Chris Perley Takes Oswego Super Nationals After A Long Wait

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Believe it or not it had been eleven years since Chris Perley won the last of his three-straight Oswego Budweiser Super Nationals (1995-97) and certainly not because of lack of effort. Try as he might, the man who has won just about everything in winged supermodified sight for the last few years, could not muster that elusive fourth at the Super Nationals. Friday the pieces fell into place for him. Perley shattered the track record set earlier in 2008 by Timmy J with an amazing 15.198 lap. He won his heat. He was ready. But just prior to the feature, a hole was found in the oil pan of the 11 and needed to be quickly patched. A broken nose wing and no brakes were part of the late stages of his race.  Was it unraveling again? Another miss?  Not this time. The 11 cruised into victory lane a good distance ahead of second place finisher Timmy Jedrzejek for the win. This time it all came together.

“Eleven years later. I think it was ’97 when I won one of these. I didn’t know if it would ever come again. We kept coming so close and lady luck didn’t shine on us. Tonight we had a leak in the oil pan. Everybody jumped in to help fix it from the Ordways, Scotty Martel, Bentley – it’s a big family here. When somebody goes down, we pick them up. This time it was me who got the help.

“I ended up losing the brakes around lap 30. A caliper line broke. Then I guess I got impatient and tried to knock a nose wing off. I was holding on and praying that Timmy and those guys weren’t going to come and get me. I have really been pushing for this race for a long time after I won three in a row and then just couldn’t seem to do it again. Tonight, despite the hole in the oil pan and the brakes, I think I could have finished on three wheels and won. It was a great car. It ran perfect. For all the faults it still handled great. I’m so lucky to be in the car. We have great motors from R&R, great sponsors like Ed Shea, Perley’s Marina, and NEMRS, and Vic Miller putting the car together. Then there is the crew-Scotty, Leo, Mike, Phil, Curtis, Freddy, everybody and of course thanks to our families for letting us all do this.”

Timmy Jedrzejek tried to track down Perley after getting by early leader Charlie Schultz but just couldn’t get too close. “We’re pleased with our performance tonight.  To get beat by the 11 car and that whole team, we’ll take that and go home proud. The 8 team did a heck of a job tonight. That car has been awful good. We’ve struggled with the non-wing car. Hats off to all the guys on the Reed’s Salvage crew, Enerco Mr. Heater, and all the sponsors for sticking behind us and making it possible to be up here.

The 50-lapper only saw one yellow on lap 14. Would one have helped Jedrzejek late in the race? Timmy said,  “Getting a caution is no guarantee because getting behind him doesn’t mean a whole lot. Look at the lap he put down in practice. Chris beat my track record and he beat me in the feature. Hats off to them. They are a bunch of good guys and he’s a good winner.”

Third place runner and defending Super Nationals champion Dave Shullick Jr., had a little adversity of his own. His 49 lost a driveshaft in the second heat. And, while his capable crew was able to make quick repairs, it left Shoe II almost at the rear of the 23-car starting field.

“We had a long way to go,” said Dave on the podium. “We started toward the back. I was pretty good at the start.  The car just went away with ten laps to go. I was just hanging on. I’d like to congratulate Perley. You come to expect this from the 11 car. Timmy did a good job. We’re looking forward to tomorrow. This was fun. There are a lot of fast, fast cars that run here. The 8 was fast. The 7 was fast, but he looked like he faded. We’re fast. The 11 is fast. My crew is great. We did break a driveshaft in the heat and Steve and the group do a tremendous job. I’d like to thank them all. It’s just a fun race to run.”

The 15th annual Oswego Super Nationals started a couple cars light after Dave Trytek’s 70 and Tim Ice’s 77 could not start. It was pole sitter Randy Burch out front for the first six laps, but one of the MSA powerhouses, Charlie Schultz took over on lap 7.

Schultz was quickly away and hitting the tail of the field soon thereafter. Burch stayed in second holding back the likes of Timmy Jedrzejek, Jason Spaulding, Bobby Santos, Bob Dawson and more.

