Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – For the first time since his unforgettable Championship Night drive to victory in 2016, Michael Barnes and the Syrell Racing No. 68 were back in Oswego Speedway victory lane on two occasions this past Saturday night.
‘The Hustler’ swept the Novelis Supermodified Twin 35’s presented by Burke’s Do It Best Home Center and Bosco & Geers in sole possession of victory for the first time since Doug Didero pulled the trick back in 1995.
Dave Gruel and Dave Shullick Jr. lead the first Twin 35 to green with Shullick jumping to the point from the outside part of the speedway almost immediately.
Fourth starting Aric Iosue jumped in front of third starting Dave Danzer to take away the final podium position before the completion of lap 1 with the third row of Michael Barnes and Otto Sitterly doing battle just behind them.
Barnes and Sitterly soon both cleared the Danzer No. 52 to take over third and fourth with Keith Shampine following suit from the seventh spot right on Barnes’ back bumper.
By lap five, Sitterly was on the move getting by Barnes and Iosue, and then shooting under Gruel in turns three and four to take over second and begin to chase down leader Shullick who was since long gone.
Approaching the halfway point, Dan Connors Jr. took a nasty ride into the frontstretch wall when a part failed on the No. 01. Connors road the steel all the way into the turn 1 foam before the car finally came to rest. All corners of the family owned racer were more or less a write off, but Connors was OK.
The Canale Insurance & Accounting yellow for Connors drew the field together and out of lapped traffic with 17 laps to go as Shullick lead Sitterly, Barnes, Gruel and Iosue inside the top five.
On the restart, Iosue took advantage of the lapped traffic in front of Gruel and made the lowisde move for fourth with Shullick again off to the races ahead of Sitterly and Barnes, who had also pulled away from the rest of the top five.
By lap 24, Shullick had caught more traffic in the form of the No. 02 of Brandon Bellinger and that’s when Sitterly was finally able to close ground on the race leader.
Shullick tried to go around Bellinger on lap 25, but was unsuccessful and this allowed Sitterly to get a nose under the No. 2 off the exit of the second corner. The two brushed wheels, but both continued on.
The contact between the teammates actually allowed Bellinger to pull away from the top two as Shullick and Sitterly would again have to handle lapped traffic just a lap and a half later.
When the leaders caught back up to the No. 02, Shullick washed out again trying to make a high side pass in between turns three and four and for the second time in three laps, Sitterly got a nose underneath with the two brushing wheels for a second time.
On this occasion, Shullick lost the handle on the car and touched the outside wall off of turn four, causing noticeable damage to the No. 2 and bringing out the Canale Insurance & Accounting yellow flag.
Shullick then gave Sitterly a tap on the back bumper in between turns one and two before taking the car to the pits. He did not return for the second feature.
In a dramatic turn of events, Sitterly was penalized for the contact and sent to the rear of the field, but later recovered for an eighth place finish.
What looked to be a sure Nicotra Racing 1-2 finish soon resulted in Barnes and Iosue taking over the front two positions, Gruel inheriting third, Shampine fourth, and Gosek making a run from twelfth to fifth.
Barnes ran away with the remaining three circuits to grab his tenth career Oswego victory with Iosue and Gruel completing the podium for the first of two 35 lappers.
“I figured those guys weren’t playing nice when I heard Chuck talking to the 2 and 7 on the radio,” Barnes commented in victory lane. “I had a good car, but those Nicotra guys were so far ahead. They were so much better. We were really third, but I would rather be lucky than good any day so we will take it. I’m happy to be back in victory lane”
Second place finisher Aric Iosue was also pleased with his effort in the former Graham Racing No. 11 to grab the first podium finish of 2018 for his family team.
“I was really happy,” Iosue stated. “We were able to get rolling early and turn some laps. On the restart I was able to get by Dave (Gruel) and I was thinking fourth place wasn’t so bad then I don’t know what happened to DJ and Otto, so we ended up second. The car is in one piece and it’s handling pretty good.”
