“Mr.” Danzer & “Mr.” Brown Capture Wins at Oswego

By – Chris Porter
Photos – Jim Feeney

Supermodified pilot, Dave Danzer, and small block super veteran driver, Russ Brown, each took top honors Saturday night at the Oswego Speedway, staking “name” claim to their respective divisions. In the 28th running of the $10,000 to-win Mr. Novelis Supermodified event, Danzer bedazzled the field, dominating the 75-lapper. With a late-race pass, Brown earned the checkered flag in the 23rd running of the Mr. Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supermodified event.

It was the second feature win of the year for Danzer, but first in his brand new Hawk Jr. Chassis No. 52. Starting from the outside of the second row, Danzer began pressing Tim Devendorf on the fourth lap for the lead. Just one lap later, the Oswego native would take the point with an impressive outside move in turn No. 3. Five laps later he would hold a 15-car length advantage. That lead would only grow. Surviving a mid-race restart, Danzer would end up building an even larger lead en route to his fifth career feature win.

Listen to – Dave Danzer

For Brown, it was his second Mr. Small Block Supermodified title, giving him two wins in two weeks in only two appearances this season. Similar to last week, the Ray Hedger-owned No. 13 would come from deep in the pack to grab the top spot in the closing laps to claim victory. Having come from the 11th starting spot a week ago, Brown began his journey three positions deeper on Saturday night. With just three laps to go, a slight bobble by the race-leading Jason Simmons No. 98 machine would be all Brown would need to take command.

Listen to – Russ Brown

Following an impressive run just a week ago, Tim Devendorf took the early lead at the drop of the green. Having started behind Devendorf, Danzer would follow the No. 5 and file into second place as the field completed its maiden journey around Oswego’s fast five-eighths mile. Brian Sweeney, Tim Snyder and Joe Gosek filled out the top five.

Just after Gosek had worked his way under Snyder for fourth, Randy Ritskes’ No. 37 crossed down into the front of Kody Graham’s No. 90, sending it hard into the outside wall. Ritskes would continue down the front straightaway, but get hit by Ray Graham’s No. 21, sending the No. 37 into the outside wall. All three race favorites were eliminated from contention.

Listen to – Kody Graham

With just one lap completed, Devendorf led Danzer, Sweeney, Snyder and Gosek back to racing. Keith Shampine, Pat Lavery, Joey Payne, Dave Gruel and Michael Barnes completed the top 10.

Immediately, Danzer began working on the race leader, taking his first solid look at the lead on lap No. 4. Just one round later, his No. 52 would power its way around the outside of Devendorf’s No. 5 in the third turn to take over the lead.

Just three laps later, his lead would grow to 15 lengths. By the 15th lap, it was a full straightaway. Danzer would continue to pull away, leaving the field to fight for the runner-up spot. Further back, Payne and Barnes tussled for sixth. Fighting a two front battle with Lavery and Barnes, Payne would finally make his way around Lavery on lap No. 31. Two trips later, he took to the high side of Gosek’s No. 00 for fourth.

With traffic backing up Devendorf, Sweeney moved in and looked poised to challenge the runner-up. However, Payne was rolling the outside and on the 34th lap rolled around the outside of Sweeney’s No. 3. Sweeney would fight back underneath Payne’s No. 99 the following lap. They would come upon both lapped traffic and Devendorf, but neither would give

The two would make contact, with Sweeney catching air and clocking the outside wall hard. He would bounce back off of the wall, land atop Payne’s No. 99 and be dragged halfway down the back straightaway. Both front runners were would be okay, but done for the night.

Listen to – Brian Sweeney

Listen to – Joey Payne

The field would regroup, with Danzer losing an enormous lead. With 34 laps in the books, Danzer, Devendorf, Gosek, Lavery and Barnes held the top five spots. Otto Sitterly, Gruel, Stephen Gioia, Michael Muldoon and Dave Shullick, Jr. rounded out the top 10.

While Danzer danced away, Gosek maneuvered his No. 00 under Devendorf to take over second. However, before Gosek could see if he had anything for Danzer, his No. 00 would suddenly slow and pull pitside with mechanical woes.

Now third, Lavery would take outside looks on Devendorf for second, but would find Barnes poking his nose underneath his No. 22. Going for broke on the 43rd lap, Lavery took to the No. 5’s high side and made the pass stick. Lavery would try and set sail for Danzer, but the race leader was already a half lap ahead of the field.

Devendorf would lose third to Barnes and then fourth to a surging Bob Bond. Barnes and Bond would catch and pass Lavery after Lavery found himself caught behind Muldoon’s No. 51.

Danzer would continue to dominate the field, eventually lapping all but five of his fellow competitors. In the closing laps he would be able to see his nearest chaser at the other end of the straightaway as he raced out of the corners. He would coast the final laps, seizing the $10,000 prize.

