oswego speedway international classic 200 1999 fire

‘Classic Moments’ Countdown: #30 The Big One

Fire and Mayhem at Start of 1999 Budweiser International Classic 200

 OSWEGO, NY (August 1, 2014) –As the countdown officially begins toward the 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200 for Novelis Supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway on Sunday, August 31, we look back at the Top 30 moments in International Classic history, with the assistance of George Caruso’s ’50 Most Memorable Moments of the International Classic.’

With 30 days remaining until the International Classic, the countdown begins with No. 30, the ‘Big One’ during the running of the 1999 Budweiser International Classic.

For years track officials feared a large-scale accident in the early laps of the 200-lap Classic, when all 34 cars are filled to near capacity with methanol.  Unfortunately on lap 17 of the 1999 International Classic, trouble struck.

Driving the Lichty Racing No. 94, Dave McKnight blew an engine heading into the third corner, spinning in his own oil.  In the blink of an eye, several others cars began to spin toward the scene, and fears worsened as three cars began to flip simultaneously.

oswego speedway international classic 200 1999 fire
Tim Snyder and Dave Shullick Sr. tumble during the 1999 running of the Budweiser International Classic 200 at Oswego Speedway, as fuel begins to rush from the rear of the Shullick machine. (Speedway Press)

Danny Soule, Dave Shullick Sr., and Tim Snyder would all end up laying to rest in a tight pile, with Soule and Snyder back on their wheels.  However, Shullick’s machine was on its side, wedged against the outside retaining wall with a ruptured fuel cell.

Tensions climbed even higher as Shullick’s ruptured fuel cell led to a raging inferno between the three crippled race cars.

Snyder and Soule were able to climb from their racers immediately, but Shullick was stuck inside his burning machine while hanging upside down.  In what seemed like an eternity, Shullick was finally able to push himself back in his seat to release the pressure on his belts, and pop them loose.

From there, Shullick was able to scramble to safety with the aid of the always ready and ready Oswego Speedway safety crew.  With all drivers to safety, the intense blaze took some fifteen minutes to fully extinguish, leading to a lengthy delay in the race as the safety crew’s extinguishers had to be re-charged.

All three drivers involved in the scary incident were free from injury, although Shullick was somewhat distraught as his sunglasses had been lost in the melee.

Once the race went back to green Greg Furlong was the driver on the move, driving past Mike Muldoon and taking advantage of Jeff West to grab the lead after he was involved in a jingle going through lap traffic.

Furlong would go on to defeat Muldoon for his first Classic win, despite Muldoon making a pit stop at lap 168 for a new right rear tire.

Earlier in the week Muldoon was quoted as saying that he could beat any graduating Limited Supermodified driver, such as Furlong, in the Classic with only three wheels.

In victory lane Furlong rebutted the quote by saying, “Muldoon used five wheels today in the Classic, and he still couldn’t beat me!”

To purchase tickets for Budweiser International Classic Weekend and the 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200, call the Speedway’s box office today at (315) 342-0646.

About Oswego Speedway: Oswego Speedway, a sports entertainment company, is a 5/8 mile semi-banked pavement racing oval located off the shores of Lake Ontario in scenic Oswego, NY. Oswego Speedway has been a continuously run weekly racing venue since August, 1951. The premier open-wheel pavement short track cars in the world, Supermodifieds, run weekly at Oswego Speedway making Oswego the only weekly Supermodified racing venue in the world. The Small Block Supermodifieds accompany the full-blown Supers on a weekly Saturday night schedule which runs from May through September. Oswego Speedway is mentioned in racing circles as the “Indy of the East,” as no fewer than a dozen past and present competitors have competed at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway including Mario Andretti, arguably the greatest driver of all time, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, along with former International Classic Champions Bentley Warren, Joe Gosek, and Davey Hamilton.


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