Category Archives: Oswego Speedway

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 2020 Schedule Announced

NASCAR PRESS RELEASE  NOVEMBER 5, 2019

Photo Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

New Venues, Traditional Dates For 2020

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The debut of a new showcase track, the highly-anticipated return to an Virginia venue, and a strong slate of premier northeast short tracks make the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule one of the most anticipated in recent years. 

Three new tracks will be on the schedule: 

The tour will make its furthest trip west with the debut of Iowa Speedway. The “Fastest Short Track on the Planet” will host NASCAR’s only open-wheel division on Friday, July 31. The Whelen Modified Tour slate will also add returns to Martinsville Speedway and Jennerstown Speedway. 

“The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is coming off an exciting year in which we saw Doug Coby continue his historic championship run and we saw the level of competition and number of competitors increase,” said Brandon Thompson, NASCAR managing director, touring series. “We are excited about the mix of high-profile national series tracks that will showcase the great racing on the Modified tour, and the strong short tracks that have been the backbone of Modified racing.” 

Martinsville, Virginia’s famous half-mile, is steeped in NASCAR Modified history. The modified division first raced at Martinsville in 1960 and was part of the original tour schedule in 1985. The Maxpro Window Films 200 will run on Friday, May 8 as part of the spring Cup Series weekend. 

Jennerstown, a .522-mile oval in western Pennsylvania, will feature the tour on Saturday May 23. The track has held 14 tour races over the years, with the late Ted Christopher being the last to visit Victory Lane in 2006.  

The Whelen Modified Tour will open the season with a return trip to Virginia’s South Boston Speedway on Saturday, March 21. Connecticut will serve as the traditional opening of racing in New England with the 46th Annual Icebreaker weekend at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 5, followed by the NAPA Spring Sizzler weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 26. 

The season will conclude with the 48th annual NAPA Fall Final weekend at Stafford on Sunday, Sept. 27, and the 58th annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson on Sunday, Oct. 11. 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway will again feature a 100-lap showcase on Saturday, July 18. The Whelen Modified Tour will also return with the 200-lap main event for the track’s Full Throttle Fall Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 12. 

Other schedule highlights include:  

  • In addition to Jennerstown, the tour will make the trip to western New York to be part of Oswego Speedway’s 64th Annual Budweiser International Classic on Saturday, Sept. 5. 
  • Riverhead Raceway, a staple of the Whelen Modified Tour, will host two events. The first will be on Saturday, June 20, with a return trip to Long Island on Saturday, Sept. 19. 
  • A pair of bullrings will factor into the championship picture: Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway will bring the tour to town on Saturday, June 6, while New Jersey’s Wall Stadium Speedway will run on Saturday, July 11. 

The complete NBCSN schedule, including broadcast times, will be released at a later date. 

2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Schedule  

DATE TRACK CITY 
Saturday, March 21 South Boston Speedway South Boston, Va. 
Sunday, April 5 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Conn. 
Sunday, April 26 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn. 
Friday, May 8 Martinsville Speedway Martinsville, Va. 
Saturday, May 23 Jennerstown Speedway Jennerstown, Pa. 
Saturday, June 6 Seekonk Speedway Seekonk, Mass. 
Saturday, June 20 Riverhead Raceway Riverhead, N.Y. 
Saturday, July 11 Wall Stadium Speedway Wall, N.J. 
Saturday, July 18 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H. 
Friday, July 31 Iowa Speedway Newton, Iowa 
Friday, Aug. 7 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn. 
Wednesday, Aug. 19 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson. Conn. 
Saturday, Sept. 5 Oswego Speedway Oswego, N.Y. 
Saturday, Sept. 12 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H. 
Saturday, Sept. 19 Riverhead Raceway Riverhead, N.Y. 
Sunday, Sept. 27 Stafford Motor Speedway Stafford, Conn. 
Sunday, Oct. 11 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson. Conn. 

Anthony Losurdo Lands Double Track Championships at Oswego Speedway

OSWEGO, NY (October 25, 2019) – For Anthony Losurdo, his sixth full season of racing at the Oswego Speedway could not have gone better. Driving for Missile Motorsports, Losurdo was able to clean house as both the Pathfinder Bank SBS and 350 Supermodified track champion. 

Winning back to back championships in the Small Block Super division and becoming the first ever track champion of the Speedway’s new 350 class, Losurdo is the first driver since the late Jim Shampine (1972) to win more than one championship in the same season. 

In addition to that impressive statistic, Losurdo also became the first driver since Jack Murphy all the way back in 1957 to win two feature events in two divisions on the same night, a feat that he accomplished in the Independence Weekend special held on July 6. 

