OSWEGO, N.Y. – Just as he did a year ago, Russ Brown landed on top of the speed charts in pole qualifying for the Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super Bud Light Classic 75 at Oswego Speedway on Fast Friday.
Brown, driving the No. 13 Ralph’s Collision-Hedger Chassis, posted a best lap of 18.535 seconds (121.392 mph) around the five-eighths-mile oval to garner his second-consecutive fast time for the premier race for the limited class – a race he has won three times before (1998, 2005-2006).
After setting the track record of 18.504 seconds in last year’s Bud Light Classic qualifying session, Brown just missed resetting the all-time SBS mark, coming .031 of a second short but still all smiles after his run.
“This piece is bad fast,” Brown said. “We were actually just a tick off on our run … I actually feel like there was a little more in it.”
Brown’s Ray Hedger-owned machine is a different car than the one he raced to the track record last year.
“I’ll be honest with you, Ray got bored and built a brand new car,” Brown added with a laugh. “It’s the first time I’ve had a brand-new race car … every part and piece on this thing is new. I’m excited and I think we’re going to have a great shot to win the whole thing on Sunday.”
40-time SBS feature winner and four-time and defending SBS Classic champion Mike Bond was second-fastest in qualifying, posting a time of 18.630 seconds (120.773 mph) in the No. 74 Millenium Music-FFB Chassis machine.
Speedway PR director Camden Proud was third in the No. 54 Step One Creative-Proud Chassis entry, ahead of two-time SBS Classic champion Andrew Schartner, Jesse Bearup and Josh Kerr.
The top six qualifiers were then required to redraw for their final starting positions in Sunday’s field.
Following the top six redraw, the front three rows will line up with Bond on the pole, ahead of Brown, Proud, Schartner, Bearup and Kerr – meaning the only change was between the front row starters.
Positions seven through 10 on the grid were also locked in and were set straight-up on their qualifying times.
Rows four and five will feature Matt Magner, two-time defending track champion Dave Cliff, Greg O’Conner and third-generation racer Alex Hoag, whose grandfather was legendary modified driver Dutch Hoag.
The only major incident during time trials came when Tony Pisa got sideways off Turn 2 and slapped the outside wall with his No. 89 machine. Pisa climbed from the car unhurt, but his mount sustained considerable damage to the left side bodywork.
After qualifying, two semi-final heat races were held to set positions 11 through 22 on the grid.
Mike Bruce led the entirety of the first semi-final from the pole, despite a restart with three laps complete after Tyler Thompson spun entering Turn 3 and stalled to the inside of the track.
Dalton Doyle, Anthony Losurdo, Brad Haynes and Thompson completed the top five, with Cameron Black sneaking into the field as the final transfer.
In the second semi-final, Rob Pullen powered past early race leader Jack Patrick on lap nine of 12 and drove away down the stretch, scoring the first-ever victory for a crate motor in the SBS class at Oswego.
Those teams who have yet to secure a position on the starting grid through time trials and the semis will have one final chance to race their way in during the SBS Last Chance Showdown, scheduled for Sunday morning.
Full qualifying and semi-final results can be viewed on the next page…