Oswego, NY - An old saying floated in racing circles that the late Harry Caruso, co-founder of the Oswego Speedway, upped the ante in the local church collection plates each week to get an extra edge for good weather for Saturday nights. It seemed...
Oswego, NY - An old saying floated in racing circles that the late Harry Caruso, co-founder of the Oswego Speedway, upped the ante in the local church collection plates each week to get an extra edge for good weather for Saturday nights. It seemed to work for years. Harry must have looked down on the 50th anniversary race night August 12 and thrown in a lot more than change. Despite bad weather all around Oswego and several downpours, the rain stopped, and by 8pm, the track was dried and the racing went on as planned. An enormous crowd had gathered, with many former competitors in attendance. They came from miles around, waited patiently and were rewarded for their patience. Tim Gareau, a victim of several bad race nights, grabbed the lead in the Nice n Easy Grocery Shoppes super 45 from the start and never let go. Gareau survived several yellows and a red and fended off the advances of Todd Stowell, to take his 4th checkered of the season. Eddie Horne of Central Square, NY, won his first of the limited super season on the special night, while Tony White of Oswego, won his first-ever career win in the super stocks.
Gareau was elated as he emerged from his #5 in front of a cheering throng. He said, "I've got a good bunch of guys behind me and they stick with me. They're there every day of the week busting their butts trying to get this back to victory lane. I owe a lot to them for getting the car back for me. I want to thank all the fans for coming out. It was really nice to see this large crowd here tonight. I'd also like to thank the sponsors, Burger King, Sunshine Produce, Designs of Elegance, Otto's Cafe, Frans Riverfront Inn, Triple D Trucking, Duplessis Excavating, Overhead Door, Nana's Pizza Shack, Darcey's Collision and Trail of Terror."
Gareau, by virtue of his recent bad luck, sat on the outside of the front row beside Gary Syrell and immediately took over first. A yellow flew with only one lap in, with 4-5 cars involved and entering the pits, including Jerry Curran, Mike Douglas, Shannon Groves, Vern LaFave and Jen Chesbro. All restarted, but LaFave's 97 was not right and he repitted.
Gareau lengthened the gap between his car and the hard charging Jamie Letcher in second. Todd Stowell and Greg Furlong were challenging Letcher. A yellow and a red to follow came on lap 11. First for a spin by Howard Page, then a red for a six car melee which sent Doug Boisvert, Jamie Moore and Dave Trytek in on the hook. Mike Douglas, Brian Sweeney, Otto Sitterly, and Ray Graham were also pitside.
The race rhythm was interrupted again on lap 14 when Gary Syrell hit the foam. Gareau maintained his momentum on each restart despite some motor problems. "Tonight, I raced on seven cylinders most of the race. The motor was flat, it wasn't all there. I think I broke a valve spring and I raced the whole race like that. "
The lapped traffic began to provide a little cushion for the leader Gareau while Todd Stowell, who had moved into second on lap 12, chased the 5 while Letcher, Furlong, Bob Goutermout, Bob Bond and Joe Gosek chased him. Another yellow slowed things on lap 26 when Jerry Curran crashed in the back straight, putting the third place man in points ofn. Gareau continued to be the master while behind Stowell in second, Furlong and Letcher had a wheel to wheel battle going. Furlong finally took third from Letcher on lap 30.
On lap 38, Letcher, running one of his strongest races ever, and Bob Goutermout tangled off turn four as they raced for fourth. Goutermout was off on the hook after winning two straight features while Letcher was now at the back with only seven laps to go.
On that restart, a sliding Howard Page followed Goutermout into the front straight inner hub, but he was able to limp back into action. It was now Gareau, Stowell, Furlong, Bob Bond and Joe Gosek with Tim Devendorf and Dave Trytek moving up.
Gareau easily crossed the line in first and the large crowd showed their approval. Stowell, Furlong, Bond and Gosek completed the top five with Devendorf, Trytek, Shannon Groves, Jamie Letcher and Gary Morton, the top ten. Stowell, who also has had some bad luck while running up front of late, was more than slightly relieved to finish well. "We're real happy with our second place run. We've had a lot of terrible mechanical dnfs - overheating, front seal in the motor. And then we've had some incidents where we've gotten bumped and turned around and been in some racing accidents. It feels really good. We've run our seventeenth race in a row, and I've said I'd trade all those for a feature win, but you know, it just hasn't come Second to Timmy Gareau is good too. He's a top notch runner. I've got to thank my crew and sponsors - East Coast Bass Lake, Haun Welding, Colosse Cheese, Uptown Diner, Warren's Auto, Real Rock Radio 100.7 and all the rest.. I've just got to be patient the rest of the year and I think we'll get a feature."
