Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – Second generation Supermodified standout Mike Ordway Jr. raced the Clyde Booth-built and owned No. 61 “Silver Bullet” to his second ISMA / MSS feature win of the season Sunday afternoon in the rain delayed Circle T Ready Mix / Shea Concrete Oswego / ISMA / MSS Challenge Race #4 at Oswego Speedway.
The 50-lap feature, scheduled for Saturday night, was pushed back to Sunday morning shortly after Ordway drew the pole starting position after the event’s three heat races concluded. With over 12 hours to think about the race, Ordway did his job and drove to a wire-to-wire victory with continuous pressure from his brother-in-law, Trent Stephens, who would finish a close second.
The win marked Ordway’s third career feature triumph at Oswego — exactly one year to the day after winning his second career main event at the Steel Palace.
“Hats off to all these guys,” Ordway said in victory lane. “Clyde Booth’s been around here for years, and he’s getting better with age. Week in and week out he brings fast racecars, so hats off to him and Susan and everyone at Booth Racing Components. All the guys who help out — my parents, Ed and Nancy, Doc, Ryan and Kailee, and my wife for letting me do this.”
Ordway and series points leader Kyle Edwards led the 23-car field to the green flag and the race wouldn’t get past Turn 1 before a quick yellow slowed the action. Edwards entered the corner on the outside of Ordway when a front-end part failed on his No. 11E. The Bartlett, Tenn., driver went straight into the foam-protected wall with a heavy hit causing substantial damage. His race would be over seconds after it began, and the incident will surely shake up the ISMA / MSS championship battle with only one event remaining.
Edwards’ misfortune gave the P2 spot to Michael Muldoon, who’d give Ordway a good run for his money on the restart. After Muldoon’s No. 15 edged ahead between turns 1 and 2, Ordway out-gunned the Baldwinsville, N.Y., driver down the backstretch to hold onto the top position.
Ordway would lead Muldoon for the first eight circuits until the second caution came out for rookie Kenyon Zitzka, who appeared to lose the right-front wheel on his No. 25 in Turn 3. Zitzka’s machine hit the wall and suffered heavy front-end damage. He’d be done for the day.
The second restart saw a shakeup in the top five with Stephens moving into second past Muldoon, Rich Reid settling into fourth and Otto Sitterly slipping from third to fifth. A few circuits later Sitterly would get loose between turns 3 and 4 and lose two more positions to Mike McVetta and Ben Seitz. Shortly after that, Reid’s bad luck would continue when he retired his No. 55, moving McVetta to P4 and Seitz to P5 behind Ordway, Stephens and Muldoon.
Ordway’s closest call came on lap 17, when he got stuck behind Tim Snyder’s No. 0 while trying to lap him. This allowed Stephens to close and make a bid for the lead. Stephens would edge ahead of Ordway in Turn 3 while Ordway had to back out on the inside behind Snyder. Stephens went to the high side of both Ordway and Snyder and likely would have taken the lead, but Snyder moved up the track just enough between turns 3 and 4 to give an inside lane to Ordway, who was able to shoot past the lap car and Stephens as the trio exited Turn 4. Stephens continued to pressure Ordway on the outside in Turn 1 until he slipped just a bit, allowing Ordway to maintain the lead after a tense couple of a laps.
Aric Iosue would bring out the third and final caution of the race on lap 29 when his No. 27 spun just ahead of the leaders in Turn 2.
The final double-file restart saw Stephens bog on the outside and Ordway easily maintain the lead. Stephens would settle back into P2 after a challenge from Muldoon, while Seitz overtook McVetta for P4.
The remaining 21 laps were relatively quiet. Stephens was able to pull up on the rear bumper of Ordway on several occasions, but didn’t have enough to mount a serious challenge.
Ordway would hold on for the win — the 12th of his ISMA / MSS career — over Stephens, Muldoon, Seitz and Sitterly, who passed McVetta for P5 in the closing laps.
McVetta, Mike Lichty, Dave Danzer, Michael Barnes and Mark Sammut finished sixth through 10th. Oswego 350 Super regular Josh Sokolic got the nod to drive the Danny Soule No. 32 for Sunday after regular driver Moe Lilje had to return to Ohio for work. Sokolic impressed in his first career big-block supermodified start, passing a number of cars and finishing 11th.
