Gruel Holds Off Danzer To Win Second $10,000 Mr. Supermodified Title At Oswego On 37th Birthday

Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – Dave Gruel celebrated his 37th birthday $10,000 richer with a victory in the 33rd annual Mr. Novelis Supermodified event presented by Best Western PLUS and Quality Inn & Suites Riverfront of Oswego.

Gruel started on the outside of the front row for the 75-lap main event and beat polesitter Tyler Thompson to take the lead into turn one. Eventually, the race came down to an exciting wheel banging battle for victory between Gruel and Dave Danzer in the closing ten laps.

“This win ranks right up there,” Gruel said. “I saw Dave (Danzer) was right there. We touched a couple times and it was just good, hard racing. He was getting to me right where I was getting on the gas. I knew if I made one small mistake it was going to cost me ten grand.”

In the early going, Gruel inched away from Thompson, but the teenager, along with Brandon Bellinger and Dave Danzer, soon began to reel in the No. 50 car with Keith Shampine, Dave Shullick Jr, Michael Barnes, and Joe Gosek all in tow.

For twenty laps, two separate battles took place inside the top five as Thompson worked on Gruel while Danzer tried on several occasions to get by Bellinger until the field was slowed for a spinning Aric Iosue on lap 22.

Gruel and Thompson continued their battle on the restart, pulling away from the Danzer and Bellinger fight for third and fourth over Shampine in fifth, Shullick in sixth, Gosek in seventh, Barnes in eighth, Abold in ninth and Sitterly in tenth.

Just as the leaders had caught lapped traffic, Iosue spun again in turn three, slowing the field on another occasion. This would give Thompson, Bellinger, Danzer, and Shampine another shot at the otherwise dominant Gruel.

This time, however, it was Sitterly who was the show. In a matter of two laps, he passed Abold, Barnes, Gosek, and Shampine on the outside before moving in behind the Shullick No. 95 who had since gone past teammate Shampine for fifth.

On lap 40, Danzer finally made his move by the Bellinger No. 02 while Sitterly simultaneously went under Shullick and began to work on Bellinger as well.

As soon as Danzer got by Bellinger, he began to reel in Gruel and Thompson out front and it was only a matter of time before the No. 52 was right on Thompson’s back bumper for the second spot.

Seven laps later, Danzer shot to the inside of Thompson going into turn three and took over second, now setting his sights on race leader Gruel. Further back in the top five, Sitterly was still looking for a way around Bellinger.

One lap later, Sitterly tried the same low move on Bellinger, but drifted way high in three and four, instead handing fourth back over to the No. 02 and settling back in ahead of Shullick inside the top five.

With twenty five laps to go, Iosue spun in turn four and this time made contact with the wall, also involving the 66 of Lou LeVea Sr. Both cars went off on the hook before the restart which would setup a twenty five lap shootout between Gruel and Danzer.

Gruel set a torrid pace for ten laps, but Danzer was finally able to draw to his back bumper with fifteen to go. Gruel was running about half a groove higher than Danzer, who was hugging the hub rail in both corners.

On lap 65, Danzer got the bite he needed down low coming out of turn four, but the two cars brushed wheels down the front straightaway, knocking the No. 52 out of shape and allowing Gruel to open a slight gap.

With eight laps to go, Sitterly made his low side move under Thompson, but it appeared that he would not have enough time to catch Gruel and Danzer who continued their battle for $10,000 while sand slipped out of the hourglass for Danzer.

Following the near miss on lap 65, Danzer was never able to completely recover. Although the leaders caught one last slower car with one to go, Gruel was able to safely navigate traffic and become the eighth different winner in nine events this season.

Completing the top five in Mr. Novelis Supermodified were Danzer, Sitterly, Thompson, and Shullick over Gosek, Bellinger, Shampine, Abold, and Doug Didero in the top ten.

Sitterly and Thompson earned the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger and Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer Awards, respectively.

David LaTulip Drives to First Career Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS Triumph Worth $1,500

David LaTulip made a daring three wide move to take the lead on lap 1 of last night’s Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS main event and never looked back, scoring his first career ‘Mr. SBS’ title in a victory he dedicated to late grandfather Cecil Barlow.

“This is a big win. It was a risky move on the start, but I had a good run coming off of two and it stuck. I think we finally hit the setup. I want to dedicate this win to my grandfather. We lost him right before the season started and he has been my biggest fan since I’ve started racing.”

LaTulip went under the front row of Greg O’Connor and Cameron Rowe both heading down the back straightaway to inherit the early race lead. He brought fifth starting Mike Bruce and sixth starting Dave Cliff under Rowe with him.

