By Camden Proud
Cliff’s championship season was the third of his career and the second in a row driving for Tim Barbeau in the C.P. Force LLC FFB Chassis No. 50 machine. Going winless all season, but collecting more top fives than any other driver to have a healthy lead in the standings all season long since way back on May 27, the many year veteran of the SBS division started fourth last night, passed outside polesitter Greg O’Connor and held off a very quick Camden Proud in second for his first win of the season, the fourteenth of his career.
“This is great to pick up the win and the championship on the same night,” Cliff said in victory lane. “I have to thank Tim Barbeau for giving me an awesome car these past few seasons, it has been really good every week this year. I was getting a little nervous towards the end, I saw that Camden (Proud) was right there on the monitor and I’m not sure what would have happened if the race was a few laps longer. I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals in the SBS class, but I think the next thing on my list would be to win a Supermodified feature at Oswego. I hope that is an opportunity I have someday.”
Proud put together a very strong season wheeling his family owned, Step One Creative No. 54 to his third second place finish of 2017. The Oswego Speedway public relations director challenged Cliff for the entire second half of the race, coming very close to his first ever victory at Oswego, notching his sixth top five finish of the season and his first ever top three finish in season points.
“We have had an awesome year,” Proud said. “My Dad was kicking himself last week because he thought he missed the setup on the car, but he had this thing spot on for tonight. Dave (Cliff) has been so strong all year and we were very even, so that made it challenging to get by him, but second place to who I think is one of the best to ever wheel one of these is nothing to hang your head about. I have to thank my crew for putting so many hours into the car this season to put me in the position to have our best year yet. I’m very happy. Congrats to Barbeau Racing on the championship and hopefully we can carry our momentum into the Classic.”
After leading the field to green alongside polesitter Barry Kingsley, O’Connor managed another trip to the podium in his Steve Flack owned No. 90. This was also Greg’s sixth top five finish of the year, as the Oswego, NY pilot has had a breakout season which included his first career win back in July.
“It’s been a great season and I’m happy to finish it off up front,” O’Connor commented. “The car was a little bit too free tonight but we are happy to finish third. Congrats to Dave (Cliff) on the championship and I have to thank my crew, family, car owner Steve and sponsors The Sting, Munski Auto, Premiere Landscaping and everyone who supports us and helps with the car.”
The 30-lap SBS season championship was lead to the green flag by Kingsley and O’Connor and the outside lane prevailed on the start with O’Connor jumping out in front as Dave Cliff quickly followed suit into second.
Meanwhile, third starting Proud dove to the inside of Kingsley on a quick move to the third spot over in turn three, beginning to give chase back to front runners O’Connor and Cliff.
Unfortunately, just as the battle started to heat up for the front three spots, the yellow flag was thrown for a major tangle over in turn four involving Tyler Shullick, Alex Hoag, Kreig Heroth, Dalton Doyle, Mike Bond, Andrew Schartner and more as the back end came around on Doyle’s 01 with the rest of the field being collected.
With the exception of Shullick, everyone was able to continue on.
The lap 7 restart setup Cliff and Proud perfectly to get by O’Connor and the pair did so on the same circuit, with Cliff going to the lead and Proud to second on lap 9. This made for a 20-lap battle between two of the most successful drivers in the class all season, while fellow championship contenders Patrick, Schartner, Doyle, and Heroth were battling further back in the pack.
At the completion of lap 10, Cliff and Proud quickly showed they were going to be the two dominant cars all-race long as they began to pull away from the top ten of O’Connor, Pullen, Kingsley, Kerr, Patrick, Bearup, Bond and Rowe.
Kerr had been quick all night with his No. 8 machine, and on lap 16 he made his move to work to the top five, finding the inside of the No. 91 of Kingsley going into turn three. This opened up the door for Patrick, Bearup, Bond, and hard chargers Schartner and Doyle to slide under Kingsley as well, as the two drivers that were second and third in points prior to the start of the race had their work cut out for them at the halfway point.