After starting pole, Gruel was on the podium for the second time in as many weeks, but wasn’t completely thrilled, noting, “We kind of lucked into third place tonight. I’m not really sure what happened with the two blue cars up front. We took advantage of their issues and got up to third. The car was just a little bit off, so hopefully we can make some gains and it will be better for the second twin.”
In that second main event, the field was to the green this time by Iosue and Gosek with Gosek jumping out to the early lead from the outside in the iconic No. 00.
Danzer had started third, but dropped back to sixth on the restart after getting out of shape heading into the third corner. This allowed fifth starting Gruel, sixth starting Barnes, and eighth Shampine to all get by.
With one win already to his credit on the evening, it didn’t take but five laps for Barnes to work to the outside of Gruel and take away the third spot. Shampine tried to use the same move one lap later, but ninth starting Sitterly was up to sixth and then passed the No. 55 for fifth after Keith pushed high off of turn four.
After cracking the top five, Sitterly then made an exciting inside move on Gruel on lap 9 to take away fourth heading into turn one before giving chase to the top three of Gosek, Iosue and Barnes. Shampine followed Otto under the Gruel No. 50 shortly thereafter to crack the top five.
The first Canale Insurance & Accounting yellow flag of the race was thrown on lap 11 for a spinning Rayvals in turn 1. Logan was able to keep the car off the foam and be pushed back off.
Barnes used the outside lane to shoot to second past Iosue on the ensuing restart and began to give chase to Gosek with Sitterly also finding the outside of the Iosue No. 11 on the same circuit as well as the No. 55 of Shampine.
An exciting four way battle for the lead between Gosek, Barnes, Sitterly and Shampine then took place for the following three laps before the yellow was thrown once more on lap 15 when Lou LeVea Jr. spun in turn 1 and was hit by the No. 71 of Bill Sharkey. The No. 56 of Hal LaTulip also stopped at the scene, but was uninvolved.
On this caution flag, Gruel brought the U-Pull U-Save No. 50 pitside for adjustments before returning to the speedway and driving back up to sixth at the end of the main event.
Out in front, Gosek was able to keep Barnes at bay for the next several laps before Barnes finally found the inside of the No. 00 on a daring three wide move down the backstretch splitting a lapped car.
Sitterly and Shampine were just behind the front two, but were both unable to take advantage despite the No. 68 of Barnes opening the door.
After taking the lead on lap 25, Barnes walked away from Gosek for the final ten circuits to grab his second victory of the night and the eleventh of his Supermodified career with Sitterly hanging on for third, Shampine fourth, and Danzer in fifth.
“At least we earned this one, that feels good,” Barnes said back in victory lane. “The car was pretty good. Joe (Gosek) is a veteran and I had to wait for the right time to make my move. He got a little high with a lapped car down the backstretch and I was able to slip him under him.”
Barnes admitted that had Gosek not washed out trying to get around the lapped car, it may have been a lot more difficult to get by the No. 00.
“Gosek is just so good,” Barnes added. “It would have been a lot harder to make something happen if I didn’t have the chance to use the move that I did. I had to keep telling myself that I was falling into the bait and using up my stuff. I just kept getting looser and looser, so I was trying to slow myself down, but then again, you can’t slow down with the 7 behind you. We really lucked out. It feels great. I’d like to dedicate this win to my buddy Joe Scanlon. He passed away a couple weeks ago and was a big fan and crew guy when I drove for Double Deuce Racing. Thanks to Doug Holmes for all the time he spent dealing with our motor issues today, Furdi’s, all the sponsors, crew, and everyone that supports our team. They make my job easy.”
After a popular ‘Retro Night’ victory last season, Gosek was certainly happy to be back on the podium after picking up what was unbelievably his 234th career top five finish. Joe said, “My move in traffic set Barnes up perfect. I got committed to the outside and slowed down and he got to diamond underneath both of us. Sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some. I want to thank my sponsors since 1980, Tom and Chuck and everyone at Burke’s Home Center.”
Nearly picking up his first win since September of 2015 earlier in the evening, Sitterly was back on the podium for the second Twin 35 with a fine third place for the current Novelis Supermodified points leader. Despite the solid showing, the seven time speedway champion was still a bit upset with the outcome of the first main event.