Star Matteson once again sat on the pole for the limited super event, but as too often happens, a melee occurred just after the green dropped and then another. The first saw Jim Guyle and Dan Ferlito on the hook with Jeff Holbrook, Tim Falter, Matt Wheeler, Shawn Muldoon and Pitt Watson also involved.
A second jumble up front on the restart of the original start dominoed into an eight-car pile involving Shawn Muldoon, Craig Rayvals, John Ketchem, Tim Falter, Mike Gardner, Pitt Watson, Gregg Davis and Billy Izyk, among others. Things finally sorted out as Star Matteson renewed her quest to be the first female to win an Oswego feature and what a night to do it on. But, Eddie Horne was also looking for his first of the season and on lap 8 the duo approached a slower car. Horne used this opportunity to grab the lead from Matteson.
Horne would survive several more bunchings of the field before victory came however.
On lap 13, a flat tire sent J.J. Andrews around, putting Matteson, and now Mark Regan right on Horne's bumper. Regan, looking for a win to help his point cause, moved past Matteson and headed for Horne.
Lap 16 saw another red fall as the track was littered with limiteds in between 3 and 4. This time it was Watson, Falter, Ferlito and Wheeler replaying a previous incident.
Regan put the pedal down and pursued Horne with a vengeance while Jeff Holfbrook, Mr. Consistency Keith Gilliam, who leads the points again this season without a feature win to date, applied some pressure of their own. Lap 21 saw the last yellow drop when Bob Bogwicz, running in seventh tangled with J.J. Andrews. Both restarted in the rear with only five to go.
Regan's Front Door Tavern #69 was able to get alongside Horne in the waning laps after the restart, but to no avail. Horne crossed under the checkered in first while Regan, Holbrook, Gilliam and Russ Bartlett, who had maintained fifth or sixth for most of the event, topped the first five. Gregg Davis, Mike Gardner, Jack Patrick, Craig Rayvals and J.J. Andrews, many recovering from yellow fever, came in to complete the top ten.
Horne was a proud and animated winner in victory lane, "It's been a long day," he commented, . "I'm a little tired right now. Last time I was in victory lane, I mentioned my wife was pregnant. Today is my daughter's sixth month birthday, so this makes it special. This race is for Courtney. I drove my butt off to get here, to get by Star and to battle with Mark Regan. The crew did a great job. We've been struggling the past few weeks. We found a shock problem and fixed it. We were looking forward to tonight to see how the car was going to run. Thank you all for coming and Happy Anniversary Oswego."
In the super stock division, Tony White of Oswego went wire to wire to give his brother a nice birthday present. Three-time feature winner in 2000, Kelly Miller brought out the first and only caution of this event.
Lou LeVea was all over White's #4 from start to finish, but couldn't make the pass. Todd Smith, Dave Bock, Jim Cieri, Bill Moore and Miller completed the shorter-than-usual field finish.
White said of his 50th anniversary career-first win and his battle with LeVea, "I just went as fast as I could tonight to keep Lou LeVea behind me. I just got into the right groove. The car was awesome. The crew worked hard all week and it paid off."
NOTES...The 50th anniversary luncheon was well-attended and received from former track champions and Classic winners to the representatives of Governor Pataki's office to the Oswego Mayor, all on hand...The parade and Party in the Pits with a massive autograph session, dodged rain drops also, making it a perfect weekend....Canadian Wade Litt provided some fireworks for the crowd when he flipped his 87 on the back straight, sliding on his roll cage into the third turn foam. Litt, in his first non-winged appearance, was not hurt....Two more point races precede the annual Budweiser Classic weekend events, Sept. 1-3.
