Oswego, NY – The first two races at Oswego Speedway this year had not been kind to 3-time Pathfinder Bank SBS champion and the All-Time feature win leader Mike Bond. But affter finishing in 22nd at the Tony White Memorial on May 23rd after an early race incident, his luck was about to change. Bond, by virtue of his two bad finishes, was third on the starting grid at Saturday night’s Spring Championiship 30 lapper and it didn’t take long for him to turn around his dismal season to date. Bond won his heat and continued on to a dominating victory later that night, capturing his series leading 30th career main event.
Matt Magner and Mark Castiglia headed up the 22-car field of Small Block Supers with Bond and Dennis Rupert right behind. It was Castiglia in the lead after the first lap with Bond moving into second as the race began to sort out quickly.
A quick yellow fell on lap three for some track cleanup bunching the field behind Castiglia’s 69 but he held his front spot for the next two laps before losing it to Bond who had set his sites for the 69 and got by off turn three to take over the lead.
The second and last yellow which fell on lap 5 saw the 71 of Ray Sands Jr. and the 90 of Greg O’Connor hooked out of the action, with Castiglia also into the pits to end his night.
On this restart, Bond took off leaving the machines of Magner, Camden Proud, Mike Bruce, Kreig Heroth, Jack Patrick, Andrew Schartner, Dalton Doyle, Dave Cliff and Anthony Losurdo vying for top ten spots.
By lap 10, Bond was in another time zone out front while a two-way battle for second loomed between Magner and Proud behind. Then Bruce was holding off Heroth for third and a tremendous Patrick, Schartner, Doyle, Cliff and Losurdo war was being waged just behind that duo.
Things went green for the remainder of the event and Bond was untouchable the rest of the way but behind him things were heating up. Camden Proud had taken second just on lap 18, and Magner and Bruce now found Heroth, Patrick Schartner, Doyle, Cliff, Losurdo, Rupert and Jason Simmons still very much in the hunt.
Heroth looked to be the mover and on lap 20, with Bond out of view and Proud second, Heroth was trying to get by the third place-Magner machine at every turn while still watching for Bruce, Patrick, 2014 champ Schartner, Doyle, Cliff and Losurdo still in contention to move forward.
The action on the track was non-stop as the circuits wore away. With five laps to go in the torrid race, Bond had two lap cars in between his 74 and the next eleven cars that had closed up nose to tail in those waning laps take a spot or two from the drivers ahead of each of them. It was Proud in second with those five to go, trailed closely by Magner and Heroth, Bruce and Schartner, Patrick, Doyle, Cliff, Losurdo, who made up the top ten with, Rupert, Simmons and Andrews knocking on the door as the baker’s dozen.
Bond crossed under the checkers all alone with Proud second and Heroth trying valiantly trying to take the podium spot from Magner but to no avail. Heroth and Bruce settled in for top five positions with Schartner, Patrick, Doyle, Cliff, and Losurdo rounding out the top ten in the competitive event.
“It doesn’t get old winning, but it’s getting old working on the car,” said Bond. “The thing was running hot, so I didn’t know if we were going to finish the race or not? I was surprised we made it. I need to thank all my sponsors, my car owner Denise Merrill, my crew and all the FFB guys, and especially my wife for putting up with the countless hours I spent in the garage putting this car together.”
A runner-up finish for Proud provided a much needed confidence booster.
“We’ve been frustrated at the start of this year, but I have to thank all my guys for pushing through it,” said Proud. “This is what it is all about; I am living my dream out here every Saturday night. The car was pretty good, but the motor was breaking up some. Thanks to Matt (Magner) for running me so clean.”
Magner was happy to stand on the podium at races end.
“We were tight in the beginning, then loose there at the end. It was like a tale of three races,” said Magner. “It was great to follow Mike for a while. I was trying to follow what he was doing, but he ended up a straight away gone there, so I couldn’t learn anything after that.”
Shell Shock Custom Helmet Paint Heat Race Challenge victories went to Proud, Magner, and Bond.
The D&S Landscaping Hard Charger was JJ Andrews with Proud collecting the Nice Price Auto Sales Up and Comer Award.
The White’s Car Care 4th Place finisher was Heroth.
Bond went away with the Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader Award while Castiglia took the Bacc-Off Hard Luck Award.
Bond and Josh Kerr were also drawn as $50 bonus recipients in Memory of Rosemary Myers.
Pathfinder Bank SBS
Pathfinder Bank SBS (30-laps): 1. 74 – Mike Bond, 2. 54 – Camden Proud, 3. 87 – Matt Magner, 4. 04 – Kreig Heroth, 5. 22 – Mike Bruce, 6. 18 – Andrew Schartner, 7. 9 – Jack Patrick, 8. 01 – Dalton Doyle, 9. 50 – Dave Cliff, 10. 1 – Anthony Losurdo, 11. 99 – Dennis Rupert, 12. 98 – Jason Simmons, 13. 93 – JJ Andrews, 14. 76 – Scott Shafer, 15. 02 – Jesse Bearup, 16. 14 – Alex McRae, 17. 69 – Mark Castiglia, 18. 97 – Jeremy Pitcher, 19. 71 – Ray Sand Jr., 20. 90 – Greg O’Connor, 21. 28 – Shad Gates, 22. 91 – Barry Kingsley, 23. 07 – Justin Connell DNS
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #93 – JJ Andrews
Nice Price Auto Sales Up and Comer: #54 – Camden Proud
White’s Car Care 4th Place: #04 – Kreig Heroth
Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader: #74 – Mike Bond
Bacc-Off Hard Luck Award: #69 – Mark Castiglia
Heat #1 (10-laps): 1. 54 – Camden Proud, 2. 98 – Jason Simmonsm 3. 22 – Mike Bruce, 4. 69 – Mark Castiglia, 5. 76 – Scott Shafer, 6. 07 – Justin Connell, 7. 8 – Josh Kerr, 8. 90 – Greg O’Connor
Heat #2 (10-laps): 1. 87 – Matt Magner, 2. 9 – Jack Patrick, 3. 99 – Dennis Rupert, 4. 18 – Andrew Schartner, 5. 71 – Ray Sand Jr., 6. 1 – Anthony Losurdo, 7. 14 – Alex McRae, 8. 93 – JJ Andrews
Heat #3 (10-laps): 1. 74 – Mike Bond, 2. 50 – Dave Cliff, 3. 01 – Dalton Doyle, 4. 04 – Kreig Heroth, 5. 97 – Jeremy Pitcher, 6. 02 – Jesse Bearup, 7. 28 – Shad Gates, 8. 91 – Barry Kingsley
-Oswego Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Oswego Speedway