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OSWEGO, NY (July 9, 2018) - Seven time Oswego Speedway track champion Otto Sitterly from Canajoharie, N.Y. picked up his first Novelis Supermodified victory since September of 2015 in this past Saturday night's 50-lap main event presented by Helena-Agri Enterprises. 

 

Sitterly mounted his charge to the front of the pack from the tenth starting position while the 01 and 02 of Dan Connors Jr. and Brandon Bellinger fired side by side in the front row at the drop of the green flag. 

 

Fresh off a podium finish one week earlier, Bellinger lead lap 1 from the outside part of the speedway with Connors falling in line for second and fourth starting rookie Tyler Thompson shooting right to the third position. 

Lou LeVea Jr, who turned the fastest lap of his career in time trials earlier in the evening, started third and was running fourth at the completion of the first lap. 

 

Bellinger began to pull away from Connors and Thompson with the lead early on, but the battle behind him was just beginning to shape up as Dave Danzer, Aric Iosue, Michael Barnes, and Sitterly put on a clinic dicing it out for spots five, six, seven and eight in the early going.

 

Iosue, who was back in action one week after his scary turn three crash on June 30, was running rather well, but not well enough to hold onto sixth as Sitterly and Barnes made quick work of the No. 11 to drop Aric back to eighth before the completion of lap 5. 

 

From right out of the gate, the car on the charge was Sitterly. He had surpassed Shampine, Rayvals, Barnes, and Iosue all within the first three laps to grab sixth. 

 

Next in line on lap 4 was fifth running Dave Danzer. Sitterly was glued to the outside lane of the speedway and bypassed the No. 52 to advance five spots in less than five laps and crack the top five, now setting his sights on LeVea Jr, Thompson, Connors, and Bellinger. 

 

No sooner than Sitterly got into the top five, did he find a podium spot as well. In the same exact corner and using the same exact move in which he made all five of his passes so far, Otto soared to the outside of LeVea Jr. on lap 5 and then Thompson coming to complete lap 6 to take away the third position. 

 

Bellinger had since developed quite the lead over Connors in second, who now was forced to hold off the No. 7 of Sitterly and that did not go over well as Sitterly again used the outside of turns three and four to grab the runner up position on lap 10. 

 

Following Sitterly right up through the field on the highside of the speedway using nearly the exact same moves was the No. 68 of Barnes. 'The Hustler' was up to fourth from the eighth position just as Sitterly had taken second while Dave Shullick Jr. was also on the charge from twelfth getting up to seventh by the time the first fifth of the race was in the books. 

 

Barnes had eventually worked around the No. 01 of Connors for third on lap 13, but Sitterly was long gone as was the Bellinger No. 02 who had nearly a full straightaway lead on Sitterly early on. 

 

As Bellinger, Sitterly and Barnes pulled away to deal with lapped traffic, the battle for the moment was between Connors, Thompson, and Shullick for fourth, fifth, and sixth. 

 

By lap 18 however, Sitterly was all over the rear end of the No. 02. Sitterly tried to use the high side on Bellinger for about six laps, but this time his signature move was not working for the race lead.

 

Instead, Bellinger finally got loose off the exit of turn four and that was all Sitterly needed to get a run and take the lead on lap 24. 

 

Three laps after Sitterly got by Bellinger, Barnes tried a similar move, but instead coming out of turn two. He used the slingshot on Bellinger and took the second position away with 22 laps remaining.

 

Now, Sitterly and Barnes were gone with Bellinger third, Connors fourth, Thompson fifth, and Shullick sixth as the top six cars worked feverishly to get through the lapped traffic consisting of Lou LeVea Sr, and rookies Nathan Schultzkie and Brent Murray. 

 

Instead of the field remaining strung out for the last 20 laps, the first Canale Insurance & Accounting yellow flag was thrown on lap 27 for Murray.

 

Shampine and Murray touched as the No. 55 was coming around to lap the No. 0 with Brent getting into the turn three foam. He was OK, but the Snyder Racing car was finished for the evening. 

 

During the caution flag, Shampine went pitside to make changes on the Osetek Racing No. 55 while seventh starting Logan Rayvals was in the pits as well with continuous problems on the No. 94. Schultzkie also retired from the event with mechanical problems on lap 21. 

 

Immediately on the lap 27 restart, Shullick drove right to the inside of the Connors No. 01 to take fourth after cracking the top five with a high side move around the Thompson No. 98T just a few laps earlier. 

 

Barnes was all over Bellinger for second coming around to complete lap 29, but instead found himself back in fourth. Bellinger pushed wide in turns three and four and took Barnes with him which left the door open for defending track champion Shullick.

 

Shullick made the most of the open lane and took the runner up spot with 20 laps to go with Barnes finally getting Bellinger for 3rd on lap 30.

 

Unfortunately, a lap later, yellow lights came on again as the misfortune continued for Iosue Racing this past weekend. One week removed from his hard turn 3 crash, the driver of the No. 11 got into the foam again in nearly the same place while getting up into the marbles attempting to pass for ninth and losing the handle. The car was heavily damaged. 

 

With 20 laps to go, it was now Nicotra Racing in the first and second positions and the big question was as to whether or not Sitterly could hold off the deuce of Shullick for the second half of the race. 

 

For the next fifteen laps, Sitterly did in fact keep Shullick at bay even through lapped traffic, but this was before the yellow lights came out one more time with 7 laps to go for debris on the backstretch. 

