Lorain, Ohio’s Charlie Schultz pocketed $10,000 dollars Saturday night, winning Oswego Speedway’s MSA-sanctioned “King of Wings” 50-lap feature race. Starting in the 10th position, Schultz eventually passed race leader and teammate Tim Ice in lapped traffic to move atop the field. Once there, the 30-year old MSA tour regular never looked back.
Heavy rains battered the racing surface prior to the start of the event, but only delayed its start by about 30 minutes. However, another line of thunderstorms soaked the Port City’s 5/8 mile oval just before the feature, delaying its start by 90 minutes. With the racing rubber washed away the “green” track conditions were just what Schultz was counting on at the start of the race.
“With the rain-delay we had and the track being green,” Schultz said, “I was just kind of hoping it would be like it was when we first unloaded at the track … . It kind of started off like that and actually, the second groove came in a lot quicker than I’d anticipated. We had those warm-up laps in the beginning and I kind of tried it out. It seemed like it was going to stick out there. So, I made up my mind on the start that that was where I was going to go. And that was about the only way I was going to get around some of these guys.”
Schultz vaulted into the top five in just three laps. He moved in behind Ice (the only other driver to lead the event) on the 13th lap. From that point on, the two Dave May-owned supermodifieds were virtually untouchable, leading the field the rest of the way.
On the 23rd lap, Schultz was able to slide underneath his teammate in lapped traffic to take the lead.
“I could get to Tim’s back bumper on open ground,” Schultz said. “I just didn’t have enough to get around him on open ground. He got bobbled up behind some lapped cars there and I even waited a second because I thought he was going to come down. I didn’t want to take us both out. He stayed up high behind Jack (Smith) and I just drove underneath him. Jack pushed up in the middle of three and four and I was able to get by both of them.”
Listen to – Charlie Schultz on his feature win
As car owner, May was thrilled with not only the win, but the one-two finish for his No. 7 and No. 77 cars.
Listen to – Car owner Dave May on his one-two sweep
Ice and New Jersey’s Joey Payne led the 26-car field to start the Burkes Do-It Best Home Centers/Community Bank-sponsored main event. Ice nabbed the early lead while Payne, Ray Graham, Jr., Trent Stephens and Dave McKnight, Jr. chased him across the line to complete lap No. 1.
However, before the field could make it to the end of lap No. 2, Jennifer Chesbro spun her No. 88-C car around between turns three and four.
The restart saw Schultz stick to his early plan to run the high line. He hung his No. 7 on the outside, besting both Jeff Abold and McKnight, moving into the fifth position. The following trip around, he manuvered his way around Graham to take away fourth.
Up front, as Stephens was bumping Payne back to third, the yellow flag flew for an incident between turns one and two.
Bentley Warren, Kelly Miller, Jason Spaulding and Matt Palmer had come together. Though Palmer was able to be pushed away, Warren, Miller and Spaulding all exited the racing surface via the hook.
On the restart, Stephens made his way by Payne. Payne watched Schultz bump him one more spot back the following lap.
Ice ventured into light lapped traffic on lap No. 10. Five lengths back, Stephens and Schultz raced close together. Both Payne and Graham ran alone in fourth and fifth place.
Having come from the 12th position, seventh-place running Tim Jedrzejek was looking to move under McKnight’s No. 94 in turn two when something went amiss on his No. 8. He suddenly slowed and was promptly popped in the rear-end by Mike Lichty’s No. 84, sending the No. 8 into the inside hub rail. Jedrzejek’s quest for a $10,000 dollar payday was over.
Listen to – Tim Jedrzejek on his early exit
On the restart, Schultz took to the outside lane again. This time, Stephens fell to the No. 7 as Schultz moved into second place.
The lead trio began to pull away but a spin by Palmer’s No. 21 on the frontstretch halted the action, once again.
With 13 laps in the books, Ice led Schultz, Stephens, Payne and Graham. McKnight, Lichty, Abold, Doug Didero and Chris Perley completed the top 10. Stephen Gioia, III, Pat Lavery, Otto Sitterly, Bobby Dawson and Jerry Curran filled out the top 15.
On the restart, another outside move by Schultz didn’t pay any dividends. However, the green flag conditions were short-lived as the Stephens No. 19 suddenly pulled to a stop on the backstretch. After a quick tire change, Stephens rejoined the action at the tail-end of the field.
With 37 laps to go, Ice and Schultz walked away on the restart. They moved out to a full straightaway advantage by the 20th lap. Schultz hung right with the leader as they raced into lapped traffic.
As the race leader went to put Jack Smith down a lap, he chose the wrong lane. With Smith in the middle groove, Ice pulled up behind him. Before he could make a move to lap him high or low, Schultz sped by underneath, taking the lead away from Ice.
