OSWEGO, N.Y. – Russ Stoehr, Joey Payne, Jr. and Randy Cabral are among the favorites when the Northeastern Midget Ass’n returns to Oswego Speedway Saturday night for the first time since 2005.
While many competitors will be on Oswego’s asphalt for the first time, there are some experienced hands. Current competitors Adam Cantor, Payne, Cabral and Doug Cleveland were all on hand when supermodified ace Chris Perley won the last NEMA race at Oswego in Don Berrio’s No. 2.
Considering Payne, an old hand at Oswego, turned 17.1 seconds laps en route to a victory in 2004, speeds in the 16 seconds bracket are probable.
Stoehr’s last win came in 2001. Still, the strategy that carried him to all those wins no doubt remains the same.
“It’s a big rhythm track,” Stoeher said. “I’ve had a lot of success there because I pass on the outside. Guys that get down in the groove can’t do that. Actually, it’s a pretty easy place to drive. If you make a mistake at Oswego, there’s usually room to get out of it.”
And, sometimes there isn’t. Stoehr had a devastating crash at Oswego in 2002, a race won by Drew Fornoro.
Stoehr’s Dumo’s Desire team, an extention of the Angelillo operation, also has eight Oswego checkeres.
Cabral, locked in another point battle with Stoehr, came within a whisker of an Oswego win in 2003, crashing while in the lead. The three-time and defending champ was second in 2002, fourth in 2004 and 11th in 2005.
John Zych Jr., Greg Stoehr, Mike Horn, Cantor, Seth Carlson, Cabral and Anthony Marvuglio all hope to become NEMA’s first two-time winner this season. Horn has been impressive on big tracks with wins at Thompson Int’l Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway in the last two seasons.
Other contenders include Jim Miller, Paul Scally and Todd Bertrand.