OSWEGO, NY – The Novelis Supermodified division at Oswego Speedway is wide open in 2014, evident by this year’s results showing four different main event winners in as many weeks at the ‘Steel Palace,’ otherwise known as the Home of Supermodifieds.
Otto Sitterly, David Danzer, Randy Ritskes, and Michael Barnes have all driven to Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane this season, with each driving through the pack to take victory.
Danzer won the series opener back on May 10 from the fifth starting position, stealing the lead from longtime pace setter Jeff Abold on lap 42 of the 50-lap main.
Sitterly came on strong, as he always does, in the Jim Shampine Memorial 75 on May 24. Starting all the way back in the 10th position, Sitterly again used his long distance prowess to slip by Bob Bond for second in lapped traffic on lap 57 before pouncing on leader Dave Gruel for the top spot on the 69th circuit.
One week later Randy Ritskes stole the limelight in the Spring Championship. Starting from the fourth spot, Ritskes wasted little time working to the runner-up position before stealing the point from Tim Devendorf on lap 14 to cruise onto the 50-lap victory.
Just last Saturday, Barnes added his name to the ’14 winner’s list in the Syrell Racing No. 68. Like Sitterly in May, Barnes started from the fifth row on the grid, but unlike Sitterly he wasted no time in getting to the front. By lap 9 of the 50-lap feature, Barnes had screamed by Brandon Bellinger for the lead and never looked back as Sitterly tried to close the gap at race’s end.
Those without wins who are surely on the brink include Gruel, Lavery, Gosek, Muldoon, Gosselin, Payne, Zemken and more. Fast and competitive cars are a premium this season at the Speedway making for as many as 15 different potential winners on the right night.
Taking a look at the championship standings shows 14 different drivers have already scored top five finishes in 2014 with an amazing 21 drivers scoring top ten finishes.
Adding to the excitement of a wide open season in 2014 will be the re-introduction of the Twin 35’s on Saturday, which has no doubt been known to provide an opportunity for first time feature winners in the past.
Sitterly continues to lead the standings in the Supermodified division, as he has done since the opening night of the Novelis Supermodified season on May 10. The driver of the Nicotra Racing No. 7 holds a 58-point edge on Dave Gruel as he continues his search for a 7th Oswego Speedway Supermodified championship. Sitterly remains the only driver to finish each event this season in a top five position.
Still in search of his first main event win of the year, Gruel has been knocking on the door step and as a result sits second in the standings. The driver of the Gruel Racing No. 50 has two top five finishes this season, and has no doubt been exciting to watch in 2014. The former Small Block Super champion will be one to watch in the Twin 35-lap features this weekend.
Third in the standings is championship contender Pat Lavery in the Lighthouse Lanes No. 22. Lavery has flown a bit under the radar this season, but still has two top five finishes on the year and is only 70-points out of the championship lead.
Feature winner Danzer is fourth in the current standings, despite crashing out of the Shampine Memorial on May 24. Danzer is still waiting completion of his brand new Hawk Supermodified, built in similar fashion to that of Barnes and Gruel. Regardless, Danzer has made the most out of his older generation Hawk chassis, consistently battling for top five positions.
Rounding out the front five in the battle for the championship is another feature winner in Ritskes. Driving the Locke Racing No. 37, Ritskes had jumped to the runner-up spot after his Spring Championship victory on May 31, but after crashing out on June 14 on lap 2, Ritskes slips back to fifth. Depending on how the starting lineups shake out, Ritskes is a sure threat to be the first repeat winner of the season on Saturday.
Rounding out the top ten in the championship after four events is Joe Gosek, Michael Muldoon, Jessica Zemken, Tim Devendorf, and Brian Sweeney.
The Pathfinder Bank Small Block Supers will join the Novelis Supermodifieds Saturday making for a three feature show with a total of 100-laps of feature racing action.
Fans are reminded that with the Novelis Supermodifieds contending in two feature events, the Supermodified heat races will be the first races of the evening starting immediately at 6:30 p.m.
Pit gates open at 2 p.m. on June 21 with grandstand gates opening and hot laps beginning at 4 p.m.
General admission seating is available for $20 this weekend with padded reserved seating on sale for $25.
Once again in 2014, kids 16 and under will be admitted free of charge with a paid adult with active military also admitted free with ID.
For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com, follow on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway, or like on Facebook at facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.