We would find ourselves at none other than Oswego Speedway, ‘The Steel Palace’ with 46 New York Super Stocks attending looking to attempt to make their way into the main event, 50 lap race for the glory. Jody would share that Oswego Speedway was his Dad’s favorite race track to attend as a kid and that it was a dream come true to have this race run on Classic Weekend at The Steel Palace. With a record number of cars signed up to battle for 30 starting positions you can only imagine the crowd that turned out to witness this event. The 50/50 would climb over $2,500 and the grandstands would be full both on the front stretch and in four sections on the back.
Five heat races would qualify 5 cars each and have two of those redrawing for starting positions at the series trailer in the infield. Amber VanOrden in her #54 and Nate Peckham in his #90 would be granted provisional starting spots in the feature leaving just 3 positions for the remaining 19 Super Stocks to battle for throughout the 12 lap Shirley Zacharias Shootout B-Main qualifier. Those three spots would be awarded to the top three finishers, #41 of Brian Sones, #8 of Lee Sharpsteen and #37 of Jason Dinzler. The #68 of Scott Adams would be the first non-qualified car finishing in the fourth position and he would be handed the check for $500 given in honor of Shirley Zaharias’ memory.
30 cars would line up on the front stretch for on track introduction and then Jody London would hype the crowd in preparation for those glorious words. “GENTLEMAN START YOUR ENGINES”. The cars would roar to life and we would attempt to get the show underway. This would prove to be a little more difficult than anyone had thought as we would find ourselves having several cautions prior to the completion of lap 1. The #41 of Sones would lose his rear bumper in between turns 3 and 4 as the field was about to cross the stripe to complete the first lap and the yellow would be shown. The second caution would come as the #38 of Shawn Frarey and the #1 of Gary Noe would spin in turn one. They would both pit and return to the field to take the green yet again.
Finally we would get a lap in the books only to have the #5 of Jacob Gustafson go for a spin in turn 4 as he was coming to complete the first lap. Lap 2 would also see the dreaded yellow flag as the #11 of Terry Cheetham would spin into the wall in turn one causing damage to his radiator that would cause him to retire.
The call would come from race control for single file restarts from here on out. On the start we would see the #04 of Tony Hanbury out over the #25 of Joel Gleason for the lead but Gleason would not back down from the fight and would stay consistently on Hanbury’s rear. He would make every attempt to pass the #04 Monte Carlo but experience would lend its hand to Hanbury at every turn.
On lap 7 we would see a car go high into the foam between turns 3 and 4 and another caution would be shown. The #9 of Griffin Miller would have a right rear flat and that would be what sent him sailing into the foam. Unfortunately this would end his night as he would also sustain some suspension damage that would require him to be towed to the pit area. The battle would continue between the top two as. Laps would be clicked off until another caution would see the #41 of Sones spin in turn 4. On the restart the #18 of Frank Petroski would rear end the #54 of VanOrden causing major front end damage to his ride and sending him to the pits for the evening.
We would see the #3 of Jimmy Steffenhagen Jr holding back behind the #25 like he was waiting to attempt to strike but was also waiting to see what would come of the battle between Gleason and Hanbury. Andy Cryan in his #09 and the #15 of Nick Robinson would also be biding their time in the tail of the top five waiting for their chance to advance. Gleason would be trying to take over the top spot from Hanbury on both the high side and the low to no avail until, on lap 23 caution would fly for the #2 of AJ Potzrebowski who would spin in between turns 3 and 4 and we would see our leader, Tony Hanbury pull his #04 to the pit area and not return. Gleason would inherit the coveted top spot but would only remain there for three laps as the #09 of Andy Cryan would decide it was time for him to make his move and he would sail through on the low side of Gleason for the lead.
Gleason would fall to the fourth position behind Robinson before he would start to make his way back to the front. Meanwhile Steffenhagen Jr and Robinson were attempting to make it to Cryan for the challenge. We would go yellow on lap 43 for another spun car but this would give the front pack a chance to regroup and plan for the last 7 laps of this race. Race control would tell the drivers through the one way radio system that they would have one chance at a double file restart and the attempt would be made and would fail. The #09 of Andy Cryan sitting on the inside of the first row would be helped around in turn 4 by the car behind him and would send him head long into the entire field of oncoming cars. He would be sent to the tail of the field.
Single file would be the only way to restart this race and get laps into the books and so single file we would go. Steffenhagen Jr would find himself in the lead as the next lap the flagger would show the field the 5 to go signal. Gleason would be back to second and fortunately for the #75 of Zach Willis, the #72 of Mike Nichols and the #29 of Bill Frisbee Jr would all see themselves in the top five.
Three laps later the final caution would fly, this time for Jacob Gustafson in turn 4 again but with his right rear tire sailing the opposite direction into the infield. This would make for a green, checkered finish that would see JImmy Steffenhagen Jr win the Midstate Basement Authorities Dave London Memorial Xll making this his second year in a row. He would be followed by Gleason, Willis, Brown and Frisbee Jr.
A huge shoutout goes to Jody London who organizes this race in honor of his father Dave London every year. He says he continues to do it because he loves to see his friends happy and he loves the excitement it brings to so many people. Jody was able to raise over $20,000 in prize money this year for its debut at Oswego Speedway on Friday night of Classic weekend. Great job Jody!! Thank you for putting on an amazing show.
We also need to say thank you to our series sponsors, Sunoco Racing Fuels, Insinger Performance, F/A Products, Big Time Service, Aratari Auto Color, Nytric Electrical Contractors, Ken Tibbles Roofing, Rapid Express Transport Services and Midstate Basement Authorities. And also thank you to the Steel Palace of Oswego Speedway for hosting this event.
Heat Winners: #09 Andy Cryan, #3 Jimmy Steffenhagen, #X John Bennett, #25 Joel Gleason, #04 Tony Hanbury
B-Main Qualifiers: #41 Brian Sones, #8 Lee Sharpsteen, #37 Jason Dinzler
Provisionals: #54 Amber VanOrden, #90 Nate Peckham
Feature Finish: #3 Jimmy Steffenhagen Jr., #25 Joel Gleason, #75 Zach Willis, #48 Eric Brown, #29 Bill Frisbee Jr., #8 Lee Sharpsteen, #23 Robert Fink, #87 Mike Hyman, #90 Nate Peckham, #19 Rob Pocobello, #38 Shawn Frarey, #36 Brian Hallett, #54 Amber VanOrden, #0X John Bennett, #09 Andy Cryan, #72 Mike Nichols, #7 Josh Hunter, #5 Jacob Gustafson, #89 Frank Chapman, #2 Aj Potzrebowski, #37 Jason Dinzler, #04 Tony Hanbury, #07 Tim Gullo, #1 Gary Noe, #41 Brian Sones, #18 Frank Petroski, #9 Griffin Miller, #71 Eric Handley, #11 Terry Cheetham, #15 Nick Robinson-DQ