“2019 was a career season for us,” said Losurdo. “We accomplished much more than I thought possible. Hearing those stats, and having my name mentioned with some of the all-time greats is really humbling. I have lived and breathed Oswego Speedway since I was a kid and having the kind of success we did this year was seriously a dream come true.” 

There is no doubt that Losurdo had a banner year. Winning both championships by a healthy forty points or more, ‘Hawk’ was able to add a combined total of six more wins to his resume, which now includes twelve Pathfinder Bank SBS victories (tied for seventh all-time). 

“If you would have told me five years ago that I’d be where I am today, I’d have said you were lying,” Losurdo continued. “The wins and stats mean a lot to me, but the journey along the way is what means the most. From the extreme highs to the heartbreak, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

They say consistency wins championships and Losurdo has certainly proved that the last two seasons driving for Mark Castiglia and Missile Motorsports. In his last 22 races, Losurdo has finished tenth or better an unheard of 21 times including ten top five runs in 2019.

“I truly owe all of the success I’ve had to Mark (Castiglia) and the group of people I have behind me,” Losurdo explained. “Mark knows what it takes to compete the way we do and has given us everything we needed and then some and that’s why I’m where I am. I can’t thank him enough.”

Losurdo also has a number of friends and crewman that have helped him not only since his Oswego beginnings in 2012, but from quarter midget and kart racing right up through to the 2019 season which will surely go down as a career highlight for the 21 year-old. 

“I am blessed to have my Dad and Stu Fenske by my side not just in racing but in life,” Losurdo added. “I think my Dad is one of the smartest guys to touch an SBS and Stu has been my right hand man since I was four. He is a huge asset and in my opinion the best wrench at the track.” 

It’s no secret that this year’s championship came with a bit more breathing room for the Losurdo team, who last season were forced to hold off hall of famer Russ Brown for the track title by a mere sixteen points. How did he get off to such a hot start? 

“I think the key this year was that my team just had things come together a bit quicker,” Losurdo explained. “We found a lot of speed right out of the box with this new crate motor, but it took some of the guys a while to figure it all out and we capitalized on that.” 

Moving forward, Losurdo believes the already growing SBS class is in excellent shape with the new rule changes. While Anthony may have appeared dominant this season winning five main events and finishing in the top ten for every single one of them, he assures it did not come easy. 

“Car counts were down with the rule change,” Losurdo mentioned, “but I don’t think that made things much easier because we still had a quality field. I love the SBS class and this crate motor is a great way to get new people involved. I’m thinking at Classic 2020 we will have a B-Main.”

The other part to Losurdo’s story is Castiglia’s 350 Super; the former Double Deuce Racing No. 22. Jim Losurdo and crew worked relentlessly to find more speed out of the car before finally reaching victory lane in July. Anthony says running two cars was a big part of that challenge. 

“We unload two bad fast cars every week, but running two is a lot more challenging than we expected,” he admitted. “Hopping out of one and jumping in another with a big top wing that drives completely different than the other took some getting used to.” 

Continuing Losurdo said,”The real difficult part was in the shop. The cars are so tedious, and it took us awhile to find the right combo. My team works hard to get everything perfect for me, but it was hard to find time to ensure all three Missile cars were exactly where we wanted them.” 

With that said, the 350 Supermodified rookie thoroughly enjoyed the new class despite the uphill battle and ongoing adjustments you need to make as a driver. However, he does not know what the plan is for the No. 1 winged small block car in 2020. 

“I loved racing the 350, but I don’t know what will happen,” Losurdo stated. “It was tough. We tried everything but change the steering wheel and seat. It’s so much different than anything I’ve done, but it’s an awesome class that will continue to grow as a stepping stone to the big blocks.” 

Moving forward, Losurdo’s future isn’t set in stone, but he says he “thinks the team’s future is bright.” Anthony wasn’t positive as to the full extent of his 2020 plans, but guaranteed that both Small Block Supers would be back trackside with himself and David LaTulip at the wheel again. 

Losurdo will be honored for his track championship(s) at the Speedway’s Hall of Fame Banquet scheduled for tomorrow, October 26 at the Lake Ontario Event & Conference Center in the City of Oswego. Cocktail hour will be at 5pm, with dinner at 6pm, and awards to follow.

For more information on Oswego Speedway, you can visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. Fans can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway. 

Consistency Leads Otto Sitterly to Ninth Supermodified Title Becoming Oswego Speedway’s Grand Champion

Alex Borland Photo

OSWEGO, NY (October 23, 2019) – Using a season of consistency which included two wins and nine top fives in twelve main events, 52 year-old Otto Sitterly from Canajoharie, NY put together another tremendous campaign in 2019 and in doing so, earned his record breaking ninth title. 

