OSWEGO, NY – Jason Simmons has been racing around Oswego Speedway for seven years and Saturday night he finally took his D&S Landscaping No. 98 machine to Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane at the ‘Steel Palace’ as a part of the Helena Chemical Company Memorial Day Weekend ‘Triple-Header.’
Simmons and early race leader Mike Bruce swapped the lead on a couple different occasions with Simmons eventually locking down the race lead at lap 22 to go onto the Tony White Memorial win over Bruce, Dalton Doyle, Russ Brown, JJ Andrews, Mike Bond, Jon Tesoriero, Tim Gareau, Kreig Heroth, and Jack Patrick.
“It feels great, finally,” said Simmons. “Seven years it has taken, and it’s too long. My guys have been busting their butts for years with me; Brian Dana, Mikey O’Connor. You know, these guys have never left my side, they believed in me, and we finally put it together.”
Simmons went on to explain how the night unfolded including his tremendous battle with Mike Bruce for the race win in lapped traffic.
“We were fast in the first warm-up, but we struggled in the second warm-up and in the heat,” said Simmons. “The guys hit it on the money in the feature. I didn’t want to tear my car up in lapped traffic; I was trying to be cautious. I saw him (Bruce) out there and I was racing him hard, but I knew I was faster. I was a little discouraged when he got by, but I knew we would get back by him, and we did it and that’s all that mattered.”
Bruce and Doyle would start up on row number one for the 35-lap Tony White Memorial, with Bruce getting the early nod in the No. 22. Doyle would quickly tuck into line with the No. 22 as the front duo charged away from the pack early consisting of Andrews, Simmons, and Gareau in tow, until the race’s first caution waved at lap 4.
Andrew Schartner, driving the Crow Motorsports No. 18, tagged the outside while in corner number four with great force ending his night to turn on the yellow lights.
After the restart Doyle, whose season has been off to a rough start, managed to wrestle away the top spot from Bruce on lap 6 and at the same time Simmons began to mount his charge from sixth on the grid, driving by his teammate Andrews to third position on lap 7.
Simmons would not stop there as on lap 9 he would then drive by Bruce to move to the runner-up spot.
While Simmons was charging his way to the lead, a battle was being waged further back between championship contenders Bond and Brown. The pair started tenth and eleventh respectively, several times swapping positions from each other, but working together to slice their way through the field.
As the lap counter hit eleven, Simmons found the lane he needed as he drove on by Doyle to the low side to take the race lead. Doyle would stay high on the race track allowing Bruce to follow through into the second position with Doyle now third ahead of Andrews, Gareau, Brown, Tesoriero, and Bond.
By the 18th circuit Simmons and Bruce had pulled their way out from the rest of the pack with heavy lapped traffic beginning to loom.
At lap 19 Simmons tried to maneuver the lapped car of Anthony Losurdo and in doing so pinned himself to the low end of the race track, giving Bruce a wide open lane on the top side to retake the race lead. The two drivers would barely touch wheels in a great battle for the lead, but it was to be short lived.
Once cleared from traffic, Simmons quickly drew a bead back on the back bumper of the Bruce No. 22, diving to the inside on lap 22 to take the lead for the second time. The move made for the fourth lead change of the race between three different drivers in just 22-laps.
Simmons would then prove to be in a class of his own driving out to over a half straight lead on the pack behind with Bruce, Doyle, Andrews, Gareau, Brown, Tesoriero, Bond, Heroth, and Patrick all locked together.
As the race drew to a close, Simmons would have to hang on through a couple late race cautions including one for May 11 winner Mark Castiglia, who blew a tire and made hard contact with the main straight wall on lap 33.
After seven years of trying, nothing was going to hold back Simmons on this night, as he again drove away from the field with two laps to go to rack up his first career Pathfinder Bank SBS win at Oswego Speedway over Bruce and Doyle.
Bruce, who had a great run going in the Teddneck No. 22 two weeks ago before pulling pit side, was more than pleased with a runner-up effort on Saturday.
“That was a riot, I hope we put on a good race for the fans,” said Bruce. “The class is made for beating and banging and putting on a good race. Nobody wrecked and it was a heck of a race, it was great to run with Jason (Simmons). He had a great car and he has worked his butt off to be in victory lane finally, so congratulations to Jason Simmons.”
After a start to his season that Doyle would rather forget, a third place finish on Saturday likely felt like a win.
“This feels a lot better,” said Doyle. “We’ve had a terrible start to the season, but after tonight the car felt a lot better. It still needs some work, but we started up front and stayed up front, so I am happy with that.”
Doyle was again locked with JJ Andrews for much of the event, including the race’s final lap as they battled for a podium position.
