Schartner Inherits Lead, Earns Win at Oswego

By – Chris Porter
Photos – Jim Feeney

Weedsport’s Andrew Schartner was crowned “Mr. Small Block Supermodified” Satuday night at the Oswego Speedway. It was the fourth career Small Block Supermodified (SBS) feature win for the pilot of the Crow Motorsports No. 18, his second of the 2010 season.

Schartner poses in victory lane after winning the Mr. Small Block Supermodified 35

Starting seventh on the grid, Schartner broke into the top five on lap No. 2, before being promoted to third after the second and third-place running cars came together ahead of him on lap No. 7. Nine rounds into the ensuing restart, Schartner dove underneath second-place running Mike Bruce, after Bruce’s unsuccessful bid for the lead on the high side left him vulnerable down low.

Schartner was prepped to challenge for the lead when the race was slowed for a caution in the back of the field on the 16th lap. While under caution, race-leader Jason Simmons, pulled pit-side after experiencing mechanical woes on his No. 25 machine while leading for the second straight week.

Schartner gladly inherited the top spot and successfully defended the position the rest of the way claim victor.

Listen toAndrew Schartner

Simmons and Dennis Richmond paced the field to the green to begin the 35-lap main event. Simmons nabbed the early lead, while Richmond was quickly shuffled into the clutches of the field. After one trip around the “O,” Simmons led Bruce, Barry Kingsley, Tim Barbeau and Richmond.

Lap No. 2 saw Schartner break into the top five, pulling teammate Kreig Heroth along with him.

With Simmons and Bruce inching away up front, the eager nose of Barbeau’s No. 58 was there for the squeezing as third-place running  Kingsley dove down into the first turn. Barbeau didn’t back out and the contact resulted in mass carnage in turn No. 1.

Richmond, Dave Danzer, Guard Nearbin, Mike Bond and Keith Gilliam were were all collected in the melee, along with Steve Abt. Abt’s No. 85 pounded the outside retaining wall. Some of the drivers were able to regain their running positions because it was deemed they were not directly involved. Others went pit-side for repairs, while for Richmond, Gilliam and Abt, the night was over.

With just six trips in the books, Simmons led Bruce, Schartner, Heroth and Brian Sobus. Bond, David Cliff, Cameron Rowe, Nearbin and Mark Castiglia completed the top 10.

15 laps in, Simmons (91) leads Schartner (18), Bruce (2), Bond (26) and Heroth (44)

On the restart, Bruce stayed glued to the rear-end of the Simmons No. 25. Bruce took a quick peek up top on the eighth lap, but Simmons held his ground.

Having just gotten by Sobus for fifth, Bond drove around Heroth’s No. 44 on the 11th lap to take away fourth place. A spin off of turn No. 4 by Danzer slowed things down for everyone on the 13th lap.

Again, Bruce took another look to the high side of the Simmons No. 25 as the two danced off of turn four to take the green. And again, Simmons fended off the feisty rookie challenger.

The 15th lap saw Bruce get perhaps a little too eager trying to better Simmons on the outside. His No. 2 skated up the banking enough to allow Schartner’s No. 18 to dart underneath him and into second place. Immediately, Bond tried to follow, but after successfully making the pass one lap later, it was negated after the yellow flag was thrown for a spin at the rear of the field.

While under caution, Simmons suddenly pulled into the pits with motor gremlins. This bumped everyone up one position, most notably, Schartner. Filling out the top 10 behind the new race leader were, Bruce, Bond, Heroth, Cliff, Sobus, Rowe, Nearbin, Castiglia and Kingsley.

The restart saw no challenge at the top of the field. Schartner appeared to walk away with ease. After Cliff took fourth from Heroth, the field thinned near the front. With 10 to go, Schartner commanded a 15-car length lead over Bruce. Further back, Bond and Cliff began to fight fiercely for third.

The only remaining challenges for the race leader came in the form of a few scary moments with lapped traffic. A suddenly slowing LeVea No. 95 car let Schartner know that his brakes were in good working order, while Kevin Jackson’s No. 65 assured him his steering was in tip-top shape as well.

Second-place running Bruce (2) fends off Bond (26) and Cliff (06) with 11 to go

As a result of the aforementioned hiccups, the lead was cut to just five lengths. It shrank even more following contact between Cliff’s No. 06 and Bond’s No. 26. Bond, the all-time leader in SBS feature wins, was sent pit-side via the hook.

Bruce had a bit more luck keeping up with Schartner on the restart, but the No. 18 was too strong. Schartner cruised the final two laps to secure the win and earn the title of “Mr. Small Block Supermodified.”

Collecting his third podium finish in as many weeks, rookie racer Bruce drove the the Rob Pullen-owned No. 2 to second place.

Listen toMike Bruce

Sobus bested Cliff in the final two laps to claim third.

Listen toBrian Sobus

SBS points leader Cliff settled for fourth.

Listen toDavid Cliff

Heroth drove the Crow Motorsports No. 44 to a fifth-place finish.

Listen toKreig Heroth

Mr. SBS 35 Feature Results:
1. Andrew Schartner (18), 2. Mike Bruce (2), 3. Brian Sobus (79), 4. David Cliff (06), 5. Kreig Heroth (44), 6. Guard Nearbin (78), 7. Cameron Rowe (50), 8. Dave Danzer (52), 9. Barry Kingsley (23), 10. Mike Bond (26), 11. Brad Haynes (43), 12. Mark Castiglia (90), 13. Lou LeVea, Jr. (95), 14. Tim Barbeau (58), 15. Jason Simmons (25), 16. Kevin Jackson (65), 17. Keith Gilliam (37), 18. Dennis Richmond (7), 19. Steve Abt (85), 20. Fred Killian (02), 21. Terry Solazzo (91), 22. Bob Henry, Jr. (93)

Schartner raises his hand in victory at Oswego

Heat Race #1:
1. Bruce,  2. Heroth,  3. Cliff,  4. Gilliam,  5. Danzer,  6. Castiglia,  7. Solazzo,  8. Killian

Heat Race #2:
1. Barbeau,  2. Schartner,  3. Sobus,  4. Simmons,  5. Rowe,  6. Nearbin,  7. Haynes

Heat Race #3:
1. Kingsley,  2. Abt,  3. Bond,  4. Richmond,  5. Henry,  6. LeVea,  7. Jackson

News & Notes:

*Bob Henry, Jr.’s No. 93 suffered a broken wheel during the hot-lap session prior to the SBS feature. It resulted in a trip into the outside foam between turns three and four. He was unable to start the race.

*Cameron Rowe made his return to the small block division, driving the Ken Pierce-owned No. 67 machine. However, the car was re-numbered 50 to assist Tim Barbeau in the car owner point standings.

*David Cliff remains the series points leader with just three features remaining. Sobus was only able to cut into Cliff’s lead by three points with his late-race pass. Cliff now leads Sobus by 27 points. Bond’s 10th-place finish resulted in him slipping to a 49-point deficit.