OSWEGO, NY – Piloting the Tim Barbeau owned No. 50, Dave Cliff capitalized on a late restart to capture his second Pathfinder Bank SBS victory of the 2019 season on Helena-Agri Enterprises Night at Oswego Speedway this past Saturday.
Polesitter Greg O’Connor lead the first lap of the main event, outdueling Cameron Rowe into the first corner. With Rowe pinned to the high side momentarily, David LaTulip capitalized to move into second as the first circuit was completed.
Back in the RBI Racing No. 04 for another week was veteran Mike Bruce. Bruce started sixth and charged early, pressuring Rowe for the third spot. When the duo brushed briefly in turn three, Bruce shot up the track and gave the bottom lane to eighth starting Anthony Losurdo.
By lap 3, the entire running order had shuffled around with O’Connor leading, LaTulip second, Rowe third, Losurdo fourth, and Bruce fifth. Seventh starting Brad Haynes moved up to sixth, while fifth starting Cliff had faded early on back in seventh.
Two laps later, it had turned into a jam up amongst the front seven cars of O’Connor, LaTulip, Rowe, Losurdo, and Haynes, who had gotten by Bruce for fifth. Behind them, Bruce and Cliff were now duking it out for sixth and seventh.
Through thirteen trips around the speedway, the front seven cars put on a tremendous battle before the caution was thrown on lap 18 when Bruce and Haynes made contact in turn one. This left Cliff with nowhere to go as he came to a stop just shy of Bruce’s nerf bar.
Haynes and Cliff were not penalized for the yellow, as both the No. 86 and No. 50 received their positions back for the ensuing double file restart which saw O’Connor in front ahead of LaTulip, Rowe, and Losurdo.
When the green flag was thrown, things certainly got interesting. LaTulip was the first to make a move as he tried to hustle around O’Connor, but washed out off the exit of turn two, opening the door for teammate Losurdo who had shot around Rowe coming down the front stretch.
Now, it was O’Connor leading Losurdo, LaTulip, Rowe, and Cliff with Haynes and Josh Sokolic in striking distance as the laps began to wind down. For a moment, O’Connor and Losurdo had pulled away from the field, but that is when the caution flag flew for a Steve Flack spin on lap 21.
The following restart would unfortunately result in a parking lot for the leaders. Losurdo had inched in front of O’Connor on the outside to take the lead for a split second, but going into turn three, the two hooked together and collected LaTulip, Rowe, and Travis Bartlett in the process.
Both O’Connor and Losurdo went to the rear, and Bartlett ended his evening in the pits. This wild turn of events instead gave the lead back to Rowe over Cliff, Haynes, Bruce, and Sokolic in the top five.
On the event’s third double file restart, it was again the outside lane prevailing as this time it was Cliff who went around Rowe to inherit the lead. Just as Bruce had cleared Haynes for third, the two made contact going into turn three, sending Bruce around and Haynes into the foam. This brought out yet another yellow and gave the lead back to Rowe.
With Haynes going off on the hook, there were nine laps left for Rowe, Cliff, Sokolic, Losurdo, Steve Flack, James Babcock, O’Connor and Bruce to battle it out for the lead.
Once again, Cliff wasted little time in his attempts to use the outside portion of the speedway looking for a way around Rowe. On lap 22, that pair was the next set of cars to make contact in turn one and both nearly spun out, but were able to continue.
One lap later, Cliff hung it on the outside for a final time, and this time made it stick, passing Rowe with seven laps remaining and taking over the race lead. When Sokolic tried to follow Cliff up high, he got out of shape, giving Losurdo and Bruce an opening for third and fourth.
While Cliff was riding off into the sunset with the win secured, everyone had their eyes on the battle for second. Rowe had his hands full in an effort to keep Losurdo and Bruce at bay over the course of the final six laps.
On lap 27, Bruce got under Losurdo to take over third and next went to work on his teammate Rowe, but at the two lap sign, the No. 04 got out of shape, opening the low side back up for Losurdo.
Rowe nearly hung on for second, but missed the mark in turns one and two with less than one lap to go, providing Losurdo and Bruce the opportunity they both needed to go by and complete the podium.
At the checkered flag, it was Cliff victorious over Losurdo, Bruce, Rowe, and Sokolic in the top five. Finishing up in the top ten were O’Connor, Babcock, Flack, LaTulip, and Haynes.
Contingency award winners were Losurdo (D&S Landscaping Hard Charger), Sokolic (Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer) and Rowe (White’s Car Care 4th Place).
Oswego Speedway is off this Saturday, June 29. The track’s 69th Season will continue with the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Prix Special on July 6 featuring the Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and 350 Supermodifieds.
For more information on Oswego Speedway, you can visit the track’s website online at OswegoSpeedway.com. Fans can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.
About Oswego Speedway: Oswego Speedway is a 5/8 mile semi-banked pavement racing oval located off the shores of Lake Ontario in scenic Oswego, NY. The speedway has been a continuously run weekly racing venue since August 1951. The premier open-wheel pavement short track cars in the world, Supermodifieds, run weekly at the Oswego Speedway making it the only weekly Supermodified racing venue in the world. The Small Block Supermodifieds and 350 Supermodifieds accompany the full blown Supers on a weekly Saturday night schedule which runs from May through September. Oswego Speedway is mentioned in racing circles as the “Indy of the East,” as no fewer than a dozen past and present competitors have competed at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway including Mario Andretti, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, and former International Classic Champions Bentley Warren, Joe Gosek, and Davey Hamilton.
Helena Agri-Enterprises Night
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Pathfinder Bank SBS
Feature (30-laps): 1. 50 DAVE CLIFF, 2. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 3. 04 Mike Bruce, 4. 77 Cameron Rowe, 5. 26 Joshua Sokolic, 6. 90 Greg O’Connor, 7. 15 James Babcock, 8. 32 Steve Flack, 9. 27 David LaTulip, 10. 88 Brad Haynes, 11. 03 ® Travis Bartlett, 12. 02 Russ Bartlett
Heat 1 (10-laps): 1. 04 Mike Bruce, 2. 77 Cameron Rowe, 3. 88 Brad Haynes, 4. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 5. 03 ® Travis Bartlett, 6. 15 James Babcock
Heat 2 (10-laps): 1. 26 Joshua Sokolic, 2. 90 Greg O’Connor, 3. 50 Dave Cliff, 4. 27 David LaTulip, 5. 02 Russ Bartlett, 6. 32 Steve Flack
Group Time Trials: 1. 50 Dave Cliff – 18.718, 2. 1 Anthony Losurdo – 18.747, 3. 27 David LaTulip – 18.982, 4. 88 Brad Haynes – 19.022, 5. 90 Greg O’Connor – 19.047, 6. 04 Mike Bruce – 19.139, 7. 26 Joshua Sokolic – 19.219, 8. 77 Cameron Rowe – 19.244, 9. 02 Russ Bartlett – 19.438, 10. 03 ® Travis Bartlett – 19.643, 11. 15 James Babcock – 19.833, 12. 32 Steve Flack – 20.077
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #1 Anthony Losurdo
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #26 Joshua Sokolic
White’s Car Care 4th Place Award: #77 Cameron Rowe