AUDIO/RECAP: Schartner Crowned SBS Champ; Hanbury Takes RoC Sportsman Victory

Tom Baker Asphalt Modifieds, Audio, Featured, Northeast, Other Midgets, Sprints & Midgets, Supermodifieds 0 Comments

OSWEGO, N.Y. – Story/photo/audio by RaceChaser Senior Editor Tom Baker –

The 64th Annual Race of Champions at Oswego Speedway was scheduled as a two-day seven division event to be run on Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday’s weather didn’t cooperate, so race officials divided Sunday into two portions.

Sunday’s previously scheduled portion was completed early in the day, with Dave Danzer winning the Supermodified 75 and Chuck Hossfeld scoring his third victory in the 200-lap Modified race. The Super Stock class also ran their practice and qualifying, but their feature was scheduled to be run in the evening.

The pits and grandstands were cleared and the Small Block Supermodifieds, NEMA and NEMA Lite Midgets and RoC Sportsman joined the aforementioned Super Stocks to comprise the nightcap, or “part two” of the race card.  Practice got underway shortly before 8pm with temperatures around 50 degrees and a cold wind blowing off Lake Ontario.

First onto the “Fast 5/8 of a mile” were the NEMA Midgets for their 25-lap feature event.  Michael Barnes jumped off the pole position to take the early lead and immediately began to open up to a straightaway advantage by lap three.

Barnes, a many time Oswego winner in Supermodifieds and Small Block Supermodifieds, was after  his first NEMA Midget win.  The No. 9 of John Zych was running second with the 47 of NEMA hotshoe Randy Cabral in third through the first ten laps.

Zych closed in on leader Barnes as the second half of the race got underway but both of them were about to be assaulted by Cabral as the top three ran tight by lap 14.

On lap 15, Zych got by Barnes for the lead and Cabral followed him, shuffling “The Hustler” back to third.

As the leaders came to the checkered flag entering heavy traffic, Randy Cabral pinned leader Zych behind the lapped cars and got the win!  Zych finished second.  Barnes finished third.

The NEMA Lites feature was won by the No. 31 of Scott Bigelow, his third win of the season.  Brian Bigelow came across the line second followed by Matt Swanson, Randy Cabral and Logan Rayvals.

The Super Stocks were next on the card for their 75-lap feature event, and the win went to the No. 71 of Tim Gullo, who led flag to flag and survived a handful of caution flags to claim the win.  Jeff Goodwin finished in second, with Mike Nichols, Glenn Lippolis and R.J. Zacharias rounding out the top five finishers.

After three Small Block Supermodified heats, won by Jon Tesoriero, Jason Simmons and Michael Bruce, the RoC Sportsman hit the track for their 100-lap feature.

Ryan Beeman and Rusty Smith started in the front row in the 24 car field.  Beeman jumped out front as Smith immediately was passed by Jimmy Zacharias for second.  J-Zach wasted no time getting to the outside and shooting by Beeman for the lead off turn four as lap 3 went on the board.

Zacharias now led Smith, Beeman, Zack Curran and Jankowiak.  Curran pulled a quick move to take third from Beeman on lap 5.

Tony Hanbury, runnerup in the 200-lap Modified race run hours earlier today, was on the move in this Sportsman feature and charged to sixth by lap 7.   Just one lap later, he’d passed his way to fourth.

The top five at lap 10 read Zacharias, Smith, Curran, Hanbury and Jankowiak with Beeman and Mike Leaty following.

It was on lap 11 that the first yellow came out as Nick Morich in the No. 35 spun in turn three and got some of the infamous Oswego foam.  He restarted under his own power and rejoined the field.

After the restart, Smith chased Zacharias as both pulled away from Hanbury, who had now taken third.  Curran had Jankowiak after his fourth spot, with Mike Leaty charging forward in sixth.

The second caution came out on lap 22 when several cars tangled going into turn three and Tim Lewis ended up spun into the foam barriers.  Tommy Catalano, also involved, pitted for repairs to the front end of his No. 54.

