Oswego Speedway race report 2002-06-29

Howard Page takes number one at Oswego in Supers; Steve Austin cops Limited Super Spring Championship; Kelly Miller takes Super Stock main. Oswego, NY - Howard Page took his time getting to the number three spot in Saturday night's Oswego...

Howard Page takes number one at Oswego in Supers; Steve Austin cops Limited Super Spring Championship; Kelly Miller takes Super Stock main.

Oswego, NY - Howard Page took his time getting to the number three spot in Saturday night's Oswego Speedway Hilton Garden Inn/Wendy's supermodified 45. He then, sat back and watched the torrid battle going on in front of him for the lead between Shawn Muldoon and Ray Graham The strategy paid off for the Fulton, NY driver. When the 90 of Graham and the 1 of Muldoon came together, Page took up the lead and eventually the win. It wasn't exactly the way Howard would have liked to win, but he accepted it.

"I really wished they would have stayed in there racing," said Howard. "I was waiting because I saw they were getting squirrelly. I think I might have been able to pass, but who knows. My car wasn't too good in the heat or in the first half of the race. I was running about 10th or 11th until the red and the yellow came out about lap 20. My car seemed to hook up after that. It was definitely better in the second half of the race. Everything then fell into place, the cautions, the restarts, and finally the ending. I'm happy with the win."

The exciting limited super feature was taken by first-timer at Oswego Steve Austin and Kelly Miller picked up a win in the super stock division. The Demo Derby completed the night of racing.

Leading the way to the green in the supermodified 45 were Jamie Moore and Brian Sweeney, but an immediate yellow fell for a 4-car jumble that would shuffle the rear of the field on the restart. Affected were Joey Hawksby in the Carson 27, Tom Gonczi, Dave Lair and Keith Gilliam. All restarted, but Lair came out late, putting himself at a disadvantage as the green fell. Brian Sweeney took up the lead of the first lap but Jamie Moore was quick to take the spot from Sweeney. Bobby Bond followed Moore by for second before the second circuit was complete. By lap 5, Sweeney had been shuffled back to fifth as Todd Stowell also got by.

Back in the pack, Howie Page, starting 11th, slipped even farther back as a slower car, Robert Parrow, caused a slight blockage. Eventual winner Page admitted that his 18 was not working to the max in the early going and it showed.

The 44 of Moore and the 25 of Bond began to pull away from the pack as the lap counter hit 16. On 17, the advantage was nullified when the yellow fell for a crash by Dave Halstead. The 34 slid out on the speedway in turn 1 collecting Tim Gareau, with Vern LaFave jumping a tire and Keith Gilliam spinning to avoid the melee. With a blocked track, the red was thrown.

Unfortunately for leader Jamie Moore, his 44 began to overheat big time and into the pits he went handing over the lead to Bond before the restart.

On the green, Jeff Holbrook made a fast move forward taking third from Todd Stowell. Holbrook now headed for Ray Graham, running second to Bond. Some close racing out front was slowed once again on lap 22 when the 44 of Jamie Moore spun. Into the pits went Sweeney and Otto Sitterly, both running well until this point.

Ray Graham used the restart to take the lead from Bond as Jeff Holbrook put Bond into third out back. Adding to the insult, Bond found rookie Shawn Muldoon taking that spot away moments later and Howie Page did likewise soon thereafter.

Lap 25 found the 89 of Stowell and 77 of Goutermout touching tires in turn two. Shawn Muldoon used this restart to his advantage as he moved in on Graham. On lap 27, Muldoon grabbed the lead and the chase was on.

Time and again, Ray Graham slung the 90 outside Muldoon's 1. Muldoon, equally consistent, repelled Graham's attempts. Jeff Holbrook, Howie Page and Dave Trytek were the pursuers with a blanket able to cover the front five.

Howard Page was the new man on the move as the counter ticked past 30. As the 1 of Muldoon and the 90 of Graham ran wheel to wheel out front, Page moved into third and set up his watch. Teammates Holbrook and Trytek tailed closely. On lap 39, coming off turn four, the 90 of Graham once more tried the outside move on leader Muldoon. Muldoon moved out slightly to protect his point as the duo came into turn one. Tires brushed and the two ended up in the first turn wall. Howard Page's patience paid off. He was now the leader, where he stayed for the remainder of the race, pretty much unchallenged. Holbrook, Trytek, and Bond continued to trail in the top four. Jerry Curran got by Pat Lavery for fifth on the lap 39 restart Tim Snyder, Vern LaFave and Keith Gilliam ran in the top ten as the race ended.

