Tag Archives: Oswego Speedway

Trenca Purchases Gioia No. 9 Roadster; Plans to Restore ‘76 International Classic Winning Car

OSWEGO, NY (May 4, 2018) – Longtime Oswego Speedway fan and former Gioia Racing crewman Larry Trenca, now of Russellville, T.N., has added an additional car to what is now becoming his own ‘team’ of restored Supermodifieds.

Several years ago, Trenca purchased the 1990-1992 Gioia Racing No. 9 Supermodified from Craig Rayvals, who acquired the car from Brian Sweeney many years earlier.

It was right around that time that the Trenca family moved south to Tennessee, but by the 2014 Oswego Speedway Old Timer’s Reunion at Lighthouse Lanes, a beautiful restore of the white Baby Ruth No. 9 was completed and on display for race fans alike to enjoy.

Trenca crewed for Gioia in his early days and of course has quite the racing background, being the son of legendary speedway hall of famer ‘Program’ Pete Trenca. Despite moving quite a ways away from the ‘Steel Palace,’ Larry is still heavily involved in the track he loves, especially it’s history.

“They don’t know what Supers are down here in Tennessee so it makes me miss being home a lot,” Trenca said. “My love for Oswego came from my Dad. I could talk about Supermodified history all day, but I really have to go back home to do it. There’s really not that many people that have any knowledge of it at all where I’m at now.”

Maybe not a lot of people know what the Oswego Supermodifieds are in the midwest, but there was one guy down Larry’s way who certainly does.

Tom York, who raced at Oswego Speedway from 1965 to 1968, heard of Trenca’s recent purchase and its whereabouts from his son. It turned out York was just ten miles away, and he decided to pay Larry a visit. They’ve been friends ever since.

“Tom came to look at the 90’s car when i was in the middle of the restore several years ago and we have pretty much been friends ever since. I couldn’t believe it was the same Tom York that raced at Oswego in the 60’s,” Trenca said.

With the 90’s car complete in its entirety, there’s been another Gioia racer that Trenca has been eyeballing since 1980; the 1975 Steve Gioia roadster, which was raced from 1975 to 1980 at Oswego Speedway. It also happens to be the 1976 International Classic winning car, which marked the only Classic victory for someone who many consider one of the greatest Supermodified drivers of all-time.

“This car has been bouncing around for thirty years after it last raced,” Trenca noted. “I have been looking at doing this forever, so to finally make the purchase means a lot to me. I’m just glad it’s saved and I know I will get it done. I just got it all in the garage today. It is so heavy, things are definitely a lot lighter on the cars of today that’s for sure. I can’t wait to get to work on it and hopefully we can pretty soon.”

The No. 9 roadster was piloted by Gioia in 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1978. It won back to back on August 9 and August 16 of 1975 in its first season on the track, and Gioia followed that up with two more wins in 1976, including in the International Classic. The iconic red No. 9 has well over thirty top fives at Oswego, including one by Jim Cheney in the ‘79 Classic before it was given one last go at the ‘Big O’ in the 1980 Classic in which Steve’s younger brother Don Gioia drove to a twelfth place finish just ahead of ‘80 rookie Joe Gosek.

After its last International Classic, the roadster changed hands several times. First, it went to Scott Lyons who never raced it, and then to Brian Morrison in Ontario who also never raced it.

Following that chunk of time, the No. 9 has been all over place, including in the shops of two of Supermodified racing’s most decorated restore masterminds; Jimmy Paternoster and Steve Miller.

“The car went from Lyons, to Morrison in Ontario, and then to Jimmy Paternoster,” Trenca recalled. “I went out to look at it one day out at Jimmy’s and he had the car there so I had always thought maybe I could scrape the money up to get this car, but I couldn’t swing it at the time. I’ve been talking to Jimmy about where the car has been and he can’t remember the guy it was sold to after him, so that’s the one piece of the puzzle I’m missing.”

So the story goes, Paternoster sold the car, but he does not know to whom, and after all those ownership changes, it ironically wound up just a short drive away from Oswego in Miller’s Mexico, N.Y. body shop after the longtime owner of the ‘Sweet 16’ purchased the roadster at a Syracuse motorsports auction.

