Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – For 21 year-old driver Anthony Losurdo, his first full season with Missile Motorsports could not possibly have gone any better.
Driving the Mark Castiglia owned No. 1, ‘Hawk’ visited victory lane on three different occasions in 2018 and also clinched his first career track championship by a comfortable margin over hall of famers Russ Brown and Mike Bond who finished second and third.
Losurdo, a graduate of both quarter midget and go-kart racing, has grown into one of the top competitors in Oswego’s Pathfinder Bank SBS division after first seeing action at the speedway in 2013 at just 14 years of age.
After an impressive rookie campaign, he returned to the track full-time in 2014 and picked up his first win in June of that season before repeating just two months later and in turn becoming the youngest feature winner in speedway history. Those two wins along with six top five finishes allowed Losurdo a third place run in the point standings in just his second full season of competition.
For the duration of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Losurdo scored a ride with Denise Merrill-Bond and Four Sevens Motorsports. In his first year with Four Sevens, the teenaged driver again turned heads earning four more top five finishes and three feature wins including his memorable Twin 20 sweep which saw the No. 1 car visit victory lane twice in the same evening.
Despite five more top five finishes in 2016 good enough for yet another top five effort in the overall point standings, Losurdo was unable to secure a victory in his second season driving for Merrill. The team parted ways following Classic Weekend.
2017 brought what was nearly a full year off for Losurdo, although he did have a brief stint at the end of the season driving Mark Castiglia’s No. 69 on Budweiser International Classic Weekend. Unfortunately, that experience came to a fiery halt in the early stages of the Bud Light Classic 75 with mechanical problems on the car.
In the ensuing offseason, Castiglia, who is also a veteran of the Small Block Super ranks, decided he wanted to step out of the driver’s seat and instead field two-full time entries from the sidelines. The former Oswego winner did not think twice about naming Losurdo driver of his brand new FFB Chassis built by Dan Dennie. It was a decision that paid dividends.
In eleven total events, Losurdo managed an unbelievable eight top five finishes which topped the total of any other driver all year long. When Anthony didn’t finish in the top five, he was almost always in the top ten, finishing tenth or better in every single race with the exception of just one.
No matter where the No. 1 car started, somehow Losurdo seemed to always find his way forward, which is reflected in the staggering six D&S Landscaping ‘Hard Charger’ awards he earned throughout the course of the season including an unheard of four in a row.
It was clear even before the start of Oswego’s schedule that Losurdo would be a favorite for the track championship.
In the car’s maiden voyage, he visited victory lane in the Lighthouse Lanes SBS Series May Meltdown at the Evans Mills Speedway.
Following another top five finish in the Classic, the team returned to Evans Mills victory lane as Anthony was also able to dominate the series’ Fall Brawl 50, starting and finishing his season with victories in the North Country and putting the exclamation point on what was truly an incredible year.
“Winning an SBS track championship was a dream come true,” Losurdo said. “It was the only thing on all of our minds when we decided to build the team in the offseason and it hung with us all summer long. I owe it all to Mark Castiglia, my Dad, Dan and Stu. That’s one hell of a team right there and I couldn’t have done it without them or our great sponsors Castiglia Lawncare, JP Jewelers, CH Sealants, Cam’s Pizzeria, Vapor J’s, Stephen Gioia’s Farmer Insurance, and FFB Race Chassis.”
Not only was Losurdo declared champion, he also became the youngest SBS titleist in speedway history and was a mere four months too old to surpass Doug Heveron as youngest overall champion. Heveron won the 1981 Supermodified track championship at just 20 years and five months old, while Anthony did so at 20 years and nine months old. Losurdo described just being in that company as an “unbelievable honor.”
Ahead of the 2019 season, the Missile Motorsports No. 1 has again been registered for action in the Pathfinder Bank SBS division with Losurdo anticipated to do the driving, but fans will also notice Losurdo’s name listed under the current registrations for Oswego’s new 350 Supermodified class.
Just last month, Castiglia finalized a deal with Oswego Speedway to purchase the prototype 350 Supermodified that was driven by Pat Lavery back in 2017. The car also saw action with Lavery as the former Double Deuce Racing No. 22, before most recently seeing big block competition with former NASCAR Whelen Modified champion Ron Silk.
As of right now, the plan is for Losurdo to compete in the 350 Super ranks full-time, something the accomplished speedway veteran says he and his team are “very excited” about moving forward.
“We’ve had a few pretty successful seasons in the SBS division and I’ve always wanted to move up, but could never quite afford to race a big block. This new class has given me and many others the opportunity to get in a Supermodified,” Losurdo explained. “We plan on racing every Oswego show, and depending on how the season goes, we have the Star Classic on our radar as well.”
Being a full-time competitor in the SBS ranks for five seasons, Losurdo believes his experience not only with a similar car and engine, but most importantly around the speedway itself, will certainly assist in the 350 Supermodified learning curve for 2019.
“I think coming from the SBS division will be a huge benefit for me,” Losurdo stated. “I’ve learned so much in the five years I raced full time in the SBS division and I’ve made thousands of laps around the Oswego Speedway. The car may be changing, but the track is staying the same. So, I definitely think that’ll be very beneficial.”
Looking ahead to what will certainly be an exciting experience for the lifelong Oswego fan, Losurdo made sure to reiterate his appreciation for Castiglia. He said, “Mark put this team together last winter with the small block cars and he has given us everything we’ve needed to be competitive. I can’t thank him enough. He’s made it so easy, and we’ve built a great friendship along the way.”
As of January 24, Losurdo joins Barry Kingsley, Dalton Doyle, and Greg O’Connor as former Small Block Super competitors who all plan to make the jump to 350 Supermodified competition this coming season.
Oswego Speedway’s 69th season of racing is scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 25 with Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50 features for the Novelis Supermodifieds plus full programs for the Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supers and the 350 Supermodifieds.
An Open Practice session for all 2019 divisions will commence one week earlier on Saturday, May 18.