Hoag Pockets First Win in Rookie Year at Oswego

By – Chris Porter
Photos – Jim Feeney

Bath, N.Y.’s Alex Hoag collected his first checkered flag Saturday night at the Oswego Speedway, winning the 35-lap Pathfinder Bank small block supermodified feature event. Starting from the pole position, the third-generation driver led every lap en route to the win.

Competing in his first year in the SBS division, Hoag became the sixth different driver in the class to claim victory in 2014. Hoag may be a rookie at Oswego, but he’s no rookie driver. He’s won in numerous divisions on dirt and has experience on the Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR’s Busch East Series (now known as the K&N Pro Series East).

Alex’s father, Dean, ranks fourth all-time in the class with 16 feature wins. He also won the 1996 and 1997 SBS track championships. Alex’s grandfather, Donald “Dutch” Hoag, was a legendary modified racer, with countless feature wins and track titles. Listen to – Alex Hoag

Nabbing the lead from Dan Abt at the drop of the green flag, Hoag would lead Abt, Jon Tesoriero, Anthony Losurdo and Dalton Doyle as the field completed its maiden lap. Hoag would inch his No. 73 away from Abt, Tesoriero and Losurdo to a comfortable five-car advantage by the fifth circuit. Doyle would lead the rest of the hungry pack a few lengths further behind.

At the halfway mark, Hoag’s lead had tripled to 15 lengths, as Tesoriero and Losurdo continued to search for a way around Abt’s No. 57. That trio would hold a full straightaway advantage over Doyle, who was doing everything he could to hold off JJ Andrews for fifth. Camden Proud, Kreig Heroth, Andrew Schartner and Barry Kingsley filled out the top 10.

Having started 18th, Schartner was all but stealing Hoag’s show, chasing down and passing cars both, high and low. The best race on the track continued to be for fifth place as the Andrews No. 93 sought for a clear lane around Doyle. After muscling his way around Heroth and clearing Proud for seventh, Schartner was poised to pounce on the duo for fifth. However, before the North Carolina invader could strike, Andrews and Doyle came together after the No. 93 made contact with Doyle’s No, 01 on an inside pass attempt between turns three and four.

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Doyle would end up on the hook, while Andrews caught a break and was able to hold on to his position. With just 10 trips to go, Hoag would lose his two and a half-second advantage. He would lead Abt, Tesoriero, Losurdo and Andrews back to green flag racing. Schartner, Proud, Heroth, Kingsley and Rob Pullen completed the top 10.

Hoag would have no problems on the restart. Having recorded the fastest lap of the race, Hoag would only need to hit his marks and not suffer a mechanical woe the rest of the way. Tesoriero and Losurdo continued to press Abt, but to no avail.

Schartner used the outside lane to best Andrews for fifth, but would trail the front four by 10 lengths with the clock running out.

Hoag was quick to rebuild himself a comfortable lead, keeping his chasers at bay. Behind him, Abt would end up pushing high on their final trip around Oswego’s fast five-eights, losing second to Tesoriero and third to Losurdo by inches. Schartner would finish fifth.

Tesoriero’s runner-up finish earned him his second podium finish in the last three weeks. Listen to – Jon Tesoriero

Landing his best finish since his win in early June, Losurdo raced his No. 1 to a third-place finish. It was the fourth top-10 run for the Oswego high school senior. Listen to – Anthony Losurdo

Running up front all evening, a last lap mistake cost him two spots, relegating his No. 57 to a fourth-place finish. Listen to – Dan Abt

Charging up through the field to capture fifth place, Schartner continued his top-five run with his eighth in as many races in 2014. Listen to – Andrew Schartner

Earning his best finish of the season, Andrews crossed the checkered stripe in sixth. Listen to – JJ Andrews

With his seventh-place run, Proud earned his fifth top-10 finish of the season. He’s also currently leading the Rookie of the Year points chase. Listen to – Camden Proud

Behind Heroth and Kingsley, Pullen collected his first top-10 finish of his short season, landing his No. 21 in 10th place. Listen to – Rob Pullen

Runner-up points chase contender, Jack Patrick, significantly damaged the front-end of his Dodge-powered small block super after clocking the outside wall during his qualifying heat race. After a monumental effort in his No. 9’s pit, the car was able to take the green come feature time. The Fulton fireman would finish 11th. Listen to: Jack Patrick

Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supermodified 35:  1. Alex Hoag (73), 2. Jon Tesoriero (47), 3. Anthony Losurdo (1), 4. Dan Abt (57), 5. Andrew Schartner (18), 6. JJ Andrews (93), 7. Camden Proud (54), 8. Kreig Heroth (04), 9. Barry Kingsley (91), 10. Rob Pullen (21), 11. Jack Patrick (9), 12. Mike Bruce (22), 13. Matt Magner (2), 14. Josh Kerr (8), 15. Dalton Doyle (01), 16. Dave Cliff (69), 17. David LaTulip (27), 18. Shad Gates (28)

Abt, Andrews and Hoag all collected heat race wins.