All posts by Myracenews

Oswego Title Tilt: Michael Barnes, Anthony Losurdo Now Lead Speedway Championships

 OSWEGO, NY (June 13, 2016) – Four weeks into Oswego Speedway’s championship season has already produced three different lead changes in the race for the track championship in the Speedway’s Novelis Supermodified and Pathfinder Bank SBS divisions.

After leading the Novelis Supermodified championship through the first two weeks of the season, Michael Barnes’ tough luck in the Jim Shampine Memorial on May 28 handed the point lead over to seven-time Speedway champion Otto Sitterly for the first time this year.

On Saturday night however, the tables turned yet again as Sitterly found himself sideways in between the Speedway’s first and second turns and eventually in the pit area with a 12th place finish.

With Sitterly six laps off the pace and out of the top ten spots, Barnes capitalized in the Syrell Racing No. 68 driving to the third position in the Spring Championship, nearly overcoming front runners Pat Lavery and Keith Shampine.
Barnes’ third top five finish of the season was enough to reclaim his championship lead over Sitterly by 11-markers, his largest lead of the season heading into Saturday’s Novelis Supermodified Twin 35 features presented by Burke’s Do-It-Best Home Centers and A&P Auto Parts.

With four top ten finishes in four starts, Dave Gruel now moves to the third position in the standings following the Spring Championship with feature winners Kody Graham and Lavery riding closely in the top five spots.

Michael Muldoon, the only other driver than Gruel to have a top ten run in every race this season, sits sixth in the standings ahead of Shampine Memorial champion Dave Danzer, Tim Devendorf, Brandon Bellinger, and Dan Connors Jr.
Saturday night was not a night for point leaders as Mike Bond ran into issues as well in his No. 74 Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super.

While racing with Kreig Heroth early on in the main event, Bond found himself in the third turn foam at lap seven, taking on enough damage to end his night.
Despite winning his qualifying heat race, a 19th place finish was more than enough to drop Bond from the point lead, now facing a 24-point deficit from fifth in the point standings.

Waiting in the wings to take advantage of Bond’s mishap was Anthony Losurdo, who now leads the Speedway’s SBS point chase for the first time in his young career.

With three top five finishes, including a fourth place effort on Saturday night, Losurdo and his No. 1 team are on the top of the mountain leading former SBS champion Dave Cliff by a five point edge.
Cliff joins Losurdo as the only two drivers with three top five finishes this season, although neither has yet to find victory lane in 2016.

Camden Proud and feature winners Mike Bruce and Bond hold the remaining top five positions in the standings currently with Saturday night’s feature winner Dalton Doyle, Heroth, Jack Patrick, Barry Kingsley, and Scott Shafer the top ten.

Oswego Speedway returns to action this Saturday, June 18 for the Novelis Supermodified Twin 35’s along with the first driver autograph session of the season.
Pit gates will open on Saturday at 3 p.m. with grandstand gates opening at 4 p.m. with the start of hot laps.  The autograph session will be held on the Speedway’s main straight away at 5:15 p.m.

The night’s first heat race will go green at 6:30 p.m.

Kids 16 and under will again be admitted free at all Speedway events in 2016, including the rear grandstand this weekend, with the exception of Budweiser International Classic Weekend and Race of Champions Weekend.
For more information on Oswego Speedway be sure to visit www.oswegospeedway.com.  You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway and LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.

