OSWEGO, NY (June 10) – If the Top 3 finishers in Saturday night’s RJ Caruso Tax & Accounting/Thunder Road Bar and Grill Novelis Supermodified 50-lap feature are any indication of the future of Oswego Speedway, it is certainly in good hands.
Despite a terrible forecast and early rain showers, young Dave Danzer who already had one Supermodified win to his credit, used a lap 20 inside move to slip past fellow youngster Michael Muldoon for his second career visit to Chris Nelson Insurance Victory Lane Saturday night at Oswego Speedway. Danzer, 24, would outlast Dan Connors Jr., just 18 years of age, and 21-year old Kody Graham for the exciting victory. Saturday’s podium finishers made for the youngest Top 3 in Supermodified history at the Speedway, with a combined age of just 63 years.
Oswego Supermodified veterans Joey Payne and Otto Sitterly would complete the Top 5 finishers in the tire tracks of the Speedway youth movement. Pat Lavery, Tim Devendorf, Brian Sobus, Shaun Gosselin, and last week’s winner Joe Gosek filled the Top 10.
“This one we came from the back, this one means a little bit more,” said Danzer in victory lane, comparing career win No. 1 to win No. 2. “Today we started 8th and came up through there. I think by the end of the year we’ll have a couple wins, that is what we are shooting for. We’re slowly crawling our way back into the championship, we just need good consistent runs and hopefully it will pay off.”
Muldoon and Graham would lead the Novelis Supermodified field to the Cam’s NY Pizzeria green flag, with Muldoon blasting into the early lead piloting his father’s No. 50m machine. With Muldoon out front Graham settled into second, while Mod Lite champion Tim Devendorf worked his way under Stephen Gioia III to pull into the 3rd position early on.
As the field sorted itself out, a frightening accident developed coming out of turn two on just the third circuit of the event.
Last season’s championship runner-up, Randy Ritskes, and the Gioia No. 9 would touch wheels out of turn two sending Ritskes into the inside hub rail. After the contact with the inside retaining wall, the Ritskes No. 88 came back across the Speedway leaving drivers little room to maneuver.
Dave Gruel would climb the right rear wheel of the Mike Barnes No. 99 trying to avoid the accident, sending him head first into the turn two outside wall. As Gruel’s No. 50 machine spun back around it slammed into the No. 88 causing a massive fuel leak from the rear of the Lighthouse Lanes ride. A methanol burning fire would soon erupt forcing both Gruel and Ritskes to make daring exits from their vehicles.
Both drivers exited their cars without injury, and the highly touted Oswego Speedway safety crew made quick work of the blaze, knocking it down in a matter of seconds.
Tim Snyder, Joe Gosek, and Pat Lavery were also involved in the scene in turn two and all three were able to rejoin the field. Gruel and Ritskes were each done for the night.
When the field came back to green Muldoon led Graham, Devendorf, Gioia, and Connors in the Top 5.
Connors would be the car on the move after the lap 3 restart. For the third consecutive week the No. 01 showed great speed and before long Connors drove around Gioia then underneath Devendorf to climb to the 3rd position. As Connors moved up, Muldoon began to distance himself from Graham.
Danzer began to mount his charge on lap 13 as he moved around Devendorf on the high side in corner three to move to 4th. From there the No. 52 quickly closed on the Top 3 as they checked away from the field.
Further back the Gioia machine began to slip through the field as Sobus, Payne, and Sitterly all made low side moves on the No. 9 on lap 17. One lap later, the caution lights would come on again.
The No. 50m of Muldoon nearly lost the handle charging into corner one, leading the field. A pre-cautionary yellow flag was waved as Muldoon got out of shape. He was able to gather the car and restart at the front of the field.
The Top 10 at lap 18 showed Muldoon, Graham, Danzer, Connors, Devendorf, Sobus, Payne, Sitterly, Gosselin, and Jarett Andretti.
Seeing that the Muldoon car was losing the handle, Graham would try Muldoon high on the lap 18 restart but would push too high, leaving the low lane open. As a result, 3rd place running Danzer and Connors were able to fly past on the inside and quickly mount a charge on Muldoon for the point.
