Buckeye State native, Dave Shullick, Jr. collected his 16th Novelis supermodified win on Saturday night at the Oswego Speedway. Piloting the brand new Chris Osetek-owned No. 95, Shullick would pounce on early race leader and recent high school graduate Tyler Thompson in lapped traffic, just shy of the halfway mark. Once taking the helm 22 laps into the 50-lap feature event, the veteran driver would race away uncontested to earn the win.
Listen to – Dave Shullick, Jr.
Seemingly defying Mother Nature – who had already postponed or outright cancelled racing action everywhere else in the area Saturday evening, Lou LeVea, Jr. and Thompson led a field of eager drivers to the green to begin the main event. Thompson would nab the early lead, bringing Shullick, LeVea, Michael Barnes and Brandon Bellinger across the checkered stripe to complete lap No. 1.
Before the second lap could be run, Alison Sload’s No. 39 brought out the first caution flag of the race after sliding to a stop in turn No. 2. With just a single round in, Logan Rayvals, Dan Connors, Dan Bowes, Joe Gosek and Dave Gruel filled out the top 10 behind the front five.
Bellinger would leap from fifth to third place on the ensuing restart. The lead trio would begin to inch away. Working his way into the top 10, Otto Sitterly would soon start working on Joe Gosek’s No. 00 and the Dan Connors No. 01.
For the second week in a row, LeVea would run into overheating problems early. This time, his No, 83 would pull pit-side on the 15th lap while running in fourth. Rayvals would now assume the lead of the chasing pack, with Barnes tucked in behind.
The leaders would begin closing in on lapped traffic, 20 laps in. Thompson raced into the tail-end of the field with out having seen a wheel from Shullick. However, without warning, Shullick would set the race leader up as they raced out of the second turn. His No. 95 would find an inside lane and take the lead as they danced into the third turn.
Thompson would have no chance to catch the new race leader in traffic, as the yellow flag would fly for debris on the 25th lap. One lap shy of the halfway point, Shullick led Thompson, Bellinger, Barnes, Rayvals and Gruel. Connors, Gosek, Sitterly, Jeff Abold, Dave Danzer and Aric Iosue filled out the front dozen.
Top three finishers - Dave Shullick, Jr. (center), Otto Sitterly (right) and Tyler Thompson (left)
Dave Shullick, Jr. poses in victory lane at Oswego
Eventual race winner, Dave Shullick, Jr. (95) slips under Michael Barnes (68) on the opening lap of the race.
Otto Sitterly (7) sets up a pass on Michael Barnes (68). Sitterly would finish in second, Barnes in fifth.
Charging up through the field, Otto Sitterly (7) moves in on Dave Gruel (50)
Logan Rayvals (94) would hold off Dave Gruel (50) for sixth place
Brandon Bellinger (02) slips underneath Michael Barnes (68) for fourth
Winners of last week's twin-35 features, Dave Danzer (52) and Jeff Abold (05) would end up finishing 11th & 9th on Saturday night
Joe Gosek (00) and New Hampshire driver, Dan Bowes (25) race through turns one at two
With a clear track ahead, Shullick would have no issue on the restart, immediately putting distance between himself and Thompson. After many laps of relentless searching high and low, Sitterly found a path under Gosek on the 27th circuit. Two trips later, he took down Gruel. The caution lights would flash again on the 30th lap, for Sload’s No. 39.
With 20 to go, Shullick would take the green. However, before the field could reach the fourth corner, a mid-pack jam led to Iosue spinning his No. 11. Again, Shullick would take the green with out issue.
On the 33rd lap, Sitterly would out-drag Rayvals down the front straightaway to break into the top five. Barnes was next on Sitterly’s radar, as he caught and drove around the No. 68 for fourth place on the 36th lap.
While Shullick continued to put distance on the field, Sitterly continued to pick them off in pursuit. Thompson would seemingly fall back to Bellinger. As the No, 02 looked for a path to second, Sitterly suddenly shot underneath the third-place runner on the 45th lap. One round later, he would conquer Thompson on the outside for the runner-up spot.
With only one car left to take down, Sitterly would find himself out of laps. Well on his way to earning his 70th overall supermodified victory of his racing career, Shullick had built himself a full straightway advantage over the field. Behind Sitterly, Thompson, Bellinger and Barnes tussled for the final podium spot. Bellinger would pull alongside the No, 98 on the final lap, but fall just inches short.
Sitterly would have to settle for second, but build on his championship points lead in the John Nicotra-owned No, 7.
Listen to – Otto Sitterly
Thompson claimed third.
Listen to – Tyler Thompson
Bellinger would drive the Daratt Farms No. 02 to a fourth-place finish.
Listen to – Brandon Bellinger
Behind fifth-place running Barnes, Rayvals drove the family-owned No. 94 to a sixth-place run.
Listen to – Logan Rayvals
Novelis Supermodified A&P Auto Parts 50: 1. Dave Shullick (95), 2. Otto Sitterly (7), 3. Tyler Thompson (98), 4. Brandon Bellinger (02), 5. Michael Barnes (68), 6. Logan Rayvals (94), 7. Dave Gruel (50), 8. Dan Connors, Jr. (01), 9. Jeff Abold (05), 10. Alison Sload (39), 11. Dave Danzer (52), 12. Aric Iosue (11), 13. Camden Proud (54), 14. Jack Patrick (9), 15. Joe Gosek (00), 16. Dan Bowes (25), 17. Lou LeVea, Jr. (83), 18. Tim Snyder (0), 19. Keith Shampine (55), 20. Hal LaTulip (56)
Heat race wins went to Shullick, Thompson and Danzer.
Chris Porter is a motorsports journalist whose reporting has been published in multiple print and online media sources since 2004.
Chris has primarily covered Oswego Speedway, ISMA and other asphalt auto racing in upstate New York.