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Ron Buckner's Passing -- RIP

Very sad to hear of Ron Buckner's passing this week.


During the '70s and early '80s, Ron and his 36 Team were an integral part of the growing popularity and innovation of supermods at Oswego.

He started out driving and realized he could offer more as an owner/builder/crew chief than as a driver. I remember reading an early Oswego Eagle article where I paraphrase him as saying something to the effect that, with a modest effort he could put a car in the Top 10 with regularity, but it took a huge commitment and driver talent to break into the Top 3-5. And he felt he could contribute more outside the car than inside it. How many other owner/drivers could have been more successful if they gave up the driving? But that's another topic.

Ron got the best available shoes in racing at the time that proved him right -- Bobby Stelter, then Chuck Ciprich. He liked the dirt-racer background and encouraged a little bit of aggression and risk taking. Along with Buckner designing and wrenching with a good support crew, he took the orange 36 into the Top 5 and better.

For the mid-'70s fan, the 36 was in the hunt regularly against Shampine, Swift, Coniam, Dates, and Bellinger. By the late '70s, the 36 was in the Top 3 with Shampine and Dates, winning often and getting back-to-back Classic wins.

It was tough to see Ron and team leave Oswego after 1981 to pursue the dream most had at that time -- to run Indy. Oswego lost a great team and with Shampine killed at the end of '82, it was then end of great era of racing I had the pleasure to witness weekly.

Rest in Peace, Ron -- you were a great asset to Supermodified racing and I thank you for you dedication to it.


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