Story By: CAMDEN PROUD / OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – OSWEGO, NY – Oswego Speedway officially opened its 2019 season with today’s Open Practice session and to no one’s surprise it was defending champion Otto Sitterly leading the way with the John Nicotra Racing No. 7.
Ten Supermodifieds were in the pit area helping to unveil the all new look to the big block cars which features the raised, single element rear wing. Several of those teams got things up to speed in quick order.
Of the ten cars pitside, seven of them made their way under 17 seconds with Sitterly leading the pack at 16.545 followed by Aric Iosue, who turned the second fastest time at 16.619 with the sharp No. 11 machine now sponsored by Oswego Health.
In her first track time with Nicotra Racing, Alison Cumens Sload impressed right away, finding the 16 second bracket consistently with the No. 39 car. Towards the end of the day, Sload went out for several sessions with new tires and clocked in a quick lap of 16.660.
The four other cars under 16 seconds were the No. 01 of Dan Connors Jr, the No. 02 of Brandon Bellinger, the No. 00 of Joe Gosek, and the No. 25 of Dan Bowes. Also in the Super pits were Jon McKennedy, Tyler Thompson, and Jack Patrick.
Bowes and McKennedy, two New England drivers and regulars on the ISMA tour, made the long haul out for laps with the new rear wing and it appeared to pay dividends with both drivers finding speed by the end of the afternoon.
On the other side of the pit area, five Pathfinder Bank SBS machines took advantage of track time with teammates Mark Castiglia and David LaTulip leading the way. Castiglia, the team owner, clocked in a 18.973 with last year’s championship ride driven on a regular basis by Anthony Losurdo.
Another recently formed two car team, RBI Racing, consisting of veteran Cameron Rowe and returning competitor Tim Glidden Sr, also took to the track with Rowe turning in a best lap of 19.516. For Glidden Sr, it was his first time on the speedway in over two decades.
In the 350 Supermodified division, New Englander John Burke was very quick and topped the speed charts with a 17.463. Burke will bring two of his cars to the track next weekend, driven by himself and multi-time Pathfinder Bank SBS feature winner Chris Proud.
Joining Burke in the 350 Super pit area were Small Block Super veterans Anthony Losurdo and Barry Kingsley. Kingsley looked solid all day long in the No. 06 car while Losurdo battled motor issues with the No. 1.
A nice surprise in the pits was the No. 97 of Vern LaFave, a former Supermodified and Small Block Super competitor at the speedway. Vern purchased the former Tony Steiner No. 07 Muldoon Supermodified and will race in the 350 class for the full season.
In preparation of the New York Super Stock Series show on June 8 along with the Dave London Memorial on Bud Classic Weekend, there were also four Super Stocks that took laps including Griffin Miller, Joe Miller, Brianna Dinzler, and Sean Frarey.
Former Pathfinder Bank SBS track champion Kreig Heroth was also pitside for today’s practice. Heroth took his No. 28 Tour Modified out for a number of sessions over the course of the afternoon.
The only on track accident involved last season’s Novelis Supermodified Rookie of the Year, Tyler Thompson. Thompson encountered a parts failure on the No. 98T which caused him to ride the backstretch wall into turn three. He was uninjured in the incident.
With Open Practice in the books, Oswego Speedway now has testing scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week leading up to the big 69th Season Opener set for this coming Saturday, May 25.
7 Otto Sitterly – 16.545, 11 Aric Iosue – 16.619, 39 Alison Sload – 16.660, 01 Dan Connors Jr. – 16.768, 02 Brandon Bellinger – 16.826, 00 Joe Gosek – 16.870, 25 Dan Bowes – 16.987, 21 Jon McKennedy – 17.224, 98T Tyler Thompson – 17.929, 90 Jack Patrick – 17.992
Pathfinder Bank SBS:
1 Mark Castiglia – 18.973, 27 David LaTulip – 19.275, 77 Cameron Rowe – 19.516, 32 Steve Flack – 19.868, 04 Tim Glidden Sr. – 20.477
01 John Burke – 17.463, 97 Vern LaFave – 18.267, 06 Barry Kingsley – 18.4 (Hand Timed), 1 Anthony Losurdo – NT
Griffin Miller, Joe Miller, Brianna Dinzler, and Sean Frarey. No transponders.