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Schartner Shows the Way in Race of Champions SBS Main
Bruce took the lead away from front row starter David LaTulip early on and held on to the top spot until Schartner charged by on the low side of turn three on the races 35th lap. Prior to taking the lead Schartner used the outside to breeze past Cameron Rowe, JJ Andrews, Bernys, and LaTulip in consecutive laps. Schartner, who travels from Charlotte, NC weekly to run at Oswego would then hold off the advances of Brian Sobus and AJ Bernys in the final stages of the 50-lap main event.Bruce and LaTulip would complete the Top 5 ahead of Rob Pullen, Andrews, Dalton Doyle, Josh Kerr, and Mike Bond.
“I knew we had to turn a corner with the way the car has been running,” said Schartner in Chris Nelson Insurance Victory Lane. “The guys hit the spot the last few weeks, we’ve been fast, this is a credit to them.”
Schartner rode outside of the Top 5 for the majority of the event before going on his passing spree.
“I decided to stop being so cautious,” said Schartner. “My car owner tells me all the time, ‘you’re too nice, this is a race track go out there and drive the thing.’ So that’s what I finally decided to do. I was trying to be patient and just work cars, it just wasn’t working. I was in a heck of a battle with Mike Bond there for a while and finally got that squared up. I just finally decided we’ve got nothing to lose, let’s go.”
The LaTulip No. 17 led the early stages of the RoC 50 before the Bruce No. 22 would sneak past within the first ten laps of the race. Bruce would hold the top spot in an eight car freight train for several laps ahead of LaTulip, Bernys, Andrews, and Rowe. It was on lap 21 that Schartner began to really come into focus as he dove under Doyle for the 7th spot bringing Pullen with him into position number eight. From there the top eight cars would pull away from the rest of the field, in a bumper to bumper battle.
The race’s first caution hit the Speedway on lap 28. Schartner pulled to the inside of the Patrick No. 9 to move up another spot and Pullen again tried to thread the needle as well. Instead Pullen and Patrick would touch, sending each car around in turn four, with both having to restart at the tail of the field.
Bruce led LaTulip, Bernys, Andrews, Rowe, Schartner, Jason Simmons, Tim Barbeau, Mark Castiglia, and Bond back to the green flag. Just one lap later another caution would hit the Speedway, this time in turn two for Simmons, Barbeau, and Castiglia. Simmons would be done for the night in the No. 98, while Barbeau and Castiglia would rejoin the field. The three drivers would finish 15th, 16th, and 17th respectively ending Barbeau’s streak of Top 10 finishes in the No. 79.
It was at this restart that Schartner decided to throw patience out the window as he charged to the high side of the race track in the No. 18. The Weedsport, NY native would use the high side to best Rowe, Andrews, Bernys, and LaTulip in consecutive laps before turning underneath Bruce for the lead on lap 35. Once out front, Schartner began to pull away.
In the closing stages of the event another driver began to throw caution to the wind and that was Supermodified pilot Brian Sobus in his family owned No. 10 SBS. Sobus started at the tail of the field and in the last ten laps put on a valiant high side charge working his way into the runner-up spot. With just three laps to go Championship leader Bond ran into trouble in turn three. He would be able to restart in the No. 26, but that allowed Sobus his chance at race leader Schartner. When the green lights came back on however, it was all Schartner on his way to his first win of 2012 and 7th career Oswego SBS triumph tying him with Billy Izyk, Scott Landers, and Daryl Nichols All-Time.
At night’s end Sobus was more than satisfied with his runner-up effort. “It took me about 25 laps to figure it out in the feature,” said Sobus, who has been a regular in the Novelis Supermodified division this season, riding 5th in overall points. “That 18 car was just amazing tonight, I couldn’t believe it. As the race went on and the cautions came out I’m like, ‘alright, I am only two or three spots behind him’ but he was in a different
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2012 ROC July 20 ,2012 Win
Schartner who started 11th bided his time in the 50 lap feature event as he didn’t
enter the top five until there were only 20 laps to go in the feature. Then between
laps 31 and 35 Schartner showed everyone the outside groove at Oswego and how to
use it to pass. Schartner exclusively used the outside groove to make his way from
11th to second. Then entering turn three on lap 35 Schartner sneaked under race leader
Mike Bruce to grab the lead.
Schartner looked as if he had an easy ride to the $1,000 win but a caution with three laps to go closed the field up. Brian Sobus in his first SBS start of the year in his old car came from 18th to second and was on the back bumper of Schartner when the race resumed with three laps to go.
Schartner wasn’t going to let Sobus steal his thunder and he bolted out to a big lead and held off Sobus for his first win of the year. Sobus, AJ Bernys, Bruce, and Dave LaTulip completed the top five.
FINISH; Andrew Schartner, Brian Sobus, AJ Bernys, Mike Bruce, Dave LaTulip, Rob Pullen, JJ Andrews, Dalton Doyle, Josh Kerr, Mike Bond, Dennis Rupert, Cameron Rowe, Jon Tesoriero, Jack Patrick, Mark Castiglia, Tim Barbeau, Jason Simmons, John Ketchum.
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