Just after crossing the checkered, Ordway’s engine began to smoke as he slowed on the cooldown lap — another close call in what’s been an up-and-down season for the Windham, Maine, driver.
“It seems like the oil cooler broke,” Ordway said when asked about the smoke. “We had that issue earlier this year and we thought we had it fixed, but it clearly wasn’t. Luckily it happened with just a couple laps to go.
“I have to thank everybody at Booth Racing Components, JRi Shocks, Performance Engines by Billy the Kid, High Performance Lubricants and Sweet Mfg. They make it happen for us, and I can’t thank those guys enough. Thanks to the Toresses, Johnny Nicotra and Chuck Handley and everybody at the speedway for putting in the effort to get this show in this weekend, and all the fans for coming back today. The race (International Classic 200) we all want to win is a couple weeks from now on Sunday, but we’ll take this one.”
Stephens spoke about his solid P2 run.
“I guess I tried to keep (Ordway) honest. We had a really good car today, and he had a good car, too. I was just happy to be able to race with him and push him a little bit. There were a couple of times I saw him kind of taking it easy, and I’d jump on him and he’d have to push again. I was hoping if I could make him push hard, he’d burn some up and I’d have something at the end. I think we were pretty even, so it was kind of a cat-and-mouse game. I got him at Lorain earlier this year, and he got me here, so I guess we’re even at Thanksgiving,” Stephens said.
Muldoon commented on his podium finish.
“The car wasn’t bad. We got really loose in lap traffic, so it made it kind of hard on the restarts. I thought we had a chance to jump (Ordway) on the outside on those restarts, but they had a little too much on us. Good run to Mike, good run to Trent — it was a nice, clean race, and we’re happy with it,” Muldoon said.
One race remains on the 2023 ISMA / MSS schedule. The series will be back in action Saturday, September 16 with the John Burr Classic / Championship Night at Evans Mills Raceway Park in the North Country of Upstate New York. The 100-lap race is the first winged big-block supermodified event at three-eighths-mile oval.
Pascuzzi Passes Pisa for First Career Pathfinder Bank SBS Feature Win
Drew Pascuzzi of Oswego, NY started in fourth and with 11 laps remaining in Sunday afternoon’s 35-lap Pathfinder Bank SBS main, had himself in position to contend for the win. Sitting second prior to the ensuing restart, Drew used the outside lane to take over the top spot from race long leader Tony Pisa and cruise to his first career victory.
The Ratcliff Racing / Jake’s Automotive Team has now made it a clean sweep in the past two weeks of Pathfinder Bank SBS action at Oswego Speedway with both drivers; Noah Ratcliff and Drew Pascuzzi, earning their first ever feature wins in consecutive weeks.
This would also mark the first feature win for a ‘Muffin Top Motorsports’ Chassis, built by Noah Ratcliff and older brother Nate, prior to the start of the season, and now wheeled to victory lane by their cousin Drew.
“I was pretty nervous towards the end there,” Pascuzzi mentioned. “I saw there was about five to go and I thought, ‘holy crap I might pull this thing off.’ These guys give me a great car every week and I can’t be more proud of them, my aunt, Nate, Noah, my girlfriend Michaela, Tash, Travis, Olivia, my Dad, John, and the wrenches behind the car. They put this together and I just get to wheel it and tonight it is a win and I’m proud of that. I’ve got to thank Jake’s Automotive, East Coast Sealcoat, might as well throw in Total Fire Protection. This is a good one – back to back.”
Pisa, who paced the field from the pole for 24 of 35 laps, lost the lead on that lap 24 restart to Pascuzzi, but was able to hold off Tony DeStevens and Ratcliff for his first career podium finish with a strong run in the G.O. Racing No. 89.
“We had a pretty good car,” Pisa said. “Drew (Pascuzzi) was just a little bit better than us on that final restart, so I was sort of hanging on at the end. I would really like to thank all of my sponsors; Munski Automotive, Indigo Inkwell, and Compass Credit Union. I couldn’t do this without all of my crew guys, my Dad, my nephew Jake, girlfriend Bree, and Brian Dana.”
