Kenny Andrews, 1973 Oswego Speedway Classic winner, dies

Classic winner in 1973: Kenny Andrews receives congratulations from Oswego Speedway chief starter Norm Bacon after becoming the first Canadian driver to win the International Classic in 1973.

OSWEGO — Oswego Speedway Hall of Famer Kenny Andrews, the first Canadian track champion and International Classic winner at the speedway, died on Friday at the age of 87.

A real estate broker in Burlington, Ontario, Andrews was a fierce supermodified competitor at Oswego. He earned a total of 20 main-event victories and 75 top-five finishes in a career that spanned just eight seasons driving his famous No. 55 creations.

While Andrews was the speedway's first Canadian track champion in 1969, winning five features during the year including the first three of the season consecutively, some would say his shining moment was his come-from-behind effort at the 1973 International Classic.

Prior to the ' 73 Classic, Andrews was the heavy favorite, having won all of the speedway's extra-distance events that season, driving the track's fastest supermodified.

However, in hot laps prior to Classic time trials, Andrews was caught in a turn 2 mishap with Nick Rowe, damaging Andrews' No. 55 mount beyond repair for the evening, missing a chance at a time-trial effort.

With repairs made overnight in time for race day, Andrews had to work his way through the last-chance events on Classic Sunday in order to qualify. He won both his heat race and semifinal qualifier to make his way into the show, but started deep in the field.

Steadily working his way through the pack, Andrews eventually found himself on the back bumper of Jim Winks, driving the Howard Purdy Deuce, and began his bid for the race lead.

After several laps of contention, Andrews found the room he needed on lap 185 to take the lead and charge away as the first Canadian victor of the International Classic 200.

Smith's Funeral Home in Burlington, Ontario has charge of arrangements.

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