Graham Gallops to Super Win, Heroth and Bruce Split SBS Twin-20s at Oswego

By – Chris Porter
Photos – Oswego PR

Liverpool’s Kody Graham bounced back from a missed opportunity a week ago to dominate the Novelis supermodified feature event at the Oswego Speedway on Sunday. With persistent rains on Saturday night bumping the racing action to the following afternoon, Graham would end up leading a caution-free 50-lapper from start to finish to earn his first win of the season.

Out-dragging Tim Snyder into the first turn at the drop of the green would be the only challenge Graham would encounter en route to besting the 25-car field. It would be the third-career win of for the young pilot of the No. 90 supermodified – second in a row for the Graham/Strong Racing stable.

Listen to – Kody Graham

2012 Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supermodified Champion, Kreig Heroth, took the first of two, 20-lap SBS mains. Like Graham, Heroth would lead every trip around the Port City’s fast five-eighth’s mile, capturing the sixth SBS win of his career.

Listen to – Kreig Heroth

The second 20-lapper would find Michael Bruce taking the checkered flag for his third feature win of the year. Bruce would inherit the lead on the white flag lap after a game of bumper tag eliminated the race leader and closest challenger.

Listen to – Michael Bruce

Graham led Michael Barnes, Randy Ritskes, Snyder and Dan Connors, Jr. to complete the first lap of the big block supermodified feature. Already dicing through lapped traffic by the 10th lap, Graham was in command by a healthy dozen lengths over Barnes and Ritskes. Further behind, fourth-place running Snyder was fending off challenges from from Sitterly and Gosek. Connors, Dave Danzer, Dave Gruel and Joey Payne filled out the top 10.

Graham’s lead would continue to grow, lengthening his advantage over his nearest chaser by a full straightaway at the halfway mark. Back in the pack, teammate Payne, was on terror. Having started 12th on the grid, Payne quickly advanced two positions to 10th, but would begin his main assault on the 17th lap. After besting Gruel and Connors, Payne would slip past Danzer before bouncing Snyder to seventh. He would then tuck in behind fifth-place running Gosek just past the halfway mark.

Kody Graham poses in victory lane at Oswego
Kody Graham poses in victory lane at Oswego

Up front, Graham would encounter heavier lapped traffic, slipping high once between turns three and four in the midst, allowing Barnes and Ritskes to slice his lead in half. However, after Graham regrouped and cleared the traffic, Barnes would end up running into similar delays, allowing the race leader to rebuild his advantage.

With just seven laps to go, Payne would finally work his way under Gosek’s No. 00 for fifth. Three laps later, Payne would power his No. 99 around the outside of Sitterly to take over fourth. The New Jersey native would chase down Ritskes and Barnes in the waning laps, but run out of time.

Graham would cruise the rest of the way to seal the win.

Barnes would finish second for the second time in three weeks.

Listen to – Michael Barnes

Ritskes would cross the stripe in third, with Grahams’ teammate, Payne, finishing fourth.

Listen to – Joey Payne

Sitterly, Danzer, Gosek, Gruel, Pat Lavery and Keith Shampine would complete the top 10.

While making his season-debut Brian Sobus had an apparent panhard bar fail during the warm-up laps prior to the 50-lapper, sending his No. 79 hard into the outside wall on the front straightaway.

In the first small block 20-lapper, Heroth would muscle his way ahead of Anthony Losurdo to take command. Andrew Schartner, Dan Abt, Losurdo and JJ Andrews would fill out the top five behind him to complete the first lap. Passing would come at a premium in the SBS division on Sunday.

Heroth would ease out to a comfortable three-car advantage over the series points leader, Schartner. Behind third-place running Abt, Losurdo would find himself picking up where he left off last week, fending off Andrews.

On the 15th lap, ninth-place running Bruce would pull pit-side after his No. 22 began to smoke. A small engine fire would erupt, but was quickly extinguished. Shortly thereafter, Greg O’Connor would loop his No. 90 in the fourth turn to bring out the only caution of the race.

Schartner would have a crack at Heroth on the restart, but hoping to lock down the series points title by not pushing his luck landing a decent finish, the pilot of the No. 18 was content to finish runner-up. Herorth would run strong, cruising the final few trips on to victory.

Just as they had sat after lap No. 1, Schartner, Abt, Losurdo and Andrews filled out the top five behind Heroth’s No. 04.

Kreig Heroth poses in victory lane at Oswego
Kreig Heroth poses in victory lane at Oswego

The second 20-lap sprint would mirror much of the first. Jon Tesoriero took the early point from co-front row starter, Camden Proud. Bruce, Schartner and Jack Patrick filled out the top five early in the go. Though, packed tighter than in the first 20-lapper, the leaders would run in line for nearly the entire distance.