With heat races completed on Saturday afternoon, a heavy thundershower postponed the rest of the program to the following day, and it was Pisa and Mike Fowler bringing the field to the green flag with Pisa taking the lead from the inside lane.
Meanwhile, third starting AJ Larkin capitalized on a sideways Fowler, slipping into second place in the No. 35. Fifth starting Griffin Miller followed Larkin through for third and seventh starting Brad Haynes did the same as he moved into fourth, with the outside lane jammed up early on.
As fourth starting Pascuzzi dropped into the final top five spot, Miller was on the move at the front, diving under Larkin to take over second with Haynes and Pascuzzi following suit.
Larkin would then go wide out of turn 2 and drop out of fifth, with Fowler, Ratcliff, and finally DeStevens all making their way underneath.
As everyone fought for position behind him, Pisa had built a solid lead in the early going until a spin by DeStevens on lap 6 closed the field back up again.
The first restart would see Pisa choose the inside lane and keep the lead with Miller falling into second, Haynes third and the teammates; Pascuzzi and tenth starting Ratcliff, now in fourth and fifth.
On the move with Ratcliff was Cameron Rowe, who was crowned Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS last month. Rowe found his way back up to his original starting spot of sixth, not long after dropping back on the original start.
With Rowe closing in on Ratcliff, Noah made a bid for fourth underneath teammate Pascuzzi, taking over the position on lap 8.
After the early restart, Pisa again was able to open the gap out in front as Miller was left to fend off Haynes, but by halfway, the handling on the No. 89 started to go away a bit and the first through sixth running cars of Pisa, Miller, Haynes, Ratcliff, Pascuzzi, and twelfth starting Greg O’Connor were now all nose to tail.
Just as it looked like a tremendous battle for the lead was shaping up; on lap 20, the No. 9 would swap ends on Miller coming out of turn four. The spin collected third running Haynes, fourth running Ratcliff, fifth running Rowe, and sixth running O’Connor.
Haynes and Rowe both made heavy contact with the outside steel as both the No. 88 and 77 cars sustained significant damage. Miller was also out for the remainder of the race, but after pitting for repairs, Ratcliff and O’Connor were able to continue.
With 15 laps remaining, the running order had been shaken up significantly. While it was still Pisa out in front, Pascuzzi was now second, Fowler up to third, DeStevens fourth and Larkin back in the top five. Ratcliff and O’Connor would be forced to restart in ninth and tenth.
For the third start in a row, it was Pisa once more prevailing from the inside lane to keep the lead over Pascuzzi and he still showed the way until lap 24 – when O’Connor went around in turn three and was clocked by the 66 of Darrick Hilton.
Both the 90 and 66 cars had notable damage and after a vicious impact, O’Connor would be taken to the Oswego Hospital for a checkup, where he was released shortly thereafter, thankfully with just a minor concussion.
As two weeks of misfortune continued for his teammate O’Connor, who has battled with Ratcliff in a tight race for the track title this season, Pisa remained 11 laps away from his first Oswego Speedway feature win.
However, the third restart of the day would be the one to bite the driver of the No. 89, as the car got too free on the inside part of the Speedway, with Pascuzzi passing by on the outside and taking over the lead going into turn number one.
Pascuzzi was able to pull away a bit after taking the race lead, with Pisa pulling in line to hold onto second over DeStevens in third and Ratcliff, who had already made it back into fourth.
One more yellow with five laps to go; this time for a spinning Jake Brown in between the third and fourth corners, gave Pisa a final shot at Pascuzzi, but Drew and the 72 walked away, enroute to an emotional victory.
Pisa would settle for a fine second, DeStevens finished in third, Ratcliff in fourth and Larkin got back by Fowler for fifth with three laps to go, landing himself a career first top five finish for the third year driver.
Fowler, Brown, Carter Gates, O’Connor, and Hilton filled in the top 10.
Its Best Western PLUS / Clarion Hotel & Suites Riverfront and LaGraf’s Pub & Grill ‘TEAL PALACE’ Track Championship Night at the Speedway this Saturday, August 19, with track titles being decided for the Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and J&S Paving 350 Supers. A driver autograph session will take place at 5:15pm on the front stretch and a gigantic fireworks display will conclude the program.
