2021 Spring Classic Champion Jeffrey Battle of Westford, Massachusetts, came from tenth to the win driving the Witkum Bros. Racing No. 14.
Battle, who also won the 2nd annual 350 Supermodified Classic in 2019, has won in every 350 Super start he has made at the Speedway.
“About seven or eight years ago, it was a privilege just to come out here and be a spectator, so I am pretty ecstatic,” offered Battle. “This is unbelievable. I can’t thank my Uncle Richard enough, the car has been so good. We didn’t know what it would do with that rain, but it ran well. This race is in memory of Steve Krupski. We lost a legend Friday and it was very sad. He was an awesome guy.”
Finishing second on a second occasion this year was 15-year-old rising star and Spring Classic runner-up; Chase Locke, who started back in ninth and drove up through the field with Battle for another podium.
“I’m pretty excited,” stated Locke. “Starting in the back, it is cool coming up through the field and racing with Jeffrey (Battle) and all of them was a lot of fun. I love being up here. It’s an amazing track and finishing as well as we did two times in a row feels great.”
Three-time Pathfinder Bank SBS track champion Dave Cliff drove the best race of his young 350 Super career with Tim Barbeau’s No. 50. Cliff led from the drop of the green until lap 26, when Battle was able to sneak by for the win in the closing laps.
“I had a lot of fun tonight,” Cliff said. “We definitely struggled with the move up to this class early in the season. These cars are pretty challenging, they are very finicky compared to what we are used to. I’m really thrilled with tonight though. We were finally really competitive and I am glad we were able to make Jeffrey (Battle) work for it. That car is a rocket and he does a great job, I saw him coming and knew he would run me clean. We almost had him.”
After three of the most entertaining heat races in 350 Super history, it was the Oswego regulars Vern LaFave and Cliff leading the healthy mix of hometown drivers and New England invaders to green for 30-laps.
From the outside lane, Cliff jumped out to the early advantage going into turn one with LaFave running second and Dalton Doyle moving into third.
An early yellow on lap 3 for Tom MacLeod losing a wheel down the backstretch would slow the field for the first time.
Cliff elected the inside lane for the restart and was once again able to move out in front.
Meanwhile, Battle and Locke had already gotten by Eddie Witkum Jr, Bobby Timmons III, Mike Bruce, and John Leonard to take over fifth and sixth in quick order.
Third starting Nick Kinney also made a nice move on the restart to get around the Doyle No. 08 and into third.
Battle and Locke were next to go by Doyle, taking over positions four and five with Doyle falling to sixth.
After moving into fourth, Battle only needed half a lap to ride to the outside of Kinney and into a podium position, driving from tenth to third in just five laps.
With five in the books it was Cliff out in front, LaFave second, Battle now third, Kinney fourth, and Locke in fifth.
Next to give way to Battle was LaFave on lap 10, with Jeffrey using the outside of the Speedway to go by Vern’s No. 97 headed into turn three.
Despite taking over the runner-up spot, Battle had a long way to go to reel in leader Cliff, who had built nearly a straightaway advantage on the field.
However, a caution flag at the halfway mark for fifth running Kinney bunched the field up again, giving Battle a shot on the outside of Cliff for the double-file restart.
Battle was able to inch out in front on the restart, but he would have to relinquish the position as a nasty crash on the front stretch involving LaFave, Witkum, and Leonard brought out a red flag.
All three cars were significantly damaged, but fortunately, all three drivers walked away uninjured.
For the next 15 laps, Cliff showed just how good his race car was, as he kept Battle and Locke behind him until the lap counter showed 26.
That was when Battle and Locke were both able to sneak by in back-to-back laps for first and second. Cliff would settle for third while Timmons and Bruce completed the top five.
Filling in the top ten were Dave Helliwell, Kyle Perry, Jon Tesoriero, Barry Kingsley, and Kali Spaulding.
Danny Lane, LaFave, Kinney, Witkum, Leonard, Bob Magner, Doyle, MacLeod, and Tyler Thompson all ended their evening’s in the pit area.
Only three events remain in Oswego Speedway’s 2021 championship battle beginning this Saturday, August 7 as JP Jewelers presents ‘Retro Night’ at the races featuring the Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and J&S Paving 350 Supers.
It is also Autograph Night at the Speedway with the session taking place on the front stretch at 5pm before racing takes the green flag at 6:15pm.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit OswegoSpeedway.com, LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or Instagram @OfficialOswegoSpeedway.
Best Western PLUS and Clarion Hotel & Suites Jack Murphy Memorial King of Wings X
- J&S Paving 350 Supermodifieds
- Saturday, July 31, 2021
- Oswego Speedway
- Oswego, NY
Feature (30-laps): 1. 14 JEFFREY BATTLE, 2. 88 ® Chase Locke, 3. 50 ® Dave Cliff, 4. 13 Bobby Timmons III, 5. 22 Mike Bruce, 6. 45 Dave Helliwell, 7. 20 Kyle Perry, 8. 47 ® Jon Tesoriero, 9. 06 Barry Kingsley, 10. 23 ® Kali Spaulding, 11. 9 Danny Lane, 12. 97 Vern LaFave, 13. 7 ® Nick Kinney, 14. 21 Eddie Witkum Jr, 15. 12 John Leonard, 16. 72 ® Bobby Magner, 17. 08 Dalton Doyle, 18. 32 ® Tom MacLeod, 19. 98T Tyler Thompson, DNS 5 Ralph Clark (Crash in time trials)
Heat 1 (10-laps): 1. 14 Jeffrey Battle, 2. 13 Bobby Timmons III, 3. 45 Dave Helliwell, 4. 12 John Leonard, 5. 23 ® Kali Spaulding, 6. 98T ® Tyler Thompson, DNS 5 Ralph Clark
Heat 2 (10-laps): 1. 97 Vern LaFave, 2. 22 Mike Bruce, 3. 9 Danny Lane, 4. 7 ® Nick Kinney, 5. 72 ® Bobby Magner, 6. 32 ® Tom MacLeod, 7. 06 Barry Kingsley
Heat 3 (10-laps) 1. 88 ® Chase Locke, 2. 21 Eddie Witkum Jr, 3. 08 Dalton Doyle, 4. 50 ® Dave Cliff, 5. 20 ® Kyle Perry, 6. 47 ® Jon Tesoriero
Group Time Trials: 1. 14 Jeffrey Battle - 16.909, 2. 88 ® Chase Locke - 17.106, 3. 22 Mike Bruce - 17.174, 4. 13 Bobby Timmons III - 17.212, 5. 08 Dalton Doyle - 17.327, 6. 7 ® Nick Kinney - 17.331, 7. 45 Dave Helliwell - 17.366, 8. 50 ® Dave Cliff - 17.388, 9. 9 Danny Lane - 17.399, 10. 12 John Leonard - 17.425, 11. 21 Eddie Witkum Jr. - 17.438, 12. 97 Vern LaFave - 17.448, 13. 98T ® Tyler Thompson - 17.562, 14. 72 ® Bobby Magner - 17.677, 15. 20 ® Kyle Perry - 17.738, 16. 23 ® Kali Spaulding - 17.825, 17. 06 Barry Kingsley - 17.831, 18. 47 ® Jon Tesoriero - 18.089, 19. 5 ® Ralph Clark - 19.203, DNS 32 ® Tom MacLeod
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #06 Barry Kingsley
Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer: #88 Chase Locke ®