OSWEGO, NY – It was an evening of firsts at Oswego Speedway Saturday night with Mike Bruce getting the ball rolling in the Pathfiner Bank Small Block Super 30-lap Spring Championship presented by Best Western PLUS/Quality Inn and Suites and U-Pull U-Save Auto Parts.
The SBS Rookie of the Year in 2010, Bruce had gathered a total of 15 career top five finishes without a main event win heading into Saturday night, but that all changed with a daring high side pass of Mark Castiglia on lap 15 of the main event helping propel Bruce to his 16th career top five finish and most importantly his first career feature victory at the ‘Steel Palace.’
Driving the Bruce Racing, Woodchuck Saloon No. 22, Bruce joined Supermodified car owner Ken Locke as first time winners at the Speedway on Saturday night.
Following Bruce across the line in the top five were Casitglia, Dalton Doyle, Alex Hoag, and series point leader Andrew Schartner.
“I don’t know how to explain it, this car just works on the outside,” said Bruce in Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane. “We’ve got that Morrison power and this thing just sticks and goes, it is absolutely the best car I have ever had here at the Speedway. The first two weeks we always had a fast car, just seemed to always get in trouble. It’s been four years working for this; we’ve worked our butt off and finally got it. I can’t say thanks enough to Carlee Heagerty, all my sponsors including Woodchuck Saloon, my fans up in there in turn one that support me every week, FFB Race Chassis, Zink Shirts, Pile of Pits, Bruce Electric, Shane and George (Broadwell) up in the tower for sponsoring tonight, my whole family, and my crew, they bust their butts every week.”
Mike Bond, Jack Patrick, Steve Abt, JJ Andrews, and Kreig Heroth filled the top ten positions on Saturday.
A 25 car Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super field took the green Saturday night with Dennis Rupert and Doyle leading the field to the Cam’s Pizzeria start with Rupert gaining the edge in the No. 99.
Starting in the sixth position, Bruce drove his way to third by lap seven driving around Doyle for the third position into the third corner with Castiglia dogging Rupert for the point out in front.
Caution lights would wave at lap 13 for Tim Gareau, who climbed the wall on the back stretch, but was able to continue on.
The restart order showed Rupert as the leader with Castiglia, Bruce, Doyle, Andrews, Jon Tesoriero, Hoag, Patrick, Schartner, and Bond in the top ten.
Unfortunately for race leader Rupert, just after taking the green flag the No. 99 shot into the outside third turn foam with tremendous force, knocking him out of the event. No doubt, an issue on the No. 99 sent race leader Rupert into the outside wall as the racer carried straight into the barrier. Rupert quickly climbed from behind the wheel, but will once again have to repair the right front corner of his machine.
With Rupert’s No. 99 carted off on the hook, Castiglia would inherit the lead in the No. 69 and would have to fend off Bruce from the drop of the green.
However, another caution and eventual red would stop the field on lap 14 as the Bond No. 74 swapped ends in turn three collecting Greg O’Connor, Gareau, Jesse Bearup, Danny Abt, Cameron Black, and Kreig Heroth.
O’Connor, Black, and Gareau would be done for the evening as a result of the incident.
The field would try one more time for green racing with Castiglia showing the way in front of Bruce, Doyle, Andrews, and Hoag.
Just a circuit after the restart Bruce again marched to the top side of the Speedway wheeling the No. 22 out and around the No. 69 of Castiglia to snag the lead down the front stretch.
Just two laps later, series point leader Schartner took a page out of the Bruce handbook, joining the No. 22 on the top shelf going by both Tesoriero and Andrews to climb into the front five positions.
The new wider and softer tires seem to have opened the outside of the Speedway some for the SBS competitors and Jack Patrick would do the same driving by Tesoriero and Andrews for sixth in the No. 9 on lap 23 with Bond following suit for seventh in the No. 74.
With Bruce looking as though he would go on untouched to victory a final caution waved at lap 26 for Tesoriero, who found the inside hub rail in turn one driving the No. 47.
The 4-lap restart would allow Castiglia, Doyle, Hoag, Schartner, Patrick, Bond, Andrews, Steve Abt, and Heroth to knock on the door one more time.
