By JARRAD WAKEFIELD
Five 15-lap heats were held for the DIRTcar Sportsman, narrowing down the massive 100+ car field down and locking in 20 more drivers to Sunday’s Chevy Performance 75. Winning those five heats were Mike Fowler, Dalton Rombough, Brian Calabrese, David Rogers and Mike Bruno
Mike Fowler took the lead in the first heat for the DIRTcar Sportsman Chevrolet Performance 75 early on and never looked back. The pink, black, and white No.410 machine cruised around the top groove of the Oswego Speedway to claim a big win for Fowler on Friday night.
Fowler started on the front row, and quickly jumped out ahead of Ryan Godown Jr. and Ajay Potrzebowski Jr. While those two battled fiercely for second, Fowler quietly slipped out of reach at the front in what was a relatively uneventful race. One caution flag flew for contact between Zach Payne and Richard Murtaugh Jr. as they raced for third. Both drivers went to the tail and were unable to qualify for Sunday’s main event tonight.
“You have to pick and chose your battles on track, as to how you’re going to drive”, said Fowler post-race. “With the track being like this, you have to keep the car straight and smooth to keep the wheels on the ground and going fast. I never heard or saw anyone, so I just ran my own race.”
“This is huge for us,” added Fowler. “Two years ago, we didn’t make the race. One year ago, we made it through the LCQ and wrecked out in the second turn of the race. This is a great start for us, and we should be in a great starting spot for Sunday’s race.”
Fowler will start 7th in pursuit of the Chevrolet Performance 75 crown, which will be held on Sunday morning.
Rombough Romps to SDW Heat Win
Dalton Rombough dominated the second Sportsman heat race at the Oswego Speedway in preparation for the Chevrolet Performance 75 on Sunday morning of Super DIRT week. Rombough started on the front row, taking the lead on the initial start. He would hold on through a few restarts to take one of the biggest wins of his career.
With the state of the track surface being what it was on Friday night at the Oswego Speedway, attentiveness was key for Rombough’s success.
“I watch all the races”, said Rombough. “I tried to see where the holes are. I worked my way around them to keep the car happy, and it worked. We never bottomed out, running the top of bottom. We went unbothered all race long.”
The win on Friday is one of the biggest of Rombough’s career, especially on the stage that is Super DIRT Week.
“This feels awesome”, added Rombough. “I figured if we could start in the top ten, we’d have a shot to win on Sunday. Our week just keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait for Sunday.”
Calabrese Takes Third Sportsman SDW Heat Win
After a race long battle with Matt Guererri, Brian Calabrese took the third heat race win for the Chevrolet Performance 75 on Friday night.
Guererri jumped out to the early lead from the front row. Guererri pulled a steady gap, but Calabrese worked his way into second and started to close the gap. As Calabrese made the move and completed a pass on Guererri on lap 12, a scary crash marred the event. Dale Caswell climbed the turn 3 catch fencing, going airborne. Justin McKay had nowhere to go, as he clobbered a mid-air Caswell. Both drivers were alright, but Caswell’s car was a total write-off.
“We want to win every time we go out there”, said Calabrese post-race. “We wanted to win, but it’s also about making the show. I was fine to ride in second, but I saw Guererri hanging it out up top; so I started thinking that I could make a move. I took a risk and dove down to the bottom and there was a ton of bite. As long as I kept the car straight, we were perfectly fine down there.”
Calabrese’s win came from somewhat deep in the field after a difficult time trial session.
“I dropped the ball a little bit in time trials, which is really unfortunate for our guys”, added Calabrese. “We had a fantastic car tonight; my crew is just incredible. They always stand behind me, and we are very excited for Sunday.”
Rogers Runs Away With Fourth SDW Sportsman Heat
David Rogers took the fourth Sportsman heat race on Friday night at Super DIRT Week in preparation for the Chevrolet Performance 75. Rogers dominated the race, pulling a quarter track lead on the field by the end of the race.
The race started with some carnage, as AJ Lloyd’s good time trial run crumbled away after he found the turn three wall on the first lap. Cameron Tuttle had nowhere to go, as he would also be collected. Both drivers saw their night end as a result of the accident.
Rogers held on through a few more restarts for cars breaking to take a dominant win.
“After I went over the scales, I had to stretch my fingers out”, said Rogers post-race. “With how the track was, it took a lot to drive it. My hand and fingers were cramping up by the end. The track conditions are not ideal, but hopefully it will be fixed before Sunday.”
Rogers will look to carry his speed into Sunday.
“I have a ton of confidence in our team for Sunday”, added Rogers. “This DKM is fast, and the guys are going to tune on it tomorrow and Sunday. We have a good starting spot for Sunday, but the main goal is to make sure we’re there at the end first.
Bruno Takes Fifth Super DIRT Week Sportsman Win
Mike Bruno saved his best effort for last on Friday night. In the last event of Friday Night Lights, Bruno took the lead late from Noah Walker to take the win in the fifth heat race for the Chevrolet Performance 75.
