Mike Stelter wins a "pre-season" feature at Humberstone!
May 20th, 2007
Mike Stelter got the Stelter/Bliss team off to a great start in '07 by winning the 360 sprint opener at this Ontario Canada speedway.
May 27th, Utica-Rome Speedway
Mike claimed an eighth place finish in the ESS opener.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - He's been a steady fixture on the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) circuit since the mid-90's and Ontario, N.Y.'s Mike Stelter is readying himself for a full out assault on the ESS title for the upcoming season which is sponsored by Jacobs Motorsports.
Teaming up with good friend Tom Bliss, the fan favorite is entering the new year with the most equipment ever in hopes of achieving his goal. While business commitments kept him to part time status the past two seasons, the schedule is now set to return to the full tour.
"I just can't wait for the season to start!" exclaimed the driver with seven career ESS victories. "Tommy has come onboard this year and between us we will have two cars and two motors. Tom will be back behind the wheel at a few shows also, but the goal is to try to win the ESS title. That's been my dream and with some luck I think we have a shot."
Bliss isn't a stranger to sprint cars, he has one career ESS victory, but hasn't driven a sprint car since 1992. In 1994 he was part of the Craig Keel championship team, being the owner of the motor. Since that time Tom has been a fixture in the supermodified scene, owning the car that finished fifth in the most recent classic at Oswego Speedway. Tom brings along long time sponsor JakesSite.com, which is a vintage supermodified and sprint car website and is host to Tom's home page and famous Bliss Bros. logo.
With his involvement, Stelter will have two Maxim sprinters for his use and the power will once again come from his step father, the legendary Ron Buckner. Many good friends return in a sponsorship role such as Dave's Body Shop with good friend Huleo, SAVES Auto Body Supply, MRE Videos, VICOMP Graphics and of course, Mike's Drive-In, his self owned stop located on Rt. 104 near Ontario. But, with the grueling ESS tour, space is always available for more to be added.
The ESS veteran would also like to thank his fiance Laura as a 2007 wedding is planned as well as Buckner and his mother Phyllis.
Fans can get a glimpse and the new team for the first time at the annual Motorsports Expo in Syracuse, N.Y. held on March 9-11 where his sprinter will be on display as a part of the ESS booth where you could very well see a number and color change. From there it's on to some 30 stops on the ESS tour where the successful sprint car organization is entering its 25th year.
For more information on Mike Stelter, friends and fans can log on to www.stelterism.com
where the site has been revamped for the new season.
September 24th 45 lapper
Danny was running 6th on lap 18 when a very "oiled down" track surface seemed to catch up to him. The #65 got loose off turn 4 and then did a violent snap spin while Dan attempted to tame the beast. A hard impact with the right rear and the foam-less wall at the head of the front stretch resulted which left Danny K momentarily stunned. Dan did take a trip to the crash house but was soon released and he and the team expect to be ready for the October 8th season finale and one more shot at a top 10 finish in points.
Here is a thumbnail image page
of my images, and here's another thumbnail page
of shots taken by Marie Bristol.
August 27th Classic Dash
Danny only mustered a 6th place finish in the nine car field, but the team was using this event as a shake-down as Dan hadn't been in this car before. The #6 Bliss Page super is now the teams primary car and much preparation was necessary after this car had suffered damage in a crash two weeks ago with Tim Snyder at the wheel. Dan was actually 3rd quickest in early warmups, which bodes well as Classic weekend approaches.
August 20th... a major set-back
Danny K was on the brink of his first top 5 when trouble
struck. It's a real shame because we were really starting to get a handle on the set-up and with only 8 laps to go in the 75 lapper he was closing in on the 4th place car when something in the front end broke. His best career finish at Oswego is 7th (last week).
The team is scrambling now to prepare the the back-up car for the classic and provide Danny with a solid shot at that top 5 that he earned but did not get.thumb-nail summary
August 13th twin 30's
Tenth place and 7th place finishes... Danny and the 65 car seem to be a little more "hooked up" each week!thumb-nail summary
August 6th 45 lapperthumb-nail summary
July 23rd Mr. Supermodified
Danny recovered from a first lap crash to bring the bliss 65 home in 8th place in the 65 lap feature.