Just two laps later a near mirror image would occur as Danzer found more bit than Muldoon low out of turn four to take the top spot into one, keeping the lane open for Connors to slide through for 2nd. Danzer and Connors would now lead the field ahead of Muldoon, Graham, and Devendorf.
By the halfway point of the 50-lap affair both Payne and Sitterly had worked their way well into the Top 10, running 7th and 8th respectively. In his first ever Novelis Supermodified feature event, Andretti had charged from 22nd on the grid to 10th at the cross flags.
Muldoon’s great run would come to an end on lap 30 as the No. 50m broke loose and spun in turn three. The spin would move Graham into the Top 3, Devendorf to 4th, and Sobus into the Top 5.
As the green lights came back on it looked as though Payne and Sitterly may start their charge to the front. They each made low side passes of Sobus, picking their way further through the pack, but would eventually stall out battling each other for a Top 5 position.
By lap 40 Danzer mounted a near full straight lead leaving the battle for 2nd between Connors and Graham. But on lap 41 a Danzer run away faded away as Snyder spun down the back straight battling with Andretti and Gosek. The quick caution allowed Connors to close on Danzer for another shot at his first career victory.
As Don Forbes threw the green one more time Danzer dropped the hammer ahead of Connors, Graham, Devendorf, Payne, Sitterly, Sobus, Gosselin, Lavery, and Andretti.
As Danzer rolled out of turn four the No. 52 broke traction, turning slightly sideways allowing the Connors machine to make a full-fledged attempt at the lead on the high side into turn one. Danzer however was too tough, and he was able to fend off Connors on the low side to keep the top position.
The restart helped Payne to improve himself another spot as he drove around Devendorf to move to 4th on lap 42.
Out front though Danzer was simply too good as not even another yellow flag on lap 43 could slow his momentum. Danzer would easily go on to his 2nd career Novelis Supermodified feature win, in just his second year of Supermodified competition.
Connors, who had been known as the hard luck driver of the Supermodified division at Oswego, was more than pleased with yet another podium finish.
“It was a lot of fun out there, the car started going away on us but we kept it in there,” said Connors, who has finishes of 3rd and 2nd in the last two weeks. “Dave ran a great race; we just didn’t have enough for him. I definitely have to thank Doug Holmes, if it wasn’t for him we probably wouldn’t even be here. Hopefully we can keep improving and get the car better every time. The last 3 weeks have been great, hopefully we can keep improving.”
Kody Graham, son of Ray Graham who had issues with his new No. 90 electing not to take the feature green flag, said his No. 21 had an odd feeling to it.
“It was the weirdest thing, in turn one and two I was extremely tight and in three and four I was sideways,” said Graham. “It was definitely a learning curve; I have never had that before. On that restart there I showed Mike a look and that’s when they (Danzer & Connors) got me, but hats off to them, they did a great job. I gave it all I could.”
Castiglia Breaks Through for Career Win No. 1 in SBS Division at Oswego Speedway
Mark Castiglia led every lap Saturday night at Oswego Speedway in the Pathfinder Bank SBS division, charging on to his first career main event win as a part of RJ Caruso Tax & Accounting/Thunder Road Bar and Grill Night at the Races. Castiglia was able to fend off the charges of good friend Jason Simmons throughout the event to make his maiden trip to Chris Nelson Insurance Victory Lane.
Simmons took 2nd position from AJ Bernys on lap 11 of 30 to begin his charge at the race lead. But Simmons, who was also looking for his first career win in the No. 98, was unable to out fox Castiglia. Cameron Rowe, Kreig Heroth, and Tim Barbeau filled the Top 5 ahead of JJ Andrews, Mike Bond, Rob Pullen, Andrew Schartner, and John Ketcham.
“It feels awesome,” said Castiglia of his first career win behind the wheel of the No. 69. “I owe it all to Dan Dennie, he is the best in the business. I was watching the leader board and I saw the No. 98 there and I knew it was my good old buddy Jason (Simmons) and I figured we would have a shootout.”
