Howie Page, Pete Brittain, Mark Regan and Dave Fetterly take home wins at Oswego Saturday night. Oswego, NY - Over 100 cars lined pit road for the annual visit of the Race of Champions Modified tour on Torbitt's Service Center night Saturday at...
Howie Page, Pete Brittain, Mark Regan and Dave Fetterly take home wins at Oswego Saturday night.
Oswego, NY - Over 100 cars lined pit road for the annual visit of the Race of Champions Modified tour on Torbitt's Service Center night Saturday at Oswego Speedway. After the smoke cleared on thirteen qualifying races and four features, there were some big smiles among the winners. Howie Page, by virtue of his second supermodified feature win of the season, strengthened his lead on the Oswego championship points in his battle over Otto Sitterly. NJ's Pete Brittain, after six years of trying at Oswego, finally came home with his first-career win at the fast 5/8th's and in so doing guaranteed himself at starting spot in the September 52nd running of the Race of Champions. 2001 limiteds super champ Mark Regan, won his second of the season and helped him in his battle for a repeat championship with Oswego's Bill Izyk. And, finally, Carthage, NY's Dave Fetterly, a relative newcomer to Oswego Speedway this season, brought home his career-first in the super stocks. That win also earned him a guaranteed spot in the RoC street stock event.
Howie Page, just off a dismal weekend at Sandusky Speedway, was more than happy to take home the Torbitt's 45. He chased down race leader Jeff Holbrook and after a lap 25 restart, got the jump on the 35 off turn four. It was a no brainer for Page after that. Said Page in victory lane, "This is really good. We didn't really have that good of a car. We were real tight. I didn't know what that was going to do for us. It didn't help us, but everybody else must have slowed down a little bit. We haven't been doing that good lately. My guys have worked really hard. This is awesome for them Jeff was a little faster than I was. My car was so tight, I couldn't turn. I knew I had to get him on a start. He must have tried to protect the bottom. The outside was open so I went there. We bumped a little bit, but that's okay, that's racing. We'll take the win. I'm ecstatic every time I win. This is good for us."
Holbrook, who led from the green until Page got him just past the midway mark, ran solo in second at the checkered. He said of his near-miss, "Almost. I just started getting tired. I don't know how I'm going to run 200 laps in the Classic. We'll deal with that when the time comes I guess. I just got loose there on the start and Howard came up alongside of me. My car takes three or four laps to get back into it and I couldn't hold him off. I was hoping it would go green all the way. I was hoping, but not tonight. We'll be here next week."
Holbrook's lead survived some early yellows including one on lap 2 for the 44 of Jamie Moore, who was restarted, but ironically, the 87 of Keith Gilliam stopped trying to enter the pits and it was he who required the hook. He would not continue.
Holbrook and Page were joined early on by Tim Gareau as a three-way battle developed. Unfortunately for Gareau, the next yellow flew for his 5 and into the pits he came smoking and spewing flames. He was ofn. Hal LaTulip also ca me in and rejoined the field late, only to re-pit shortly thereafter. On the green, Holbrook and Page were alone out front with Joey Hawksby Jr., Shawn Muldoon, Dave Trytek, driving the 00 as the powerplant on the 70 expired earlier, Bob Goutermout and Tim Snyder, all running toward the leaders.
Just prior to halfway, Holbrook came upon some slower cars and Page looked to be able to close the gap over the 35. Shawn Muldoon now ran third with Hawksby and Trytek the top five.
Hawksby's luck ran out once again on lap 25 when a brush by Bob Goutermout's 77 sent the Carson 27 hard into the first turn foam. Hawksby was okay, but the car was flatbeded. A few other cars pitted during the interim including Vern LaFave, Jerry Curran, Bill Peri and Jamie Moore.
Page used this restart to get the jump on Holbrook and he powered away after the pass. Holbrook sat in second with Shawn Muldoon also uncontested in third. The battle was between Tim Snyder, Dave Trytek, and Bob Goutermout. Brian Sweeney, Pat Lavery and Otto Sitterly diced behind.
The race ran clean green from thereon in and although a couple lap cars slowed Page's progress forward a might, it didn't hurt as he had built up a good cushion over Holbrook as the race wore down. Under the checkered it was Page, Holbrook, Muldoon, Goutermout and Snyder.
Muldoon, who continues his quest for 2002 Rookie of the Year and who also entered the night third in the point standings, added to his point total. Shawn said simply, walking from the scales, "The car tightened up a little bit. We'll take what the car will give us. It will be good. The car was super tight. We tried something different last week and it got tight. We'll make some more changes. We'll get it."