Just a season ago, Sitterly had surpassed legends Bentley Warren and Jim Shampine for most Supermodified titles of all-time at eight. This year, Sitterly outdid the great Nolan Swift; who also earned eight titles between both Modifieds and Supers, securing the right to be known as the ‘grand champion’ of Oswego. Now, nobody in 69 years has won more titles than Otto. 

“It is obviously very meaningful to have my name mentioned with those guys,” Sitterly said. “I think winning all of these championships shows consistency, but more importantly the level of commitment from the Nicotra Racing team. I can’t say enough about all of those guys.” 

Sitterly’s season began with two Shampine Memorial wins on Opening Day. Otto became the first driver to see victory with the track’s new rear wing package, while teammate Alison Sload broke the gender barrier that same day becoming the first female Supermodified winner in a car prepared by Sitterly. 

“I guess it was kind of nice to have a new challenge this year,” Sitterly added. “We won the first two races with the new wing and got a third win in June which was my second of the year and no one else did that, so I guess the 7 car won twice as many races as everybody else.” 

Otto, who won on May 25 and again on June 22, is in fact correct. Sitterly was one of eleven different Supermodified winners in 2019; joining the likes of Sload, Abold, Gruel, Bellinger, Shullick, Shampine, Danzer, Gosek, and Thompson, who all won no more than one regular race.

“The cars are very, very even,” Sitterly commented. “We started out good at the beginning of the year, but slowed down at the end. “We actually come with a different setup every week and did learn a few things, but later in the year was a struggle. Fortunately we got a big lead early.”

What got Sitterly that huge lead over championship runner-up Jeff Abold; who was essentially his only challenger, is again consistency. Through the first seven features, nobody passed as many cars as Sitterly, and the No. 7 car never finished worse than fifth place.

“I think winning championships certainly shows a lot of consistency,” Sitterly reiterated. “It is all about the (Nicotra) team though. Nobody in the whole pit area works as hard as these guys for all these years and it shows winning multiple titles.”

Bringing up an excellent point was car owner John Nicotra, who mentioned that Sitterly not only broke the record for most titles in Oswego history this season, but has also now won ten of the last fourteen Supermodified championships as either a driver or mechanic. 

“This is very special to our team,” offered Nicotra, who is now the second winningest car owner in Oswego history behind only Shampine. “Counting the years 2006 to 2019, that’s fourteen seasons and ten titles out of Otto’s personal garage and I think that is absolutely incredible.” 

Nicotra, who began fielding cars in 2007 for Sitterly and Davey Hamilton, has now amassed a grand total of 46 wins between Sitterly, Hamilton, Sload, and Shullick, along with nine titles between Sitterly and The Shoe 2, which is an all-time Oswego record as well. 

“Sitting in the stands as a kid, I never thought I would even be involved let alone run for so many years and win multiple championships,” Nicotra added. “Otto always told me ‘don’t be expecting it’ and I told him ‘Why not? If you can get one, you can get ten,’ and here we are pretty close.” 

The common thread that Sitterly and his car owner attribute to the longstanding success of Nicotra Racing is John’s dedicated crew who along with Otto, prepare three race cars to hit the track each and every Saturday night. 

“The guys Otto has assembled are a great bunch of people,” Nicotra stated. “They all volunteer and work so hard and that means a lot to me. Nobody gets paid, everybody pays their way in, they supply all their food, and pretty much do everything. They are a loyal, dedicated bunch.” 

What most may not realize is that despite all those years of having an extra car at his disposal, Sitterly never used more than one enroute to winning a title. Now, the Nicotra stable will have one less piece with 2020 on the horizon as the backup No. 6 was sold to Connors Racing. 

“We’re starting to wind our inventory down,” Nicotra admitted. “I would have liked to do a deal to run the full ISMA tour one year and go for that title, but I don’t see it at this point. I think Otto and I are on the same page and we are going to play this Oswego deal out and see what happens.”

So, what’s next for Nicotra Racing? An attempt at that tenth title sounds pretty likely, as Nicotra recently announced an agreement to welcome Sload back as a full-time commitment car in 2020, leaving little doubt that Sitterly will again do the same.

“Alison and her team have committed for next year and we pretty much plan on doing the exact same thing that we did this season,” Nicotra confirmed. “If we were ever able to secure a tenth title, it would really be like that crystal ball we were staring into once upon a time.” 

Sitterly and Nicotra will be honored for their track championship at the Speedway’s Hall of Fame Banquet this Saturday, October 26. Cocktail hour will be at 5pm, with dinner at 6pm, and awards to follow.

For more information on Oswego Speedway, you can visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. Fans can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.