Bernys and Castiglia brought the SBS field to the Cam’s NY Pizzeria green flag with the No. 69 of Castiglia quickly pulling out front from the outside front row starting spot. Simmons, who started 8th on the grid, would find himself into the Top 5 by just the third circuit, slicing under Rowe for position.
With Simmons charging hard, Castiglia began to pull away from the field in dominating fashion. Simmons could see Castiglia’s progress, forcing the No. 98 to push even harder to make its way to the front.
Simmons would next dive under Ketcham for the 4th spot on lap 4, settling in behind the No. 17 of David LaTulip. With Simmons all over the back bumper of LaTulip, the No. 17 decided it was time to make a move on the Bernys No. 24 for 2nd. LaTulip tried an inside move into turn three, but would wind up tagging the inside hub rail nearly losing control.
A pre-cautionary yellow would wave for the No. 17, slowing the field on lap 9. LaTulip clearly had issues however, as when the field tried to come back to green the TNT Motorsports driver pulled high with issues and eventually headed pitside.
LaTulip’s exit would move Simmons to 3rd behind Castiglia and Bernys. Rowe, Ketcham, Jon Tesoriero, Mike Bruce, Heroth, and Barbeau would fill the Top 10 for the lap 9 restart.
Heroth, in the Won4 Racing No. 04, used the restart to his advantage pulling underneath Bruce and Tesoriero in consecutive laps to move his way to 6th on the grid. The return to green would also prove helpful to Simmons as he was able to pull on past Bernys for the runner-up spot on the races 11th lap, now setting his sights on his friend Castiglia at the point.
At the cross flags Castiglia had mounted a five car lead on Simmons, who was quickly pulling away from Bernys, Rowe, and now Heroth in the Top 5. Tesoriero, Barbeau, Andrews, Ketcham, and Bond would complete the Top 10 on lap 15.
With a great run through the first 19 laps of the race, Bernys began to slip back slightly, falling into the clutches of both Rowe and Heroth to fall to 5th. Barbeau would next slip past the No. 24 to 5th on lap 26, and unfortunately for Bernys his night would only get worse.
On lap 27, contact between Bernys and Andrews would send the No. 24 head first into the outside wall at the start/finish line. Bernys was ok, but his machine was hooked off the Speedway.
With only three laps to go, the field would tighten one last time, and Castiglia would now have his hands full with the Team Tapout No. 98. But as yellow turned green in the 30-lap event, Castiglia proved it was his night, pulling away from Simmons to grab the win.
Simmons, still looking for that first win himself, was pleased with the continued progress of the No. 98.
“The car was just on a rail tonight, it was the best it has been,” said Simmons. “I don’t know how much better it can get? We started 8th and I knew I would have to get up there as quick as I could, and we got there we just didn’t have enough for Mark. I tried everything I could; we want that win as much as him.”
Tony White Memorial winner, Rowe, came home in 3rd.
“I would have liked to have done better. Everyone wants to win every time but obviously you can’t,” said Rowe. “The car was pretty loose tonight. We could catch them, but we really couldn’t do much with them.”
Next on tap for Oswego Speedway is Universal Metal Works Night at the Races on Saturday, June 16, featuring the driver autograph session that was rained out on Saturday night. The Novelis Supermodifieds and Pathfinder Bank SBS Series will be on hand, with racing beginning at 6:30pm.
Saturday, June 9th, 2012
RJ Caruso Tax & Accounting/Thunder Road Bar and Grill Night
Saturday, June 16th – Universal Metal Works Night at the Races, including Driver Autograph Night
Novelis Supermodified 50 – Pathfinder Bank SBS 30
Feature (50-laps): 1. 52 – Dave Danzer, 2. 01 – Dan Connors Jr., 3. 21 – Kody Graham, 4. 20 – Joey Payne, 5. 7 – Otto Sitterly, 6. 22 – Pat Lavery, 7. 5 – Tim Devendorf, 8. 60 – Brian Sobus, 9. 26 – Shaun Gosselin, 10. 00 – Joe Gosek, 11. 1 – Jarett Andretti, 12. 24 – Jerry Curran, 13. 05 – Jeff Abold, 14. 0 – Tim Snyder, 15. 81 – Kelly Miller, 16. 33 – Rod Sauder, 17. 50m – Michael Muldoon, 18. 44 – Bobby Haynes Jr., 19. 02 – Brandon Bellinger, 20. 9 – Stephen Gioia III, 21. 56 – Hal LaTulip, 22. 99 – Mike Barnes, 23. 88 – Randy Ritskes, 24. 50 – Dave Gruel, 25. 90 – Ray Graham Jr.
