Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – Racing on and off as part of Oswego Speedway’s Novelis Supermodified division since the year 1999, Jerry Curran has since established himself as a longtime Oswego fan favorite.
Known for his impressive fabrication and workmanship, Curran has brought a beautiful car to the track each of those seventeen years, and also become known as one of the top big block ‘underdog’ contenders behind the wheel of the ‘Nuclear Banana’ No. 24.
Last season, Curran explored a new endeavor. He was busy in his Scriba, N.Y. shop all spring and summer long working on updating a Hawk Chassis formerly owned by Mike Muldoon, which debuted as the Indy Performance Composites, Scriba Meats No. 1 last August with returning driver Jeff West behind the wheel.
Curran drove the car for one regular show as well, and it wasn’t long before that sharp new ride found the 16 second bracket. For the 61st running of Budweiser International Classic Weekend, Curran returned to the track with his familiar yellow No. 24, while West also qualified for his first 200 start since the millenium.
At the conclusion of 2017, Curran sold his longtime No. 24 seat to ISMA competitor Jamie Timmons. Timmons is busy preparing that car for the 2018 season, while the No. 1 ride remains in Curran’s shop. That car is reserved for West’s return to the speedway this year. So, that’s when the idea of an additional car in the Curran shop came to fruition. Just two weeks ago, the 2-time Supermodified feature winner was rideless for this coming season, that was until Jerry started talking with longtime Oswego campaigner Jeff Holbrook.
It wasn’t long before Curran agreed to purchase the former Holbrook No. 35, which was debuted as a brand new Brian Allegresso chassis in 2010. Holbrook drove that same racer to victory lane that season as well as a seventh place effort in the overall point standings. The blue and red 35 returned to the track on occasion in 2011, 2012 and 2013, before Jeff handed the controls to his former teammate from several years earlier; Bobby Magner.
Magner last drove the No. 35 in the 2016 Budweiser International Classic 200 and was rather fast in Classic testing that year as well, getting the sharp looking entry down to times as low as 16.5 seconds. Holbrook also qualified fifth with the car for the 2012 Budweiser International Classic 200 with another 16.5 second lap.
Curran is very excited about the opportunity to field one of the more unique looking Supermodifieds in the field this coming season which features Allegresso’s exotic ‘sideways rollcage.’ With a completely different piece under him for what will now be his eighteenth year competing in Oswego’s headlining division on at least a part time basis, it is a new beginning for the longtime Oswego driver, fan, and car builder.
“I’m excited to change it up,” Curran said. “I would love to run the full season, but I just don’t know how many races we’re going to run at this point. It all depends on my schedule. This is a different car than anything I’ve driven before so I’m looking forward to trying it out and we’ll see how it goes.”
Although Curran will certainly be back on track for the 2018 season, one thing that won’t return, much to the dismay of the fans who have always enjoyed the Nuclear Banana, is Jerry’s signature bright yellow No. 24. The car will now be numbered 73, in observance of one of Curran’s favorite Super drivers while he was growing up; Don Rammage.
Rammage owned and drove race cars for several years, beginning his driving days in 1986 with the red and black No. 73. A few of Oswego’s greats have won features for Rammage as a car owner, including Steve Gioia Jr. as well as Doug Didero, who won the 1992 Jim Shampine Memorial 100 behind the wheel of a Rammage 73.
“We’re done with that for now,” mentioned Curran regarding the Nuclear Banana scheme. “Maybe a number and color change will change some of my luck too. It’s kind of a fresh start for us. Don (Rammge) is not involved, but I was just a Rammage fan growing up anyway so its something different for us. We’re looking forward to getting back out there. I’ll let everyone know what exactly our plans are when we get closer to this season, I’m not exactly sure yet but am hoping to be there as much as I can.”
With the addition of Curran, Jeff West, Roger Clark, Bob Bogwicz, and the potential return of Didero behind the wheel of a new car still up in the air, this season will see the addition of a number of veteran Supermodified drivers who intend to return to the seat for Oswego Speedway’s 68th season of racing.
Season tickets, camping packages, and more are all on sale as part of Oswego Speedway’s 2018 schedule. Tickets and camping passes can be picked up in the speedway office from 11am to 4pm on Saturdays during winter hours. The track will be closed on Saturday, February 17, but will re-open a week later on the 23rd. The box office will return to normal hours this April.
Oswego Speedway 68th consecutive season of racing begins with the first ever running of the Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50’s for the Novelis Supermodifieds on Saturday, May 26. A 35-lap Tony White Memorial main for the Pathfinder Bank SBS will be run alongside this can’t miss, never before seen event for the Supers.