Adult admission tickets for the Speedway’s regular season finale are just $20 with kids 16 and under admitted FREE with a paid adult.
In the SBS title fight, Ratcliff now leads O’Connor by 52 points, while DeStevens, Pascuzzi, and Miller are in a tight race for third through fifth.
Cliff Capitalizes for Second 350 Super Victory of Season
Dave Cliff started in fifth, first drove by Kyle Perry and Jason Spaulding – and after an exciting battle with teenaged rookie Talen Hawksby, took over second with 11 laps remaining before capitalizing on a turn three slip by race leader Robbie Wirth with four to go to win his second J&S Paving 350 Super main of the season in the Barbeau No. 50.
It has been quite the past few weeks for Cliff, who has a win at Oswego last month, a second in the 350 portion of the Hy-Miler Nationals at Sandusky Speedway in Ohio, a second at Oswego a week ago, and now his third career win in the 350 Super division at the Speedway – good for his 22nd overall victory at the Steel Palace between the Pathfinder Bank SBS and 350 Super divisions.
“That was a great race, everyone raced real clean,” said Cliff. “Talen (Hawksby) and I went back and forth. I passed him and then slipped up in turn four and he got back by me, but it looked like he was getting loose and we were both able to catch Robbie (Wirth) a little bit and he also kept getting looser and looser. I was under him once on the front stretch, but he didn’t know I was there, so I gave him time to gather it back up and then he just had one big wiggle in three and four and that’s all I needed to get through. Thanks to Woodchuck Saloon, Lakeside Restaurant, Midstate Tree Service and Joe’s Jerky for all of the support the whole year.”
Putting together a career afternoon was 17 year old Wirth in the No. 4, who won his first heat race in a 350 Super on Saturday night before leading the first 26 laps of the postponed feature on Sunday afternoon.
Despite going sideways while in the lead with four to go, it was still a weekend to remember for ‘The Wrench’ as he picked up his first ever podium finish in a Supermodified.
“I got a little loose as it went on,” mentioned Wirth. “The right rear was burned up. I just about blistered it. We’ll just have to come back next week and try again. It was good to be out in front though and I owe it all to Dan Dennie. He set the car up and the thing was a rocketship all day. I’ve got to thank J&S Paving, Atlas Blacktop, Ambitious Amber’s Cleaning Service, and Canale Insurance.”
Hawksby, the 16 year old third generation driver, drove an excellent race, putting on a thrilling side by side duel with veteran Cliff on more than one occasion, to settle for third – the second podium finish of his rookie season.
Perry finished in fourth and New England out of towner John Leonard would round out the top five ahead of rookie Brendan Young in sixth.
Championship leader Josh Sokolic, who made his first ever start in a Supermodified earlier in the afternoon, driving the Soule Racing No. 32 to an 11th place finish in the Winged Challenge, pitted just after the drop of the green due to electrical problems.
Its Best Western PLUS / Clarion Hotel & Suites Riverfront and LaGraf’s Pub & Grill ‘TEAL PALACE’ Track Championship Night at the Speedway this Saturday, August 19, with track titles being decided for the Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and J&S Paving 350 Supers. A driver autograph session will take place at 5:30pm on the front stretch and a gigantic fireworks display will conclude the program.
Adult admission tickets for the Speedway’s regular season finale are just $20 with kids 16 and under admitted FREE with a paid adult.
Despite his misfortune this past weekend, Sokolic still maintains his points lead at 35 markers over Cliff, who has moved into second by just five points ahead of Perry. Spaulding and Wirth remain fourth and fifth in the standings.
