Oswego report 2001-08-25

Furlong Wins Final Night And Second Championship; Jack Patrick And Doug Reaume In First Time Feature Wins While Mark Regan Champion In Limiteds; Levea Repeats As Super Stock Champ; Billy Couell Takes Cup Lite 35 Oswego, NY - Oswego Speedway ...

Furlong Wins Final Night And Second Championship; Jack Patrick And Doug Reaume In First Time Feature Wins While Mark Regan Champion In Limiteds; Levea Repeats As Super Stock Champ; Billy Couell Takes Cup Lite 35

Oswego, NY - Oswego Speedway crowned three champions Saturday night on Burke's Home Centers night, two of them repeaters - Greg Furlong (supers) and Lou LeVea(super stocks) and one a persistent contender for ten years - limited super driver Mark Regan. Feature wins went to Furlong, and first-timers Jack Patrick and Doug Reaume. Orchard Park's Billy Couell took home the Cup Lite main on the last regular night of racing at the Big O before Budweiser Classic weekend, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1st and 2nd.

Greg Furlong took the lead from a hard charging Tim Snyder on lap 30 as the duo diced with a lap car, and went on to his fifth win of the season, capping his second straight championship. Furlong, concentrating now on an unprecedented third straight Classic, said in victory lane, "I really feel bad for Timmy Snyder. If that lap car wasn't there I think Timmy would have won tonight. I was giving him all I had and I could not pass him. If it weren't for lapped traffic, I don't think I would have. After lap 35 they put the lap cars back and I think he would have won had he been out there. Our car was really tight at the beginning and at the end it started to really loosen up. It was really fast. Our other car is our primary car and we're running that in Classic. This car is the one we've started at the back and won with. We had some trouble with this car. The crew did a great job to tighten it up. My crew won me this championship. They work ten times harder than I do. It's them. They are the reason I win races and the championship. I owe to them and without them I couldn't do it." As to a record third straight Classic win? "I think I can do it. There is so much that goes into it.

There's a lot of luck you have to worry about too. Our other car is our primary car. It's a little bit better than this one. I hope we come next week with the best car we can have. If we can come with the same car we've had the last two years I think we have a good chance. Unfortunately, you can't predict everything else, so if it goes the way we want it to I think we'll have a shot. Hopefully, we can do what we did last year."

Snyder, who had taken the early lead from the outside of the front row, was bound and determined to get one this year. He survived cautions on lap 7 for a minor spin by Gary Syrell and another more damaging one for the Devendorf 20 on lap 12, and kept the pack behind him each time. Bob Bond, Greg Furlong, Mike Ordway and Joe Gosek were among the contenders chasing Snyder.

A lap 19 yellow flew for Shannon Groves, who went to the rear.

With the field bunched behind, Snyder had Furlong and Mike Ordway laying in wait to nab him, but Ordway and Furlong were fighting each other too, so Snyder's lead was safe for the moment. A brush with Furlong out back, however, broke something in the brakes on the Ordway 61 and on lap 25 he came in. "I felt the tap," said Mike, "and when I came into three, I hit the brakes and the pedal went to the floor. It was time to come in."

Now Snyder had Furlong back there and as they approached a lap car, Snyder got bogged and Furlong went by. it was all his race now.

Greg put a few lap cars in between as Snyder, Bond, Gosek, Goutermout and Trytek diced for position behind.

A lap 36 yellow changed things a might as Gary Syrell was into the wall in turn one after a sandwich attempt by Goutermout and Bond. Said Goutermout after finishing the race fifth, "In one piece again! We got what we were after getting ready for next week. The longer we went, the better we got. I kind of hoped we wouldn't have as many cautions, and it might have got better. We're real happy with the way the night went. I hated to see Gary (Syrell) wreck. I thought I was fully by and I don't know if he didn't have enough room to move up but I couldn't see it. We should have been able to go three wide there."

As is the rule at Oswego, the last ten laps are run with the lap cars put to the rear. This gave Snyder, Gosek, Goutermout and Trytek a chance at the leader one more round. The man on the move was Gosek in the Holbrook 35 which he will also drive for Classic. Gosek moved up to second on lap 37, but Furlong was not about to give an inch. Gosek chased him down but Greg hit the checkered with room to spare. Gosek, Snyder, Bond and Goutermout finished in the top five. Gosek was very pleased with his first-time run. "We're happy with second. The guys worked hard and the car was really good for our first time. It was consistent from start to finish. We picked those guys off and some of the inexperienced ones would get a little loose, but it was a good clean race all in all. We had a good race car and we didn't really want to play with it too much because we didn't know what it was going to do in a feature race. I think we were as quick as Greg at the end, but he was driving the wheels off the thing. We had a good run, and if we had a little more lap traffic, we could have given Greg a better run. It was still a little loose, who's to say. It's over and he won. This is a good, solid race car so far. We'll see what it brings next week. It was tight at the beginning and that's what you need for 200 laps."

Snyder was a little disappointed with third. "Third was good, but we expected a little bit better. We got held up by a lap car. But, that's racing. The guys have been doing a lot of work. We got the engine back late last night and they worked late and all this morning. So, hopefully everything is all right for next week. This is a good way to finish off the season."

And, Bond, who had just notched his sixth top five finish to date, said, "The car was pretty good at the beginning and at the end it got a little loose. The longer we went the slower we got. We'll take fourth. The car's in one piece and we'll be back next week."