Page crossed under the checkered alone, picking up not only his first win of the season, but also the Oswego point lead as Mike Ordway was in Canada winning the ISMA feature there. Holbrook, Trytek, Bond, Curran, Lavery, Snyder, LaFave, Gilliam and LaTulip maintained their top ten spots as the flag fell.

The limited super feature began much like the super feature with a quick spin right at the flag. This time the spinner was Chip Wood as John Ketcham and Chris Proud led the field down.

Ketcham grabbed the lead on the restart with Steve Austin, Proud, Billy Izyk and Bobby Rundell the top five. A classic battle was setting up that would involve Ketcham, Austin, Rundell and Izyk running side by side, nose to tail. Bobby Rundell probably wished he'd stayed home Saturday night as the first to two incidents for this likeable Sherburne, NY young man occurred on lap 12. Rundell, making a run on Austin for second, touched wheels with the 66 in four causing the 33 to spin to the outside. Although the top three were tight together, Ketcham and Austin came out unscathed as were Izyk and Proud who ran closely behind.

It was Ketcham, Austin, Izyk, Proud and Mike Bond on the restart with that quintet all in contention. A slight distance back the 68 and 69 of Walker and Regan were also locked in battle.

Blueprinting the super feature, the leaders in the limiteds came around wheel to wheel as each lap progressed. As the 11 of Ketcham tried to protect his lead with passion, Austin moved low and Izyk high. Izyk was able to gain the advantage off two and despite a little tire brushing, Izyk gained the lead without incident up front. The incident came back in the field as Craig Rayvals, Pitt Watson, Tony White and Danny Kapuscinski tangled between 1 and 2 moments later. This negated the pass Izyk had just made.

So the scene repeated itself. Ketcham was out front, Austin low and Izyk high. On lap 24 they went three wide as the excitement of the race intensified. On lap 25, Austin was the man out front with Izyk sending leader Ketcham back to third in one swoop. Chris Proud looked on from fourth with Mike Bond, Gregg Davis, Walker and Regan behind. Storming up through the field to challenge the 68 and 69 was Rundell. The second of his bad luck incidents was about to occur. On lap 27 red fell as Rundell came off turn four, hit hard on the inner hub just past the starter's stand, careened off the wall and across the track to hit again in turn 1. His car was badly damaged, but Bob was ok. At least four other cars were involved, including Jack Patrick, Mike Bozzuto, Mark Regan and J.J. Andrews. Andrews and Rundell were unable to continue.

Austin and Izyk checked out in front while Ketcham fought off Proud. Mike Bond stayed in fifth as the checkered fell. Rounding out the top ten were Gregg Davis, Shawn Walker, Lou LeVea, Tony White and Mark Regan. For Austin it was his first-ever Oswego limited super feature win, although he has at least three in NORA competition.

In the night's opener, the super stock event was led for three laps by Eric Connors before a lap 3 yellow for Tony White and newcomer Mike Charlebois flew. A determined Kelly Miller, in his new green number 8 moved into the lead on this restart and he took off to hide. Back in the pack Chris Lupa, in second, fell victim to a pass by Dave Bock while Bobby Newman raced into the mix.

The second and last yellow of the race came for Lupa who started out strong but fell victim to an incident on lap 12. This restart bunched the field once more with Kelly Miller, Dave Bock, Bobby Newman, Joe Miller and Doug Reaume mixing it up on the green.

As Kelly Miller put the pedal down once more, Bock, Joe Miller and Bobby Newman went door handle to door handle behind for second.

On lap 15 it was Kelly and Joe Miller up front with Bobby Newman moving into third past Dave Bock, Doug Reaume was joined by Bill Moore in a fight for fifth.

It was Kelly Miller, Joe Miller, Newman, Bock and Moore in the top five as the final flag flew. Reaume, Tom Thornton (another newcomer), Rob Pullen, Joe Skilinski and Jason Horne were the top ten.

-os-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Kelly Miller