October 8, 2018 (Oswego, NY) – If ever there was a race leaving fans wanting more, it was the breath taking Chevy Performance 75 at Super Dirt Week. Heading to Oswego all eyes were on 2-time King Of Dirt Racing Champion Connor Cleveland and the high flying showstopper David Schilling, but it was an unsung stud of racing’s biggest party Robert Bublak Jr. that nearly stole the show and left the clay palace as top ‘Dirty Dozen’ Sportsman Modified driver.
Bublak would start 7th and immediately go to work when the green flag dropped Sunday afternoon making moves and passing fellow ‘Dirty Dozen’ competitor David Schilling. He’d then set his sights on a driver that would become all too familiar to the M&J Construction Bicknell Chassis in Shane Pecore, which he passed for 4th early in the race.
Next in his cross hairs was the DKM Cyclone chassis 234 of Adam McAuliffe, which Bublak made quick work of before setting his sights on 2-time defending Super Dirt Week Sportsman Modified Champion Dave Marcuccilli. While in pursuit of the ‘punisher’ something rare happened; Marcuccilli blew an engine. That handed the lead over to Bublak who would find himself leading comfortably until he fond lap traffic late in the race.
The aforementioned Shane Pecore hounded Bublak even taking the lead for a moment in traffic, as a fierce battle raged up front. Bublak would come right back and regain the lead and the pair continued to battle in traffic. In the closing laps it would appear Bublak was on the way to his biggest career win to date, but enter the lap cars of Willy Decker Jr. and Mike Stacy.
Try as he might Bublak couldn’t find a clean line around Decker, which slowed his progress and allowed Pecore to close in. The pair of hot shoes finally split the Decker lap car high and low and on the final lap closed in on Stacy with one going high and one low again.
Off turn two Pecore made a big run on the top around the lap car and Bublak to grab the lead, but Robert would make one last ditch effort to regain the top spot with a slide job in turns three and four. He’d come up just a bit short at the line and finish 2nd respectively in what many called the best Sportsman Modified race at Super Dirt Week ever.
“Lap cars wouldn’t get out of the way, it’ like they didn’t know what a move over flag was, but we had a great car all week and we let the know who we are. You know the deal, always a bridesmaid and never the bride,” said an excitedly disappointed Bublak after loosing the lead on the last lap.
2-Time King Of Dirt Racing Sportsman Modified Champion Connor Cleveland was part of that battle up front in the closing stages. ‘Kid Rocket’ would start 13th on the grid, but didn’t stay there long after the green flag dropped making passes on Martin Pelletier, Bob Henry Jr., and Dave Constantino early in the early stages.
Cleveland would continue his patient and methodical march forward finding himself battling for a few laps with Will Shields and then familiar foe David Schilling, who he battled for a KOD championship in 2016. He’d move past outside pole setter Kevin Root and set his sights on the front running trio.
Late in the race he’d close in on Adam McAuliffe and begin pressuring him for 3rd, but as mentioned previously lap traffic was heavy towards the closing laps. Cleveland would settle in and finish 4th respectively after the checkered flag fell on the Chevy Performance 75.
“My guys gave me a great car today. I don’t know about how the fans felt, but that was a fun race towards the end for me. We are super happy with the end result. We changed some stuff after first practice and even changed stuff the morning after to find some speed in the car. We’re happy with 4th,” Cleveland told Race Pro Weekly’s Dylan Friebel after the event.
David Schilling had a fast 1-800-GOT-JUNK Bicknell race rod, but would that continue during the Chevy Performance 75? He’d fired from the 6th starting position and immediately find himself under attack. Jackson Gill, Will Shields, and Robert Bublak Jr. were all looking for position to move forward, but Schilling held strong early on.
About mid way through the event it appeared his car was a little on the tight side, as corner entry saw a slight push from time-to-time. He spent a few laps battling with the aforementioned Connor Cleveland, did battle with Constantino, Henry, and Pelletier before settling in for a top 10 run. Despite fading back a few positions Schilling would close out the Chevy Performance 75 with a 9th place finish respectively.
Congratulations to all ‘Dirty Dozen’ Sportsman Modified drivers and honorable mentions at Super Dirt Week 47. Next up for the King Of Dirt Sportsman Modified drivers is the Fall Madness Most Popular Driver Tournament exclusively through the KOD Facebook page coming after the 358 Modified tournament that starts Monday night at 9 PM.
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