The 2015 Budweiser International Classic 200 Entries Previewed
by Danny Kapuscinski
Note: Because of the length of the original release, we have broken into two parts. Today we look at International Classic 200 registered drivers with car numbers 24-99.
OSWEGO, NY (August 25, 2015) – As preparations continue for the 59th running of the Budweiser International Classic 200 on Sunday, September 6, a healthy list of supermodified veterans and newcomers are looking to make their mark on Oswego Speedway this Labor Day Weekend 2015.
- 24 – Jerry Curran (Oswego, NY): Like Shawn Muldoon, supermodified veteran Jerry Curran has only been to the track a couple of times in 2015 with the Nuclear Banana number 24 supermodified. Always at the Oswego Speedway with a beautifully prepared machine, Curran hopes his 2015 Classic goes somewhat smoother than in 2014. Last year Curran hit the wall during Friday warm-ups, forcing him to the Bud Light B-Main, which he would go on to win. Curran would then drive masterfully from 29th place to 12th in the 200. If all goes well during warm-ups Friday and Sunday, Curran should likely time into the show, giving himself an easier shot at a top ten run come Sunday evening.
- 26 – Shaun Gosselin (Fox Lake, IL): Coming in from the Chicago area each week to compete at Oswego, Shaun Gosselin seems to be hitting his stride at the right time. A podium finish in the last race prior to the International Classic has Gosselin and team eyeing another top-notch run. Finishes of sixth in 2012 and third in 2013 prove Gosselin and team have what it takes for another podium effort in 2015.
- 35 – Bob Magner (Oswego, NY): Each year the Classic draws one-off entries and one of those drivers in 2015 is Bob Magner, driving the No. 35 Supermodified piloted in recent years by Jeff Holbrook. The Allegresso built machine has shown Fast 14 speed as recently as 2012, and two-time Mr. Supermodified Magner is no doubt capable of giving it another great drive. Magner last competed in the Classic in 2013 with a finish of 22nd, and has spent the last couple seasons mixing it up on the International Supermodified Association trail.
- 47 – Bob Bond (Mexico, NY): Two-time Classic champion and current Novelis Supermodified point leader at Oswego, Bob Bond is another of the drivers banking on victory in the International Classic. Once again driving the Four Sevens Motorsports No. 47 Hawk, Bond has one victory this season and multiple top five efforts to lead Sitterly in the overall drivers chase. With Fast 14 speed and a knack for long distance driving, Bond hopes to rebound from a disappointing 20th place run in last year’s 200, which saw him with a flat right rear and damaged racing machine.
- 50 – Dave Gruel (Fulton, NY): Yearly Oswego championship contender Dave Gruel is another driver eyeing Classic victory. Finishing third in 2012 and fifth in 2013, a rare stumble last season saw Gruel with a 16th place effort. With one feature victory in 2015 and a fourth place ranking in the current driver standings, Gruel hopes to be one of those dicing for victory at race’s end on Sunday.
- 51 – Joey Moriarty (Glendale, AZ): A familiar name is returning to Classic contention in 2015, driving a familiar number – Joey Moriarty will return in the No. 51 for his first International Classic since 1995. A rookie in the 1990 Classic, Moriarty started his Classic career in a big way with a fourth place finish behind only Bentley Warren, Dave Shullick Sr., and Pat Abold. A ninth place finish in 1991 and another top ten in 1994 made Moriarty a fan favorite in his early career. But, it has been 20 years since the Arizona driver has started the Classic, spending the last several years on the dirt out west. Moriarty returns this season driving a brand new Hawk Jr. chassis, which he has tested several times this year, displaying Fast 14 speed in the 16.4-second bracket. Moriarty will likely time in on day one and from there only time will tell if Moriarty can again return to the top ten of the Classic.
- 52 – Dave Danzer (Oswego, NY): Former Mr. Supermodified title holder Dave Danzer has one feature win in 2015 and is one of the fastest racers at the Speedway every night. Danzer was in the thick of the winning conversation in last year’s Classic, until spinning late in the going. The No. 52 did rebound for an eighth place finish, and will no doubt better that effort if the machine stays forward the entire distance. Danzer qualified fourth quick one year ago with a lap of 16.0-seconds, and is another of the favorites for Classic victory this season.