Bob Goutermout, who was all smiles just keeping his car in one piece commented on his fourth, "It was a good race. I'm happy we brought it home in the top five and we rolled it back in the trailer for a change. I had that scare there when I got a little close to the wall. Me and little Joe got together. I hate to see that. Hopefully he'll be all right. It was close racing out there tonight."
And, Tim Snyder, the fifth place runner, who may have gained a spot in the points over the hapless Gareau, indicated that he still is not happy with his powerplant. "It's the same problem we've had every other weekend," said Tim. "We're low on power. We can get enough power to keep up to guys on the straightaway. The car goes straight through the corner. The crew has done a great job working on the car. We have a little push going in, and it comes out with no power to put it down and keep up with those guys. We're starting to pick up though. For Classic you have to be there at the end, not necessarily be fast."
PISTOL PETE HOLSTERS ROC MOD QUALIFIER
Allentown, NJ's Pete Brittain came to town to take a Race of Champions modified crown and that he finally did after six previous attempts. Brittain, starting on the pole by virtue of the draw, led the first two laps of the Sunoco RoC qualifier 50 but relinquished the spot to a hard-charging Tom McGrath. A three-way battled began as Lockport's Sege Fidanza, a multi-time modified winner at Oswego, joined the gunfight.
But on lap 34, McGrath's motor expired, leaving Brittain and Fidanza to dual out front. That's the way they would finish in a race dotted by yellows and reds. Brittain was hot, tired and happy when he emerged from the 99. "We've been here about six years now and each year we get better," said Pete before a large cheering crowd. "Last year in the 200 we lost a lap in the pits, that's about as close to this as we've gotten. Sege drove me clean the whole race. Tom McGrath drove me clean and passed me clean there earlier. I had a new right rear at the beginning of the race and I had to wait for it to come in to get the car right. The car was good tonight, but my motor was awesome. Morgantini Engines did a great job. I want to thank T. J. Potrzebowski. He maintains the car here in New York so I can come up from New Jersey and drive it. It's his crew who does all this. I want dedicate this to his wife's grandmother who is very sick. I want to dedicate this win to her. To get my first win on the RoC tour is special and to get it here at Oswego makes me very proud. I've been reading about Oswego since I was a little kid. " The first race yellow actually came on the white flag lap when the 27 of Rick Zacharias had a tire go down. He pitted and returned.
As the action began officially, Brittain, then McGrath took up the front runner spot, joined by Fidanza. Jeff Ulrich and Tommy Cloce swapped positions for fourth while Kenny Troyer, Billy Putney, Zane Zeiner, George Kent and Rusty Smith provided a formidable group of challengers. The Putney-Zeiner-Kent battle became most intense as the next slowdown occurred. On lap 17, the 45's of Tom Hanbury and Patsy Catalano were involved, as was former Oswego runner Dean DeMaree, in a jingle off turn 3. All started with several cars making pitstops in the interim. It took a couple restarts to get the race back underway.
McGrath assumed the lead once again as the top five of Brittain, Fidanza, Cloce and Troyer bunched behind.
The racing was fast and furious until lap 31 when the 16 of Jan Leaty spun off four while Billy Putney pulled the 88 pitside out of a seventh place spot. One lap and then yellow again for the 62 of Erik Cupernall who was hooked to the pits. One more attempt at a restart found the 6 of Troyer and the 69 of Cloce, too close, with Troyer's mod coming up on the 69 of Cloce in a pass attempt. The 69 was into the foam in between one and two with Tommy giving Kenny a thank you hand wave from the asphalt while his car went on the hook. Troyer went to the rear for being involved in the yellow.
The race just couldn't get back into sync as on lap 34, McGrath was the next to pull out with a blown motor. Troyer pitted his 6 here to end his night. For three laps after the restart, Pete Brittain, the new leader, and Sege Fidanza looked to be setting up a classic fight to the finish. Unfortunately, more stops were coming.
On lap 38, the 11 of Jim Willis and the 43 of Larry Havens to out of shape off turn two, collecting the outside running Jan Leaty. Leaty took the 16 heavily into the wall and the red dropped. Havens and Leaty were done. The restart saw Brittain and Sege back at it while Ulrich, Kent, Putney, Zeiner, T.J. Potrzebowski, Smith and Bobby Osgood were the next contenders. Third through sixth was being contested tooth and nail.
One more yellow flew, this time for the 88 of Putney who ran fifth at the time in that aforementioned contest. He was hooked and out of the action. A four-lap shootout to the end saw Brittain hold off the surging Sege while Ulrich, Kent and Zeiner stayed in the hunt. That's the way they finished the top five. Potrzebowski, Smith, Daren Scherer, Rick Zacharias and Bobby Osgood rounded out the top ten.