Barnes would hold off Bond to finish in second.

Listen to – Michael Barnes

Bond and Lavery would finish third and fourth. Sitterly would round out the top five.,

Listen to – Otto Sitterly

Finishing in seventh, behind Gruel’s No. 50, was Gioia. With the bad combination of having no luck and struggling to get a handle on his original chassis, the seventh-place run was a victory in itself.

Listen to – Stephen Gioia

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Small Block Super 35

Jesse Bearup and defending race winner, Dan Abt, led the field to the green to start the 35-lap Mr. Small Block Supermodified feature event. However, before the first lap could be completed, Alex Hoag attempted to make it three-wide heading into the third turn, tagging the JJ Andrews No. 93 and causing a multi-car wreck. Dennis Rupert and points leader, Andrew Schartner, were victims of the incident as well.

The restart saw rookie, Bearup, initially take command, but Abt was quick to take the lead away. However, it was Simmons looking fast at the start. He would squeeze under Josh Kerr’s No. 8 to take over third on the third lap, before shooting under Bearup’s No. 02 to take away second place on the fourth lap.

The field was packed tight behind Abt and Simmons, with Anthony Losurdo, Dave Cliff, Kerr and Bearup fighting hard for third. That battle would boil over on the eighth lap after Bearup, Losurdo and Cliff came out of the fourth turn, three-wide. Losurdo would find the outside wall hard, as numerous small blocks scattered about. Kreig Heroth’s No. 04 would catch some air time while a trio of 2014 feature winners – Michael Bruce, Jon Tesoriero and Schartner would be taken out of contention.

With seven rounds in, Abt led Simmons, Bearup, Cliff and Brown back to green flag racing. While Simmons pressed Abt for the lead, Cliff and Brown made quick work of Bearup’s No. 02.

On the 11th lap, Simmons flew under Abt’s No. 57 between the first and second turns to take away the top spot. As Simmons inched away, Abt soon found Cliff and Brown nipping at his heels.

On lap No. 16, both, Cliff and Brown shot underneath Abt down the back straightaway. With Simmons continuing to move away, Brown was eager to best Cliff for second.

On the 21st lap, Brown hugged the inside hub rail, but somehow kept his momentum going to pass Cliff between the first and second turns to take over second.

Simmons held a five-car advantage, but Brown would soon find himself on the back end of the race leader’s bumper. Usually one to champion the outside lane, Brown was working the inside just as well.

It was a two-car race as the laps ticked away. Simmons had been hitting his marks and keeping Brown at bay until the slightest bobble heading into turn No. 1 on the 32nd lap allowed just enough room for Brown’s No. 13 to skip past his No. 98 with only inches to spare.

Simmons was able to hang with the race leader and heavy traffic was just ahead. However, time had run out. Brown took the checkered flag a lap before having to dive into the tail-end of the field. Simmons finished a close second.

Listen to – Jason Simmons

$10,000 to-win Mr. Novelis Supermodified 75: 1. Dave Danzer (52), 2. Michael Barnes (68), 3. Bob Bond (47), 4. Pat Lavery (22), 5. Otto Sitterly (7), 6. Dave Gruel (50). 7. Stephen Gioia, III (9), 8. Tim Devendorf (5), 9. Bobby Haynes (44), 10. Dan Connors, Jr. (01), 11. Brandon Bellinger (02), 12. Michael Muldoon (51), 13. Jerry Curran (24), 14. Joe Gosek (00), 15. Joey Payne (99), 16. Brian Sweeney (3), 17. Dave Shullick, Jr. (6), 18. Keith Shampine (55), 19. Lou LeVea, Sr. (66), 20. Hal LaTulip (56), 21. Tim Snyder (0), 22. Mike Barbera (45), 23. Randy Ritskes (37), 24. Kody Graham (90), 25. Ray Graham, Jr. (21), 26. Lou LeVea, Jr. (83)

Heat race wins went to Devendorf, Snyder and Danzer.

$1,500 to-win Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS 35: 1. Russ Brown (13), 2. Jason Simmons (98), 3. Dave Cliff (67), 4. Dan Abt (57), 5. Jack Patrick (9), 6. Alex Hoag (73), 7. Dalton Doyle (01), 8. Jesse Bearup (02), 9. JJ Andrews (93), 10. Barry Kingsley (91, 11. Camden Proud (54), 12. Greg O’Connor (90), 13. Scott Shafer (76), 14. Rob Pullen (21), 15. Andrew Schartner (18), 16. Kreig Heroth (04), 17. Anthony Losurdo (1), 18. Josh Kerr (8), 19. Matt Magner (2), 20. Jon Tesoriero (47), 21. Mike Bruce (22), 22. Dave LaTulip (27), 23. Dennis Rupert (99)

Heat race wins went to Bruce, Simmons and Andrews.