July 9th 45 lapper and June 11th rain delayed event
July 2nd Novelis Grand Prix 100
Another top 10!
June 25th Open Comp night
Danny K had the 65 Super hooked Saturday nite! His best ever 7th place finish is surely a sign of better things to come.
June 11th Dunkin Donuts/Key Bank Twin 30's
June 4th regular show and Jakes Automotive rain delayed feature from 5-21
Jim Shampine Memorial weekend
Engine woes haunted the team on both days. We are looking to make up ground this weekend with two features again scheduled.
See a thumb-nail summary
May 21st event rain shortened
Danny K was running a solid 12th after starting 13th. The race was stopped two laps short of what would have been an official race, so a Supermodified feature has yet to be completed in 2005 at Oswego.
See a thumb-nail summary
from our team's perspective.
May 14th 2005: Opening day is in the books... sort of...
The Super and limited super features were rained out but Danny got his first track time in the #65
See a thumb-nail summary
of the days activities.
scroll this textarea
Here is a bio Danny put together for us so that we can all get to know him a little better!
"I'm really looking forward to the opportunity that Tom Bliss, and the Bliss Bros. Motorsports team is giving me. It's a great car, with solid backing, and really is a perfect step for me to advance to in my sophomore season."
"I came in contact with Tom around November through e-mail. I wanted to let him know that I was interested in the #65, and that it was something I'd like to work towards. About a month later Tom got back in touch with me, we got a little more serious and started to work out the details."
"I can't thank Joey Witkum and Barry Cann enough for the shot they gave me last season in the 85. It has opened a lot of doors for myself, and I'm ecstatic that the Bliss Bros. team was there to greet me. Together as a team I think we can help eachother a lot, and post some good results in '05."
"It's exciting for me to get a chance to drive a Page chassis. The 85 was a 20-year old Graves car, and even my Limited was a 12-year old outdated Nichols chassis. Fortunately I've been with good people and have been able to make outdated equipment run pretty well. But, it's going to be a great boost for myself to get behind the wheel of a newer car and really focus soley on my driving alone."
"Tom has been a long time friend of the family. He and my father, Mike Kapuscinski, go back quite a ways. My dad did a lot of painting and things for Tom's racecars years back. In return Tom helped me with some of my earlier racing efforts as a kid. It seems only natural to me that Tom and myself team together and make a run at the Big 'O'. A track that both Tom and I have an immense passion for."
Name: Danny Kapuscinski
Team: Bliss Bros. Motorsports- Constantia, New York
Born: February 3, 1985
Hometown: Oswego, NY
Marital Status: single
Weight: 195 lbs
Full Name: Daniel Ray Kapuscinski
Residence: During school- Rochester, NY Summer residence- Oswego, NY
Birthplace: Liverpool, NY
Parents: Michael Kapuscinski, Janet Kapuscinski
Education: Oswego High School, sophomore at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY
Favorite color: Yellow
Favorite movie: Days of Thunder
Favorite music: Rock and alternative
Favorite food: steak and tacos
1990: Began racing ¼ midgets in Columbus, Ohio as well as Open Wheel Microds in Syracuse, New York
1991: Completed first full season of ¼ midget competition at Columbus Motor Speedway and Kil-Kare Speedway in Xenia, Ohio while on certain summer weekends making the trek to Syracuse to compete in the Open Wheel Microd ranks. Attended first International Classic at Oswego Speedway.
1992: Won first career Open Wheel Microd feature event at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY in summer of '92. Two victories in first year of competition at the popular Buckeye Quarter Midget Indoor Winter Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.
1993: Two victories at the Kil-Kare Speedway in ¼ midgets, with several podium finishes at the New York State Fairgrounds in Microd competition. This would be last season of ¼ midget competition until the winter of 1996/97.
1994: Concentrated full focus on Summer racing at the New York State Fairgrounds in the Open Wheel Microd ranks. Even though living in Ohio the team was not able to attend every meet, three 2nd place finishes were enough to garner the team 3rd place in the final Summer Series Point Standings.
1995: Ran selective weekends at the New York State Fairgrounds in the Microd bringing home a handful of top5 finishes. Was not able to run for Championship due to other commitments back in Columbus, Ohio. This would the last year of Microd competition for Danny at the New York State Fairgrounds.
