Young drivers claim top three finishes in Supermodified feature

Twenty-four year old Dave Danzer (center) outlasted Dan Connors Jr., 18, and Kody Graham, 21, for the Supermodified victory Saturday night at Oswego Speedway. Saturday’s podium finishers made for the youngest top three in Supermodified history at the Speedway with a combined age of just 63 years.

If the top three finishers in Saturday night’s Supermodified 50-lap feature are any indication of the future of Oswego Speedway, it is certainly in good hands.

Despite a terrible forecast and early rain showers, young Dave Danzer, who already had one Supermodified win to his credit, used a lap 20 inside move to slip past fellow youngster Michael Muldoon for his second career win at Oswego Speedway.

Danzer, 24, outlasted Dan Connors Jr., 18, and 21-year old Kody Graham for the victory.

Saturday’s podium finishers made for the youngest top three in Supermodified history at the Speedway with a combined age of just 63 years.

Oswego Supermodified veterans Joey Payne and Otto Sitterly completed the top five finishers. Pat Lavery, Tim Devendorf, Brian Sobus, Shaun Gosselin, and last week’s winner Joe Gosek filled the top 10.

“This one we came from the back, this one means a little bit more,” said Danzer, comparing career win No. 1 to win No. 2.  “Today we started eighth and came up through there. I think by the end of the year, we’ll have a couple wins. That is what we are shooting for. We’re slowly crawling our way back into the championship. We just need good consistent runs and hopefully it will pay off.”

Muldoon and Graham led the Novelis Supermodified field to the Cam’s NY Pizzeria green flag, with Muldoon blasting into the early lead, piloting his father’s No. 50m machine.

With Muldoon out front, Graham settled into second while Mod Lite champion Tim Devendorf worked his way under Stephen Gioia III to pull into the third position early on.

As the field sorted itself out, a frightening accident developed coming out of turn two on just the third circuit of the event.

Last season’s championship runner-up Randy Ritskes and the Gioia No. 9 would touch wheels out of turn two, sending Ritskes into the inside hub rail. After the contact with the inside retaining wall, the Ritskes No. 88 came back across the Speedway leaving drivers little room to maneuver.

Dave Gruel climbed the right rear wheel of the Mike Barnes No. 99 trying to avoid the accident, sending him head first into the turn two outside wall. As Gruel’s No. 50 machine spun back around it slammed into the No. 88 causing a massive fuel leak from the rear of the Lighthouse Lanes ride.

A methanol burning fire erupted, forcing both Gruel and Ritskes to make daring exits from their vehicles.

Both drivers exited their cars without injury and the Oswego Speedway safety crew made quick work of the blaze, knocking it down in a matter of seconds.

Tim Snyder, Joe Gosek, and Pat Lavery were also involved in the scene in turn two and all three were able to rejoin the field.  Gruel and Ritskes were each done for the night.

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