NICE N EASY GROCERY/LABATT BEER 50TH ANNIVERSARY RACE NIGHT SUMMARY:
SUPER STOCK HEAT 1: Tony White (4) 2. David Bock (85) 3. Lou LeVea (96) 4. Todd Smith (52) 5. Bill Moore (5) 6. Kelly Miller (8) 7. Jim Cieri (3) 8. Joe Miller (9)
SUPERSTOCK FEATURE (12)
1. Tony White (4) 2. Lou LeVea (96) 3. Todd Smith (52) 4. David Bock (85) 5. Jim Cieri (3) 6. Bill Moore (5) 7. Kelly Miller (8)
LIMITED HEAT #1: 1. Star Matteson (82) 2. Eddie Horne (98) 3. John Ketcham Jr (11) 4. Jeff Holbrook (70) 5. Jack Patrick (9) 6. Ed Watson Jr (42) 7. Jim Guyle (20) 8. Dan Stagnitta (28) 9. Jamie Bartlett (27) 10. Bob Andrews (50) 11. Mike Gardner (6)
LIMITED HEAT #2: 1. Bill Izyk (1) 2. Mark Regan (69) 3. Shawn Muldoon (80) 4. Russ Bartlett (26) 5. Matt Wheeler (97) 6. Tim Falter (71) 7. Andrew Noto (19) 8. Shawn Walker (68) 9. Jeff Bartlett (24) 10. Dennis Wheeler (96)
LIMITED HEAT #3: 1. Gregg Davis (89) 2. Craig Rayvals (94) 3. Keith Gilliam (87) 4. JJ Andrews (93) 5. Bob Bogwicz (99) 6. Steve Austin (66) 7. Chris Proud (3) 8. Dan Ferlito (55) 9. Mike Bocyck (51) 10. Chip Wood (5) 11. Tim Bartlett (25)
LIMITED CONSI: 1. Chris Proud (3) 2. Dan Ferlito (55) 3. Jim Guyle (20) 4. Bob Andrews (50) 5. Tim Bartlett (25) 6. Shawn Walker (68) 7. Jamie Bartlett (27) 8. Chip Wood (5) 9. Dan Stagnitta (28) 10. Jeff Bartlett (24) 11. Andrew Noto (19) 12. Mike Bocyck (51) 13. Mike Gardner (6)
LIMITED FEATURE (25):1. Eddie Horne (98) 2. Mark Regan (69) 3. Jeff Holbrook (70) 4. Keith Gilliam (87) 5. Russ Bartlett (26) 6. Gregg Davis (89) 7. Mike Gardner(6) 8. Jack Patrick (9) 9. Craig Rayvals (94) 10. JJ Andrews (93) 11. Tim Falter (71) 12. Shawn Walker (68) 13. Bob Bogwicz (99) 14. Steve Austin (66) 15. Jamie Bartlett (27) 16. Matt Wheeler (97) 17. Dan Ferlito (55) 18. Chris Proud (3) 19. Ed Watson Jr (42) 20. Tim Bartlett (25) 21. Bob Andrews (50) 22. Star Matteson (82) 23. Bill Izyk (1) 24. Jim Guyle (20) 25. John Ketcham Jr (11) 26. Shawn Muldoon (80)
SUPERMODIFIED HEAT #1: 1. Jamie Letcher (58) 2. Greg Furlong (72) 3. Jamie Moore (88) 4. Gary Syrell (08) 5. Dave Trytek (70) 6. Otto Sitterly (79) 7. Tim Proud (22) 8. Gary Morton (96) 9. Jennifer Chesbro (33) 10. Bill Peri (14) 11. Hal LaTulip (52)
SUPERMODIFIED HEAT #2: 1. Tim Gareau Jr (5) 2. Doug Boisvert (66) 3. Joe Gosek (00) 4. Gary Albritain (0) 5. Jerry Curran (24) 6. Ray Graham Jr (90) 7. Brian Sweeney(3) 8. Pat Lavery (99) 9. Dave Mazzoni (04) 10. Scott Eldred (01) 11. Wade Litt (87)
SUPERMODIFIED HEAT #3: 1. Todd Stowell (89) 2. Howard Page (18) 3. Bob Goutermout (77) 4. Bob Bond (25) 5. Tim Devendorf (76) 6. Vern LaFave (97) 7. Mike Douglas (23) 8. Shannon Groves (07) 9. Dan Soule (85) 10. Bill Sharkey (7)
SUPERMODIFIED CONSI: 1. Mike Douglas (23) 2. Brian Sweeney (3) 3. Gary Morton (96) 4. Shannon Groves (07) 5. Jennifer Chesbro (33) 6. Bill Sharkey (7) 7. Pat Lavery (99) 8. Dan Soule (85) 9. Tim Proud (22) 10. Bill Peri (14) 11. Hal LaTulip (52)
SUPERMODIFIED FEATURE (45): 1. Tim Gareau Jr (5) 2. Todd Stowell (89) 3. Greg Furlong (72) 4. Bob Bond (25) 5. Joe Gosek (00) 6. Tim Devendorf (76) 7. Dave Trytek (70) 8. Shannon Groves (07) 9. Jamie Letcher (58) 10. Gary Morton (96) 11. Howard Page (18) 12. Gary Syrell (08) 13. Bob Goutermout (77) 14. Vern LaFave (97) 15. Jennifer Chesbro (33) 16. Bill Sharkey (7) 17. Jerry Curran (24) 18. Doug Boisvert (66) 19. Jamie Moore (88) 20. Otto Sitterly (79) 21. Mike Douglas (23) 22. Ray Graham Jr (90) 23. Brian Sweeney (3) 24. Gary Albritain (0)