Jeff Abold Steals Oswego International Classic 200 Victory from Fuel Starved Dave Shullick Jr. on Final Lap
OSWEGO, NY (September 4, 2016) – Sunday’s finish of the 60th Annual Budweiser International Classic 200 at Oswego Speedway was fitting of an anniversary special as Jeff Abold pounced on a fuel starved Dave Shullick Jr. with one lap remaining and held off a hard charging Michael Barnes to claim the biggest win of his career, worth $15,000.
Abold, who had fallen to as far as 14th position in the field, made a late race rally to pull into the runner-up spot at lap 184, putting himself in prime position to take advantage of Shullick who began to sputter out of fuel on lap 198.
Using the outside of the track, Abold stole the lead out of turn two on the final circuit, holding off Speedway champion Michael Barnes who made a valiant bid at the point into turn three to speed away to his second career Oswego Speedway win and the first Budweiser International Classic 200 victory for the Abold family.
“My family has been coming here for a lot of years,” said Abold, in Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane. “I saw a blue car slowing down and there are so many of them I wasn’t sure who it was, but I figured it out and just did what I had to on the final lap. This is something you dream about doing your entire life. We’ve been trying for so long to win this race and to do it today, it is a surreal feeling. This won’t sink in until next year’s Classic.”
Barnes finished a mere half second behind Abold at the finish to earn the A.J. Michaels Runner-Up Award while Otto Sitterly, Shullick, and Davey Hamilton Sr. finished the top five positions.
Pole sitter Mike Muldoon earned sixth with Dave Gruel, Dave Danzer, Joe Gosek, and Brandon Bellinger in the top ten spots.
Sixth place starter Keith Shampine dominated the majority of the event, leading some 129 laps to earn the $1,500 halfway bonus from Insinger Performance after passing early leader Pat Lavery on lap 15. Shampine, who appeared to have the car to beat for much of the Classic would succumb to fuel pickup issues at lap 144, giving way to Shullick during the three quarter point of the 200.
Under beautiful sunny skies Mike Muldoon and Pat Lavery led the 34-car Budweiser International Classic 200 field to the Cam’s Pizzeria green flag with Muldoon finding trouble in the race’s first corner.
Trying to keep pace with Lavery, who got a good jump on the start, Muldoon went deep into turn one, washing up the track just as Lavery was coming down through the corner. The two cars touched briefly, with Muldoon’s No. 15 stepping out, nearly collecting the inside hub rail. Fortunately all cars and drivers made it through safely.
With that altercation behind him, Lavery jumped to the point in the Graham Racing No. 12 to lead the early stages.
With Lavery leading, Shampine was beginning to position himself for a drive to the front in the Chris Osetek No. 55.
Shampine started from the sixth position and was into third by the race’s third circuit. Taking second on lap 10, Shampine then charged to the point, driving by Lavery on lap 15 to become the second leader of the race.
Despite leading early, Lavery started to slip back through the pack in the following laps, giving way to both Shullick and Muldoon at lap 17 as they took over second and third on the Speedway.
Sitterly, who started eighth in the grid, made a steady climb early on attempting to keep pace with teammate Shullick, who was driving the IFS Supermodified in the Nicotra stable.
Sitterly would find the top five by lap 16 before taking third from Muldoon at lap 23.
The field worked into a good pace through the first 25-laps with the first real contender running into trouble at lap 24.
Tim Jedrzejek, who qualified brilliantly into a seventh place starting spot behind the wheel of the Danzer Racing No. 72, would pick up a flat right rear tire and was forced pit side to make repairs.
The top five runners ran steady over the next 20 laps before the third Nicotra Racing entry of Davey Hamilton Sr. joined his fellow teammates in a bumper to bumper battle after taking fourth from Muldoon on lap 48.
It took 56 laps for the first caution flag to wave and it would come for a spinning Aric Iosue, driving the No. 11.
The green flag would wave again at lap 67 with Shampine leading over Shullick, Sitterly, Hamilton, Barnes, Muldoon, Gosek, Gruel, Kody Graham, and Danzer.
On the restart the Syrell Racing No. 68 of Barnes would break up the Nicotra Racing party, taking fourth from Hamilton, before Dan Connors Jr. would bring out the next caution after hitting the first turn foam in the No. 01.
Connors was OK, but done for the day.
Another caution would wave at lap 90 for Hal LaTulip, who found the third turn foam in the No. 56.
During this caution several cars came to pit lane including Lavery and Chris Perley who were running nose to tail at the end of the top 20 cars.
