OSWEGO, NY (August 11, 2013) – Witnessing a first-time Supermodified winner at Oswego Speedway is always a special moment.
Saturday night’s JP Jeweler’s 50-lap Novelis Supermodified main event provided fans of the ‘Steel Palace’ that feeling for the second time this season, as Enfield, CT driver Shaun Gosselin led green to checkered holding off a hard charging Joe Gosek to collect his first career payday at Oswego Speedway.
While Gosselin circled the Speedway out front for all 50-laps, the victory was anything but easy, especially rebounding from a blown engine just one week ago in the $10,000 to win Mr. Novelis Supermodified.
Gosselin first had to outwit ‘The Hustler’ Michael Barnes through heavy lapped traffic past the halfway point of the race, endure two red flag periods, and make an incredible save after he and Barnes came together after a lap 43 restart.
The Gosselin/Barnes tangle with only seven laps to go dropped Barnes from the main event and gave Gosek the chance he needed to slip by Michael Muldoon on a late restart to give chase to Gosselin in the closing laps. But Gosselin was simply too strong leading Gosek, Muldoon, Dave Gruel, and Pat Lavery across the start/finish stripe.
Entering his fourth season in Supermodified contention, Gosselin was the 2012 Most Improved Driver, and becomes the 95th different Supermodified winner in the history of the Speedway and seventh this season in only nine races.
Story/Photo: Dan Kapuscinski
“I was just trying not to think about everything during the red flags,” said Gosselin in Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane. “I know it stinks when the person on the pole wins, but man that was awesome. The crew guys needed this more than anything. They have changed the motor the last two weeks and they have just been working their butts off. I just can’t believe it, this isn’t going to soak in for a while, this is crazy.”
Gosselin and Barnes put on a show in their battle for the lead through lapped traffic, routinely going three wide attempting to work their way through the pack. A red flag at lap 43 involving Tim Snyder, Tim Devendorf, Brian Sweeney, and Clayton Brewer III helped lessen the load on Gosselin late in the event.
“They (lapped cars) are running for position out there,” said Gosselin. “For the most part it was alright. I really don’t know what would have happened there at that first red flag, I really hate trying to pass the No. 02 car. I just hope it was a good show for the fans, that is why we are here.”
The lap 43 restart following the first red flag situation provided a last effort for Barnes to try and snag the lead. On lap 44 Barnes dove low on Gosselin into the first corner with the two cars coming together. Barnes would spin around and be collected by both Dan Connors Jr. and Brandon Bellinger, while Gosselin miraculously kept his car going in a broad slide to remain the leader.
“I saw him (Barnes) at the very last second and that is just the nature of this kind of racing with the inside hub rail,” said Gosselin. “I don’t know whose fault it was, if it was anyone’s fault, or if it was just one of those racing deals? But, I love racing with Mikey Barnes. I think he is a great driver, one of the best drivers out here. So, there are absolutely no complaints from me. It was just a racing deal.”
Gosselin and Barnes brought the 22-car Novelis Supermodified field to the Cam’s NY Pizzeria green flag on Saturday night with Gosselin gaining the edge right from the get-go in the No. 26 machine. Michael Muldoon, Dave Danzer, Tim Devendorf, and Brian Sweeney would check into line early on behind the race leaders.
Series point leader Otto Sitterly started deep in the pack in the No. 7 machine and developed issues early on with a rubbing right rear tire. Sitterly would make it around the Speedway for nearly two circuits before the right rear finally gave out coming out of turn four on lap 7 to bring out the first caution flag of the main event.
Sitterly’s car spun into a full 360 making a considerable impact with the outside main straight wall with the nose of the Nicotra Racing mount. The damage would be too much to continue, leaving Sitterly with a 21st place finish.
Unofficially, Sitterly’s incident will drop him out of the championship point lead, now seven markers behind Gosek.
On the restart Gosselin showed the way in front of Barnes, Muldoon, Danzer, Devendrof, Sweeney, Snyder, Connors, Bellinger, and Gosek.
At the drop of the green, with Sitterly out of the event, Gosek began to mount his charge first sliding by Bellinger then charging by Connors and Snyder in consecutive laps to move to seventh in the order.
As the laps ticked away with Gosselin, Barnes, Muldoon, Danzer, Devendorf, Sweeney, and Gosek showing the way, Gosselin and Barnes began to distance themselves a touch from the pack.
For several laps Barnes looked low on the Gosselin No. 26, never leaving the inside hub rail. However, for another week lapped traffic would play a key role in the battle for the lead.
On lap 25 Gosselin approached Lou LeVea Sr., Tony Steiner, and Brewer and for the next two circuits both Gosselin and Barnes put on a wild display, masterfully driving through traffic high and low, going three-wide on multiple occasions.
When it was all said and done, using the high side of the Speedway Gosselin was able to remain in the lead with Barnes trailing. Further back Muldoon and Danzer were also able to clear and in doing so put a considerable amount of distance now between themselves and Devendorf, Sweeney, and Gosek.
The front six would file back into line until lap 40 when lapped traffic would again arise as only 10-laps remained.
Barnes continued to try and work the low side of Gosselin in traffic, but Gosselin was able to keep his momentum rolling on the outside of the Speedway to clear traffic. Eventually, Gosselin would be locked in behind the lapped car of Bellinger, looking high and low to find a way by with Barnes chomping at the bit.
