Category Archives: Sports

Gruel dominates for Novelis Supermodified win at Oswego Speedway

Dave Gruel
Dave Gruel

One week after seemingly nothing could go right at Oswego Speedway, nearly everything did during the Toys for Tots ‘Christmas in July’ event Saturday.

Starting from the sixth position, Fulton driver Dave Gruel sped through the field to take the lead from Jerry Curran through lapped traffic on the 18th of 75 circuits to claim his third career Novelis Supermodified victory.

At one point, Gruel built a dominating half-track lead in the Lighthouse Lanes No. 50 before lapped traffic allowed runner-up and championship point leader Joe Gosek to slightly close the victory margin. In the race’s final laps, Gosek appeared to be the fastest car on the speedway, needing a caution to close further ground on Gruel. Championship contenders Otto Sitterly and Shaun Gosselin would trail both Gruel and Gosek to the line with Curran completing the top five in the No. 24.

With the victory, coming just one week before he looks to defend his ISMA Supermodified King of Wings title behind the wheel of the Steve Miller Sweet 16, Gruel has visited Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane in each of his first four seasons behind the wheel of a Supermodified dating back to 2010.

“I think the car was taking me for a ride,” said Gruel. “The car was set-up awesome. I was just trying to do everything I could once I knew I was out there in the lead. Bill Samuels gave me an awesome car; he is the set-up guy. “I have to thank Bob Hoefer, Bill and Linda Samuels,” he added. “This is just awesome for both sides of this team. I was starting to conserve a little bit later, but I am really glad there were no cautions, because I did not have much left the last couple laps.”

Lapped traffic played a key role in the event, helping Gruel to snag the race lead, and later on caused some tense moments in the closing laps. Just one week ago, Gruel spun in the 50-lap Supermodified feature attempting to lap a slower car.

“I usually like to use that (lapped traffic) as an opportunity to try and get ahead of the guy I am racing with,” said Gruel. “Luckily, it paid off this week, last week it didn’t work out too well.”

With another consistent finish in the No. 00, Gosek will head to Race of Champions Weekend at the Speedway in two weeks still on top of the Novelis Supermodified standings. “I think a lot of guys slowed down a bit, but our car was pretty consistent throughout,” said Gosek. “We gained big from warm-ups, to the heat, to the feature and that is a plus.”

With a long green flag stretch run, Gosek said his philosophy is rather simple in those situations. “Basically you just keep picking them off and go as fast as you can”, said Gosek. “I couldn’t see the leader but I figured it was the 50, he was the only one I didn’t pass. I didn’t really look at the board, I saw I was second, but didn’t look at the lead.” Sitterly wrestled the No. 7 home with a third place finish. “The track changed a lot and the car has been really tight,” said Sitterly. “I talked with a lot of guys; Pat Lavery, Joe Gosek and everyone has been really tight the last few weeks. I imagine it has something to do with the heat, track change, or what? Joe was going awful good tonight, and Pat was good early, but we just sort of stayed mediocre the whole race but we’ll take it.”

A fourth place finish for Shaun Gosselin continues his banner season as well as keeping him in the championship battle with Gosek and Sitterly. Gosselin would end the night as both the Lightouse Lanes Hard Charger and Up & Comer. Shell Shock Custom Helmet Paint heat race challenge victories would go to Devendorf, Connors, and Bellinger.

Pat Lavery, Dan Connors Jr., Brandon Bellinger, Kody Graham, and Tim Snyder completed the top ten order. Toys for Tots “Christmas in July” at Oswego Speedway kicked off with a visit from Santa Claus to the “Steel Palace” along with a very successful toy drive in both the grandstand and pit areas. A total of 12 Toys for Tots toy boxes were filled for donation to Toys for Tots of Oswego County. Oswego Speedway took on a winter’s touch throughout the evening with a plethora of Christmas decorations and activities for the young ones, headed up by Christmas in July coordinator Lisa Sova and her helpful volunteers.

Section2Champions1

Fulton Little League team captures Section 2 title

Section 2 champions – The Fulton Little League Intermediate Team is Section 2 Champions. Team members are Nolan Bonnie, Will Caster, Cole Cotton, Nick Dingman, Austin Flemming, Jacob Geitner, Bryce Guernsey, Josh VanHorn, Malcolm Wettering, and Kameron Whipple. Coaches are Randy Cotton, David Dingman, and Larry King.
Section 2 champions – The Fulton Little League Intermediate Team is Section 2 Champions. Team members are Nolan Bonnie, Will Caster, Cole Cotton, Nick Dingman, Austin Flemming, Jacob Geitner, Bryce Guernsey, Josh VanHorn, Malcolm Wettering, and Kameron Whipple. Coaches are Randy Cotton, David Dingman, and Larry King.

