OSWEGO, NY (August 26) – The NEMA Midgets made their long awaited return to Oswego Speedway on Saturday night, and it was Jim Miller in the No. 3m dominating the field for his first Oswego win, and first NEMA victory since 2001. Miller started on the front row and immediately blasted to the lead, out running Russ Stoehr and Oswego Supermodified driver Jeff Abold to the line in the 30-lap main.
Seth Carlson and Randy Cabral completed the Top 5 in the NEMA main event, which went green to checker with 16 cars making the call.
“I haven’t run here in 10 years and I think we had a 3rd place finish then, and we were disappointed, and look where we are today, unbelievable,” said Miller, standing in Chris Nelson Insurance Victory Lane. “This is unreal. It is a big win for me, it really is. What a racecar we had tonight, I just can’t believe it.”
Miller and Doug Cleveland started in row one, with Miller gaining the early advantage in the No. 3m. Behind Miller, Cleveland and Greg Stoehr in No. 77 were starting to position themselves, but each would pull off the race track within the first two laps moving Oswego Supermodified pilot Joey Payne up to second in the No. 44.
By lap six Miller had already built a full straight lead on Payne, Carlson, Stoehr, Phil Dimario, and Abold.
Abold began to mount his charge through the field on lap nine as he made his way under Dimario in turn two to move to fifth, and he quickly began to draw a bead on Stoehr running fourth in the No. 45.
Stoehr could feel the pressure from Abold as he then set-up Carlson with a high side move out of turn two to move into third behind Payne.
For several laps Payne, Stoehr, Carlson and Abold were locked in a tremendous battle for positions two through five, as Miller continued to dominate the field with a half-track lead by lap 17.
The race’s 18th circuit saw Abold slip under Carlson for fourth, putting him in perfect position to take advantage of Payne in lapped traffic just one lap later.
The No. 44 of Payne would get hung up behind a lap car low out of turn two on lap 19 leaving the outside lane open for both Stoehr and Abold to fly by moving to second and third.
Payne, who appeared to be battling a tight racecar through the first half of the event, would continue to back slide from there as both Carlson and Cabral would also make their way passed the No. 44 to move into the Top 5.
With Miller checked out in front of the field, the battle would be left for the runner-up position between Stoehr and Abold. Stoehr, who has more Oswego Speedway Midget wins than any other driver, appeared to have the handle on Abold, but the young 23-year old pilot gained an edge on Stoehr into turn one with just a handful of laps left and looked to have a lane open low in turn two.
However, as Abold looked low the opening closed and the No. 05 ran directly up the tail tank of the Stoehr No. 45. Somehow each car was able to continue on without further delay.
The quick tangle between Stoehr and Abold would be the final bit of drama in the fast paced feature event which took only 8:43.861 seconds to complete. Jim Miller would continue to streak on to his first career Oswego Speedway win in convincing fashion.
Stoehr, Abold, Carlson, Cabral, Payne, Mike Horn, Dimario, Anthony Marvglio, and Todd Bertrand finished the Top 10 order.
Stoehr commented on running with Abold in the last few laps.
“Jeff (Abold) is certainly a great driver, and he has a lot more laps of experience at this place than I do,” said Stoehr. “But we had a good fast car tonight and this Dumo’s Desire car was on its game tonight. Hats off to Jimmy Miller and congratulations to Jeff on a fine third place finish.”
Oswego Supermodified regular Abold also spoke with infield announcer Keith Zehr at the conclusion of the event.
“I want to apologize to that whole team there; I had a good run going on Russ and we were dead even through three and four and I had been getting great runs through one and two,” said Abold. “That lap I just tried to sneak it in there on the bottom and we just touched wheels enough that I got up over his tire. It is definitely not the way I was trying to get by him there; it is not what I was hoping for.”
Abold was excited to be able to race at Oswego Speedway, this time in a Midget.
“I love racing with these guys, especially at Oswego Speedway,” said Abold. “I have been waiting for this race all season long. We got the old girl dusted out and ready to go, so a podium finish, first night out, I am pretty happy with that.”
Saturday, August 25th, 2012
Oswego Speedway Midget Madness
Budweiser International Classic Weekend – see www.oswegospeedway.com for more information
Feature (30-laps): 1. 3m – Jim Miller, 2. 45 – Russ Stoehr, 3. 29 – Jeff Abold, 4. 71 – Seth Carlson, 5. 47 – Randy Cabral, 6. 44 – Joey Payne, 7. 93x – Mike Horn, 8. 33 – Phil Dimario, 9. 38 – Anthony Marvlio, 10. 39 – Todd Bertrand, 11. 2 – Lee Bundy, 12. 99 – Jim Santa Maria, 13. 30 – Paul Scally, 14. 9 – John Zych Jr., 15. 87 – Doug Cleveland, 16. 77 – Greg Stoehr
1st Heat (10laps): 1. 71 – Seth Carlson, 2. 47 – Randy Cabral, 3. 29 – Jeff Abold, 4. 44 – Joey Payne, 5. 87 – Doug Cleveland, 6. 38 – Anthony Marvglio, 7. 30 – Paul Scally
2nd Heat (10laps): 1. 3m – Jim Miller, 2. 77 – Greg Stoehr, 3. 9 – John Zynch Jr., 4. 33 – Phil DiMario, 5. 45 – Russ Stoehr, 6. 39 – Todd Bertrand, 7. 93x – Mike Horn, 8. 99 – Jim Santa Maria, 9. 2 – Lee Bundy