The limited super title was the closest race going into the night with Bob Rundell just 45 points behind Mark Regan. The drama intensified in the third limited heat, however, when a very scary accident at the checkered saw Rundell go up and over another car and ride the front straight wall landing upside down. He was fine, but his car was gone. He and J.J. Andrews, who was underneath Rundell, gained rides for the consi, with Rundell just qualifying the Davis 90 for a last place starting spot in the feature.

Mike Bond and Jack Patrick tossed the lead back and forth for the first five laps of the limited event while two yellows flew for Eddie Horne at first and Matt Wheeler and Guard Nearbin in the second. A third yellow fell on this restart for the 00 of Kapuscinski.

Bond took off with the lead finally with Shawn Walker getting by Patrick for second. John Ketcham and Gregg Davis rode in the top five.

On lap 11 the leaders collided sending Bond into the foam followed by Dan Ferlito, Russ Brown, Chris Proud, Davis and Walker. Hooks came out for Proud, Bond, and Brown, while Davis and Ferlito got their spots back, Walker went to the rear.

Patrick was now the leader with the demise of the front two and he was headed for his first-ever win. First John Ketcham gave him a run for it, but Shawn Muldoon got by Ketcham, who would end up in smoke on lap 20, and he gave him fits until the finish. Davis joined the front runners in the challenge game while Dan Ferlito and Mark Regan, who was riding just where he wanted to, were top five. Regan, the last surviving driver from the inception of the limited division in 1992, was out for his first championship. A signal that Rundell, who had gotten into the top ten with the Davis 90, had left the track with a broken axle, gave Regan the confidence to try to move up one, but the move never materialized as the race finished under green the last six laps. Jack Patrick had his first win and Regan his first championship, as the checkered flew. Muldoon, Davis and Ferlito were in between.

Said Patrick after garnering his first-ever, "I have been waiting for this for six years. It's been a long while. I still can't believe it. I'm tired. It was a long race...too many cautions. I knew Shawn was there. I wanted to keep the car down low and it worked out. It's about time. The year has been tough. We've been struggling and we've had a lot of bad luck. We've had four heat wins in a row. The car has been fast all year long. It's about time we got our break. I was lucky to make it through that one accident that happened in front of me tonight. Shawn was nipping to let me know he was there, but I think I could have held him off a few more laps. Shawn's good and I give him credit for racing me clean."

In the Regan pits afterwards, champagne bubbled, balloons flew and cake was passed out in celebration. Said a subdued Regan after finally accomplishing his goal, "Ten years. I didn't think it would happen and it finally did. It only took ten years. That wasn't too bad. Maybe in another ten years we can do something else.We knew what we had to do tonight. Towards the end of the race tonight, Paul signalled that I already had it won and then I felt safe to try to move up. I was riding where I had to until then. As to next year, we'll see what happens over the winter. It's a long winter. We still have to finish three more NORA races and we're in the point lead there too. Maybe a double championship. This is great really. I've got nothing to loose going into the Limited Nationals now. "

A new winner took home the win in the super stocks as Doug Reaume of Syracuse, led flag to flag. He stayed out front through only two yellows holding off Erik Cupernall throughout. Bruce Long drove inside and out to get by Cupernall while Joe Miller battled his brother Kelly just behind. While Tony White, who had also tried his hand in the limiteds later than night, was fifth. At the checkered a very happy Reaume took the win with Cupernall, Bruce Long, Joe Miller and Kelly Miller were top five.

Said Reaume pointing to the grandstand in victory lane, "I had to do this for my sponsors, they told me they I wouldn't be getting any money next year if I didn't win. I can't believe. I looped over there and anything could have happened to the car, but it didn't. It's only my sixth race and we've tried to learn a little bit each time. Thanks to Wilbur-Duck Chevrolet from Oneida, DCR Floors, and the Carpet Man, Paul, Buck, Walter and Steve - they're up in the stands somewhere! Thanks. I can't believe this."

2001 champion Lou LeVea just had to start the event to clinch the title and he just barely made it. He came into victory lane to congratulate fellow competitor Reaume and commented, "This championship feels pretty good. We really had to work for it tonight. I just had to take the green in the feature and the water temperature was at 240 before the green even came out. The belts had come off the motor. And, then on the first lap the axle broke! I had no brakes, no gear oil in the rear end. I just wanted to make a couple laps for insurance. I plan on moving up to a limited next year and if this car doesn't sell, we'll race both."

The Cup Lites had a shaky start to their 35 lapper as yellow-red flew on the first lap. Glenn Attanasio took up the initial lead, but charging up quickly through the field was Billy Couell who put the fluorescent 17 into second on lap 5. Couell hounded Attanasio until he finally got by on lap 14, Dennis Tybor following him to put Couell in third.

Yellow flew on laps 26, 27, and 30 to bunch the field field tightly behind Couell, but Billy was up to the challenge. In the last five laps Tybor, and Shane Riffel menaced the 17 to no avail. Scott Wylie sat in fourth while Annatasio held onto fifth. And, that's the way they finished. Couell, who has not had a win this season, was like a new winner attempting a lopsided donut in front. "It was a hard fought battle," said Couell. "Those guys were all over me a couple times. These are momentum cars. You really have to keep your foot in it, or you get eaten up. We haven't won in a long time and this is kind of like a first time right now.. We tried to keep it on top toward the end there to keep people from sneaking by. I'd like to thank the crew and the sponsors."

-OS-

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