For the second consecutive event, the Pathfinder Bank SBS series at Oswego Speedway enshrined a first time feature winner.
Saturday night, as a part of Crop Production Services Night at the Races, third-year competitor Dalton Doyle became the latest Oswego Kartway graduate to pull into victory lane.
Doyle’s win comes just two weeks after Jason Simmons earned his first career main event win at Oswego.
Doyle started in the fourth position, quickly moved his way to the runner-up spot, and then stole the lead from Jeremy Pitcher on a lap 1 restart to cruise away with the 35-lap victory behind the wheel of his No. 01 machine.
Rob Pullen, JJ Andrews, Jon Tesoriero, and Russ Brown filled the top five positions at race’s end.
“This is great,” said Doyle after the race. “Let me tell you, it is not east leading all of those laps. It’s a mental game. I am glad I had people telling me I was doing good. We over-drove it a couple times (lap 19 restart). It got real loose coming off of four and (Rob) Pullen had the wood laid to it, but we kept it straight luckily.”
After leading a total of 34 laps on his way to victory Saturday night, Doyle will inherit the lead in the June 1 postponed feature coming up at the Speedway June 15, putting him in prime position to potentially become the first repeat SBS winner in 2013.
Rookies Anthony Losurdo and Pitcher brought the 25-car Pathfinder Bank SBS field to the Cam’s NY Pizzeria green flag on Saturday with Pitcher diving into the race lead off the start from the outside of row one.
Doyle, who started directly on Pitcher’s back bumper, followed the No. 14 through on the high side to the runner-up spot leaving Mark Castiglia, Losurdo, and Andrew Schartner in the top five very early.
Just as the first lap was completed, trouble hit corner number one, with Losurdo and Schartner coming together causing several cars to scatter.
With Losurdo and Schartner spinning across the Speedway in front of the field, Simmons, Chris Proud, and Nathan Noto all spun to avoid, but were able to continue on. Both Losurdo and Schartner took to pit lane, but did rejoin the field.
The lap 1 restart saw Pitcher out front over Doyle, Castiglia, Pullen, AJ Bernys, Cameron Rowe, Andrews, Simmons, Mike Bond, and Tesoriero.
As the green lights came back on Doyle found good bite on the bottom of the Speedway and powered underneath Pitcher coming to the stripe to take the race lead. Pitcher would tuck back into line in second ahead of Castiglia, Pullen, and Bernys.
Doyle, who won his heat race convincingly the last two weeks showing good speed, immediately drew out to a comfortable lead over the rest of the field, running smooth and consistent. Pitcher and Castiglia would check out on their own as well for second and third leaving a tight battle between Pullen, Bernys, Rowe, Andrews, Simmons, and Bond.
Championship leader Brown had to start the main event from 19th on the grid after failing to finish his qualifying heat race and winning the 8-lap consi. In no time at all, Brown was into the top 15, quickly pressuring Tesoriero, Mike Bruce, and Jack Patrick for top ten positions.
Running in a tight bunch behind Rowe in the No. 77, Simmons and Bond were applying heavy pressure to Andrews in the No. 93 for seventh. Eventually, Andrews’ teammate Simmons was able to drive underneath for the spot into turn three on lap 7 bringing Bond with him to the low side.
Bond was looking to take advantage of Brown’s poor starting position to try and cut into the championship lead, and early on it looked as though that would be the case, as in less than ten laps he had worked his way up to the eighth position.
With battles everywhere on the Speedway, except for the lead, the most intriguing became the race for the second position between Pitcher and Castiglia. Castiglia, a feature winner at the Speedway back May 11, tried Pitcher low several times in turn three but was unable to make the move stick in the No. 67.
Finally on lap 14, Castiglia felt as though he had the room he needed moving down the back stretch, but he and Pitcher came together sending both racecars into the outside foam in turn three to bring out the race’s second caution.
Pitcher was able to pull away from the accident scene but completed only one more lap to finish 24th. Castiglia was hooked to the pit area, done for the night, in 25th.
The restart order on lap 14 continued to show Doyle out front with Pullen now riding second over Bernys, Rowe, Simmons, Bond, Andrews, Tesoriero, Bruce, and Brown.
When the green flag waved, Doyle again checked away from the field with the battle on the Speedway being between Rowe, Simmons, and Bond for.
Simmons tried every trick in the book to try and work his way by the No. 77 of Rowe, but was unable to do so.
In working Rowe, Simmons would leave the door open for Bond to move low into turn three on lap 18, taking the fifth spot away. As Bond drove underneath Simmons, the Team Tapout driver tried to quickly move back into line and in doing so made contact with the No. 74 of Bond causing damage to the left front tire of the No.98, which would become significant later on.
Just one circuit later as both Rowe and Bond began to close in on runner-ups Pullen and Bernys, the field raced out of turn two to find a stopped Nathan Noto alongside the hubrail.
The front seven to eight drivers all jammed on the brakes taking evasive action, however, both Rowe and Bond would be collected tagging the outside wall as the yellow lights came on.
Bond was able to drive to the pit area, while Rowe’s racecar took on significant damage, dropping him out of the event in 23rd position.
Doyle would bring the field back to green at lap 19 ahead of Pullen, Bernys, Simmons, Andrews, Tesoriero, Brown, Bruce, Patrick, and rookie Scott Shafer.
However, as the green lights came on another top five runner would head to the pits. This time it was opening night feature winner Bernys in the No. 24, who pulled low and into the pit area right at the drop of the green flag with apparent fuel pump issues.
With Bernys in the pits, Doyle and Pullen hooked up to pull away from the rest of the field including Simmons, Andrews, Tesoriero and now Brown just outside of the top five.
After starting 19th on the grid, Brown was able to pass a number of cars and also take advantage of several others misfortune to ride sixth.
After being involved in a lap one incident, Schartner was also working his way through the field in the No. 18. After restarting 24th early on, Schartner had charged back to eighth by lap 23, moving by Bruce in the No. 22.
As the field settled in past lap 25 Simmons’ left front tire, which had visible issues, finally let go in the second turn sending the No. 98 up into the wall for the night’s final caution. The No. 98 would head pit side done for the night in 20th.
The race’s final restart saw Doyle pull away from the field yet again, charging into his first career SBS main event win over Pullen, Andrews, Teosriero, Brown, Schartner, Patrick, Bruce, Heroth, and Shafer in the top ten.
Shell Shock Custom Helmet Paint heat race wins went to Pullen, Castiglia, and Doyle.
The night’s Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader was Doyle leading all but one lap of the main event. With his first career win Doyle also took home the Nice Price Auto Sales “Up & Comer” award for the evening.
Driving No. 13, Brown would be the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger driving from 19th to 5th on the grid with Tesoriero earning the White’s Car Care 4th Place Award.
Oswego Speedway will next be in action Saturday, June 15. Grandstand gates open at 3:30 p.m. with the Entergy Driver Autograph Session taking place at 5:15 p.m. The night’s first big race, which will be the make-up SBS feature from June 1 followed by the Supermodified make-up, will take the green at 6:30 p.m.