Dan Kapuscinski Climbs from 8th to Claim Third Tony White Memorial Victory

Dan Kapuscinski Ray Grela Photo

By Camden Proud
OSWEGO, NY (May 26, 2024) – After a lengthy rain delay, the 35-lap Tony White Memorial for Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supers (SBS) served as the night cap for Oswego Speedway’s 73rd Season Kickoff this past Saturday, May 25.

In the early hours of the morning, around 1:15AM, Dan Kapuscinski drove to the front and claimed his third career Tony White Memorial victory for car owner Stephen Flack.

The field was led to the green flag by Brad Haynes and DJ Shuman, with Haynes grabbing the lead from the low lane as things got underway. Tony DeStevens followed closely in third, with Noah Ratcliff and Drew Pascuzzi rounding out the top five.

Right from the drop of the green, competition was intense as eighth starting Kapuscinski and tenth starting Jesse Bearup wasted no time making their presence felt, quickly maneuvering through the pack to close in on the top five.

Haynes initially pulled away in the lead, but behind him, Ratcliff made a move to claim third from DeStevens on lap 6, while Kapuscinski capitalized on the open gap to advance to fourth. Bearup then followed suit, getting under DeStevens for fifth on lap 9.

With the halfway mark approaching, Haynes found himself under pressure as Shuman, Ratcliff, and Kapuscinski had closed in rapidly.

On lap 14, Ratcliff and Kapuscinski managed to slip past the second-place runner, Shuman, relegating him to fourth, just ahead of Bearup.

At the halfway mark, Haynes continued to lead the pack, followed by Ratcliff, Kapuscinski, Shuman, Bearup, and the 41 of Alex Hoag, who made a notable return to Oswego Speedway after many years. Hoag showcased a nearly brand-new car built by Jim Paternoster, a tribute to his late father, Dean Hoag.

With 16 laps remaining, tension mounted at the front of the field as Kapuscinski and Ratcliff closed the gap on Haynes even further. Haynes found himself maneuvering past a slower car on the nineteenth circuit and Kapuscinski took advantage, darting to the outside and clearing Ratcliff to secure the second position while the top two were pinned behind lapped traffic.

Danny K waited no more than a corner to next make his move for the lead on Haynes, at lap 20. With just 15 to go, the Flack Racing 23 surged ahead of Haynes’ 88 and claimed the top spot.

Next, Ratcliff would use a similar move on the 20th circuit to get under Haynes for second with 15 to go, and then with 10 to go, Bearup was able to move up to third using a low side turn 3 pass under Haynes, dropping Brad to fourth.

At lap 29, the first caution flag flew with DeStevens spinning off turn 2 when running 7th. The field then came to a choose restart with 6 to go as Danny K chose the inside with Ratcliff to his outside, Bearup in third, and Hoag taking his chances up high in fourth. That paid off for Hoag as he got by Haynes on the restart.

Kapuscinski was able to keep the lead over the 73 when the green came back out. Meanwhile, the Hoag car then attempted an outside run on Bearup but the two touched, nearly crashing down the backstretch. Hoag had to settle for fourth with Bearup holding onto the last podium spot.

Danny K was able to walk away from Ratcliff and Bearup for the win, followed by Hoag and Haynes in the top five, for his third Tony White Memorial win. The top 10 filled in with DJ Shuman, Drew Pascuzzi, Robbie Wirth, Tony DeStevens, and AJ Larkin.

Reflecting on his victory, Kapuscinski said, “Lapped traffic at the end of the day is what led us to get out front. The last few years I’ve been racing here, that’s probably the most fun one I’ve run. Everybody ran really clean, we were all over the race track, and it was a blast. This kind of feels like a first one for me. A lot of stuff happened in the offseason last year and I think a couple people in the pits thought we’d never be able to win at Oswego again, but I’ve got a really good group of guys behind me that have helped me out and we’re back. We won’t be here every week because I’m going kart racing with my son the next two Saturdays. We’ll be back at the end of June with the wing car and then I think we’ll bring this one back in July so thanks to the folks that stuck around, thanks to all our sponsors, and it was a lot of fun.”

