Category Archives: Weekly Racing

20 Years Ago: Double ‘O’ Joe Gosek Qualifies for Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

OSWEGO, NY (May 19, 2016) – Twenty years ago today – May 19, 1996 – Oswego, NY Supermodified veteran Joe Gosek officially qualified for the 80th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

At the time, Gosek was a two-time champion of Oswego’s Budweiser International Classic and a former ISMA Supermodified champion.  Known in racing circles as Double ‘O’ Joe for his racing machines which carried No. 00, Gosek made right on the newly formed Indy Racing League, which provided fresh opportunities for American open-wheel talent to make a run at Indianapolis.
GosekIndyHeadshotGosek first signed with the Tempero/Giuffre Racing team, which brought Lola race cars with Buick power plants to the Speedway.  However, in time it could be seen that this pairing would not work to get Gosek in the show.
Eventually Gosek was able to strike a deal with Andy Evans and Team Scandia which also competed with Lola chassis but were powered with the Ford Cosworth XB.  Team Scandia was looking to field an incredible seven cars in the ’96 Indy field.
After the completion of three full days of qualifying it was finally Gosek’s turn to make a shot at the field on Bump Day – Sunday, May 19 of 1996.
When Gosek took to the Speedway Scott Harrington had just filled the field of 33 starters with a four lap average of 222.185 mph, meaning that Gosek would need to bump his way into the lineup to qualify for the 500.

On the bubble was the ride of Billy Boat.

Not even an hour earlier, Boat had been injured after crashing an AJ Foyt entry he was trying to get up to speed in case his current machine was bumped from the field.  Boat suffered a leg injury and would not be able to drive.

Either way the Pagan Racing No. 99 driven by Boat on day three of qualifying was still the slowest car in the field at 221.824 mph, the mark Gosek would have to beat to get into the lineup.

When called upon Gosek answered in the bright red No. 43 Lola cutting laps of 223.730 mph, 223.093 mph, 222.231 mph, and 222.036 mph for a four lap average of 222.793 mph to put him 31st in the field of 33 come race day.
After climbing out of his machine as a 500 qualifier, Gosek took hugs and high fives from several well-wishers including wife Vicki, brother Ed, and current Supermodified car owner John Nicotra.

Gosek had this to say on that historic day to ESPN infield report Gary Gerould.

“I don’t know what to think right now,” said Gosek.  “It’s a thrill that I have never experienced.  When I was out there I was just trying to concentrate and Andy (Evans) gave me a hit of confidence before I went out, do the best you could for what we had.  I just tried to relax and it came to me and everything worked really well.  I don’t know exactly what it was but I’m happy for everyone on Team Scandia and the whole deal is fantastic.”
Gosek would be joined in the 11th and final row of the 80th Indianapolis 500 field by Harrington and Danny Ongais, who was driving the car qualified on pole position by the late Scott Brayton who lost his life at Indy just two days prior on May 17, 1996.
Come race day Gosek would complete 106 of the 200 laps, ending with a 22nd place finish in his one and only start in the 500.

An unofficial report on race day indicated that no driver had ever received more phone calls, faxes, or fan mail to the Speedway prior to 1996, than Gosek.

In 1998 Gosek would make another attempt at the field, but was unable to qualify.

Since Double ‘O’ Joe’s run at Indianapolis, Oswego’s only Indy starter has secured two Oswego Speedway Supermodified track championships as well as another International Classic victory.

Gosek now owns a total of 43 Supermodified wins at Oswego outdone only by fellow Oswego legends Jim Shampine, Bentley Warren, and Ed Bellinger Jr., with his most recent victory coming on July 5, 2014.

Oswego Speedway returns to action this Saturday with a fan appreciation $10 admission special presented by Best Western PLUS/Quality Inn and Suites Riverfront of Oswego.
Grandstand gates will open at 4:30 p.m. with the start of hot laps with the day’s first green flag waving at 6:30 p.m.

The day’s action will be highlighted by a 50-lap Novelis Supermodified main event and a 30-lap Pathfinder Bank SBS feature.

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.
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.

