Tag Archives: Super Modifieds

A Closer Look at the Bellinger Family’s Oswego Legacy

By CAMDEN PROUD

After third generation driver Brandon Bellinger picked up his second career victory at Oswego Speedway this past Saturday night, there is no time better than now, at what is perhaps the peak of Brandon’s career, to take a closer look at the history of the Bellinger family at Oswego, a name that is going on eight decades old at the speedway.

The ‘Bellinger name’ has been making it’s historic mark on ‘The Steel Palace’ since the year 1952, which was Oswego’s first full season as a 3/8 mile dirt oval, a year after the track opened in 1951 as a dirt racing surface.

It didn’t take the “original Bellinger,” Eddie Bellinger Sr, long to rack up a Hall of Fame Career at Oswego, scoring his first victory on what was then the pavement in 1956 before winning three track championships in ’57, ’59, and 1960.

Between the track’s original ‘Class A’ and ‘Class B’ vintage coupe Modified classes ran from the years of 1951 to 1961, Eddie Sr. collected 33 Oswego victories, although none of those were done in a Supermodified.

When the first of the ‘Eagle Class’ Supermodifieds debuted in ’62, Eddie Sr. attempted to build what is thought of as the first rear engine car in Oswego Speedway history, but he was unsuccessful with it in the year 1963. This was his final go at Oswego; at least as a driver.

Ten years later, Eddie Sr. returned as a crew chief and his son Eddie Jr. made his Oswego debut in the ’73 Supermodified field. One year later he went to victory lane in ’74 in a 100-lap main event ran on July 6. Bellinger visited victory lane twice more that year, before one victory in 1975, two in 1977, one in 1978, and one in 1979, recording 51 top five finishes in the 1970’s alone.

It was in the 1980’s that things really got rolling for Eddie Jr, taking five victories in ’80, two in ’82, and five in ’83 including his first Budweiser International Classic 200 crown, the infamous ‘Eddie B in 83’ victory, a phrase still heard echoing through the walls of the speedway to this day.

In 1984, Bellinger took two more wins followed up by an impressive six victories in 1985, when he recorded his second Classic crown.

Bellinger went winless in 1986, before returning to victory lane in August of 1987 and four more times in 1988 including, again, the International Classic. ’88 was a pinnacle year, as ‘Eddie B’ took his third Classic, and first ever Track Championship, becoming an Oswego feature winner, track champion and Classic champion, something his father was never able to do despite having five years worth of fair shakes at it in 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, and 1961. Eddie Sr’s best career finish in the Classic was sixth in 1958.

Eddie was almost as successful in the 1990s, winning eleven more times, posting 51 top fives, and taking the Classic AGAIN in 1993, then ‘once more in ’94’ before calling it a career at the conclusion of the 1998 season, in which he won his last event on May 28 alongside his three sons Brandon, Trevor and Jared.

All in all, Bellinger racked up a grand total of 52 career main event wins, topping his Dad’s 37. An astounding 206 top fives were also posted over the course of his 23 year career, third all-time at Oswego.

When Eddie retired, the hope was always that we would see a third generation Bellinger hit the track at Oswego, and although some may not recall, we’ve seen two of them. And that sure made the fans happy.

Young Brandon Bellinger made his non-wing debut at Oswego in 2005 with an older Graves Chassis, and despite hardly any racing experience at all, brought what was now an older style racer home in tenth in his first ever Bud Classic 200, before running the Classic again in 2006, this time not fairing as successful.

Bellinger’s full-time Supermodified beginnings came in 2007 with ISMA, running for nearly the full schedule in ’08, ’09 and 2010, before finally taking to the ‘Big O’ with the top off in point events in 2011, when Brandon made only a handful of starts. This came after the aforementioned several ISMA starts, following in his Dad’s footsteps, as Eddie had also posted ten ISMA wins in his career, including (ironically enough) on the pavement at the Fulton Speedway, which of course now sits covered in dirt. Brandon has yet to win with a wing on.

In 2012, a bit newer of a piece was established for Bellinger in what was then the backup Daratt Racing ride, and he grabbed the win in the Bud-Light B-Main on Classic Weekend.

Notably, that year, one of the “other” third generation Bellinger driver(s) in Jared, made his Supermodified debut with the Graves Chassis his brother had ran one year earlier. Jared looked smooth and appeared to have fun wheeling the race car, until a stuck throttle sent him hard into the turn 1 foam in just his second attempt at racing. He has not gotten back behind the wheel since the scary impact while his other brother Trevor has yet to try his hand at Supermodifieds at all and if Mom Phyllis has anything to say about it, that probably won’t ever happen.

Brandon struggled to crack the top ten in the Classic in 2011, 2012 and 2013, with finishes of 12th, 14th and 12th again. In 2014, he finally got there with a solid seventh place run, then in the midst his second season driving for Randy Daratt.

2015 was ‘the’ year, as for the first time in seventeen seasons, a Bellinger was back in victory lane at Oswego as Brandon held off seven time track champion Otto Sitterly for his first career victory in front of an electric Oswego crowd on August 15.