1st Heat (12laps/6qualify): 1. 50m – Michael Muldoon, 2. 90 – Ray Graham Jr., 3. 52 – Dave Danzer, 4. 22 – Pat Lavery, 5. 60 – Brian Sobus, 6. 02 – Brandon Bellinger, 7. 44 – Bobby Haynes Jr., 8. 87 – Keith Gilliam, 9. 1 – Jarett Andretti, 10. 56 – Hal LaTulip
2nd Heat (12laps/6qualify): 1. 88 – Randy Ritskes, 2. 21 – Kody Graham, 3. 5 – Tim Devendorf, 4. 0 – Tim Snyder, 5. 50 – Dave Gruel, 6. 33 – Rod Sauder, 7. 26 – Shaun Gosselin, 8. 05 – Jeff Abold, 9. 81 – Kelly Miller
3rd Heat (12laps/6qualify): 1. 01 – Dan Connors Jr., 2. 00 – Joe Gosek, 3. 7 – Otto Sitterly, 4. 9 – Stephen Gioia II, 5. 99 – Mike Barnes, 6. 20 – Joey Payne, 7. 24 – Jerry Curran, 8. 66 – Lou LeVea, 9. 23 – Jason Spaulding
Consi (10laps/6qualify): 1. 44 – Bobby Haynes Jr., 2. 26 – Shaun Gosselin, 3. 24 – Jerry Curran, 4. 05 – Jeff Abold, 5. 1 – Jarett Andretti, 6. 81 – Kelly Miller, 7. 56 – Hal LaTulip, 8. 66 – Lou LeVea Sr.
PATHFINDER BANK SBS SERIES
Feature (30-laps): 1. 69 – Mark Castiglia, 2. 98 – Jason Simmons, 3. 77 – Cameron Rowe, 4. 04 – Kreig Heroth, 5. 79 – Tim Barbeau, 6. 93 – JJ Andrews, 7. 26 – Mike Bond, 8. 2 – Rob Pullen, 9. 18 – Andrew Schartner, 10. 11 – John Ketcham, 11. 47 – Jon Tesoriero, 12. 01 – Dalton Doyle, 13. 9 – Jack Patrick, 14. 87 – Bryan Haynes, 15. 00 – Brian Osetek, 16. 8 – Josh Kerr, 17. 99 – Dennis Rupert, 18. 24 – AJ Bernys, 19. 22 – Mike Bruce, 20. 17 – David LaTulip, 21. 95 – Lou LeVea Jr., 22. 34 – Will Hadcock, 23. 27 – Nate Sitterly
1st Heat (10laps): 1. 69 – Mark Castiglia, 2. 77 – Cameron Rowe, 3. 47 – Jon Tesoriero, 4. 79 – Tim Barbeau, 5. 01 – Dalton Doyle, 6. 34 – Will Hadcock, 7. 18 – Andrew Schartner, 8. 00 – Brian Osetek
2ndHeat (10laps): 1. 98 – Jason Simmons, 2. 04 – Kreig Heroth, 3. 11 – John Ketcham, 4. 17 – David LaTulip, 5. 2 – Rob Pullen, 6. 99 – Dennis Rupert, 7. 95 – Lou LeVea Jr., 8. 27 – Nate Sitterly
3rd Heat (10laps): 1. 93 – JJ Andrews, 2. 24 – Jerry Curran, 3. 26 – Mike Bond, 4. 22 – Mike Bruce, 5. 8 – Josh Kerr, 6. 9 – Jack Patrick, 7. 87 – Bryan Haynes