“When I was home this past October I went out to Steve Miller’s shop to look at the car again and he told me that he bought it at an auction in Syracuse,” Trenca stated. “The guy gave all the stuff back to Steve and it’s sat in Steve’s shop for I don’t even know how many years.”

Miller was busy racing, and winning in the 2011 edition of King of Wings with Dave Gruel in the Sweet 16, so he never had the chance to restore the No. 9. That’s when another many year Supermodified crewman and current owner of the Aric Iosue driven No. 11, Dave Iosue, came into the equation. After Iosue couldn’t restore the roadster either, the car was purchased by Mike Tynan, who has now sold the car to Trenca.

“Dave Iosue was in the process of restoring Gary Allbritain Gibson car from ‘72, ‘73 and ‘74, and kept telling Steve he needed to restore the Gioia car, but Steve got back into racing again and never did,” Trenca explained. “That’s when Dave got his hands on the car, built a rear axle for it and did some other updates. When he thought he was going to move to Florida he ended up putting the cars for sale so he sold the Gibson car and the Gioia car to a guy in Oswego named Mike Tynan and that’s who I got it from.”

When Trenca received word from Tynan that the 9 was finally for sale again, Larry jumped at the chance to make his purchase, and this time it was one he just could not pass up after being so close to buying this piece of Oswego history on several occasions.

“I’ve been wanting this thing for so many years, so when Mike let me know that he wanted to sell, I just couldn’t hold off,” Trenca said. “It kind of stinks that I have to bring it all the way down here to Tennessee to do everything, but I can’t wait until the car is back home at Oswego where it belongs. I’m hoping that the entire restore will take me, realistically, about two years to complete. I look forward to bringing it home and hopefully driving it through the gate at the track once again. I got to do that in 2014 with the 1990’s car and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I think it’s so cool to keep these old cars alive and I truly enjoy the process”

All in all, the No. 9 roadster has four Oswego wins, two ISMA wins, and two ISMA championships including the first ever ISMA championship in 1976, impressively in the same season that Gioia won the International Classic.

Oswego Speedway wishes Trenca the best in his restore of this historic piece of Supermodified history. Track management is looking forward to seeing the car in attendance at a speedway Old Timer’s Reunion in the near future.

For more information on Oswego Speedway, including the track’s 68th season schedule, be sure to visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway. To purchase tickets for the 2018 season, please call the speedway box office at (315)-342-0646.

 

Gosek Hungry for More Following Explosive 2017 Season

OSWEGO, NY (April 30, 2017) – Joe Gosek has been a fan favorite at Oswego Speedway since making his first Supermodified start back in the 1980 season. 39 years later and 62 years young, Gosek will be back for the 68th consecutive season of racing at the ‘Big O’ and certainly hungry for more following one of the “best few months of his career” which took place in 2017.

There’s really not much ‘00 Joe’ hasn’t accomplished in his long tenure at the ‘Steel Palace.’ That includes 3 International Classic Victories, 44 total wins (fourth all-time), 231 top five finishes (most all-time), and an astounding career total of 32,606 points (most all-time).

After an ugly start to his season, last August, Gosek broke a three year long win drought driving the Robbie Gunther owned, Burke’s Do It Best Homecenters No. 00 to an extremely popular victory in the ‘Retro Night’ 45, drawing the crowd to its feet as they witnessed a milestone accomplishment for ‘00 Joe.’

This breakthrough victory came after a devastating turn 1 crash on Opening Night, which many feared could mark the end of Gosek’s career. ‘Go Joe,’ however, was far from finished. To the roar of the crowd, in typical Gosek fashion, the 00 rolled into the pit area just in time for heat races a mere two weeks later. He wound up finishing a very satisfying third place in the Jim Shampine Memorial 75. Again, the fans went crazy.

