Oswego Speedway report 2001-07-07

Oswego, NY - Rain shortened the race program at Oswego Speedway Saturday night but it did nothing to dampen the celebration in victory lane after Todd Stowell became the victor. A hurricane couldn't have done that. After ten years of supermodified...

Oswego, NY - Rain shortened the race program at Oswego Speedway Saturday night but it did nothing to dampen the celebration in victory lane after Todd Stowell became the victor. A hurricane couldn't have done that. After ten years of supermodified racing, Stowell was not about to let rain spoil the moment of his first-ever win. The Pulaski, NY native took over the lead from Bob Bond on lap 20 and powered away, knowing that the darkening clouds could let loose any minute. And they did. Six laps later, a downpour ensued, and Stowell was proclaimed the winner of the Clark Concrete 45. Earlier in the evening, Russ Stoehr powered his Gene Angelillo-owned 45 to a seventh-career Oswego midget victory while Lou LeVea took the super stock main. The limited super 25 was postponed due to the rain. That feature will be run at approximately 5:15 on July 14 with the regular slate of events to follow.

Todd's most-supportive family greeted him enthusiastically in victory lane. He was overwhelmed: "I'll tell you, after ten years of hard luck, determination, to all the people who have been behind me, yeh baby!" Stowell yelled to the appreciative crowd. "Family is what racing is all about. Look at the families in the stands. You can't do it without family. Racing is a family sport. It's a fraternity. I'll tell you it's been a long, hard ten years. I would have liked to win it tonight in 45 laps and taken the checkered but I'll have to do that next week."

Patience was the key in Todd's move to the front. "I could have tried earlier but I thought, patience. Bob (Bond) was rolling on his left front. I thought I was faster than him, but I didn't want to burn my tire off. I wanted to save some for the end. I thought I'd be able to get a run on him later in the race and no one was showing me a wheel, but when I saw it was getting a little darker, I actually made the move a little sooner than I was going to. I'd like to thank all my sponsors, Hollis Outdoor Toy Store, East Coast Resorts, Haun Welding, Colosse Cheese, Uptown Diner, Fitzgibbons Associates, Warren's Auto, Real Rock 100.7, Doug Holmes, who builds ultimate horsepower and who helped to tune this engine this week after finding problems. Thanks Doug. And, special thanks to mom and dad and my beautiful wife and son. My sister is here with her family from Arizona. I'm so glad they could be here. I've got to also thank, Billy Kisselstein who helped me build this car. He put a lot of heart and soul into it. We have one heck of a race car under us. And, then there's my crew. I couldn't do it without them. And, finally thanks to the fans. We finally did it. It was a sweet night. "

Jeff Holbrook was the initial leader in the supermodified main which was held up slightly due to rain drops. Holbrook was trailed by Bob Bond, Tim Gareau, Jerry Curran and Jamie Letcher, driving the Witkum 85.

Yellow flew on lap 6 when Jamie Moore drove up over Letcher's tire as the pair attempted to avoid a slow car they approached. The 88 was hooked and deemed out for the night.

The restart of this lap saw the red fly as leader Holbrook lost the handle out of two. Holbrook straightened it back out, but havoc ensued behind as cars jammed on the brakes. When the smoke cleared, Greg Furlong's car was on top of the inner hub, Shannon Groves' 07 was badly damaged. Jerry Curran needed a hook while Bob Goutermout, who had switched to the 93 car because of damage to the 77 the previous week, also was a casualty. Eventual winner Todd Stowell sat just behind, having stopped to avoid the mayhem. Bob Bond was the leader when the track cleared and Bob, who had almost won his first feature the previous week, was bound and determined to make it work this week.

Bond took off, but Stowell, Tim Snyder and Dave Trytek didn't let him go far. Otto Sitterly and Scott Eldred were right behind the top five. Yellow flew again on lap 15 for debris on the track and the skies began to look ominous. Weather radar showed a storm approaching, but the race continued. Bond and Stowell dueled it out lap after lap with Stowell trying the outside off four and Bond protecting the spot with each attempt. On lap 20 there was a slight brush as Stowell finally maneuvered by the determined Bond. Stowell was just as determined as he set sail away from the pack after the pass.

