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It’s been a busy few weeks at the Xtreme Chassis shop. Paul Colloca and the gang have been full bore finishing another car for Classic. The new car will be piloted by Doug Didero. As of Thursday afternoon, the car was not done being built. “There’s still work to do, but it’ll be ready", said Xtreme rep Jim Cronk. The new #3, which looks a lot like the other #3 that Didero drove a couple of years ago, will be at practice on Friday during the day, getting ready for Classic. The new straight front axle car will certainly be quick, if it’s anything like the other Xtreme cars that have hit the speedway. The car will be raced only without a wing this weekend, as time does not allow for the Friday night winged show.
Xtreme Chassis will be well represented this weekend at the speedway, as at least five of them will be in competition. Bobby Bond and Bobby Haynes, Jr. will hit the speedway with wings on Friday night. The new car with Didero behind the wheel will race Sunday, along with DJ Shullick in his new Xtreme machine.
Joe Gosek missed the season in the #00 Xtreme car that was campaigned last year with independent front suspension, which was banned for the ‘08 season. The team has recently changed the car over to a straight axle design, which puts the quick machine within the rules. Gosek was fast at a track rental, and will certainly be a factor in Sunday’s race.
Steve Miller and son Kelly will compete only on Friday night with the #Sweet 16. While a 200 lap attempt would be appealing, the situation isn’t right to spend a lot of time to build body panels for the car, which has been primarily raced with a wing.
They did experiment with a borrowed tail wind a few weeks ago, but they couldn’t get it within the specs to be legal. “We got it into the high 17’s, but we missed by about 2 inches of being legal", said Steve. So they’ll run Friday night’s winged show, and then “that’ll probably be it for the year", Steve said. But he left the door open when he added, “unless we do really really good (Friday) night….”
When Tim Snyder’s car appeared for sale on an internet classified ad listing, everyone got nervous. Living a few states away makes it tough for the family man to compete weekly. As do work commitments. So who could blame the seasoned veteran, multiple feature winner, and Classic champion if he wrapped it up?
Fortunately for Snyder Racing fans, that’s not the plan. To lose a team like Snyder Racing would be a huge blow to the Oswego Speedway community. For example, who would be around to help the girls “check their oil”, if Tim’s Dad Denny wasn’t in the pits?
“Things are changing at the place, and we need to change with them”, said Tim. “The car is a couple of years old, and Joey (Hawk Chassis builder Joey Hawksby Jr.) has started building the new design, so I will try to sell and buy new.” Tim’s not sure yet who will build his new car. “I like the work Joey does, but he has a couple of orders ahead of me right now…” added Snyder. He would love to build his own design, but time doesn’t allow for that. “I’d like to be different from the rest”, but he’ll have to wait and see what happens. But nothing happens until the old one sells.
Randy Ritskes, another of the all-time Classic close-call drivers, will not be in attendance. You may remember Randy leading 197 laps of the Classic several years back, in the Paul Dunigan ride, only to run out of tires and get passed by Greg Furlong at the end. Randy was 2nd in that race. A couple years ago, he pulled off a third.
But there will be no repeat performance in ‘08. “I’m going to Canada", said Randy this afternoon. He does not have a ride, and is not interested in going to watch the race. He had a deal going with Bruce Budnick a month or so ago, but that deal fell through when Budnick wasn’t able to secure a regular body for the car, which is normally run with a wing on it.
Apparently Budnick has since made a deal with Justin Belfiore, with a body from Rick Wentworth, but Randy didn’t know the details of the deal - just that he’s not driving it. Would the talented Ritskes cancel his trip to Canada, to see his folks and his son, R.J., if someone called him with a decent ride? I’d bet the farm on it.
A few calls to Bobby Bond were not returned, but I hammered others enough for information to determine that there are no plans to compete in Sunday’s 200 lap Classic. Which is a crying shame, because that’s exactly his type of race. I wanted to try to talk him into contacting Todd Stowell, who reportedly has his Xtreme car available, but can’t run it due to a motor vehicle injury earlier in the season. Guess that’s not happening.
And here’s a small block supermodified update about… ME! I’m pretty excited about getting the ol’ #93 out, and take a shot at my 11th (or so) small block Classic. We’ve got the car all ready to rock and roll. It was fun getting out in the shop with Mark and Corey, laughing and eating pizza and breaking wind. Even Davey stopped over for a few minutes. Just like the old days!
Found a couple of things that would have been a huge problem, like a broken lower control arm bolt that Mark found while doing the checklist. Close call! We did a lot of maintenance that wasn’t even done before the last outing - basic stuff that will surely make us a little faster than the last time out. Like new tires, for example.
Thanks again to Chris Porter of www.sbsracingnews.com for one of those tires. My lovely wife April for covering the gas bill. Mark for being the beer sponsor. And Corey, Mark, and Mark’s son Jacob for the help getting the car ready. This is going to be one of our best Classics yet!
I hope everyone read my first ever article in the Syracuse Post Standard newspaper yesterday (Thursday, August 28th). This was a very exciting day for me, and something that I hope to do more of. I was like a kid on Christmas morning running out to that paper box. I’m most excited about finally getting all of that publicity for the small block supers, for the first time in the Syracuse paper. And for all of the guys that I mentioned to have their name in the Post Standard. If you liked it, drop a line to the Post Standard, and tell them you need more J.J.!
And one more thing. To the readers of this blog, my columns, and my other stuff: please stop by at the races and say hello. I’ll be easy to find - in victory lane!
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As a driver/owner in the Limited Supermodified division, JJ Andrews covers mostly Oswego Speedway events, from a driver's point of view.