“That was really neat,” Gosek commented. “It makes you feel good that there are still all those people that enjoy you being there and working hard to come back. It’s cool to build a fan base and have all the support when you go there. I have fun afterwards with all the people, those that follow me and help us out. It’s still a blast sponsor wise, crew wise, family wise and it’s still so much fun for me. You’re in a great atmosphere with a lot of great people around you and that makes it easier to come back let alone the drive I still have to be competitive and that’s what still brings me there. I’m able to compete at a decent level.”

Gosek drove to an outstanding nine top five finishes in 2017, including fourth in the Budweiser International Classic 200. Every time the 00 finished, Joe was in the top five or better. Last year marked the most top fives in a single season for Gosek since all the way back in 1992.

“Following that really bad crash, every time we finished last year, we finished in the top five so if we could do that again this year, that would be a major accomplishment for our team,” said Gosek. “All those brand new aero cars certainly have the advantage over us. It’s a low budget deal, but if we can be safe, have fun and get some top fives then that’s what we have to get out of it. We can’t concern ourselves with going up every week just to win with what we have.”

The nasty crash on Opening Day and a slipped throttle linkage on July 15 were pretty much the only downfalls for the 00 team a year ago. Finishing in the top five virtually every week is pretty satisfying at this day and age, even for a speedway hall of famer like Gosek, who is content with just being able to compete.

“We dropped out of one show when the throttle linkage slipped and then had the bad wreck, but every other race we finished we finished in the top five,” Gosek noted. “That was really pretty cool and a lot more than I expected. You go there with the intentions of winning but you look at what you’re up against with the bigger budgets and arsenals of parts and cars and it’s very challenging. We’re working with about a quarter of what most of these guys have. You just have to do the best with what you have.”

At this point, many consider Gosek one of the underdogs in the Supermodified class and he’s very comfortable in saying that. His team has fielded a 2008 chassis every week for the past several seasons, but Joe still puts it to the front each and every Saturday night.

“Like I said, we just have to do our best. It’s really a low budget operation. I don’t know what exactly I can do this with this older car to make it go 16.0 or 16.1, we seem to always be about a half second off that,” cited Gosek. “I’m not sure what could really be done at this point to make it get to that level, so when we are still up there competing with the newer stuff, the Nicotra cars, people like that, it makes you feel pretty good. I don’t think there’s many teams out there at our level that can afford a brand new car so that’s pretty much the boat we are in.”

Every year, fans beg for an answer to the question as to whether or not Gosek will return for another season. In a 2012 ‘Inside Oswego Speedway’ interview, Joe said he only anticipated driving “a couple more seasons.” Six years later, Gosek still has no idea when he is going to be done, but no signs are telling him that retirement will be anywhere in the immediate future.

“I really and truly don’t know how many more years to be completely honest,” laughed Gosek. “It depends on the motivation I have, what’s going on with my family, things like that. It’s easier to do this when you’re younger, but now I just have to make the best with the limited time I have. This year we’re gonna do the best we can, aim to be there every week, and go from there. I just try to be realistic about it.”

After all, there are still a few things that Gosek has not been able to accomplish in his nearly forty years at Oswego Speedway, and that includes a victory in the $10,000 to win Mr. Novelis Supermodified event contested in July. Mr. Supermodified has been held each season since 1987, but Joe has never been able to find victory lane in the always entertaining 75-lap headliner.

I’m not really an aspiring young racer anymore so I don’t have any huge goals like racing in the Indy 500 or something like that, but I guess if I had to pick something out then that would be one of them,” joked Gosek. “It’s just tough. The competition is hard, the young up and comers coming up through the field are stout, but I love to compete. We’ll just keep working at it and give it our best shot to win every single week.”

Speaking of Indy, Gosek did of course race in the 500 once, qualifying for the 80th edition of the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ back in 1996. Joe was a hometown hero out in Indianapolis, driving the Team Scandia No. 43 to a 25th place finish after an exciting qualifying run put ‘00 Joe’ in the show.

“That was a pretty unbelievable opportunity to have,” Gosek said of racing in the 500. “I still remember it pretty well. It was cool to have the support of everyone back at home. That was a pretty big deal for me and one of the big things I’ve been lucky enough to do throughout my years in the sport.”

