Story By: JOE GRABIANOWSKI / DIRTCAR – OSWEGO, NY – Nick Stone and Chad Jeseo used a similar strategy to get a leg up on their competition Friday night in Pro Stock heat race action for Super DIRT Week.
The two Capital Region drivers chose the outside line in their 10 lap Twin 20 Heat Races, leading them to Victory Lane Friday night at Oswego Speedway.
The wins back up strong qualifying runs by both drivers. Jeseo starts on the outside pole in Sunday’s DIRTcar Pro Stock 50, while Stone starts third. All 31 cars will start the main event.
Nick Stone and Luke Horning have developed a rivalry over the past few seasons, as the two battled countless times in Pro Stock competition across the Capital Region.
Friday night at Oswego Speedway was no different, as they brought the first Pro Stock Heat Race to green.
Both drivers thundered off Turn 2 side-by-side, each of them nosing out ahead of each other on the backstretch. Horning would lead Stone by inches when they completed Lap 1, but it was the final time he’d be out front.
Stone’s momentum on the outside carried him the lead on Lap 2, and two laps later, the “Manimal” started pulling away from Horning.
The Rotterdam, NY driver never looked back, leading the final nine laps to grab the Heat Race win.
Stone stated the momentum on the outside gave him the ability to stay smooth throughout the race.
“The outside starting position helped me find the outside groove,” Stone said. “I knew once I got a rhythm up there, as long as I didn’t let Luke slide me, I thought we were alright. A little bumpy out there, so I was a little iffy, but once it got rolling, it was going good.”
Horning settled for second, while Rich Crane, Chucky Dumblewski, and Chris Crane rounded out the top five.
Chad Jeseo watched Nick Stone in Heat Race 1, helping him decide what line to run Heat Race 2.
The Averill Park, NY driver, started on the pole, but it wasn’t long until he swung to the top, taking the advantage he needed to pull away.
Jeseo was unchallenged in the 10 lap Heat Race, including a restart where he drove away on the outside.
“I went to watch the first Heat and seen Nick take advantage of the top there,” Jeseo said. “So, I said, ‘Why not?’ I went out and tried it. It seemed really good.
“What an absolute awesome facility it is here today. The track is super racy. It’s super-fast. It’s a good track [Friday].”
While “Bad Chad” was out front alone, Josh Coonradt and Jason Casey waged war for the runner-up spot.
Coonradt, the 2019 Pro Stock 50 winner, tried for two laps to get by Casey before pulling a slingshot move off Turn 2 to pass him for second with three laps to go.
The West Milton, NY driver, held on to the runner-up spot, while Jason Casey finished third. Jason Meltz crossed the line fourth, and Kim Duell was fifth.
DIRTcar PRO STOCK HEAT RACES
HEAT 1 — 1. 8N-Nick Stone; 2. 2H-Luke Horning; 3. 711-Rich Crane; 4. 7D-Chucky Dumblewski; 5. 69-Chris Crane; 6. 7-Rob Yetman; 7. 178-Steve LaRochelle; 8. 23-Scott Towslee; 9. 2-Pete Stefanski; 10. 6-Shane Playford; 11. 28-Burton Ward; 12. 6C-Brian Carter; 13. 1X-Justin White; 14. 91-Ian Bressette; 15. 09-Shawn Perez; 16. 17-Nick Hilt
HEAT 2 — 1. 25-Chad Jeseo; 2. 70X-Josh Coonradt; 3. 324-Jason Casey; 4. 51-Jason Meltz; 5. 14-Kim Duell; 6. 57K-Kevin Fetterly Jr; 7. 322-Jay Casey; 8. 4-Dean Charbonneau; 9. 54S-Zachary Sorrentino; 10. 75S-Gary Silkey; 11. 56-Jay Fitzgerald; 12. 14J-Johnny Rivers; 13. 413-Tommy Dean; 14. 75-Eli Gilbert; 15. X15-Tyler Bushey