This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are the 115th, 116th, 117th, 118th and 119th in track history, which include two drivers, two employees and a car owner that can all still be found on speedway grounds from time to time today, some still on an every race basis.
In the 25th anniversary season of ISMA participation at Oswego Speedway, the track is excited to recognize one of the all-time greats in winged and non-winged racing in Russ Wood. Wood of Pelham, NH, sits second on the all-time ISMA win list and also competed with the Ed Shea No. 27 team at Oswego for a handful of years where he garnered five non-wing feature wins. He finished in the top ten in points on several occasions with a notable second place finish behind Doug Didero in 1994.
The second inductee is soon to be 80 year-old Bill Abold, who has a very recognizable name when it comes to Supermodified racing. His son Pat has won 22 main events at the “Big O.’ His grandson Jeff is the 2016 Budweiser International Classic 200 champion and his other grandson Dave Gruel is the defending Mr. Supermodified champion. Bill has been a major figure in the Abold racing family exploits since they decided to hit the track,, but it just didn’t begin there. Abold’s racing roots sparked back in 1958 when he received his first taste of the Oswego Speedway as part of a beginning partnership with Johnny Pawlicki. His daughter Kim also plays a key part in the Abold family racing endeavors with her husband Kevin Enders of Enders Racing Engines.
Serving as the third and fourth Hall of Fame Inductees are two longtime Oswego employees recognized by fans as a pair of the only two individuals to man the starting stand within the past several years; Don Forbes and Jerry Kritzman. Forbes and Kritzman together have nearly 60 years of experience at Oswego Speedway. The duo served as cornermen over the years before becoming the man on top of the flagstand, with Forbes still doing so today. Notably, Kritzman also served as a race director for both the Oswego Speedway and International Supermodified Association.
Although not an Oswego regular, last but not least on the list is a renown modified driver and crew chief in Jan Leaty. Leaty has played an integral part in modified racing at Oswego, winning three major events and placing in the top five close to twenty times over an Oswego career spanning three decades. Jan also helped his son Mike launch a very successful career and now works with Patrick Emerling, who is coming off a popular NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory at Bristol.
These five individuals will be officially inducted during the Mitchell’s Hall of Fame Oswego Speedway awards banquet to be held on Saturday, November 4 at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego.
With Oswego Speedway’s 2017 pavement campaign now in the books, the next on track event at the ‘Steel Palace’ will be NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLVI, which will run from October 4th-8th. For tickets, visit SuperDIRTWeekOnline.com or phone 844-DIRT-TIX.
For more information on Oswego Speedway be sure to visit online at www.OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.
All-Time Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame Inductees:
1998 - Harry Caruso, George Caruso Sr, William Caruso, Nolan Swift, Eddie Bellinger Sr, ‘Irish’ Jack Murphy, Jim Shampine, Bill Wright, Ed Bowley, Gordon Johncock
1999 - Lee Bliss, Warren Coniam, Todd Gibson, Steve Gioia Sr, Willie Hackett. Ronnie Luz
2000 - Billy Blum, Chuck Ciprich, Norm Mackereth, Tom Heveron Sr, Charlie Hopkins, Richie Evans
2001 - Kenny Andrews, Art Bennett, Ronnie Wallace, Ron Buckner. Jack Burgess, Maynard Troyer
2002 - Steve Gioia Jr, Kempton Dates, Dick Jerrett Sr, Howard Purdy, Marty Crucitti, Sammy Sessions
2003 - Eddie Bellinger Jr, Freddy Graves, Dutt Yanni, Norm Bacon, John Pallotta, Jimmy DeLucia, Geoff Bodine
2004 - Gary Allbritain, Mike Muldoon, Skip Matczak, Pete Trenca, Floyd Wallace, Gary Reichert, Don & Ray Turner
2005 - Baldy Baker, Doug Duncan, Teddy Powers,, Davey Hamilton
2006 - George Caruso Jr
2007 - Romey and Doug Caruso, Roy Sova, Don Kranz, Ed Shea, Ed LaPrade, Bentley Warren
2008 - Bob Goutermout, Mike Bond, Doug Heveron, Jim Ferlito, Carol D. Haynes, Jerry Rich
2009 - Dick O’Brien, John Hill, Mark Regan, Dave McKnight Sr, Pat Abold
2010 - Jamie Moore, Tony Osetek, Norris McDonald, Bruce Lee, Jim Laccardi
2011 - Ed Piersall, John Torrese Sr, Russ Brown, Joe Gosek, Dan Dorsey Sr.
2012 - Doug Didero, George Kent, Ed Thompson, Jim McGiff, Jack Jermyn, Don Beauchene
2013 - Bill Hartwell, Bud Young, Dave Paul, Dean Hoag, MIke Ordway, Soule Racing
2014 - Dave Shullick Sr, Jim Winks, Ed Cloce, Norm Hagen, Lyle Howard, Ed Zirr
2015 - Randy RItskes, Nick and Sam Virgo, Mark and Sherlie Letcher, Fred Cavalier, Don and Marsha Bartlett
2016 - Tim Gareau, Joe Marotta, Wayne Landon, Dan Dennie, Ray Hedger, Norm Patrick and the Patrick Family
2017 - Russ Wood, Bill Abold, Donny Forbes, Jerry Kritzman, Jan Leaty