OSWEGO, NY – Like the days of old, Russ Brown and Mike Bond are once again locked at the top of the Pathfinder Bank SBS “Road to the Championship” standings at Oswego Speedway.
Despite neither scoring a victory in the Speedway’s first two SBS events of the year, Brown and Bond are separated by only five markers at the top of the standings.
Brown, who in a surprise twist announced his full-time return to the division just weeks ago, holds a slim edge on Bond driving the Hedger Fabrication No. 13 as the only driver that has scored a top five finish in both SBS main events this season.
Behind the wheel of a new ride in 2013, Bond set fast time on opening night in the No. 74 and has scored two top ten runs including a fourth place finish just two weeks ago to trail Brown by just a handful of championship points heading into Saturday’s Tony White Memorial 35 presented by Helena Chemical Company.
No doubt the two most heralded drivers in Oswego Speedway’s SBS history, each has been selected to the Speedway Hall of Fame and they currently sit first and second in all-time SBS wins at the Speedway.
The argument rages on. Who is the greatest of all-time?
The division’s first champion in 1992, Brown has not run a full-time season at the Speedway since 2009 when he finished second in the overall point standings behind Dave Gruel, and one spot ahead of Bond.
While Bond has notched 27 career wins in the division, eight more than Brown, no driver has won more championships than Brown in the history of the series as he added three consecutive titles from 2005-2007.
In Bud Light SBS Classic contention, each has visited victory lane three times.
The statistics are nearly identical.
While the argument as to who will go down as the greatest driver of his era will likely continue for some time to come, there is no doubt that the 2013 season will add a great deal of substance to the debate.
For this season there can be no argument made that either is in newer equipment.
Brown debuted a brand new Hedger Fabrication chassis at the 2012 Bud Light SBS Classic, while Bond broke out the latest FFB chassis on opening night of this year.
Each has shown speed and agility early on, and both are likely at the peak of their driving expertise.
Throw in arguably the toughest competition in several years, and both Brown and Bond will have to be at their best if they wish to garner another championship.
Chasing these Hall of Fame rivals in the early season standings is a relative newcomer to the division, AJ Bernys. After coming into the series in 2010, Bernys has already racked up two feature wins in his short career, including the Speedway’s opening night victory on May 4. Bernys, driving the Byrne Dairy No. 24, currently trails Brown for the championship lead by 16 markers.
Riding fourth in points after two events is the defending series champion, Kreig Heroth in the Won4Racing No. 04. Just like last season, Heroth has started the year consistent and quiet without a top five finish, but has secured a heat race win and two top ten finishes in the early season. Heroth will no doubt rise as a top challenger to both Brown and Bond, as he only rides one point behind Bernys at this juncture.
Finishing the top five in the current “Road to the Championship” standings is Charlotte, NC racer Andrew Schartner, driving the Crow Motorsports No. 18. Continuing his weekly commute from the south, Schartner has one top five finish and two top ten finishes to put him solidly in the hunt two weeks into the season.
The final half of the front ten is currently occupied by Jon Tesoriero, Jason Simmons, Cameron Rowe, Rob Pullen, and Jack Patrick.
Oswego Speedway’s Memorial Day Weekend ‘Triple-Header’ presented by Helena Chemical Company will take the green flag at 5pm on Saturday featuring the Jim Shampine Memorial Novelis Supermodified 75, the Richie Evans Memorial RoC Modified 75, and the Tony White Memorial Pathfinder Bank SBS 35.
Pit gates will open at noon on Saturday, with grandstands opening and hot laps beginning at 2 p.m.
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To purchase tickets for the 2013 racing season call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.