Wood Leads Night of Repeat Winners With Limited Sportsman Long Distance Victory

(THOMPSON, CT) – The Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman Series took center stage at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, May 18th for their marathon event, the Limited Sportsman Long Distance, presented by Circuit One Events, and the first Wednesday night of racing for the 2016 season at the Big-T. The forty-lap feature doubled the traditional distance of the Thompson division and has been a highlighted event on the calendar for many of the series regulars, but it was a familiar name that came out on top with Josh Wood taking the checkered flag on his 22nd birthday.
It was the second time Wood has won on his birthday, but the first time he has done it in the Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman Series. Wood took the lead fifteen laps into the forty-lap feature and never looked back but had to survive a series of cautions late in the race and a hard charging crew of experienced series veterans to claim his second straight win of the 2016 season.
After the race Wood said winning the first two races of the season, including the long distance event, was a great feeling. “This is the hard one. I drove my butt off. The rear end was going a little bit, I could smell it. The brakes were glowing. I tried saving the tires halfway through and I kept looking in the mirror and I saw (Ryan) Waterman coming closer and closer so when the caution came out I was a little upset, but I could cool my tires off a little bit and get a little more speed,” said Wood. “I could tell Waterman was learning my restarts a little bit. He was getting me a little bit better, but my car on the outside just hooks up so I knew going into turn one I could out drive him off – It’s easier when the car handles like it’s supposed to and it’s consistent every week. When you’re fighting the car it’s a lot more frustrating.”
The event saw a series of comeback performances in the top five. Corey Hutchings managed to salvage a third place finish despite a spin twelve laps into the event after making contact with Ed Puleo, who would finish fifth. Ryan Waterman held on to finish second after making his own comeback from starting in the rear of the field when his heat race win was disqualified as a penalty for a rough driving incident coming to the finish. Scott Sundeen rounded out the top five with a fourth place finish.
The concept of repeat winners at Thompson would become the theme of the night, starting with the Mini Stock division feature which provided an exciting battle throughout the entirety of the 15-lap event with the defending series champion, Dave Trudeau, coming out on top for his second consecutive win of the season. However, it was not an easy road to victory lane for Trudeau as he had to work his way to the front through a field of extremely competitive cars that included early leader Jordan Hadley and eventual runner up Wayne Burroughs, Jr. who narrowly missed a victory by half a car length in a neck-and-neck battle with Trudeau to the checkered flag.
With back-to-back wins to start the season Trudeau said his second victory of the year has helped him gain some confidence that his team can repeat as champions. “It was a lot of fun,“ Trudeau said after the race. “(Wayne Burroughs, Jr.) had a fast car. We kept tweaking all day long with it. We got a little bit better. It’s still not perfect, but it never is. I just want to thank everyone who helped me out –We always have a good car. I don’t want to get too cocky and say ‘oh, we’ve got a real good piece here’. We’ll just try to be consistent and keep my cool and move forward. Hopefully we finish top five every week.”
The Sunoco Modified feature saw a dominating performance by Keith Rocco who turned a win in the first qualifying heat of the event into an impressive charge to the lead for the first ten laps of the 30-lap race, including cutting into a half-straightaway lead to take the top spot a third of the way through the feature. Rocco would go on to win the event despite a late race charge by Ryan Preece who came home second after a rocky start and several apparent mechanical issues caused him to lose positions early in the event. Preece closed in to within a few car lengths of Rocco on the final lap, but it was not enough to relinquish the lead from Rocco who claimed his own repeat win at Thompson to start the 2016 Sunoco Modified season.
Rocco said he was very aware of Preece’s charge to the front, but he had a plan to hold him off and stuck to it to the end. “I was just trying to save something for the end. We had such a lead I figured I’d bank a little bit in case we had to restart. My spotter was telling me how far back (Preece) was,” Rocco said in Victory Lane. “This thing in incredible – This new Hoosier Tire they gave us makes the racing good. It gives us two grooves of racing again.”
The Late Model Series closed out the night and while he didn’t have much for the leaders in the early parts of the race, William Wall managed to complete the sweep of repeat winners for the night by winning his second consecutive race to start off the season. This made every winner of the night a repeat winner in their respective divisions, following their victories in the season-opening Icebreaker weekend. Wall said seeing three repeat winners before him certainly helped him approach his own event with a heightened confidence level, but it took a few properly timed cautions to help him get the job done.
“My whole team had real good momentum after the little break that we had between races. I just can’t say enough about this whole team. I wouldn’t be here without them. Like I say to everybody that comes to these races, it’s not just having a good car or good crew. The cautions need to fall in your favor and tonight they did,” Wall said. Wall took the lead after the final restart, which saw issues for the second and third place drivers and allowed Wall to move into position to make a late race charge for the win.
Next up for Thompson Speedway is Whelen Military Night on June 1st, following Memorial Day weekend. The night will feature the 3rd Annual Late Model 20/20 Sprint as well as features for the Sunoco Modified, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks where we will see if any of the winners from May 18th and the Icebreaker can continue their domination and claim a third straight win to open their seasons at Thompson.
MINI STOCK FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Dave Trudeau (Mansfield, CT); 2. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT); 3. Scott Michalski (South Killingly, CT); 4. Jordan Hadley Quaker Hill, CT); 5. Ed Field (Deep River, CT);  6. Glynn Roy (Sterling, CT); 7. Brad Caddick Wyoming, RI); 8. Nick Anderson (Oxford, MA); 9. Ian Brew (Woodriver Jct, RI); 10. Nick Matera (Warwick, RI)
SUNOCO MODIFIEDS (TOP-10): 1. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 2. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 3. Woody Pitkat (Stafford, CT); 4. Rowan Pennink (New Egypt, NJ); 5. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 6. Adam Norton (Palmer, MA) 7. Jason Sundeen (Douglas, MA); 8. Stephen Kopcik (Newtown, CT); 9. John Studley (Framingham, MA); 10. Joey Parker (Weymouth, MA)
XTRA MART LIMITED SPORTSMAN FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Josh Wood (Palmer, MA); 2. Ryan Waterman (Danielson, CT); 3. Corey Hitchings (Salem, CT);  4. Scott Sundeen (Sutton, ME); 5. Ed Pulio (Branford, CT); 6. Brent Gleason (Griswold, CT); 7. Larry Barnett (Moosup, CT) 8. Frank L’Etoile, Jr. (Wethersfield, CT); 9. Dennis Blaise (Norwich, CT); 10. James Bendiak (Hopkinton, MA)
LATE MODEL FINISH (TOP-10): 1. William Wall (Shrewsbury, MA); 2. Tom Carey, III (Orance, MA); 3. Rock Gentes (Harrisville, RI); 4. Matt Lowinski-Loh (Milford, MA); 5. Brian Tagg (Oxford, MA); 6. Marc Curtis (Brookfield, MA); 7. Ernie LaRose (Moosup, CT); 8. Brandon Warren (Chicopee, MA); 9. Corey Fanning (Mapleville, RI); 10. Ryan Lineham (Hope Valley, RI)