Fulton’s Intermediate Division baseball team won the Section 2 championship last Wednesday with a 7-5 win over Canastota.

Fulton played Canastota in a three-game series starting Tuesday, July 2 for the sectional title. Game one was played in Canastota. Fulton was in control throughout the game, earning the 5-1 win.

Fulton showcased strong pitching and defense. Fulton was lead by Nolan Bonnie’s 6-2/3 innings on the hill. He gave up just one hit and one unearned run. Will Caster came in to record the save for Bonnie, striking out the only batter he faced.

The defense did not have an error. The defense was led by Austin Fleming at shortstop and Cole Cotton at first base, who both successfully fielding several hard it balls.

Game 2 was tighter as Fulton earned a hard fought win with great execution and fundamentals. Fulton fought for two runs in the bottom of the first with a base hit by Malcolm Wettering and a bunt base hit by Cotton. Two ground outs and a pass ball led to the runs and an early 2-0 lead.

Fulton was able to score each of the first three innings with timely hitting and aggressive base running to extend the lead to 5-0 by the fourth. Canastota put a couple of hits together to narrow the gap 5-2 in the fourth but Fulton added one in the fifth. After Bonnie stole third base, Nick Dingman scored Bonnie after battling pitches to put the ball in play to the shortstop.

Canastota came alive in the sixth inning, plating three more to get back in the game before Cole Cotton hit a solo home run to bring the lead to 7-5. Fulton held off Canastota in the last inning with great defense led by Wettering throwing out a runner at second base and Will Caster’s diving catch to end the game.

The winning pitcher was Will Caster and the save went to Bryce Guernsey. Fulton left Monday for Montgomery, N.Y. to start play in the New York State Championships. The tournament runs for eight days beginning yesterday when Fulton will take on Section 1 Champion Southline Little League (Buffalo).

“We are excited about the opportunity to represent Fulton in Montgomery. We are playing at a very high level and are going there with expectations,” said Manager Randy Cotton. The team heads to Montgomery with a 15-1 record, winning their last 13 by outscoring their opponents 180-20.

FirstWinForFultonResident1

Pitcher perfect in first career SBS victory

First win for Fulton resident – Fulton driver Jeremy Pitcher, a DIRT Sportsman standout and Butler Disposal Services SBS Rookie of the Year candidate, realized a lifelong dream on Saturday as he picked up his first career Pathfinder Bank SBS main event win behind the wheel of the TNT Motorsports No. 14.–Valley News photo by Ray Grela
First win for Fulton resident – Fulton driver Jeremy Pitcher, a DIRT Sportsman standout and Butler Disposal Services SBS Rookie of the Year candidate, realized a lifelong dream on Saturday as he picked up his first career Pathfinder Bank SBS main event win behind the wheel of the TNT Motorsports No. 14.
–Valley News photo by Ray Grela

Toys for Tots “Christmas in July” presented by Days Inn/Knights Inn of Oswego provided a sixth different winner — and a third first timer — in Oswego Speedway’s Pathfinder Bank SBS division this season.

Fulton driver Jeremy Pitcher, a DIRT Sportsman standout and Butler Disposal Services SBS Rookie of the Year candidate, realized a lifelong dream on Saturday as he picked up his first career Pathfinder Bank SBS main event win behind the wheel of the TNT Motorsports No. 14, joining Jason Simmons and Dalton Doyle as a first time winner in 2013.

Pitcher started on pole position Saturday night, leading all 35 laps of the Grand Prix main event besting Jon Tesoriero, Mike Bond, Simmons, and Russ Brown to the line.

While Pitcher etches his name into Pathfinder Bank SBS history at Oswego, he is no stranger to victory lane at the “Steel Palace” as he cruised to the 602 crate dirt Sportsman main event win at the Speedway last Classic Weekend. After driving a Team Tapout SBS last fall for Jason Simmons, a full-time ride for TNT Motorsports became available this season, and the goal quickly turned to returning to Oswego’s hallowed victory lane.

“I really don’t know what to think right now,” said Pitcher. “The way we have been running this season, it has been a blur. Jonny (Tesoriero) raced me hard, got a little loose a couple of times when we made contact, but it was fun. I’m just grateful to run at such a great track. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid; it is just the best race track around. I want to thank Terry and Tracey Solazzo for giving me this opportunity.”

Ironically, the car in which Pitcher took to victory lane is the same machine that carried Bond to the Grand Prix night win at the Speedway one year ago. Kreig Heroth, Dalton Doyle, Andrew Schartner, AJ Bernys, and Jack Patrick filled the front ten positions in the SBS main on Saturday night.

Friday Night Lights III this Friday in Fulton

The annual Friday Night Lights Takedown Tournament is set for Friday, July 12 at the Fulton High School Athletic Complex.