REGAN BACK IN VICTORY IN LIMITED SUPERS
Defending Oswego limited super champion had only won one feature to date in the 2002 season, but he was still in points hunt. A second feature win Saturday night didn't hurt his chances at all."It's been awhile," said second time feature winner , Mark Regan in victory lane, "but we got it right tonight. The crew worked on the car all night. It wasn't very good in the heat but in the feature, it really came to me. I was just hoping Danny (Kapuscinski) saw me when I came in low to make that pass. It would be nice to hold the point lead for the rest of the way now, but I think Bill Izyk has something to say about that."
Rookie Kevin Knopp shot out from the pole in the limiteds to take the lead from the green over second-year competitor Danny Kapuscinski. Steve Austin soon joined them up front as did Gregg Davis and Mark Regan.
Danny K soon took over the point with Knopp losing second to Regan on lap 7. On lap 8 a red fell for a track blocked by Chris Proud, Andy Noto and Russ Bartlett. Noto went to the tail with Proud and Bartlett out of the action. Danny K led for the next two laps before Regan put the 69 alongside and by the young Oswego man on lap 11. But Mark's pass was negated by a yellow for the 89 of Davis with several drivers scattering to avoid such as Dave Cliff and Tony White. Davis would make an attempt at restarting, but failed. Regan repeated his pass for the front on the restart and this time it stuck as Danny K slipped back into second trailed by Kevin Knopp, Steve Austin,Bill Izyk, J.J. Andrews, Mike Bond and others.
While Regan, Kapuscinski, Austin and Izyk spread apart out front, Knopp battled Andrews, Bond, John Ketcham, Shawn Walker, Lou LeVea and White for the last top five spot.
As the racing back of fourth heated, it also became too close and the last race yellow fell just as the clock ticked to 20. At least seven cars were strewn around the track with most restarting. Andrews and Bond went to the rear.
The gap was closed on the leader, but Regan was determined to hold his number one spot as the last seven laps went green. At the line it was Regan, Kapuscinski, Austin, Izyk and Ketcham, the top five. Knopp, LeVea, White, Jack Patrick and Jim Guyle ran up in the top ten at the finish.
Note: Star Matteson's Ms. Super Stock race was dedicated to her Uncle Fran Matteson (her dad and crew chief's brother) who passed away since last race season. She was misquoted in her victory lane ceremonies due to a bad tape recording. Our apologies.
FEATURE GO AND ROC SPOT GOES TO FETTERLY IN SUPER STOCKS
The super stock main was also a Race of Champions qualifier for that division and although Dave Fetterly didn't know the spot was up for grabs, he took it anyway.
The 77 of Bobby Newman made a dramatic charge to the front at the start of the super stock 20 but unfortunately made an equally dramatic race exit, all in the same lap. Newman's car apparently burned up a piston or something in the motor erupted with a huge cloud of smoke spread all around the race track. In the heavy humid air, it sat for a few moments as if fog had come in. After Newman's exit and a quick track check, the race resumed with Rob Pullen leading the way half a lap before Fetterly's 21 drove by. A career-first laid ahead for the "hot rod Lincoln." and Dave survived two yellows to claim the victory. He said later, "I ran up front and stayed there for the first time this season I finally got the monkey off my back. Starting up front really helps. It's not as much fun but it helps. I came here with a Ford to pass Chevies. I did that. I'm happy I got the RoC guaranteed spot for this class. It's something I've got to think about running now, with the cost involved. I'm a poor boy!"
A few newcomers drove down the pike looking for that RoC spot that Fetterly took and one, Jeff Hamman, Ontario, NY, looked good in his first outing. Hamman ran his 91 second for a number of laps holding off perennial winner Kelly Miller, Pullen and Doug Reaume.
At the halfway mark, Fetterly ran just ahead of Hamman, Miller and Reaume as a great three-way battle ensued there. Pullen, Joe Skilinksi and Dave Bock held off another newcomer Paul Jeffers in the 47. Reaume swapped places with Hamman on lap 14 to take over second.
On lap 17 things slowed a bit as the 9 of Joe Miller pitted with a flat and on the restart, Reaume, who had just earned the Mr. Super Stock title on July 20, went after Fetterly with all he had. Fetterly held off the charge with Kelly Miller, Hamman, Dave Bock, Jeffers, White, Lupa and John Parkhurst running door to door.
The white flag fell, but starter Don Forbes had to grab the yellow instead of the checkered when Parkhurst planted the 38 into the foam. The last lap ran over with the only Parkhurst missing from the top ten. It was Fetterly, Reaume, K. Miller, Hamman, Bock, Jeffers, Skilinksi, Pullen, Eric Connors and newcomer Zach Shobe completing the top ten.