HOMESTEAD, Fla. – After closing out the 2012 season with a Classic win and Fall Championship triumph, John Nicotra Racing and three-time International Classic 200 champion Otto Sitterly have participated in a busy offseason that has helped expose non-wing supermodified racing to race fans throughout the country.
The newest super in the team’s stable, a scary-fast 2012 Hawk Jr chassis that Canadian Mike Lichty wheeled in last September’s Classic, has graced the floor of two marquee auto racing trade shows this past winter, and in a terrific promotion for supermodified racing, the car was featured on the cover of the January issue of Speed Sport Magazine.
The winter began with the G&I Homes No. 7 Nicotra super displayed at the entrance of the New York State Fairgrounds’ Center of Progress Building for the annual National Parts Peddler Trade Show, where thousands of motorsports enthusiasts snapped photos and checked out Joey Hawksby’s latest creation.
A week later Sitterly and a couple of faithful crewmen traveled west to Indianapolis, where the Nicotra super was included in the International Motorsports Industry Show’s (IMIS) Hall of Champions, a special gathering of worldwide motorsports champions and their racecars.
In Indy, Sitterly rubbed elbows with some of the best racecar drivers in the world as the showcase generated a great amount of exposure for supermodified racing and Oswego Speedway.
Perhaps the team’s greatest offseason accomplishment came shortly after the first of the year. In the fall, officials at Speed Sport Magazine, the spin-off of the National Speed Sport Newspaper that Ralph Sheehan and others began after NSSN closed its doors in 2010, notified Nicotra that the publication’s January issue would feature Sitterly on the cover and a special two-page spread on his career at Oswego.
In late 2012, many supermodified fans caught wind of the news and began eagerly waiting for the January publication to go to print. In late January, race fans throughout the country began receiving copies of the magazine in their mailboxes, fresh with a clean, pristine blue No. 7 supermodified on its cover. It marked the first time a supermodified had been on the cover of the new Speed Sport Magazine, and one of the few times a supermodified had been on the cover in NSSN’s nearly 80-year history.
The Speed Sport story, titled “The King of Oswego,” outlines Otto’s racing career from his dirt-track roots to Oswego stardom, and captures his trials, tribulations and greatest moments with various quotes from Sitterly and Nicotra.
Now, with winter nearly complete, it’s time to get back to business. Oswego Speedway will be ready to swing its doors open on another race season this May with a host of winged and non-wing super shows on tap.
Sitterly, now a five-time Oswego super track champion, will be in the market for a potential sixth title in 2013. He’ll open the year May 4 with the wing atop the newest Hawk Jr super and ready to challenge the stars of the ISMA tour. The team will continue testing their newest mount in winged and non-winged competition early in the season with hopes it will become Sitterly’s primary super for the remainder of the season.
In what’s been a regular occurrence since Nicotra began owning supers, Davey Hamilton is again eying select Oswego shows in 2013. Hamilton will have first dibs on which Nicotra super he’ll drive after Sitterly determines which car he’ll race. It’s yet to be determined which Oswego shows Hamilton will run this year.
Use of the third Nicotra super likely won’t come to fruition until International Classic weekend this Labor Day, when Sitterly will be gunning for his fourth win in supermodified racing’s richest event.
A storyline to keep an eye on is Hamilton and his push for a win in a Nicotra-owner racecar. While Sitterly has triumphed 16 times in Nicotra blue, Hamilton is still searching for his first feature victory since winning the 1997 Classic in a Mike Muldoon owned car.
The Boise, Idaho, native has been close many times with Nicotra, and after a runner-up finish to his teammate in last September’s Classic, the 2013 season may be the time for Hamilton to finally notch a win for John Nicotra.
Nicotra Racing is a supermodified race team based in Canajoharie, N.Y., and Homestead, Fla. Nicotra Racing, with driver and chief mechanic Otto Sitterly, has accomplished four track championships and three International Classic 200 titles, including a pair of one-two finishes, in its six years of existence at its home track, Oswego Speedway in Oswego, N.Y.
Nicotra Racing is proud to be sponsored by G&I Homes, Inc., 5 Brothers Produce, Burnac Produce Limited, Provincial Fruit Co., S&L Beans, Florida Vegetable, Flavor First, V.L. Walker Co., Georgia Crate & Basket, Rite-Pak Produce, Quality First Produce, Excel Homes, Ritz-Craft Homes and Beaver River Distributing.
For more information, visit http://nicotraracing.com.