, in Oswego New
York, is a well known, super modified, 5/8 oval, car track. Originally scheduled
for March 6th and 7th of 1971, the race was actually snowed out as a fierce
snow storm overtook the area. Rescheduled to March 13th and 14th, they held
their one and only USSA sanctioned
snowmobile race. With the backing
of a major sponsor, F&M Schaefer Brewing Company
and a guaranteed
purse of $21,000.00
, this was touted as one of the most anticipated,
of the season. Each of the five(5) modified classes were
to each champion. Schaefer Circle of Sports
cosponsored 8 major races that year, with the climax being at Oswego.
Excitement for sure, but not what the promoters or the drivers had in mind!
Saturday was qualifying day and Sunday was the feature events. The boys entered
four(4) modified classes that weekend, out of the five(5) classes available.
Saturday racing conditions were great
and qualifying went good for
our team. Kenny
ran two(2) classes. Richie
one(1) and Parm
one(1). The boys all earned good starting spots in the features. One(1)
and two(2) pole positions
in each race.
Sunday track conditions changed drastically!
The sun came out, and
quickly, started burning down to the black top, creating severe holes and
bumps in the track. They worked frantically trying to groom it, but it fell
apart as quickly as each race started. It was unlike any track conditions
any of us had seen.
As the races moved on, guys were crashing
into each other, loosing
control and falling off unable to hang on to the violent jolting of the sleds,
but they kept going. Nolan Swift
chose to sit up in the grand stand
with the spectators. They announced his view of the situation, over the P.A.
system. "I wouldn't get out there with you guys for $20,000 and risk my
raced first, in the modified I class
. When he
came in, he was shaking like the dickens! He said, "I just ran over Al
! God! It was just like running over a pig!
" Al was
a rolly, polly little Spanish fellow. A real likable guy. He has passed on
set the pace for the team, with his first place
in MOD I
As track conditions continued to deteriorate, Ken Young
were up for modified II
. Skill was not the only component that would be required here.
Winning was the goal, but just staying on the sled
was as much a goal!
Brute strength and a little ingenuity was key to Kenny's outstanding results.
After fighting the violence
set forth by the horrendous track conditions,
Ken had another idea. At one point, Ken spotted a "ramp" and quickly
left the "groove" jumping up on the top of the outer bank of the
track! He made his own "groove"
and put quick distance between
himself and the pack. Teammate Chip, found himself taking the slide for
through the slop in the 340 class, but remained intact right behind
Ken in class III.
the excitement was over Youngy
had walked away champion of class
II and III
recorded a 2nd place finish in class III
was last up for the team, looking to top off the day with
a modified IV
win. The adrenaline from his teammates success, was certainly
in his veins and he wasn't about to be left out of the winners circle.
summed up all he'd learned from the previous features of the day
and put forth a stunning exhibition of strategy and brute force to best his
competitors and take possession of the checkered flag in class IV
One fine day indeed! A lot of smiles, four major titles
for the team
and a smooth $4,000.00 payday
for the boys 1st place finishes! Doesn't
get any better than this!
back to top
In 1971 we started using alcohol
and exotic mixtures in our sleds. We
had all kinds of crazy, experiences as a result of experimenting with a new
fuel, which we didn't know much about.
The first thing we found out was we consumed 2 1/2 to 3 times more alky
than gas and it took more pumping power to put it through our carbs. At that
time we were using Tillotson
butterfly carbs, with diaphragm pumps
on the bottoms. We learned through a painful process
that, they were
not adequate to get the fuel through the carbs to the engines, and subsequently
we had a lot of engine burn downs
until we solved the problem.
We finally started routing
out the inside of the carbs
, creating larger reservoirs inside to allow
a build up of fuel ahead of the engine. We also replaced the stock jets with
Gross jets. This solved the problem.
Then there was the oil problem
! The paraffin base oil would curdle
in the gas tank. Everet
discovered this one day, by looking down into
the fuel tank with a long, flexible, snake flash light, and skating along
the bottom of the alcohol tank. He discovered dozens of little "worms"
in the bottom of the tank! This would clog up our carb jets and cause our
engines to burn down. It wasn't until we switched to Klotz
oil that we completely licked this problem.
was somewhat difficult to get during the winter months, because
no one sold it. We finally found it in Liverpool, NY
. Irish Jack
was a super modified stock car driver from Oswego
agreed to sell it to us. Parm
used to pick it up in 5 gallon gas
cans and dump it in 50 gallon cans we kept behind the garage. I can't
imagine having those chemicals stored alongside our village home today!
We tried some exotic blends that year. I don't remember the combinations,
but do remember using Nitro
, and Benzene
and some pretty potent mixes with some real kick! It used to burn your eyes
something fierce in the garage and in the pits!
Fuels gave us non-timid types, a weapon to help us "one up" the
factory teams. It didn't last long, as they outlawed it the next year! It
was fun and we learned a lot though!
back to top
back to top