Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – Keith Shampine got by race-long leader Dan Connors Jr. with twenty laps to go and won the Skip’s Fish Fry Novelis Supermodified 50-lapper at Oswego Speedway this past Saturday, becoming the eleventh different winner in twelve races this year.
For Shampine, it was a very rewarding victory, his first since earning back to back feature wins in June of 2017. The CNY native, now a resident of Concord, NC, broke his finger in a heavy heat race crash a week earlier, but was able to rebound in victory lane on August 17.
“I didn’t even know if I could run tonight,” Shampine explained. “I was going to take the car out and practice it and see how my finger felt. I didn’t know if I’d do it, but I said we’re racing tonight and the car was really good. I’m so happy to get this victory for Chris Osetek and the team.”
Connors, who has been trying for ten years to win his first Supermodified feature event, appeared well on his way after setting sail off the outside of the front row to take the early race lead from pole sitter Aric Iosue.
When Iosue got out of shape on the start, this allowed third starting Shampine to get by with fourth starting Alison Sload and fifth starting Dave Danzer quickly mixing things up just behind them.
Sixth starting Dave Shullick Jr. wasted little time mounting his charge towards the front. Coming off a fifteenth to second drive a week earlier, Shullick darted to the outside of Sload and Danzer to move into fourth by lap 3.
On lap 5, rookie Camden Proud looped his No. 54 down the back stretch, bringing out the first yellow flag of the feature event. With five in the books, Connors lead Shampine, Iosue, Shullick, Danzer and Sload in a tight battle for positions one through six.
When the green flag was put back in the air, Shullick immediately went around Iosue for third, with Danzer following suit a lap later. The two cars split the No. 11 to take over the third and fourth spots, with Iosue now dropping back to fifth ahead of Jeff Abold and Tyler Thompson.
For the first fifteen laps, Connors, Shampine, and Shullick ran away out front, with Shampine trying a different lane just about every lap to get by the No. 01. When Shampine dropped low, Osetek Racing teammate Shullick looked high, but for the time being, no one was able to pass.
By lap 20, the remainder of the top seven, now made up of Abold, Thompson, and Sload, had all caught the lead trio in what virtually wound up being a nose to tail battle for positions one through seven.
On lap 23, Shullick looked to the outside of Shampine coming out of turn four and that proved to be a costly move for the No. 95. The two cars touched, and this wound up dropping Shullick back to fifth with Danzer and Abold both taking advantage.
With twenty one laps remaining, Shampine decided he was done waiting behind Connors and made a great move to take over the race lead in lapped traffic going into turn three. It was now Shampine out front over Connors, Danzer, Abold, Shullick, and Thompson a close sixth.
Two circuits later, Abold really took off in the No. 05, coming from tenth to go to the outside of Danzer and then to the inside of Connors in back to back laps. Looking for his third straight podium finish, Abold was able to move into second on lap 39.
On lap 40, Sload’s day came to an end with a rare mechanical failure on the No. 39. This set up a ten lap shoot out for the victory between Shampine, Connors, and Abold with Danzer, Shullick, Thompson, Gosek, and Otto Sitterly trailing.
For the remaining ten laps, Shampine simply dominated as he ran away from Abold and the rest of the field for his third Oswego Speedway checkered flag. Abold, Danzer, Shullick, Thompson, Gosek, Michael Barnes, Sitterly, Brandon Bellinger, and Dave Gruel completed the top ten.
Sitterly, who had a disappointing run in eighth place, was still able to secure his record breaking ninth track title by a healthy margin over Abold and Gruel. In doing so, Sitterly surpassed Nolan Swift for owning the most Oswego Speedway track championships in history.
Piloting the backup No. 08 car, which was originally set to be driven by Dan Kapuscinski, Barnes charged from twenty second to a fine seventh place run after encountering engine problems in the primary car. ‘The Hustler’ was awarded the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger.
After a tremendous run, Connors encountered issues in the closing laps to fall all the way back to eleventh. Despite the disappointment, the driver of the No. 01 machine was still awarded with the Lighthouse Lanes ‘Up & Comer’ contingency.