 

Many wondered if the late race restart would change everything, but it didn't change much at all as  Sitterly held on to win his 38th career Supermodified feature at Oswego. With this victory, Otto also bypasses Greg Furlong for sole possession of sixth on the all-time list.

 

Shullick was still right there to finish second, Barnes was third, Shampine drove to an impressive recovery in fourth, Bellinger held on for fifth, and Connors was sixth. Fine runs were had by Thompson and LeVea in seventh and eighth with Danzer ninth and Sharkey rounding out the top ten. 

 

It had been nearly three full seasons since Sitterly put one of the Nicotra Racing No. 7 cars in victory lane at Oswego and there was a few people he chose to dedicate his win to in victory lane after quite the reception of cheers from the crowd. 

 

"It's been awhile since we've been here and I have an awesome group of people, so this win is for every one of the guys that works on these cars," Sitterly said. "They come from all over the state and are really dedicated, but it's for some other people that aren't with us anymore too. It's for Roy Dewhurst. This is the first time I've won since we lost Roy. And also Eddie behind me in the wheelchair. This win is for those guys. Eddie is a winner and he hasn't missed a single race."

 

There's no doubt that Shullick made Sitterly work for the win; especially in the closing five circuits. Sitterly recognized the efforts put in by the No. 2 team so far this season and just how tough the competition has been lately, but he is still very confident in the equipment coming out of the No. 7 shop.

 

"We had to work for it, DJ (Shullick) has a really good ride and he's a good driver for sure," Sitterly added. "It seems like hopping from seat to seat hasn't done me much good lately, so we are learning this car and we still have to learn because it went away tonight and I has hanging on for everything I was worth at the end, but this is a really good piece. I'm surrounded by such great people and I'm just lucky to be able to drive these things and know that all these guys are my friends."

 

With the huge victory, Sitterly expands his point lead over Shampine and Barnes in the top three heading into next weekend's C's Beverage 'Summer Championship' set to take place Saturday, July 14. The $10,000 to win Mr. Novelis Supermodified event will commence a week later on Saturday, July 21.

 

For the latest updates from Oswego Speedway, be sure to visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.

About Oswego Speedway: Oswego Speedway, a sports entertainment company, is a 5/8 mile semi-banked pavement racing oval located off the shores of Lake Ontario in scenic Oswego, NY. Oswego Speedway has been a continuously run weekly racing venue since August, 1951. The premier open-wheel pavement short track cars in the world, Supermodifieds, run weekly at Oswego Speedway making Oswego the only weekly Supermodified racing venue in the world. The Small Block Supermodifieds accompany the full blown Supers on a weekly Saturday night schedule which runs from May through September. Oswego Speedway is mentioned in racing circles as the “Indy of the East,” as no fewer than a dozen past and present competitors have competed at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway including Mario Andretti, arguably the greatest driver of all time, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, along with former International Classic Champions Bentley Warren, Joe Gosek, and Davey Hamilton.

 

Oswego Speedway

Oswego, NY

Helena Agri-Enterprises Night

July 7, 2018 

 

Feature (50-laps): 1. 7 OTTO SITTERLY, 2. 2 Dave Shullick Jr, 3. 68 Michael Barnes, 4. 55 Keith Shampine, 5. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 6. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 7. 98T Tyler Thompson®, 8. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 9. 52 Dave Danzer, 10. 71 Bill Sharkey, 11. 66 Lou LeVea Sr, 12. 94 Logan Rayvals, 13. 11 Aric Iosue, 14. 0 Brent Murray®, 15. 26 Nathan Schultzkie®, 16. 1 Jeff West, 17. 4 Roger Clark 

 

Heat 1 (12-laps): 1. 68 Michael Barnes, 2. 11 Aric Iosue, 3. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 4. 94 Logan Rayvals, 5. 71 Bill Sharkey, 6. 66 Lou LeVea Sr. 

 

Heat 2 (12-laps): 1. 7 Otto Sitterly, 2. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 3. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 4. 98T Tyler Thompson®, 5. 0 Brent Murray®, 6. 4 Roger Clark 

 

Heat 3 (12-laps): 1. 52 Dave Danzer, 2. 55 Keith Shampine, 3. 2 Dave Shullick Jr, 4. 1 Jeff West, 5. 26 Nathan Schultzkie® 

 

Group Time Trials: 1. 2 Dave Shullick Jr. 16.052, 2. 7 Otto Sitterly - 16.123, 3. 68 Michael Barnes - 16.245, 4. 55 Keith Shampine - 16.292, 5. 02 Brandon Bellinger - 16.343, 6. 11 Aric Iosue - 16.353, 7. 52 Dave Danzer - 16.419, 8. 98T Tyler Thompson®- 16.556, 9. 83 Lou LeVea Jr. - 16.676, 10. 1 Jeff West - 16.812, 11. 01 Dan Connors Jr. - 16.819, 12. 94 Logan Rayvals - 17.016, 13. 71 Bill Sharkey - 17.212, 14. 0 Brent Murray®- 17.294, 15. 26 Nathan Schultzkie®- 17.572, 16. 66 Lou LeVea Sr. - 17.802, 17. 4 Roger Clark - NT. 

 

D&S Landscaping Hard Charger - #7 Otto Sitterly

 

Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer - #01 Dan Connors Jr.

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