Novelis ISMA / MSS Supermodifieds
A Feature 1 (50 Laps): 1. 61-Mike Ordway Jr; 2. 19-Trent Stephens; 3. 15-Michael Muldoon Jr; 4. 11-Ben Seitz; 5. 7-Otto Sitterly; 6. 22-Mike McVetta; 7. 84-Mike Lichty; 8. 52-Dave Danzer; 9. 68-Michael Barnes; 10. 78-Mark Sammut; 11. 26-Josh Sokolic; 12. O1-Dan Connors Jr; 13. 83-Lou LeVea Jr; 14. 41-Russ Wood Sr; 15. 27-Aric Iosue; 16. 0-Tim Snyder; 17. 74-Johnny Benson; 18. 88-Tyler Shullick; 19. O2-Brandon Bellinger; 20. 14-AJ Leseicki; 21. 55-Rich Reid; 22. 25-Kenyon Zitzka; 23. (DNS) 11E-Kyle Edwards
Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 11-Ben Seitz; 2. 19-Trent Stephens; 3. 15-Michael Muldoon Jr; 4. 11E-Kyle Edwards; 5. 27-Aric Iosue; 6. 41-Russ Wood Sr; 7. 83-Lou LeVea Jr
Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 55-Rich Reid; 2. 68-Michael Barnes; 3. 84-Mike Lichty; 4. 22-Mike McVetta; 5. 74-Johnny Benson; 6. 32-Moe Lilje; 7. 25-Kenyon Zitzka
Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 52-Dave Danzer; 2. 78-Mark Sammut; 3. 61-Mike Ordway Jr; 4. 7-Otto Sitterly; 5. O1-Dan Connors Jr; 6. 88-Tyler Shullick; 7. O2-Brandon Bellinger; 8. 14-AJ Leseicki; 9. 0-Tim Snyder
Qualifying 1: 1. 61-Mike Ordway Jr, 00:14.779; 2. 84-Mike Lichty, 00:14.980; 3. 11E-Kyle Edwards, 00:14.986; 4. 7-Otto Sitterly, 00:15.006; 5. 22-Mike McVetta, 00:15.023; 6. 19-Trent Stephens, 00:15.040; 7. 78-Mark Sammut, 00:15.119; 8. 68-Michael Barnes, 00:15.149; 9. 15-Michael Muldoon Jr, 00:15.150; 10. 52-Dave Danzer, 00:15.162; 11. 55-Rich Reid, 00:15.233; 12. 11-Ben Seitz, 00:15.258; 13. 27-Aric Iosue, 00:15.281; 14. 74-Johnny Benson, 00:15.347; 15. O1-Dan Connors Jr, 00:15.351; 16. 14-AJ Leseicki, 00:15.391; 17. 32-Moe Lilje, 00:15.457; 18. O2-Brandon Bellinger, 00:15.664; 19. 41-Russ Wood Sr, 00:15.805; 20. 25-Kenyon Zitzka, 00:15.867; 21. 88-Tyler Shullick, 00:15.903; 22. 83-Lou LeVea Jr, 00:15.929; 23. 66-Lou LeVea Sr, 00:16.583; 24. (DNS) 0-Tim Snyder
Hot Laps 2: 1. 19-Trent Stephens, 00:15.344; 2. 61-Mike Ordway Jr, 00:15.435; 3. 26-Josh Sokolic, 00:15.574; 4. O2-Brandon Bellinger, 00:15.588; 5. 11-Ben Seitz, 00:15.613; 6. 15-Michael Muldoon Jr, 00:15.639; 7. 52-Dave Danzer, 00:15.649; 8. 68-Michael Barnes, 00:15.654; 9. 22-Mike McVetta, 00:15.706; 10. 7-Otto Sitterly, 00:15.724; 11. 27-Aric Iosue, 00:15.766; 12. O1-Dan Connors Jr, 00:15.855; 13. 84-Mike Lichty, 00:15.898; 14. 83-Lou LeVea Jr, 00:15.909; 15. 11E-Kyle Edwards, 00:15.927; 16. 78-Mark Sammut, 00:15.954; 17. 14-AJ Leseicki, 00:16.142; 18. 55-Rich Reid, 00:16.186; 19. 88-Tyler Shullick, 00:16.359; 20. 25-Kenyon Zitzka, 00:16.774; 21. 0-Tim Snyder, 00:16.876; 22. 74-Johnny Benson, 00:16.930; 23. 41-Russ Wood Sr, 00:17.146; 24. 32-Moe Lilje, 00:19.807; 25. (DNS) 66-Lou LeVea Sr
