Story By: SMALL BLOCK SUPER CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – OSWEGO, NY – The Jake’s Automotive Small Block Super Championship Series officially opened on Saturday night at Evans Mills Raceway Park with Mike Bruce outhustling the competition and the nearby rain drops to earn his first victory of 2022.
Driving the RBI Racing No. 04 machine, Bruce started from the pole position after redrawing the top spot and would go on to lead all 30-laps for the $1,000 victory, despite the best efforts of youngsters Noah Ratcliff and Griffin Miller, who rounded out the podium. Tim Proud and Dan Kapuscinski filled the top five spots in the first of five SBSCS races this season.
“If I didn’t draw the pole, I don’t think I’d be here. Those boys were fast,” said Bruce. “Sticker tires made a difference tonight and we didn’t have any. I couldn’t get enough grip anywhere on the race track. I felt a few taps, but didn’t know if Noah had enough to get me. They kept showing me wheels and I just had to hold my ground.”
A total of 16 Small Block Supers entered the gates on Saturday with Bruce and Dan Kapuscinski Motorsports Promotions Rookie of the Year contender, Drew Pascuzzi, starting on the front row.
At the drop of the green Bruce shot to the point, but before the field could get through turn two there was trouble as the Proud No. 54 swapped ends. Collected with Proud were AJ Larkin, Greg O’Connor and Josh Wallace. Both Larkin and O’Connor would be done for the night as a result of damage.
During the caution period rookie Ryan Gunther, who was supposed to start third, was pushed to the pit area as his car stalled and could not re-fire.
On the restart Bruce again shot to the lead with Pascuzzi sliding back on the outside lane, allowing Ratcliff to jump into second. At the same time, seventh starting Miller was able to squeeze by both Kapuscinski and Pascuzzi to take third in the No. 9.
A lap later, Kapuscinski was able to slide to fourth passed Pascuzzi, which then allowed the front four cars of Bruce, Ratcliff, Miller and Kapuscinski to pull away in the lead.
As the laps progressed Bruce, Ratcliff and Miller were able to distance themselves from Kapuscinski, who sat all alone in the fourth position, leaving a fantastic three car battle for the lead.
The top three used every inch of the Evans Mills 3/8 mile, with Ratcliff eventually getting wildly loose, allowing Miller to move around for the runner-up spot. As they battled, Bruce continued to lead the way.
While the front three waged war, Kapuscinski stayed five car lengths behind along with a rebounding Proud, now up to fifth from the rear of the field.
After the initial caution, the main event went green for 29 straight laps and it looked as though the front four finish order would be Bruce, Miller, Ratcliff and Kapuscinski. However, the final caution at lap 29 allowed not only a green-white-checkered finish, but a “Choose-Style” double file restart to shake up the order in the race to the finish.
In a bid to try and gain more on the restart, both Miller and Kapuscinski selected the outside as the field came to green, but the inside lane proved too strong.
Bruce again shot to the lead, with Ratcliff and Proud on his bumper behind. Miller was able to slide down ahead of Proud to keep third, but Kapuscinski fell to fifth.
At the checkered, underneath ominous skies and nearby rain drops, Bruce sped across the line for his $1,000 pay day on UltimateQM.com night at Evans Mills over Ratcliff, Miller, Proud, Kapuscinski, Pascuzzi, DJ Shuman, Jude Parker, Tony Pisa and Rob Bruce.
At the finish Pascuzzi was awarded a $50 bonus from Dan Kapuscinski Motorsports Promotions as the Rookie of the Race, while Tony Pisa earned the $100 Bill Moyer Memorial Bonus for finishing ninth.
Bruce Construction Heat Race Challenge winners were Proud and Kapuscinski.
The next Jake’s Automotive SBSCS event will take place on Friday, July 8 at Chemung Speedrome.
Jake’s Automotive Small Block Super Championship Series
Evans Mills Raceway Park ‘Spring Fling’
Presented by UltimateQM.com
Saturday, May 14
Heat #1 (Top 4 to Re-Draw, 10-laps): 1. 54 – Tim Proud ($30), 2. 9 – Griffin Miller ($20), 3. 72 – Drew Pascuzzi, 4. 90 – Greg O’Connor, 5. 62 – DJ Shuman, 6. 35 – AJ Larkin, 7. 66 – Darrick Hilton, 8. 89 – Tony Pisa
Heat #2 (Top 4 to Re-Draw, 10-laps): 1. 23 – Dan Kapuscinski ($30), 2. 04 – Mike Bruce ($20), 3. 73 – Noah Ratcliff, 4. 22 – Ryan Gunther, 5. 00 – Jude Parker, 6. 49 – Josh Wallace, 7. 14 – Mark Denny Jr., 8. 32 – Robbie Bruce
Feature (30-laps): 1. 04 – MIKE BRUCE ($1,000), 2. 73 – Noah Ratcliff ($500), 3. 9 – Griffin Miller ($300), 4. 54 – Tim Proud ($200), 5. 23 – Dan Kapuscinski ($180), 6. 72 – Drew Pascuzzi ($170), 7. 62 – DJ Shuman ($160), 8. 00 – Jude Parker ($150), 9. 89 – Tony Pisa ($140), 10. 32 – Rob Bruce ($130), 11. 14 – Mark Denny Jr. ($125), 12. 66 – Darrick Hilton ($125), 13. 49 – Josh Wallace ($125), 14. 22 – Ryan Gunther ($125), 15. 90 – Greg O’Connor ($125), 16. 35 – AJ Larkin ($100)
Dan Kapuscinski Motorsports Promotions Rookie of the Race ($50): Drew Pascuzzi
Bill Moyer Memorial Bonus 9th Place Finisher ($100): Tony Pisa
Total Purse: $3,905