G.O. Racing teammates Tony Pisa and Greg O’Connor shared the front row for Saturday’s 30-lap Pathfinder Bank SBS main event and it was O’Connor who went the distance for his third career Oswego victory presented by Skip’s Fish Fry.
“This is definitely a confidence booster going into Classic,” O’Connor said. “The car is the best it has been all year right now and probably last year too. I just can’t thank my guys enough for busting ass and getting this done for me. I couldn’t do it without them.”
On the initial start, O’Connor shot outside of Pisa’s No. 89 going into turn one and was able to virtually drive away for the remainder of the event. Pisa got pinned down low while O’Connor brought the Josh Sokolic No. 26 on the high side with him.
When Pisa kicked the rear end out on lap 2, this would open up the door for fifth starting David LaTulip and seventh starting Andrew Schartner to go past, now inheriting positions three and four. Meanwhile, O’Connor and Sokolic were already opening up an advantage over the field.
Unfortunately for Pisa, he remained hung out to dry for the first four laps, and before long, ninth starting Brad Haynes and tenth starting Anthony Losurdo had found their way under the No. 89 for the sixth and seventh positions.
In a close battle for third, LaTulip worked for ten laps to reel Sokolic in before finally making the move to take second on lap 13. This pinned Sokolic to the outside, and he was just barely able to clear Schartner and Haynes to hold onto third for the moment.
With ten laps to go, LaTulip reeled in and eventually began to pressure O’Connor for the race lead. Behind him, Schartner was working Sokolic over for third, only to drop out of the event with apparent engine issues just as he looked underneath the No. 26.
On lap 23, the leaders caught lapped traffic. When O’Connor went to the outside of a slower car, this opened the door for LaTulip, but the driver of the No. 27 car was unable to capitalize for the race lead.
With O’Connor hanging on, Sokolic, however, did undergo misfortune in that traffic. The No. 26 again went wide in between turns one and two and this time Haynes, Losurdo, and Bruce were all able to get by for positions three, four and five.
Back out front, O’Connor kept LaTulip at bay for his first Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super checkered flag in just over a season. O’Connor brought LaTulip, Haynes, Losurdo, Bruce, Sokolic, Pisa, Dave Cliff, Russ Bartlett, and Cameron Rowe across the line behind him.
Losurdo’s fourth place run secured the defending champion back to back track titles for car owner Mark Castiglia and Missile Motorsports. Losurdo won the points race over Cliff and teammate LaTulip.
Stephen Duphily from Plaistow, New Hampshire started fourth and drove around early leader Barry Kingsley to pickup his fourth win in four Oswego Speedway 350 Supermodified starts this season.
Kingsley put together a nice run to finish in the second position while Anthony Losurdo wound up a close third which allowed him to close the books on the 2019 350 Supermodified Track Championship.
Not only is Losurdo the first 350 Super champion in speedway history, but also the first driver since Jim Shampine (1972) to win more than one track title in the same season. Losurdo was awarded his second consecutive Pathfinder Bank SBS championship earlier Saturday evening.
With Oswego Speedway’s regular events now in the books, the 2019 season will conclude with the 63rd edition of Budweiser International Classic Weekend scheduled for August 30 through September 1.