Bruce was quick, taking numerous looks on the outside of Proud’s No. 54. However, the young shoe would hold strong, often taking peeks under Tesoriero’s No. 47 in search of his first win. Sitting in fourth, Schartner would again, appear content just running in the top five. As the battle among Tesoriero, Proud and Bruce grew more intense, Schartner backed off – perhaps anticipating what was to come.

19 laps into the books, Tesoriero would take the white flag. However, before he could round the first turn, his No. 47 was tagged from behind by Proud’s No. 54. Tesoriero would then clock the inside hub, before cutting back across the track and get popped by Bruce’s No. 22. Proud would be able to escape the scene, but both Bruce and Schartner (who tagged Bruce during the incident) would slide to a stop with damaged front-ends.

Mike Bruce poses in victory lane after picking up his third win of the season
Mike Bruce poses in victory lane after picking up his third win of the season

Tesoriero would be the lone hooked victim of the incident, continuing his streak of bad luck. Though, having escaped the scene, Proud was penalized for making contact with Tesoriero’s No. 47 and sent to the rear.

Bruce admitted contact with Proud, but not to an extent that would have put the No. 54 onto the back bumper of Tesoriero. He would retain his position and become the new race leader. Schartner would end up tagging Bruce after the front three jammed in front of him. However, he too would be given his previous spot back, putting him behind the No 22. Patrick, Abt and Josh Kerr would fill out the top five on the restart.

Listen to – Jon Tesoriero

Listen to – Camden Proud

Bruce would pull away at the drop of the green for a two-lap dash to the checkers. Content with another potential runner-up finish, Schartner did what he could to stay ahead of Patrick’s No. 9, not worrying about the No. 22.

Bruce would cross the line first, followed by Schartner. It was the Charlotte, N.C. resident’s second runner-up finish of the day. The pilot of the No. 18 small block super will only to start September’s Race of Champions season finale to secure his first SBS track title.

Listen to – Andrew Schartner

Patrick cruised for his second top-10 finish on the day, landing his Dodge-powered No.9 in third.

Listen to – Jack Patrick

Earning the Four Sevens Motorsports No. 57 its second top-five finish of the afternoon, Abt crossed the checkered stripe in fourth.

Listen to – Dan Abt

Kerr rounded out the top five.

Novelis Supermodified 50: 1. Kody Graham (90), 2. Michael Barnes (68), 3. Randy Ritskes (37), 4. Joey Payne (99), 5. Otto Sitterly (7), 6. Dave Danzer (52), 7. Joe Gosek (00), 8. Dave Gruel (50), 9. Pat Lavery (22), 10. Keith Shampine (55). 11. Dan Connors, Jr. (01), 12. Michael Muldoon (51), 13. Tim Devendorf (5), 14. Howard Page (18), 15. Tim Snyder (0), 16. Lou LeVea, Sr. (66). 17. Brandon Bellinger (02), 18. Bobby Haynes, Jr. (44), 19. Stephen Gioia, III (9), 20. Michael Barbera (45), 21. Lou LeVea, Jr. (83), 22. Brian Sweeney (3), 23. Jack Patrick (96), 24. George Groves (07), 25. Brian Sobus (79)

Pathfinder Bank SBS 20 #1: 1. Kreig Heroth (04), 2. Andrew Schartner (18), 3. Dan Abt (57), 4. Anthony Losurdo (1), 5. JJ Andrews (93), 6. Camden Proud (54), 7. Jason Simmons (98), 8. Jon Tesoriero (47), 9. Jack Patrick (9), 10. Dave Cliff (67), 11. Jesse Bearup (02), 12. Matt Magner (2), 13. Dalton Doyle (01), 14. Rob Pullen (21), 15. David LaTulip (27), 16. Greg O’Connor (90), 17. Barry Kingsley (91), 18. Josh Kerr (8), 19. Michael Bruce (22), 20. Tim Barbeau (87)

Pathfinder Bank SBS 20 #2: 1. Michael Bruce (22), 2. Andrew Schartner (18), 3. Jack Patrick (9), 4. Dan Abt (57), 5. Josh Kerr (8), 6. Barry Kingsley (91), 7. Jason Simmons (98), 8. JJ Andrews (93), 9. Kreig Heroth (04), 10. Jesse Bearup (02), 11. Anthony Losurdo (1), 12. David LaTulip (27), 13. Matt Magner (2), 14. Greg O’Connor (90), 15. Rob Pullen (21), 16. Dalton Doyle (01), 17. Camden Proud (54), 18. Jon Tesoriero (47), 19. Dave Cliff (67), 20. Tim Barbeau (87)

Barnes, Danzer and Graham pocketed the big block supermodified heats, while Tesoriero, Proud and Bruce earned wins in the small block qualifiers.