1996: Took Summer off to take advantage of other opportunities such as baseball and slot car racing. Winter of '96 father Mike Kapuscinski began construction of a new KRC ¼ midget chassis to run in the last two events of the Buckeye Quarter Midget Indoor Winter Nationals in early '97.
1997: That winter in the cars first 2 races Danny won the B-main each week qualifying for the huge Heavy Honda division, coming home just outside the top5 in the experimental cars first chances at the track. In the summer of '97 Danny and the car took off. Opting to run at the Kil-Kare Speedway weekly, rather than their home Columbus Motor Speedway, Danny reeled off 8 feature wins that summer including 6 in a row. Those efforts earned the '00' team the 1997 Heavy Honda Kil-Kare Track Championship. Car builder Mike Kapuscinski also received the Speedway's sportsmanship award for the '97 season. The team also competed in two regional events that season; finishing 3rd at the Columbus Motor Speedway after starting in the rear of the field, and after leading much of the event at Kil-Kare a broken chain spoiled their afternoon.
1998: The winter of '98 was the team's shining moment. The Buckeye Quarter Midget Indoor Winter Nationals brings teams from all over the Mid West and East coast. The series that included 4 events was heralded for the skill and determination needed to simply qualify. Danny and team were able to run away with two of the four Heavy Honda feature events that season, while finishing third in the other two. The team was crowned 1998 Indoor Winter Nationals Champions. From summer of '97 through the winter of '98 the revamped team won 10 of 14 feature events, including 2 Track Championships.
Summer '98: After the winter ¼ midget season concluded the championship car was sold. Danny then decided it was time to move on, and the competitive Mini-Cup series in Ohio seemed to be the next move. So in a matter of weeks, father Michael was back at the drawing board building his son a Mini-Cup creation
of his own. Shortly after the car was finished Danny's family learned that during that summer they were moving back to New York, in Oswego to be exact. So Danny was only going to have 4 chances to compete with the newly built Mini-Cup.
The team competed at the Barberton Speedway in Barberton, Ohio. A tight bullring 1/4 mile, that was much bigger than any track Danny was used to coming from the 1/20 and 1/10 mile quarter midgets. In only Danny's second event behind the wheel of his Mini-Cup he set fast time for the evening, and came home in the third position. Just two weeks later Danny would become the 1998 Ohio Gold Cup Champion winning the biggest Mini-Cup event of the year at the Barberton Speedway. Danny did all of this at the ripe age of 13-years old, his competitors were all in their 30's. (tom- idk if youd want to mention that my mom faked my birth certificate so I could race, I was supposed to be 16?) The team had accomplished their goal of winning a feature in four weeks, so the car was old that evening, and the team packed up and left for Oswego, NY soon after.
1999: Danny took this year off to get used to his new home, as well as schooling.
2000: Beginning in the winter of '99 the team knew it was time to get ready for their assault on the Oswego Speedway, the dream Speedway of Danny as a child. At the age of 15 the Kapuscinski family purchased a 1992 Nichols chassis Limited Supermodified from former competitor Bob Andrews, converted it to the '00' style they were accustom to, and that summer of '00 took it to the Evans Mills Speedway for Danny to get some laps. Little did they know Danny would be allowed to compete in 5 events that year on the North East Organized Racers Association Limited Supermodified Tour. In his first 5 races behind the wheel of a 358 cu. inch, 400-horsepower, full size tubular racecar Danny had three top10 finishes (6th, 7th, and 9th). Included in that was a near missed win in his third night of competition! Leading coming down for the white flag, the second place runner made contact with Danny sending both cars spinning to the infield. Danny rebounded for 11th place.
2001: At the age of 16 Danny made his dream come true
by competing in his first full season at the famed Oswego Speedway in his '00' Limited Supermodified. On his way to the 2001 Limited Supermodified Rookie of the Year title Danny garnered two top5 finishes and five top10 finishes in the ten events he competed in that season in a field of cars that would approach as high as 40 competitors per week! One of those top5 finishes was a 3rd place in the prestigious Mr. Limited Supermodified $1,000 to win event. Danny concluded that year with a 17th place finish in the final point standings out of some 50 drivers.
