OSWEGO, N.Y. – Story By Race Chaser Online Senior Editor Tom Baker – Audio/Photo By RaceChaser Online Associate Editor Kyle Magda –
The 2015 Bud Light Small Block Supermodified Classic promised to be a hotly contested affair, with several former winners starting toward the front of the field, and a competitive field of cars throughout.
Fastest qualifier Dalton Doyle and defending SBS track champion Andrew Schartner started in the front row.
The 18 of Schartner outdrew Doyle at the start and took the early lead. Doyle, Dave Cliff, Mike Bond and Alex Hoag fell in line in that order. Russ Brown, a two-time SBS Classic Champion, settled into sixth place
The top four broke away from the pack through the first ten laps of the event until lap 10 when Jack Patrick slowed and failed to make it into the third turn pit entrance, necessitating the caution. Schartner, Doyle, Clif, Bond and Brown were the top five, as Brown had just passed Hoag prior to the yellow flag.
For Schartner, who travels north to the Lake Ontario shoreline to race at Oswego each week from Charlotte, North Carolina, winning this race would be his first trip this year to victory lane after winning the track championship last year, so he had a little extra motivation. Third place Dave Cliff had something unique to race for as well, as he was running both the SBS Classic and Sunday’s International Classic 200 for the Supermodifieds, giving him a chance at a weekend sweep.
When green flag racing resumed, Doyle began working hard to get by leader Schartner on the bottom, but the No. 18 was strong going into turn three on the outside and was able to power back out front every time as the top five remained the same.
The pack settled in for a green flag run, and as the 20th lap was put to bed, the top five were still Schartner, Doyle, Cliff, Bond and Brown with Hoag, Barry Kingsley, Jason Simmons, Mike Bruce and Kreig Heroth rounding out the top 10.
The second Yellow of the event came when Mike Bruce spun the No. 04 of Kreig Heroth on the backstretch on lap 24. Heroth was able to continue.
The top five remained the same, able to open up ground on sixth place Alex Hoag within a few laps after the restart. One driver showing some muscle around lap 31 was Tyler Shullick in the Four Sevens Motorsports No. 67. The Ohio racer moved into the top ten and began mounting a charge toward the front.
Anthony Losurdo fell off the pace with his No. 1 and pitted on lap 33.
A serious crash brought out the third yellow flag on lap 33. Third place Dave Cliff was racing underneath Russ Brown when his No. 50 either made contact with the No. 13 or perhaps something broke but he shot into the outside foam barrier, putting him out for the night. Brown took third position for the restart behind Schartner and Doyle.
The ensuring restart saw Tyler Shullick make contact with the No. 98 of Jason Simmons, causing the no. 98 of Simmons to spin into the turn one outside foam barrier. He drove away, but would have to start at the tail after a pit stop to see about repairs.
Doyle and Brown started to really pressure Schartner with 36 laps down as they pulled away from fourth place Mike Bond. Doyle was using both inside and outside but Schartner was running a steady groove.
A quick yellow on lap 41 for Alex McRae’s spin in turn three slowed the pace momentarily as Schartner continued to set the pace.
Doyle was trying to grab the lead from the fast No. 18 but he had to be careful because Russ Brown was working hard on him for second. Bond ran fourth until lap 48 when he suddenly slowed and took his No. 74 to the pits.
When lap 50 went up on the board, Brown got alongside second place Doyle but Doyle powered back ahead as the pair entered turn one.
Two laps later the 24 of Dennis Richmond spun up against the wall in turn three. He was able to restart at the tail of the field.
The power trio of Schartner, Doyle and Brown sped off on the ensuing restart, with Brown finally getting to the inside of Dalton Doyle and taking second on lap 54. Now it was “teacher versus student” as “mentor” Brown set sail after “mentee” Schartner.
“Brownie” hardly had a chance to think about setting Schartner up because Mike Bruce ended up sideways on lap 55 in turn two, and then restarted and proceeded to race up the track and gesture to the No. 86 of Bryan Haynes, apparently feeling like Haynes had contributed to his spin. He then dropped to the tail of the field for the restart as cooler heads prevailed, at least for the time being.
