HomeLatest NewsBellinger Grabs Pole For International Classic; Cliff, Battle and Steffenhagen Take Top Honors in SBS, 350 Super & Stock Divisions
Bellinger Grabs Pole For International Classic; Cliff, Battle and Steffenhagen Take Top Honors in SBS, 350 Super & Stock Divisions
August 31, 2019
On Sunday, Brandon Bellinger will attempt to accomplish something neither his father or grandfather could do – win the International Classic from the pole position. In record-breaking fashion, Bellinger broke the track record on Friday night at the Oswego Speedway with a lap time of 15.769 seconds. That’s just over 5 full seconds faster than his grandfather’s pole-winning lap in 1957 (20.59) in 1957. Starting on the pole doesn’t guarantee you a winning finish. Greg Furlong was the last driver to qualify with fast time and win from the pole – that was in 2006.
As prestigious as it may be, pole wins for the Bellinger family have never panned out after the 200-lap affair. Eddie Bellinger, Sr. won the pole for the 1957 Classic, but finished out of the top 10. Eddie Bellinger, Jr. won poles in 1980 and in 1984, but fell short of a top-10 finish in each, as well. Last year’s 18th-place run by Brandon ended a streak of four straight top-10 Classic runs. He would like nothing more than to start a new streak with a Classic victory come Sunday.
Listen to – Brandon Bellinger
Tyler Thompson’s reign of track record holder lasted all but three weeks. His record-breaking lap of 15.800 seconds, recorded on August 10th, was also eclipsed by outside pole sitter, Jeff Abold (15.790). Thompson would end up qualifying into Sunday’s 63rd running of the Budweiser International Classic behind Dave Shullick, Jr. (15.896), in fifth, with a lap of 15.905 seconds.
Starting aside Thompson, but one position behind him in time-trialing, will be the defending race and recently crowned 2019 Oswego Track Champion, Otto Sitterly (15.915). Dave Gruel (15.920) and Michael Barnes (15.957) will make up the fourth row, while a pair of North Carolina drivers and former pole winners – Doug Didero (15.966) and Keith Shampine (15.979) round out the top 10 starting positions.
David Danzer (16.036), Tim Snyder (16.069), Bobby Santos, III (16.112), Chris Perley (16.156), Aric Iosue (16.157). Alison Sload (16.186), Davey Hamilton, Sr. (16.209), Dan Bowes (16.225), Dan Connors, Jr. (16.238) and Logan Rayvals (16.246) qualified 11th through 20th.
The top 20 qualifiers were locked into the starting field, while the balance of the drivers will take their chance in one of the two, 15-lap semi-feature qualifying races held early on Sunday that will be used to fill the 34-car starting field slated to take the green flag for the 200-lapper later that afternoon.
Brandon Bellinger (left) earned the pole position for the Classic, while Jeff Abold (right) earned the outside starting spot - Jim Feeney Photo
David Cliff led the SBS time trials in the Tim Barbeau-owned No. 50 - Jim Feeney Photo
Jeffrey Battle earned top time in the 350 winged supermodified Classic time trials - Jim Feeney Photo
Jim Steffenhagen (3) battles under Joel Gleason (25) in the Dave London Memorial 50-lap NY Super Stock main event - JIm Feeney Photo
Jim Steffenhagen waves the checkered flag atop his No. 3 after winning the Dave London Memorial NY Super Stock race - Jim Feeney Photo
Steffenhagen poses in victory lane after earning the super stock feature win - Jim Feeney Photo
Also run on Friday night, were time trials for 28th Annual Bud Light Classic for the Pathfinder Bank SBS division. 21 drivers took time, with Dave Cliff topping the charts with a lap of 18.546 seconds. Cliff edged out 2018 race winner, Mike Bond (18.602) for best time. The two drivers battled to the finish in last year’s race, but with the starting lineup inversion that was drawn not going their way, they’ll have to battle their way through the thick of the field coming from their 11th and 12th starting positions if they wish to end up at the front come race’s end. 2019 SBS Track Champion, Anthony Losurdo will be starting slightly ahead of them. Losurdo qualified fifth with a lap 18.803 seconds, but the inversion lines him up slightly ahead of the other two seasoned veterans.
Listen to – Dave Cliff
The 2nd Annual Busch 350 winged supermodified Classic is slated to be run just before the SBS and big block main events. Taking top time in Friday’s time trials was Westford Massachusetts pilot, Jeffrey Battle, Jr. Driving his No. 14, Battle set fast time with a new 350 supermodified Oswego track record lap of 16.956 seconds. It’s Battle’s first trip to the lakeside oval for competition. The regular Star Speedway competitor (currently second in points), says he can bring a lot from what he’s learned at Star, but Oswego is an animal of its own.
Listen to – Jeffrey Battle, Jr.
Oswego’s 350 supermodified champ, Anthony Losurdo, qualified his No. 1 10th fastest. Four-time feature winner on the season, Stephen Duphily, timed his No. 11 in sixth fast.