Over twenty years have come and gone since being in the Indy Car spotlight, and still, all Joe wants to do is get back into victory lane at Oswego Speedway.

Following major struggles just to compete in the full 2015 and 2016 schedules, Gosek says a win would be “pretty cool” to build off his team’s recent successes.

“I would say another win would definitely be cool. 2017 would certainly be nice to build off of, that’s for sure,” Gosek said. “At the end of the day that was probably one of the best overall years I have ever had. We’re still trying to make it work with this same car. We all have the same goals and we are all working hard, so maybe we will get back in victory lane.”

Beyond his own accomplishments, the other thing Gosek would like to see is a resurgence not only in Supermodified car counts, which has appeared to begin ahead of the 2018 season, but also an increased amount of Supermodified fans filling the seats of the track he’s called home for so many years. Joe is still confident in the potential of Oswego Speedway on a weekly basis.

“It was electrical to go up there every Saturday night in the 70s and 80s,” recalled Gosek. “Loud, exciting, crazy and it still is. It was just neat, there was never a seat left in the place, so I remember all that well. But, I’m just glad to see that we have more cars registered this year. That’s great to see. Times have changed, so it’s a lot harder to do and we all know that. You see these newer guys coming in and that’s what we need to make it survive, you can’t lose that younger fan base. If we could get more people in the stands on regular race nights that would be awesome. I believe it can be done and we’ll see if we can get something real good going here.”

So for all the fans who agree that Oswego would not be the same without the 00, don’t worry, Gosek isn’t done just yet. In fact, he hasn’t even felt like he’s come close to “having enough,” at least so far.

“I still want to be there,” offered Gosek. “I’m definitely not going to put a timetable or exact date on when I’m going to be done. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that you will definitely know when you’ve had enough and I guess I really just haven’t felt that yet.”

Gosek Racing will open their 2018 season at Oswego Speedway’s Open Practice session set for Saturday, May 19 before shifting gears to come back for the 68th Season Opener and the first ever running of the Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50’s a week later on Saturday, May 26. To purchase tickets, please call the speedway box office at (315)-342-0646.

For more information on Oswego Speedway, be sure to visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.

 

32 Supermodifieds and 29 Small Blocks Pre-Registered ahead of Oswego’s 68th Season

OSWEGO, NY (April 19, 2018) – It seems the excitement level heading into Oswego Speedway’s 68th season of racing is much higher than in recent years and rightfully so as now 32 Novelis Supermodifieds and 29 Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supers have pre-registered for action ahead of the track’s season opener on Saturday, May 26.

Bitten by the car count bug in recent years and last season in particular as several of the track’s Supermodified frequent fliers such as Graham, Danzer and Muldoon Racing have all either moved on or took time away from Oswego, the term ‘ebb and flow’ seems to fit the bill perfectly ahead of 2018 as office phones have been ringing off the hook with new registrations since the month of January.

“When you factor in the financial commitment that comes with the present day, weekly car counts in short track racing’s premier divisions have begun to dwindle,” explained track owner John Torrese. “We see perfect examples of this across the region with the Fulton and Utica-Rome Speedways switching over to 358 Modifieds versus the traditional big block. That’s not something we want to do. Oswego is committed to the longstanding success of our one of a kind big block Super and of course the Small Block Supermodified class.”

Last season, 32 Supermodifieds took time for the track’s largest event of the season, the Budweiser International Classic 200, while 27 Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supers qualified for the Bud Light Classic 75.

Ahead of 2018, the current number of Supermodified registrants matches the number of cars attempting to qualify for last year’s Classic, while the number of Small Block registrants is already higher. An extended list of drivers still yet to officially sign up gives track management hope that they are on pace for the largest Classic Weekend in ten seasons.

“There has been a lot of exciting stuff going on over the offseason,” Torrese continued. “I’d like to thank all of the teams, both those that have been with us for many years as well as the new rookies for their commitment to Supermodified and SBS racing. In hopes of car counts increasing even further, we will continue to make the necessary adjustments as we see fit, such as the mandatory move to crate engines for the SBS class next year. The long term healthiness of these two divisions is what we are looking for and I believe we have a fantastic season ahead of us.”

