Oswego Classic Saturday race summary

Oswego Budweiser Classic Saturday events find Timmy Jedrzejek in ISMA victory lane for first time in Super Nationals; Drew Fornoro back in the Midgets, Gregg Davis in Limited Super Nationals win and Frank Reakes winning the Super Stock ...

Oswego Budweiser Classic Saturday events find Timmy Jedrzejek in ISMA victory lane for first time in Super Nationals; Drew Fornoro back in the Midgets, Gregg Davis in Limited Super Nationals win and Frank Reakes winning the Super Stock Challenge.

Oswego, NY - Despite ominous forecasts earlier in the week, the prognostications changed and Saturday's race weather at Oswego Speedway was magnificent. So was the racing. A great field of cars and a large crowd filled the bill quite nicely to match the weather. Independence, Ohio's Tim Jedrzejek, whose supermodified race team lost their car owner Bill Kovacs recently, led the entire 50 laps of the ISMA Super Nationals to claim his first-ever Oswego win. Timmy J fought off the advances of ISMA point leader Russ Wood at race end. The pair each floored it coming off turn four of the last lap as a lap car approached, with Jedrzejek coming home the winner by a nose. The excitement of the $5,000 payday was dampened by the thought that their late car owner was not there too see the win.

Jedrzejek said in victory lane, " A lot of people said I could win and I'm here in ISMA victory lane. Our car owner, Bill Kovacs, just passed away a few weeks ago. I think we had a little help tonight. This one goes out to him! " He continued on to describe his wire-to-wire win, "I knew lap traffic was going to hurt me or help me tonight. Early on, I think it hurt me but at the end I think it's what prevented Russ Wood from getting by when I picked that lap car off and he was stuck on the bottom. I'll tell you when I crossed the line I wasn't sure who had it. I thought I had it by a couple inches off four and I knew no one was going to lift that's for sure. I was giving it everything I had there. We struggled a bit with the setup yesterday and I have to thank David May and Jim Mayfield. They totally changed the setup. Truthfully we were strong in the heat race, but we blistered the right rear tire and knew we weren't going to make the feature finish that way. So they made some changes while I went and sat down in the shade. The adjustments they made worked. The car was just perfect."

In turn Wood acknowledged the winner saying, "Those guys deserve to win. They've had a rough couple weeks, losing Bill. They can have this one tonight. Second definitely helps out the team with Joe not starting. We've been in a bit of a slump. We changed a motor yesterday. The guys did a heck of a job on that. I had a good car. It was close there at the end. I was getting loose. He was getting a little loose. I could see him right at the line. They just beat me. Maybe if I had a couple more laps we'd have got it. This helps me for tomorrow. I can get a good night's sleep. I have a good car for tomorrow and I hope to time trial well. I hope to be there at the end. There are a lot of tough cars, but we're looking forward to the Classic." Twenty eight of supermodified's finest winged drivers were set to take the green for the Super Nationals when Joe Gosek's 26 suddenly would not start. Gosek, whose car housed a brand new motor, said that water in the engine was found and it would not turn over. While the three-abreast winged super formation traversed the track on a wave lap, Gosek's team struggled to get the car going, but had to park it, leaving 27 to take the flag.

Timmy J, off the pole, grabbed the lead and never let go. Mark Sammut, Nokie Fornoro, Ken Bell and Lou Cicconi were early challengers.

Jedrzejek put the pedal down right from the start and was putting slower cars down by lap 14.

A yellow flag flew on lap 17 for the 49 of Pat Shullick who had tried to get into the pits with an ailing car but failed. Howie Page, John Payne and Jamie Letcher pitted here. Payne tried to make it back but couldn't complete but a few laps. Page and Letcher filed in at the tail.

Timmy J was off like a shot on the green with Fornoro getting a jump on Sammut who soon found himself behind Bell, Cicconi, and Russ Wood. Jedrzejek was in command at the halfway mark with Fornoro, Bell, Cicconi, Wood, Sammut, Dave McKnight, Jamie Timmons and Chris Perley strung out behind intermingled with lap cars that were victim's of the 77's onslaught. On lap 30, Sammut's fine run desisted and he would pit followed by Howie Page, who had arrived late at the track after working on the car's motor. On lap 35, Joey Payne exited the field while Timmy J still held a strong lead over Fornoro. Moving into third by this time was Wood who passed Bell in traffic. Bell said later, his car was good. We were fast. We just ran into lap traffic and didn't get the breaks. I screwed up a couple times and then Russell got by me in two when I went up and got in the loose stuff a little. I was quick when I was by myself. This is a momentum track. If you let up a little, the guy behind will blow by. But finishing fourth was better than the first time we were here. The guys did a heck of a job. They work real hard for me."

As the the Ohio driver saw the end nearing, Wood got by Fornoro and made a charge.

By lap 47, traffic was still a factor as Wood closed on Jedrzejek, running his heart out in and out of traffic. He was looking for his first ISMA win and something else besides.

