Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – Otto Sitterly showed right from the get go that he was the class of the field in last night’s 32nd annual $10,000 to win Mr. Novelis Supermodified main event presented by Best Western Plus Captain’s Quarters and Quality Inn & Suites Riverfront of Oswego.
At the end of 75-laps, the race resulted in sheer domination by the seven time speedway champion from Canajoharie, N.Y. as Sitterly picked up his fourth Mr. Supermodified title overall and third driving for car owner John Nicotra.
“The car was hooked up pretty good,” Sitterly said in victory lane. “It just got a little tight at the end and that seems to be the problem with this car, but we’ve just kept sort of chipping away at it and even knocked the wall down a couple times last week, but that didn’t seem to hurt it.”
Sitterly started way back in tenth, but that didn’t matter. By the drop of the green, Sitterly was already in the eighth spot as polesitter Dan Connors Jr. spun at the entrance of the first corner collecting fifth starting Brandon Bellinger as well as thirteenth starting Tim Snyder, who was making his first appearance of the year at the speedway.
Bellinger and Snyder both wound up out for the night with Connors able to return for only a few laps before heading back pitside.
When the field was restacked again, it was an original restart with outside polesitter Tyler Thompson moving to the point and third starting Jeff Abold lining up to his outside.
With 1 lap complete, Abold inherited the lead from the high side going into turns three and four.
Almost right away, Sitterly had gotten by Dave Shullick Jr, Aric Iosue, and Dave Gruel to move into fifth and soon began chasing down Michael Barnes for fourth and Dave Danzer in the third spot.
Incredibly, Sitterly blew by Barnes, Danzer and also second place Thompson in one corner to move into the runner up position with only two laps complete.
One circuit later, Sitterly used the exact same outside move in turns three and four to inherit the race lead from Abold while Barnes simultaneously drove around the outside of Thompson for second with three laps in the books.
Meanwhile, Shullick was also working his way up through the field in quick fashion coming from ninth to take away the fifth position from Danzer on lap 4.
With only ten laps complete, Sitterly was already in lapped traffic nearly a straightaway ahead of second place Abold as he was trying his best to fend off a hard charging Barnes right behind him.
On lap 11, Barnes shot to the outside of Abold to take the second spot, but by then Sitterly was long gone as Abold fell to third with Thompson and Shullick battling for fourth.
A bobble by Thompson off of turn 2 was all Shullick needed to take fourth at the completion of lap 20, with Sitterly still way out front, Barnes second, Abold third, Shullick now fourth, Thompson fifth, and Gruel sixth.
Further back in the pack, Keith Shampine was working hard on the No. 52 of Danzer and no sooner took away the seventh position from the former Mr. Supermodified champion
Also following Shampine through to move up into eighth was fellow North Carolina pilot Doug Didero, who won his heat race in his return to Supermodified action for the first time since 2010 with a brand new car built by John Colloca.
Back up front, by lap 35, Sitterly had lapped up to eleventh place Iosue and tenth running Danzer.
Lapping cars while making his way back through the top ten for a second time, Sitterly then began to reel in teammate Davey Hamilton, who was making his second appearance of the season at Oswego.
Hamilton had charged from 17th to 9th early on and found the low side of Didero to move into eighth with Sitterly following him to lap the No. 3 car just before lap 40.
With 42 laps in the books, Sitterly was absolutely dismantling the field as only eight cars remained on the lead lap in the 75-lap main event.
The second Canale Insurance & Accounting yellow flag of the race flew on lap 45 when twelfth running Shaun Gosselin brushed the outside wall coming out of turn four, bringing the No. 77 to a stop in turns one and two.
Under caution, Didero took the No. 3 to the pits with handling issues as Gosselin took his ride pitside as well with the help of the track safety crew.
With 30 laps to go, the field was thinning out as Sitterly lead Barnes, Abold, Thompson, Shullick, Gruel, Shampine, Hamilton, Danzer, Iosue, West, Gosek, LeVea Jr, and LeVea Sr.
On the restart, Sitterly continued his dominance by walking away from Barnes and Abold in the top five with Shullick finally getting by Thompson for fifth on the short run.
As Sitterly crossed the line to complete lap 50, Thompson was busy working on the lapped car of LeVea Jr. and that’s when the rookie got way high in turns one and two, allowing the Gruel No. 50 to his inside to take fifth with Hamilton and Shampine following through as well to move up to sixth and seventh.
In just one lap, Thompson’s impressive top five effort soon diverted to a still solid eighth place run for the 16 year old hot shoe.
Unfortunately, Hamilton’s drive from the back all the way up to 6th came to a sudden halt on lap 56 as he took the No. 6 car pitside off the exit of turn four with apparent mechanical issues.
At this point, Sitterly had caught lapped traffic yet again as Barnes, Abold, Shullick, Gruel, Shampine, and Thompson had nothing for ‘seven time’ as the laps clicked off one by one.
With fifteen to go, Shampine got up high in lapped traffic allowing Thompson back into sixth, with Sitterly soon catching and putting both the No. 98T and 55 a lap down.
By lap 63, only five cars remained on the lead lap; Sitterly in the lead, Barnes in second, Abold in third, Shullick in fourth, and Gruel in fifth.