Pathfinder Bank SBS
A Feature 1 (35 Laps): 1. 72-Drew Pascuzzi; 2. 89-Tony Pisa; 3. 24-Tony DeStevens; 4. 73-Noah Ratcliff; 5. 35-Anthony Larkin; 6. 10-Mike Fowler; 7. 26-Jake Brown; 8. 55-Carter Gates; 9. 90-Greg O’Connor; 10. 66-Darrick Hilton; 11. 88-Brad Haynes; 12. 77-Cameron Rowe; 13. 9-Griffin Miller; 14. O4-Rob Wirth
Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 72-Drew Pascuzzi; 2. 10-Mike Fowler; 3. 77-Cameron Rowe; 4. 35-Anthony Larkin; 5. 24-Tony DeStevens; 6. 66-Darrick Hilton; 7. 55-Carter Gates
Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 89-Tony Pisa; 2. O4-Rob Wirth; 3. 9-Griffin Miller; 4. 88-Brad Haynes; 5. 73-Noah Ratcliff; 6. 90-Greg O’Connor; 7. 26-Jake Brown
Hot Laps 1: 1. 73-Noah Ratcliff, 00:18.797; 2. 24-Tony DeStevens, 00:18.914; 3. 90-Greg O’Connor, 00:19.024; 4. 77-Cameron Rowe, 00:19.098; 5. 9-Griffin Miller, 00:19.223; 6. 72-Drew Pascuzzi, 00:19.251; 7. O4-Rob Wirth, 00:19.288; 8. 35-Anthony Larkin, 00:19.336; 9. 89-Tony Pisa, 00:19.493; 10. 10-Mike Fowler, 00:19.533; 11. 55-Carter Gates, 00:19.712; 12. 66-Darrick Hilton, 00:19.823; 13. 26-Jake Brown, 00:19.863; 14. 88-Brad Haynes, 00:21.221
Hot Laps 2: 1. 73-Noah Ratcliff, 00:18.797; 2. 24-Tony DeStevens, 00:18.904; 3. 77-Cameron Rowe, 00:18.952; 4. 90-Greg O’Connor, 00:19.009; 5. 35-Anthony Larkin, 00:19.081; 6. 88-Brad Haynes, 00:19.116; 7. 9-Griffin Miller, 00:19.238; 8. 72-Drew Pascuzzi, 00:19.287; 9. 89-Tony Pisa, 00:19.323; 10. O4-Rob Wirth, 00:19.435; 11. 10-Mike Fowler, 00:19.452; 12. 26-Jake Brown, 00:19.522; 13. 66-Darrick Hilton, 00:19.891; 14. 55-Carter Gates, 00:20.324
J&S Paving 350 Supermodifieds
A Feature 1 (30 Laps): 1. 50-Dave Cliff; 2. 4-Rob Wirth; 3. 79-Talen Hawksby; 4. 20-Kyle Perry; 5. 12-John Leonard; 6. 75-Brendan Young; 7. 23-Jason Spaulding; 8. 31-Nick Barzee; 9. 26-Josh Sokolic; 10. (DNS) O4-Cameron Rowe
Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 4-Rob Wirth; 2. 50-Dave Cliff; 3. 23-Jason Spaulding; 4. 75-Brendan Young; 5. 12-John Leonard; 6. 20-Kyle Perry; 7. 31-Nick Barzee; 8. 79-Talen Hawksby; 9. (DNS) 26-Josh Sokolic; 10. (DNS) O4-Cameron Rowe
Hot Laps 1: 1. 31-Nick Barzee, 00:16.997; 2. 79-Talen Hawksby, 00:16.998; 3. 26-Josh Sokolic, 00:17.055; 4. 20-Kyle Perry, 00:17.057; 5. 50-Dave Cliff, 00:17.126; 6. 12-John Leonard, 00:17.142; 7. 4-Rob Wirth, 00:17.354; 8. 75-Brendan Young, 00:17.376; 9. 23-Jason Spaulding, 00:17.588; 10. O4-Cameron Rowe, 00:18.076
Hot Laps 2: 1. 31-Nick Barzee, 00:17.127; 2. 20-Kyle Perry, 00:17.179; 3. 79-Talen Hawksby, 00:17.217; 4. 75-Brendan Young, 00:17.225; 5. 4-Rob Wirth, 00:17.344; 6. 12-John Leonard, 00:17.398; 7. 50-Dave Cliff, 00:17.403; 8. 23-Jason Spaulding, 00:17.741; 9. O4-Cameron Rowe, 00:17.867; 10. (DNS) 26-Josh Sokolic