2002: Danny's sophomore season saw much of the same success. Two more top5 finishes were highlighted by a career best 2nd place finish to track champion Mark Regan. The team achieved five more top10 finishes in 12 events, on a rather low budget compared to most teams. This season Danny also sat in the seat of a Supermodified for the first time, taking slow laps in one of the potent Jeff Holbrook Supermodifieds. The season was capped off with a 10th place finish in the annual Limited Supermodified Nationals. The team came home 14th in points out of again nearly 50 other drivers.
2003: By this season Danny's 11-year old chassis was beginning to show its age, but lack of funds allowed the team to build or purchase a new car. Danny pressed on through several breakdowns in the '03 season, charging on for again another two top5 finishes, another 2nd place finish early in the season, and yet another 3rd place in the Mr. Limited Super event. Just a hand full of top10's that season relegated Danny to 16th in the point standings again out of over 50 drivers. The highlight of the team's season looked to be in the annual Limited Super Nationals held the night before the illustrious Budweiser International Classic 200. Danny started 8th and by the third lap had moved his way through to the 3rd position. Mid-way through the 50-lap affair, while maintaining pace with the leaders waiting for an opportunity, the team's hopes were shattered when Kapuscinski engine erupted in flames down the front straightaway ending the team's night.
2004: At just the age of 19 Danny took over the reigns as owner of his '00' Limited Super as the hardships of the '03 season proved to be too much for mother Janet, who decided to focus more on seeing Danny's way through college. So Danny returned home nearly every weekend from school through the winter to rebuild the '00' on his own, with his own pocket. Unfortunately continued engine problems on the now 12-year old machine would plague Danny's first 2-weeks of competition and it looked as though DannyK's season was well in doubt.
Thankfully one day in June Danny received a call from former New England Supermodified competitor Barry Cann, who was the mechanic on Joey Witkum's 85 roadster. Joey's driver had a previous engagement that weekend so he could not attend Oswego, and Barry felt Danny deserved a shot at a Supermodified ride. A deal was struck and for one week Danny was to be a Supermodified competitor at the Oswego Speedway, another life long dream come true.
Little did anyone know the success the team would see that night. In just Danny's first night of competition behind the wheel of a Supermodified, in a 20-year old chassis that had never run weekly at Oswego, Danny came home with an 8th place finish after starting dead last. Many believe that could be a record for the best first time finish ever in a Super at Oswego, but there is no official keeping of it.
The Witkum team was very pleased with Danny's success, and Danny became the full time driver of the Witkum Roadster
for the remaining events of the 2004 campaign at Oswego, which totaled to be 8 more races. DannyK would press on through the season learning every week, bringing home two top10 finishes in his first year, and was crowned Co-Rookie of the Year for 2004. Danny became the only driver to ever win the Limited Super and Supermodified Rookie of the Year titles in one career. Despite competing in only 9 of 13 feature events Danny managed a 17th place finish in the season long point standings of over 40 competitors.
The highlight of 2004, and Danny's career for that matter, came after the regular season was complete. Since witnessing his first International Classic in '91 at just 6 years of age Danny dreamed of being able to compete in the greatest Supermodified race in the world, the Budweiser International Classic 200 that saw itself arise in 1957. On Sunday September 5th, 2004 that dream indeed came true. Qualifying 27th in the 34 car field, which saw nearly 50 drivers attempt to qualify, Danny became the third youngest driver to ever compete in the 200-lap grind at just 19-years of age. Only Syracuse Sports Hall of Famer Doug Heveron, and NASCAR prospect Bobby Santos were younger than DannyK. Kapuscinski would run just outside of the top15 on the lead lap for over half the event, until a power steering malfunction sent the 85 into the first turn wall ending Danny's day.
See more images related to above bio Here
J&M Vending... a new sponsor for Bliss Bros Racing!
- Tom is very happy to announce that J&M Vending of Peekskill NY has come on board to help support our racing effort in the Supermodified division at Oswego Speedway. Marie & John are enthusiastic fans of Danny K. J&M Vending is a welcome addition to the team!
Feb 17, 05
- From oswegodailynews.com By: Chris Porter, is an article titled "Kapuscinski, Bliss Team Up For 2005 Oswego Speedway Campaign"read more...
Press release - Mon, Jan 31, 2005
Danny Kapuscinski joins Bliss Bros. Racing for upcoming Oswego supermodified season !