Fortunately for Gosselin another mishap would occur on lap 43 out of turn two that would wind up bringing out the first red flag of the night.
A slowing Snyder was tagged from behind by Lavery sending the No. 0 around collecting Devendorf, Sweeney, and Brewer. Muldoon, running third at the time, made a nice save in the No. 51 to slip by on the high side despite making contact with the outside wall.
Sweeney and Devendorf would be done for the day and Gosselin would be able to restart at the point with a clear track ahead.
On the restart Gosselin brought Barnes, Muldoon, Danzer, Gosek, Gruel, Connors, Lavery, and Bellinger to green with the front duo steaming out on their own.
Just one lap later Barnes found the bite he felt he needed coming out of turn four to the low side on Gosselin and as the two reached the first corner they would brush wheels. The momentum of the contact sent Barnes around and forced Gosselin into a wild broad slide through the first corner. Barnes was unable to keep going and was eventually tagged by Connors and Bellinger, ending their night. Gosselin however was somehow able to keep his car going, driving through the spin to continue on.
With the track blocked Gosek, Danzer, and Muldoon would also spin to avoid the accident. Danzer would go to the pit area while Gosek and Muldoon stayed on track to regain their positions.
With a massive shake up at the front of the field Gosselin would now have to hold off Muldoon, Gosek, Gruel, Lavery, Curran, and Danzer in search of his first career win.
On the restart Gosek quickly pounced on Muldoon to take the runner-up spot, but was unable to work over Gosselin in his bid for victory.
At the line it would be Gosselin, Gosek, Muldoon, Gruel, Lavery, Danzer, Curran, Snyder, LeVea Sr., and Brewer in the top ten.
“The car was good early and then it went away,” said Gosek. “We had a couple opportunities with some cautions, another wreck, and we end up second so it’s alright. Some of these guys are catching onto my move on the restarts there and Shaun kind of hung his tail high there going into one and that takes away that outside move that I got Michael with. Once Michael settles in low, I can run up on the outside, but Shaun didn’t do that.”
Muldoon managed to work his way through two accident scenes to save a third place finish in the No. 51.
“The car was really good for the first 44-laps, but the last six it was probably the worst car I have ever had,” said Muldoon. “We were almost stopped in that first accident and I got hit from behind and it kept the car going. I have to thank my sponsors Top Quality Construction, All Car Care Auto, Occhino Auto Sales, and Sandy’s Bumper Mart. I also want to thank all my crew and my dad for getting me here.”
Barnes, Gosselin, and Danzer went on to win Shell Shock Custom Helmet Paint heat race challenge victories.
Gosselin would be the Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer while Gosek took the Lighthouse Lanes Hard Charger Award.
A new Supermodified made its debut Saturday as the Four Sevens Motorsports Hawk Chassis No. 47 entered the Speedway with Bob Bond at the controls.
Bond ran the fastest laps in warm-ups with the car, hitting the 16.4 second range and then turned in the night’s fastest lap in the main event with a lap of 16.59. Bond pulled into the pit area with the car shortly after ending with a 16th place finish.
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To purchase tickets for the 2013 racing season call the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.
Saturday, August 10th, 2013
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night presented by JP Jewelers
Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Night presented by Bosco & Geers Food Market/Oswego County Federal Credit Union
Feature (50-laps): 1. 26-Shaun Gosselin, 2. 00-Joe Gosek, 3. 51-Michael Muldoon, 4. 50-David Gruel, 5. 22-Pat Lavery, 6. 52-Dave Danzer, 7. 24-Jerry Curran, 8. 0-Tim Snyder, 9. 66-Lou LeVea Sr, 10. 23-Clayton Brewer III, 11. 99-Michael Barnes, 12. 01-Dan Connors Jr, 13. 02-Brandon Bellinger, 14. 5-Tim Devendorf, 15. 3-Brian Sweeney, 16. 47-Bob Bond, 17. 07-Tony Steiner, 18. 56-Hal LaTulip, 19. 14-Joe Chillemi, 20. 21-Ray Graham, 21. 7-Otto Sitterly, 22. 44-Bobby Haynes Jr
Lighthouse Lanes ‘Hard Charger’: Joe Gosek
Lighthouse Lanes ‘Up & Comer’: Shaun Gosselin
1st Heat (12-laps/All Qualify): 1. 99 – Michael Barnes, 2. 51 – Michael Muldoon, 3. 02 – Brandon Bellinger, 4. 01 – Dan Connors Jr., 5. 22 – Pat Lavery, 6. 7 – Otto Sitterly, 7. 23 – Clayton Brewer III, 8. 83 – Lou LeVea Jr.
2nd Heat (12-laps/All Qualify): 1. 26 – Shaun Gosselin, 2. 3 – Brian Sweeney, 3. 0 – Tim Snyder, 4. 21 – Ray Graham, 5. 44 – Bobby Haynes, 6. 47 – Bob Bond, 7. 07 – Tony Steiner, 8. 66 – Lou LeVea Sr.
3rd Heat (12-laps/All Qualify): 1. 52 – Dave Danzer, 2. 24 – Jerry Curran, 3. 50 – Dave Gruel, 4. 5 – Tim Devendorf, 5. 00 – Joe Gosek, 6. 14 – Joe Chillemi, 7. 56 – Hal LaTulip