OSWEGO, NY – With the 60th running of the Budweiser International Classic 200 just one month away, we begin our look back on several Classic Moments from Oswego Speedway, and today we relive the 2011 edition of the great race which saw a last lap pass for the win.
Fresh off three consecutive track championships from 2008-2010 and a Classic victory in 2009, John Nicotra Racing and driver Otto Sitterly prepared three cars for the 2011 Budweiser International Classic.
The first would be for lead driver Sitterly with the other two set aside for winged Supermodified veterans Chris Perley and Mike Lichty.
Nicotra was eyeing at least the first one-two finish for a car owner in the great race, but the question was – what would be the order?
Canadian Lichty would start the 200 from the outside of row one in the No. 6 with pole sitter Randy Ritskes, driving the Darratt Farms No. 88. Sitterly meanwhile would start inside the second row, with Perley mired back in the 19th position to start the race.
Once the race went green Ritskes blasted to the lead in the No. 88 with Ray Graham eventually joining the fight for the lead in the runner-up spot driving his No. 90.
Licthy and Sitterly would join bumper to bumper in third and fourth, saving their equipment for a dash at the lead later on in the race.
Lapped traffic and several caution periods would keep the front four runners close together throughout the event and on lap 131 Graham made his move to the lead.
Each time it appeared as though Graham would run away to hide out front, lapped traffic would again enter the picture with the remaining players able to regain time.
With the laps ticking away Sitterly decided it was time to move, driving by Lichty and Ritskes and on lap 184 stole the lead away from Graham.
Just two laps later at lap 186, Graham’s spectacular drive would come to an end as he caught a wheel battling for the lead with Sitterly once again in lapped traffic, and wound up hitting the foam between turns three and four.
Amidst Graham and Sitterly tangling, Lichty miraculously had managed to slip to the low side to pass both drivers and while under caution it was determined that Lichty would be the new leader of the race for the lap 193 restart.
With only seven laps remaining Lichty would keep the low side of the Speedway covered, making it clear that if Sitterly was to make a bid for the point, he would have to do it on the top side of the race track.
As the white flag waved Lichty was the leader, but somehow – someway, Sitterly managed to roll the No. 7 to the top side of the Speedway down the backstretch to steal the lead into turn three and cross the finish line first in the No. 7, scoring his second career Budweiser International Classic 200 crown in dramatic fashion.
The Sitterly-Lichty finish made John Nicotra the first car owner in the long history of the event to record a one-two finish in the 200.
Sitterly recalled the pass for the win.
“As I went into three I really rolled it in heavy and he held his line. Knowing he was my teammate, in my car, I could really roll the outside of him, not really squeeze him, but when I got alongside of him in the middle, I could turn. He would have no choice but to take both of us out, take me out or just turn with me. And, that’s just what he did. I gassed it up, came off four and that’s where I got it.”
Joining Nicotra teammates Sitterly and Lichty on the podium was pole sitter Ritskes with rookie Dave Danzer finishing in the fourth position and Tim Snyder rounding out the top five.
Fellow Nicotra team member Perley finished in sixth with Bobby Haynes Jr., Joe Gosek, Brian Sobus, and Moe Lilje filling the top ten positions in 2011.
For more information on Oswego Speedway and Budweiser International Classic Weekend visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com, and to purchase tickets for the 2016 event call (315) 342-0646.