With ten laps to go, Proud closed even more on Cliff, at one point looking to the inside of the No. 50 off of turn two, but Cliff’s FFB proved just a little bit too strong and he was able to hold Proud off for the final ten circuits to get the win ahead of Pullen, Kerr, Patrick, Bond, Schartner, Bearup and Doyle in the top ten. Rowe, Kingsley, Heroth and James Babcock completed the on-track running order while Hoag, Shullick, Mark Castiglia, Cameron Black, Dennis Rupert, Addison Bowman and Steve Wood completed the field.
Cliff was the Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader Award recipient, Schartner was the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger for his drive from fourteenth to eighth, and Pullen was the White’s Car Care ‘4th Place Finisher.’
In the championship standings, Cliff was declared the champ for the second consecutive season while Schartner, Proud, Doyle and Patrick completed the top five.
With the regular season in the books, Oswego Speedway returns to action with Bud Classic Week beginning Friday, September 1 with Pole Day time trials for the Novelis Supermodifieds and Pathfinder Bank SBS presented by Central NY Chevy Dealers before the 61st running of the Budweiser International Classic 200 takes place on Sunday, September 3.
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.com.
August 19, 2017
Pathfinder Bank SBS
Feature (30-laps): 1. 50 Dave Cliff, 2. 54 Camden Proud, 3. 90 Greg O’Connor, 4. 2 Rob Pullen, 5. 8 Josh Kerr, 6. 9 Jack Patrick, 7. 74 Mike Bond, 8. 18 Andrew Schartner, 9. 37 Jesse Bearup, 10. 01 Dalton Doyle, 11. 77 Cameron Rowe, 12. 91 Barry Kingsley, 13. 04 Kreig Heroth, 14. 15 James Babcock, 15. 7 Alex Hoag, 16. 67 Tyler Shullick, 17. 69 Mark Castiglia, 18. 23 Cameron Black, 19. 99 Dennis Rupert, 20. 12 Addison Bowman, 21. 93 Steve Wood, 22. 98 Tony Pisa
Heat 1 (10-laps): 1. 67 Tyler Shullick, 2. 50 Dave Cliff, 3. 90 Greg O’Connor, 4. 2 Rob Pullen, 5. 15 James Babcock, 6. 12 Addison Bowman, 7. 89 Tony Pisa, 8. 99 Dennis Rupert
Heat 2 (10-laps): 1. 74 Mike Bond, 2. 01 Dalton Doyle, 3. 37 Jesse Bearup, 4. 54 Camden Proud, 5. 77 Cameron Rowe, 6. 04 Kreig Heroth
Heat 3 (10-laps): 1. 91 Barry Kingsley, 2. 8 Josh Kerr, 3. 7 Alex Hoag, 4. 9 Jack Patrick, 5. 18 Andrew Schartner, 6. 23 Cameron Black, 7. 93 Steve Wood, 8. 69 Mark Castiglia
Group Time Trials: 1. 9 Jack Patrick – 18.868, 2. 77 Cameron Rowe – 18.904, 3. 50 Dave Cliff – 18.910, 4. 18 Andrew Schartner – 18.914, 5. 54 Camden Proud – 18.957, 6. 67 Tyler Shullick – 19.018, 7. 8 Josh Kerr – 19.043, 8. 37 Jesse Bearup – 19.094, 9. 2 Rob Pullen – 19.103, 10. 7 Alex Hoag – 19.130, 11. 01 Dalton Doyle – 19.137, 12. 90 Greg O’Connor – 19.146, 13. 91 Barry Kingsley – 19.158, 14. 74 Mike Bond – 19.228, 15. 89 Tony Pisa – 19.280, 16. 69 Mark Castiglia – 19.325, 17. 04 Kreig Heroth – 19.338, 18. 15 James Babcock – 19.901, 19. 99 Dennis Rupert – 20.026, 20. 23 Cameron Black – 20.759
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: 18 – Andrew Schartner
Sherwood Racing Wheels Lap Leader Award: 50 – Dave Cliff
White’s Car Care 4th Place Award: 2 – Rob Pullen