Sitterly’s huge lead was thrown away on lap 64 when third place running Abold got together with the lapped car of LeVea Sr. LeVea spun in turn four, but kept it off the wall with no damage, however this did bend the nose wing on the Abold No. 05.
On the restart, it was no surprise when Sitterly walked right away again with lapped cars in between himself and second place Barnes, but that was not the final caution flag of the night.
Wth eight to go, LeVea Jr. lost the handle on the No. 83, bringing out the caution flag one final time.
This particular restart brought Barnes, Shullick, Abold, and Gruel right to the back bumper of Sitterly, but it didn’t matter whatsoever.
Sitterly continued on his Saturday night cruise for what was by far the most dominant victory of the season thus far ahead of Barnes who brought the Syrell Racing No. 68 home runner up.
Shullick was eventually able to get by Abold for third with less than 10 to go after the nose wing was damaged on the No. 05 and with just two to go, the Abold car began running out of fuel. This misfortune found Jeff limping the car home and handing fourth over to Gruel.
Abold held on to round out the top five with Thompson sixth, Shampine seventh, Iosue eighth, Jeff West ninth, LeVea Jr tenth, Joe Gosek eleventh, and LeVea Sr. finishing out the on track running order in twelfth.
Gosek was the D&S Landscaping Hard Charger after driving from 22nd to 11th and Thompson was again the Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer Award winner for yet another impressive run in sixth by the Rookie of the Year contender.
Heat race wins on Best Western and Quality Inn & Suites night went to Didero, Connors, and Sitterly.
Oswego Speedway will be off next Saturday, July 28 in observation of Harborfest and the ISMA Hy-Miler Nationals at the Sandusky Speedway.
The next event at the ‘Steel Palace’ will take place on Saturday, August 4 when JP Jewelers presents ‘Retro Night’ featuring a 45-lap Novelis Supermodified feature and a 30-lap Pathfinder Bank SBS feature. Tickets are just $15 and can be purchased by calling the speedway box office at (315)-342-0646.
Don’t forget the 13th Oswego Speedway Old Timers Reunion also takes place on August 4 prior to the races. The event will be held from 10am to 3pm at Lighthouse Lanes adjacent to the speedway. $12 tickets include a delicious chicken bbq or pulled pork dinner from Lighthouse Lanes. For more information, you can find the Old Timers Reunion on Facebook.
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Best Western Plus Captain’s Quarters and Quality Inn & Suites Riverfront $10,000 to Win Mr. Novelis Supermodified
Feature (75-laps): 1. 7 OTTO SITTERLY, 2. 68 Michael Barnes, 3. 2 Dave Shullick Jr, 4. 50 Dave Gruel, 5. 05 Jeff Abold, 6. 98T Tyler Thompson®, 7. 55 Keith Shampine, 8. 11 Aric Iosue, 9. 1 Jeff West, 10. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 11. 00 Joe Gosek, 12. 66 Lou LeVea Sr, 13. 6 Davey Hamilton, 14. 52 Dave Danzer, 15. 3 Doug Didero, 16. 77 Shaun Gosselin, 17. 56 Hal LaTulip, 18. 94 Logan Rayvals, 19. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 20. 71 Bill Sharkey, 21. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 22. 0 Tim Snyder, 23. 4 Roger Clark
Heat 1 (12-laps): 1. 3 Doug Didero, 2. 2 Dave Shullick Jr, 3. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 4. 11 Aric Iosue, 5. 0 Tim Snyder, 6. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 7. 94 Logan Rayvals, 8. 4 Roger Clark
Heat 2 (12-laps): 1. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 2. 1 Jeff West, 3. 05 Jeff Abold, 4. 68 Michael Barnes, 5. 77 Shaun Gosselin, 6. 6 Davey Hamilton, 7. 56 Hal LaTulip, 8. 71 Bill Sharkey
Heat 3 (12-laps):1. 7 Otto Sitterly, 2. 98T Tyler Thompson®, 3. 50 Dave Gruel, 4. 52 Dave Danzer, 5. 55 Keith Shampine, 6. 66 Lou LeVea Sr, 7. 00 Joe Gosek
Group Time Trials:1. 7 Otto Sitterly – 15.997, 2. 68 Michael Barnes – 16.013, 3. 2 Dave Shullick Jr. – 16.023, 4. 55 Keith Shampine – 16.035, 5. 6 Davey Hamilton – 16.054, 6. 02 Brandon Bellinger – 16.351, 7. 50 Dave Gruel – 16.375, 8. 77 Shaun Gosselin – 16.398, 9. 11 Aric Iosue – 16.399, 10. 52 Dave Danzer – 16.405, 11. 05 Jeff Abold – 16.410, 12. 3 Doug Didero – 16.413, 13. 98T Tyler Thompson® – 16.427, 14. 01 Dan Connors Jr. 16.497, 15. 94 Logan Rayvals – 16.532, 16. 1 Jeff West – 16.541, 17. 0 Tim Snyder – 16.696, 18. 00 Joe Gosek – 16.820, 19. 83 Lou LeVea Jr. – 16.860, 20. 71 Bill Sharkey – 17.116, 21. 66 Lou LeVea Sr. – 17.345, 22. 4 Roger Clark – 20.651
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #00 Joe Gosek
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer: #98T Tyler Thompson