Oswego Speedway race report 2001-08-04

Greg Furlong, Billy Woods, Mark Regan And Tony White Come Home Oswego Victors On A Full Moon Night Oswego, NY - A full moon rising over a race track is seldom a good sign. It certainly wasn't at Oswego Speedway Saturday night as a number of ...

Greg Furlong, Billy Woods, Mark Regan And Tony White Come Home Oswego Victors On A Full Moon Night

Oswego, NY - A full moon rising over a race track is seldom a good sign. It certainly wasn't at Oswego Speedway Saturday night as a number of mishaps marred the four-division race card. Added to the regular Oswego mix were the Sunoco Race of Champions modifieds, who brought in 40 top notch machines to add to the supers, limited supers and super stocks.. When the night was finally over, Greg Furlong had taken the supermodified win with a guaranteed spot in the Budweiser International Classic; Billy Woods, his first-ever Oswego main and with it a guaranteed spot in the Sunoco Race of Champions, Mark Regan the limited feature and Tony White, the super stock 20, which also earned him a spot in the Sunoco RoC event for that division.

In the supermodified main, Greg Furlong stole the show from Canadian Shannon Groves on the last turn of the last lap. It would have been a career-first for Groves, who led from lap 12 until not quite the end. Greg Furlong was a gracious winner in post-race ceremonies, saying, "I'll tell you what. Shannon ran an awesome race. I had all I could do to get around. I was trying everything. It came down, obviously, to the last lap. I had nothing for him before that. On the last lap, I gave it all I had to get by on the outside. He was pushing a little bit. I just got a little bit better bite off the corner. Shannon just ran a great race. I hate to beat someone like him. He deserves a win. He's been running really good. Bobby Bond ran a great race too. If it wasn't for the caution, I wouldn't have gotten him. And, the 87, I'm glad he didn't wreck. He ran good too. On that restart, I got underneath him and I got into him. I thought for sure that the caution would come out, but he saved it thank god. The crew just did a good job. A lot of cars dropped out of the race, but that's racing. It was a crazy night tonight - a full moon. We crashed in the heat race. We had a good car. This is the back up. The other one is a little bit better. I didn't want to pile it up on the first lap, so I just took it easy, took my time and when that caution came out, I decided to go. We just worked our way to the front."

Groves, who was the first to congratulate Furlong, was content with second, albeit a bit disappointed. "A straightaway away," said Groves "But oh well. The car was awesome all night when we'd get a long run going, and then a yellow and the car would loosen up really bad and it would take five or six laps to get back in the rhythm again. On that last caution near the end, there just wasn't enough time to get the car back. I knew Greg was there. It was an awesome race for us. It was a lot of fun. We're all together. The car is in one piece. It was fun racing with these guys and hopefully we can come back next week and win."

The supermodified night started badly for Furlong who crashed with Bill Peri in the first heat, sending both to the pits. Furlong jumped in his backup car and got back into things starting at the tail of the feature field. Peri did restart.

Keith Gilliam took up the early lead in the supermod main with Groves sticking to his tail as things sorted out. Groves grabbed the lead from Gilliam on the front stretch on lap 12. Things began to sour just one lap after that.

On lap 14, Tim Snyder caught a tire from Vern LaFave as fourth through sixth place spots were being contested. Snyder's 0 went airborne and he landed heavily in the foam in between three and four. Snyder was okay - he quipped later that he had taken harder hits in hockey - but his 0 was badly damaged. Otto Sitterly parked the 79 with heating problems at this time.

A yellow, then red flew on the restart of lap 14 with a multi-car tangle occurring in turn four. Half the cars behind leader Groves were in a mess behind. When the track was cleared, Ray Graham Jr. was on the hook. Vern LaFave was on the hook. Others were pushed away. Graham did not restart, while LaFave did.

Groves led a couple more laps before yellow flew again for LaFave, who was hooked for good this time. Vern had won a heat earlier in what he called his "old" car, after switching from the one he has been running, and that too, now was gone.