However, when the green flag flew it continued to be all Bruce in the No. 22, flying to his first career Oswego victory ahead of Castiglia, Doyle, Hoag, and Schartner.
“We were battling back and forth there, congrats to him (Bruce),” said Castiglia. “We had a couple bumper tag moments, but with two to go he kind of washed up in three and I wish I was there to pounce on it, I think I would have had him but I just wasn’t close enough. Tough break, but second is good to me.”
Doyle came home third with the new Hawk Jr. Chassis Small Block Super as they continue to dial in that racer.
“We have been making gains little by little,” said Doyle. “Just some new car issues right now. It is really, really tight and it started off the feature tonight tight too. Bruce just went right around me on the outside and if I would have tried racing him we both would have ended up in the fence. So, I gave him the room. Seemed like the more the race went on the car got better, but I am happy with it.”
Bond, Doyle, and Patrick earned Shell Shock Custom Helmet Paint Heat Race Challenge wins on Saturday
Bruce went on to claim the Nice Price Auto Sales Up & Comer Award while also collecting the Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader Award.
The D&S Landscaping Hard Charger was Steve Abt.
The White Car Care 4th place Award went to Alex Hoag.
Cameron Black was the recipient of the Eagles Fan Club and Chris Nelson Insurance $100 Hot Spot Giveaway with his 22nd place finish.
Oswego Speedway returns to action Saturday, June 7 with the North Country Home Builders/Shea Concrete ‘Steel Palace’ ISMA Super Series. Racing begins at 6:30pm.
Saturday, May 31st, 2014
Presented by Best Western PLUS/Quality Inn and Suites and U-Pull U-Save Auto Parts
Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supers
Pathfinder Bank Small Block Super Main (30-laps): 1. 22 – MIKE BRUCE, 2. 69 – Mark Castiglia, 3.01 – Dalton Doyle, 4. 73 – Alex Hoag, 5. 18 – Andrew Schartner, 6. 74 – Mike Bond, 7. 9 – Jack Patrick, 8. 67 – Steve Abt, 9. 93 – JJ Andrews, 10. 04 – Kreig Heroth, 11. 8 – Josh Kerr, 12. 54 – Camden Proud, 13. 76 – Scott Shafer, 14. 27 – David LaTulip, 15. 47 – Jon Tesoriero, 16. 1 – Anthony Losurdo, 17. 57 – Danny Abt, 18. 02 – Jesse Bearup, 19. 98 – Jason Simmons, 20. 90 – Greg O’Connor, 21. 5 – Tim Gareau, 22. 23 – Cameron Black, 23. 99 – Dennis Rupert, 24. 91 – Barry Kingsley
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #67 Steve Abt
Nice Price Auto Sales Up & Comer: #22 Mike Bruce
Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader: #22 Mike Bruce
White’s Car Care 4th Place Award: #73 Alex Hoag
$100 Eagles Fan Club Hot Spot Giveaway: #23 Cameron Black
Heat #1 (10-laps, all qualify): 1. 74 – Mike Bond, 2. 99 – Dennis Rupert, 3. 22 – Mike Bruce, 4. 5 – Tim Gareau, 5. 73 – Alex Hoag, 6. 23 – Cameron Black, 7. 02 – Jesse Bearup, 8. 67 – Steve Abt, 9. 27 – David LaTulip
Heat #2 (10-laps, all qualify): 1. 01 – Dalton Doyle, 2. 93 – JJ Andrews, 3. 91 – Barry Kingsley, 4. 76 – Scott Shafer, 5. 18 – Andrew Schartner, 6. 90 – Greg O’Connor, 7. 8 – Josh Kerr, 8. 77 – Cameron Rowe
Heat #3 (10-laps, all qualify): 1. 9 – Jack Patrick, 2. 47 – Jon Tesoriero, 3. 54 – Camden Proud, 4. 69 – Mark Castiglia, 5. 1 – Anthony Losurdo, 6. 98 – Jason Simmons, 7. 04 – Kreig Heroth, 8. 57 – Danny Abt
-Oswego Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Bill Taylor, Oswego Speedway