Alison Sload Becomes First Female Supermodified Winner At Oswego; Sitterly Takes First Jim Shampine Memorial Twin

Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – Fans who were able to come back to Oswego Speedway on Sunday afternoon for the rained out portion of the Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50’s were treated to one of the greatest moments in the 58 year history of the Supermodified division.

Alison Cumens-Sload, in only her second race piloting the John Nicotra owned, Otto Sitterly prepared No. 39, held off Joe Gosek and Keith Shampine to park herself in victory lane, becoming the first ever female to win an Oswego Supermodified feature.

“I definitely didn’t think this would come in my second race,” Sload said in victory lane. “I thought we’d be here at some point this season, but here I am. I just told myself I was going to send it.”

Send it she did. Sload started on the outside pole alongside Michael Barnes, and initially fell back to second, but inherited the race lead on lap 15 when Barnes hit the inside hub rail with a broken tie rod on the Syrell Racing No. 68.

With Barnes out of the way, it was Alison’s race to lose. Fortunately, she executed perfectly, navigating through lapped traffic without missing a beat to keep one of the all-time greats in Gosek behind her.

“I could feel Gosek behind me and kept thinking I need to concentrate on hitting my marks every lap,” Sload mentioned. “I was looking at the leader board a little built to gage where everyone was, but I couldn’t too much in lapped traffic. Fortunately traffic was cooperative today.”

With 35 laps remaining, Sload set out on a mission. She pulled away from Gosek, Shampine and Doug Didero as the front four built a distance between themselves and fifth running Dave Shullick Jr.

At halfway, Sload lead Gosek, Shampine, Didero, and Shullick, along with Otto Sitterly and Jeff Abold, who had come from eleventh and twelfth to search for positions in the top five.

With about 15 laps to go, Sload caught lapped traffic for the first time and went to the outside of a trio of cars with no problem, keeping Gosek at bay at least for the time being.

At about the exact same moment that Sload hit traffic, Shullick ran into trouble with the No. 95, losing power steering on the car. This allowed Sitterly, Abold, and the remaining top ten cars of Bowes, Bellinger, Tim Snyder and Dan Connors all by.

Back up front, it was smooth sailing for the No. 39, at least until the lap counter showed five to go. That is when Sload had a brief scare in traffic, having to go by Logan Rayvals, Camden Proud, and Shullick, who was now getting lapped as well.

Upon catching this pack of three cars, Sload had go to high and then back low, first getting around Proud and then under Rayvals. She went wide in turn 1, but was able to wrestle the car back down to the inside of the track, keeping Gosek behind her.

By this time, Sload and Gosek were gone as Shampine, Didero, and Sitterly battled for third, fourth, and fifth, but when the checkered flag waved, the crowd roared for Alison Sload who earned the first ever Supermodified checkered flag of her career, making Oswego history.

Gosek, Shampine, Didero, and Sitterly finished second through fifth in that order with Abold, Bowes, Bellinger, Connors, and Snyder rounding out the top ten.

Sload, who also has an ATQMRA victory and a pair of ISMA top fives at Oswego, was the obvious winner of the Lighthouse Lanes ‘Up and Comer’ Award while Sitterly earned D&S Landscaping ‘Hard Charger’ honors for another great drive from twelfth to fifth.

After a thrilling Opening Weekend, Oswego Speedway is off on Saturday, June 1, but reopens with another three division show on Saturday, June 8 featuring the Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and Sunoco New York Super Stock Series.

BOX SCORE

Century 21 Galloway Realty 69th Annual Opening Day
Oswego Speedway
Oswego, NY
Sunday, May 26, 2019

Novelis Supermodifieds

Feature 2 (50-laps): 1. ® 39 ALISON SLOAD, 2. 00 Joe Gosek, 3. 55 Keith Shampine, 4. 3 Doug Didero, 5. 7 Otto Sitterly, 6. 05 Jeff Abold, 7. ® 25 Dan Bowes, 8. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 9. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 10. 0 Tim Snyder, 11. 50 Dave Gruel, 12. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 13. 94 Logan Rayvals, 14. ® 90 Jack Patrick, 15. ® 54 Camden Proud, 16. 56 Hal LaTulip, 17. 97 Tim Jedrzejek, 18. 70 Dave McKnight, 19. 68 Michael Barnes, 20. 44 Chris Perley. DNS – Jon McKennedy, Tyler Thompson, Dave Danzer, Lou LeVea Jr, Aric Iosue.