Running behind Groves at this point were Keith Gilliam, Furlong, Bob Bond and Todd Stowell. On the restart, Furlong and Gilliam brushed, got somewhat sideways and then straightened things out.

Things settled in to a green spell for Groves, with Bond, Furlong and Gilliam fending off Stowell, Dave Trytek and Jamie Moore.

Furlong took over second on lap 36 and set sail for Groves. He didn't have to wait long to close the gap.

On lap 38 Todd Stowell and Jamie Moore were around in turn one. Both restarted, but yellow flew again before a lap was done. This time it was for Stowell, Moore, Scott Eldred, Sharkey, Hal LaTulip and Pat Lavery among others, who had come together on the green. LaTulip was a no-show on that restart. A refueling took place during the cleanup.

With seven to go, it was Furlong against Groves and he looked as if Groves would have his day, but it did not happen. On several occasions, Furlong swung to the outside of Groves. Groves closed the door. But coming off the fourth turn of the checkered flag lap, Furlong made the move once more.

Groves slide a little and this gave Furlong the chance he sought and he took it. Furlong crossed moments later in first, while Groves, Bond, Gilliam and Dave Trytek finished in fifth. Moore, Stowell, Eldred, Lavery and Sharkey rounded out the top ten.

WOODS TAKES SUNOCO ROC QUALIFIER

Billy Woods of Nichols, NY ran his heart out Saturday night to cop his first-ever modified feature win at the Oswego Speedway. Giving him a run for his money were Ken Woolley Jr., veteran George Kent and Zane Zeiner. Out of the 40 cars on hand, 27 started the feature. Not as many survived.

Five heats and a B main pared to field to its starting weight with a multi-car pileup in the fourth prelim left Lancaster regular Sege Fidanza and several others out for the night.

Woods and Rusty Smith dragged race for the lead of the 50-lap mod feature, with Smith out front for only one lap. Woods would dodge all the bullets along the way to lead the remainder of the laps.

Yellow flew on lap 7 for the 8 of Chris Finocchario and the 78 of Brad Confer. That was nothing compared to the next stop. On that restart, red flew for a track blocked with modifieds approximately 7-10 in count. Among the victims here were Mike Ordway, Todd Smith, JR Swansborough, and Karl Hehr. The mod field was shortened by at least a half dozen when the race resumed. It was Woods out front with Rusty Smith, Zeiner, Woolley, Daryl Lewis, trailing. Moving stealthfully through the pack was George Kent.

But, before it really got started, the race slowed again on lap 12, again for a multi-car tangle. Red flew after the yellow as one car sat atop another down low and two sat in the foam blocks high in turn one. Todd Smith's 52 received the brunt of the mayhem, while Chuck Hossfeld, just back in a modified after his Craftsman truck ride pulled away, also pitted with a mangled rear.

Once more Woods was able to pull away in the lead. Woolley, Kent and Zeiner were now the next contenders and boy did they give Woods a battle. Lap after lap, the trio bore down on the 51, but Woods fended off the advances. Lap 32 saw the final yellow , this time for Brad Confer, just as Woods was gaining some ground on the aforementioned.

Howell, NJ's Ken Woolley pressured Woods. Woolley was in turn pressured by Kent and Zeiner as a classic four-way battle waged.

But, Woods was able to survive the attacks, crossing under the checkered on lap 50 a slight distance ahead. Woolley, Kent, Zeiner and Larry Havens finished up the top five.

Woods, standing in victory lane with a magnum of champagne and the RoC medallion around his neck, stated simply, "The car was too tight at first, but when we got the lead, it came around, and I just made it wider. I knew they were back there. There were a bunch of cautions. Someone said there was a big one. I just tried to ignore the pileup and pay attention to what I was doing. I feel great. This is great. I'd like to say thanks to everyone."

REGAN TAKES THE LIMITEDS

The limited super 25 was the last up on the night and not without its own fireworks.

Jack Patrick assumed the lead after an initial yellow sent Pitt Watson into the infield with his hand high in the air.