Perley lost a lap in the pit area and called it a day at lap 102 in his all new Vic Miller Hawk chassis with a 28th place effort.
The green waved again at lap 96, just shy of halfway, with Shampine still setting the pace with Shullick, Sitterly, Barnes, Hamilton, Muldoon, Gosek, Gruel, Graham, and Danzer all giving chase.
Shampine, who ran the fastest lap of the day, would speed on to collect the $1,500 halfway leader bonus from Insinger Performance fuels and now eyed even more bonus bucks for leading at 10-lap intervals. Another $300 came his way at lap 110.
While the top runners stayed in lock step, Graham was continuing to work through the field in the No. 91 from the 19th starting spot.
Charging all the way to seventh by lap 114, Graham was now looking to become a leading contender with Shampine, Shullick, Sitterly, Barnes, Hamilton and Muldoon who had all held court for much of the afternoon.
With Shullick now beginning to apply some pressure to Shampine up front, yellow lights would come on one more time for an altercation right in front of the race leaders involving Bob Magner, Jedrzejek, and Jerry Curran. Everyone would make it by safely.
Back to green at lap 125, Shampine had just pocketed another $300 in bonus lap money, with Shullick second continuing to earn Budweiser 6-packs from Eagle Beverage while Sitterly rode third ahead of Barnes, Hamilton, Muldoon, Graham, Danzer, Gosek, and Abold who had solidly moved back into the top ten at lap 120 after starting ninth and slipping as far back as 14th.
Around lap 135 the leaders found heavy lapped traffic, which allowed Sitterly to creep back into the mix making it a three car battle for the lead out front.
However, that would all change at lap 144 as Shampine began to slow in the No. 55, handing the race lead over to Shullick at lap 145 before hitting pit lane on lap 146 for fuel.
Pick-up issues momentarily sidelined the Shampine ride while his pit crew added fuel to the left side fuel cell. A dominating run for Shampine was all for not in his bid for the win, but he and the Osetek team no doubt made their presence known leading nearly 130-laps of the Classic.
When Shampine made his pit stop at lap 146 most were not keeping track of the fact that Abold had moved to eighth in the order in the Abold Motorsports No. 05, which meant they may also not have taken notice that by lap 152 Abold was up to sixth and at lap 153 he had officially moved into the top five for the first time all day.
Just three laps later Abold blasted by Hamilton for fourth at lap 156 and was on the charge.
The Classic’s final caution waved at lap 168 for the Graham No. 91, who had put on a great drive from 19th on the grid and was running sixth at the time of his spin which brought the yellow lights on.
Shullick led the field back to green for a 25-lap race to the finish ahead of Sitterly, Barnes, Abold, Hamilton, Danzer, Gruel, Gosek, Tim Snyder, and Bellinger.
Muldoon, who had run top ten for most of the day, had made a pit stop in the No. 15 without losing a lap and would now try to charge through the field from the tail side of the pack.
With green lights back on Barnes saw his last opportunity to try and chase down Shullick out front, who had been running comfortably as the race leader since lap 145.
Barnes charged by Sitterly for second at lap 180 bringing the Abold ride along with him, dropping Sitterly to fourth.
But, Barnes’ momentum would stall four laps later as Abold would pick up the pace even further disposing of the No. 68 at lap 184 giving himself 16-laps to try and hunt down Shullick out front.
As the laps ticked away it became clear that Abold would not have time to reel in Shullick, who was looking to become the first Ohio driver to win the International Classic 200 since Gary Allbritain in 1975.
However as starter Donny Forbes displayed the parallel sticks indicating just two-laps remaining it became clear that Shullick was running into issues and as the No. 2 took the white flag and rolled down the front stretch the car was merely coasting – out of fuel.
Suddenly a battle between Abold and Barnes for second was going to become a battle for the lead, and it did as the two flew by Shullick on the outside of the second turn on the final lap of the race.
Miraculously Abold and Barnes were now the leaders charging into the third turn with the lapped car of Joey Moriarty standing between them.
After looking at the low side, Abold made the winning move of the race, opting to take the high line around Moriarty into the third turn, leaving the door open low for Barnes.
Barnes made a power move into three, rolling underneath Abold to go neck and neck for the lead, but Barnes could go no further was Moriarty had the low lane blocked allowing Abold to roll by freely on the top side.
As the duo charged out of turn four it was Jeff Abold earning a dramatic victory in the International Classic 200, after leading just three quarters of a lap.
For the second year in a row, Oswego track champion Barnes had to settle for a second place run in Supermodified racing’s biggest event.
