By Camden Proud
OSWEGO, NY (May 9, 2021) – Driving the Steve Flack owned No. 23, Speedway veteran Dan Kapuscinski finally closed the deal on his long awaited first career Pathfinder Bank SBS feature win, taking the checkers on Opening Night with a convincing drive from seventh to victory lane.
Kapuscinski was able to move up five spots in five laps to take over second, and five laps later, passed Bryan Haynes to grab the lead and went on untouched for a dominating performance in his debut with Flack Racing.
The popular victory for Danny K comes after 12 top five finishes in the division, including his four podiums and two seconds place runs in only nine starts throughout 2018.
“We’ve been coming here for 20 years trying to win one of these, and finally did it tonight,” said an emotional Kapusciski in victory lane. “I want to thank Stephen Flack, Mike O’Connor, and my buddy Josh Becker. Those guys worked their tail off on this car and it was a dream to drive.”
After a jubilant polish victory lap around the Steel Palace, the one-time Oswego Supermodified regular and former Super Stock winner had a handful of people that he wanted to dedicate his first win to.
“This one is in memory of my uncle Joe Kapuscinski, who passed away before the start of the season,” he said. “I have been really wanting to win one for James Shutts as well, and Barry Cann. We finally did it.”
Jason Simmons, filling in for Greg O’Connor in the No. 90, and former SBS Classic champion Bryan Haynes brought the field to the green for the 30-lap Season Opener presented by Helena Agri-Enterprises.
Simmons, fending off the challenges of Bryan Haynes and his brother Brad, who started in third, led lap 1.
On lap 2, Bryan took a peak to the outside of Simmons coming out of turn two and was able to take the lead heading down the backstretch.
Meanwhile, in just three laps, Kapuscinski had already rocketed past Cameron Rowe, Andrew Schartner, and Josh Sokolic to move up solidly into the fourth position.
When Simmons got out of shape going into the third turn on lap 3, that left a hole on the bottom part of the Speedway for both Brad Haynes and Kapuscinski to take over second and third.
One lap later, Kapuscinski shot to the inside of Brad off of turn two, moving into the runner-up position only five laps in.
It then took Kapuscinski just a few laps to reel in Bryan Haynes, who was way out in front early on.
Using the same move he just pulled to take second from his brother Brad, Danny K stole the lead from Bryan Haynes with a low side pass down the backstretch on lap 10.
By the halfway point, Kapuscinski had built more than a straightaway advantage in the No. 23, but Schartner was on the move, taking third from Brad Haynes at the completion of lap 15.
The Haynes No. 88 broke one lap later, handing fourth to Sokolic and fifth to Rowe.
With only 10 laps remaining, things got very interesting as Kapuscinski entered heavy traffic, but the leader was able to clear the lappers and breathe a sigh of relief at least for the moment.
At the same time, however, Schartner had used this traffic to take over second, and the former track champion began to reel in Kapuscinski as the laps were winding down.
Just as Kapuscinski had crossed the line to complete lap 27, rookie Robbie Bruce brought out the first caution flag of the race with a hard shot into the turn three foam.
It certainly was not what Danny K had wanted to see, as the Schartner Racing No. 18 would now move right to his tailpipes for a restart with three laps remaining, but it didn’t matter.
When the green flag was put back in the air, Kapuscinski left little doubt as to who the car to beat was on Saturday night, walking away from Schartner and picking up his elusive first win.
Schartner settled for second over Bryan Haynes and Josh Sokolic, while rookie Griffin Miller found a way by Cameron Rowe to secure a top five finish in his first ever start in the division.
Completing the top ten were Rowe, rookie Noah Ratcliff, Tony Pisa, rookie Joey DeStevens, and rookie Mark Denny Jr, who all performed very solidly in their first Oswego starts as well.
Rookie Darrick Hilton and Dennis Rupert completed the on track running order while Bruce, Brad Haynes, Simmons, and rookies Josh Wallace and AJ Larkin all ended their evenings pitside.
Kapuscinski was the recipient of both the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger, and Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer Awards, while Sokolic was the White’s Car Care 4th Place Finisher.
Oswego Speedway’s 2021 season resumes this Saturday, May 15 when Oswego County Media Group presents a full program for the Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and J&S Paving 350 Supers.
For more information, visit the Speedway online at OswegoSpeedway.com, LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway, or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway.
Helena Agri-Enterprises 70th Season Opener
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Pathfinder Bank SBS
Feature (30-laps): 1. 23 DAN KAPUSCINSKI, 2. 18 Andrew Schartner, 3. 86 Bryan Haynes, 4. 26 Josh Sokolic, 5. 9 ® Griffin Miller, 6. 77 Cameron Rowe, 7. 73 ® Noah Ratcliff, 8. 89 Tony Pisa, 9. 05 ® Joey DeStevens, 10. 14 ® Mark Denny Jr, 11. 66 ® Darrick Hilton, 12. 99 Dennis Rupert, 13. 22 ® Robbie Bruce, 14, 88 Brad Haynes, 15. 90 Jason Simmons, 16. 49 ® Josh Wallace, 17. 35 ® AJ Larkin
Heat 1 (10-laps): 1. 77 Cameron Rowe, 2. 32 ® Robbie Bruce, 3. 90 Jason Simmons, 4. 49 ® Josh Wallace, 5. 73 ® Noah Ratcliff, 6. 89 Tony Pisa
Heat 2 (10-laps): 1. 26 Josh Sokolic, 2. 23 Dan Kapuscinski, 3. 86 Bryan Haynes, 4. 05 ® Joey DeStevens, 5. 14 ® Mark Denny Jr, 6. 35 ® AJ Larkin
Heat 3 (10-laps): 1. 88 Brad Haynes, 2. 18 Andrew Schartner, 3. 9 ® Griffin Miller, 4. 99 Dennis Rupert, 5. 66 ® Darrick Hilton
Group Time Trials: 1. 23 Dan Kapuscinski – 18.865, 2. 77 Cameron Rowe – 18.979, 3. 18 Andrew Schartner – 19.021, 4. 9 ® Griffin Miller – 19.153, 5. 26 Josh Sokolic – 19.198, 6. 89 Tony Pisa – 19.280, 7. 88 Brad Haynes – 19.304, 8. 86 Bryan Haynes – 19.410, 9. 32 ® Robbie Bruce – 19.460, 10. 90 Jason Simmons – 19.624, 11. 05 ® Joey DeStevens – 19.770, 12. 99 Dennis Rupert – 20.279, 13. 73 ® Noah Ratcliff – 20.398, 14. 14 ® Mark Denny Jr. – 20.580, 15. 66 ® Darrick Hilton – 21.792, 16. ® 49 Josh Wallace – 23.791, 17. ® 35 AJ Larkin – 25.084
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #23 Dan Kapuscinski
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #23 Dan Kapuscinski