(Oswego, NY) 2004 Oswego Speedway Supermodified Co-Rookie of the Year Danny Kapuscinski has teamed up with veteran motorsports owner/driver Tom Bliss and top crew chief Barry Kingsley for the upcoming racing season.
I don't know if words can describe how excited I am about the coming season, said the 20-year old St. John Fisher College Broadcasting Major. The opportunity to race for Tommy and have guys like Barry who have been around the sport so long helping me out is almost more than I could ever ask for. I can't thank any of those guys enough for their belief in me, and I hope we can win a race or two and get a top ten points finish because that has always been my dream since I started coming here as a youngster.
The car DannyK will be driving is a Howie Page Chassis, and the motor program will be strong as well. We've stepped up our program for 2005 in an effort to give Danny all the tools he needs to win races, Said owner Tom Bliss. Watching Danny last year doing so well with outdated and underfunded equipment it was very obvious he has the talent and desire to be the best. With Barry overseeing the effort, a better motor program, and Danny behind the wheel, my brother and I are really looking forward to the coming season!
For more information on Danny Kapuscinski, contact Full Throttle Motorsports Marketing at email@example.com. For more information about Bliss Bros. Racing, contact Tom Bliss at firstname.lastname@example.org or see them online at www.JakesSite.com/tomsuper (this page).
Some pictures of Dan getting comfortable in his new ride... here
, and here
A recap of the 2004 season...
The June 12th twin 30s
- was the first outing, and various minor problems limited track time. We finally had things clicking by consi time and Howie had a strong 5th place run to put the car solidly into the show.
Mechanical gremlins struck again causing early departures from both features, but much was learned and sorted out.
Pictures from the June 12th event:
Here's some shots from the July 10th event:
- July 10th open comp "retro" event - Howard was credited with 17th in the 45 lap feature. The car ran pretty strong all night, getting a top 5 in the second Semi. After some suspension tweaking after the Semi, Howard found himself challenging for a top ten spot for much of the feature. Then two quick and harmless spins within a span of just a few laps occurred late in the race, both times as the 65 car exited turn 4. Howard parked the car at this point.
He said the car felt great everywhere else, but was "like eggshells" on exit and the condition apparently worsened as the race wore on. All in all though, it was a pretty good showing for the second time out and the team is looking forward to next week's Dunkin' Donuts / Century 21 - Mr. Supermodified $10,000 to Win show.
- Some notes from the july 10th event:
- Greg Furlong got the win, making a strong mid-race move past Joe Gosek, who was bidding for his second feature win in a row AND a clean sweep of the evenings events (inluding the dash for cash).
- Bob Goutermout sheered everything off from the engine forward in a scary crash during the second Semi. I didn't see the crash but reports were that the car took a quick right into the main gate on the front stretch.
- It was kinda strange watching Howard Page battle Gene Lee Gibson in the Bill Hite built 4 wheel drive super in the semi! Were're talking a 30 year old race car here, and it is still fast! Leaking fluids plagued the car all evening however. I hadn't realized it beforehand, but this was an open comp show. The only other car on hand that tried to exploit the liberal rules was Steve Miller's 16 with Johnny Payne driving. This car had some outlandish bodywork that was was pretty much mangled amid the foam along the first turn wall. The 16 suffered heavy front end damage but Johnny was OK.
Many thanks also go to Pat Pontello for all his efforts!
July 17th "Mr Supermodified" 50 lapper
- Perfect weather all night and full fields in all three classes (26 supers).
Howard ran mid-17s in early warm-ups, tweaked a little for late hot-laps but they were cut short by a nasty 4 car tangle. The 65 got into the show with a sixth place run in the first heat. No consi was needed with a 23 car field after the early warm-ups crash eliminated some cars.
Improvement continues for the Bliss Bros team as Howard started 16th and quickly found himself looking for a way around the 35 of Jeff Holbrook in a battle for a top ten spot. A lap 37 tangle between turns 1 and 2 collected the 35 car but Howard did an outstanding job of avoiding the melee!
In the closing laps, Howard applied intense pressure on the #0 of Tim Snyder for the 8th slot but ran out of laps... but hey, 9th ain't bad! It was a very encouraging performance as the #65 seems to be just a little more "hooked up" each time out.