Skip’s Fish Fry Track Championship Night
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Feature (50-laps): 1. 55 KEITH SHAMPINE, 2. 05 Jeff Abold, 3. 52 Dave Danzer, 4. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 5. 98T Tyler Thompson, 6. 00 Joe Gosek, 7. 08 Michael Barnes, 8. 7 Otto Sitterly, 9. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 10. 50 Dave Gruel, 11. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 12. 0 Tim Snyder, 13. 25 ® Dan Bowes, 14. 90 ® Jack Patrick, 15. 94 Logan Rayvals, 16. 27 Jamie Timmons, 17. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 18. 56 Hal LaTulip, 19. 54 ® Camden Proud, 20. 39 ® Alison Sload, 21. 11 Aric Iosue, 22. 78 Guard Nearbin
Heat 1 (12-laps): 1. 98T Tyler Thompson, 2. 11 Aric Iosue, 3. 05 Jeff Abold, 4. 55 Keith Shampine, 5. 94 Logan Rayvals, 6. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 7. 90 ® Jack Patrick, 8. 78 Guard Nearbin
Heat 2 (12-laps): 1. 39 ® Alison Sload, 2. 50 Dave Gruel, 3. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 4. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 5. 25 ® Dan Bowes, 6. 27 Jamie Timmons, 7. 68 Michael Barnes
Heat 3 (12-laps): 1. 00 Joe Gosek, 2. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 3. 52 Dave Danzer, 4. 7 Otto Sitterly, 5. 0 Tim Snyder, 6. 54 ® Camden Proud, 7. 56 Hal LaTulip
Group Time Trials: 1. 7 Otto Sitterly – 15.850, 2. 50 Dave Gruel – 15.862, 3. 05 Jeff Abold – 15.902, 4. 00 Joe Gosek – 15.903, 5. 39 ® Alison Sload – 15.937, 6. 98T Tyler Thompson – 16.021, 7. 02 Brandon Bellinger – 16.037, 8. 95 Dave Shullick Jr. – 16.044, 9. 11 Aric Iosue – 16.058, 10. 94 Logan Rayvals – 16.126, 11. 68 Michael Barnes – 16.134, 12. 52 Dave Danzer – 16.149, 13. 55 Keith Shampine – 16.159, 14. 25 ® Dan Bowes – 16.163, 15. 0 Tim Snyder – 16.238, 16. 83 Lou LeVea Jr. – 16.258, 17. 01 Dan Connors Jr. – 16.330, 18. 54 ® Camden Proud – 16.367, 19. 90 ® Jack Patrick – 16.431, 20. 27 Jamie Timmons – 16.737, 21. 56 Hal LaTulip – 16.979
2019 Novelis Supermodified Track Champion: #7 Otto Sitterly
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #08 Michael Barnes
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #01 Dan Connors Jr.
Pathfinder Bank SBS
Feature (30-laps): 1. 90 GREG O’CONNOR, 2. 27 David LaTulip, 3. 88 Brad Haynes, 4. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 5. 04 Michael Bruce, 6. 26 Joshua Sokolic, 7. 89 Tony Pisa, 8. 50 Dave Cliff, 9. 02 Russ Bartlett, 10. 77 Cameron Rowe, 11. 15 James Babcock, 12. 18 Andrew Schartner, 13. 03 ® Travis Bartlett, 14. 93 Steve Wood
Heat 1 (10-laps): 1. 26 Joshua Sokolic, 2. 90 Greg O’Connor, 3. 50 Dave Cliff, 4. 27 David LaTulip, 5. 02 Russ Bartlett, 6. 77 Cameron Rowe, 7. 15 James Babcock
Heat 2 (10-laps): 1. 88 Brad Haynes, 2. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 3. 18 Andrew Schartner, 4. 04 Mike Bruce, 5. 89 Tony Pisa, 6. 03 ® Travis Bartlett, 7. 93 Steve Wood
Group Time Trials: 1. 18 Andrew Schartner – 18.785, 2. 27 David LaTulip – 18.792, 3. 1 Anthony Losurdo – 18.806, 4. 50 Dave Cliff – 18.830, 5. 04 Mike Bruce – 18.834, 6. 90 Greg O’Connor – 18.882, 7. 88 Brad Haynes – 18.935, 8. 02 Russ Bartlett – 18.995, 9. 89 Tony Pisa – 19.033, 11. 77 Cameron Rowe – 19.242, 12. 03 ® Travis Bartlett – 19.289, 13. 26 Joshua Sokolic – 19.342, 14. 15 James Babcock – 19.694
2019 Pathfinder Bank SBS Track Champion: #1 Anthony Losurdo
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #88 Brad Haynes
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #26 Joshua Sokolic
White’s Car Care 4th Place Award: #1 Anthony Losurdo
Feature (20-laps): 1. 11 STEPHEN DUPHILY, 2. 06 Barry Kingsley, 3. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 4. 08 Dalton Doyle
Heat (8-laps): 1. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 2. 11 Stephen Duphily, 3. 06 Barry Kingsley, 4. 08 Dalton Doyle
350 Supermodified Track Champion: #1 Anthony Losurdo
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #11 Stephen Duphily
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #06 Barry Kingsley