Now, with 20 laps left, the No .18 of Schartner was going to have his hands full of Russ Brown for the restart. He’d been there before, having held Brown off to win this event in 2013.
The race went caution again on lap 63 as several cars got together on the back straightaway but all of them drove away.
Kreig Heroth was moving through the field prior to the caution, advancing to 7th and the No. 86 of Bryan Haynes was running a strong fifth place in his first 2015 start.
Schartner and Brown continued to battle for first with ten to go, with Doyle third, Hoag fourth and Haynes fifth.
Then, on lap 67, the race’s whole complexion changed.
Brown got a run on the inside of Schartner going down the back straightaway, and the two cars raced into turns three and four side by side. The No. 13 of Brown got up into Schartner as the pair went through turn four and the pair went hard into the wall. Both drivers were uninjured, but Brown is done for the evening.
That left Dalton Doyle as the leader with nine laps to go, but under the yellow his left front tire went flat and he had to pit!
Suddenly, Alex Hoag, running a distant fourth just before the yellow, found himself in the lead for the restart with Bryan Haynes running second in his first appearance of the year!
Haynes ran second to Hoag on the restart, with Jeremy Pitcher third.
The yellow flags weren’t done yet, however, as Kreig Heroth, after such a strong charge to fourth place, spun into the inside hubrail in turn two and collected fifth place Josh Kerr in the process. Both were towed to the pits with no driver injuries.
With the drama continuing as contenders fell by the wayside, the top five for the restart with five laps left would be Hoag, Haynes, Pitcher, Mike Bruce, and defending race winner J.J. Andrews. Camden Proud was now in sixth, Dalton Doyle, after replacing the flat tire, was back up to seventh, Tyler Shullick eighth, Jason Simmons ninth and Dennis Richmond tenth.
Bruce shot up to third on the restart and blasted by Haynes to take over second on lap 73, quickly closing in on Hoag.
Enter race-changing event number two, as Bruce made contact with Hoag in turn one and spun him out on the last lap! Hoag made contact with the inside retaining wall and got towed out of the race, a tough break for a driver on the verge of his first Classic win.
Bruce got sent to the tail for his efforts.
Once again, we had a new leader…Bryan Haynes!
Haynes, a driver who no longer is able to race weekly at Oswego due to his work commitments out of state, was on the verge of pulling off one of the most stunning upsets in the history of this event!
A “green/Checkered” was on deck.
But as soon as we saw the green flag, we went right back to yellow as Dalton Doyle, J.J. Andrews, Alex McRae and Camden Proud all gathered up in turn one.
This changed the top five once again, aSecos Haynes now led Pitcher, Shullick, Simmons and Dennis Richmond.
And then there was the checkered flag…and BRYAN HAYNES got the win!
The Mexico, New York born racer was now living and working in Maryland, and thus could not race weekly. He brought the car out for the Classic and survived a race that did not seem to want to end, garnering the biggest win of his career.
Pitcher finished second, the 19-year-old SBS rookie Shullick scored third (giving him the rookie of the race award), Simmons fourth and Richmond fifth.
15-year-old rookie Alex McRae crossed the line in sixth, Bruce finished seventh and Doyle, Andrews and Hoag rounded out the top ten.
AUDIO INTERVIEWS – Just click on the link to listen!
WINNER Bryan Haynes
Second Place Jeremy Pitcher
Third place Tyler Shullick
SBS (Small Block Supers) Heat winners (from Friday night): Jason Simmons, Kreig Heroth, Anthony Losurdo
SBS Consi winner – Josh Kerr
SBS Feature finish – Bryan Haynes 86, Jeremy Pitcher 97, Tyler Shullick 67, Jason Simmons 98, Dennis Richmond 24, Alex McRae 14, Mike Bruce 22, Dalton Doyle 01, Jay Andrews 93, Alex Hoag 7, Camden Proud 54, Kreig Heroth 04, Josh Kerr 8, Andrew Schartner 18, Russ Brown 13, Mike Bond 74, Anthony Losurdo 1, Barry Kingsley 91, Mark Castiglia 69, Dave Cliff 50, Scott Schaefer 76, James Babcock 15, Chris Proud 3, Greg O’Conner 90, Jack Patrick 9.