OSWEGO, NY – For the first time in Classic Weekend history the 602 Crate Dirt Sportsman took to the ‘Steel Palace’ oval and at the end of 30-laps it was Fulton’s Jeremy Pitcher standing in Chris Nelson Insurance Victory Lane with a check for $1,500.
Pitcher started on the pole and led all 30-laps in dominating fashion on Friday night’s Bud Select 55 night as a part of Budweiser International Classic Weekend at Oswego Speedway.
With the victory Pitcher also earns a preferred starting spot for the Sportsman Championship during Super DIRT Week XLI at the New York State Fairgrounds.
Rob Humphreys, Matt Parkhurst, Geoff Carner, and Dana Aikins completed the Top 5 finishers in Friday night’s main event.
“I love this place,” said Pitcher in victory lane. “I have been coming here since I was a kid and came up until we started running dirt cars. It’s a great track, great fans, great drivers, this is just really special.”
Pitcher, who took advantage of the open test session back on August 19, was pleased with his No. 14 Troyer racecar.
“We weren’t the fastest car in any of the warm-ups, but we were consistent,” said Pitcher. “It was real good tonight. We will be back on Sunday to watch (The International Classic 200).”
Pitcher and Humphreys brought the field to green on Friday night with Pitcher quickly jumping to the point in the No. 14. Greg Kimball was the man on the move early on in the No. 59 jumping ahead of Humphreys to take the runner-up spot.
In just a matter of a couple laps Pitcher managed to build a half straight lead on Kimball, Humphreys, Aikins, and Parkhurst.
The third circuit saw Humphreys get back on his horse in the No. 85 and drive back around Kimball for second in turn three. From there Humphreys would pull away and try to give chase to Pitcher out front.
Parkhurst would next be on the move in the No. 93, making his way by both Aikins and Kimball to move to third by lap seven. The No. 93 would then team-up with Humphreys in a freight train to try and chase down the leader out front.
With the front three runners on their own, a major battle was shaping up for positions four through with between Kimball, Aikins, Carner, Dave Marcuccilli, and Tony Steiner. Steiner would end up besting all the others with a powerful outside move which saw the No. 07 charge from 8th to 4th in the matter of a couple turns.
Unfortunately for Steiner, just a few laps later he would pull pit side ending his day prior to the halfway point.
By lap 13 Pitcher had built a commanding lead which neither Humphreys or Parkhurst could cut down. However, a caution on lap 14 for a spinning Earl Rudy would allow the second and third place runners a chance to close back in on the rear bumper of Pitcher.
At the restart Pitcher led Humphreys, Parkhurst, Carner, Kimball, Aikins, Marcuccilli, Sean McCarthy, Jim Introne, and Kyle DeMetro.
When the field went back to green it was the front four again pulling away from the rest of the pack, with Aikins making a low side move on Kimball for fifth on lap 16.
As the second half of the race wore on, Pitcher proved to be too much for the rest of the pack, steaming onto the coveted win and earning a cool $1,500.
Humphreys, who was one of the fastest cars in the open test session and in race day warm-ups, seemed slightly discouraged with his second place run.
“I think it was better in long runs,” said Humphreys. “I was hoping he (Pitcher) was going to catch that lapped traffic to have a chance, but we were at the same speed after a few laps.”
Parkhurst on the other hand was ecstatic with his third place effort on Friday night.
“It started going away there a bit at the end,” said Parkhurst. “Come to find out we had a brake dragging on the right rear, not to mention the right rear tire is bald right now. This was a lot of fun though. I love dirt, I’ve been racing dirt for years, but I would come back and do this again.”
Tonight’s Bud Light Classic Saturday action kicks-off at 3:30 p.m. with hot laps for the Pathfinder Bank SBS Series, the ISMA Supermodifieds, and the ATQMRA TQ Midgets. Grandstands will open at 3:30 p.m. with ISMA time trials going off at 5 p.m. Racing will follow immediately after.
For more information on Oswego Speedway be sure to visit www.oswegospeedway.com. You can also LIKE the (Official) Oswego Speedway page at facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway, or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway. To purchase tickets or order merchandise please call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.