Oswego Speedway Classic preview

Gosek, Didero, Wood and Ritskes among those to enter 2002 Budweiser Classic. Oswego, NY - Joe Gosek and Doug Didero have combined to win three Budweiser Classic 200 titles and three Oswego Speedway track championships and this talented duo are...

Gosek, Didero, Wood and Ritskes among those to enter 2002 Budweiser Classic.

Oswego, NY - Joe Gosek and Doug Didero have combined to win three Budweiser Classic 200 titles and three Oswego Speedway track championships and this talented duo are the latest entries for the 46th annual Budweiser International Classic upcoming over the Labor Day weekend at the Oswego Speedway. Also announced in the past few days was the teaming of Russ Wood and Jeff Holbrook with Wood to drive the Holbrook 35 which just won an Oswego feature. That deal was finalized on August 17.

Wood, of course will pilot the Dunigan 29 in the ISMA Super Nationals but was hunting for a Classic ride until recently. Russ did not run the past two years in the Classic but had a fourth in 1999. He's also garnered a pair of thirds and a second to Eddie B in '93. For Wood, a Classic win would be the highlight of his already successful career.

Wood will be on hand at Oswego on August 24 to join his new teammates, Dave Trytek and Jeff Holbrook in competition that night. Another top five Classic finisher, Randy Ritskes, is also slated to drive Bruce Budnick's 88 which ISMA rookie point leader Jon Gambuti, pilots on the ISMA circuit.

Doug Didero, a former Canadian now living in North Carolina, has secured a ride with the Gary Syrell team. They are presently updating the Syrell super and will be testing at Oswego prior to the Classic. Didero won three straight Oswego track titles from 1994-96 and capped off this great run with a triumph in the 1996 Classic. Gosek is also no stranger to the coveted Classic victory circle, having won the 1991 and 1992 editions of supermodified racing's premier event.

Joe Gosek will be behind the wheel of a brand new Mike Muldoon-owned super and he'll be looking for the $20,000 top money offered to the victor in the 200-lap, 125 mile Classic grind. Mike Muldoon will also have his younger brother, Shawn, behind the wheel of a team car to Gosek. Shawn is currently battling Howard Page for the Oswego track title as a rookie in the supermod division.

Another top threat in the Classic is Greg Furlong of Fulton. Last year, Greg came within one lap of becoming the first driver to ever win three straight Classics. But on the final lap, Tim Snyder passed Furlong to notch a stunning upset victory. Furlong, who comes off a win at Lee USA Speedway in winged competition says he's looking forward to both the ISMA and Classic shows and indicates he might have a shot at winning at least one.

The Clyde Booth-owned super, driven by Mike Ordway, is currently unbeaten in four 2002 appearances at Oswego, but both Ordway and Booth will be looking for their first trip inside the Classic victory circle. "Our two main goals this year at Oswego were to win the $10,000-to-win race and to capture the Classic for the first time," said Booth this week. "We got the job done with the $10,000 victory and we're really looking forward to a good run in the Classic," continued Booth. Ordway is coming off a victory at the 3/8th's Oxford Plains oval.

Canadian Dave McKnight and Pennsylvania's Lou Cicconi are two other top threats ready for Classic 2002. McKnight sat on the pole for last year's 200 and has proved in the past that he can win at Oswego. Cicconi is preparing a new unwinged super to debut at Oswego for the 200 and he's had some good Classic runs in the past.

Several Oswego regulars can't be discounted when talking about top threats for the Classic. Tim Snyder is the defending Classic champion and this Tilton, N.H. driver would like nothing more than to repeat his stunning upset of last year. Current Oswego point leader Howard Page, Tim Gareau and Otto Sitterly have joined Mike Ordway as Oswego feature winners this season and will be contenders for the $20,000 top money offered to the Classic victor.

Ohio will be well represented at this year's 200, with Tim Jedrzejek, Pat Shullick, Jack Smith and Denny Fisher all expected in from the Buckeye State.

The 46th Classic weekend will again be sponsored by Budweiser through it's local distributor Eagle Beverage. "The Budweiser Classic is the premier event in supermodified racing and we're very proud to be a part of it again," said Eagle Beverage president, Dan Dorsey.

But the Budweiser Classic is more than just a 200-lap supermodified race. Activities get underway on Friday, Aug. 30th with an open practice on the five-eighths mile paved oval from 1-5 p.m. Friday night, the annual "Party In The Pits" from 6-11 p.m. offers live music, fireworks and over 500 cruise cars. Saturday will find four classes of cars in action, topped off with feature events for super stocks, NEMA midgets, limited supers and ISMA winged supermods. Qualifying heats get flagged away at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Fans are reminded that plenty of good reserved seats remain for Classic weekend. A special weekend general admission ticket is also available for adults for just $50. Upwards of 150 different cars should be in action, making Budweiser Classic Weekend one of the must see events in short-track racing.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Jack Smith