Some notes from the july 17th event:
Here's some shots from the July 17th event:
- New Hampsire's Mike Ordway is "Mr Supermodified"... again. The Booth/Ordway team looks awesome... Mike rode in third for quite some time but when he decided to go to the front, he made it look easy! The 61 is just a spectacular piece of engineering...
- Greg Furlong got second and Bob Goutermout made some strong moves to take third as he really got his back-up car running well.
Check out this 1.5 MB MPEG movie as Bob Goutermout pins the 72 of Greg Furlong behind a slower car and snatches the lead. I think this was the second Semi.
- The scariest moment came during warmups in turn 3 when Bill Sharkey caught a Joe Gosek wheel and launched up into Joe's roll cage. Sharkey got some serious air time with a very hard, but upright landing and was briefly engufed in flames. Joe's #27 got into the foam with a severely damaged cage. He was able to walk away, but only after workers pried the cage away from around him. Gene Lee Gibson backed the #16 hard into the inside hub rail after getting caught up in the crash and returned to the track as a spectator after a brief trip to the hospital. A fourth car was also sidelined... don't remember who though.
- Howard goes low -down the backstretch and passes the other McLane sponsored car, Bobby Bond's #25. (44 kb)
download a video of that pass! This is a 1 megabyte MPEG file.
- Last hot lap session -was cut short before Howard could really get going due to the Sharkey/Gosek crash. (73 kb)
- Waiting out the red flag -while the lap 37 mess is cleaned up. (109 kb)
- Randy starts to jack the car -to check the stagger at the scales. (109 kb)
- Aftermath -of the lap 37 jingle. Jeff Holbrook scored an unfortunate bullseye right in Joe Hawksby Jr's engine. (86 kb)
Due to vacation plans, I was unable to attend the July 31st event. Tim Snyder was the feature winner in the #0 car, followed by Bob Bond's 25, and points leader Tim Gareau was third.
The Bliss Bros team elected to skip the Aug 7th show as more changes are made to the car. As it turns out, this show was washed out by rain.
August 22nd update
- Due to various circumstances, the #65 has not made another apppearance at Oswego since July 17th. Tom and Howard hope to get some practice in after having made some fairly significant changes, but the car may not be put into competition again until classic weekend.
I did however attend the Aug 14th and 21st events...
Oswego Quality Carpets Supermodified Twin 30's
on Aug 14th was busy raceday, beginning with the Aug 7th rained out Limited feature. Points leader Tim Gareau found the 4th turn wall in the first Super heat, and with the points lead at stake, the thrash
was on to replace a broken front end in time for the first feature. Tim mustered a 9th place finish after starting in the back in feature #1... an amazing run considering he was ready to throw in the towel when the car seemed beyond a quick repair! An 11th place finish in the second feature ended a long night for the Gareau team... and what a team! That's the kind of hard work that wins championships!
- Top 5 in feature #1: #72 Greg Furlong, #1 Shawn Muldoon, #25 Bobby Bond, #35 Jeff Holbrook, #79 Otto Sitterly.
- Top 5 in feature #2: #72 Greg Furlong, #0 Tim Snyder, #40 Bob Magner, #25 Bobby Bond, #79 Otto Sitterly.
Furlong was very strong all night although an impressive Bob Magner gave him quite a tussle in feat#2 before fading to third.
the Wendy's "Kids Night" / Key Bank
Aug 21st regular show was no "regular show" at all because the first race on the card was a double point 50 lapper suspended from Aug 14th at 11 laps in with Tim Gareau leading. A regular program of racing would follow that.
Tim was never headed in that first race, winning his first feature of the year, and capped it off with a third in the nightcap. With only one points race remaining, it sure looks like Tim Gareau has nailed down the 04 title!
the Aug 28th
- Top 5 in feature #1: #5 Tim Gareau, #0 Tim Snyder, #72 Greg Furlong, #77 Bob Goutermout, #79 Otto Sitterly.
- Top 5 in feature #2: #27 Joe Gosek, #90 Ray Graham, #5 Tim Gareau, #40 Bob Magner, #79 Otto Sitterly.
- See more images and information from these events on the supers2 page.
Burke's Do-It-Best Home Centers event was the final points race of the season and Tim Gareau did indeed sew up the track title... congratulations Tim! I did not attend this event.