Sitterly said, “The car was OK. We got our caged rattled in the first race so it wasn’t as good in the second. The 2 got into me in turn two and bent the front end on the car, so I stuck it underneath him in turn three and yup, we brushed, but I don’t know what happened to him. I kept going, but got sent to the back so I don’t really know what that was all about.”
Completing the top ten in the second main event were Gruel, Gosselin; who finished seventh in both features, rookie Tyler Thompson who had another impressive run in eighth, Hal LaTulip in ninth, and Brent Murray; who also impressed in the Snyder Racing No. 0 to finish in the tenth spot.
Lou LeVea Sr. and Sitterly were D&S Landscaping ‘Hard Chargers’ this past Saturday night while LeVea Jr. and Thompson were the two Lighthouse Lanes ‘Up and Comers.’
Losurdo Outduels Teammate Kapuscinski for First Pathfinder Bank SBS Victory of the Season
It was another ‘podium’ night for Missile Motorsports this past Saturday at the Oswego Speedway as Anthony Losurdo made a late race move on teammate Dan Kapuscinski for his first victory of the season and the sixth of his career behind the wheel of the No. 1 machine.
The June 16 Pathfinder Bank SBS main event was lead to green by Mike Bruce and Greg O’Connor in row one along with Camden Proud and Dalton Doyle in the second row.
Bruce jumped out to the early lead in the No. 22 machine with Proud quickly moving into second while O’Connor and Doyle lost spots on the outside to the No. 00M of fifth starting Kapuscinski.
As Proud tried to work down to the inside of the Bruce car, this left the high lane open for Kapuscinski, setting up a side by side battle for second between the current and former speedway public relations specialists as the duo each tried to find a way around Bruce.
The Canale Insurance & Accounting yellow flag was in the air on lap 3 when Josh Kerr got turned around going into turn 1, collecting Dave Cliff, Mike Bond, and James Babcock. All of these drivers were out for the night.
On the restart, coming around to complete lap 6, Kapuscinski found the inside lane on Bruce to take the lead with 25 laps remaining with Proud holding the No. 54 in the third spot.
Behind the leaders, the top two in points of Russ Brown and Losurdo has closed from 11th and twelfth to fifth and sixth behind fourth place running O’Connor.
By lap 7, Brown made his move on O’Connor for fourth and began to reel in Proud who was still hung up behind Bruce in the third spot. Losurdo then took fifth from the O’Connor No. 90 just two laps later.
Proud looked to the inside of Bruce for third on lap 8, but had to get on the brakes late into the straightaway, this time giving Brown the high lane and also the final podium position before the points leader heading began to work over the double deuce for the runner up spot and later took it right away at lap 10.
With 14 laps complete, Bruce then lost the handle on the No. 22 off the exit of the second corner collecting the No. 54 of Proud. Both drivers did 360’s and kept going but were forced to go pitside with damage to their cars before eventually returning to action.
The caution had set up Losurdo in third behind leader Kapuscinski and second place Brown with O’Connor re-inheriting the fourth spot.
When the green lights came back on, it was ‘Danny K’ running away, but not before his teammate Losurdo dove to the inside of the Brown No. 13 on lap 18 to take the second spot and then promptly began to chase down the race leader.
With just five circuits remaining, Losurdo finally caught up to Kapuscinski, allowing for a thrilling battle between the front two cars before ‘Hawk’ finally got to the inside of the No. 00M on a daring move heading into turn number 1 on lap 27.
In another thrilling Pathfinder Bank SBS battle, Losurdo lead the way for the final three laps to take his first checkered flag with car owner Mark Castiglia as Kapuscinski finished on the podium for the second week in a row, Brown in third, O’Connor fourth and the D&S Landscaping ‘Hard Charger’ was Andrew Schartner for his drive from eighteenth to fifth in his first appearance of the season with the No. 18 machine.
“I knew we’d have to come from the back tonight,” Losurdo said in victory lane. “I also knew Mike Bond and Russ Brown weren’t going to be starting behind us this week so we decided to put four new tires on it and came right up through the field. I made a pretty late move on Danny, I know he’s my teammate and I’m glad we didn’t wreck. Both of the Missile Motorsports cars are on the podium again for another week.”
