Otto Sitterly and the John Nicotra Racing team opened the 2016 season with their reworked independent front suspension supermodified as the primary car and Sitterly drove it to a P2 finish Saturday, May 14, in the Novelis Supermodified kick-off event at Oswego Speedway.
With three race-ready Royal Purple / G&I Homes / Riccelli Northern supers at his disposal, Otto and the Nicotra team opted for the new IFS design, a car that originally wasn’t going to be race-ready until Memorial Day.
The car was fast out of the gate and with the IFS now legal at Oswego for the first time in seven years, Sitterly is focused on developing a notebook for the IFS chassis.
Otto would start P3 in the 50-lapper and actually settle into P4 on the start as Tim Devendorf got the jump on the outside to force Sitterly’s back a position. Otto would ride in P4 behind Michael Barnes, Aric Iosue and Devendorf as all cars were fast throughout the first half of the race.
Sitterly found a way past Devendorf for P3 on lap 33 and then quickly disposed of Iosue for P2 a lap later.
But Barnes was fast out front in his Hawk Jr chassis and would fend off any serious challenge from Sitterly as the laps wound down in the season’s first 50-lapper. Otto would settle for P2 on this night.
“We had some new car blues tonight,” said Sitterly. “The car would not turn. It was a strange race for me, as everything is new to me in this car, so we’re still getting used to it. I think in the long-run this design will be the way to go, but tonight I think the right car was sitting in the pits.”
Next up for Otto and the John Nicotra Racing team is Fan Appreciation Night at Oswego on Saturday, May 21. The feature race distance will again be 50 laps.