It was a Patrick, Bob Rundell show as they quickly pulled away out front. It didn't take long for the full moon to have its affect, however, as a yellow-red flew for a number of cars on lap four including Star Matteson, Scott Richmond, Mike Bond, Jeff Bartlett, and Shawn Walker.

Patrick and Rundell took up where they left off as J.J. Andrews, Russ Brown, Chris Proud, Mark Regan and Mike Gardner ran right behind.

Yellow dropped for Gregg Davis on lap 6 and two laps later, Rundell took the advantage out front.

Rundell, who was away from racing last season after suffering a serious non-related racing accident, was running strong out front. Patrick, Brown, Proud and Regan were the top five when a lap 13 yellow again gathered in the field. Shawn Muldoon, relegated to a back starting spot from a consi win, was just a tick away.

On this restart, Brown put Patrick down and spot and he headed for Rundell. Regan gained the advantage on Proud at the same time. This would prove the race winning move for Regan.

As the leaders - Rundell and Brown - came around into turn four on lap 20, they tangled, enough to send them sideways. Not enough to keep them out of the remainder of the race, but enough to fly the yellow and send them both packing to the rear.

Mark Regan, the current limited super point leader, with one win in his column already, was about to add another.

Green fell as Regan took off. Shawn Muldoon slid by Proud for second while Mike Gardner and Andrews closed in.

Regan was able to hold off Muldoon for the remainder of the race too win his second of the year. Regan said in victory lane, "I didn't think I'd be here tonight. But, a lot of guys quit. And, there were accidents. I just missed them all. I might have caught Rundell and Brown, but I don't know if I could have passed them. I probably would have ended up third, but we won it anyhow. I'd like to thank all my sponsors - Regan Auto Sales, of course, Front Door Tavern,Auto Gallery, Port City Collision, Harbor Framing, Captain's Steak and Seafood and the crew. The crew did a really great job. The car felt really good after a bad start. It all came back."

Muldoon, Proud, Gardner and Andrews continued under the flag in the top five. Tony White took home the Sunoco Race of Champions guaranteed spot in the super stocks by leading the entire 20 lap event. This one too, was not without incident, but far less than those who followed. White held the lead when Lou LeVea and Rob Pullen did a little fender banging on lap 4. They both restarted.

All eyes were on the newcomer, Bruce Long, who hauled in from Pennsylvania to try the Oswego boys. Long, who has not been beaten at his home track, found the waters a little cold at the Port City lakeside oval. Not only did he not win a heat. He did not win the feature. As a matter of fact, he didn't finish the feature as he went pitside on a lap 8 yellow and then again on a lap 9 yellow. This time he was hooked and ofn as was Chris Lupa in the 46.

Back to the matter of hand with eleven to go, White pulled away from his nearest competitor, Kelly Miller as Bill Moore, Lou LeVea, Rich Palmer and Dave Bock raced behind. White pulled into victory lane pretty much alone as Miller, Moore, LeVea and Palmer completed the top five.

Said the driver of the White's Car Care 4 afterwards, "I was getting nervous there. I knew they were back there. I protected the inside so they'd have to pass on the outside. It wasn't that easy. The car was a little off but it was working great. I'd like to thank my brother Wayne, the crew, Paul from the Front Door, Chewy up there in the stands from J& S Paving, A-One Medical, Zaryski Tax, Scotty's Towing, Greene's Auto Body, Lube Express, Pullen's Plumbing, M&M Auto Sales, R.E. Davis and Son. and of course, White's Car Care."

Friday and Saturday at Oswego Speedway features some special activities including a Super Cruise, autograph sessions, a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish for kids and adults, a Silent Auction(both days), and a Nostalgia Night Saturday night with a $2.00 admission charge for adults and 50 cents for children. There is no charge for Super Cruise or any of the Make-A-Wish Fundraiser activities. Donations will be accepted.

-OS-

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Chuck Hossfeld , Ken Woolley , Todd Smith , Kelly Miller