not forgotten . . .

Nolan Swift


Syracuse, NY
31.Jan.1923 - 27.Mar.2004


Nolan looked right at home in the Brian Herb super - 1981

  • inducted into the Syracuse Hall of Fame in 1990
  • 1953 -1977: Won 42 features in Oswego Modified Stock Car era and 41 Super Modified races at Oswego after 1962
  • 1952: New York State NASCAR Champion
  • 1956,1957 and 1958: Won the New York State Fair Stock Car Championship
  • Eight time winner of Oswego Speedway Track Championship (1953,54,56,58,61,64,66,71)
  • Oswego 200-Lap International Classic, six-time winner (1960,63,67,68,71,72)
  • 1971 Sandusky Hy-Miler Classic winner
  • Stands 4th on the all time Oswego supermodified win list (41)
  • 7th all time with 120 supermodified top 5'S at Oswego
  • 9th all time in supermodified points at Oswego
  • Won an estimated 250 feature victories during his career
  • Recognized as one of the innovators in super modified racing
  • Swift and long-time partner Bill Wright designed the first steel-tube space frame modified race car
  . . . source, syracusehalloffame.com/

Swift’s record at Oswego is legendary. Six Classic wins, 41 feature wins (4th all time), and a record 8 track championships.
The "Ten Pins" car was one of the last connections from Oswego Speedway’s past to the present. At one time or another, Nolan raced everything and everywhere he could.

1968

Nolan was a true racer. He won in the modified days. He made the progression into the supers, and did that very successfully as well. Give Nolan a car and he would win with it. He and crew chief Billy Wright were one of the first unbeatable driver-mechanic collaborations. When these guys were at the track, they were virtually unbeatable.
Nolan and Jimmy Shampine were rivals, but it was a friendly rivalry. The 8 ball and 10 pins brought out the best in their respective drivers. They were both hard-working family men, but both had a burning desire to beat the other. Stories of the 10 pins are legendary. Every story, from burning the midnight oil to rebuild a car Classic Weekend, to turning on the ten pins on his car while leading, to coming from almost 3 laps down to win a classic, all illustrate the legend of the "Old Gray Fox."
Just a few years back, when Bentley Warren won the Classic for the sixth time, tying him with Swift, who was one of the first to shake Bentley’s hand? Swifty himself. The two legends joke and laughed as they compared stories and traded tales about racing each other.
After his driving days were over, Swifty was still a fan. It was common to see him anywhere around the track. He went to the pits and also went in the stands. He seemed to like the back grandstands. Anytime the back was open, it seemed Nolan was there watching. A charter member of the Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame, this longtime legend, and all around nice guy, will be missed.

  . . . written by Dan Johnson

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the car with which Nolan won the 1960 Classic.
contributed by Joe Oleyourryk

Swift won several 1961 features and the track championship with this car.
contributed by Joe Oleyourryk

This car was outlawed by track officials in 1961 except for open competition events, it would soon become the highly successful "Flying Boxcar".
contributed by Joe Oleyourryk

in the early days... those "10 pins" on the top would light up when Nolan gained the lead!

Swifty was the only local runner that could beat back the Michigan invasion. (1962)

1964 track champion!

a "classic" photo

1967, the "Flying Boxcar"

1968, new machine in the works

1968 Classic

68 Classic checkers

1969, Swifty alongside the new, and brief pilot of the former Gibson Flintstone Flyer, Jim Quinn. Norm Mackereth would soon get this ride.

battling Bob Stelter in 1971

Class of the field in 1972

Another early 70s incarnation of Swifty's 10 Pins

Swift guided this car to his 5th Classic win in 71 after coming back from two laps down.

Kenny Andrews and Swifty discuss stategy at the drivers meeting prior to the 72 Classic.

The 72 Classic winner, Nolan Swift, opens his door to greet the cheering fans... that's right, I said door!

1974... Swifty at speed

1976

Scratch built model by Mike Kapuscinski

  Swifty links
  • Tribute page at oswegospeedwayoldtimers.com
  • eulogy from the Fulton Valley News
  • Memorial in Camillus from oswegospeedway.com
  • please links, stories or images so we can all remember Nolan Swift.

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