(Speedway Press Photo)
OSWEGO, NY (April 7, 2016) – Thanks to the help of several Nolan Swift and Oswego Speedway race fans, the section of the Albany St. hill between Jim Shampine Drive and City Line Road in front of Oswego Speedway will now be named Nolan Swift Drive, with a dedication ceremony set for Saturday, May 21 at 3 p.m on the corner of Shampine and Swift Drive.
Robert Metcalf, a longtime Speedway fan, spearheaded the project during the 2015 racing calendar, working to secure some 200 signatures with the help of Oswego Councilman Shawn Walker to pass the street transition.
Swift’s daughter, Sandy Swift Downey, as well as Jason Livesley of Rudy’s Lakeside, Chuck Handley of Burke’s Home Centers, and Nick Sereno & Bob Hoefer of Lighthouse Lanes were also instrumental in the process.
Oswego’s Matthew Hubbard, who updated the current Jim Shampine Drive signage in front of the Speedway, will also create the all new Nolan Swift Drive artwork.
In 2013 a re-dedication of Jim Shampine Drive took place, and now the Speedway is proud to host this year’s Nolan Swift Drive dedication.
“The Nolan Swift Drive dedication is certainly near and dear to my heart,” said Oswego Speedway PR Director, Dan Kapuscinski. “My father Mike Kapuscinski was one of the biggest Nolan Swift fans I think you may have ever met, and he told me so many amazing stories through the years, so to be able to help promote this ceremony is fantastic. Nolan Swift stands as the grand champion of Oswego Speedway, with eight career track championships, but more importantly he was a true fan favorite who helped cultivate the exciting and fan friendly atmosphere that the Speedway has held since his retirement in the mid 1970’s. Everyone with Oswego Speedway is proud to help host this dedication ceremony in honor of a true Oswego Speedway legend.”
Hailing from Syracuse, Swift was the first dominant force at Oswego Speedway driving his famous 10pins, dating back to the early 1950’s, securing his first Oswego Speedway track championship in the A-Modified division in 1953.
Swift would go on to win five A-Modified Speedway track championships before earning his first of three Supermodified track championships in 1964.
With titles following in 1966 and 1971, Swift holds more Oswego Speedway headline division track championships than any other driver, with eight in all.
While his eight track titles would have been enough to cement Swift in Oswego lore, his amazing six International Classic triumphs pushed him to all-time great status.
With Classic wins in 1960, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1971, and 1972 – his six Classic victories remain tied with Bentley Warren and Greg Furlong for most in the history of the event.
Swift holds a total of 41 Supermodified wins at Oswego, coupled with 42 A-Modified victories for a total of 83 main event wins at the ‘Steel Palace.’
Only Jim Shampine has more overall Speedway wins than Swift, at 92.
Shampine, Warren, Ed Bellinger Jr., and Joe Gosek are the only drivers above Swift on the all-time Supermodified win list at Oswego.
Aside from Oswego, Swift captured the 1952 New York State NASCAR Championship, as well as the New York State Fair Stock Car Championship from 1956-1958, the Sandusky Speedway Hy-Miler Supermodified Nationals in 1971, and is believed to have won an estimated 250 total racing events during his career.
Swift was inducted into the Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
As the dedication ceremony nears, more information on proceedings will become available.
Following the dedication Oswego Speedway will hold their second scheduled event of the 2016 season featuring a 50-lap Novelis Supermodified feature event as well as a 30-lap Pathfinder Bank SBS main.
The night’s action will be the first ‘Fan Appreciation’ event of the season, with general admission grandstand seating set at just $10.
Grandstand gates will open on May 21 at 4:30 p.m. with racing slated to go green at 6:30 p.m.
Kids 16 and under will again be admitted free at all Speedway events in 2016 with the exception of Budweiser International Classic Weekend and Race of Champions Weekend.
On track activity beings at Oswego Speedway on Saturday, May 7 with the annual open test session for all racing divisions. Testing will run from 1-5pm on May 7 and is free for spectators to sit in the main grandstand.
Racing action at the Speedway begins on Saturday, May 14 featuring the Speedway’s 66th consecutive opening night highlighted by the Race of Champions Modified Richie Evans Memorial 61 as well as kick-off events for the Novelis Supermodifieds and Pathfinder Bank SBS.
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.