Stealthfully cutting through traffic was Perley, however and by lap 14 he was by Timmy J for second with Schultz locked into his sites. Schultz and Perley were about to battle when Dave Mumaw’s 14 tapped the inner hub bringing out the yellow and a near miss by the leaders.

On the restart, Perley and Schultz resumed their battle for the front spot with Perley winning it in turn one. It was the 11’s turn to get lost in the crowd.

At the halfway mark Perley was well out front, but so many things could happen as they had in the past. Timmy J maintained second while Dave Shullick Jr., Schultz and Santos waged war for third. Jason Spaulding, Jeff Abold, Bob Bond, Burch and Dawson and others were still running strong as the race flew by.

Around lap 30, the 11 appeared to have slowed a bit, probably due to the lack of brakes. But he still was well ahead of the formidable four of Jedrzejek, Shullick, Santos and Schultz. There could be no slip-ups. Unfortunately for Santos, his race ended with 15 laps to go when the 32 had a suspension part break, nudging a strong running Spaulding up into a top five spot. But behind Spaulding, Jeff Abold, Bobby Haynes Jr.  Bob Bond had come alive. He was up into the fifth spot by lap 40.

With the white flag waving, Lady Luck had one more chance to stifle Perley’s assault on the win. Coming off turn four the 03 of Lou LeVea, about to be lapped by the leader, slide this way and that way in front of the 11, but Lou made the save and Perley, one lap later, collected his fourth Super Nationals and the big $5,000 check. Timmy J and Shullick completed the top three with Bond and Schultz fourth and fifth.

Bond was getting better as the race wore down and he longed for a few more laps to race. “The car was pretty loose at the beginning with the fuel load. When that burned away it got better and it was pretty good at the end. I just needed 75 laps instead of 50. I’d really like to thank the crew for doing so much work and my sponsors who have been great this year. Running ISMA is really tough and everybody has stepped up. I just couldn’t do it without them.”

Schultz, on the other hand, was fighting his 7 and was happy with the fifth place. “We were too good, too early. The car was good from the drop of the green. I got by those guys and out into the clean air. But on lap 14 it started getting a little free. Then I had some trouble with a lap car and got tangled up with him a little bit. The caution came out and then when we went back to green it just never was as good as it was at the beginning. Toward the end we were just hanging on to see what we could salvage for the night. It’s all in one piece and we’ll carry on for tomorrow.”

Jeff Abold in sixth was the last car in the lead lap. Bobby Haynes Jr., Jason Spaulding, Bobby Dawson and Randy Burch finished up the top ten.

SUMMARY 15th annual Oswego Super Nationals

Time Trials: Chris Perley 15.198 NTR
Heat 1: Bobby Santos, Charlie Schultz, Timmy Jedrzejek, Kelly Miller, Moe Lilje, Jamie Timmons, Howard Page, Lou LeVea
Heat 2: Jeff Abold, Jack Smith, Bob Dawson, Randy Burch, Keith Gilliam, Dave Mumaw, Dave Shullick Jr., Dave Trytek
Heat 3: Chris Perley, Bob Bond, Tim Ice, Jason Spaulding, Bobby Haynes Jr., Justin Belfiore, Gene Gibson, Joey Payne, Denny Fisher

Budweiser Burke’s Do-It Best Super Nationals: 1. Chris Perley (11), 2. Timmy Jedrzejek (8), 3. Dave Shullick Jr. (49), 4. Bob Bond (25), 5. Charlie Schultz (7), 6. Jeff Abold (05), 7. Bobby Haynes Jr. (44), 8. Jason Spaulding (23), 9. Bobby Dawson (28), 10. Randy Burch (52), 11. Moe Lilje (19), 12. Jamie Timmons (27), 13. Jack Smith (09), 14. Justin Belfiore (88), 15. Lou LeVea (03), 16. Howard Page (18), 17. Kelly Miller (16), 18. Bobby Santos (32), 19. Keith Gilliam (87), 20. Dave Mumaw (14), 21. Denny Fisher (81), 22. Gene Lee Gibson (0), 23. Joey Payne (70M).