OSWEGO, NY — official release — Bill Taylor Photo –It took Jason Simmons seven years to win his first Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super main in 2013, now the lead driver of Team Tapout has victories in consecutive seasons after holding off Andrew Schartner on his way to victory Saturday night presented by Century 21 Galloway Realty and www.OswegoCountyToday.com.
Simmons started the 30-lap main from outside of the front row alongside his teammate Barry Kingsley, blasted to the early race lead, and held off championship point leader Schartner over the final ten laps to secure his second career Small Block Super main event win at the Speedway.
Kingsley, Kreig Heroth, and Jack Patrick completed the top five order at race’s end.
“We benefitted from a good starting spot because we have had such bad luck this year,” said Simmons in Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane. “We knew eventually we would have our night and I just cannot thank my guys enough. You know, I saw Andrew (Schartner) picking off cars one at a time and I saw him out there and he ran me clean. He is a great driver with a fast racecar and that is what this class is all about, it’s about having fun. I love this class, I love racing with these guys and I am just glad to be back in victory lane.”
Josh Kerr continued his stellar season with the No. 8 collecting a sixth place finish ahead of last week’s feature winner Anthony Losurdo in seventh. Cameron Rowe, Danny Abt, and Camden Proud finished the top ten.
Kingsley and Simmons brought the 23-car Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super field to the Cam’s Pizzeria green flag with Simmons gaining the edge on his teammate to lead the race’s first circuit.
By lap 5 Simmons had built a comfortable lead on teammate Kingsley with Schartner beginning to work through the field from back in 11th position in the No. 18.
Schartner managed to clear JJ Andrews, Heroth, and Steve Abt, all on the outside of the Speedway by lap 13 to move into the fourth spot trailing Simmons, Kingsley, and Mark Castiglia in the No. 69.
While it initially appeared as though Simmons may runaway and hide, Kingsley began to charge with the No. 91 and by halfway had closed back in on the back bumper of Simmons in a battle for the lead. However, on lap 15 caution lights would come on for a spun Alex Hoag in turn four, halting a potential bid for Kingsley to steal the point.
The restart order would show Simmons as the leader ahead of Kingsley, Castiglia, Schartner, Steve Abt, Heroth, Patrick, Andrews, Mike Bond, and Tim Gareau.
As green lights came back on, Schartner continued his high side assault on the field driving around Kinglsey for the runner-up spot down the front straight.
With Schartner trying to close on Simmons out front, yellow lights would come on again, this time for Mike Bruce and Cameron Black in the first corner on lap 19.
Bruce spun the No. 22 into the first corner and was clocked with tremendous force by a late arriving Black in the No. 23. Both drivers were ok, but their cars were hooked off the Speedway and done for the night in 21st and 22nd positions.
After clearing the incident Simmons would continue out front of Schartner, Kingsley, Castiglia, Abt, Heroth, Patrick, Bond, Andrews, and Gareau.
As they say, cautions breed cautions, and it was certainly the case Saturday night.
Just one lap later Castigla and Abt would tangle in the third corner sending the two across the race track in front of the entire field.
A hard charging pack from behind would send the No. 74 of Bond up and through the air over the top of the Heroth No. 04, the Abt No. 67, and eventually landing on top of the engine of the Castiglia No. 69 with a large impact.
After the wild ride both Bond and Castiglia were awake and alert at the scene, but each would be transported to Upstate Medical Center for further evaluation.
As of Sunday morning, Bond and Castiglia were released from Upstate and resting at home. Further information will be given as provided by their race teams.
Bond, Castiglia, and Gareau were the only three cars knocked out of the event due to the incident as Heroth and Abt were able to continue on, although Abt would end four laps down to the rest of the field.
The final restart of the night showed Simmons now leading Schartner, Kingsley, Heroth, Patrick, Andrews, Kerr, Rowe, Losurdo, and Danny Abt.
Simmons would manage to hold off a hard charging Schartner over the final ten circuits as Kerr and Losurdo each gained positions in the final ten laps.
Schartner, who continued to pad his series point lead, talked about his charge on the top of the race track.
“This 18 car must like the cold,” said Schartner. “The outside lane was working phenomenally tonight and the car was just working. When it’s working, it’s working and you can do no wrong. That long caution at the end there hurt us; I think we could have had something for Jason (Simmons) with the tires hot. He ran a heck of a race though, he did exactly what he needed to do, and there is no one more deserving of this win than him.”
Simmons’ Team Tapout teammate Barry Kingsley returned to the podium for the first time this season since finishing second to Schartner on opening night with the No. 91.
“The longer the run, the better we got, I could just get into a better rhythm as a driver,” said Kingsley. “We closed in on Jason but with the rash of cautions and restarts there I just couldn’t get going again. The car loosened up on me about halfway through and got worse as the race went on.”
Patrick, Castiglia, and Kingsley collected Shell Shock Custom Helmet Paint heat race challenge victories Saturday.
Kerr went on to claim the Nice Price Auto Sales Up & Comer Award with his fine sixth place finish.
Losurdo was the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger while Simmons took the Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader Award.
The White’s Car Care 4th place finisher was Heroth.
Oswego Speedway returns to action Saturday, June 21 with Novelis Supermodified Twin 35 features presented by Burke’s Do-It-Best Home Centers and Helena Chemical Company. Novelis Supermodified heat races will start the night of racing at 6:30pm.