In its third year, the tournament has become a major summer sports event for Fulton and Central New York Wrestling enthusiasts.

The 2011 and 2012 events both drew more than 325 competitors and hundreds of fans from central and upstate New York.

This year, in addition to wrestlers from all over New York, a group of 18 wrestlers from Canada have signed up. They are from the Team Impact Wrestling Club in Mississauga, Ontario.

The Team Impact Wrestling Club is recognized as one of 14 national training centres in Canada is an affiliated club with the Ontario Amateur Wrestling Association, and the Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association.

The Friday Night Lights DJ will start spinning tunes to wrestle by at 6 p.m. when the five to six year olds start the competition on all seven mats simultaneously.

It continues until the event’s conclusion with the competition for post-graduates and old timers.

‘Christmas in July’ celebration to benefit Toys for Tots tonight

Today is a special day at Oswego Speedway. For the first time, the “Steel Palace” will present “Christmas in July” to benefit Toys for Tots of Oswego County.

“Christmas in July” will feature free food for those who bring a toy for Toys for Tots, awards for the best decorated Supermodified pit and best decorated SBS pit, best dressed member of the Oswego Speedway staff, and best decorated push truck/safety truck/tow truck, fireworks, and a visit by Santa himself.

“This is something I’ve thought about doing for a couple years now,” said Coordinator Lisa Sova. “This year, during the off season, several of us at the track started to talk about it seriously, and we came up with this program to benefit Oswego County youngsters through Toys for Tots. We are hoping this will become an annual event because it is for such a great cause and everybody can have some fun with it.”

Every person who brings a nice, unwrapped toy will receive a free Hofmann hot dog combo meal, which includes a Hofmann hot dog, fries, and a Coca Cola product or Dasani water.

“If all members of a family bring a nice unwrapped toy,” Sova said, “they will each receive the free Hofmann hot dog combo meal.”

Toys should be for youngsters from toddlers to early teens.  The Oswego County Toys for Tots program will be represented at the track and organizers will take all of the gifts and distribute them to needy children during the Christmas season.

Terry Strong of the Plum Krazy 99 Supermodified team says her team is out to win the best decorated Supermodified pit or hauler.

“I just think this is a fantastic idea,” said Strong. “What a great way to have some fun and at the same time make a significant contribution to the needy kids in Oswego County.”

The Strong team will have its work cut out as a number of other teams have already started preparations on decorating their pits and hauler. The excitement is no less on the SBS side of the pits.

Jay Andrews, always known to both have a good time and help out a worthy cause, said his Team Tapout is all in.

“We’ve decorated our hauler for other events,” said Andrews, “and this is such a great way to help local kids. You can be sure there will be an individual contest between my 93 team and Jason’s 98 team.”

Jason is Jason Simmons, driver and owner of the two car Team Tapout.

Several of the track workers have already either purchased or made costumes for “Christmas in July.”

Almost all of the workers will be sporting Santa Claus hats.

Terry Thompson, who works at Mitchell’s Speedway Press and sells programs at the track, says he’s going to be hard to beat as the best dressed employee. While he wouldn’t give away any of his ideas for a costume, Thompson said, “You know me, so you know it’s going to be spectacular.”

The push trucks, safety trucks, and tow trucks will have their work cut out for them since they have to come up with a display that won’t fall apart or fall over when the vehicle is in motion.

Paul Conzone of the track safety crew said that the safety crew will really have its work cut out for them to come up with a Christmas display for the front straight safety truck, “but you know us. We’re really all over anything that is going to help those less fortunate. We’ll be there, and we’ll be decorated.”

Conzone did say the safety crew likely won’t be able to wear the Santa hats because of other equipment they have to wear.

“Lights on the Christmas displays are certainly encouraged,” said Sova, “but they will have to be turned off during all races.  They can be on at all times except when there is a race on the track.”

Nothing may be erected on top of the hauler as part of the display.

Tonight, there will also be a fireworks display.

Grandstand gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing hitting the Speedway at 6:30 p.m.

Novelis Fan Can Chase continues tonight at Oswego Speedway

The second round of the Novelis Fan Can Chase will take place this Saturday at Oswego Speedway as a part of Toys for Tots “Christmas in July” presented by Days Inn and Knights Inn of Oswego.

Saturday night’s collection will take place outside the main gate to the Speedway from 3 to 6 p.m.

Over 15,000 aluminum cans were recycled at the Speedway’s first Fan Can Chase event back May 25, with Carl Schadt recycling over 2,700 cans to lead the individual standings.

Ron Gunther, Brad Smart, Jim Larkin, and Mike Howard currently fill the top five positions in the individual collection standings with Speedway tickets and other prizes on the line for those race fans that recycle the most cans by season’s end.

