LaFave spent five seasons in the Supermodified ranks from 2000 to 2005 and that was the last time he had taken laps at Oswego prior to practice one week ago. He has taken zero time away from the sport however, having actively promoted and raced at Evans Mills Speedway for the past several years.
“This is actually my 42nd year in racing,” noted LaFave. “I left Oswego and then went to the Modifieds, built some Legends cars, and raced Mods the last three years while promoting up at Evans Mills. I actually still have a Modified car that I’ll race there when I’m not here, so I never stopped. I just wasn’t here.”
Evans Mills Speedway was sold to Lee Gill and family over the offseason, opening the door for LaFave to pursue other options in racing. He heard rumblings of Oswego adding a 350 class and knew that if it happened, he wanted to make a comeback at the Big O.
“I came down last fall for the meeting the track held about possibly adding this class and knew it was something I was interested in,” LaFave mentioned. “I told myself that if they do this, I am going to find a car and if I see a good deal, I’m going to buy it.”
The car LaFave purchased is a former Muldoon Big Block Supermodified which was last driven at Oswego by Tony Steiner in 2013. It has since been campaigned by Leslie Keyser as a 350 in New England. Keyser put the car up for sale last season.
“I bought the car from Leslie and have been working hard all winter on it,” LaFave said. “Mike Muldoon has helped me a lot, so it’s setup really, really good. I was just glad I was able to do the deal with the Keysers and come back to Oswego. I’m pretty excited about it.”
LaFave looked sporty in his first Oswego laps in over a decade, finding the low 18-second bracket in quick order. He looked smooth, but says he “is a little bit rusty” and looks forward to some more fine tuning ahead of Opening Day.
“I’m pretty happy with how practice went,” offered LaFave. “I think there is a lot more there, I just kind of have to get back in my rhythm, but I think it’s a good car. Mike has been a big help and like I said I think there is much more there than what we showed.”
For the first time since 2004, LaFave will be running Oswego weekly again, while perhaps also venturing to some New England events later in the season.
“I will be here every week they run these,” LaFave confirmed. “Getting to victory lane at Oswego would be pretty cool. I think beyond that I will do some of the special shows out in New England time permitting and just kind of go from there, but I’m happy to be back racing in this class.”
LaFave’s operation is entirely self funded. He is actively seeking sponsors for the 2019 season.
Oswego Speedway’s 69th Season begins this Saturday, May 25 with the Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50’s for Novelis Supermodifieds, Tony White Memorial 35 for Pathfinder Bank SBS, and the 35-lap 350 Super Memorial Weekend special.
Seating in GA, reserved or VIP areas remains on sale for Opening Day and can be purchased by phoning the speedway box office at (315)-342-0646.
For more information on Oswego Speedway, you can visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. Fans can FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.
About Oswego Speedway: Oswego Speedway is a 5/8 mile semi-banked pavement racing oval located off the shores of Lake Ontario in scenic Oswego, NY. The 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 the Oswego Speedway making it the only weekly Supermodified racing venue in the world. The Small Block Supermodifieds and 350 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, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, and former International Classic Champions Bentley Warren, Joe Gosek, and Davey Hamilton.