Heat 1 (12-laps): 1. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 2. 98T Tyler Thompson, 3. 25 ® Dan Bowes, 4. 05 Jeff Abold, 5. 44 Chris Perley, 6. 55 Keith Shampine, 7. 02 Brandon Bellinger

Heat 2 (12-laps): 1. 7 Otto Sitterly, 2. 39 ® Alison Sload, 3. 50 Dave Gruel, 4. 00 Joe Gosek, DNF – 11 Aric Iosue, 70 Dave McKnight

Heat 3 (12-laps): 1. 21 ® Jon McKennedy, 2. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 3. 3 Doug Didero, 4. 52 Dave Danzer, 5. 68 Michael Barnes, 6. 97 Tim Jedrzejek, 7. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 8. 56 Hal LaTulip, 9. 90 ® Jack Patrick, 10. 54 ® Camden Proud, 11. 0 Tim Snyder, 12. 94 Logan Rayvals

Group Time Trials: 1. 55 Keith Shampine – 16.150, 2. 3 Doug Didero – 16.223, 3. 7 Otto Sitterly – 16.349, 4. 02 Brandon Bellinger – 16.359, 5. 68 Michael Barnes – 16.386, 6. 00 Joe Gosek – 16.388, 7. 05 Jeff Abold – 16.395, 8. 95 Dave Shullick Jr. – 16.444, 9. 11 Aric Iosue – 16.461, 10. 25 ® Dan Bowes – 16.484, 11. 97 Tim Jedrzejek – 16.529, 12. 39 ® Alison Sload – 16.541, 13. 44 Chris Perley – 16.562, 14. 21 ® Jon McKennedy – 16.634, 15. 70 Dave McKnight – 16.645, 16. 01 Dan Connors Jr – 16.668, 17. 52 Dave Danzer – 16.748, 18. 50 Dave Gruel – 16.804, 19. 98T Tyler Thompson – 16.834, 20. 54 ® Camden Proud – 17.517, 21. 90 ® Jack Patrick – 17.852

D&S Landscaping Hard Charger Feature 2: #7 Otto Sitterly
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer Feature 2: #39 ® Alison Sload

Sitterly Opens 2019 Season with Jim Shampine Memorial Victory

Eight time and defending Novelis Supermodified champion Otto Sitterly started his 2019 season in the same place he ended his 2018 season; in victory lane.

Infamous new wing rule and all, it appeared Sitterly did not skip a beat, putting on a driving clinic from eighth to the win in Sunday’s first Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50, which served as the official kickoff to Oswego Speedway’s 2019 season.

“It’s definitely a little bit of a different situation this year,” Sitterly said from victory lane. “We’re trying to learn this wing deal, but the car was good. It changes a lot during the course of the day. When we put fuel onboard, it got really loose. It made things extra challenging on the outside.”

Two drivers looking for their first ever Oswego feature wins, longtime competitor Dan Connors Jr. and New England invader Jon McKennedy made up the front row for the first main event of the season and it was McKennedy outfoxing Connors to take the lead from up high.

With McKennedy setting the early pace, sixth starting Jeff Abold and eight starting Sitterly wasted little time making high side moves around Alison Sload, Dave Shullick Jr, and Joe Gosek to move into fourth and fifth.

Just as the leaders had completed lap 1, the race was slowed for a hard crash by Lou LeVea Jr. in turn one. LeVea was not injured in the accident, but his No. 83 was heavily damaged on all four corners.

Despite Sitterly’s early high side hustle, he had not crossed the line ahead of Sload and Shullick prior to the yellow flag, moving the No. 7 car back two positions.

Now, Sitterly had to do it again on the restart, but this time Shullick found bite as well, and he also worked his way around the Sload No. 39 with Sitterly following on the outside.

On lap 2, Sitterly found a hole underneath Shullick’s Osetek Racing No. 95 coming off of turn two and moved into fifth behind the early top five of McKennedy, Connors, Bowes, and Abold.

In his first ever Oswego Supermodified start driving the Lee and Pam Vinal owned No. 21, it did appear early on that McKennedy may run away and hide, as he had built well over a half straightaway advantage on the Connors No. 01.

With 10 laps complete, there was a considerable gap between McKennedy and the rest of the top five, but you could throw a blanket over Connors, Bowes, Abold, Sitterly, and also sixth place running Shullick.

Behind the top six, Sload, Gosek, Doug Didero, and Tyler Thompson were in another torrid four car battle for the remaining top ten spots.

When Abold looked to the low side of Bowes for third on lap 15, that opened the door for Sitterly to breeze right on by using the high side in turns three and four, taking over the fourth position.

Now stalking Bowes, Sitterly attempted another outside move around the No. 25 just one circuit later, but got way out of shape coming out of turn four, handing the fourth spot back to the Abold No. 05.

Nearing 20 laps complete, Abold knew once he got back by Sitterly it was time to go, and he cut around the outside of Bowes to take over a podium position with both Sitterly and Shullick following on the high road to grab fourth and fifth.

By lap 18, the leaders had caught traffic, but it was still McKennedy way out front. Meanwhile, Connors had begun to build a bit of a gap between himself, Abold, Sitterly, and Shullick as those three drivers battled for third.

In lapped traffic, Abold went too high in turns one and two, handing third over to Sitterly who next moved in behind the Connors No. 01 to work on the runner up spot.

Approaching halfway, Sitterly really began to turn things up, flying around Connors up top to take over second. The No. 7 machine was on the move now, and Otto began to reel in McKennedy, but as it turned out, he never had to make the pass.

Sitterly was all over McKennedy for about eight laps, but that is when heartbreak set in for the No. 21. McKennedy’s engine expired while leading with only twenty laps remaining, ending Vinal Racing’s search for their first ever Oswego checkered flag.

