Bobby G. On the Soapbox

On the Soapbox: 30 Years and 200 Laps of Lust

August 31, 2014 – Oswego, NY… Today’s the day. It’s Classic Sunday at Oswego Speedway. The be all, end all best day in the world ever for a fan of supermodified racing.

Waking up this morning to the splattering of rain drops on the roof of the gPad didn’t change that. Getting the PR that we were in a holding pattern didn’t change that.

Certainly the remains of a good night of tailgating in the parking lot with Jim Shirey, Vern Romanoski, Tom Miano and the always loyal G-Squad didn’t change that.

In the 29 years and 30 International Classics that we’ve been blessed to enjoy, nothing can change my feelings about this day. It’s hard to find words that explain the emotions this day brings for me, yet one word kind of says it all. Dad.

To this day I don’t know the exact reason my dad chose to come here but then I’ve never asked.

Maybe it was to get me off of his back since I begged him for years before our first Classic to make the trip to “The Home of the Supermodifieds.”

It could be that he planned to come all along but didn’t have the cash to make it happen.

Whatever the reasons were aren’t important now. What is important is that we made it.

Since 1985 the birth of my son, jail time for a DUI, and a myriad of other bumps in the road of life couldn’t keep me or dad away from this day.

There’s so many memories we’ve made. Most good, a couple not so savory, but all the same, those memories have created emotional bonds for us that are tied to this track.

We’re all getting older, a lot less limber, and a lot more tired. I’d like to think we’ll keep coming as long as we’re not pushing up daisies and the track, (note I didn’t call it the Speedway with the “S” capitalized, there’s only ONE of those and it’s in IN), is open, but I don’t know that it will happen that way.

I’d like to think that I’ll sit, no stand, next to my dad with tears in our eyes as 34 versions of “The Ultimate Short Track Race Car” come out of turn four to take the green for Classic for many, many more years to come, but I don’t know that it will happen that way.

Even with as many wonderful friends that I’ve made because of this division and this track in particular, I don’t know that those treasured connections can ever compare to, or make me as excited as I am to be sitting with my dad for 200 Laps of Lust.

We’ve both seen so much here at Oswego. I’ve put him through hell and back time and again with my struggles and just plain stupid choices.

He’s not always been happy with me, but he’s never stopped believing in me. We’ve argued, disagreed, been frustrated and pretty pissy with each other at times through the long Classic Weekend.

Yet, since our first one in 1985, come Classic Sunday, the negative vibes are all washed away. The smiles creep back, the pats on the back and “I’m sorry” flow and we settle in for the long race ahead.

I don’t know that it will ever feel like the first time, but I think this will be one of the best International Classic Sundays ever. And it is all because of one word that means so much-Dad.

So dad, I just want to say thank you for bringing me here in 1985. I want you to know that my life changed that day for the better. I want you to know that every year I look forward to you and me sitting there together for the start of this race.

May we crack a beer and toast to a safe International Classic together for many more years to come. I love you dad.

Here’s the way Oswego Speedway looked in 1985 for my dad and me and our first International Classic.

When did you see your first Oswego Speedway International Classic? What kind of memories have you made? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please join in the conversation below.



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