- ®54 – Dalton Doyle (Fulton, NY): Unlike Aric Iosue and Mike McVetta, International Classic 200 rookie Dalton Doyle has zero laps of experience in a supermodified heading into Classic Week. A three-time winner in the Pathfinder Bank SBS division, Doyle led the small block standings for much of 2014 and has landed a ride in the Tim Devendorf back-up Supermodified, formerly driven by Greg Furlong. Testing dates leading up to the Classic will help get Doyle up to speed as the lead fabricator at Hawk Jr. Fabrication looks to make his first supermodified feature the biggest one there is, the International Classic 200.
- 55 – Keith Shampine (Concord, NC): Like Shaun Gosselin, Keith Shampine travels a great distance to be a part of Oswego Speedway and the Novelis Supermodified division, as the driver of the Chris Osetek number 55, coming from Concord, NC each week. Driving a machine designed and built by car owner Osetek, Shampine has been searching for consistent speed all year. Three top ten finishes in weekly action have seen Shampine competitive and a Fast 14 qualifying effort in 2013 bodes well for him come Classic time. Shampine will likely be on the edge of a Fast 14 spot on Friday night of Classic and hopes to see the checkered flag in the Classic itself, something he has yet to do in the Osetek owned car.
- 56 – Hal LaTulip (Oswego, NY): Hal LaTulip will once again drive through the Oswego gates on Classic Weekend with his familiar number 56. Driving a chassis of his own design, LaTulip has been to Oswego every week this season, continuing to build speed toward qualifying for another 200. LaTulip fell short of the starting grid in 2014, but made the show as recently as 2013 with a 25th place run. The Classic would not be the same without the LaTulip No. 56 on the roster.
- 68 – Michael Barnes (Mexico, NY): Coming to many as a surprise, Michael Barnes has not yet reached victory lane at Oswego Speedway in 2015, driving the Syrell Racing No. 68. The first driver to officially crack the 15-second bracket in a Novelis Supermodified, one year ago during Classic time trials, Barnes is a threat for the Classic pole position again in 2015. Several podium finishes this season and two wins in 2014 make Barnes another favorite for the 200 victory as he looks to improve on his sixth place run one year ago, looking to score his first career Classic top five.
- 72 – Dave Cliff (Oswego, NY): Officially announced during the last event of the regular season at Oswego, with a career best runner-up finish, Dave Cliff will indeed continue behind the wheel of the Danzer owned car for the 59th International Classic. Starting the season behind the wheel of his own machine, Cliff opened eyes with a few fine attempts, before getting the call to drive on the Danzer team for the 200. The car that Cliff will pilot took Danzer to a fourth place finish in the 2011 Classic. Cliff, who ran the 2010 Classic for Pat and Terry Strong and the 2013 Classic in his own ride, will look to make his third start on September 6 for a third different car owner in Craig Danzer.
- 79 – Brian Sobus (Fulton, NY): Brian Sobus had his coming out party as a Novelis Supermodified car owner during last year’s International Classic Weekend, surprising the crowd with a 16.4-second lap, putting him in as the last of the Fast 14 qualifiers. Unfortunately Sobus would be one of the first cars out of last year’s 200, but Sobus bounced back in 2015 driving his No. 79 to two runner-up finishes this year, including the 75-lap Jim Shampine Memorial in May. Showing solid speed this season, Sobus will look to try to return to the front seven rows of the starting grid in 2015, and may well be one of the surprise contenders for victory if he makes it the distance.
- 83 – Lou LeVea Jr. (Fulton, NY): Another weekly runner at Oswego, Lou LeVea Jr. is one of the competitors working all season to better his program with a starting spot in the International Classic in mind. Driving an older Belfiore chassis, the LeVea crew has worked hard all season to put themselves in place to once again make the 200, which they have done each of the last two seasons with a best finish of 20th in 2013. Driving the No. 83, LeVea may have to race his way into the show, but another starting spot and the $1,000 prize that comes along with it, will be mighty satisfying for this crew.
- 88 – Ryan Litt (London, ONT): A veteran of winged Sprint Car racing, Ryan Litt stormed onto the Classic scene back in 2013 driving the Dave Lair Jet 88. The son of former supermodified driver Wade Litt, Ryan qualified seventh fastest and finished with an amazing fourth in his first Classic two years ago. Last year, Litt struggled with the No. 88, running the Bud-Light B-Main and ending his day with a disappointing 28th place effort. Litt is scheduled to return yet again in 2015 and is looking to return to the form he first showed only two years ago in his rookie season.