On lap 48, the 77 skated a bit off turn four and Wood closed the gap to inches. On the last lap, Wood actually got by the leader for a brief time, but Timmy was able to get right back by. As the pair came off four, neither gave. Timmy J had his first win for the car owner who would never see it. Wood, Fornoro, Bell and Cicconi finished up the top five. Fornoro, in Brad Lichty's 84 for the first time, was pleased with his third place run to top off his brother Drew's first place in the midget main.

"This is great" said Nokie, choking on his words.. "My son and family are here. My son's been through a lot and he's doing excellent. I'd like to thank everyone who sent cards and letters of cheer to my son in his time of Hodgkins Disease and my wife for everything she's done. I wouldn't be standing here without her. She's my backbone. Thanks to Brad Lichty and the whole Patco crew for giving the opportunity to run this car. It's absolutely a fantastic car. We had a power steering leak and it got hard to steer past the fifteenth lap. But still it's such a baby carriage of a car and they are such a great team. I'd like to have another opportunity with them. It would have been nice to win with my brother Drew. I think I could have had a chance if I could have steered it, but hey, I'll take third. We're in one piece and everybody seems happy. Thanks for everyone coming out and supporting us. Hope we have a safe race tomorrow.

McKnight, Perley, Greg Furlong, and Scott Martel, winner of the Oswego ISMA show on Memorial Day, completed the top ten.

FORNORO IN MIDGET WIN AS STOEHR CRASHES HARD AT START

Mike Luggelle and Ben Seitz led the 27-car midget field down to the green in the 6th annual Bud Light Midget Championship, but yellow flew almost immediately as a four-wide maneuver saw Russ Stoehr, starting in tenth place, catch a wheel off turn three and plant his Gene Angelillo number 45 hard into the wall, hitting above the foam blocks at initial impact. Stoehr was transported to the Oswego Hospital and later released. Also involved were the Fred Schell, Bertrand and Luggelle.

The complete restart found the 17 of Seitz now on the pole with Ed Breault on the outside.

Mike Roselli came up from third to take the lead at the green as a yellow flew for the 44 of Breault who sat against the inner hub rail. Once thing got started, the action was fast and furious. Roselli held the lead by a slim margin over Fornoro in the Campanale 54 while Kyle Carpenter, Seitz and young Bobby Santos, in the Seymour 9 was up to the fifth spot ahead of Randy Cabral and Dave Baumgartner.

Roselli put his 98 slightly head of Fornoro who was fending off the advances of the 12 of Carpenter.

The lead trio slipped away from the next set of racing midgets, but on lap 12, Santos came abruptly into the front pit entrance with a broken midget. By lap 14, Fornoro and Carpenter had moved up on the leader Roselli and on lap 15 Drew, a multi-time Oswego winner in the past, put the 54 out front. Carpenter followed the 54 around Roselli and now the lead duo left Roselli behind in third. A tight pack consisting of Seitz, Cabral, Baumgartner and Howard Bumpus, running nose to tail, followed Roselli.

Suddenly on lap 21, Roselli brought out the caution with a spin off turn 4. Some oil was detected on the track at this junction and red dropped. The culprit of the fluid leaks was either Tommy Spada's 3 or Randy Mausteller's 21 . The 12 of Carpenter exited the field under this yellow. Whatever the cause, those three were all pitside as the cleanup ensued.

Drew Fornoro had just six laps to glory in front of him and he used his time wisely. On the green, he powered away from the now second place car of Ben Seitz.

Fornoro was able to hold onto his lead as Seitz held off Cabral, Bumpus, Baumgartner and Tim Heath. Cabral got by Seitz for second at race end. An overjoyed Fornoro exited his car in victory lane to the cheers of his car owners, crew and wife and daughter. Drew acknowledged that he missed racing with Stoehr who was the defending race champion. "It was a shame to see Russ (Stoehr) go out," said Drew.. I hope he's okay. I think he and Gene had us covered. I had a little bit of a problem there. I had that were bad. In fact on the last white flag lap, I didn't have any. It was guess as to whether they were going to be there or not. The door opened for me to pass for the lead. A lot of times it looks a lot hairier out there than it is. Mike got jammed up and the door opened for me. We were lucky getting through there. I didn't need brakes. When the red came out there I had seen the oil and went high. Kyle (Carpenter) saw me move up but it was too late. He's a good young driver. We've got a lot of good young drivers. We've got a lot to look forward to in this club."

Randy Cabral, Seitz, Bumpus and Baumgartner were the top five. while Bobby Seymour, Monnie Wonder, Mike Roselli and Pete Pernesiglio finished up the top ten in the midget field.

