Andrew Schartner became Oswego Speedway’s eighth different winner of the season in the small block supermodified division, after leading all 50 laps of the division’s portion of the 62nd Annual Sunoco Race of Champions event.
Having been plagued with bad luck throughout the 2013 season, the win was a much needed shot in the arm for the weekly commuting Charlotte, N.C. resident.
Following last weekend’s bone-jarring collision with the outside confines of Oswego’s fast five-eighths mile paved oval that left both car and driver reeling for days afterward, Schartner was rewarded with his second consecutive ROC win.
It was the pilot of the No. 18’s eighth career win in the series, tying him with Chris Proud for ninth on the division’s all-time win list.
“The car was not good on restarts at all, we were having a hard time getting going,” said Schartner. “The car was great though in the long run and that is what we aim for. This has been a terrible year, we have had awful luck, and I think I am most happy for my crew. They are the ones that have to slave on this thing after the luck we’ve had. I definitely wanted to come back and defend my crown, but with the rain-out, I had to change my flights and now I’ll be paying the credit card off until I’m collecting social security.”
Chasing Schartner the entire distance, unable to beat the No. 18 to the first turn to grab the all-important early lead, was 15-year old rookie racer, Anthony Losurdo.
With 12th place being his previous best feature finish, Losurdo’s second-place run was almost a win in itself for the young Oswego native. Losurdo felt as though he had something for Schartner at race’s end. “He was getting a lot better restarts than us, but we were chasing him down a little bit,” said Losurdo. “I just have to thank all my sponsors – Chris and Carlee Heagerty, my dad and mom, Stu (Fenske) for all the hard work he puts in and everyone that comes out to support us.
“I’m not that good on the restarts yet, that’s something I really have to work on, but the car was good and I felt like we were just as fast or faster than Andrew but he was holding a good line and getting much better restarts than us.”
Sobus was solid all day, driving his No. 6 small block super to a third-place run.
Having scored a solid top 10 finish in each of his three International Classic 200 starts, Sobus says he’s actively searching for a ride in this year’s upcoming big block event.
“You know what, we were really good right from the start and then we we got that long yellow with all the speedy dry the car was just a handful after that,” said Sobus. “I knew if I could keep it on the bottom and not screw up I would be alright. Rob (Pullen) let me know he was there, but he ran me clean and I have to thank him for that.”
The top three feature finishers took Friday evening’s qualifying heat wins as well.