Charges to Sixth Career Jim Shampine Memorial Title
OSWEGO, NY (May 25, 2014) – With national television cameras rolling from SPEED SPORT and MAVTV, Otto Sitterly continued his record-setting Novelis Supermodified career at Oswego Speedway, charging to a late lead to collect his first win of the 2014 season and sixth career Jim Shampine Memorial 75 title presented by RJ Caruso Tax & Accounting and A&P Auto Parts.
Sitterly’s victory marks his 29th overall Supermodified triumph at Oswego Speedway, increasing his lead in the Novelis Supermodified Road to the Championship standings.
Coming from the tenth position, Sitterly once again worked through the field with newly found rival Bob Bond, before arriving to an intense battle with Dave Gruel for the Shampine Memorial lead.
After sneaking by Bond in lapped traffic on lap 57, Sitterly then hounded main leader Gruel before slipping under the No. 50 for the top spot in turn four on lap 69 of the 75-lap affair.
Gruel, who started the day backwards with a hard shot into the third turn foam in warm-ups, made a miraculous recovery to even start his qualifying heat race. With a fourth place finish in the third heat event, Gruel earned the right to start fourth in the main and blasted by early leader Jessica Zemken on lap eight to take the lead.
What appeared to be a ‘wreckers to checkers’ evening for Gruel, turned to a hard-fought runner-up finish ahead of Dave Shullick Jr., Kody Graham, and Zemken in the top five positions.
As usual in 75-lappers, Sitterly bided his time and waited until the moment was right to make his charge.
“Bobby Bond and a few of these guys have some pretty fast racecars and once I saw them going ahead of me I knew it would be hard, especially after our (Sitterly & Bond) battle here last time,” said Sitterly , in Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane. “I really tried to follow him (Bond) a bit and once I saw some of those guys up there with fast cars, I really just had to do what I had to do. The car was definitely better at the end of the race.”
Driving his rebuilt Hawk chassis No. 7, as compared to his dominant machine from earlier seasons, Sitterly says he is feeling more and more comfortable in this newer ride each week.
“You know it was a bit better tonight, and we are going in the right direction,” said Sitterly. “It is a work in progress. Any of these things is like a moving target, just because it was good one week, doesn’t mean it will be good the next. We are definitely going in the right direction, and have just a couple more things to change.”
Joey Payne, Joe Gosek, Jeff Abold, Bobby Haynes Jr., and Randy Ritskes filled the top ten positions in the Shampine Memorial on Saturday evening.
A total of 25 Novelis Supermodified were in the pit area Saturday night.
Michael Muldoon and Dan Connors Jr. failed to qualify for the main event after the two were involved in a scary incident in the first corner after their qualifying heat race finished.
Coming to the checkered, Muldoon spun into the first corner with Connors coming in from behind making heavy contact with the engine compartment of the Muldoon No. 51.
Both drivers were ok, but each car sustained heavy damage.
Saturday was the debut for the new Connors No. 01 Supermodified built by John Colloca.
Other new racecars on track Saturday were the Hawk chassis of Tim Snyder and Michael Barnes.
Snyder took his time shaking the No. 0 Hawk down all evening before being involved in an incident on lap 11 of the feature. With minimal damage, Snyder called it a night.
Barnes was driving the new Syrell/Hakwsby No. 68 Supermodified and promptly cut laps of 16.6 in hot laps. However, come race time issues under the hood would prevent Barnes from completing more than two circuits.
The Jim Shampine Memorial 75 will air to a national television audience on Thursday, July 3 at 8pm on MAVTV’s ‘SPEED SPORT.’ Check your local cable or dish provider for coverage.
Oswego Speedway returns to action on Saturday night with the Spring Championship presented by Best Western Plus/Quality Inn and Suites and U-Pull U-Save Auto Parts. Racing action will begin at 6:30pm on May 31.
Saturday, May 24th, 2014
Memorial Day Weekend Championship
presented by RJ Caruso Tax & Accounting and A&P Auto Parts
Novelis Supermodified Jim Shampine Memorial (75-laps): 1. 7 – Otto Sitterly, 2. 50 – Dave Gruel, 3. 6 – Dave Shullick Jr, 4. 90 – Kody Graham, 5. 11 – Jessica Zemken, 6. 99 – Joey Payne, 7. 00 – Joe Gosek, 8. 05 – Jeff Abold, 9. 44 – Bobby Haynes Jr, 10. 37 – Randy Ritskes, 11. 55 – Keith Shampine, 12. 22 – Pat Lavery, 13. 47 – Bob Bond, 14. 56 – Hal LaTulip, 15. 5 – Tim Devendorf, 16. 02 – Brandon Bellinger, 17. 3 – Brian Sweeney, 18. 52 – David Danzer, 19. 9 – Stephen Gioia III, 20. 66 – Lou LeVea Sr, 21. 0 – Tim Snyder, 22. 83 – Lou LeVea Jr, 23. 68 – Michael Barnes
Lighthouse Lanes Hard Charger: #6 – Dave Shullick Jr.
Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer: #6 – Dave Shullick Jr.
Radical Racegear Lap Leader: #50 – Dave Gruel
Heat #1 (12-laps, all qualify): 1. 11 – Jessica Zemken, 2. 37 – Randy Ritskes, 3. 47 – Bob Bond, 4. 05 – Jeff Abold, 5. 22 – Pat Lavery, 6. 55 – Keith Shampine, 7. 56 – Hal LaTulip, 8. 0 – Tim Snyder
Heat #2 (12-laps, all qualify): 1. 00 – Joe Gosek, 2. 3 – Brian Sweeney, 3. 7 – Otto Sitterly, 4. 99 – Joey Payne, 5. 9 – Stephen Gioia III, 6. 44 – Bobby Haynes Jr., 7. 83 – Lou LeVea Jr., 8. 68 – Michael Barnes
Heat #3 (12-laps, all qualify): 1. 5 – Tim Devendorf, 2. 90 – Kody Graham, 3. 52 – Dave Danzer, 4. 50 – David Gruel, 5. 02 – Brandon Bellinger, 6. 51 – Michael Muldoon, 7. 01 – Dan Connors Jr., 8. 66 – Lou LeVea Sr., 9. 6 – Dave Shullick Jr.