In the Supermodified ranks, 46 cars took time for the 2008 International Classic, while the most since then was 38 in 2014. In Small Block Super competition, 36 cars took time for the ‘05 Bud Light Classic, but 31 cars in 2013 has been the highest number since that season. The speedway is on pace to either tie or pass both of those numbers this Labor Day Weekend.

Those set to compete in all ten of the speedway’s Novelis Supermodified and Pathfinder Bank SBS championship events this season have shaped up for what is arguably one of the most competitive commitment rosters Oswego has seen in recent years with 18 commitment Supers and 15 commitment Small Blocks already set to go. All Supermodified teams will receive a hefty bonus of $625 to start the feature in 2018.

Several previews featuring statistics on the commitment teams and drivers from each division will be posted leading up to Opening Day at OswegoSpeedway.com. Full rosters are available below.

Oswego Speedway’s 68th Annual Season Opener takes place on Saturday, May 26 and will feature the first ever edition of the Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50’s for the Novelis Supermodifieds along with the Tony White Memorial 35 for the Pathfinder Bank SBS. To purchase tickets, please call the speedway box office at (315)-342-0646.

For more information on Oswego Speedway, be sure to visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.

About Oswego Speedway: Oswego Speedway, a sports entertainment company, is a 5/8 mille semi-banked pavement racing oval located off the shores of Lake Ontario in scenic Oswego, NY. Oswego 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 Oswego Speedway making Oswego the only weekly Supermodified racing venue in the world. The Small Block 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, arguably the greatest driver of all time, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, along with former International Classic Champions Bentley Warren, Joe Gosek, and Davey Hamilton.

2018 Novelis Supermodified Registrants (as of April 19):

(00) Joe Gosek – Commitment

(01) Dan Connors Jr. – Commitment

(02) Brandon Bellinger – Commitment

(04) Camden Proud ®

(05) Jeff Abold – Commitment

(07) Dan Connors Jr.

(08) Michael Barnes

(09) Bob Bogwicz

(0) Snyder Racing – Commitment

(1) Jeff West

(2) Dave Shullick Jr. – Commitment

(3) Doug Didero

(4) Roger Clark – Commitment

(5) Tim Devendorf

(6) Davey Hamilton

(7) Otto Sitterly – Commitment

(11) Aric Iosue – Commitment

(14) Joey Payne

(26) Nathan Schultzkie ® – Commitment

(37) Jeff Locke
(47) Bobby Bond

(50) Dave Gruel – Commitment

(51) John Nicotra Racing

(55) Keith Shampine – Commitment

(56) Hal LaTulip – Commitment

(66) Lou LeVea Sr. – Commitment

(68) Michael Barnes – Commitment

(71) Bill Sharkey – Commitment

(73) Jerry Curran

(77) Shaun Gosselin

(83) Lou LeVea Jr. – Commitment

(98) Tyler Thompson ® – Commitment

2018 Pathfinder Bank SBS Registrants (as of April 19):

(00M) Dan Kapuscinski – Commitment

(01) Dalton Doyle – Commitment

(04) Kreig Heroth

(1) Anthony Losurdo – Commitment

(7) Alex Hoag

(8) Josh Kerr

(9) Jack Patrick – Commitment

(15) James Babcock – Commitment
(18) Andrew Schartner

(22) Mike Bruce – Commitment

(23) Cameron Black – Commitment

(26) Joshua Sokolic ® – Commitment

(27) David LaTulip – Commitment

(32) Steve Flack ®

(37) Jesse Bearup – Commitment

(50) Dave Cliff – Commitment

(54) Camden Proud – Commitment

(71) Ray Sand Jr.

(74) Mike Bond

(77) Cameron Rowe – Commitment

(86) Brad Haynes

(87) Matt Magner

(88) Tyler Henry ® / Bryan Haynes

(89) Tony Pisa

(90) Greg O’Connor – Commitment

(91) Barry Kingsley – Commitment

(93) Steve Wood

(94) Tim Glidden Jr. ®

(98) Tyler Thompson