Monday, 05 August 2019 10:16

Dave Cliff Drives on Late Restart for Third Pathfinder Bank SBS Victory of 2019

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Dave Cliff Drives on Late Restart for Third Pathfinder Bank SBS Victory of 2019 Bob Clark photo

Dave Cliff took advantage of a late restart to drive around defending Pathfinder Bank SBS champion and current high point man Anthony Losurdo for his third victory of 2019 piloting Tim Barbeau’s No. 50.

The 30-lap main event was marred by several caution flags, including one before the first lap was completed when Mike Bruce climbed over the top of David LaTulip’s rear end going down the back stretch, causing significant damage to the No. 27 machine.

On the second original start, it was a family affair on the front row as Russ Bartlett and nephew Travis brought the field to green. Things went smoother this time, and it was Russ who took the early lead piloting his recent acquisition; the former Tyler Shullick No. 67.

Almost immediately, Travis Bartlett experienced problems in the No. 03, dropping back through the field up high and allowing the dominant inside row of Greg O’Connor, Josh Sokolic, Anthony Losurdo, and Andrew Schartner all to slip underneath.

One lap later, Bartlett’s frustrating start took a turn for the worst as Travis looped it out of turn two with apparent mechanical issues. Just prior to the spin, Losurdo had found a lane under Sokolic for third, but shortly thereafter blew the power steering on his No. 1.

Following a cleanup on the back stretch and a quick check of Losurdo’s car, the points leader was able to keep his position behind leaders Bartlett and O’Connor with Sokolic, Schartner, Cliff, Mike Bruce, and Cameron Rowe all in tow.

The double file restart with two laps in brought O’Connor to Bartlett’s outside, and that did not pan out for the driver of the No. 90, who immediately lost four spots to Losurdo, Schartner, Cliff, and Bruce. Sokolic also got way out of shape, losing several positions in his No. 26.

When the field finally made it through the first five circuits, it was still Bartlett out front, but he was now feeling pressure from Losurdo, Schartner, and Cliff. Meanwhile, battling several car lengths behind the front four, were Bruce, O’Connor, Rowe, Brad Haynes, and LaTulip.

Just as the lap board showed five complete, Losurdo made his move under Bartlett to take the lead going into turn one and it was not a surprise to anyone when the No.1 car began to open up a rather comfortable advantage over the rest of the field.

The next car to make a move was Cliff, who went low under Schartner on lap 7. This pair battled side by side for over a lap before the inside lane finally prevailed, moving the No. 50 car into the third spot right behind Bartlett.

When Cliff tagged Bartlett in the tail looking for second two laps later, this created a parking lot in turn one. The list of cars involved included Bartlett, Cliff, O’Connor, Haynes, LaTulip, Rowe, and Sokolic.

With the exception of O’Connor, all seven cars were able to drive away, but Bartlett and Cliff had to surrender the second and third positions due to the contact that brought out the initial caution.

Following this major shakeup, the new top five consisted of Losurdo, Schartner, Bruce, Rowe, and Haynes, with Losurdo and Schartner leading the field back to green with nine laps in the record books.

In yet another less than ideal situation, Schartner hung tough on the high side of Losurdo, but that hole closed very quickly coming out of turn two, causing the two cars to brush wheels. This contact sent the No. 18 into the back stretch wall with tremendous force.

Schartner’s ride lost the right front tire on impact and sustained very heavy damage, but the driver was uninjured. Losurdo and his race car were also able to drive away unharmed, while three other drivers were collected in the melee including Rowe, who wound up out for the night.

Following this unpleasant turn of events, the entire field was shook up yet again and there were still twenty laps remaining as Losurdo would have to keep Bruce, Haynes, LaTulip, Steve Flack, Bartlett, Cliff, Sokolic, Ken Moody Jr, and James Babcock all behind him.

On the restart, Losurdo took off this time, and was able to build a huge lead over Bruce and Haynes, who soon had company in the form of Dave Cliff. Cliff had come from eighth to fifth and had actually rolled the outside groove around both Bartlett and LaTulip to do so.

At halfway, it was now Losurdo’s race to lose, with Bruce, Haynes, Cliff, LaTulip and Bartlett all locked in a very entertaining battle a little further back. For the time being at least, those five cars were over a half straightaway behind the leader.

