Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – In advance of this Saturday’s Oswego Speedway Eagles Fan Club Relaunch Party at Lighthouse Lanes, speedway PR director Camden Proud sat down with president Eric Syrell for an extensive Q&A about what the Eagles Fan Club is and what it will offer this coming season.
On Saturday afternoon, the Eagles will relaunch under the leadership of Syrell as president with Marion Naramore as vice president, Samantha Todd as secretary, Brenda Syrell as treasurer, and Craig Tyrell as the speedway liaison.
As part of the relaunch party, 2018 membership sign ups will be available as well as fan plan tickets for team to resell along with a booze wheel, door prizes, drink specials, Super Bowl Boards and lotto boards. Many baskets and door prizes will also be on hand. You’ll be able to check out the Syracuse vs. Virginia game on TV in the Hall of Fame Lounge as well.
Syrell has been hard at work throughout the offseason resurrecting the fan club and is excited to share all of his thoughts and ideas with everyone in the question and answer session below.
Camden Proud: “We’ve all been working hard to get the word out about this weekend’s Oswego Eagles Fan Club Relaunch Party. What would you like to tell the drivers, fans and teams we all want in attendance?”
Eric Syrell: “A lot of people have heard from me personally already, but I ask that all of our drivers, fans and teams come out this weekend to support the Oswego Speedway’s Supermodified and SBS divisions. I ask this not only as a friend but as a lifelong fellow fan of Oswego Speedway.”
CP: “Why did you want to get the Eagles Fan Club started again and what are your intentions with the program?”
ES: “I did this to not only try to resurrect the club but also as president of the Eagles Fan Club it is my intent to use this position as a platform to speak with speedway management about the future of the track. In recent years, particularly since the development of social media, the internet has provided so many people a voice to express their opinions on what we needs to be done on a weekly basis at the Oswego Speedway. Some of this often comes with negativity and that is not something I wanted to be a part of. So, I felt the importance to invest myself and establish credibility with Oswego Speedway management.”
CP: “As co-owner of a prominent Supermodified team as well as a local business owner, you know what it takes to be successful and how important it is to keep the fans involved in our sport. You mentioned using your platform to speak about the future of the track. What is your outlook on that and the constant struggle that many of our local short tracks across the country continue to face each and every week?”
ES: “The truth is spectator sports worldwide are suffering, racing as a whole is certainly not immune. Small local tracks are seemingly suffering the worst. Different than the glory days of Oswego Speedway we live in age where we have the world at our fingertips with handheld devices connecting us all around the globe. Our entertainment dollar definitely goes so much further than it used to. The ‘A-D-D’ world where we can see computer generator car chases in our video games or in TV and movies has made automotive racing lose its luster to the younger generations. Racing as a sport, no matter if it is NASCAR, IRL or Supermodifieds is an entertainment business. This is the approach I have taken in talking with Oswego Speedway management. We have to entertain the fans from the moment they arrive to the moment that they leave. It has to be a worthy experience to keep fans coming back. I have said it before and I will say it again, without the FANS we are all just driving in circles.”
CP: “As president of the Eagles Fan Club, what is your message to our loyal race fans?”
ES: “I am happy to report that my efforts were not in vain and that we have come together on some new exciting ideas. I say this with all respect due to its owners and management. I’m not pretending to say that I know how to run their business better than them. In fact, In our many talks I have learned that there is so much more behind the scenes to running a race track that we as competitors and fans do not see. Let’s just say that there is a lot more in keeping a speedway like Oswego open, let alone thriving. Another hard truth is this, we all should count our blessings that Oswego Speedway is still open and that the Supermodifieds and SBS still race there on a regular basis. We ALL owe the Torresee family a debt of gratitude that it still even exists. It could easily be closed for good like so many other small-town tracks have already. We who love Oswego Speedway and the teams that race there are a tight knit community. We are all very passionate about our sport. We are also sometimes our own worst enemies. We are all out for our own success.That is what drives us all to win. It is who we are, yet now is the time to come together and make our unified goal to bring Oswego closer to its former glory. We have to come together and change the culture at the track week in and week out. We have to make the past the past and look to a brighter future. I’m not saying that I have all the answers that will fix the problems we face. Nor am I saying that everything I suggest is being implemented.”
CP: “Can you talk a little bit about the team you’ve brought onboard as part of the new Oswego Eagles Fan Club and what your goals are for this coming season?”
ES: “As president of the Eagles Fan Club my sole purpose is to promote a positive outlook about the Oswego Speedway and the divisions that race there. This club that was founded so many years ago and was such a huge support system to Oswego Speedway and its competitors. It is still a way for us to come together and show our support for one another. I’m going to continue to attempt to further enhance the relationship between the competitors, track management and most importantly between the Speedway and its fans. I have a group of dedicated individuals who as fellow board members are doing the same. All whom I must thank for their tireless efforts, vice president Marion Naromore, secretary Samantha Todd, treasurer Brenda Syrell and our speedway liaison Craig Tyrell. Former Eagles member Mike Foster has also done a tremendous job as well in seeking out sponsorship for the club this year. Each one of these people have done great things and I can’t thank them enough.”
In conclusion, Eric said, “Many more have come forward offering to help and I thank them all so very much as well. I am looking forward to seeing everyone. The time is now for us to come together and show everyone that the Oswego Speedway is still one of the best and most exciting shows to watch on any given Saturday night in the summer.”