Zacharias was still the leader with Smith right behind him.  Hanbury now had the leaders right in his grasp in third, while Curran and Jankowiak were also back in the game, racing in the top five as the field was now bunched up for the restart, which actually occurred on lap 28.

On lap 31 Jankowiak and Leaty both dove under and by the No 94 of Timmerman to take over fourth and fifth, respectively.  Smith was still knocking on the back bumper of Zacharias for the lead, but J-Zach was holding on nicely.

The top five were nose to tail out front, about a straightaway ahead of sixth place Timmerman on lap 40.  Zacharias was still running strong lap times, but Smith appeared even faster and Hanbury was becoming more and more aggressive from his third spot.

One lap later, Hanbury sent Zacharias up to the third groove with a divebomb move into turn three, and he also got by Smith for second.  Jankowiak followed through for third, with Smith and Leaty fourth and fifth now on lap 45.

Action continued to heat up as Jankowiak burst under Hanbury and the two began to battle back and forth while amazingly not losing ground to the leader, Zacharias.  Jankowiak took second just before the halfway mark, and suddenly…

Sixth place Ryan Beeman spun on the front stretch and Zacharias and Jankowiak tangled trying to get by him, causing damage to the No. 71 of Zacharias.

This turn of events among the frontrunners with 50 laps down left Hanbury in the lead with the No. 15 of Smith running second followed by Leaty, Curran and the No. 10 of Mike Fieblekorn.

Zacharias and Jankowiak were now at the back of the pack after making pit stops for repairs.

Hanbury was strong on the point, able to fend off Smith’s challenges.  They pulled away from Leaty in third with Fieblekorn and Curran sitting fourth and fifth.

Tommy Catalano spun coming out of turn four on lap 68, bringing out the yellow flag.  He went pitside for a look-over by his crew and returned to the race at the rear of the field.  Jankowiak went back the pits for some work as well, but was able to get back to the race before the green.

Lap 72 saw green flag action get back underway.  Hanbury opened up two car lengths over second place Smith in what was now looking like a two-car race.  Leaty was third but not able to stay with the top two cars.

Inside 25 laps from the finish, Fieblekorn started to draw in on third place Leaty.  It was a strong race for Fieblekorn, who was looking for his first podium finish in this race.

Timmerman was after the fifth spot from Curran as well, and he raced underneath the No. 94 on lap 83, taking nearly a full lap to complete the pass.  It was now Hanbury, Smith, Leaty, Fieblekorn and Timmerman in the top five with under 20 laps left.

Trouble continued to follow Tommy Catalano on lap 86 and he spun in turn three, bringing out another yellow flag.  The youngster decided to call it a night as he pulled nose-first into his pit.

When racing resumed, there were just 10 laps left.  Hanbury, Smith, Leaty, Fieblekorn and Timmerman still filled the first five spots.

That’s exactly how they finished, as the checkers waved o’er the Hanbury No. 21, giving Tony a first and second for a long day’s night.

Smith finished second, Leaty third, Fieblekorn fourth and Kevin Timmerman rounding out the top five.  Curran, Amy Catalano, Andy Lewis, Nick Cappilli and Zacharias finished came across the line sixth through tenth.

At 12:30am on Monday morning, the Small Block Supermodifieds (SBS) division rolled out for their 50-lap season finale’.

Andrew Schartner simply had to take the green flag to officially become the 2014 Oswego Speedway SBS Track Champion, an honor he had wanted badly for his Crow Motorsports No. 18 Team.

Jon Tesoriero and Rob Pullen got the race underway from the front row, but it lasted just a few seconds before Camden Proud brushed wheels with his “row-mate” Jesse Bearup, resulting in Bearup taking a trip into the first turn wall.  Proud kept going.

That set up a chain reaction which caught up both the No. 93 of J.J. Andrews and the No. 13 of Russ Brown along with the No. 22 of Mike Bruce. Andrews was able to restart but everyone else went off on the hook.

