Oswego N.Y. – John Nicotra Racing with drivers Otto Sitterly and Dave Shullick Jr. opened the 2018 Oswego Speedway Supermodified season Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend with the running of the first-ever Twin 50’s Jim Shampine Memorial event for the lightning fast Novelis Supermodifieds.
Shullick and Sitterly both capitalized on a day of Friday testing to each give strong showings Saturday night.
Shullick – fresh off one of the most successful seasons in Oswego history that included the International Classic 200 win and track championship – would drive the Futuri Media / Nicotra Racing No. 2 to the team’s 35th overall feature win in the first 50-lapper, taking the lead on lap 7 and racing to a dominating win ahead of Michael Barnes, Keith Shampine, Sitterly and Dave Danzer. Shullick’s win also gave Nicotra Racing a seventh opening-day win at Oswego in 12 season starts dating back to 2007.
“It’s never easy to win with the great field of cars here,” Shullick stated in victory lane. “Honestly, I probably used too much (of the car) but I didn’t know where the 68 (Barnes) and 55 (Shampine) were on the track so I wanted to make sure I at least got one of the wins tonight. I want to thank John Nicotra and the entire Nicotra Racing team, Jim Paternoster, our new sponsor Futuri Media and all the crew and sponsors.”
Unfortunately, Shullick’s early-night success led to disappointment when the Ohio driver would find the outside wall between turns 3 and 4 in the second race. While racing for a top-10 position on a restart, DJ made an outside move and slid too high, smacking the wall hard which caused enough front-end and right-side damage to sideline him and the 2 for the rest of the race.
“The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” John Nicotra would state afterward, alluding to Shullick’s eventful night of racing.
Sitterly would work hard to improve his G&I Homes / Riccelli Northern / CORR/PAK Merchandising No. 7 car throughout the night and he’d capitalize with a working-man’s-like performance in the second race to finish a close third place to winner Chris Perley and Shampine.
Otto, who started sixth, moved forward throughout the race and really came on in the last 20 laps. He’d pass Danzer for the third position on a lap 41 restart and dog Perley and Shampine for the remainder of the 50-lapper. He nearly passed Shampine for the runner-up position with a handful of laps remaining, but would ultimately settle for second in what he called a “good night of racing.”
“It was an up and down night,” Sitterly said. “We hit both sides of what we were shooting for – pretty loose in the first race and we were tight in the second one. I’m not complaining. We learned some about this car being tonight was the first time I’ve run this car in feature competition. Overall we’re pretty happy. We’ll roll the car into the trailer tonight and be back in two weeks.”
A pair of top-five finishes in the Shampine Memorial has Otto tied for second place in the Novels Supermodified point standings after one night of racing. Sitterly is tied with Barnes, nine points behind leaders Shampine.
Shullick’s DNF in race two cost him in the standings. He’ll go into the June 9 show 23 points out of the lead in sixth place.
Next up for the Nicotra Racing team is a regular 50-lap feature on Saturday night, June 9 at Oswego Speedway. The following week will see another double feature event, this time Twin 35-lap features for Supermodifieds on June 16.
John Nicotra Racing is a Supermodified race team owned by John Nicotra with drivers Otto Sitterly, Dave Shullick Jr. and Davey Hamilton. Since our team’s debut in 2007, Nicotra Racing and has won five Budweiser International Classic 200s, seven Oswego Supermodified track championships and currently 35 total Oswego feature races since their debut in 2007 – Otto Sitterly (28); DJ Shullick (6); Davey Hamilton (1).
Nicotra Racing is proud to be sponsored by G&I Homes, Riccelli Northern, CORR/PAK Merchandising, 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, Futuri Media and Sunrise Growers.