Historic Oswego Speedway photos to be displayed at library

The attached photo of Bentley Warren was taken by Oswego Public Library Director Carol Ferlito. Bentley Warren won his first International Classic back in 1969.

In celebration of the upcoming Classic race at the Oswego Speedway, the Oswego Public Library will be displaying photos from past classics.

The public will have the opportunity to see black and white photos of the 1957 classic winner Jack Murphy, the 1958 winner Billy Blum, winners  Nolan Swift, Lee Bliss, Art Bennett and the more recent winners Mike Ordway, Doug Didero, Bentley Warren and Otto Sitterly to name just a few.

Included in the display are father/son racers, the Abold and Gioia families. Classic is not just about the racers; it also includes the safety crews and fans.

The collection is made possible through the efforts of photographers Don Kranz, Joe Oleyourrk, Ray Grela, Chris Burgess and Carol Ferlito.

The display will remain up until the end of August.

The biggest Supermodified race in the world, the International Classic 200, hits Oswego Speedway every Labor Day Weekend.

Bentley Warren won his first International Classic back in 1969 driving the famous Howard Purdy Deuce, but would ultimately leave Oswego Speedway for a number of years in pursuit of other racing interests including USAC and the Indianapolis 500.

However, Warren would return to Oswego in the early 1980s, winning a track championship in 1983 for Team Heveron before teaming up with Bowley in 1984.  The 1984 season proved to be a dominating one for Warren and the Bowley Flyin’ 5 team as Warren went on to win eight regular season feature events on his way to his second consecutive Oswego track title.

With Warren now a two-time track champion, the only thing remaining was a second International Classic crown.  Just as in the 1984 regular season, Warren would prove to be nearly as dominant in the 1984 International.

After qualifying fifth fastest behind Ed Bellinger Jr., Joe Gosek, Steve Gioia Jr., and Warren Coniam, Warren would eventually work his way to the point, fending off a hard charging Dave Shullick Sr. to collect his first Classic triumph in 15 years.

Shullick, Gioia, Jamie Moore, and Gosek would complete the Top 5 in 1984, but the stage was now set for what would turn out to be a fantastic stretch of years for Bowley and Warren.

The Oswego Public Library is located at 120 E. 2nd St. across from the County Courthouse.

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