David Ragan Scores Back-to-Back Top-25s

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (June 13, 2016) – David Ragan, driver of the No. 23 Weaver Media Toyota Camry, scored a top-25 finishing following the FireKeeper Casino 400 at Pocono Raceway.
“It was a good rebound for our Weaver Media team,” Ragan said following the FireKeepers Casino 400. “Starting in the rear with a backup car put us behind at the start. Patrick (Donahue, crew chief) and the team made good adjustments and the car was really good at the end of the race.”
“We saw some really good racing today and as the track continues to age, it will continue to improve.”
From the drop of the green flag, Ragan and crew chief Patrick Donahue began to dial in the No. 23 Weaver Media Toyota which was a backup car with few laps on track. As the race developed, Ragan was happy with the handling of the car and able to pick up positions after starting in the rear of the field.
During the final seven-lap shootout to the checkers, Ragan was able to battle for positions as the final laps ticked away. As the checkered flag flew, Ragan brought home a 22nd place finish for the No.23 BK Racing team.
Ragan’s finish at Michigan adds to BK Racing’s top-25 tally, which now stands at eight for the season.
Ragan and the No. 23 team now head to Sonoma Raceway on June 26, 2016, but will pause to enjoy an off weekend.

Jacques; Driving it Like He Stole It

(THOMPSON, CT) – Heavy metal. An odd Mother’s Day gift. Stolen cars. What does that have to do with racing a Limited Sportsman at Thompson Speedway? For Phil Jacques, it tells the story of his path to his first career victory.

Jacques grew up in the Webster, MA area going to Seekonk Speedway with his Uncle Fred who served as a crew chief on a Charger Division car every Saturday night. Like many before him, it wasn’t long before he was hooked.

In 1997, he made the visit to Thompson Speedway for the first time on World Series weekend. From the moment he arrived, he knew Thompson was the place he wanted to race. The problem was, his parents didn’t have the money to support his passion for racing. When a job offer came up in Florida he opted to take it and moved to the Sunshine state in 2000.

The only way he could ‘drive’ a racecar was through a video game console. He eventually started running go-karts at Palm Beach International and then began drag racing at Orlando Speed World as well as Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.

In 2010, Jacques got the itch to come home. He met Bill McNeil through Facebook and started helping him at the Waterford Speedbowl. Then he joined the production team at SID’s Vault where he met Jesse and Brent Gleason, his now weekly Limited Sportsman competitors.

Jacques described himself as a “NASCAR TV Fan,” during that time and it wasn’t until 2012 that he was able to buy his first racecar.

In the meantime, racing was not his only passion. Before he shifted his full attention to his race team, he played guitar for a national touring heavy metal rock band based in Queens know as Full Blown Chaos. During his time with the group, they played to crowds as large as 5,000.

Music filled a void for a time, as financial hardship kept his car in the garage. Well, sort of.

“I brought the car to what I thought was a reputable race shop to do some chassis and fabrication work,” said Jacques. “I paid them $2,500 and then I couldn’t reach the guy to get my parts back.”

When Jacques went down to the shop to check on the progress of his job, the shop was empty. The place was closed and everything was gone. Stolen. At that point, Jacques knew his dreams of racing were gone.

Jacques had to get behind the wheel and his mother Patty has always been a tremendous supporter throughout his life. She wasn’t a big of motorsports fan or a heavy metal fan, but she wanted to see her son do what he loved to do. So he did what every other rationally thinking person would do for a Mother’s Day gift. He purchased a ride for himself in a rental racecar at Stafford Speedway so his Mom could watch him race. He finished 12th in the race after starting dead last in the feature.

In the meantime he partnered with Randy Tucker to race an Outlaw car at the World Series and was fast right out of the box. So fast in fact, that track officials decided to move him up to a faster division in the Outlaw ranks showing his prowess at the track.

Now back to the stolen car dilemma. A friend alerted him that his car had been located sitting in a snow bank. After digging it out and scrounging around for loose parts, he had recovered his missing ride.

His rookie season was in 2015, but it wasn’t until June 1 this year when he was finally able to realize his dreams and earn his first victory at Thompson Speedway.  For Jacques, he hopes it was just the first of many more to come.

The next event is the Thompson 125 scheduled for Wednesday, June 15. Qualifying heats for the Whelen All-American Series weekly divisions begins at 5pm, with pre-race ceremonies to follow at 6pm. Joining the racing card will be the Whelen Modified Tour and NEMA Lites. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.thompsonspeedway.com