LANCASTER ADDS DATES TO STOCK CAR SCHEDULE

PHOTO ATTACHED BY JOE GRABIANOWSKI

Schedules stock car practice for May 26, race date on June 25

LANCASTER, N.Y. (May 18, 2016) – The response from drivers and fans for the the start of the 2016 stock car season at Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway has been overwhelmingly positive. Car counts have surpassed last season’s numbers and momentum is steadily building for the busy summer portion of the schedule.

To add to the excitement LNS&D management has added two dates to the 2016 stock car schedule to give teams some extra track time this season and to make up an event postponed by inclement weather.

Lancaster has added a stock car practice session for Thursday, May 26 at 6 p.m. This will allow teams to get some extra laps on Lancaster’s 1/2-mile oval. The session will be open to any area stock car teams looking for some track time.

Pit gates will open at 5 p.m. on May 26, with practice starting at 6 p.m. and going until approximately 8:30 p.m. Pit admission will be $15 for the practice session. Fans are invited to come watch practice for free from the speedway grandstands. Concessions will not be open that evening.

Lancaster National Speedway officials have also rescheduled the stock car program that was rained out on May 14 for Saturday, June 25. This date was previously listed as “to be determined” on the schedule.

This program will feature Lancaster’s three weekly home track divisions, Sunoco Sportsman, Advance Auto Parts Street Stock and Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders, plus the New York Super Stock Series event scheduled for May 14 will made be up that night. The only visit to Lancaster this season by the NYSS Super Stocks will be part of a Western New York swing for the series as they have a race the night before at the Spencer Speedway outside of Rochester.

The June 25 program will follow Lancaster’s traditional Saturday night schedule with racing beginning at 6:30 p.m.

This adds to the jam packed schedule during the month of June at Lancaster. The stock cars kick off the month on June 4 with First Responders Night presented by Master Collision and 10-75 Emergency Lighting. All police, fire and rescue personnel can get it for just $5 that night with valid ID. The RoC Super Stocks join Lancaster’s three weekly divisions on the race card that night.

Saturday, June 18 is the Joe Reilly Memorial Sportsman Summer Slam 75. The longest race of the year for the Sunoco Sportsman returned to the Lancaster schedule for the 2016 campaign.

Closing out the month is the second annual Ol’ Boy Cup 60 Bill Colton Memorial for the Race of Champions Modified Series on Thursday, June 30. This mid-week Modified special also features the Street Stocks, 4-Cylinders and NYPA TQ Midgets. Start time is 7 p.m.

About Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway: Founded in 1959, Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway is a multi-use facility located on 77 acres just outside of metropolitan Buffalo, N.Y. The facility features a 1/8-mile drag strip, a 1/2-mile oval track and hosts several non-motorsports events such as car shows and concerts. For the latest information on Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway check out our website www.lancasternationalspeedway.com. Additional information for racers and fans can be found on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LancasterSpeedway) and on Twitter (@LancasterSpdwy).