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Saturday Night’s Last Chance Showdowns Set Field for Sunday’s NAPA Super DIRT Week Main Events

By Joe Grabianowski, Bill Foley and Jordan DeLucia

OSWEGO, NY — Oct. 12, 2019 — The Ground Control Lawn and Snow Super DIRTcar Series Last Chance Showdowns never fail to produce great action and drama. This year, Rob Bellinger took the win in the first of two Last Chance Showdowns at NAPA Auto Part Super DIRT Week after passing Peter Britten on a restart. Britten is no stranger to Oswego Speedway as he won last year’s DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Salute to the Troops 150.

“We got a real good restart door to door [with Britten] and the way the car was, I was able to drive it in deep into turn one, let it rock up, and drive off,” Bellinger said of the winning pass. “We were able to go right by him.”

The Land of Legends Raceway regular thinks he’s got a good shot at the KSE Hard Charger Award in Sunday’s Billy Whittaker Cars 200.

“Right now, the car was really good with the way the track is right now. We’ve been working on it all week. We were really struggling earlier,” he said. “I think if the track comes in the way it did today, I think we will be able to drive up through the field quite a ways. It’s just a matter of keeping it clean and getting to the end of the race.”

In the second and final Ground Control Lawn & Snow Last Chance Showdown, Michael Maresca took the No. 7MM home with a commanding win.

The pilot of the No. 7MM was pleased with his win and amped up about Sunday’s Billy Whittaker Cars 200 .

“We’ve got a good car and a good team,” he said. “We’ll get up there!”

Maresca has a long way to go from the back of the pack but he’s confident he’ll take his Big Block to the front.

“We are good in traffic,” he said. “Everyone is going to struggle in traffic a little bit because the track is so fast. Overall it’s pretty good in traffic. I was able to go around guys on the top.” — Joe Grabianowski

 

DIRTcar SPORTSMAN: Kane Bristol, Brad Rouse and Scott Kerwin drove their way into the Chevrolet Performance 75 late Saturday night in the three RPM Raceway Sportsman Last Chance Showdowns.

In the first one, Bristol took the lead from Jessica Power on the fifth lap and crossed the finish line two-tenths of a second ahead of the Kingston, Ontario driver. Bob Henry was third and following were Nick Heywood, Willy Decker Jr., Mike Fowler, Scott Duell, John Brown, Michael White and Ryan McCartney.

“It was a good race, but I wish I wasn’t in it,” Bristol said. “We came here and ran good until time trials and timed in tenth. In the qualifier I had carburetor issues and the restarts were just killing me. I think I picked up a couple of things tonight that will help us [Sunday].”

Rouse took the lead early and simply ran away from James Michael Friesen in the second Last Chance race.

There was one major mishap in the race as on the first lap in the backstretch Travis Bruno, Julien Raymond and Griffin Mansmith piled in together and forced a couple of those cars off on the hook.

Rouse and Friesen were followed by Will Shields, Derek Webb, Darryl Nutting, Dave Flannigan Jr., Austin Germinio, JaMike Sowle, J.F. Tessier and Chris Cayea.The winner is coming off a tough week and said, “The car was a handful tonight, but we’ve come a long way this weekend. Our time trial just wasn’t good and we started out in trouble. But we’re in the show.”The final qualifying race of the weekend saw Kerwin, who was driving the Buddy Pawlik car for only the third time this season, pass Cedrec Gaurveau on an early restart after Normand Hamel had spun between three and four.

The duo finished first and second and completing the top ten were David Manchester, Tom Collins Jr., Dave Boisclair, Alex Lajoie, Bucko Branham, Andrew Smith, Fred Proctor and Chris Corbett.

The field is now set for the 11 a.m. Chevy Performance 75

After an off-start to his NAPA Super DIRT Week, two-time DIRTcar Pro Stock Wilkins RV 50 winner Pete Stefanski has punched his ticket into Sunday’s Feature event by winning the Last Chance Showdown in dominant fashion over the 18-car field.

Stefanski’s 23rd-best lap in Friday’s Time Trial session set him up for a bit of misfortune come his Heat Race later on that evening, as he got caught up in a wreck late, leaving him with an 11th-place finish. But what a comeback he had at the drop of the green in the Last Chance Showdown.

Starting inside row five, “Pistol Pete” wasted no time in his efforts to get to the front. It took only four of the 10 contested laps for him to reach the top spot, showcasing Stefanski’s power under the hood and control behind the wheel of his #2 hot rod.

The few caution flags that slowed the field early on only seemed to help Stafanski, as he was able to gain multiple spots of position on the restarts. As he avoided the trouble in the rear of the field, Stefanski said he’ll have to do more of the same in tomorrow’s 50-lap Feature if he wants to put it in Victory Lane.

“We’ve just got to stay out of trouble,” Stefanski said. “We came from the back last year, until I gave myself a left-front flat by hitting the wall, so it’s just a matter of staying out of trouble. It’s 50 laps, so we’ve got some time.

Both of Stefanski’s Wilkins RV 50 triumphs came at the New York State Fairgrounds “Moody Mile,” and Oswego’s been a bit of a change-up for the Pro Stock veteran. He holds the record for the most NAPA Super DIRT Week Pro Stock Feature starts with 17, and will no-doubt be using that experience in the driver’s seat on Sunday.

“It’s Oswego, it’s not the Mile anymore,” Stefanski said. “I just haven’t caught the right break yet, maybe tomorrow we’ll get lucky and pull off a victory.”

Stefanski’s efforts earned him a 23rd-place starting spot on the grid for Sunday’s finale. Look for that white/red #2 to be up front come lap 50. — Bill Foley

 

DIRTcar PRO STOCKS: After an off-start to his NAPA Super DIRT Week, two-time DIRTcar Pro Stock Wilkins RV 50 winner Pete Stefanski has punched his ticket into Sunday’s Feature event by winning the RPM Raceway Last Chance Showdown in dominant fashion over the 18-car field.

Stefanski’s 23rd-best lap in Friday’s Time Trial session set him up for a bit of misfortune come his Heat Race later on that evening, as he got caught up in a wreck late, leaving him with an 11th-place finish. But what a comeback he had at the drop of the green in the Last Chance Showdown.

Starting inside row five, “Pistol Pete” wasted no time in his efforts to get to the front. It took only four of the 10 contested laps for him to reach the top spot, showcasing Stefanski’s power under the hood and control behind the wheel of his #2 hot rod.

The few caution flags that slowed the field early on only seemed to help Stefanski, as he was able to gain multiple spots of position on the restarts. As he avoided the trouble in the rear of the field, Stefanski said he’ll have to do more of the same in tomorrow’s 50-lap Feature if he wants to put it in Victory Lane.

“We’ve just got to stay out of trouble,” Stefanski said. “We came from the back last year, until I gave myself a left-front flat by hitting the wall, so it’s just a matter of staying out of trouble. It’s 50 laps, so we’ve got some time.”

Both of Stefanski’s Wilkins RV 50 triumphs came at the New York State Fairgrounds “Moody Mile,” and Oswego’s been a bit of a change-up for the Pro Stock veteran. He holds the record for the most NAPA Super DIRT Week Pro Stock Feature starts with 17, and will no-doubt be using that experience in the driver’s seat on Sunday.

“It’s Oswego, it’s not the Mile anymore,” Stefanski said. “I just haven’t caught the right break yet, maybe tomorrow we’ll get lucky and pull off a victory.”

Stefanski’s efforts earned him a 23rd-place starting spot on the grid for Sunday’s finale. Look for that white/red #2 to be up front come lap 50. — Jordan DeLucia

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