not forgotten . . .

Ron Buckner

Ocala, Florida
05.08.1944 - 18.07.2016

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.

  . . . written by CiprichFan36

Ronnie competed as a driver in the early seventies, but soon found his talents were best expressed as a car designer/builder, owner and chief mechanic. Success with driver Bobby Stelter in the early to mid-seventies led to even greater success later in the seventies when Ron hired driver Chuck Ciprich. Together they combined for 16 feature wins in the late seventies / early eighties with several different Buckner orange No. 36 creations. The highlight of Ronís career was orchestrating back-to-back International Classics wins in í78 and í79.

  . . . Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame

1971, Ron behind the wheel


Bob Stelter was behind the wheel of the 36 car in 1974

Bob Stelter had ten top 5's with 2 wins and a 2nd in the Classic during the 1974 season with the Buckner #36.


1978, one week after the team's first Classic win. Chuck got 3rd in this 30 lapper, 2nd 30 rained out?

1978 Open comp race at Salem, Indiana won by Ciprich/Buckner.

Chuck Ciprich, '79 Classic winner, 2nd in a Row!

Charg'n Charlie brings home the '79 Classic win.

Chuck Ciprich is ready for his last Classic in 1981. He qualified 8th and finished 9th. I think this was the last run for the Buckner 36, and for Chuck Ciprich at the "big O". Tommy Leeson purchased and raced the car in '82.


Ron was also chief engineer for his step-son, Mike Stelter, who races ESS sprints.

  driver links
  • Aug 26th, 1978 win
  • please links, stories or images so we can all remember Ron Buckner.
  • Ron was inducted into The Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame in 2001.
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  • 1978 and 1979 Classic wins with ciprich at the wheel of the Buckner machine.

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