Sunday, 11 November 2012 12:00

Oswego Speedway honors 2012 achievers; six inducted into Hall of Fame

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     Oswego's beautiful new Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center was the site of the Oswego Speedway Awards Banquet and Hall of Fame Inductions for 2012 held Saturday, Nov. 10.

     The Speedway and Eagles Fan Club presented monies and awards to the top point getters and achievers in each division, while Mitchell's Speedway Press inducted six into the Oswego Hall of Fame. The 2012 HoF Inductees included Doug Didero, George Kent, Ed Thompson, Jim McGiff, Jack Jermyn and the late Don Beauchene as major contributors to racing and the history of the speedway over the years.
     Videos highlighted the remarkable racing careers of Canadian great Doug Didero, the King of Modified racing at Oswego, George Kent and George Kent who since almost the beginning of the speedway, has served as a driver, car owner, sponsor and employee. Each spoke briefly presenting their thoughts on being nominated for the prestigious honor. Jermyn and McGiff were each recognized for their more than 40+ years as ushers at the track while the late Beauchene was remembered for his many contributions to the famed Oswego Safety Crew. The Torrese family was heralded by all for their attempts at bringing Oswego Speedway back to its past glory and for their many hopes and aspirations for the future.
     Three of most revered annual awards – the Ed Clark Safety Crew Spirit Award, the Recognition Award and Lois Matczak Woman of the Year Award – began the night's ceremonies. Paul Conzone of the track Safety Crew presented the Clark Memorial award to crew member Ed Maxon. John and Eric Torrese presented the 2012 Recognition award to Dan Harrington and Mike Schremp for their contributions to the speedway, especially for their electrical expertise. And Terry Strong, co-owner of Strong Racing, was awarded the Lois Matczak Woman of the Year honors by long-time Oswego car owner, Skip Matczak. The award is in honor of Skip's late wife Lois.
     Joey Hawksby's Hawk Performance sponsored four major race division awards. Rob Pullen earned the Hawk Performance SBS Car Owner of the Year Award while Mike Murphy was named the Supermodified Car Owner of the Year for his achievements in his first year as a car owner after many-year association with various race teams. The Hawk Performance Crew of the Year awards went to Jason Simmons' Team Tapout in the SBS division and Dan Connors Racing in the Supermodified division.
     Novelis and PathFinder Bank were thanked once again for their continued major sponsorships of the supermodified and SBS divisions. All of the more than100 sponsor/contributors to another successful year were mentioned and listed in the banquet booklet. Eric and John Torrese also acknowledged and thanked the staff behind the scenes at the speedway, which was greeted by an approving round of applause.
     The Oswego Speedway Eagles Fan Club, which works very hard all year to raise money to be presented back to its driver-owner members, also presented their two prestigious awards. The Tony White Memorial award went to SBS veteran Jack Patrick while the Jim Shampine Memorial award was presented to motor builder Doug Holmes of Finger Lakes Machine.
     The top 10 in the PathFinder Bank SBS division included first-time champion Kreig Heroth, who won by just six points in a season-long battle, followed by Mike Bond, Andrew Schartner, Jason Simmons, Rob Pullen, Jack Patrick, Tim Barbeau, Mark Castiglia, J.J. Andrews and A.J. Bernys. The Butler Disposal Rookie of the Year honor went to Jon Tesoriero while Mark Castiglia was presented the Most Improved award in that division.
The Novelis Supermodified awards began with the Cleaning of the Year Rookie of the Year award, which went to a member of the famed Andretti family, Jarett. Andretti drove to a 22nd spot in the competitive 2012 season, which saw seven different feature winners. Danny Kapuscinski accepted for Andretti. Shaun Gosselin, who finished 10th in the final point standings, was named Most Improved supermodified driver.
     The Novelis supermodified point race was another tight one eked out by Otto Sitterly by only five points over runner-up Pat Lavery. It was a fifth title for Sitterly. Lavery was followed by Joey Payne who did not make the trip to Oswego from his storm-battered state of New Jersey, Randy Ritskes, Joe Gosek, Danny Connors, Dave Gruel, Brian Sobus, Michael Barnes and Shaun Gosselin.
     Roy Sova was assisted by Dan Kapuscinski as emcee while Ron Gray's Millennium Music provided the music.

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