Monday, 28 July 2014 16:52

Historical Mr. Supermodified Ignites Summer Stretch

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Known as 'Mr. Supermodified', Mike Ordway drove to his first of six $10,000 pay days at Oswego Speedway in July of 1990. Known as 'Mr. Supermodified', Mike Ordway drove to his first of six $10,000 pay days at Oswego Speedway in July of 1990. Speedway Press Photo

     Oswego Speedway’s summer stretch run toward Budweiser International Classic Weekend begins Saturday night at the ‘Steel Palace’ with the 28th edition of the $10,000 to win Mr. Novelis Supermodified special presented by Davis Bros. Inc. of Oswego.

     The 27-year history of the Mr. Supermodified event has provided memorable moments and decorated champions. 

     Oswego Speedway legends Mike Ordway, Doug Heveron, Mike Muldoon, Steve Gioia Jr., Doug Didero, and Otto Sitterly have all taken home the $10,000 top prize in their careers at the Speedway. 

     Ordway leads all drivers in the win column, with a total of six victories in the $10,000 special, as he has became known as the ‘Mr. Supermodified’ of all-time.  With wins in ’90, ’91, ’93, ’02, ’03, and ’04, Ordway’s victories are three better than any of the other 13 drivers to have claimed the honor. 

     While each of Ordway’s victories was memorable, in that they continued the winning bench mark in the event; several others left race fans talking for many years to come.

     In 1987, the inaugural event, Bentley Warren and Doug Heveron raced side by side for several laps before ending the night with a vicious collision in the third turn wall.  Young Gene Lee Gibson would go onto the win, his first career at the Speedway, beginning a habit of first time winners in the 10K.

     Just one year later, Mike Muldoon added his name to the first time fraternity with a Mr. Supermodified triumph.  Muldoon outran Joe Gosek and Ordway to his first career Supermodified win at Oswego.

     In 1992, Pat Abold continued a dominant season at the Speedway with a win in the Mr. Supermodified main.  Abold would go on to become the Speedway’s track champion in ’92 with eight wins on the season.  Just four years later, Abold would claim another $10,000 victory in the No. 05.

     None would have figured the $10,000 Mr. Supermodified event in 1994 would be the last victory for Speedway great Steve Gioia Jr.  The popular win saw Gioia beat out Russ Wood and longtime rival Eddie Bellinger Jr.

     The 1997 running of the Mr. Supermodified saw its most improbable winner as Tim Gareau joined Gibson and Muldoon as first time feature winners collecting $10,000.  Gareau edged top veterans and previous Mr. Supermodified champions Doug Didero, Gioia, and Abold.

     The 1999 and 2000 Mr. Supermodified events were popular victories for eventual Speedway Hall of Fame driver Bob Goutermout.  Goutermout joined Gareau as Small Block Super graduates to win the $10,000 main and also joined Ordway as the only other driver at the time to win consecutive Mr. Supermodified events.

     Bob Magner in 2008 and 2009 and Ray Graham in 2010 and 2011 would add their names to the consecutive win club with Ordway and Goutermout.

     In 2012, the Speedway added another first time winner to its list of $10,000 champions as Kody Graham, son of two-time Mr. Supermodified Ray Graham, beat out Gosek and Michael Barnes in a tremendous three car battle for the win.  Kody’s victory made for a Graham three-peat in the race.

     The defending champion of the Mr. Supermodified event is none other than 6-time Oswego Speedway track champion Otto Sitterly, as he bested Brian Sweeney, Jerry Curran, Dan Connors, and Tim Jedrzejek for the victory.    

     Sitterly was also triumphant in the 2006 running of the Mr. Supermodified, part of his dominating championship run in that season, but perhaps his most memorable moment in the $10,000 spectacular was his hellacious ride into the inside hub rail in 2011 battling Ray Graham for the win.

     This year’s 28th annual event, which will again be contended for 75-laps, will no doubt provide more memorable and historical moments.

     The $1,500 Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS may be five years behind the Mr. Supermodified, but it has no doubt produced its share of memories and fantastic races.

     There have been an amazing 20 different winners of the Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS in 22 attempts.

     Daryl Nichols won the inaugural Mr. Limited Supermodified in 1992, and it wasn’t until 1997 that the division saw a repeat winner.

     Long-time competitor Andy Jodway became the first of only two drivers to win the title event twice coming in 1995 and 1997. Dan Ferlito would join Jodway in 1999 and 2000, also becoming the only driver to win the race in consecutive years.

     Tim Gareau and Ray Graham currently stand as the only drivers in history to have won both the Mr. Supermodified and Mr. SBS crowns.  Gareau won the Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS title in 1994, while Graham took top honors in 1998.

     The most memorable Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS likely came in 2002 when the event name had to be changed in victory lane as Star Matteson picked up the Ms. SBS victory.  The win would be Matteson’s only feature victory in the series, as she became the first female feature victor at Oswego Speedway.

     Many may find it hard to believe that highly decorated SBS pilots Mike Bond and Russ Brown each only have one win in the $1,500 special event.  Bond took the win in 2004, while Brown reached victory lane in 2006.

     Brown will return to action this weekend at the Speedway after claiming the Summer Championship on July 19.

     First time winners have also been a highlight of the Mr. SBS title including last season as rookie Danny Abt drove to victory in the No. 57.

     Racing begins Saturday night at 6:30pm and is presented by Novelis, Pathfinder Bank, and Davis Bros Inc.  General admission seats are available for the premier event for only $20, with kids 16 and under FREE.

     For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com, FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway, or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.

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