Shullick, Nicotra and team in victory lane (Robert Clark photo)

Dave Shullick Jr. continued his strong start to the 2017 Oswego Speedway Supermodified season this past Saturday night behind the wheel of the John Nicotra Racing / Royal Purple / G&I Homes / Riccelli Northern No. 2. The Ohio driver won the second of two Twin 35-lap features Saturday night after finishing a close second-place position in the evening’s first 35-lapper.

Twin 35 night at Oswego has a long history of producing wild races and the 2017 version of the event was no different. On the opening lap of the first feature, a violent multi-car accident occurred on the back stretch on the opening lap. The crash would collect Nicotra Racing’s Otto Sitterly, whose Royal Purple No. 7 was sent hard into the outside wall during the melee, causing significant front-end damage that would sideline Sitterly for the first feature.

Otto hard into the outside wall on the opening lap of race 1 (Robert Clark photo)

While Otto and the Nicotra Racing crew were busy making repairs to the 7, Shullick was battling with Keith Shampine for the win in first 35-lap main. Once the race was restarted, Shampine jumped out to the lead from the pole starting position with Shullick settling into the second spot from his third-place starting position. This time the race would go green to checkered without a single caution flag with Shampine and The Shoe 2 pulling away from rest of the field to settle this one among themselves.

Shullick would mount a handful of challenges throughout the race and nearly steal the lead on the final couple of corners while the leaders dealt with lap traffic. But Shampine would hold on for the win with DJ settling for the runner-up position.

“I think we were a tick better than (Shampine), but we just couldn’t pass him,” Shullick said after the race. “Maybe if we had a couple more laps we could have got him, but we’ll take second and try to get one in the next race.”

Shullick crossed the stripe first in race 2 (Robert Clark photo)

The nightcap would see DJ start in the fifth position and Otto rejoin the field after the team worked hard to get the 7 back in racing form, albeit not 100 percent.

Once the green flag waved on race 2 Shullick quickly shot into the second position and would overtake early leader Joe Gosek on lap 7 to settle into the lead. DJ would cruise from there, crossing the finish stripe four seconds in front of Gosek for the victory.

While Shullick was out front, Otto was able to salvage a ninth-place finish and finish only one lap down despite the damage from the wreck earlier in the night.

The win marks Shullick’s second of the season and should give him the Novelis Supermodified division points lead once standings are updated.

“It was all about survival tonight,” Shullick commented in victory lane. “I was just happy to be able to get through those two big accidents to have something to show for in this one. We had a really strong car tonight and hopefully we can continue to build on this. Thanks to Nicotra Racing, Otto and all of the guys for standing behind me, and thanks to our sponsors Royal Purple, G&I Homes, Riccelli Northern, Corr/Pak and all our other supporters.”

Next up for Nicotra Racing is the Independence 75-lapper Saturday, July 1 at Oswego Speedway.

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