Oswego, N.Y. – The annual Twin 35’s for Novelis Supermodifieds normally proves to be an exciting night of racing at Oswego Speedway and the latest edition of this event – on Saturday, June 16 – did not disappoint.
Nicotra Racing drivers Otto Sitterly and Dave Shullick Jr. again showed they’re both at the top of the Oswego supermodified class with qualifying efforts of second and third and a heat race win for Otto and a close second-place finish for Shullick in his 12-lap prelim.
The invert would give Shullick the outside front-row starting position for the first 35-lapper with Sitterly starting fifth. Otto wasted no time once the green flag waved, moving his G&I Homes / Riccelli Northern / CORR/PAK No. 7 into second position by lap 5 and setting chase after Shullick.
As the race wound down, Shullick would catch heavy lap traffic consisting of some strong running cars. While trying to negotiate around Brandon Belllinger, Shullick would lose his lead on Sitterly and the two began racing side-by-side when on lap 32 Sitterly got to the inside of Shullick and the pair banged wheels entering turn 4.
Shullick’s Futuri Media No. 2 washed up the track as a result of the contact and nearly hit the wall. While DJ kept his car off the wall, the yellow flag waved when Shullick showed his displeasure with Otto under caution. With damage to the 2, Shullick pulled the car pitside and exited the car while crew chief Jim Paternoster went to work in an attempt to get the 2 ready for the second 35-lap feature later in the evening.
As a result of the incident, track management would send Sitterly to the rear of the field with three laps to go. Otto would finish eighth while Shullick would have to settle for a 13th-place result.
The Paternoster and Shullick team was not able to make the necessary repairs for DJ to start the second Twin 35-lapper.
Otto would start the nightcap in the ninth position and again waste no time on his march to the front. Sitterly made it past point standings rival Keith Shampine for fifth on lap 6, past Dave Gruel for fourth a few laps later and by Aric Iosue for third on a lap 11 restart.
The remainder of the 35-lap race would see close, side-by-side racing up front between early leader Joe Gosek, eventual winner Michael Barnes, Otto and Shampine. Otto would challenge Gosek hard down the stretch, but couldn’t muster enough to make the pass for second. He’d settle for third and his fourth top-five result in five features thus far in 2018.
Sitterly and Shampine are the only two drivers to finish top-five in the first five races, which have them on top of the Novelis Supermodified point standings after five features and three weeks of racing. Sitterly holds a two-point lead over Shampine with June 16 double feature winner Barnes only six points out of the lead in third.
The Twin 35’s was a tough points night for The Shoe II, particularly with not starting the second feature. With two feature wins, two DNF’s and one DNS so far this season, Shullick is 72 points back of Sitterly in eighth position and now has a steep hill to climb in his attempt to repeat his 2017 track championship.
Next up for Nicotra Racing is the first extra-distance race of 2018 with the Independence Grand Prix 75 at Oswego on Saturday night, June 30.
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 36 total Oswego feature races since their debut in 2007 – Otto Sitterly (28); DJ Shullick (7); 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.