No laps were completed yet, and caution laps do not count in the Small Block Supermodified division.  Restarting single file, Tesoriero and Pullen ran fidrst and second with Proud, new champion Schartner, and Jack Patrick in the top five on lap one.

Knowing he now had the championship sewn up and was free to do what it took to win the race, Schartner wasted no time in unleashing all his No. 18 had, passing Proud for third on lap 1 and going by Pullen for second on lap 2.

Patrick went into turn three a little too hot and nearly dropped Pullen into the third turn outside wall, bringing out the first official yellow of the event.

Officials sent Patrick to the back of the pack with Pullen, while Tesoriero, Schartner and Proud would restart in the top three spots on lap 2.

Schartner wanted to test Tesoriero right away, charging to the outside going into turn three.  He stormed into the lead as the number “3” went up on the lap board and set sail.

The Charlotte, North Carolina racer wanted to finish his season the way he started it, with a victory, just like Dave Danzer had done in the Supermodified race earlier in the day.

With six laps complete, Schartner already had a straightaway lead.  Tesoriero was trying to fend back the challenges of about nine cars behind him, with Proud, Simmons and Anthony Losurdo rounding out the top five at the moment.

Jay Andrews brought out the caution flag on lap ten, and headed for the pits, out of the action.

Schartner took off on the restart, and Camden Proud squeezed his No. 54 under Tesoriero to take over second.  Tesoriero faded after that pass, falling back out of the top five.  Simmons was now third, Losurdo fourth and Kreig Heroth fifth.  Heroth and Losurdo were now in a battle for second place in the final points standings after Patrick’s earlier miscue.

Running the fastest laps of the entire SBS day, Schartner was over a straightaway out front and gaining steam as the race hit lap 20.  Proud, a 15-year-old High School Sophomore in his first season of racing at Oswego, was doing a fantastic job in second but he had his hands full of veteran Jason Simmons, who was making him work to stay there.

Veteran Mike Bond, driving a different Four Sevens Motorsports car than the one he normally races, was on the march from deep in the field.  Bond took fifth on lap 24 and got by Losurdo the next lap, sending Losurdo back to fifth.

Schartner was all by himself on the track, having things his way as the lap counter hit 30.  With just 20 laps left, it was apparent that nobody was going to catch “JetRacer18” without a caution.

Meanwhile, Simmons tried lap after lap to get under Proud going into turn three, only to be rebuked sternly. Proud had the speed to drive in deep enough to keep the No 98 behind him, and he was using every bit of his No. 54 to do it.

Bond ran fourth and Losurdo was hanging on to fifth.

By the time there were just ten laps left, Schartner’s lead was now 5.6 seconds and growing.

Proud’s determined run ended up in a cloud of smoke as something suddenly let go in the motor on the No. 54 and he spun out in turn four on lap 44, giving the rest of the field one last shot at the champion for the win.

It was not to be on this night.  Once the green flag flew for the final six laps, Schartner was gone.

As the checkered flag waved just after 1am on Monday morning for the final time in the 2014 Oswego Speedway season, Andrew Schartner had accomplished everything he’d set out to do in the Small Block Supermodified division.

In four years, he had won two Small Block Classics, three straight Race of Champions wins, A Mr. Small Block Supermodified win, a Tony White Memorial win and now he had secured the ultimate accomplishment for his team – the Track Championship.

Simmons, Bond, Heroth and Losurdo rounded out the top five.

After over 18 hours of practice and racing action across seven different divisions of racing, the 64th Annual Sunoco Race of Champions weekend saw its final curtain call.  With it came the conclusion of a most exciting Oswego Speedway racing season.

The echoes of “The Steel Palace” would now fall silent until the Spring of 2015, when the hallowed gates once again are opened and a new chapter in its’ storied rich history is written.

AUDIO with Andrew Schartner, 2014 RoC SBS Winner and Oswego Speedway Track Champion!

120417_004

AUDIO with Anthony Losurdo, fifth place finisher and 3rd in Oswego Speedway points

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *