OSWEGO, NY (June 30, 2013) – For some, RJ Caruso Tax & Accounting/C’s Farm Market & Beverage Center Night at Oswego Speedway was an evening to remember, for others it was an evening to forget.
Dave Danzer will no doubt recount the long Saturday night, which saw multiple red flags as well as off and on lighting issues, as a memorable and historic one at that as Danzer becomes the first driver in Oswego Supermodified history to win a non-wing main event in each of his first three years behind the wheel dating back to his rookie season in 2011.
Danzer started the 50-lap main event from the outside of the front row, stalking early leader Tim Devendorf for the race’s first 38 circuits.Eventually, Danzer was able to make a low side move out of turn four on lap 39 to take the lead, building a full straight away lead in short order.
With Danzer running away from the field, caution would wave at lap 44 for a spun Clayton Brewer III and Michael Muldoon.While under caution the lights covering the third and fourth corners of the 5/8 mile Speedway would flicker and fade for the third time in the main event, forcing race officials to call an early end to the night.
Danzer would go on to claim the 44-lap feature win, the third of his career and first of the season.
Danzer would earn an extra $151.00 for the victory from RJ Caruso Tax & Accounting in the memory of former Speedway employee Danny Quonce.
Devendorf held on for a career best second place finish ahead of Tim Snyder, Shaun Gosselin, and Dave Cliff.
Cliff impressed many in the Gnomey Racing No. 06 with his first career top five finish in a Supermodified on Saturday night.After suffering an early season set back with a crash in the third turn in May, the local family run team has made considerable gains as they look to continue their successful transition from SBS racing to Supermodified racing at the ‘Steel Palace.’
Danzer, who parks next to Devendorf in the pit area, was happy to race his Speedway neighbor down to the wire for the win.
“It’s definitely a weird night,” said Danzer in Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane.“The car was decent, it wasn’t very good, but Timmy (Devendorf) made me work hard for it.He ran a great race and was right in the groove where I needed to be.He just made one little mistake, drove in a little deep, and I just had to gas it up real quick and get alongside him on the front stretch.He’s a great guy, I love parking next to him, I wish he could win it but I’ll take it.”
Dave Gruel, Joe Gosek, Kody Graham, Muldoon, and Brewer would complete the top ten order.
Championship leaders Otto Sitterly and Michael Barnes finished the night in the middle of the field after becoming tangled coming down for a lap 20 restart while running 10th and 11th in the line-up.As the field filed into the third turn looking for green, Sitterly was suddenly facing the wrong direction with Barnes sliding quickly to the outside wall in the No. 99.Barnes would make heavy contact with the outside foam, collecting Jerry Curran along with him.
All three cars would require a hook off the Speedway, as Sitterly also found the outside wall with the No. 7.Barnes ended the night in 16th while Sitterly was able to salvage a few more laps on the Speedway to come home 14th.
A full field of 24 Novelis Supermodifieds was in the pit area Saturday night, but only 21 would take the night’s main event green flag as a few cars ran into issues prior to feature time.
The most spectacular event of the night, and perhaps in recent memory, happened during the evening’s second qualifying heat between Brian Sweeney and the Muldoon No. 51.
Sweeney suddenly darted across the Speedway from his pole position starting spot as the field came to green collecting Muldoon, sending the No. 51 high in the air into the upper front stretch catch fencing right near the start/finish line.Muldoon would then pirouette several times in mid-air, including once landing back on top of Sweeney’s No. 3, before both finally came to a stop in the first turn.
Both drivers quickly climbed out from behind the wheel of their crumpled machines without injury.However, both cars would be done for the evening.
Muldoon’s team would hustle back to Baldwinsville, NY and return with their back-up No. 20 Supermodified, which Muldoon would use to start the main event on his way to a ninth place finish.Being that Muldoon started the feature in a different racecar his owner points, which are used to calculate the Speedway’s championship purse, would go to the No. 20 and not the No. 51.
After showing good speed in early hot laps, Jeff Holbrook ran into issues during his qualifying heat, spinning into the third corner after laying down a tremendous amount of fuel onto the racing surface.The Holbrook No. 35 would be done for the evening.
The third and final racecar not to take the green flag Saturday night would be Brandon Bellinger.Bellinger was pushed off and ready for the feature, but while scuffing his tires in the No. 02, Bellinger met the inside hub rail in turn two ending his night after earning a qualifying heat win earlier in the evening.
More trouble would hit the Speedway before the green flag could be waved as eventual feature winner Danzer was stopped on the front stretch for yet another fuel leak.Danzer would actually be sent to the pit area for repairs and while in the pits the third and fourth turn lights would go out for the first time in the Supermodified main, forcing all cars to be stopped on the Speedway.
The first of three lighting issues during the Supermodified main would save Danzer’s bid for victory, as it allowed time to make repairs to the No. 52, with Danzer able to retain his front row starting spot.Being that the field was still at idle, and never called into an official line-up on the Speedway into rows of two, the Danzer No. 52 was granted his starting position back on the race track once the lighting issue was resolved.
With all of this said, Devendorf and Danzer would bring the 21-car Novelis Supermodified field to the Cam’s NY Pizzeria green flag on Saturday night with Devendorf charging to the early lead in the No. 5.
Devendorf, Danzer, and Pat Lavery would hook up in a trio and slide away from the field early on with Snyder, Dan Connors Jr., Gosselin, Gruel, Cliff, and Gosek all giving chase behind.