DAVIS COPS FIRST LIMITED SUPER NATIONALS

Oswego, NY's Gregg Davis held the pole for the 28-car Limited Super Nationals, the third feature event of the evening. Sitting outside of the 89 was the 19 of Andy Noto. A quick yellow regrouped the field, but Davis held the point when the first circuit was complete. Another yellow for the 36 of Brian Nappa slowed things again almost immediately. The biggest race of the year for the limited supers was producing some anxiousness as things sorted out.

Davis pulled away on the restart and despite some early pressure by Tony White, he maintained his lead.

On lap 7 a tangle between the 82 of Star Matteson and the 81 of Dick Woodley, sent both those cars off on hooks.

Davis took a couple laps to pull away from White this time, leaving Tony to try and hold off the 01 of Mike Bond and newly crowned 2002 limited super champion Mark Regan. Noto ran fifth with Billy Izyk, John Ketcham, Chris Proud and J.J. Andrews breathing down his neck.

On lap 20, Davis saw his lead expire when the yellow flew for a piece of metal debris on the track. Mike Bond and Mark Regan closed in on Davis on the green, but were not yet within striking distance.

Another yellow flew on lap 26 when Andy Noto lost the handle taking Proud and Ketcham in a mishap just out of turn two. All three were hooked while Jeff Bartlett was pushed back away. Proud tried to make it back into the field, but pitted soon thereafter.

Davis had Bond and Regan all over him on the restart but was up for the challenge. Tony White sat several car lengths back with J.. Andrews and Russ Bartlett his challengers. Steve Austin and Shawn Walker were moving into the mix.

On lap 30, the 24 of Jeff Bartlett called it a night with yet another yellow. Off the top trio of Davis, Bond and Regan went on this restart, but Regan's hopes of capping a good season with a Limited Super Nationals win went up in smoke on lap 32 when he spun of turn four. A hook was required for the 69 with something breaking on the car a possible cause.

It was now the Davis-Bond show out front and that duo ran a racing clinic out front with Bond going high and low trying to get by. White, Andrews, Russ Bartlett, Austin, Walker and Kevin Battelle formed a freight train some distance away from the dueling duo.

At the checkered, Davis had a little larger advantage over Bond than he had held for many laps while White, Andrews and Austin settled into top fives. Battelle, up from 22nd starting spot, earned sixth and also the first annual Grace Bogwicz Hard Charger award. Russ Bartlett, Walker, Ed Watson and Danny Kapuscinski held up the top ten.

Davis was a tired, but happy Limited Super Nationals winner. "This is great," he said in victory lane.. "Mike (Bond) drove a helluva of a race. I knew he was right there. The car just loosened up a little at the end there. I really don't know what to say. I'd like to thank Hat Trick Charters, E-V Fuel, Grasso Auto Sales, Kay Lene's Convenience, Advance Auto Part, A&D Auto and Finger Lakes Machine - Doug Holmes - awesome motor. And my man Mike who sets the car up."

Battelle, who accepted a beautiful trophy and $300 from the Bogwicz family told how much the award meant. "To come here in front of my hometown crowd and to do this means a lot the way this season has been. I know they lost their mom and I'm really glad I got this award. This is a great place to run and the fans are great.. We're having a good time. I'd like to thank my wife and Tyler and all the guys who've helped me this year. Without them I wouldn't have gotten this award. And, also Pathfinder Bank. They've been standing behind me this whole season."

REAKES TAKES THE SUPER STOCK CHALLENGE 30

With the previous two races going flag to flag for the winners, Frank Reakes had to work a little harder for his win in the super stock challenge 30, the finale of the night. Reakes, starting fifth on the field worked his way quickly into third behind leader Bobby Newman and Kelly Miller. Miller grabbed off the lead on lap 3 and looked to be headed for his second straight win in as many weeks until something broke on the 8 which sent it bouncing into the pits.

Reakes was in command now with Newman and Bill Moore trying to stay with him. But Reakes took off like a shot and was gone from sight by lap 10. Bill Moore, the defending race champion, worked his way into second by lap 9, with Doug Reaume putting Newman back into fourth soon thereafter. Moore tried to close the distance up on the high flying 14 but to no avail. Moore pretty much ran alone in second while Reaume did likewise in third. Newman, John Parkhurst, Joe Skilinski, Chris Lupa, Randy Storms and Dave Bock were the only cars left when the end neared.

While Reakes crossed under the checkered with a commanding lead, he was still working hard at the end as he stated, "I was running my tail off out there. I was pushing it a little bit trying to stay out there. It was a lot of fun. I tried to keep the same pace all the time. We're going to have a big party tonight with that magnum of champagne.. I'd like to thank everybody behind me - my wife, my mom and dad are here tonight. Gary, he's the guy who built the car, Vince, Scott, Jay, Melanie, Sandy - hope I didn't forget anybody. And, the fans here at Oswego. They are great!"

Moore, Reaume, Parkhurst and Newman rounded out the top five.

-os-

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About this article
Series Midget , Stock car
Drivers Drew Fornoro , Dave Baumgartner , Bobby Santos , Kelly Miller