Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – After a month long delay that certainly feels like years, the Oswego Speedway will finally get its 2020 season started this Saturday, June 20 with closed track testing for Novelis Supermodified, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and J&S Paving 350 teams.
Saturday’s testing will be the first on-track action since Budweiser Classic Weekend over nine months ago. As of Wednesday, four drivers are scheduled to participate in the test; Brandon Bellinger, Jack Patrick, Vern LaFave, and Norm MacLeod.
Bellinger, who currently holds the track record at 15.769 seconds, set the pole for last year’s Budweiser International Classic 200; joining his father Ed Bellinger Jr, who did the same more than 25 years ago. Brandon was also able to add his third career victory in 2019, and the iconic 02 will again compete weekly in 2020.
A Supermodified sophomore this season, Patrick is a Pathfinder Bank SBS veteran and seven time feature winner at the Speedway. In his rookie season racing a Supermodified, Patrick was highly impressive, finishing in fourth place on August 10 of 2019, and also recorded a solid 13th place effort in the International Classic.
For LaFave, who will put his full-time Oswego Speedway return into motion just one year since his horrifying accident, Saturday has been a long time coming. A resident of Philadelphia, NY, LaFave says winning at Oswego would surely be the “greatest dream” of his life. Seeing the No. 97 roll onto the track this weekend will be an extremely welcome sight for many.
Last but not least, Tom MacLeod will be making the tow all the way from Orchard Park, NY to shake down his No. 81 J&S Paving 350 Supermodified machine. MacLeod is a Supermodified rookie, but not at all a rookie to racing. A former track champion, MacLeod has several years of experience in Late Models at Lancaster Speedway and made select Oswego starts in 2019.
While these four drivers will be the first to see the Speedway in 2020, testing will really ramp up in the following weeks, with nearly two dozen different competitors already signed up for slots on June 26, 27, and the Opening Weekend Fast Friday test on July 3. A full lineup is listed below, but a number of changes and additions should be anticipated.
Those interested in signing up for any of the test sessions; which include 4 to 8pm on June 19, 10am to 2pm on June 20, and 4 to 8pm on June 26, June 27, and July 3 can email Paul at email@example.com. Teams are asked to check their emails for further information on these sessions.
All are reminded that for each practice slot, there will be strict limits on both the number of cars and crew members in the pit area, and no one is allowed on Oswego Speedway grounds with the exception of teams and essential staff. Should any of the scheduled test sessions exceed 10 cars, additional slots will be made available to make room for everyone.
Although the grandstands will be closed until July 3 at the earliest, fans hoping to follow track testing can check the Speedway’s website and social media channels for content including live video, photos, driver interviews, lap times, and more, which will be posted during each session.
Oswego Speedway plans to open with fans on Saturday, July 4. The Opening Day event would include racing for Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and the J&S Paving 350 Supermodifieds. The Sportsman Modified XMR has been taken off the schedule.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order, which prohibits race tracks from operating with any fans in attendance, expires Thursday, July 2. Speedway officials are hopeful to announce final confirmation of the potential July 4 event by Monday, June 29 at the latest.
The track office is now open by appointment and will be regularly by month’s end to handle any necessary items needed for teams to race; including driver registration, or other paperwork. All ticket and camping sales of any kind remain paused, with hopes to announce future plans and pricing for these items in early July. Drivers are required to turn in registration before hitting the track.
For the latest updates from Oswego Speedway, visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or Instagram @OfficialOswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.