Kapuscinski, although pleased with the 1-2 finish for the team, was understandably a bit frustrated after leading most of the main event along with several laps in the June 9 feature one week prior only to have both wins go by the wayside.
“This hurts pretty bad, you try really hard for a long time to win one of these and ugh, I just thought I had it,” Kapuscinski said. “I was close. We held off the 13 and I kept Anthony (Losurdo) behind me for as long as I could. It was pretty tight in the center, so I was having to horse the car around a bit to get it to turn and then it started to free up on me. I didn’t get off of four as good as I had been and Losurdo was just faster than me.”
Brown, who will now be second in the standings just three points behind Losurdo heading into June 30, drove from twelfth to second, but did not quite have enough for the front two cars and was also a bit disappointed.
“Third place is just not quite good enough,” Brown commented. “We just got outran tonight and it was the first time in a long time we have been passed, so hats off to those guys. We’ve got some work to do, but it’s close. We came from twelfth to third and it’s a tough deal so we’ll just keep working on it and keep getting better.”
Completing the top ten were David LaTulip, Jack Patrick, Cameron Rowe, Barry Kingsley, and Ray Sand Jr.
Kapuscinski was awarded Lighthouse Lanes ‘Up and Comer,’ while O’Connor was the White’s Car Care 4th Place Finisher in memory of Tony White.
Heat race wins on the evening went to Losurdo, Brown, and Kapuscinski.
Oswego Speedway’s ‘Road to the Championship’ continues in two more weeks when Galloway Century 21 and Oswego D-Bus will present the Independence Weekend ‘Grand Prix’ featuring extra distance 75 and 35-lap events for the Novelis Supermodifieds and Pathfinder Bank SBS plus the second Novelis ‘Fan Can Chase’ of the season and a gigantic fireworks display. To order tickets, please phone the speedway box office at (315)-342-0646.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Burke’s Do It Best Homecenter and Bosco’s Novelis Supermodified Twin 35’s
Twin 1 (35-laps): 1. 68 Michael Barnes, 2. 11 Aric Iosue, 3. 50 Dave Gruel, 4. 55 Keith Shampine, 5. 00 Joe Gosek, 6. 52 Dave Danzer, 7. 77 Shaun Gosselin, 8. 7 Otto Sitterly, 9. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 10. 66 Lou LeVea Sr, 11. 94 Logan Rayvals, 12. 71 Bill Sharkey, 13. 2 Dave Shullick Jr, 14. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 15. 0 Brent Murray®, 16. 98T Tyler Thompson®, 17. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 18. 56 Hal LaTulip, 19. 26 Nathan Schultzkie®, DNS – Jeff Abold.
Twin 2 (35-laps): 1. 68 Michael Barnes, 2. 00 Joe Gosek, 3. 7 Otto Sitterly, 4. 55 Keith Shampine, 5. 52 Dave Danzer, 6. 50 Dave Gruel, 7. 77 Shaun Gosselin, 8. 98T Tyler Thompson®, 9. 56 Hal LaTulip, 10. 0 Brent Murray®, 11. 11 Aric Iosue, 12. 94 Logan Rayvals, 13. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 14. 71 Bill Sharkey, 15. 66 Lou LeVea Sr, 16. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 17. 26 Nathan Schultzkie®, DNS – Dan Connors Jr, Dave Shullick Jr, Jeff Abold.
Heat 1 (12-laps): 1. 7 Otto Sitterly, 2. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 3. 00 Joe Gosek, 4. 52 Dave Danzer, 5. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 6. 56 Hal LaTulip, 7. 0 Brent Murray®
Heat 2 (12-laps): 1. 68 Michael Barnes, 2. 50 Dave Gruel, 3. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 4. 55 Keith Shampine, 5. 71 Bill Sharkey, 6. 26 Nathan Schultzkie®
Heat 3 (12-laps): 1. 11 Aric Iosue, 2. 2 Dave Shullick Jr, 3. 77 Shaun Gosselin, 4. 98T Tyler Thompson®, 5. 94 Logan Rayvals, 6. 66 Lou LeVea Sr.
