Kody Graham Dominates Final Oswego Supermodified Main Prior to Classic Weekend
OSWEGO, NY (August 23, 2015) – For the second consecutive season, Kody Graham heads into Budweiser International Classic Weekend with all the momentum, after dominating Saturday night’s 50-lap Novelis Supermodified feature event in flag to flag fashion, presented by Airgas and the Woodchuck Saloon.
Graham started on the outside pole position in the Xtreme No. 21, blasted to the early lead, and never looked back on his way to a near nine second victory over the rest of the field, completing the total 50-lap distance in only 14:32 seconds at an average speed of just under 130 mph.
While official distance records have not been kept at Oswego Speedway for several years, all indications point toward Graham’s 50-lap run as the fastest non-wing Supermodified 50-lap main in Speedway history.
The victory is Graham’s first of the 2015 season and the fourth of his still growing supermodified resume, tying him with greats Nolan Johncock and Johnny Logan.
“The car was great in the beginning but I started picking up some sort of a vibration about halfway through” said Graham, in Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane. “I think the left front tire was about to come apart. Once I got to lapped traffic I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go to the outside, so I just waited there until someone showed me a wheel and they never did. This has been a long frustrating year and there are a lot of emotions put into it, so this feels good.”
Dave Cliff, driving the Danzer Racing back-up No. 72, started the event from pole position and put on a great drive to finish in the runner-up spot, his best career Supermodified finish.
Shaun Gosselin, Dave Gruel, and Pat Lavery finished the top five, while Dave Danzer, Bob Bond, Michael Muldoon, Otto Sitterly, and Joe Gosek sealed the top ten.
The main story heading into the evening was the Novelis Supermodified point battle between seven-time champion Sitterly and two-time Classic champion, Bond.
Sitterly entered the evening with a slim 3.5 point margin after the duo had already swapped the championship lead on four different occasions.
The drama of the continuing point battle continued early on Saturday as Sitterly surprised the crowd with what appeared to be a rare to be seen miscue while warming his car for his heat race.
Scheduled to start tail in his heat, Sitterly was swerving his car on the front stretch prior to the green flag, when the rear tires broke loose, sending Sitterly into the inside hubrail with considerable front end damage. As a result, Sitterly would not be able to take the green flag in his heat race, and was credited with 0 points.
Bond would go on to finish second in his qualifier, backing it up with a seventh place effort in the main event.
Sitterly was able to start the main event in the same No. 7 machine that he crashed prior to his heat race, ending the main in ninth place from last on the grid.
With Sitterly’s issues, Bond retakes the point lead by 12.5 points heading into the season finale Fall Championship 75 on Saturday, September 19.
Cliff and Graham brought the 21-car Novelis Supermodified field to the Cam’s Pizzeria green flag with Graham darting to the point.
It was clear early on that Graham had the car to beat, immediately pressing to a half straight lead on Cliff and Gosselin out front.
All eyes were further back in the field, keeping tabs on Sitterly who was quickly beginning a run on the field.
By lap four, Sitterly was making three-wide attempts, working by both Brandon Bellinger and Keith Shampine to find his way to the 13th place and just two laps later he then moved low on Tim Snyder for 12th down the back straight.
By lap 12 Graham had mounted a full straight away lead on a hard charging Cliff, who had built a good bit of distance between himself and third place running Gosselin.
Sitterly meanwhile was now engaged in a battle with 11th place running Jeff Abold.
Sitterly first dove under Abold in turn one, but overshot the corner allowing Abold to work back by. Three laps later Sitterly again pulled the same move out of turn four, this time making it stick, riding just one position outside the top ten, after starting 21st.
As the race hit the halfway point Graham had now built a half track lead and Sitterly was now applying pressure to Michael Barnes. Sitterly was able to roll by Barnes on the high side into turn three and only six laps later slid under Gosek for ninth in turn three.
Hungry for more, Sitterly could now see point rival Bond in seventh, but his tear through the field would be halted as he drove in behind a fast paced Muldoon for the eighth place.
Out front, most may have mistaken Graham as a lapped car himself, he was so far in front of the field. But indeed, Graham was the race leader having caught all the way up to the long lead pack in just 36-laps.
From there Graham was on cruise control, leading all the way to the finish for win number one of 2015.
Cliff, who announced on the podium that he will be driving the Danzer No. 72 in the Budweiser International Classic 200, was more than pleased.
“I have to thank Craig and Dave Danzer for giving me this opportunity,” said Cliff. “It is a great racecar. We are still getting comfortable in it. I had to wear a knee pad tonight, it is pretty tight in there, but we will only get better. Barring anything unforeseen, we will be driving this car Classic Weekend.”
Gosselin, who has had a tough go at the Speedway the last two years, took third.
“The last two years have been awful,” said Gosselin. “So when you can finish on the podium it feels really good. I think the car is just about right for Classic so hopefully we can put another good run together.”
Racing at Oswego Speedway continues on Labor Day Weekend with 59th Annual Budweiser International Classic Weekend, September 4-6.
Fast 14 Novelis Supermodified time trials will take place on Friday, September 4 at 6pm, with the Budweiser International Classic 200 taking center stage on Sunday, September 6 at Noon.
For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com or call (315) 342-0646. Visit the Speedway on social media @OswegoSpeedway or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Pathfinder Bank SBS Twin 20’s
Airgas and the Woodchuck Saloon
Novelis Supermodified Feature (50-laps): 1. 21 – Kody Graham, 2. 72 – Dave Cliff, 3. 26 – Shaun Gosselin, 4. 50 – Dave Gruel, 5. 22 – Pat Lavery, 6. 52 – Dave Danzer, 7. 47 – Bob Bond, 8. 15 – Michael Muldoon, 9. 7 – Otto Sitterly, 10. 00 – Joe Gosek, 11. 05 – Jeff Abold, 12. 68 – Michael Barnes, 13. 02 – Brandon Bellinger, 14. 11 – Aric Iosue, 15. 55 – Keith Shampine, 16. 56 – Hal LaTulip, 17. 96 – Lou LeVea Sr., 18. 0 – Tim Snyder, 19. 94 – Logan Rayvals, 20. 83 – Lou LeVea Jr, 21. 5 – Tim Devendorf
- Radical Racegear Lap Leader: #21 – Kody Graham
- Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #72 – Dave Cliff
- Lighthouse Lanes Hard Charger: #7 – Otto Sitterly
Heat #1 (12-laps): 1. 50 – Dave Gruel, 2. 72 – Dave Cliff, 3. 00 – Joe Gosek, 4. 68 – Michael Barnes, 5. 02 – Brandon Bellinger, 6. 83 – Lou LeVea Jr., 7. 7 – Otto Sitterly
Heat #2 (12-laps): 1. 21 – Kody Graham, 2. 22 – Pat Lavery, 3. 52 – Dave Danzer, 4. 15 – Michael Muldoon, 5. 05 – Jeff Abold, 6. 96 – Lou LeVea Sr., 7. 56 – Hal LaTulip
Heat #3 (12-laps): 1. 26 – Shaun Gosselin, 2. 47 – Bob Bond, 3. 0 – Tim Snyder, 4. 5 – Tim Devendorf, 5. 55 – Keith Shampine, 6. 11 – Aric Iosue, 7. 94 – Logan Rayvals
Do you think this dominating win gives Kody Graham an advantage headed into International Classic 200 Weekend? Leave a comment below and let us know!