By Camden Proud
OSWEGO, NY (June 18, 2022) – Defending Pathfinder Bank SBS track champion Dan Kapuscinski continued his early season dominance aboard the Flack Racing No. 23 on CME Electrical Supply Night at the Speedway this past Saturday.
Kapuscinski earned the seventh victory of his SBS career, taking the lead from Greg O’Connor at the halfway point and keeping Noah Ratcliff at bay on a series of late restarts to take the checkered flag, posing in victory lane with son Michael on Father’s Day Weekend.
“I was a big proponent of the choose-restart rule, but you don’t like it at the end of the race when you have to fight off those guys on the outside,” Kapuscinski mentioned. “Noah (Ratcliff) was running so good and having Jesse Bearup, and Russ Brown here tonight is tough. It is really a testament to all the race cars here. We’ve got 20 something really fast cars. This is for Steve Flack’s Dad big Steve, he is still in the hospital in Syracuse and we are thinking about him a ton. It’s not the same without him here, so this win is for him. It’s also awesome to have my son Michael here tonight. I remember coming here when I was his age, but never got the chance to come down to victory lane. He loves it and that’s the next generation of Oswego Speedway right here.”
Despite another fantastic drive, Ratcliff would have to settle for runner-up, the fourth podium finish of his career and the second of the season as last year’s rookie high point-man continues to knock on the door for career win number one.
“The car has been fast all night. The feature was real tight at the beginning, but towards the end it got a lot better,” Ratcliff said. “I actually was experiencing a little bit of brake fade at the midway part of the race, so I was trying to take it easy. The last three laps I tried for everything I had, but hoping for next time.”
Completing the podium was Speedway Hall of Famer Russ Brown, who had made a total surprise appearance last weekend, filling in for Tony Pisa in the O’Connor owned No. 89.
“Greg (O’Connor) and his guys have helped us over the years and needed someone to drive this weekend, so I just happened to be the lucky guy to get the call,” Brown stated. “I loved the choose rule. I think that is great and something they should have done a long time ago. It made the racing a lot more exciting tonight.”
O’Connor and Darrick Hilton made up the front row for the first 20-lap shootout with O’Connor able to take the early race lead in the No. 90.
Meanwhile, third starting Griffin Miller, fourth starting Andrew Schartner, sixth starting Kapuscinski and fifth starting Ratcliff shuffled around for spots inside the top five.
By lap 2, Kapuscinski had already worked his way underneath Schartner’s No. 18, and moved in on the rear end of the Miller No. 9.
A lap 3 spin by Mark Denny Jr. brought out the first caution flag of the race, setting up a double file ‘choose’ restart.
On the restart, O’Connor was able to hold onto the lead, but soon had company from Kapuscinski, who made his way underneath Miller and into the runner-up position.
With the bottom part of the Speedway now open, Ratcliff and seventh starting Tim Proud were also able to go by Schartner, and into positions four and five.
Schartner continued to get the hot shuffle, with Brown and Jesse Bearup working their way by as well, and sending Schartner all the way back to eighth.
Kapuscinski worked O’Connor over until the halfway point, when Miller, who had just been passed by Ratcliff, lost the handle coming out of turn two, and spun out of fourth place. This spin collected Proud’s No. 54, with both cars sustaining no damage and able to restart at the rear of the field.
With 10 laps remaining, the top five running order was now O’Connor, Kapuscinski, Ratcliff, Brown, and Bearup.
O’Connor selected the inside lane for the choose-style restart, and was able to hold off Kapuscinski’s challenges for the ensuing two laps, before getting up a bit too wide in turn two and opening the door for Danny K to squeeze by and take the lead on lap 12.
A second caution flag was displayed on lap 14 for a backstretch tangle between Miller and the No. 01 of Greg Richardson, bringing an early end to what had started off as a promising run for Miller.
With O’Connor again choosing to stay low for the next restart, Ratcliff decided to take his chances on the high road and pulled up next to Kapuscinski, but the field would quickly slow again, this time for a turn 1 tangle between the 24 of Tony DeStevens, 49 of Josh Wallace, 66 of Darrick Hilton, and 35 of AJ Larkin, although Larkin was the only car who sustained damaged and would go off on the hook.
On the restart, Ratcliff once again elected to fire from the high side as did Bearup in the No. 37, with both drivers able to make the most of their efforts as Kapuscinski once more assumed the race lead, and Ratcliff and Bearup mustered past O’Connor to take over second and third, with O’Connor now in fourth, and Brown in fifth.