Early on, LaTulip, O’Connor, Bruce, Cliff, and eventually Anthony Losurdo were early leaders, but all of that changed very quickly when Bruce got sideways on the fifth circuit exiting turn four, collecting Losurdo and damaging the No. 1 beyond repair.

Under caution, Cliff, along with RBI Racing teammates Bruce and Rowe, all went to the pits with damage. Bruce and Cliff were able to return while Rowe’s evening came to an early end with apparent mechanical issues on the No. 77.

For the restart, the new top five was LaTulip, O’Connor, Joshua Sokolic, Travis Bartlett, and Steve Flack, and it was apparent right away that LaTulip was the dominant force in this 35-lap main event.

With LaTulip pulling away, the race long battle between O’Connor and Sokolic began to shape up for second. This evenly matched duo raced nose to tail, until another caution flag came out for Bruce who suffered a second flat tire on lap 10. This ended his day as well.

In the remaining 25-laps, it was a show between O’Connor and Sokolic, who finally was able to drive around the outside of the No. 90 in turns three and four with just five laps remaining. This move brought the impressive teenaged racer into second, but it was too little, too late.

Back up front, LaTulip was long gone as he picked up the win and a cool $1,500 for Mark Castiglia and Missile Motorsports. Sokolic secured his second runner-up effort in as many weeks with O’Connor, Bartlett, and Flack rounding out the top five.

Tony Pisa, Cliff, Bruce, Ken Moody Jr, Losurdo, and Rowe completed the finishing order.

Earning his first career Small Block Super top five finish at Oswego, Bartlett was awarded with the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger and White’s Car Care 4th Place contingency prizes while Sokolic was again the Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer.

Steve Duphily Makes It Two for Two in Oswego’s 350 Supermodified Ranks

Stephen Duphily from Plaistow, New Hampshire invaded Oswego for its first ever ‘Mr. 350’ Supermodified event and walked away with $900 in prize money to go with his second victory in two appearances at the ‘Steel Palace’ this season.

“I love it here,” said Duphily, grandson of longtime car owner Vic Miller. “The Torrese’s gave us a great place to race this division and I really enjoy it. I was very impressed with the car tonight and will definitely take some good notes. This makes a great statement for our team.”

The 25-lap main event was brought to the green flag by Lakeside Property Services teammates Barry Kingsley and Mike Bruce, and it was Bruce who went to the point from the outside of the speedway, taking the lead from Kingsley on lap 1.

Starting from sixth, it took Duphily less than half a lap to get around Dalton Doyle and fellow New Englander John Burke to grab fourth. When Anthony Losurdo looked low on Kingsley down the front stretch one lap later, this left the high road open for Duphily to move into third.

In the next corner, Duphily continued his tear, now muscling his No. 11 around Kingsley for the runner up position. He then almost immediately reeled in the Bruce No. 72 machine and began to challenge for the race lead.

Slowing Duphily’s momentum for a moment was the first and only caution flag of the event on lap 2, which was waved when Doyle and Burke came together in turn four. This caused the Burke No. 01 to come around, ending the day early for the driver from Boston, Massachusetts.

On the ensuing double file restart, Bruce elected to fire from the outside lane, bringing Duphily to his inside. The pair drag raced down the front stretch, but it was Duphily who came away with the lead as Bruce slipped up a bit wide in between turns one and two.

When Bruce washed out, this gave Losurdo an opportunity to capitalize as he moved his No. 1 into second. Meanwhile, Doyle had found a way under Kingsley’s No. 06 to take over the fourth spot.

Showing shades of Chris Perley in the Vic Miller No. 11, Duphily would absolutely dominate the next twenty laps, driving to his second career 350 Super checkered flag at Oswego Speedway while becoming only the second repeat winner in the track’s new division.

Losurdo and Bruce completed the podium, as Losurdo continues to build his points lead over Doyle and Kingsley who finished fourth and fifth. Burke was credited with sixth.

Duphily was the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger Award winner while Bruce grabbed Lighthouse Lanes ‘Up & Comer’ Award honors.

Oswego Speedway is off next week to accommodate Harborfest and Sandusky Speedway’s Hy-Miler, but will return to action with the ‘Retro Night’ 45 for Novelis Supermodifieds plus a 30-lap main event for Pathfinder Bank SBS on Saturday, August 3.

The 350 Supermodifieds will receive the night off on August 3 in observation of the Jim Belfiore Memorial at Star Speedway in New Hampshire. Just two regular point events remain on August 10 and August 17.

Oswego Speedway is off next week to accommodate Harborfest and Sandusky Speedway’s Hy-Miler, but will return to action with the ‘Retro Night’ 45 for Novelis Supermodifieds plus a 30-lap main event for Pathfinder Bank SBS on Saturday, August 3.