Once on top of the field, Schultz began to dance away from his teammate. By the 28th lap, Schultz held a 10-car length advantage.
Behind them, Graham raced alone. Payne began to fade quickly, losing third to Graham on the 25th lap before watching McKnight, Lichty and Perley dart by on the 26th lap. By the 30th lap, he’d fallen back to 9th.
While racing with Lichty, Didero and Perley, McKnight suddenly pulled his No. 94 into the pits on the 35th lap with more motor woes. Soon after, Didero’s No. 3 suffered its own motor failure, exiting the racing surface in a cloud of smoke. He’d been running in seventh place.
The No. 3’s demise brought out the caution flag on the 38th lap. Also, the red flag was displayed at this point. Refueling was being allowed due to the excessive amount of caution flag laps already run.
With 13 laps to go, only 13 cars remained on the track. Of those, seven on the lead lap – Schultz, Ice, Graham, Lichty, Perley, Sitterly and Lavery.
Schultz had the field covered. Pulling away on the restart, Ice could only watch the No. 7 sail away. Graham, Lichty and Perley diced the final few laps for third. Lichty would eventually earn the final podium position.
Up front, Schultz took the white flag with a full straightaway advantage over the No. 77. He took the checkered flag the next time by, earning the biggest winged supermodified paycheck ever in the process.
Ice earned second place.
“We had a really good car,” Ice said. “The luck of the draw got us on the pole. We qualified and in the heat race we transferred. We changed a few things for the heat race and changed a few things for the feature. We got going good and led a lot of laps. I got messed up by a lapped car. I think me and Charlie were pretty equal. It would’ve been fun to have raced out in front, side-by-side for the crowd … . We put on a good show. Apparently, we left everybody else pretty far. I’m just very happy.”
Listen to – Tim Ice on his second-place feature finish
Lichty came back from a DNF at Stafford on Tuesday night to earn a third-place finish on Saturday night.
“It was tough out there,” Lichty said. “The rain really changed the racetrack. We set up all day. We were good in the heat, good in practice. Then, the rains came and washed the rubber off of the racetrack. We over adjusted. We were just too tight for the feature. We started eighth or ninth and it just took a long time for the car to come in. And when it finally did come in, it still wasn’t right. Charlie and Tim were going pretty good. I don’t think we had enough for them tonight … even if a caution did come out and we could get caught back up.”
Listen to – Mike Lichty on his third-place run
Graham landed the No. 90 car in fourth place.
“The car was OK in the heat, it was tight,” Graham said. “We kind of left it alone for the feature, thinking with the rain and cold temperature that it would come in. But it actually stayed consistent through the feature. It was just too tight. The longer we ran, the tighter it got. We’re lucky with the class of cars that were here today to be able to hold on to a top five with a not-so good handling car. We’re pretty fortunate.”
Listen to – Ray Graham, Jr. on his fourth-place finish
After earning an ISMA feature win at Stafford Speedway on Tuesday night, early evening race favorite Perley, finished in fifth.
“I think we’ve got a bad torsion bar in it, honestly,” Perley said. “It was really good all day, but still felt a little off in the corners and tonight it really showed up. As it heated up the car never came in. We got lucky with a fifth. We’ll take a fifth. The other guys raced real good. We had a fun time racing up through. Fifth is a fifth.”
Listen to – Chris Perley on his fifth-place run
Chesbro qualified and then made her first feature start in four years, finishing 13th.
Perley had the fastest time in time-trials, flying around the speedway in just 15.255 seconds. Jedrzejek’s time of 15.421 was second fastest, while Schultz was good for third best trialing in at 15.428 seconds.
Payne, Graham, Jedrzejek and Lichty all earned heat race wins. The 12-lap consi went to Jack Smith.
Burkes Do-It Best Home Centers/Community Bank “King of Wings” 50:
1. Charlie Schultz (7), 2. Tim Ice (77), 3. Mike Lichty (84), 4. Ray Graham, Jr. (90), 5. Chris Perley (11), 6. Otto Sitterly (79), 7. Pat Lavery (2), 8. Trent Stephens (19), 9. Jerry Curran (24), 10. Jeff Abold (05), 11. Bobby Dawson (28), 12. Joey Payne (99), 13. Jennifer Chesbro (88-C), 14. Doug Didero (3), 15. Dave McKnight (94), 16. Stephen Gioia, III (9), 17. John Torrese (91), 18. Greg Furlong (72), 19. Jack Smith (09), 20. Randy Burch (49), 21. Ben Seitz (88-S), 22. Matt Palmer (21), 23. Tim Jedrzejek (8), 24. Jason Spaulding (23), 25. Kelly Miller (16), 26. Bentley Warren (10)