The donation of 100 to 199 New York State six-cent recyclable cans from the same household will earn one family member a $7 food voucher for the concession stands on that night.

Households with donations of 200 to 499 cans will earn one general admission ticket for a future regular race night while those who donate between 500 to 999 cans will be rewarded with two general admission tickets for a future regular race night and one chance to win a two-seat Supermodified ride to be raffled that night.

All fans are reminded not to split up their donations on the remaining Fan Can Chase race dates. Several fans in the past have separated race date donations into different names and have missed out on season long prizes even though those multiple donations were, in fact, from the same household. Splitting up race date donations, in excess of 100 cans will not result in additional $7 food vouchers being issued.

As in the past, names and phone numbers will need to be on all bags turned in and a photo ID will be required as only one food voucher will be issued per residence.

Food vouchers will be dated for use on the date they are issued and must be used in one concession transaction. Food vouchers are good for all menu items, except beer and wine.

FultLitLeague1

Fulton Little League team wins title, needs $5,000 to advance to state tournament

Section 2 champions – The Fulton Little League Intermediate Team is Section 2 champions. To make the trip to the New York State Championship in Montgomery, N.Y., Monday, July 8, they need to raise $5,000. Businesses or individuals who would like to make a donation may contact coach Dingman at 598-7485 or coach Randy Cotton at 593-2284.
Section 2 champions – The Fulton Little League Intermediate Team is Section 2 champions. To make the trip to the New York State Championship in Montgomery, N.Y., Monday, July 8, they need to raise $5,000. Businesses or individuals who would like to make a donation may contact coach Dingman at 598-7485 or coach Randy Cotton at 593-2284.

Fulton Little League’s Intermediate Team won the District 8 Championship last week and followed that up with a Section 2 Championship July 3, said coach David Dingman.

“Following that game, there was little time for celebration as we were informed that we need to be in Montgomery, N.Y. Monday, July 8 for the New York State Championship Tournament. To make that trip, we need to raise $5000 to cover our expenses.

“The tournament runs from Tuesday, July 9 through Monday, July 15,” he added. “The team was obviously not prepared for a weeklong stay just outside of New York City. We are doing everything we can as fast as we can to raise the money to get the team and coaches there on Monday.

The team is holding the following events/activities:

• Bottle and Can Collection — Return all your bottles and cans to the Three Little Pigs and say they are for this team.

• Candy bar sales at the Fulton Wal-Mart

• Car Wash – Come give a donation and get your vehicle washed at Lakeview  Lanes Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m.

• Business Donation – Businesses or individuals who would like to make a donation can contact coach Dingman at 598-7485 or coach Randy Cotton at 593-2284.

“If the team is successful, they will have four days before having to go to Long Island for the Super Regional for eight days,” said Dingman. “If successful there they would have to go to California for the World Series. Why not us?

“We would like to thank you for any consideration you give to this urgent cause,” he continued. “The kids have worked hard and are playing well. Currently they are sitting at 15-1, winning their last 13 games and outscoring their opponents 180 to 20.”

Team members are Nolan Bonnie, Will Caster, Cole Cotton, Nick Dingman, Austin Flemming, Jacob Geitner, Bryce Guernsey, Josh VanHorn, Malcolm Wettering, and Kameron Whipple.

Coaches are Cotton, Dingman, and Larry King.

Fulton Little League captures District 8 title

Fulton’s Intermediate Division baseball team won the District 8 championship last Wednesday with a 2-1 win over Oswego. Fulton continued its run Monday when it started sectional play with a three-game series against Canastota. Game two of the sectionals is schedule for today, July 3 and game three is Friday July 5 if necessary.
Fulton’s Intermediate Division baseball team won the District 8 championship last Wednesday with a 2-1 win over Oswego. Fulton continued its run Monday when it started sectional play with a three-game series against Canastota. Game two of the sectionals is schedule for today, July 3 and game three is Friday July 5 if necessary.

Fulton’s Intermediate Division baseball team won the District 8 championship last Wednesday with a 2-1 win over Oswego.

Fulton played Oswego in a three-game series starting Monday for the district title.

Game one was never in doubt as Fulton won 15-5, putting them one win away from capturing the title.

Game 2 was a pitching duel between Will Caster of Fulton and Tanner Coleman of Oswego.

Fulton struggled early to put runs up while leaving men on base. They finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning after a bunt by Bryce Guernsey advanced Nolan Bonnie to third. Bonnie scored on Austin Fleming’s ground ball.

Fulton added another in the next inning when Malcolm Wettering scored.

Oswego added one run in the top of the sixth inning but would not get any closer as Caster pitched a gem. Fulton continued its run Monday when it started sectional play with a three-game series against Canastota.

Game two of the sectionals is schedule for today, July 3 and game three is Friday July 5 if necessary.