The ‘Steel Palace’ could have been mistaken for a study hall Saturday night, as Oswego High School Buccaneer teenagers Anthony Losurdo and Camden Proud raced wheel to wheel in search of Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane in the Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super division.
Losurdo, a 16-year old graduate of quarter midget and go-kart racing, would win the battle, taking the lead from Proud on lap 21 of the 35-lap main to claim his first career victory at Oswego Speedway in only his second full season at the wheel of a Small Block Supermodified.
Proud, a 15-year old quarter midget graduate, chased Losurdo relentlessly to try and regain the lead, but slipped on the races final circuit dropping back to the third position behind Alex Hoag. Amazingly, Proud was contending in only his fourth main event at the Speedway, leading 20-laps from the pole position.
Joining Losurdo and Proud on the podium was 30-year old, third generation driver, Alex Hoag. The trio makes for the youngest podium finish in the Speedway’s history at only 61-years combined.
In 2012 David Danzer, Dan Connors, and Kody Graham finished in the top three in a Novelis Supermodified main with a combined age of just 63-years, the previous record.
Jack Patrick and series point leader Andrew Schartner would finish the top five positions in Saturday’s SBS main presented by North Country Home Builders and Shea Concrete.
For the second week in a row the Speedway would see a first time winner, and again Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane was overrun with emotion.
“This is unbelievable, I have been dreaming about this since I was four years old,” said Losurdo. “I knew Camden (Proud) had been fast all night, he is doing a heck of a job, and I knew I was faster because we reeled him in pretty quick. You have to take every chance you can get in these small blocks and I had a nose in there going into turn three and I just went for it. I knew we would have a chance but we have had such a terrible start to the season, but that gave us a good starting spot tonight and it worked out. I have to thank my sponsors Lighthouse Lanes, GS Steamers, Canale Insurance, Franco’s Pizza, the Front Door Tavern and especially Dan Dennie and everyone with FFB Race Chassis.”
Mike Bond, Steve Abt, Kreig Heroth, David LaTulip, and Jon Tesoriero completed the top ten finishers Saturday night.
Proud and Cameron Rowe led the 23-car field to the Cam’s Pizzeria green flag Saturday night with Proud jumping to the early lead in the No. 54.
Proud quickly jumped out to a comfortable margin, but the caution lights would come on right away for Barry Kingsley, Jason Simmons, and Tesoriero as they all came together in turn three.
Tesoriero would restart with the No. 47 but both Kingsley and Simmons were done for the night.
When the race went back to green Proud again charged away leaving Rowe, Danny Abt, Losurdo, Hoag, and Steve Abt to battle further behind.
By lap seven the Proud No. 54 was well in the lead, showing veteran skill and just one lap later the Rowe No. 77 would break off of turn four while running second and head to the pits, handing the runner-up position to the Abt No. 57.
With Proud charging away Losurdo began to turn up the wick in the No. 1 running third. On lap 16, Losurdo charged to the bottom of Abt into turn three for the second spot, and the race was now on for the lead as Losurdo began to reel in Proud at the head of the field.
In just four laps, 16-year old Losurdo had chased down 15-year old Proud, and on lap 21 ‘Hawk’ made the inside move on Proud into turn three to take the top spot.
With Losurdo in the lead some thought he may pull away and hide, but Proud would not let that happen, as the rookie drew back to the rear bumper of Losurdo’s machine for the remainder of the event in a terrific battle.
The race would slow three more times for incidents on lap 23 for Danny Abt, lap 27 for Josh Kerr, and lap 32 for Mike Bruce, slowing Losurdo’s aim at victory lane.
Of all three incidents only Bruce would end up pit side, leaving last week’s winner with a 15th place finish.
On the night’s final restart with only three laps remaining, Losurdo led Proud, Hoag, Patrick, Schartner, Bond, Steve Abt, Heroth, LaTulip, and Tesoriero to the green.
Losurdo gained a tremendous jump on the field at the restart with Proud trying to close ground in the final laps.
As the field came to the white flag Proud tried once more in the fourth corner but would break loose on exit. Proud made a tremendous save to keep the car going, but would surrender the second position to Hoag on the races final circuit.
With Hoag and Proud battling, Losurdo was free to run away to his first career Speedway victory.
Hoag, the son of Oswego Speedway Hall of Famer Dean Hoag, took second and continues his top ten streak at the Speedway.
“Anthony and Camden both ran a heck of a race for being as young as they are,” said Hoag. “I’m not used to being the old guy, but they both did a great job. I was going for it, Camden was going for it, we both got loose and he locked it up a little bit and that let me skate by him. I have to thank my wife, my dad, my in laws Bobby and Michelle, Ray Hedger, we are a very small family team and this is a lot of fun.”
In just his fourth career start at the Speedway, Proud came home with a strong third place finish.
“I was really nervous to start on the pole, this is only my fourth race here,” said Proud. “Anthony ran me really clean when he got by me down in three and on the last lap there I was going for it and it got sideways and Alex got me on the last lap. It made for a great show and I had fun for sure.”
Losurdo, Patrick, and Simmons collected Shell Shock Custom Helmet Paint heat race challenge victories Saturday.
Losurdo would also go on to claim the Nice Price Auto Sales Up & Comer Award.
Tesoriero was the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger while Proud took the Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader Award.
The White’s Car Care 4th place finisher was Patrick.
Oswego Speedway returns to action Saturday, June 14 for the first driver autograph night of the season presented by Century 21 Galloway Realty and www.oswegocountytoday.com. The autograph session will begin at 5:15pm with racing starting at 6:30pm.