OSWEGO — Wearing his father Eddie’s race suit that was last in victory lane 31 years ago, Brandon Bellinger passed early leader Tim Snyder on lap 7 and drove the No. 02 to a Novelis Supermodified victory in Oswego Speedway’s 45-lap Retro Night special on Saturday.
“I think the off week really helped us. The car was fast all night long. I was able to get out front early, which gave us a huge advantage, and we kept them all behind us,” Bellinger said.
Jeff Abold, Otto Sitterly, Joe Gosek, and Alison Sload completed the top five in the supermodified feature.
Dave Cliff Jr. triumphed in the 30-lap feature for the Pathfinder Bank Small-Block Supers.
The program was sponsored by JP Jewelers.
Aric Iosue and Snyder brought the 20-car supermodified field to the initial green flag. Snyder got around Iosue for the early lead.
Snyder built a big lead in the opening laps, but that was soon negated as fourth-starting Bellinger began his charge to the front. Bellinger sped around both Logan Rayvals and Aric Iosue with less than two laps complete.
After taking over second, Bellinger began chasing down Snyder. By lap 6, he was all over the rear deck of Snyder’s No. 0. One lap later, Bellinger dove to the inside going into turn 3 and made his pass for the lead with seven laps complete.
Fresh off his victory in Sandusky Speedway’s Hy-Miler, sixth-starting Dave Shullick Jr. moved around Rayvals, Iosue, and Alison Sload to take over third place before making the very same move that Bellinger did on Snyder, taking second on lap 8.
Also on the move were Abold, Sitterly, and Michael Barnes, who were all coming from deep to work their way further inside the top 10.
Abold started eighth and by lap 14, had passed five cars to move into fourth behind Snyder. On the next circuit, he got under Snyder for third.
Sitterly and Barnes, who started 10th and 14th, were weaving in and out of traffic toward the front. With less than 15 laps in the books, this pair was already up to seventh and eighth.
On lap 17, Sitterly made an unbelievable move to go around Sload, Iosue, and Keith Shampine before switching lanes to go under Snyder and into fourth. It took Barnes only three laps to duplicate Sitterly’s move, going by all four cars to take over fifth.
Shullick’s poor Oswego Speedway luck continued as the No. 95 dropped out of the event with 15 laps complete with apparent issues while running second. This handed the runner-up position to the No. 05 of Abold.
Just as Abold had a glimmer of hope while Bellinger got hung up behind a slower car, the first yellow flag of the event came out for an Iosue spin on lap 35.
When racing resumed, Barnes had something go wrong on the No. 68, slowing right in front of the No. 00 of Gosek, who made an outstanding save to miss him. Barnes went to the pits.
The next attempt at a lap 35 restart did not go well either as Rayvals ended his night going into the turn 3 foam with his No. 94. The car lost steering, came around, and hit the backstretch wall before catching the blocks. Rayvals was OK.
Following the cleanup, things finally got back underway. Bellinger and Abold pulled away from Sitterly, Sload, and Gosek when the green flag waved.
On lap 37, Gosek flew around the outside of Sload coming out of turn 4, taking over fourth. Less than a lap later, Gosek drove to the inside of Sitterly in turn 3. The two cars brushed wheels, but both were able to continue.
Although Bellinger ran away out front, the battle for third continued. Gosek worked on Sitterly until the checkered flag, but Sitterly held on to the position.
Bellinger earned his first Oswego Speedway win since August 2017. He became the ninth different winner in 10 Novelis Supermodified features this season.
This Saturday will be U-Pull U-Save Family Night at the speedway. The Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and 350 Supers will be in action.
See www.oswegospeedway.com for more details.
• Dave Cliff started sixth and drove the No. 50 car to the 30-lap feature win in the Pathfinder Bank Small-Block Supers. He was followed to the checkered flag by Anthony Losurdo, Brad Haynes, Russell Bartlett, and Mike Bruce. There were 14 cars in the feature race.
• Dave Danzer, Dave Shullick Jr., and Keith Shampine won 12-lap supermodified heats. Joe Gosek posted the fastest lap time (15.857) during group time trials.
• Josh Sokolic and Andrew Schartner won 10-lap SBS heats. Anthony Losurdo turned in the fastest lap time (18.657) during SBS group time trials.
Oswego Speedway feature finishes
Novelis Supermodifieds (45 laps): 1. Brandon Bellinger (02), 2. Jeff Abold (05), 3. Otto Sitterly (7), 4. Joe Gosek (00), 5. Alison Sload (39), 6. Keith Shampine (55), 7. Dave Gruel (50), 8. Tim Snyder (0), 9. Jack Patrick (90), 10. Camden Proud (54), 11. Dan Connors Jr. (01), 12. Michael Barnes (68), 13. Aric Iosue (11), 14. Logan Rayvals (94), 15. Dave Shullick Jr. (95), 16. Hal LaTulip (56), 17. Jerry Curran (99), 18. Dave Danzer (52), 19. Guard Nearbin (78), 20. Lou LeVea Sr. (66).
Pathfinder Bank SBS (30 laps): 1. Dave Cliff (50), 2. Anthony Losurdo (1), 3. Brad Haynes (88), 4. Russell Bartlett (02), 5. Mike Bruce (04), 6. Josh Sokolic (26), 7. Steve Flack (32), 8. Ken Moody Jr. (01), 9. Dave LaTulip (27), 10. James Babcock (15), 11. Andrew Schartner (18), 12. Greg O’Connor (90), 13. Cameron Rowe (77), 14. Travis Bartlett (03).