A lot of things happened on lap 30 as just as McKennedy had pulled into the pits, misfortune also struck for Connors, who had a fantastic run eliminated by a flat right rear tire.

While this was taking place, Thompson, the 2018 Supermodified Rookie of the Year, also found himself in trouble coming to a screeching halt with a grenaded engine on the No. 98T.

Following a wild sequence of events which eliminated two of the top five cars as well as two engines, the race was set to get back underway with twenty laps to go as Sitterly lead Abold, Shullick, Bowes, and Didero.

Gosek, who battled with Thompson and Didero for the entire race, was another driver who ran into trouble in the midst of the lap 30 mayhem. The No. 00 was taken pitside with an apparent issue and ‘00 Joe’ had to tag the tail.

On the restart, Sitterly immediately pulled away from the top five of Abold, Shullick, Bowes, and Didero and that is virtually the way things remained for the final twenty circuits.

Things got a little interesting with three laps to go as Sitterly caught heavy traffic. Shullick was also slowing significantly with three to go and on that same lap, Didero looked under Bowes coming down the frontstretch to take over fourth.

It appeared as though Didero and Bowes may have a chance to reel in Shullick, but both ran out of time. Back out front, Sitterly was gone as he earned what turned out to be a rather dominant victory in the first Shampine Memorial Twin 50 of the afternoon.

Abold finished second, Shullick was third, Didero fourth, and Bowes fifth. Keith Shampine, Michael Barnes, Chris Perley, Sload, and Brandon Bellinger completed the top ten.

Bowes took Lighthouse Lanes ‘Up and Comer’ Award honors for his impressive top five performance with the No. 25 while Canadian Logan Rayvals picked up the first D&S Landscaping Hard Charger Award of 2019 with his drive from twenty third to twelfth.

Oswego Speedway is off on Saturday, June 1, but reopens with another three division show on Saturday, June 8 featuring the Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS, and Sunoco New York Super Stock Series.

BOX SCORE

Century 21 Galloway Realty 69th Annual Opening Day
Oswego Speedway
Oswego, NY
Sunday, May 26, 2019

Novelis Supermodifieds

Feature 1 (50-laps): 1. 7 OTTO SITTERLY, 2. 05 Jeff Abold, 3. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 4. 3 Doug Didero, 5. 25 ® Dan Bowes, 6. 55 Keith Shampine, 7. 68 Michael Barnes, 8. 44 Chris Perley, 9. 39 ® Alison Sload, 10. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 11. 00 Joe Gosek, 12. 94 Logan Rayvals, 13. 0 Tim Snyder, 14. 50 Dave Gruel, 15. 70 Dave McKnight, 16. 21 ® Jon McKennedy, 17. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 18. 98T Tyler Thompson, 19. 11 Aric Iosue, 20. 56 Hal LaTulip, 21. 97 Tim Jedrzejek, 22. 54 ® Camden Proud, 23. 90 ® Jack Patrick, 24. 83 Lou LeVea Jr. DNS – Dave Danzer.

Heat 1 (12-laps): 1. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 2. 98T Tyler Thompson, 3. 25 ® Dan Bowes, 4. 05 Jeff Abold, 5. 44 Chris Perley, 6. 55 Keith Shampine, 7. 02 Brandon Bellinger

Heat 2 (12-laps): 1. 7 Otto Sitterly, 2. 39 ® Alison Sload, 3. 50 Dave Gruel, 4. 00 Joe Gosek, DNF – 11 Aric Iosue, 70 Dave McKnight

Heat 3 (12-laps): 1. 21 ® Jon McKennedy, 2. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 3. 3 Doug Didero, 4. 52 Dave Danzer, 5. 68 Michael Barnes, 6. 97 Tim Jedrzejek, 7. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 8. 56 Hal LaTulip, 9. 90 ® Jack Patrick, 10. 54 ® Camden Proud, 11. 0 Tim Snyder, 12. 94 Logan Rayvals

Group Time Trials: 1. 55 Keith Shampine – 16.150, 2. 3 Doug Didero – 16.223, 3. 7 Otto Sitterly – 16.349, 4. 02 Brandon Bellinger – 16.359, 5. 68 Michael Barnes – 16.386, 6. 00 Joe Gosek – 16.388, 7. 05 Jeff Abold – 16.395, 8. 95 Dave Shullick Jr. – 16.444, 9. 11 Aric Iosue – 16.461, 10. 25 ® Dan Bowes – 16.484, 11. 97 Tim Jedrzejek – 16.529, 12. 39 ® Alison Sload – 16.541, 13. 44 Chris Perley – 16.562, 14. 21 ® Jon McKennedy – 16.634, 15. 70 Dave McKnight – 16.645, 16. 01 Dan Connors Jr – 16.668, 17. 52 Dave Danzer – 16.748, 18. 50 Dave Gruel – 16.804, 19. 98T Tyler Thompson – 16.834, 20. 54 ® Camden Proud – 17.517, 21. 90 ® Jack Patrick – 17.852

D&S Landscaping Hard Charger Feature 1: #94 Logan Rayvals
Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer Feature 1: #25 ® Dan Bowes

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