- 91 – Bobby Santos (Indianapolis, IN): Driving for Graham Racing for the second consecutive season, Bobby Santos will return to Oswego for another shot at Classic victory in 2015. Santos first came to Oswego as a teenager in 2002, driving for Dave Lair. The young shoe made an immediate impact, time trialing into the show with a 15th place finish. One year later Santos timed in 6th quick, before dropping out. In 2004, driving for Craig Rayvals, Santos nearly won the Classic – crashing across the line with Greg Furlong. Despite excelling in various other racing series’, Santos continues to return to the Classic and as recently as last season scored another top five finish driving the Graham No. 11. This year Santos will pilot the No. 91, driven the majority of the season by his car owner Ray Graham, and will surely make himself known as a pole and winner threat in this year’s field.
- 96 – Lou LeVea Sr. (Volney, NY): Lou LeVea Sr. started the 2015 season driving the No. 66 Supermodified built by his car owner Steve Buske. Unfortunately, an accident earlier in the year sidelined that ride, moving LeVea to the former Kerfien Racing, Page Chassis, No. 96. Like his son Lou Jr., a starting spot in the Classic is a crucial result in the overall success of Lou Sr.’s season. Last year, LeVea wheeled his way into the 200 as the fifth and last qualifier out of a stacked Bud Light B-Main. This year, LeVea hopes he can muster the speed to qualify in day two time trials.
- 99 – Joey Payne (Fairlawn, NJ): One year removed from starting on the pole position for the International Classic with a new track record of 15.802 seconds, Joey Payne is reunited with his former Oswego team, Strong Racing. Payne and car owners Pat and Terry Strong competed at Oswego just once this season, in a shakedown of the “Plum Krazy” 99. A veteran of the Classic, Payne hopes to find a Fast 14 qualifying spot and then put himself in position to finally win the Classic. The ride that Payne will chauffeur last ran in the International Classic in 2013, ending in the eighth position with Michael Barnes at the controls.
The cars listed above have contacted the Speedway in regards to running the 59th International Classic. The cars listed below are potential additions to the field.
3 – Brian Sweeney: Rumors have recently circulated that Brian Sweeney may bring his supermodified out of the garage for an attempt at the Classic. Sweeney qualified 15th fastest in last year’s Classic field, ending with a 24th place finish.
18 – Howard Page: Page has been to the Speedway a handful of times this season with the No. 18, but not in recent weeks. After time trialing 27th fastest one year ago, Page finished 32nd in the 2014 edition of the 200.
45 – Mike Barbera: The Mike Barbera owned No. 45 made a surprise visit to the track on August 15 and is rumored to have one of two veteran drivers at the wheel come Classic Weekend. It is said that both Russ Wood and Tim Jedrzejek have been contacted to drive the Muldoon chassis this Labor Day Weekend. The Barbera machine qualified for last year’s Classic through the Bud Light B-Main with Mike at the wheel, finishing 31st overall.
66 – Buske Racing: Car owner Steve Buske has declared intentions to potentially enter another machine for the Classic as No. 66. The car is said to be the twin to the No. 96 machine entered in the Classic by Lou LeVea Sr. A driver had not been discussed for this car.
70 – Dave McKnight: After failing to qualify for the 2014 International Classic, driving for Gary Morton, it is unclear if McKnight or Morton will return for the Classic in 2015.
75 – Gene Lee Gibson: Gibson failed to qualify for the Classic in 2014 driving his own Super 75. Earlier in the year Gibson said he was coming to Oswego Speedway for the August 8 Anniversary night, but never made it, citing work obligations as the reason.
84 – Mike Lichty: Lichty qualified for last year’s Classic driving a former John Nicotra owned machine and looked stout in the No. 84 prior to dropping out of the event on lap 165. While Lichty has not filed an official entry, the word is that Lichty will indeed return with the same car in 2015.
94 –® Logan Rayvals: Rookie Supermodified driver Logan Rayvals has been at the Speedway twice in 2015, qualifying for one main event. A former NEMA Lites shoe, Rayvals competes in the former Locke Racing machine driven in last year’s Classic by Randy Ritskes. While Rayvals has not filed an entry for the Classic he is expected to be one of four rookies competing for Total Seal Rookie of the Race honors, worth $500.
To purchase tickets for Budweiser International Classic Weekend and the 59th annual Budweiser International Classic 200, call the Oswego Speedway box office today at (315) 342-0646.
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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.