In six full-time seasons at Oswego, two wins have been accumulated along with ten top fives, nearly twenty heat race wins, and a rather solid handful of podium finishes.

This past Saturday night, we all saw another key piece of Bellinger Family Racing history. And the hope is that we will all see it again someday very soon. And maybe someday…someday…we will see a FOURTH generation Bellinger in victory lane at the fast 5/8ths.

Bellinger Family Victories at Oswego:

1. Eddie Bellinger Jr  – 52  (Classic: 1983, 1985, 1988, 1993, 1994)

Brandon Bellinger Dominant in Second Career Novelis Supermodified Checkered Flag

OSWEGO, NY (August 14, 2017) – For the 87th time in Oswego Speedway history and the second time in his career, a ‘Bellinger’ visited victory lane this past Saturday night at the ‘Steel Palace’ as third generation driver Brandon Bellinger took advantage of his outside pole starting spot to put the Daratt Farms Racing, Eddie Bellinger maintained iconic yellow No. 02 in the speedway’s victory lane.

When Dan Connors Jr. and Bellinger lead the field to green for the 50-lap Novelis Supermodified main event presented by CNY CPR and OswegoCountyToday.com, Bellinger wasted no time at all jumping to the top spot from the outside pole position, leading every circuit enroute to his first victory at Oswego since 2015, when he held off defending track champion Otto Sitterly for his first career triumph.

Although Bellinger got to start up front following motor issues a week earlier, the victory did not come easy for the Fulton native who has a unique profession; crafting his own premium Mexican tequila, dubbed ’21 Tequila.’ As the grandson of 37-time main event winner Ed Bellinger Sr. and son of 52-time Supermodified feature winner and multi-time Budweiser International Classic 200 champion Eddie Bellinger Jr, it was a popular victory for Brandon and his fans, who have seen the familiar Bellinger racer tour the speedway for what has been over three decades. This time, he had to hold off another Nicotra Racing machine, Dave Shullick Jr, to get it done.

“Our car has been pretty strong for the last month and we felt like we were on the verge of getting a win. We’ve been making small tweaks each week,” Bellinger noted in victory lane. “We were finally able to put it all together and I’m happy to be back here. The 02 was really handling great for the entire night. I need to thank my sponsors Darattt Farms, Bellinger Auto, Vashaw’s Collision, Sheffield Motorsports, Orange Crate Brewing Company and 21 Tequila for the continued support.”

Keeping defending ISMA Champion and four-time feature winner this year ‘The Shoe 2’ at bay was no small task, but Bellinger didn’t have to do that until the closing stages of the event.

The Canale Insurance and Accounting yellow flag was thrown in the air on lap 2 for an incident involving Jeff Abold in turn three. Abold made contact with the backstretch wall while battling with Dan Connors Jr. for the third spot. The driver of the A&P Auto Parts No. 05 was quickly done for the night.

it appeared as if the man to watch all race long would be defending champion Michael Barnes in the Syrell Racing No. 68 as he promptly made the drive to second early on, but Barnes’ night took a turn for the worst when he was sent tailside for jumping the restart on lap 2. ‘The Hustler’ made it back up to the seventh spot before a broken rocker arm forced him to retire from the contest very early, to the the sheer disappointment of the fans.

For yet another week, there were several drivers forced to work their way through the field from the bottom half of the top ten, one of them again being Shullick, who drove from eighth to second while Joe Gosek worked from ninth to fourth and Keith Shampine from tenth to fifth.

Otto Sitterly was also on the move for much of the race from the seventh spot in his No. 7 and it didn’t take ‘seven-time’ long to find the podium as he pulled in behind race leaders Bellinger and Connors by lap 13 with Gosek, Shullick and Shampine following.

Sitterly spent would what end up being the next nearly twenty circuits trying to find a way by the Connors No. 01, but he was unable to do so and that is when his teammate Shullick took advantage, getting by Gosek for fourth to pull in behind Sitterly.

On lap 33, ‘The Shoe’ made his move down the inside part of the backstretch to make work of Sitterly before finding his way under Connors for the runner up spot just two laps later.

Approaching ten to go, Joey Payne, who had his best run of the season going in the Penix Racing No. 14, found himself hard into the turn two wall after contact with Gosek while battling in the top five. Payne was running fourth and unfortunately his Muldoon Chassised machine was done for the night.

With 11 laps to go, many thought that it would be Shullick finding a way by Bellinger for victory as the four time feature winner in 2017 has been practically dominant in the division, but that was not the case this past weekend as Bellinger was able to hold off the red hot Ohio racer for the remaining ten circuits. Shullick tried high, he tried low, and he raced Bellinger clean. But this time, ‘DJ’ was unable to bring the No. 2 home to victory lane.

“We had a really good car, that’s for sure,” Shullick offered. “That late race caution actually hurt us a little when I was trying to get to Brandon (Bellinger). It was a good night and I’m looking forward to the season championship next weekend.”

While Sitterly was finally able to work back by Connors to the third spot on lap 43, he did not have enough to reel in race leaders Bellinger and Shullick, who crossed the line first ahead of Otto, Gosek, Shampine, Connors, Lavery, Shaun Gosselin, Logan Rayvals, and Brian Sobus.