“We kind of struggled all day, we really didn’t have a car to win it, we got lucky with second,” said Barnes. “I felt like we had something with about 60-laps to go, but I buzzed the right rear once and then it was loose from there. At the end there when Shullick ran out I just dove it into three low, it was my only choice and hoped he (Abold) would maybe screw up, but I was boxed in. I’ll take it, but any longer Jeff would have drove away from me. He ran a smart race.”
Sitterly secured a podium finish after teammate Shullick ran dry.
“We were tight in the center and when I would try and gas it up off the car would get pretty loose,” said Sitterly. “Mostly just disappointed that Shullick ran out of fuel. I said earlier in the week that the IFS car was sort of the sleeper in the field, and Shullick had the best car today. It’s too bad, but for some reason it was pushing a lot of fuel out of it early in the race.”
A total of 37 cars attempted to qualify for this year’s 60th Budweiser International Classic 200.
Chris Perley and Dave McKnight won Total Seal Semi Finals on Sunday, each earning $500 for their victories.
Lou LeVea Sr. would fail to qualify for the 200 after an apparent blown engine in the Buske No. 96 during his Semi Final run.
Davey Hamilton Jr. would finish 18th in his first International Classic earning Total Seal Rookie of the Race honors worth $500 as well as another $300 from the Oswego Classic Can-Am Camping Group in memory of Norm & Vi Helbock for being the last car running.
Ryan Litt was the highest finishing Canadian in the field worth $200 from the Classic Can-Am Camping Group.
Tim Snyder was the Total Seal Hard Charger worth $500 while Tim Jedrzejek was the Total Seal Hard Luck Award winner earning another $500.
For more information on Oswego Speedway and Budweiser International Classic Weekend visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway. Those interested in video programming online can subscribe to the Speedway’s YouTube Channel, ‘OswegoSpeedwayOnline’.
60th Budweiser International Classic 200 Weekend
Oswego Speedway – Oswego, NY
Sunday, September 4 – 2016
60th Annual Budweiser International Classic (200-laps): 1. 05-Jeff Abold ($15,000) 2. 68-Michael Barnes 3. 7-Otto Sitterly 4. 2-Dave Shullick Jr. 5. 6-Davey Hamilton 6. 15-Michael Muldoon 7. 50-David Gruel 8. 52-Dave Danzer 9. 00-Joe Gosek 10. 02-Brandon Bellinger 11. 0-Tim Snyder 12. 51 – Joey Moriarty 13. 5-Tim Devendorf 14. 12-Pat Lavery 15. 47-Bob Bond 16. 35 Bobby Magner 17. 55-Keith Shampine 18. 14-Davey Hamilton Jr. 19. 91-Kody Graham 20. 21-Bobby Santos 21. 1 Shawn Muldoon 22. 11-Aric Iosue 23. 79-Brian Sobus 24. 24-Jerry Curran 25. 83-Lou LeVea Jr. 26. 72-Timmy Jedrzejek 27. 99-Joey Payne 28.44-Chris Perley 29. 92-Ron Silk 30. 56 Hal LaTulip 31. 01-Dan Connors 32. 88-Ryan Litt 33. 89-Todd Stowell 34. 70-Dave McKnight
Lap Leaders: Pat Lavery 1-14, Keith Shampine 15-144, Dave Shullick, Jr. 145-199, Jeff Abold 200
DNQ: Lou LeVea Sr. (engine), Mike Lichty (crash), Ray Graham (handling)
- Total Seal Rookie of the Race: 14-Davey Hamilton Jr.
- Total Seal Hard Charger: 0-Tim Synder
- Total Seal Hard Luck: 72-Tim Jedrzejek
- Classic Can- Am Camping Group Last Car Running 14-Davey Hamilton Jr.
- Classic Can-Am Camping Group Highest Canadian: 88-Ryan Litt
- Insinger Performance Halfway Bonus: 55-Keith Shampine
Total Seal Semi 1 (15-laps): 1. 44-Chris Perley($500) 2. 01-Dan Connors 3. 0-Tim Snyder 4. 79-Brian Sobus 5. 1-Shawn Muldoon 6. 24-Jerry Curran 7. 96-Lou LeVea Sr. 8. 56-Hal LaTulip
Total Seal Semi 2 (15-Laps): 1. 70-Dave McKnight($500) 2. 21-Bobby Santos 3. 88-Ryan Litt 4. 99-Joey Payne 5. 89-Todd Stowell 6. 35-Bobby Magner 7. 83-Lou LeVea Jr.