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Losurdo Survives Small Block Super Battle Royal at Oswego

By – Chris Porter
Photo – Debbie White

Racing can be a funny thing sometimes, especially under a full moon. One week, you can fight your way to the front and lead nearly every lap, only to get passed by a multi-time track champion with just a handful of rounds to go. Another week, you simply sit tight, watch everyone fall like dominoes and see where it takes you. On Saturday night, Anthony Losurdo had enough dominoes fall in front of him to clear the way for the young Oswegonian reach victory lane

Anthony Losurdo and crew pose in victory lane at Oswego
Anthony Losurdo and crew pose in victory lane at Oswego

Having started ninth on the grid, the pilot of the No. 1 small block supermodified sat back and watched every car in front of him fall by the wayside. A lap No. 2 accident knocked a trio of those from contention. On the 14th lap, two more came together battling for second. This moved Losurdo into fourth, but he would soon find himself in second after the two front-runners tangled a few laps later.

Shortly after that restart, Losurdo would end up losing a spot and falling to third. However, that only set things up for a final clash just in front of him on the final lap. Atop the field, Losurdo needed only to hold the position for one lap to claim victory. The car was fast and he was able to avoid the tumble that so many of his fellow competitors had taken before him.

Listen to – Anthony Losurdo

 

Dennis Rupert and Michael Bruce led the field to the green flag to start the 30-lap main event. The front-row starters would run side-by-side for over a full circuit until Bruce nosed his No. 22 racer out in front. It was on the second lap, where a multi-car jingle sent Camden Proud and Rob Pullen off on the hook.

Bruce was solid on the restart, as was Rupert’s No. 99. An 11-car breakaway would ensue, but David LaTulip’s stalled No. 27 would bunch the field up, once again.

Bruce was a-okay on the restart. The field raced in file until Jason Simmons began an assault on the race leaders. Simmons slipped under Losurdo down the backstretch on the 11th lap to bust into the top five. The next time he crossed the checkered stripe, he had conquered Andrew Schartner for fourth place. A round later he would put his No. 98 under Jack Patrick’s No. 9 to earn third.

With Simmons looking poised to make a run on second-place running Rupert, the duo danced off the fourth corner nose to tail. Rupert’s No. 99 bobbled just a bit, as it came off of the corner. However, it was just enough for Simmons to tag his rear bumper. Rupert was sent hard into the outside wall on the front straightaway. Simmons was able to slip past, but race officials would bounce him to the rear of the field for the contact.

Simmons’ night would end nine laps into the restart after his No. 98 and Jon Tesoriero’s No. 47 came together on the backstretch.

Listen to – Dennis Rupert

 

Listen to – Jason Simmons

 

With 14 laps in, Bruce led Patrick, Schartner, Losurdo and a surging Alex Hoag. JJ Andrews, Chris Proud, Dalton Doyle, Bob Magner and Barry Kingsley completed the top 10.

Following the Simmons/Tesoriero incident, Bruce would lead the field back to racing. With Bruce looking a little vulnerable on the restart, Patrick took a gamble with an inside venture on the No. 22. On the 24th lap, he was able to pull alongside, but wasn’t able to keep it along the inside hub rail. He and the race leader would come together in the third turn, each sliding into the outside wall. Both contenders were eliminated from contention.

Listen to – Michael Bruce

 

Listen to – Jack Patrick

 

Just like that, championship points leader, Schartner, was sitting pretty atop the field with 7 trips to go. Losurdo was promoted to second place, with Hoag now running in third. Andrews and Proud rounded out the top five.

Schartner had no problems on the restart, but Losurdo had his hands full with Hoag’s pressing No. 73. On the 25th lap, Hoag would shoot underneath Losurdo on the backstretch to take over second place.

Schartner had built a five-car length advantage, but Hoag was able to erase it with two laps remaining. Looking high and low, Hoag would come up empty before taking the white flag. With nothing to be found in turns one and two, Hoag would only end up finding contact with Schartner’s No. 18 between turns three and four. Kicked sideways, Schartner would slide into the inside hub. Hoag would come to a stop, but be able to continue.

Fresh off being penalized a week ago for, as an Oswego Speedway press release stated, “an erratic and unsportsmanlike move,” once again, Hoag found his No. 73 being sent to the rear for a similar infraction. In regards to the incident with Schartner, he declined comment.

Listen to – Andrew Schartner

 

With Schartner’s exit and Hoag’s demotion to the rear, Losurdo found him self atop the field with just one lap remaining. Andrews, Proud, Doyle and Magner rounded out the top five. The Andrews No. 93 would press Losurdo on the restart, but the race leader would hold strong. The No. 93 would pull to the inside as the duo raced off the fourth turn, but come up short as Losurdo crossed under the checkered flag to pocket his second win of the 2014 season.

Andrews finished in the runner-up spot.

Listen to – JJ Andrews

 

Chris Proud filled out the podium with a third-place finish.

Listen to – Chris Proud

 

Finishing just in front of Magner, Doyle crossed the line in fourth.

Listen to – Dalton Doyle

 

Pathfinder Bank SBS 30:  1. Anthony Losurdo (1), 2. JJ Andrews (93), 3. Chris Proud (3), 4. Dalton Doyle (01), 5. Bob Magner (2), 6. Barry Kingsley (91), 7. Jesse Bearup (02), 8. Kreig Heroth (04), 9. David LaTulip (27), 10. Danny Abt (57), 11. Rob Pullen (21), 12. Josh Kerr (8), 13. Greg O’Connor (90), 14. Alex Hoag (73), 15. Andrew Schartner (18), 16. Mike Bruce (22), 17. Jack Patrick (9), 18. Jon Tesoriero (47), 19. Jason Simmons (98), 20. Scott Shafer (76), 21. Dennis Rupert (99), 22. Dave Cliff (67), 23. Camden Proud (54)

Josh Kerr, Anthony Losurdo and Michael Bruce all earned heat race victories.