OSWEGO, NY – Oswego Speedway’s 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200 will take the green flag on Sunday, August 31, and Monday a total of eight guaranteed starters were announced for Supermodified racing’s most prestigious event paying in excess of $100,000 in purse and contingency prizes.
The eight guaranteed starters represent six different U.S. states across the country.
Speedway officials announced in March that guaranteed positions for this year’s Budweiser International Classic would return to driver status, as opposed to car owners, which had been the norm since 2008.
Guaranteed starting positions in 2014 are awarded to the top drivers in points in the MSA Supermodified series, the ISMA Supermodified series, as well as Oswego Speedway as of July 1.
A final spot is also being awarded to the leading Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super competitor at Oswego as of the end of June.
This year’s guaranteed starters from the Midwest Supermodified Association will be Trent Stephens of Shalersville, OH, Kyle Edwards of Bartlett, TN, and Charlie Schultz of Lorain, OH.
Stephens, who made his only start in the Budweiser International Classic back in 2009, is the current MSA Supermodified point leader driving the ACME Racing No. 19. With five races completed in the MSA’s season, Stephens has come on strong as of late driving to three consecutive victories at Lorain County Speedway, Toledo Speedway, and Sandusky Speedway in the month of June.
Edwards, driving the Suellen Wilshe owned No. 11 Supermodified, has had a consistent year and recently made a charge to second in the MSA standings in a tie with Schultz. A former champion of the Must See Supermodified series, Edwards has never started the Budweiser International Classic but does have laps at Oswego in a winged Supermodified.
Tied with Edwards for second in the MSA standings is Schultz, earning the third and final Budweiser International Classic guaranteed starting spot from the midwest. Still behind the wheel of the May Motorsports No. 7 Supermodified, Schultz is a veteran of Oswego’s International Classic running Supermodified racing’s mecca event three times with a best finish of 19th in 2006.
Collecting International Classic guaranteed starting positions from New England’s International Supermodified Association are Jon McKennedy of East Chelmsford, MA and Rob Summers of Vernon, CT.
McKennedy leads the ISMA Supermodified series standings after his most recent victory at Autodrome Chaudiere on June 21. Driving the Dunigan Racing No. 79, McKennedy has never made a start in Oswego’s Budweiser International Classic 200, but has always been a fast contender at Oswego in winged Supermodified competition.
Trailing McKennedy in the ISMA standings is Summers, earning the right to the second guaranteed starting position from the International Supermodified Association. Summers has had a solid year in the Patco Transportation/Reed Salvage No. 74 with three top five finishes in three races including two runner-up finishes with one coming at Oswego in June. Like McKennedy, Summers has never made a start in the International Classic at Oswego.
Otto Sitterly of Canajoharie, NY and Dave Gruel of Fulton, NY will be Novelis Supermodified guaranteed starters from Oswego, as the top two in the series standings after the June 21 Twin 35 events.
Sitterly, a three-time winner of the International Classic in 2009, 2011, and 2012, will no doubt be a threat to join Nolan Swift, Bentley Warren, Greg Furlong, and Eddie Bellinger Jr. as the only drivers to win more than three International Classic titles.
Gruel, who has four starts in the International Classic, has a best finish of third in 2012 as a part of the 200-lap grind.
The final guaranteed starter for the 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200 will be the current point leader in Oswego Speedway’s Pathfinder Small Block Super division, Andrew Schartner of Charlotte, NC.
Schartner has been dominant this season in Oswego’s SBS division and is the only driver in the series with more than one feature victory in 2014. A veteran of the Small Block Super division at Oswego, Schartner is a champion of the Bud Light SBS Classic, the Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS main event, and the Race of Champions SBS championship.
After winning the Tony White Memorial championship this season, the only accolade that remains on Schartner’s list of SBS accomplishments would be a track championship, which he currently leads by 49-points over Jack Patrick.
Unlike the other seven guaranteed starters, being that Schartner has never competed in a Supermodified at Oswego Speedway, he must have a ride secured by Friday of Budweiser International Classic Weekend and attempt to qualify in first round time trials.
All other drivers may only time trial in second round time trials on Sunday, August 31 should they so choose.
All eight competitors will only qualify for guaranteed driver status should they time within .4 of a second of the 28th fastest time trialer at the conclusion of second round time trials.
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To purchase tickets for the 2014 racing season call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.
58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200 Guaranteed Starters:
Trent Stephens (MSA): Shalersville, Ohio
Kyle Edwards (MSA): Bartlett, Tennessee
Charlie Schultz (MSA): Lorain, Ohio
Jon McKennedy (ISMA): East Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Rob Summers (ISMA): Veron, Connecticut
Otto Sitterly (OSW): Canajoharie, New York
Dave Gruel (OSW): Fulton, New York
Andrew Schartner (OSW SBS): Charlotte, North Carolina
-Oswego Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Bill Taylor