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Formed several years previous, the dormant USA Racing (United Supermodified Association) has been reactivated by some concerned supermodified teams. The most recent general membership meeting was held on November 23rd at Lighthouse Lanes in Oswego, N.Y., and was very well attended. Thirty plus people attended the private meeting, representing 22 supermodifieds and over 17 teams.
USA’s goals are to support and strengthen the non-winged supermodified division at Oswego Speedway. Currently ISMA and MSA winged supermodified teams have strong representation, and the USA goal is to keep the non-winged supers growing and healthy, as well. A USA board of seven has been formed, and a two man tech team will work in conjunction with Oswego’s head tech Mike Bozzuto to keep all supermodified s legal. The USA board is as follows: President - Bob Hoefer. Vice President - Pat Strong. Secretary / Treasurer - Kathy Hoefer - Board of directors - Jake Ratcliff, Mike Foster, Chuck Handley, and Bobby Gangwer. Engine builders Doug Holmes and Skip Onmacht have been recruited to assist with technical inspections and rule enforcement.
Several topics were discussed in the nearly two hour meeting. One subject that commanded a lot of interaction was rules infractions and disqualifications. The board has compiled a list of five rules infractions that they felt should warrant a DQ, and put that up for discussion. Those top five were:
1. The use of tire softener.
2. Left side weight rule.
3. Total weight rule.
4. Cubic inch rule.
Although the USA organization does not have the authority to enforce rules or impose punishments, it would seem that a united organization of the majority of supermodified teams would be strongly considered as a viable voice by speedway management. USA’s recommendations will certainly be strongly considered, as speedway management has shown in the past willingness to make decisions and rules based upon the majority of what the competitors would prefer.
Other rules items discussed included:
- Should competitors be forced to purchase their tires on race day, to eliminate use of tire softeners? It was discussed that top five teams from the previous week, plus anyone who had not raced the previous week would have to purchase their tires on race day.
- Tail section width was discussed. A rule was proposed by the speedway to change the width of the tail sections, but the majority of the teams voted to request to keep the tail section width as it stands.
- The use of aero tubing in the construction of the chassis and some bolt-on parts created a lot of conversation. The current rule was read, but wasn’t clear cut enough to make a definite determination. The subject was tabled. USA may find a better way to clarify the rule, so it is less vague in the rulebook for future construction.
- Side panel height was a concern for some of the teams. It was felt that a side panel higher than the bottom of the driver’s helmet could be a hazard.
- A “protest form” will be developed by the board, for suggested use in 2009. This form will be submitted by a driver or owner, to follow up on a rules infraction concern that someone may have. The form will be kept confidential, but will be kept in a USA file for future reference, in case another team has a similar concern in the future.
- A pre-season inspection will be recommended. Each car should pass an inspection prior to the start of the season, to assure that the season begins with every car within the rules.
A few other ideas were discussed about some other subjects which were not related to rules:
- It was discussed that the speedway point fund may be included into the weekly purse, as opposed to at the end of the season. The speedway has agreed to contribute $2,000 a week toward this purse addition. A competitor has also offered to match that $2,000 / week offer, which could bring the purse up to the $16,000 - $18,000 range weekly. This CONCEPT would get at least $500 minimum into every car’s purse every week. This program is still very early in the planning stages, and is a work in progress. Most of the teams expressed great interest in this concept, which will be discussed much more in the future.
- Some discussion was also held about how that extra purse money should be distributed. In the top finishing positions, or further back?
- Extra tow money was discussed for traveling teams from MSA or ISMA to help cover expenses from a long tow to compete at Oswego Speedway.
- There was some discussion about asking that the $10,000 to win event be turned into a $5,000 to win event, with the other $5,000 to be distributed throughout the balance of the field. However, it is unlikely that the same “buzz” would be created for a $5K race vs. a $10K race, and would probably bring less fans. The vote was fairly even, so this idea will be discussed more in the future.
USA teams will meet again on January 11th to discuss these and other ideas for the betterment of non-winged supermodified s at Oswego Speedway. More information on the purse / point fund concept will be available at that time, and the 2009 schedule should also be available at that time.
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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.