OSWEGO, N.Y. – Harry, George and Bill Caruso, the founders of Oswego Speedway, will be memorialized as East Albany Street west of Jim Shampine Drive is recognized as Caruso Bros Blvd at a dedication ceremony on Saturday, June 30 at 4 p.m.
The dedication will take place at the corner of East Albany St. and Shampine Drive just across from the speedway.
The Caruso brothers built Oswego Speedway from an old horse track and opened the famed oval in August 1951 as a third-mile dirt track. It was paved the following year and expanded to its present five-eighths-mile course in 1961.
While under the guidance of the Caruso brothers, Oswego Speedway was acclaimed as one of the premier short tracks in the U.S. They nurtured the growth and popularity of the ultra-fast supermodifieds by paying the largest weekly purse for a single division in the country.
Additionally, they were the first to introduce modern innovations such as the electronic lap counter and scoreboard, they were at the forefront of driver safety with innovations such as corner lights and corner flagmen in radio communication with each other and race officials, and the track was widely recognized has having the best concession stands of any sports venue.
The resolution to recognize the Caruso Bros’ accomplishments was brought before the City of Oswego common council by 6th ward Councilor Ron Tesoriero on Monday, June 11 and was unanimously passed.
“I was excited to sponsor the resolution that was originally brought to the floor by former 4th Ward councilor Shawn Walker,” said Tesoriero. “We’re both big Oswego Speedway supporters; I’m currently on a race team and Shawn was a former SBS competitor. Robert Metcalf, an Oswegonian who obviously has a passion for Oswego Speedway and all that it has meant to the community, spearheaded the campaign.”
“I am very pleased that the city embraced my idea,” said Metcalf. “I’ve enlisted talented local artist Matt Hubbard to create a sign with a portrait of the Caruso Bros on one side and a collage on the other side depicting three of the most memorable events in International Classic history to commemorate this iconic event. A special thanks goes out to John Paventy who donated a helmet once warned by Nolan Swift which was raffled off to help fund the cost of the sign. Everyone in Oswego who appreciates the Caruso Bros for building one of the finest short track facilities right in our back yard should be on hand this Saturday at 4 p.m. for the unveiling.”
“Oswego Speedway has been one of the cornerstones of tourism for the city since 1957 when the Caruso Bros dreamed up the International Classic,” said City of Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow. “The annual Labor Day Weekend event has put Oswego New York on the motorsports map internationally as the mecca of supermodified racing and our local businesses benefit from the hundreds of thousands of dollars that race fans inject into the community each year. But the positive influence of the Caruso Bros goes far beyond the speedway. As the owners and operators of Northern Steel Corp, Oswego Sheet Metal Works, Speedway Restaurant, Wine Creek Inn and HG&W Realty Corp, they provided hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in local commerce during their lifetime. This is a well-deserved tribute to the tireless efforts of Harry, George and Bill Caruso.”
“My father and uncles would be humbled by this honor, but they weren’t much for accolades,” said Romey Caruso, who spoke on behalf of the Caruso. “It was their passion for auto racing, particularly for supermodified racing, that drove them to make Oswego Speedway a success. And, I’m sure that they would be the first to share their legacy with the dedicated employees, drivers, owners, crew members, volunteers and race fans, all of whom I believe just wanted to be part of this special fraternity. I would personally like to thank Robert Metcalf, who expended a good deal of time and resources, Councilor Ron Tesorierio, former Councilor Shawn Walker, Mayor Barlow, the City of Oswego Common Council, Matt Hubbard, John Paventy and Keith Kostoroski from the City of Oswego DPW for their support and participation to make this memorial a reality.”