Second place finisher Noah Ratcliff expressed his enthusiasm for the race and the SBS class by stating, “This is why I like the SBS class so much. You are always wheel to wheel and it’s just such a blast. I’m excited to get out with it a few more times this year, but we’re going to focus on the 350. The car was great all night, it tightened up a lot towards the end though so I was pushing up to the second groove in the corner. I can’t thank everyone enough that helps me out: my Mom, my brother, sister, Travis, John, Mike, my girlfriend Kenzie, her Mom, Drew. I know I’m forgetting a couple, Jake’s Automotive, Total Fire Protection, Universal Metal Works. We’ll try again next time and have some more fun.”

Finally, third place Jesse Bearup added, “It wasn’t a bad night. I’m glad the two veterans ended up in front of me. That’s the way it always should be, but it was a fun race, I can’t complain. I got to thank Route 37 Building Supply, Fabco, HB Builders, Mercer Contracting.”

On Saturday, June 1, action resumes at Oswego Speedway with the 50-lap, $6,000 to win ISMA/MSS/Oswego Novelis Supers Winged Challenge Opener. The points season continues for the J&S Paving 350 Supers with a 30-lap feature, and the Pathfinder Bank SBS with a 35-lap event. Tickets are available at OswegoSpeedway.com – just click on “Buy Tickets.”

Stay connected with Oswego Speedway for more information. Visit OswegoSpeedway.com, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@OswegoSpeedway), and Instagram (@OfficialOswegoSpeedway).

About Oswego Speedway: Oswego Speedway is a 5/8 mile semi-banked pavement racing oval located off the shores of Lake Ontario in scenic Oswego, NY. The 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 the Oswego Speedway making it the only weekly Supermodified racing venue in the world. The Small Block Supermodifieds and 350 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, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, and former International Classic Champions Bentley Warren, Joe Gosek, and Davey Hamilton.


Barlow’s Concessions 73rd Season Kickoff

Pathfinder Bank SBS Tony White Memorial 35

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Oswego Speedway

Oswego, NY

Tony White Memorial (35-laps): 1. 23 DAN KAPUSCINSKI, 2. 73 Noah Ratcliff, 3. 37 Jesse Bearup, 4. 41 Alex Hoag, 5. 88 Brad Haynes, 6. 62 DJ Shuman, 7. 72 Drew Pascuzzi, 8. 04 Robbie Wirth, 9. 24 Tony DeStevens, 10. 35 AJ Larkin, 11. 55 Carter Gates, 12. 66 Darrick Hilton, 13. 20 ® Tessa Crawford, DNF 14. 87 ® Cameron Rowe Jr, 15. 77 Cameron Rowe, 16. 47 Matt Matteson, 17. 90 Greg O’Connor

Heat 1 (10-laps): 1. 72 Drew Pascuzzi, 2. 23 Dan Kapuscinski, 3. 35 AJ Larkin, 4. 24 Tony DeStevens, 5. 62 DJ Shuman, 6. 66 Darrick Hilton, 7. 90 Greg O’Connor, 8. 20 ® Tessa Crawford, 9. 47 Matt Matteson ®

Heat 2 (10-laps): 1. 77 Cameron Rowe, 2. 88 Brad Haynes, 3. 37 Jesse Bearup, 4. 41 Alex Hoag, 5. 73 Noah Ratcliff, 6. 04 Robbie Wirth, 7. 55 Carter Gates, 8. 87 ® Cameron Rowe Jr.

Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer ($100 bonus to the highest finishing driver who has never won a feature at Oswego Speedway): #62 DJ Shuman

D&S Landscaping Hard Charger ($25 bonus to the driver advancing the most positions): #23 Dan Kapuscinski