Mike Bond Unstoppable in Fifth Bud Light SBS Classic Victory
OSWEGO, NY – Mike Bond showed exactly why he is the winningest driver in Pathfinder Bank SBS Series history yesterday at Oswego Speedway, leading wire to wire for his fifth career victory in the Bud Light SBS Classic 75.
Bond lead the field to green alongside Russ Brown, who is conveniently the second winningest of all-time, and went on to clock off ran laps three tenths of a second faster than anyone else in the field in the Sunday evening race, which was delayed due to rain.
A now 41-time winner in the Small Block Supers, Bond was ecstatic to add another Classic victory to his resume, but after this past weekend, he also says it’s time to call it a career as far as full-time racing is concerned.
“We’re real happy, this feels great,” Bond said. “We just put a lot of time into the car me and all the guys, we’ve been around for awhile and know what to do. My brother helped us out and gave us some advice on the track so we set the car up and the car was perfect tonight. I think we are done after this weekend. If Denise (Merrill) doesn’t sell the car maybe we will bring it out for the Classic or maybe a race before, but I just don’t have the ambition to do it anymore.”
After narrowly avoiding a wild lap 1 mishap which saw Brown lose the handle on his No. 13 and come across the track to collect Mike Bruce, Josh Kerr, Alex Hoag, Rob Pullen and more, it was just a Sunday evening cruise from there on out for the veteran campaigner from Mexico.
“I need to thank Denise especially for giving me a great car,” Bond added. “Also thanks to my brother, my crew chief Mike Decare, Chip, Larry, Liza, my wife and Ron from Millennium Music who has stuck with me for a long time giving me a lot of support, Pathfinder Bank for all they do, Doug Holmes for being an awesome motor guy, and just everybody that’s helped over the years.”
Opening Night victor Andrew Schartner moved up to start in the third spot after the lap 1 crash set up an original restart. This restart also allowed Camden Proud move to the outside pole, but Schartner got to second early as well and never looked back either, keeping Dalton Doyle, Matt Magner, and more at bay throughout the course of the 75-lap event. As good as Karl Schartner’s homebuilt racer was for the Classic, the North Carolina driver said he had absolutely nothing for the Four Sevens Motorsports No. 74 driven by Bond.
“The car was phenomenal tonight,” offered Schartner. “I really don’t know where I could have made it better. Mike was riding a Clydesdale and the rest of the field was on ostriches. It’s tough to finish second but at the same time I couldn’t be more proud of my dad, Tom, Gary and Rich and thanks to my fiancé Valerie for supporting my race schedule. It was a dream come true to drive my dad’s chassis this year.”
Taking major advantage of the lap 1 crash moving up two rows to the inside to quickly crack the top five by lap two, Doyle had chased down Schartner the entire race after moving to the third spot with less than ten laps complete. However, the second and third place cars were just too even and in the same case as Bond and Schartner, when Doyle got to third, he just stayed there.
“In the middle of the run I really thought we had something for Andrew (Schartner),” Doyle commented. “I was a lot better than him on the restarts and short runs but as the race went on he was able to pull away from me and I really didn’t have anything for him but every time we had a short run I was a lot better in one and two and he was better than three and four so there wasn’t much we could do.”
While Bond, Schartner, and Doyle had checked out early all of that went by the wayside on lap 17 when the red flag was thrown for a fire breaking out on the Mark Castiglia owned No. 69 driven by Anthony Losurdo. Losurdo was OK, but done for the night in his lone appearance of the season
Ten laps later, disaster struck for seventh turned fifth place starting Matt Magner as he and lapped car James Babcock got together on lap 28. Magner returned from the pits to go tailside with damage, but only completed a handful of laps before taking it back to the hauler.
The next green flag run would see a nearly forty lap long stretch without a caution with Bond, Schartner, Doyle, Greg O’Connor, and Proud, who had both slipped into the top five, leading the way.
Unfortunately, just as the ten to go signal was given, fourth place running O’Connor went around in turn three trying to maneuver through heavy lapped traffic and collected fifth place running Proud. 2017 series champion Dave Cliff was also collected after a remarkable charge to catch the top five just before the caution flag was thrown. Cliff had to get by Jack Patrick, Jon Tesoriero, and Dan Kapuscinski to do so.
While Cliff was given his spot back for spinning to avoid, the same could not be said for Proud and O’Connor as the No. 90 was sent tailside for bringing out the caution while the No. 54 went pitside with damage, but returned to the track shortly thereafter.