Group Time Trials: 1. 55 Keith Shampine – 16.122, 2. 7 Otto Sitterly – 16.174, 3. 2 Dave Shullick Jr. – 16.309, 4. 68 Michael Barnes – 16.313, 5. 52 Dave Danzer – 16.612, 6. 11 Aric Iosue – 16.625, 7. 02 Brandon Bellinger – 16.644, 8. 00 Joe Gosek – 16.745, 9. 77 Shaun Gosselin – 16.770, 10. 50 Dave Gruel – 16.790, 11. 01 Dan Connors Jr. – 16.965, 12. 98T Tyler Thompson® – 17.015, 13. 94 Logan Rayvals – 17.125, 14. 83 Lou LeVea Jr. – 17.272, 15. 71 Bill Sharkey – 17.417, 16. 66 Lou LeVea Sr. – 17.824, 17. 0 Brent Murray® – 18.902
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger – Twin 1: #66 Lou LeVea Sr.
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer – Twin 1: #83 Lou LeVea Jr.
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger – Twin 2: #7 Otto Sitterly
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer – Twin 2: #98T Tyler Thompson®
Burke’s Do It Best Homecenter and Bosco’s Pathfinder Bank SBS 30
Feature (30-laps): 1. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 2. 00M Dan Kapuscinski, 3. 13 Russ Brown, 4. 90 Greg O’Connor, 5. 18 Andrew Schartner, 6. 27 David LaTulip, 7. 9 Jack Patrick, 8. 77 Cameron Rowe, 9. 91 Barry Kingsley, 10. 71 Ray Sand Jr, 11. 54 Camden Proud, 12. 88 Brad Haynes, 13. 22 Mike Bruce, 14. 8 Josh Kerr, 15. 32 Steve Flack®, 16. 12 Dennis Richmond, 17. 01 Dalton Doyle, 18. 15 James Babcock, 19. 50 Dave Cliff, 20. 74 Mike Bond, 21. 26 Josh Sokolic®
Heat 1 (10-laps): 1. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 2. 01 Dalton Doyle, 3. 54 Camden Proud, 4. 71 Ray Sand Jr, 5. 77 Cameron Rowe, 6. 12 Dennis Richmond, 7. 18 Andrew Schartner
Heat 2 (10-laps): 1. 13 Russ Brown, 2. 22 Mike Bruce, 3. 90 Greg O’Connor, 4. 27 David LaTulip, 5. 88 Tyler Henry®, 6. 74 Mike Bond, 7. 15 James Babcock
Heat 3 (10-laps): 1. 00M Dan Kapuscinski, 2. 9 Jack Patrick, 3. 50 Dave Cliff, 4. 8 Josh Kerr, 5. 91 Barry Kingsley, 6. 26 Josh Sokolic®, 7. 32 Steve Flack®
Group Time Trials: 1. 13 Russ Brown – 18.593, 2. 1 Anthony Losurdo – 18.684, 3. 50 Dave Cliff – 18.731, 4. 74 Mike Bond – 18.735, 5. 54 Camden Proud – 18.759, 6. 00M Dan Kapuscinski – 18.858, 7. 90 Greg O’Connor – 18.862, 8. 77 Cameron Rowe – 18.985, 9. 9 Jack Patrick – 19.008, 10. 27 David LaTulip – 19.014, 11. 18 Andrew Schartner – 19.018, 12. 91 Barry Kingsley – 19.075, 13. 22 Mike Bruce – 19.113, 14. 01 Dalton Doyle – 19.119, 15. 8 Josh Kerr – 19.189, 16. 15 James Babcock – 19.417, 17. 71 Ray Sand Jr. – 19.442, 18. 26 Josh Sokolic – 19.460®, 19. 12 Dennis Richmond – 19.635, 20. 88 Tyler Henry® – 19.979, 21. 32 Steve Flack® – 20.033
Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader: #00M Dan Kapuscinski
White’s Car Care 4th Place Award – In Memory of Tony White: #90 Greg O’Connor
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #18 Andrew Schartner
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #00M Dan Kapuscinski