the victory and may add another Shullick name to list on this the 25th running of the event.
Of course, there are many more winged supermodified contenders in the current crop of drivers such as Lou Cicconi, Chris Perley, Scott Martel, Brad Lichty, Greg Furlong, Howie Page, Ken Bell, Timmy Jedrzejek, Mike Ordway and many more, who are looking for a first prestigious Hy-Miler win and willing to give Warren a run for the money.
Sandusky's two-day race weekend begins on Friday, July 26 with a 40 lap, full-bore flat out all green flag race as a tune-up for Saturday. The defending champion of this race is Mike Ordway, who considered a threat to win the next night also, but broke and exited the 100-lap race early. Pit gates open for the Friday show at 2 pm with warm-ups at 4 pm and racing at 7:30 pm. On Saturday, warm-ups begin a 1 pm with the traditional time trials to start at 4 pm. Hy-Miler preliminary racing begins at 6 pm. The top twelve in time trials will be inverted into the top 12 in the three heats with consi cars coming out of the heats, making for a lot of exciting racing! The 100-lapper is also straight green flag laps. Limited modifieds join the supermods on Friday night with the popular 305 sprints a co-partner on Saturday night.
For further information on the 25th annual Hy-Miler Nationals 100, call 419-625-4074. Camping spots should be reserved in advance. The price is $20 for Thursday Saturday night. More info may be found at www.sanduskyspeedway.com