Saturday evening was a night Fulton’s Tyler Thompson will never forget. The 17-year old pilot of the Jason Simmons-owned No. 98 Novelis supermodified completely dominated the competition. Not long after his big block supermodified was rolled out of its trailer, it clocked a record-breaking lap of 15.800 seconds, eclipsing the near five-year old track record set by New Jersey’s Joey Payne by a mere .002 seconds. Thompson would later emerge from the sixth starting position in the 50-lap main event and simply own the field, en route to becoming Oswego Speedway’s youngest supermodified feature winner in its two-thirds of a century old history.
The 2018 supermodified rookie of the year leapt into fourth place on the opening lap. He would take to the high side for much of the evening, besting Tim Snyder for third on the sixth lap, before mirroring the same move on Camden Proud’s No. 54 for the runner-up spot one tic later. From there, Thompson would chase down early race leader, Jack Patrick and begin challenging for the lead on the 10th lap.
Just one trip around Oswego Speedway’s fast five-eighth’s of a mile later, Thompson sailed past Patrick for the lead and never looked back. Multiple cautions would close the gap, but only temporarily. Thompson would continue to pull away, eventually taking the checkered flag by a half-lap advantage and also becoming Oswego’s 10th different winner in 11 feature events in 2019.
Listen to – Tyler Thompson
2019 Rookie of the Year contenders, Patrick and Proud paced the field to begin the main event. Patrick would take the early point, bringing Proud, Snyder, Thompson and Aric Iosue across the line to complete lap No. 1.
Starting eighth, Jeff Abold started moving to the front early, taking fifth away from Iosue on the third lap. An outside bid on Snyder paid Abold fourth place on lap No. 9. Two rounds later, as Thompson was taking the lead away from Patrick’s No. 90, Abold was charging by Proud for third.
By the 12th lap, Thompson was on cruise control. As he pulled away from Patrick, Abold began reeling the No. 90. Proud and Snyder held on to fourth and fifth. Brandon Bellinger, Iosue, Dave Danzer, Dave Gruel and Dave Shullick filled out the top 10.
Thompson would catch the rear of the field by the 18th lap. However, before that adventure could begin, Bellinger’s No. 02 crushed the fourth-turn wall after an outside bid on Proud went terribly wrong. Thompson would begin to pull away on the ensuing restart, but a twin-spin by Jerry Curran and Lou LeVea, Jr. brought the field back to caution.
Thompson would drive away at the drop of the green, while Danzer dove under Proud for fifth. However, a spin by Iosue quickly put an end to that green flag run.
The restart saw Abold take to the outside of Patrick, but run out of room as they raced out of the fourth turn. Shullick had just begun making his way through the top 10 when Proud and Alison Sload came together in turn No. 3.
Taking over fifth place, Jeff Abold (05) races around the outside of Aric Iosue (11) on lap 3 of the 50-lap main event - Jim Feeney Photo
Having started deep in the pack, Dave Shullick (95) battles under Logan Rayvals (94) for a top 12 position early in the race - Jim Feeney Photo
Tyler Thompson (98) looks to the high side of Tim Snyder (0) for third place on the sixth lap. He would end up making the pass a half-lap later racing out of the fourth turn - Jim Feeney Photo
After moving around Camden Proud (54) for second, Tyler Thompson (98) chases down race leader, Jack Patrick (90) - Jim Feeney Photo
Camden Proud (54) races with Brandon Bellinger (02) for fourth place. On lap later, Bellinger would end up in the wall after an outside pass attempt in turn No. 4 - Jim Feeney Photo
Dave Danzer (52) and Aric Iosue (11) battle for sixth place early in the race. Danzer woud finish in sixth, while Iosue DNF'd in 16th - Jim Feeney Photo
Still marching towards the front, Dave Shullick (95) makes his way around Camden Proud for sixth place - Jim Feeney Photo
After multiple outside bids on Jack Patrick (90), Jeff Abold (05) finally found success on a mid-race restart - Jim Feeney Photo
Dave Shullick (95) gets an outside look on Jeff Abold (05) for second place. Shullick would eventually pin the 05 in traffic and take the runner-up spot - Jim Feeney Photo
Tyler Thompson emerges from the Jason Simmons-owned 98 victorious, after winning his first supermodified feature at Oswego - Jim Feeney Photo
Tyler Thompson poses in victory lane at the Oswego Speedway - Jim Feeney Photo
Supermodified top three finishers - Tyler Thompson (center), Dave Shullick (right) and Jeff Abold (left) - Jim Feeney Photo
Again, the restart saw Abold challenge Patrick on the outside. This time, he would take the spot away. With no one in between himself and the race leader, Abold would quickly find that the real estate between himself and Thompson would only continue to grow.
Behind them, after getting Snyder for fourth, Shullick shot underneath Patrick for third at the halfway point. By the 30th lap, Thompson was holding a 15-car length lead over Abold. 10 laps later, the lead was a full straightaway and Abold’s advantage over Shullick was shrinking.
Shullick would catch Abold on the 42nd lap. The two would duel for a few laps before Shullick was able to pin Abold’s No. 05 to the inside in the midst of lapped traffic. 44 laps after the drop of the green, Shullick was now in second. Only six trips remained and Thompson’s lead was half a lap.
Thompson would move in on heavy lapped traffic in the closing laps, but his cushion allowed him to simply ride behind the pack. The checkered flag would fly for the No. 98 on the 50th lap, granting him his first supermodified victory at Oswego.
Charging from the 14th starting spot, Shullick landed the Chris Osetek-owned No. 95 in second place.
Listen to – Dave Shullick
Having a solid run all race, Patrick earned his first top-five finish behind Abold, finishing in fourth.
Listen to – Jack Patrick
Snyder, Danzer, Dan Connors, Jr., Otto Sitterly, Dave Gruel and Logan Rayvals rounded out the top 10.
U-Pull U-Save Novelis Supermodified 50: 1. Tyler Thompson (98), 2. Dave Shullick (95), 3. Jeff Abold (05), 4. Jack Patrick (9), 5. Tim Snyder (0), 6. Dave Danzer (52), 7. Dan Connors, Jr. (01), 8. Otto Sitterly (7), 9. Dave Gruel (50), 10. Logan Rayvals (94), 11. Hal LaTulip (56), 12. Camden Proud (54), 13. Lou LeVea, Jr. (83), 14. Jerry Curran (99), 15. Alison Sload (39), 16. Aric Iosue (11), 17. Brandon Bellinger (02), 18. Guard Nearbin (78). DNS – Michael Barnes (68), Keith Shampine (55) and Lou LeVea, Sr. (66)
Heat race wins were collected by Dave Gruel, Camden Proud and Tim Snyder
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.