Johnny Benson poses after winning Oswego Speedway International Classic photo by speedway press

‘Classic Moments’ Countdown: #22 Johnny Benson Surprises Locals


1966 Budweiser International Classic

OSWEGO, NY (August 8, 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 help of George Caruso’s ’50 Most Memorable Moments of the International Classic.’

Just when most thought the Michigan invasion at the Speedway was over; Benson rode into the ’66 Classic with his white No. 21 Supermodified and stole the show.

Other than a rather obscure 30th place DNF in the 1964 Classic, Benson had never truly tried to compete at Oswego until the ’66 edition of the great race.

Benson adapted quite well to Oswego, setting fast time in qualifications, and as it turned out his main competition all weekend long would be Bentley Warren in the Howard Purdy owned Deuce.

Warren timed in second fastest with the No. 2, and gave Benson some stiff competition early in the event.  However, Warren would drop out of the event later on handing chase duties over to 1965 Classic winner Gordon Dukes.

Dukes took the lead just past the lap 150 mark, but with 20-laps left Benson retook the point and held off Dukes to claim the surprise Classic victory.

This would mark the end of the Michigan invasion as the ’66

Johnny Benson poses after winning Oswego Speedway International Classic photo by speedway press
Johnny Benson shocked the crowd with his 1966 win in Oswego Speedway’s International Classic. (Speedway Press)

International Classic winner, Johnny Benson, would be the last driver from the Wolverine State to win the prestigious International Classic.

Dukes would trail Benson across the line for the runner-up place with Baldy Baker, Norm Mackereth, and Jim Shampine finishing the top five.

Paul Clark, Wayne McGuire, Al Wood, Jack Murphy, and Jim Gresley were the top ten finishers in the ’66 200.

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.

For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway.  Those interested in Speedway video programming online can subscribe to the Speedway’s YouTube Channel, ‘OswegoSpeedwayOnline’.


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.

50 years Oswego Speedway International Classic
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