One more caution flag was displayed on lap 16 for a simple turn three spin by DeStevens, but with less than five laps remaining, the restart was now single file and Kapuscinski took full advantage of that, running away from Ratcliff at the drop of the green.
Misfortune then struck for fourth running O’Connor, as issues sent the 90 into the pits with just four laps to go, moving Brown into fourth, and Proud; who had restarted last on lap 10, all the way back up to fifth.
Then, Bearup was the next car to have issues, running out of fuel with two laps to go, and dropping out of a podium position.
This now moved Brown into third, Proud fourth, and rookie DJ Shuman fifth as the laps continued to wind down.
Ratcliff was able to remain within striking distance in the closing circuits, but was never able to get close enough to make the winning move on Kapuscinski.
Danny K picked up the checkered and built his already mounting points lead over Ratcliff in second, Brown; who beat Proud by just half a car length for third, Tim finishing fourth, and Shuman rounding out the top five.
Rob Wirth, DeStevens, Wallace, O’Connor, and first-timer Jordan Sullivan impressed with a fine top 10 run.
The Pathfinder Bank SBS will resume their 2022 season on Saturday, July 2, joining the Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and XMR Sportsman Modifieds for the big Independence Weekend Spectacular.
For more information on this event, please visit OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or Instagram @OfficialOswegoSpeedway.
CME Electrical Supply Night
Pathfinder Bank SBS Twin 20’s
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Twin #1 (20-laps): 1. 23 DAN KAPUSCINSKI, 2. 73 Noah Ratcliff, 3. 89 Russ Brown, 4. 54 Tim Proud, 5. 62 ® DJ Shuman, 6. 04 ® Rob Wirth, 7. 24 ® Tony DeStevens, 8. 49 Josh Wallace, 9. 90 Greg O’Connor, 10. 2 ® Jordan Sullivan, 11. 27 ® Jon Carson, 12. 01 ® Greg Richardson, 13. 00 ® Jude Parker, 14. 37 Jesse Bearup, 15. 9 Griffin Miller, 16. 66 Darrick Hilton, 17. 35 AJ Larkin, 18. 72 ® Drew Pascuzzi, 19. 18 Andrew Schartner, 20. 14 Mark Denny Jr. DNS 22 ® Ryan Gunther
Twin #2 (20-laps): 1. 54 TIM PROUD, 2. 23 Dan Kapuscinski, 3. 73 Noah Ratcliff, 4. 90 Greg O’Connor, 5. 89 Russ Brown, 6. 37 Jesse Bearup, 7. 18 Andrew Schartner, 8. 9 Griffin Miller, 9. 62 ® DJ Shuman, 10. 24 ® Tony DeStevens, 11. 00 ® Jude Parker, 12. 72 ® Drew Pascuzzi, 13. 01 ® Greg Richardson, 14. 14 Mark Denny Jr, 15. 22 ® Ryan Gunther, 16. 27 ® Jon Carson, 17. 04 ® Robbie Wirth, 18. 2 ® Jordan Sullivan, 19. 35 AJ Larkin, 20. 49 Josh Wallace DNS 66 Darrick Hilton
Heat 1 (10-laps): 1. 18 Andrew Schartner, 2. 9 Griffin Miller, 3. 66 Darrick Hilton, 4. 00 ® Jude Parker, 5. 24 ® Tony DeStevens, 6. 01 ® Greg Richardson, 7. 27 ® Jon Carson
Heat 2 (10-laps): 1. 23 Dan Kapuscinski, 2. 73 Noah Ratcliff, 3. 89 Russ Brown, 4. 62 ® DJ Shuman, 5. 35 AJ Larkin, 6. 49 Josh Wallace, 7. 22 ® Ryan Gunther
Heat 3 (10-laps): 1. 54 Tim Proud, 2. 90 Greg O’Connor, 3. 37 Jesse Bearup, 4. 04 ® Rob Wirth, 5. 72 ® Drew Pascuzzi, 6. 14 Mark Denny Jr, 7. 2 ® Jordan Sullivan
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger Twin #1: #27 ® Jon Carson
Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer Twin #1: #73 Noah Ratcliff
White’s Car Care 4th Place Finisher Twin #1: #54 Tim Proud
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger Twin #2: #18 Andrew Schartner
Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer Twin #2: #54 Tim Proud
White’s Car Care 4th Place Finisher Twin #2: #90 Greg O’Connor