The next driver to fall victim to Cliff was Haynes. On this occasion, Cliff made a bold move to the inside of the speedway and took third on lap 17. It took the No. 50 car less than half a lap to reel in runner-up Bruce and he no sooner began applying pressure on the No. 04.

With eleven laps to go, Cliff made his way under Bruce going down the front stretch, but on the very next circuit, LaTulip made contact with Haynes while working him over for third, causing the No. 27 car to swap ends and also bringing the caution lights back on.

Now, this spin set up a double file restart with ten laps to go. It also meant that Losurdo and Cliff; the two fastest cars all season long, would restart side by side, providing fans with a very exciting sprint to the finish.

After Bruce spun the RBI Racing No. 04 on the first restart attempt, he had to go tail, now bringing Haynes and Bartlett to row two, and LaTulip and Sokolic to row three behind the top two of Losurdo and Cliff.

The second try at the restart went much better, especially for Cliff, who rocketed around the outside of Losurdo in a rather improbable move to take the race lead. Bringing the crowd to its feet, Cliff cleared the No. 1 car going into turn one, and from there it was all over.

In the final ten laps, Cliff simply outran the field, pulling away from Losurdo, Haynes, and Bartlett to pick up the win. Bruce recovered for fifth over Sokolic, Flack, Moody, LaTulip, and Babcock who completed the top ten.

Bruce drove from fourteenth to fifth for the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger Award, Haynes recovered for a podium to earn Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer Award Honors, and Bartlett was recipient of the White’s Car Care ‘4th Place’ Award.

Just two events remain in Oswego Speedway’s 2019 ‘Road to the Championship’ with U-Pull U-Save Family Night up next on Saturday, August 10. The Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS and 350 Supers will all be in action.

For more information on Oswego Speedway, be sure to visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway, Instagram @OfficialOswegoSpeedway 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.

BOX SCORE

  • JP Jewelers ‘Retro Night’
  • Oswego Speedway
  • Oswego, NY
  • Saturday, August 3, 2019
  • Pathfinder Bank SBS

Feature (30-laps): 1. 50 DAVE CLIFF, 2. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 3. 88 Brad Haynes, 4. 02 Russ Bartlett, 5. 04 Mike Bruce, 6. 26 Joshua Sokolic, 7. 32 Stephen Flack, 8. 01 ® Ken Moody Jr, 9. 27 David LaTulip, 10. 15 James Babcock, 11. 18 Andrew Schartner, 12. 90 Greg O’Connor, 13. 77 Cameron Rowe, 14. 03 ® Travis Bartlett

Heat 1 (10-laps): 1. 26 Joshua Sokolic, 2. 02 Russ Bartlett, 3. 27 David LaTulip, 4. 50 Dave Cliff, 5. 90 Greg O’Connor, 6. 32 Stephen Flack, 7. 15 James Babcock, 8. 93 Steve Wood

Heat 2 (10-laps): 1. 18 Andrew Schartner, 2. 1 Anthony Losurdo, 3. 77 Cameron Rowe, 4. 03 ® Travis Bartlett, 5. 01 ® Ken Moody Jr, 6. 88 Brad Haynes, 7. 04 Mike Bruce

Group Time Trials: 1. 1 Anthony Losurdo - 18.657, 2. 50 Dave Cliff - 18.860, 3. 04 Mike Bruce - 18.895, 4. 27 David LaTulip - 18.900, 5. 77 Cameron Rowe - 19.008, 6. 02 Russ Bartlett - 19.026, 7. 18 Andrew Schartner - 19.101, 8. 90 Greg O’Connor - 19.123, 9. 88 Brad Haynes - 19.142, 10. 26 Joshua Sokolic - 19.393, 11. 03 ® Travis Bartlett - 19.516, 12. 32 Stephen Flack - 19.556, 13. 15 James Babcock - 19.920, 14. 01 ® Ken Moody Jr. - 20.050, 15. 93 Steve Wood - 21.349

D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #04 Mike Bruce

Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #88 Brad Haynes

White’s Car Care 4th Place Award: #02 Russ Bartlett

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