“We had a very solid car going into the night,” Sitterly said. “Come heat race time we had a problem with a wheel leaking and we chased that situation for the rest of the night. All in all for the team it was a good night, basically the 2 and 7 just have to show up next week to accomplish one and two in the championship so we are very happy about that.”

It was an unfortunate night for many drivers who found themselves pitside early either with issues or simply due to withdraw from the race including Payne, Lou LeVea Jr, Barnes, Lou LeVea Sr, Aric Iosue, Dave Gruel, Guard Nearbin, Abold, Hal LaTulip and Tim Snyder. These drivers completed the running order.

Gosselin was strong in his first appearance of 2017 with his now IFS Supermodified numbered 77. He was declared Lighthouse Lanes Hard Charger for his drive from seventeenth to eighth. Connors was the Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer.

Just one more regular event remains for the Supers this season in this Saturday night’s Track Championship event presented by Bosco’s and U-Pull U-Save. Fans will be admitted for just $5 in the fan appreciation, action packed program. Kids 16 and under will remain free for the night’s festivities, which includes the always popular driver autograph session.

In the standings, Shullick and Sitterly share a comfortable lead ahead of Shampine, Barnes, and Gosek.

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.

Oswego Speedway

Oswego, NY

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Novelis Supermodifieds 

BOX SCORE

Feature (50-laps): 1. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 2. 2 Dave Shullick Jr, 3. 7 Otto Sitterly, 4. 00 Joe Gosek, 5. 55 Keith Shampine, 6. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 7. 6 Pat Lavery, 8. 77 Shaun Gosselin, 9. 94 Logan Rayvals, 10. 79 Brian Sobus, 11. 14 Joey Payne, 12. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 13. 68 Michael Barnes, 14. 66 Lou LeVea Sr, 15. 11 Aric Iosue, 16. 50 Dave Gruel, 17. 78 Guard Nearbin, 18. 05 Jeff Abold, 19. 56 Hal LaTulip, 20. 0 Tim Snyder

Heat 1 (12-laps): 1. 68 Michael Barnes, 2. 7 Otto Sitterly, 3. 14 Joey Payne, 4. 79 Brian Sobus, 5. 66 Lou LeVea Sr, 6. 94 Logan Rayvals, 7. 83 Lou LeVea Jr

Heat 2 (12-laps): 1. 6 Pat Lavery, 2. 55 Keith Shampine, 3. 05 Jeff Abold, 4. 11 Aric Iosue, 5. 50 Dave Gruel, 6. 77 Shaun Gosselin, 7. 78 Guard Nearbin

Heat 3 (12-laps): 1. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 2. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 3. 2 Dave Shullick Jr, 4. 00 Joe Gosek, 5. 56 Hal LaTulip, 6. 0 Tim Snyder

Lighthouse Lanes Hard Charger: 77 – Shaun Gosselin

Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: 01 – Dan Connors Jr.

Brad Penn Oil Supermodified Heat Winners: Michael Barnes, Pat Lavery, Brandon Bellinger

Insinger Performance Returns to Post $1,500 Halfway Bonus for Budweiser International Classic 200

Bill Taylor Photo
OSWEGO, NY (August 8, 2017) – The leader of lap 100 in this September’s 61st annual Budweiser International Classic 200 for Novelis Supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway will once again earn an extra $1,500 in cash thanks to Insinger Performance.
A master distributor of Sunoco Race Fuels, Insinger Performance has been powering top race car drivers and performers throughout the country for nearly 30 years.
Serving the racing, as well as gas and oil industries, Insinger Performance powers everything from airplanes, to NHRA dragsters, to right here at the ‘Big O’ in the Novelis Supermodified and Pathfinder Bank SBS divisions.
Each load of Insinger Performance Racing Fuel must surpass all testing requirements to qualify it for the AA rating that is used by the ASTM testing institute.  This insures that Insinger provides the purest alcohol available.
For more information on Insinger Performance, you can visit their website online at www.insingerperformance.com.
Since AMB scoring was put into effect for the 2005 running of the International Classic, there have been four repeat halfway leaders, but only one of those leaders at lap 100 has gone on to win the Classic. Otto Sitterly broke that streak in the year 2014, leading the event at halfway and going on to score the 200-lap $15,000 victory.
For more information on Oswego Speedway and Budweiser International Classic Weekend, be sure to visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com, LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway.
To purchase tickets for this year’s Budweiser International Classic Weekend running from September 1-3, call the speedway box office at (315)-342-0646.
International Classic Halfway Leaders Since 2005:
2005 – 97 Randy Ritskes
2006 – 08 Dave McKnight
2007 – 61 Doug Didero
2008 – 08 Dave McKnight
2009 – 3 Doug Didero
2010 – 7 Otto Sitterly
2011 – 88 Randy Ritskes
2012 – 00 Joe Gosek
2013 – 6 Davey Hamilton
2014 – 7 Otto Sitterly
2015 –  68 Michael Barnes
2016 –  55 Keith Shampine