Gruel would be on a charge early on in the No. 50, first driving by Gosselinto move to sixth, then moving to the outside of Connors on lap 13 to move into the top five positions as he quickly drove to the back bumper of the Snyder No. 0.
Meanwhile up front, Devendorf and Danzer had put some distance on Lavery in third by lap 18 with Devendorf suddenly appearing to pick up a push with his racecar, showing Danzer the low line on several occasions.
On the 20th circuit, Danzer would actually dart to the low side of Devendorf to snag the lead out of the fourth corner, but before the lap could be fully completed Gruel would spin in the first corner trying to dive underneath Snyder for position.
Gruel’s hard charge would come to a temporary halt as he moved to the inside of Snyder, but found the back of the lapped Lou LeVea Sr. machine, forcing Gruel around and sending him to the tail side of the field.
The restart order would show Devendorf, Danzer, Lavery, Snyder, Connors, Gosselin, Cliff, Gosek, Graham, and Sitterly as the top ten.
But, before the field could come back to green another lighting issue would force a red flag, as once again the third and fourth corners went dark on the Speedway.
After a short delay, the field would try to drive back to green but heading into the third turn the Sitterly, Barnes, and Curran incident would develop once again slowing the field.
During this caution Graham would head to the pit area in the No. 21, but he would return.
With Graham and Sitterly now out of the top ten positions, the No. 23 of Brewer and the No. 83 of Lou LeVea Jr. would find themselves in the front ten.
As the field finally came back to green the Connors No. 01 began to fade somewhat as both Gosselin and Cliff were able to make high side moves around to move further up through the field.Gosselin was then able to make another high side move on Snyder to quickly charge to fourth on the grid in the No. 26, once again impressing.
On lap 27 Connors’ issues became terminal, as he pulled to the pit area, done for the evening.
Moving to lap 30 the field now ran in packs of two with Danzer applying heaving pressure to Devendorf for the race lead.Gosselin had managed to close on Lavery for third, while Cliff was battling Snyder hard for fifth.
Further back Gosek, who had an updated power plant under the hood of the No. 00, ran alone in seventh ahead of Gruel, Brewer, and Graham.
As the laps continued to tick away Devendorf was falling more and more into the clutches of Danzer, and on lap 39 as they charged into the fourth corner Devendorf slipped too far up the Speedway allowing Danzer to work low and take the top spot.
Danzer would then quickly pull away from the field leaving Devendorf alone in second ahead of a great battle between Lavery, Gosselin, Snyder, and Cliff behind.
Coming down to complete lap 44 however, Lavery suddenly slowed in the No. 22 jumbling the field and allowing Snyder to work high on Gosselin to go from fifth all the way to third in the No. 0, as Lavery pulled out of the event to the pit area.
Further back, Brewer and Muldoon would tangle to bring out the caution.
With Danzer leading Devendorf, Snyder, Gosselin, Cliff, Gruel, Gosek, Graham, Muldoon, and Brewer in the restart order, the lights would go out one more time ending a long night at the ‘Steel Palace’ with 44-laps in the books.
With a career best second place finish, Devendorf knew Danzer was with him throughout the race’s first 39-laps.
“I heard Dave (Danzer) behind me, I knew he was behind me,” said Devendorf.“He was working me over pretty good and I knew one slip up and he was going to get by me.My car started to get a little bit loose toward the end there and it was just enough to get me a little bit high there and I saw him under me, and he made a good clean pass.It’s a good win for Dave, it’s a good finish for me, and it’s my best finish up here.Couldn’t the lights have gone out a couple laps earlier while I was leading?But, hey that is the breaks and that is how it goes.”
After a tough start to his 2013 season, Snyder ended the night on the podium for his best finish of the season.
“We’re getting there,” said Snyder.“We don’t sit around all winter, we think about things, we change things and sometimes it sets you back some.We’ve been slowly creeping up on it, and it is easier to start up front.I have to thank my sponsors and all these guys standing behind us, the crew has been working their tails off.We have been trying to do these (Fast) Friday night deals to get this thing dialed in where we should be.”
Lavery, Bellinger, and Danzer would claim Shell Shock Custom Helmet Pain heat race challenge wins on Saturday.
Muldoon would go on to become the Lighthouse Lanes Hard Charger driving the No. 20, while Devendorf was the Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer on the night.
Feature (44-laps): 1. 52 – Dave Danzer, 2. 5 – Tim Devendorf, 3. 0 – Tim Snyder, 4. 26 – Shaun Gosselin, 5. 06 – Dave Cliff, 6. 50 – Dave Gruel, 7. 00 – Joe Gosek, 8. 21 – Kody Graham, 9. 20 – Michael Muldoon, 10. 23 – Clayton Brewer III, 11. 22 – Pat Lavery, 12. 66 – Lou LeVea Sr., 13. 83 – Lou LeVea Jr., 14. 7 – Otto Sitterly, 15. 01 – Dan Connors Jr., 16. 99 – Michael Barnes, 17. 24 – Jerry Curran, 18. 07 – Tony Steiner, 19. 56 – Hal LaTulip, 20. 98 – Stephen Gioia III, 21. 05 – Jeff Abold, 22. 02 – Brandon Bellinger DNS
Lighthouse Lanes ‘Hard Charger’: Michael Muldoon
Lighthouse Lanes ‘Up & Comer’: Tim Devendorf
PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Danzer – Bill Taylor Photo