BOX SCORE

Best Western PLUS Quality Inn & Suites Riverfront Mr. Novelis Supermodified
Oswego Speedway
Oswego, NY
Saturday, July 20, 2019

Novelis Supermodifieds

Feature (75-laps): 1. 50 DAVE GRUEL, 2. 52 Dave Danzer, 3. 7 Otto Sitterly, 4. 98T Tyler Thompson, 5. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 6. 00 Joe Gosek, 7. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 8. 55 Keith Shampine, 9. 05 Jeff Abold, 10. 3 Doug Didero, 11. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 12. 39 ® Alison Sload, 13. 94 Logan Rayvals, 14. 0 Tim Snyder, 15. 56 Hal LaTulip, 16. 68 Michael Barnes, 17. 66 Lou LeVea Sr, 18. 11 Aric Iosue, 19. 54 ® Camden Proud

Heat 1 (12-laps): 1. 68 Michael Barnes, 2. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 3. 55 Keith Shampine, 4. 05 Jeff Abold, 5. 11 Aric Iosue, 6. 56 Hal LaTulip, 7. 54 ® Camden Proud

Heat 2 (12-laps): 1. 7 Otto Sitterly, 2. 39 ® Alison Sload, 3. 00 Joe Gosek, 4. 3 Doug Didero, 5. 94 Logan Rayvals, 6. 0 Tim Snyder

Heat 3 (12-laps): 1. 98T Tyler Thompson, 2. 50 Dave Gruel, 3. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 4. 52 Dave Danzer, 5. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 6. 66 Lou LeVea Sr.

Group Time Trials: 1. 00 Joe Gosek – 15.893, 2. 05 Jeff Abold – 15.971, 3. 7 Otto Sitterly – 15.985, 4. 98T Tyler Thompson – 15.985, 5. 68 Michael Barnes – 16.046, 6. 50 Dave Gruel – 16.106, 7. 39 ® Alison Sload – 16.116, 8. 02 Brandon Bellinger – 16.117, 9. 52 Dave Danzer – 16.247, 10. 55 Keith Shampine – 16.251,11. 3 Doug Didero – 16.276, 12. 95 Dave Shullick Jr. – 16.285, 13. 11 Aric Iosue – 16.338, 14. 94 Logan Rayvals – 16.368, 15. 01 Dan Connors Jr. – 16.392, 16. 54 ® Camden Proud – 16.431, 17. 0 Tim Snyder – 16.483, 18. 66 Lou LeVea Sr. – 16.568, 19. 56 Hal LaTulip – 16.862

D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #7 Otto Sitterly
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #98T Tyler Thompson

Pathfinder Bank SBS

Feature (35-laps): 1. 27 DAVID LATULIP, 2. 26 Joshua Sokolic, 3. 90 Greg O’Connor, 4. 03 ® Travis Bartlett, 5. 32 Steve Flack, 6. 89 Tony Pisa, 7. 50 Dave Cliff, 8. 04 Mike Bruce, 9. 01 ® Ken Moody Jr, 10. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 11. 77 Cameron Rowe

Heat 1 (10-laps): 1. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 2. 04 Mike Bruce, 3. 26 Joshua Sokolic, 4. 77 Cameron Rowe, 5. 32 Steve Flack, 6. 89 Tony Pisa

Heat 2 (10-laps): 1. 27 David LaTulip, 2. 90 Greg O’Connor, 3. 50 Dave Cliff, 4. 01 ® Ken Moody Jr, 5. 03 ® Travis Bartlett

Group Time Trials: 1. 1 Anthony Losurdo – 18.661, 2. 50 Dave Cliff – 18.866, 3. 04 Mike Bruce – 18.996, 4. 27 David LaTulip – 19.034, 5. 26 Joshua Sokolic – 19.127, 6. 90 Greg O’Connor – 19.258, 7. 77 Cameron Rowe – 19.263, 8. 03 ® Travis Bartlett – 19.682, 9. 32 Steve Flack – 19.891, 10. 01 ® Ken Moody Jr. – 21.052, 11. 89 Tony PIsa – 23.655

D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #03 ® Travis Bartlett
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #26 Joshua Sokolic
White’s Car Care 4th Place Award: #03 ® Travis Bartlett

350 Supermodifieds

Feature (25-laps): 1. 11 STEPHEN DUPHILY, 2. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 3. 72 Mike Bruce, 4. 01 Dalton Doyle, 5. 06 Barry Kingsley, 6. 01 John Burke

Heat (8-laps): 1. 72 Mike Bruce, 2. 01 John Burke, 3. 11 Stephen Duphily, 4. 08 Dalton Doyle, 5. 06 Barry Kingsley, 6. 1 Anthony Losurdo

D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #11 Stephen Duphily
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #72 Mike Bruce

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