OSWEGO — Oswego Speedway management announced the long-dreaded decision Saturday to cancel the upcoming Budweiser International Classic Weekend slated for Sept. 4-6 due to an extension of the state executive order that would bar fans from attending.
The 64th running of the prestigious supermodified auto racing extravaganza will now cap off the 2021 season on Oswego Speedway’s paved oval after hosting the annual tradition for 63 straight years.
The always-anticipated weekend slate of racing action near Labor Day represented the final hope for Oswego Speedway fans this season. Due to state mandates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the track had been forced to cancel all previous events from May to August in what was to be celebrated as its 70th anniversary season.
“It is with a heavy heart that for the first time in the Steel Palace’s history, we announce that the International Classic will not run,” track owner John Torrese expressed in a prepared statement posted to the track website.
“We are devastated,” he added. “I want to apologize to our fans, drivers, teams, and advertising partners. While we took as much time as possible to carefully weigh options before making this difficult decision, we feel it is for the best, and hope to hold the 64th annual edition of the Classic on Labor Day Weekend 2021.”
Oswego Speedway owners had announced the cancelation of its Aug. 22 regular-season finale the week prior to calling off the Classic, which was the most recent in a series of hopeful season start dates wiped out due to state regulations amid the pandemic.
Fulton native Tyler Thompson, at age 17, became the youngest winner in the 63-year history of the Classic Weekend’s 200-lap main event on Sept. 1 last year, which was the last Novelis Supermodified race held at the Speedway.
This year’s Budweiser Classic Weekend was slated to consist of feature races for Oswego’s Pathfinder Bank SBS and J&S Paving 350 Supers divisions, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Sunoco New York Super Stocks, Midwest Compact Touring Series, capped off by the traditional 200-lap feature for the Oswego Speedway Novelis Supermodifieds.
In its prepared statement, track owners stated that they plan to immediately hit the reset button toward planning for the 2021 campaign, which will be recognized as the track’s 70th anniversary season.
“We will look forward to 2021, and hope to have our fans back in the seats, teams on the track, and all of us enjoying the races again,” Torrese said. “Thank you to everyone in our racing community for the continued support and patience this season.”