“We actually got together a bit on the back stretch there, when he (Andrews) came up on the outside of me,” said Doyle. “I don’t know, we we’re going for it and made contact, but it is all clean as far as I know, so.”
The evening’s Nice Price Auto Sales ‘Up & Comer’ award recipient and the winner of the Sherwood Racing Wheels ‘Lap Leader’ award was Jason Simmons.
The D&S Landscaping ‘Hard Chager’ award went to Jeremy Pitcher, in the TNT Motorsports No. 14, for the second week in a row.
The White’s Car Care ‘4th place’ award, given in honor of Tony White each week at the Speedway, was won by Russ Brown.
Shell Shock Custom Helmet Paint heat race wins were awarded to Kreig Heroth, Mike Bond, and Tim Gareau.
Bond will be credited as the first driver to un-officially clock a lap of under 19-seconds in an SBS machine with a lap of 18.939 seconds on the way to his heat race win. No driver in the history of the division has ever scored a lap under 19-seconds on the AMB transponder scoring system at Oswego Speedway.
Oswego Speedway will next be in action on Saturday, June 1 as the “Road to the Championship” continues with Best Western PLUS/Quality Inn and Suites Night at the Races featuring a 50-lap Novelis Supermodified main event and a 30-lap Pathfinder Bank SBS feature.
Grandstand gates will open at 4pm on June 1 with racing beginning at 6:30pm.
For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway. Those interested in Speedway video programming online can subscribe to the Speedway’s YouTube Channel, ‘OswegoSpeedwayOnline’.
To purchase tickets for the 2013 racing season call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.
PATHFINDER BANK SBS SERIES
Tony White Memorial Feature (35-laps): 1. 98-JASON SIMMONS, 2. 22-Mike Bruce, 3. 01-Dalton Doyle, 4. 13-Russ Brown, 5. 93-JJ Andrews, 6. 74-Mike Bond, 7. 47-Jon Tesoriero, 8. 17-Tim Gareau, 9. 04-Kreig Heroth, 10. 9-Jack Patrick, 11. 14-Jeremy Pitcher, 12. 8-Josh Kerr, 13. 77-Cameron Rowe, 14. 07-Justin Connell, 15. 76-Scott Shafer, 16. 1-Anthony Losurdo, 17. 19-Nate Noto, 18. 99-Dennis Rupert, 19. 90-Greg O’Connor, 20. 2-Rob Pullen, 21. 67-Mark Castiglia, 22. 57-Dan Abt, 23. 24-AJ Bernys, 24. 44-Zach Amo, 25. 18-Andrew Schartner
Lap Leaders: Bruce (1-5, 19-21), Doyle (6-10), Simmons (11-18, 22-35)
Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader – Jason Simmons
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger – Jeremy Pitcher
Nice Price Auto Sales “Up & Comer” – Jason Simmons
White’s Car Care 4th Place Award – Russ Brown
1st Heat (10-laps/6-Qualify): 1. 04 – Kreig Heroth, 2. 22 – Mike Bruce, 3. 13 – Russ Brown, 4. 98 – Jason Simmons, 5. 9 – Jack Patrick, 6. 8 – Josh Kerr, 7. 14 – Jeremy Pitcher, 8. 19 – Nathan Noto
2nd Heat (10-laps/6-Qualify): 1. 17 – Tim Gareau, 2. 01 – Dalton Doyle, 3. 47 – Jon Tesoriero, 4. 1 – Anthony Losurdo, 5. 2 – Rob Pullen, 6. 44 – Zach Amo, 7. 24 – AJ Bernys, 8. 32 – Scott Black, 9. 67 – Mark Castiglia
3rd Heat (10-laps/6-Qualify): 1. 74 – Mike Bond, 2. 93 – JJ Andrews, 3. 77 – Cameron Rowe, 4. 18 – Andrew Schartner, 5. 07 – Justin Connell, 6. 76 – Scott Shafer, 7. 99 – Dennis Rupert, 8. 90 – Greg O’Connor, 9. 57 – Dan Abt
Consolation (10-laps/6-Qualify): 1. 24 – AJ Bernys, 2. 67 – Mark Castiglia, 3. 14 – Jeremy Pitcher, 4. 19 – Nathan Noto, 5. 57 – Dan Abt, 6. 99 – Dennis Rupert, 7. 90 – Greg O’Connor, 8. 32 – Scott Black
Shell Shock Custom Paints SBS Heat Race Challenge:
Kreig Heroth – 2
Mike Bond – 2
Rob Pullen – 1
Andrew Schartner – 1
Jason Simmons – 1
Jack Patrick – 1
Tim Gareau – 1