OSWEGO, N.Y. – The John Nicotra Racing team experienced an up-and-down 2017 version of the Shampine Memorial 75-lapper at Oswego Speedway Saturday night, a race Otto Sitterly and the Nicotra team have won six times since the team’s formation in 2007.
Entering the late stages of the contest it looked as though Dave Shullick Jr. was going to give his Royal Purple / G&I Homes / Riccelli Northern / Nicotra Racing No. 2 Novelis Supermodified a Shampine Memorial win and the team’s seventh overall. However, Shullick’s car began smoking shortly after he took the lead from Keith Shampine’s No. 55 on lap 55.
When a late-race caution slowed the action on lap 66, Oswego officials stopped the Royal Purple / Nicotra entry at the start/finish line for a safety check, and after officials couldn’t find any issues, DJ was motioned away. But DJ would bring his Hawk Jr chassis pitside, where the crew found a broke torque arm plate causing the problem. DJ would not return to the track and would be credited with the 10th position.
While Otto wasn’t able to win his seventh all-time Shampine Memorial crown, he did steer the G&I Homes No. 7 to a solid second-place finish to Shampine, improving one place from his third-place run on opening night.
Otto’s P2 result likely would have been one spot better if it hadn’t been for a damaged front wing that resulted from slight contact with a spinning lap car near the halfway point of the 75-lapper. The damaged wing robbed front downforce from Sitterly’s machine, causing a hard push in the chassis’ handling. Otto would have to settle for second on this night.
“I wasn’t going to be able to do anything with the leader because of the front wing,” Otto said after the race. “It looked like DJ was going to get the win but he ran into problems there. It’s a tough break for him and the team, but we’ll take second tonight and look to come back strong in June. Thanks to Royal Purple, G&I Homes, Riccelli Northern, John Nicotra and all our great sponsors and fans.”
It’s never too early to start looking at the Novelis Supermodified points race with May now complete at Oswego.
The Nicotra team is in good shape after two races with Otto tied atop the standings with Michael Barnes and Shullick currently in third place, nine points out of the lead.
Next up is an important race in the 2017 championship with the June 10 Twin 35’s sponsored by Burke’s Home Center and A&P Auto Parts.
John Nicotra Racing is a Supermodified race team owned by John Nicotra and maintained by driver and chief mechanic Otto Sitterly. Nicotra Racing is based in Homestead, Fla., and Canajoharie, N.Y., and has won four International Classic 200s, six Oswego Supermodified track championships and now 25 regular-season Oswego feature races since their debut in 2007.
Nicotra Racing is proud to be sponsored by G&I Homes, Riccelli Northern, Royal Purple Synthetic Oil, 5 Brothers Produce, Burnac Produce Limited, Provincial Fruit Co., Flavor First, Georgia Crate & Basket, Rite-Pak Produce, Quality First Produce, Sam Accursio Farms, Ritz-Craft Homes, Torbert Farms, Elite Harvesting, Green Bean Packers, Housby and Sunrise Growers.