OSWEGO, N.Y. (May 26, 2019) – John Nicotra Racing with drivers Otto Sitterly and Alison Sload made their return to Oswego Speedway on Memorial Day weekend for the 2019 season-opening Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50’s for the Novelis Supermodifieds.
In another outstanding Oswego season opener for Nicotra Racing, both Sitterly and Sload drove their Hawk Jr chassis to feature victories on a pleasant Sunday afternoon in the Port City after Saturday night rain showers forced the postponement of the twin features until Sunday.
The event marked another milestone for not only Nicotra Racing, but Oswego Speedway and supermodified racing.
Sload, making her return to racing after more than a year away, drove to the second twin 50 victory in dramatic fashion by becoming the first female to win a supermodified feature in Oswego Speedway’s 69-plus-year history. She also becomes the first female to win a feature in the history of supermodified racing. The win was Alison’s first in supermodified racing after several years of trying on the ISMA circuit.
The Pennsylvania driver, in her first outing with the Riccelli Northern / CORR/PAK / Peaceful Living Home Sales-backed Nicotra Racing team, would waste little time breaking into victory lane in this new chapter of her career. The 28-year-old open-wheel racing veteran would start her No. 39 machine second and inherit the lead on lap 15 when Michael Barnes broke a front end in turn four. She would hold off a hard-charging Joe Gosek, who dogged her for the top spot for more than half the race.
“I didn’t think this would come in my second race,” Sload admitted in victory lane. “I definitely thought we’d be here at some point this season, but here I am. I could feel Gosek behind me and kept thinking I need to concentrate on hitting my marks every lap. I just told myself, ‘I’m gonna send it.’”
Sload’s win brought the Oswego crowd to their feet on what turned out to be a memorable afternoon to close out the three-day weekend of racing that included Friday practice, qualifying races Saturday and features on Sunday.
Before Sload’s popular win, teammate Sitterly would pick up where he left off at the close of 2018, racing his black Nicotra No. 7 to victory in the first 50-lapper with another impressive drive to the front.
Otto would start eighth and pass a host of top competitors including Jeff Abold and Dave Shullick Jr. on his way to second place. From there, he ran down leader Jon McKennedy and end up inheriting the top position when the engine blew on McKennedy’s No. 21 on lap 30.
Sitterly would cruise from there, opening a big gap on the way to the opening-day triumph.
“It’s definitely a little bit of a different situation this year,” Otto said. “We’re trying to learn this new 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.”
Team owner John Nicotra spoke to LakesideRacingNews.com’s Chris Porter after the event.
“That was great; I enjoyed watching the day unfold, for sure,” Nicotra said. “I want to thank Otto and all the guys, Alison and her dad, Brent, for coming on board, all everyone who puts in the hard work to get here. It’s a lot of hard work, that’s for sure. This was our 45th feature win at Oswego, and I believe that puts us behind only (Jim) Shampine. That’s pretty special. I also want to thank G&I Homes, Riccelli Northern CORR/PAK and all our sponsors for the support in helping us get here.”
Next up for Nicotra Racing is Oswego’s annual Twin 35’s on Saturday, June 8.
John Nicotra Racing is a Supermodified race team owned by John Nicotra with drivers Otto Sitterly, Alison Sload and Davey Hamilton. Since our team’s debut in 2007, Nicotra Racing and has won six Budweiser International Classic 200s, eight Oswego Supermodified track championships, three Mr. Supermodified races, nine Jim Shampine Memorials and currently 45 total Oswego feature races. – Otto Sitterly (34); Dave Shullick Jr. (9); Davey Hamilton (1); Alison Sload (1).
Nicotra Racing is proud to be sponsored by Riccelli Northern, CORR/PAK Merchandising, Peaceful Living Home Sales, 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 and Sunrise Growers.