With nine laps to go, Bond showed just how dominant he was, lapping up to sixth place Cliff before the caution. As the the parallel flags signaling two laps to go were given, Bond had checked out as had Schartner, while Cliff had all he could do to stay with the Doyle No. 01. The front four stayed nose to tail, but Proud made his move to get by the O’Connor No. 90 coming around to get the white flag, putting himself back in the top five.
Bond crossed the line with career win number forty one and the fifth in the Classic with Schartner, Doyle, Cliff and Proud completing the top five finishing order.
O’Connor finished sixth while Kapuscinski, Tesoriero, Patrick, Cameron Rowe, Ray Sand Jr. and Bearup completed the top ten all one lap down to Bond. Scott Shafer, Barry Kingsley, Tony Pisa, Brad Haynes and Tyler Thompson filled in the remaining positions.
Rowe was awarded D&S Landscaping Hard Charger for his drive from 27th to 10th, Sand was the Lakeside Property Services Eleventh Place Finisher in Memory of Justin Lamb, and O’Connor was the Lakeside Property Services Last Car on the Lead Lap in Memory of Ida Hollenbeck.
Pisa, the 2017 series rookie of the year, was the highest finishing rookie of the event and was awarded the Mike Kapuscinski Memorial Rookie of the Race for his efforts.
The Oswego Classic Can-Am Camping Group Last Car Running in Memory of Norm and Vi Helbock was awarded to Thompson, Bond was the Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader pacing the field for all seventy five circuits, and Dave Cliff was the White’s Car Care 4th Place Finisher.
Oswego Speedway’s 2017 pavement campaign is now in the books, with the next on track event at the ‘Steel Palace’ being NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLVI which will run from October 4th-8th. For tickets, visit SuperDIRTWeekOnline.com or phone 844-DIRT-TIX.
For more information on Oswego Speedway, be sure to visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.
26th Annual Bud Light Classic (75-laps): 1. 74 Mike Bond, 2. 18 Andrew Schartner, 3. 01 Dalton Doyle, 4. 50 Dave Cliff, 5. 54 Camden Proud, 6. 90 Greg O’Connor, 7. 12 Dan Kapuscinski, 8. 47 Jon Tesoriero, 9. 9 Jack Patrick, 10. 77 Cameron Rowe, 11. 71 Ray Sand Jr, 12. 37 Jesse Bearup, 14. 91 Barry Kingsley, 15. 89 Tony Pisa, 16. 88 Brad Haynes, 17. 98 Tyler Thompson, 18. 87 Matt Magner, 19. 15 James Babcock, 20. 69 Anthony Losurdo, 21. 14 Alex McRae, 22. 23 Cameron Black, 23. 13 Russ Brown, 24. 8 Josh Kerr, 25. 7 Alex Hoag, 26. 22 Mike Bruce, 27. 2 Rob Pullen
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger Award ($125): 77 – Cameron Rowe
Lakeside Property Services Eleventh Place Finisher In Memory of Justin Lamb ($100): 71 – Ray Sand Jr
Lakeside Property Services Last Car On The Lead Lap in Memory of Ida Hollenbeck ($100): 90 – Greg O’Connor
Mike Kapuscinski Memorial Rookie of the Race ($125): 89 – Tony Pisa
Oswego Classic Can-Am Camping Group Last Car Running in Memory of Norm and Vi Helbock ($200): 98 – Tyler Thompson
Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader ($100): 74 – Mike Bond
White’s Car Care 4th Place Finisher ($50): 50 – Dave Cliff
About Oswego Speedway: Oswego Speedway, a sports entertainment company, is a 5/8 mile semi-banked pavement racing oval located off the shores of Lake Ontario in scenic Oswego, NY. Oswego Speedway has been a continuously run weekly racing venue since August, 1951. The premier open-wheel pavement short track cars in the world, Supermodifieds, run weekly at Oswego Speedway making Oswego the only weekly Supermodified racing venue in the world. The Small Block Supermodifieds accompany the full blown Supers on a weekly Saturday night schedule which runs from May through September. Oswego Speedway is mentioned in racing circles as the “Indy of the East,” as no fewer than a dozen past and present competitors have competed at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway including Mario Andretti, arguably the greatest driver of all time, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, along with former International Classic Champions Bentley Warren, Joe Gosek, and Davey Hamilton.