Top five finishers in the 45 lap feature: 1. Joe Gosek 2. Bob Goutermout 3. Greg Furlong 4. Joe Hawksby, Jr. 5. Craig Rayvals
- The 2004 Budweiser International Classic- The team could not cure a very loose condition before time trials, but did get into the show when Howard grabbed third in the second heat. This was Tom's first Classic, so we were all pretty pumped at this point!
We started 30th in the 35 car field and Howard had made some progress up through thefield by the 50 lap mark. He needed to stay on the lead lap as the leader, Mike Ordway was closing fast at this point.
The first caution, just past the 50 lap mark seemed to take the pressure off and Howard used this opportunity to dive into the pits for a fresh right rear. This proved to be our un-doing because other cars were already pitted in the same area and there was no room for the #65!
Tom waved the 65 through and Howard quickly dropped it back in gear... the only problem was, that sharp left turn at the end of pit road was right there as we were pitted at that end. It was one heck of a place to develop a push, I'll tell 'ya!
As you might have guessed by now, the right front was "adjusted" by the infield fence ... and the day was done for the Bliss Bros team. Just an unfortunate set of circumstances, with no one really to blame.
team 65 Classic pictures:
• Some Classic notes:
- I wound up with scoring duties in the 4th turn grandstands for the 65 team and so, was unable to get any infield photos during the race. I did get some shots from up there however that were pretty interesting. It was also a great spot to watch the rest of the race play out... I oughta try those grandstands more often... or maybe make it up to the tower!
- Mike Ordway nailed down the pole in his Clyde Booth #61 with a sizzling 16.642 lap... a new track record! Doug Didero took the other front row spot with a 16.995.
- Joe Hawksby, Jr., who almost won the final points race last week, continued to impress with his new machine by nailing down the 4th fastest time trial. Unfortunately, he was the first to drop out when a plastic bag became lodged on the radiator causing overheating and minor burns to his leg. Watch for this team next year as I think they will be one of the teams to beat!
- The 08 of Didero dropped out with overheating on lap 109. The 35 of Jeff Holbrook had put Ordway back to second by this point as the #61 was beginning to develop intermittent ignition problems.
- Greg Furlong siezed control by lap 148 by passing a strong running Holbrook. Ordway retired to the pits at lap 160.
- Lap 181 brought the "big one" when Joey Payne got into the back of Holbrook in turn 3 causing a track blocking red flag as others piled into the melee.
- Drama developed as the cars were pushed off for the restart as Tim Gareau's #5 would not fire. Gareau was running 2nd at the time and was about to be black flagged and sent to the pits when it sputtered and fired... much to the delight of many!
- The finish was really something else as Furlong ran low on fuel, Bobby Santos made a go-for-broke charge of of 4 and only fell about a half car-length short. Santos was out of control by then and piled into the 72 sending both cars hard into the first turn foam after the finish!
- final finishing order:
1. Greg Furlong (72) 2. Bobby Santos III (20) 3. Tim Gareau (5) 4. Tim Snyder (0) 5. Todd Stowell (89) 6. Ray Graham, Jr. (90) 7. Joe Gosek (27) 8. Jeff Holbrook (35) 9. Dave Trytek (70) 10. Kyle Carpenter (49) 11. Doug Heveron (22) 12. Dave McKnight (74) 13. Gary Morton (96) 14. Pat Lavery (99) 15. Doug Kells (39) 16. Keith Gilliam (87) 17. Jamie Letcher (58) 18. Joey Payne (50) 19. Chris Perley (11) 20. Otto Sitterly (79) 21. Bob Bond (25) 22. Bob Magner (40) 23. Mike Ordway (61) 24. Johnny Payne (67) 25. Doug Didero (08) 26. Danny Kapuscinski (85) 27. Bill Peri (14) 28. Craig Rayvals (94) 29. Tim Jedrzejek (7) 30. Vern LaFave (97) 31. Howard Page (65) 32. Hal LaTulip (56) 33. Bob Goutermout (77) 34. Shawn Muldoon (1) 35. Joe Hawksby, Jr. (2)
visit Page 2 of the Supermodified image gallery to see more images from the 2004 Classic.
See the tentative 2005 Oswego Speedway schedule Here