Noah Walker jumped out to an early race lead in his No.22 machine and seemed to have the race locked up. However, Walker’s car seemed to start handling poorly in the final few laps. It appeared as if Walker broke a component in the rear suspension, which allowed Bruno to close in. Bruno made the pass with a handful to go and set sail to take the win in the final event of Friday night.
“In the world of racing I come from, we don’t come here to finish second”, said Bruno. “I wasn’t afraid to move into the rougher patches of the track to find speed. I felt bad that we struggled earlier, so I had to make up for it somehow. We picked the wrong gear for time trials earlier, tonight, we got redemption. The goal for us tonight once we got racing was to find the smoothest part of the race-track. It was difficult, but we found it at the end.”
For Bruno, Super DIRT Week is all about having some fun while being competitive.
“Everything in this deal is a bonus for me, I’m here to have fun”, added Bruno. “We’re just happy to be in the show and make more memories. We’ll see what tomorrow holds.”
DIRTCAR SPORTSMAN HEAT RACE RESULTS (15-LAPS):
HEAT 1 — 1. 410-Mike Fowler; 2. 72-A Jay Potrzebowski; 3. 26-Ryan Godown; 4. 64-Tyler Corcoran; 5. 17Z-Seth Zacharias; 6. 6-Robert Bublak; 7. Z4-JJ Courcy; 8. R1-Riley Rogala; 9. 75-AJ Custodi; 10. 7Z-Zachary Payne; 11. 33-Ryan Murtaugh; 12. 19C-Brandon Carvey; 13. 27-Jason Reome; 14. 01R-Robert Gage; 15. 28-Jordan Moden; 16. 96-Robert Maxon; 17. 42A-Colby Adamczak; 18. 74-Kelly Smith; 19. 111-Henry Desmoreau; 20. 3M-Chris Mackey; 21. (DNS) 10%-Chad Edwards
HEAT 2 — 1. 41-Dalton Rombough; 2. 70A-Alex Payne; 3. 1XD-Willy Decker Jr; 4. 7-Michael Sabia; 5. 1M-Tyler Murray; 6. 00-Beau Reeves; 7. 02-David Boisclair; 8. 69-Brian Borst; 9. 427-Carter Gibbons; 10. 99M-Brett Martin; 11. 79-Jeffrey Prentice; 12. 22-Nick Plumstead; 13. 5B-Brock Pinkerous; 14. 01-Zach Buff; 15. 1R-Ricky Thompson; 16. 11-Jeffrey Lutes; 17. 1D-Robert Delormier; 18. 52-Ron Proctor; 19. (DNS) 92-Andrew Buff; 20. (DNS) 6V-Tanner VanDoren; 21. (DNS) 49-Chris Jakubiak
HEAT 3 — 1. 21C-Brian Calabrese; 2. 12G-Matt Guererri; 3. 38-Zach Sobotka; 4. 42B-Justin Buff; 5. 20-Bucko Branham; 6. 31B-Ryan Dolbear; 7. 29-Nick Heywood; 8. 22S-Dylan Swinehart; 9. 63-Teddy Clayton Jr; 10. 284-Jamie Kamrowski; 11. 04-Dale Gonyo Jr; 12. 9-Steve Schrader; 13. R19-Dale Caswell; 14. 3-Justin McKay; 15. 2-Tyler Doxtater; 16. 32RS-Ryan Shanahan; 17. 5KD-Kyle Devendorf; 18. 33X-Matt Janczuk; 19. 51B-Matthew Bourey; 20. (DQ) 12-Jonathan Miller
HEAT 4 — 1. 1-David Rogers; 2. 5S-Tanner Siemons; 3. 57H-Remington Hamm; 4. 09-Connor Cleveland; 5. 10G-Austin Germinio; 6. FOX28-Tyler Stevenson; 7. B24-Brendan Gibbons; 8. 96JS-John Stowell; 9. 17J-Brenton Joy; 10. 00G-Joe Gosek; 11. 5-Ryan Neiger; 12. 1S-Andrew Smith; 13. T69-Travis Green; 14. 33XM-Rick Miller; 15. 113JR-Frank Guererri; 16. 1F-AJ Lloyd; 17. 35T-Cameron Tuttle; 18. 8-Alan Fink; 19. (DNS) 99-Griffen Mansmith; 20. (DQ) 14X-Scott Duell
HEAT 5 — 1. 22B-Mike Bruno; 2. 18-Chris Cayea; 3. 19-Jamy Begor; 4. 33O-Cody Ochs; 5. 22W-Noah Walker; 6. 3H-Cole Hentschel; 7. 14-Zach Arquiett; 8. 50-William August; 9. 54-Fred Proctor; 10. 10-Michael Delormier; 11. 38S-Kevin Stevens; 12. 44C-Ed Downing; 13. 51-Tim Lafler; 14. 21K-Randy Chrysler; 15. 72H-Kasey Hufcut; 16. 48-Kearra Backus; 17. 42-Daryl Nutting; 18. 13-Teddy Starr; 19. 1X-Justin Stone; 20. (DNS) 5D-Tim Devendorf
RELATED TOPICSDIRTCAR SPORTSMANHEAT RACESNAPA SUPER DIRT WEEKOSWEGO SPEEDWAY