OSWEGO, N.Y. — Dave Shullick Jr. struck first in the Novelis Supermodified division at Oswego Speedway Saturday night in the 2017 season opener, driving the Royal Purple / G&I Homes / Riccelli Northern / John Nicotra Racing No. 2 to victory in the 50-lap main event.
While Shullick is arguably the most successful winged supermodified driver over the last decade and now riding back-to-back ISMA series championships, Saturday’s victory marked his first in Oswego non-winged competition and avenged a close defeat in last September’s International Classic 200, when his Nicotra machine ran out of fuel while leading with just a couple laps remaining in the race.
“The Shoe 2” started P3 in the 50-lapper and would run in the third position until making the pass for second on teammate Otto Sitterly on lap 37 in lap traffic. The Ohio driver would then run behind leader Michael Barnes until a late-race caution bunched up the fast field of supers.
The late caution would be the the break Shullick needed. He shot to the inside of Barnes on the lap 42 restart to take the lead and he would never look back, crossing the finish stripe one second in front of Barnes for the win.
“This is exactly what we wanted to do today, come back here and win,” Shullick said in victory lane. “This isn’t exactly the Classic yet but we are going to be here all year. That’s what we are working toward and hopefully this is the first of many. I just have to thank Nicotra Racing and Royal Purple for the big opportunity.”
Otto Sitterly challenged Barnes for second throughout the final laps of the race but would settle for the third position.
In the new group time trial to open the night’s competition, Shullick timed fastest at a 16.219 around the five-eighths-mile Oswego oval while Otto was third at a 16.358. Both Nicotra Racing drivers were assigned to Heat race 1 with Otto taking second and Shullick fifth.
Nicotra Racing now has a week off until round two of the 2017 Oswego season, the Jim Shampine Memorial 75 on Saturday, May 27.
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.