In the nightcap, Fairport, New York’s Jim Steffenhagen won the 50-lap 12th Annual Dave London Memorial New York Super Stock race. Steffenhagen becomes the fifth different race winner in five events for the Super Stock series in 2019.
Novelis Supermodifieds (top 20 locked in)
Pos Driver Hometown Car Best Lap 1 Brandon Bellinger Fulton, NY 02 15.769NTR 2 Jeff Abold Baldwinsville, NY 05 15.790 3 Joe Gosek Oswego, NY 00 15.824 4 Dave Shullick Jr. Cleveland, OH 95 15.896 5 Tyler Thompson Oswego, NY 98T 15.905 6 Otto Sitterly Canajoharie, NY 7 15.915 7 David Gruel Oswego, NY 50 15.920 8 Michael Barnes Mexico, NY 68 15.957 9 Doug Didero Mooresville, NC 3 15.966 10 Keith Shampine Concord, NC 55 15.979 11 David Danzer Oswego, NY 52 16.036 12 Tim Snyder Oswego, NY 0 16.069 13 Bobby Santos III Franklon, MA 1 16.112 14 Chris Perley Rowley, MA 44 16.156 15 Aric Iosue Oswego, NY 11 16.157 16 Alison Sload Lyndell, PA 39 16.186 17 Davey Hamilton Sr. Jamestown, IN 6 16.209 18 Dan Bowes Epping, NH 25 16.225 19 Dan Connors Jr. Oswego, NY 01 16.238 20 Logan Rayvals Brockville, ON 94 16.246 21 Lou LeVea Jr. Fulton, NY 83 16.247
22 Camden Proud Oswego, NY 54 16.289
23 Todd Stowell Pulaski, NY 89 16.301
24 Dan Kapuscinski Fulton, NY 08 16.317
25 Joey Payne Jr. Fairlawn, NJ 14 16.321
26 Michael Muldoon Jr. Baldwinsville, NY 15 16.334
27 Bob Bond Mexico, NY 47 16.422
28 Ben Seitz Bourne, MA 32 16.463
29 Jerry Curran Scriba, NY 99 16.523
30 Dave McKnight Jr Brampton, ON 70 16.537
31 Jack Patrick Fulton, NY 90 16.547
32 Lou LeVea Sr. Volney, NY 66 16.631
33 Brian Osetek Oswego, NY 75 16.959
34 Hal Latulip Oswego, NY 56 17.066
35 Guard Nearbin Oswego, NY 78 17.650
36 Jason Spaulding Oswego, NY 34 20.005
Pos. Driver Hometown Car Best Lap
1 Jeffrey Battle Jr. Westford, MA 14 16.956
2 Matt Seavey Pittsfield, NH 91 17.231
3 Richard (Rich) Eaton Seabrook, NH 4 17.323
4 Bobby Timmons III Windham, ME 31 17.336
5 Mike Netishen Auburn, NH 55 17.389
6 Stephen Duphily Plaistow, NH 11 17.394
7 John Burke Deery, NH 01 17.432
8 Bill Fiske Chester, NH 57 17.434
9 Dave Sanborn Tilton, NH 24 17.454
10 Anthony Losurdo Oswego, NY 1 17.468
11 Dalton Doyle Fulton, NY 08 17.504
12 Mike Keddy Raymond, NH 77 17.581
13 Jim Storace Kingston, NH 47 17.786
14 Barry Kingsley Hannibal, NY 06 17.821
15 Mike Bruce Oswego, NY 72 18.513
16 Tom Macleod 81 18.626
Pathfinder Bank SBS
Pos. Driver Hometown Car Best Lap
1 Dave Cliff Jr. Oswego, NY 50 18.546
2 Mike Bond Mexico, NY 74 18.602
3 Jesse Bearup Rodman, NY 37 18.685
4 Dave Latulip Oswego, NY 27 18.779
5 Anthony Losurdo Oswego, NY 1 18.803
6 Andrew Schartner Charlotte, NC 18 18.832
7 Russell Bartlett Mexico, NY 02 18.860
8 Greg O’Connor Oswego, NY 90 18.905
9 Josh Sokolic Camillus, NY 26 18.943
10 Cameron Rowe Oswego, NY 77 19.007
11 Tony Pisa Oswego, NY 89 19.014
12 Brad Haynes Columbia, MD 88 19.017
13 A.J.Bernys Oswego, NY 24 19.045
14 Mike Bruce Oswego, NY 04 19.157
15 Dennis Richmond Mexico, NY 03 19.212
16 Bryan Haynes Mexico, NY 86 19.331
17 James Babcock Oswego, NY 15 19.783
18 Mark Denny Jr. Mexico, NY 14 19.931
19 Ken Moody Jr. Clifton, NJ 01 20.080
20 Stephen Flack Oswego, NY 32 20.081
21 Steve Wood Pulaski, NY 93 22.009
About The Author
Chris Porter is a motorsports journalist whose reporting has been published in multiple print and online media sources since 2004.
Chris has primarily covered Oswego Speedway, ISMA and other asphalt auto racing in upstate New York.