OSWEGO, NY – Years from now when fans look back on the 25th anniversary season of the Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super division it will only be fitting to see that the winningest driver in division history, Mike Bond, dominated Saturday’s season opening event, leading all 30 laps on his way to victory presented by Mitchell’s Speedway Press of Oswego.
A nearly five-hour rain delay forced the cancellation of SBS time trials, meaning a heat race draw and feature redraw would be used to set the night’s lineup.
By the luck of the draw Bond drew the pole position in the No. 74, storming to the point and cruising away for his 33rd career Oswego victory and his fourth opening night win.
Matt Magner, Kreig Heroth, Anthony Losurdo, and Dave Cliff chased Bond across the stripe with all four finishing within one second of the race winner.
“I think I’d like to start up here more often,” said Bond, who typically has to drive from closer to the sixth row to earn a main event victory. “I have to thank Denise Merrill, all my guys, and all the sponsors for their hard work.”
Russ Brown, Dalton Doyle, Jack Patrick, Camden Proud, and Barry Kingsley finished the top ten positions.
Bond and former Mr. Small Block Super champion Kingsley led the 19-car SBS field to the Cam’s Pizzeria green flag on Saturday with Bond gaining the early edge as Magner, Heroth, Losurdo, and Cliff quickly jockeyed their way into top five shuffling Kingsley back to sixth.
In the first third of the race it was clearly a five-car runaway as Bond, Magner, Heroth, Losurdo, and Cliff cruised away from the pack.
Further back though, Brown was charging hard in the No. 13 after having started from the outside of the sixth row.
Before long Brown was in sixth position and a caution at lap 12 helped him to close on the leaders.
The yellow lights came on for a slowing Scott Shafer in the No. 76 and the restart order would see Bond lead Magner, Heroth, Losurdo, Cliff, Brown, Kingsley, Doyle, Patrick, and Proud.
Two laps later yellow lights came on again for a tangle between Mark Castiglia and Jason Simmons on the back stretch and on his restart Doyle would jump passed Kingsley to seventh to join the lead pack.
As the lap counter ticked to 21 the intensity began to pick up and Brown was now testing the outside lane. But, as Brown looked high on Cliff in the fourth corner the No. 13 slid wildly out of shape, nearly spinning out. A seasoned veteran, Brown made the save, but would have to regroup.
With five laps to go Brown was able to close back in on the race leaders but by this point Bond was well in control over Magner, Heroth, Losurdo, and Cliff as the field crossed the finish line to officially put an end to the first event of the 25th anniversary SBS campaign.
Shell Shock Custom Helmet Paint Heat Race Challenge victories went to Patrick, Cliff, and Jesse Bearup.
Bearup, who pulled out of the main event on lap 11 in the No. 37, showed tremendous improvement from a year ago, picking up his first career qualifying heat race win on Saturday.
The D&S Landscaping Hard Charger was Mike Bruce, driving the James Babcock No. 15. Bruce had motor issues with his No. 22 early in the evening.
The Nice Price Auto Sales Up and Comer was Magner while Losurdo earned the White’s Car Care 4th Place Award.
Bond would go on to collect the Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader Award, while Simmons was declared the Bacc-Off Hard Luck Award recipient.
Pathfinder Bank SBS
Pathfinder Bank SBS Kick-Off (30 laps): 1. 74 – Mike Bond, 2. 87 – Matt Magner, 3. 04 – Kreig Heroth, 4. 1 – Anthony Losurdo, 5. 50 – Dave Cliff, 6. 13 – Russ Brown, 7. 01 – Dalton Doyle, 8. 9 – Jack Patrick, 9. 54 – Camden Proud, 10. 91 – Barry Kingsley, 11. 15 – Mike Bruce, 12. 8 – Josh Kerr, 13. 90 – Greg O’Connor, 14. 99 – Dennis Rupert, 15. 69 – Mark Castiglia, 16. 98 – Jason Simmons, 17. 76 – Scott Shafer, 18. 37 – Jesse Bearup, 19. 23 – Cameron Black DNS: Cameron Rowe, Alex McRae, James Babcock
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #15 – Mike Bruce
Nice Price Auto Sales Up and Comer: #87 – Matt Magner
White’s Car Care 4th Place: #1 – Anthony Losurdo
Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader: #74 – Mike Bond
Bacc-Off Hard Luck Award: #98 – Jason Simmons
Heat #1 (10 laps): 1. 50 – Dave Cliff, 2. 87 – Matt Magner, 3. 04 – Kreig Heroth, 4. 76 – Scott Shafer, 5. 69 – Mark Castiglia, 6. 99 – Dennis Rupert, 7. 90 – Greg O’Connor
Heat #2 (10 laps): 1. 9 – Jack Patrick, 2. 1 – Anthony Losurdo, 3. 91 – Barry Kingsley, 4. 01 – Kreig Heroth, 5. 23 – Cameron Black, 6. 77 – Cameron Rowe, 7. 14 – Alex McRae
Heat #3 (10 laps): 1. 37 – Jesse Bearup, 2. 74 – Mike Bond, 3. 13 – Russ Brown, 4. 98 – Jason Simmons, 5. 54 – Camden Proud, 6. 8 – Josh Kerr, 7. 15 – James Babcock