Just as the clock ticket to 26, yellow flew for a tight running trio of Bond, Trytek and Holbrook as they tangled vying for second on back. That was all she wrote as the rain began to fall and the tarps unfurled over the drivers and cars on the track. The rain let up slightly to allow the tumultuous victory lane ceremony and the fireworks carried over from the previous week to fly, but then it poured once more. Todd Stowell, family and friends didn't really care by this time. It was their night... wet or dry.

The winged ARDC-NEMA midget feature found a familiar face in victory lane. Russ Stoehr, who has become a master of the midget events at Oswego moved up to first by the third circuit in the Gene Angelillo-owned 45, lost it temporarily about half way and then retook the front spot for good. Said the man of few words after his seventh Oswego win, "I don't know what it is about this place that I do so well, but if I ever find out, I'm not going to tell anybody. I'll tell you I kind of like it here. They ought to move this track about 300 miles closer to my house." Stoehr, of North Carver, Mass., who has driven three different cars to seven victories at Oswego commented, "This is a pretty nice place. We were pretty hooked up. We passed all but one car on the first lap starting from twelfth. Rails! It's just rails!"

A strong field of midgets still couldn't deter Russ Stoehr from taking his second straight July Oswego midget event. Stoehr drove into the lead from 12th spot by lap 3. He was trailed by Phil DiMario, Mark Buonomo, Gary Sherman and Barry Kittridge in the early going. Stoehr actually lost the lead near lap 10 when a corner flagman was pointing a car down and Stoehr misinterpreted the motion as a yellow. Phil DiMario took advantage of Stoehr's lapse and took over the lead.

After a lap 11 red for a flipping Babe Shaw in the 1S, Stoehr resumed the point moments after the restart and this time he made it stick. DiMario remained second while moving up into third was out-of-retirement driver Drew Fornoro whose record at Oswego isn't too shabby either. Fornoro, in the Campanale 54 drove by Mark Buonomo on lap 15.

Buonomo's 76 eventually fell backwards. Ray Bull, Barry Kittridge, A.J. Davis and Bob Seymour were very much alive as the midgets zipped over the 5/8th's. With five to go, Stoehr entered the tail of the field and hid the 45 in traffic as DiMario and Fornoro chased. Back a distance were Bull and Davis while Seymour, Randy Cabral and Howard Bumpus were stuck together trailing the top five. At the checkered it was Stoehr, DiMario, Fornoro, Bull and Seymour the top five followed by Davis, Cabral, Bumpus, Kittridge, and Pete Pernesiglio in the top ten. The super stock main, which started off the night, was a fender bender as this division's field increases in numbers each week. Kelly Miller took up the initial lead while Lou LeVea and Tony White chased.

An early yellow took out the 9 of Joe Miller. LeVea got under Kelly Miller on lap 5 to take over the point while White, Erik Cuppernall, Bobby Newman, Rich Palmer, Bill Moore and Dave Bock hounded the leaders. A lap 8 yellow found cars flying everywhere and when the mess cleared Tony White, Eric Storrs and Doug Reaume were pitside as was the 35 of Tom Thornton who got up on his side at one point. Lou LeVea was pressured heavily now by Cuppernall as the race neared completion. The duo pulled away from the pack as Kelly Miller, Newman, Moore, Palmer, Rob Pullen and Bock battled door handle to door handle behind. At the checkered it was 2000 Super Stock champ, LeVea, Cupernall, Moore, Kelly Miller and Newman the top five.

NOTES: Tim Gareau was driving his backup 75 after blowing a motor on the 5...Jamie Letcher was in the Witkum 85 after his 58 was not repaired from the previous week...Bob Goutermout drove the 93 while the 77 was also badly damaged from the June 30 racing. Gary Syrell and Rob Parrow were new to the pits...The first race event on July 14 at Oswego will be the rained-out limited feature from July 7, followed by the slated supermodified, super stock and limited events. The ThrillMasters Thrill show will also be on hand for a full night of racing.

-OS

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About this article
Series Midget , Stock car
Drivers Drew Fornoro , Ray Bull , Kelly Miller