OSWEGO, NY – Dave Shullick Jr. dominated this past Saturday night at Oswego Speedway to grab his third victory of the season and eighth of his non-wing Supermodified career in the Independence Weekend 75 presented by Galloway Century 21 and Oswego D Bus.
Shullick, the defending Novelis Supermodified track champion, was back in championship caliber form following an incident that took the North Ridgeville, Ohio driver out of both Twin 35s just two weeks earlier.
“This is a really good way to come back after a couple weeks ago,” Shullick said in victory lane. “Emotions ran high and it really was a hard battle between everyone tonight. All three of us were going for the lead and that’s the way I like racing. I want to race hard and nobody touched anybody so that’s the way to be.”
Brandon Bellinger and rookie Tyler Thompson lead the 75-lap ‘Grand Prix’ to green after joining Shaun Gosselin as heat race winners earlier in the program.
Bellinger outfoxed the impressive 16 year old rookie on the front row to lead lap 1 with third starting Aric Iosue quickly jumping up to the runner up spot and giving chase to the Bellinger No. 02.
For the first ten laps, Bellinger ran away out front before things began to get a little tricky on lap 13 as Brandon caught the first round of lapped traffic while leading.
On lap 14, Bellinger looked to the inside of the No. 56 of Hal LaTulip with Iosue using the extreme outside to make a daring three wide move for the lead going into turn three. All three cars made it through the corner cleanly and Iosue came away with the top spot.
Meanwhile, Sitterly and Shullick were on the charge, as Otto had worked from ninth to fourth while DJ drove from tenth to sixth after each got by Joe Gosek, Keith Shampine, Logan Rayvals, and Gosselin who started fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.
One lap later, however, the red flag was put in the air for a scary incident in turn three involving race leader Iosue.
Iosue was attempting to work to the outside of lapped car Lou LeVea Sr, but the two touched going into turn three, sending the No. 11 machine into the foam with tremendous force, causing an oil fire to erupt on the car. Aric emerged from the wreckage right away and was unharmed in the incident, but the car was significantly damaged.
The terrible misfortune for Iosue handed the lead over to Bellinger with Thompson the rookie now in second, Sitterly third, Danzer fourth, and Shullick fifth.
On the lap 17 restart, Shullick immediately moved up to the fourth spot around the outside of Danzer with Sitterly going to the outside of Thompson to take second.
One lap later, Shullick shot to the inside of Thompson and then began chasing down Sitterly for second setting up another exciting battle between the two Nicotra Racing cars.
For four laps, the 2 and the 7 stalked the No. 02 of Bellinger for the lead, but on lap 23, Sitterly got a little too high on the outside off of turn four, handing over the second position to Shullick.
Shullick worked on the back deck of Bellinger for three laps before lapped traffic came into play once again as the leaders split LaTulip on a second occasion, this time with Bellinger on the outside, but it still did not work out in Brandon’s favor as Shullick dove low into turn three to take the lead on lap 26.
For the next eight laps, Shullick was off to the races as Bellinger and Sitterly continued to do battle for the second spot with Thompson in fourth and Danzer in fifth.
On lap 34, the red flag was thrown again for a scary crash in turn 1 as Gosek got into the wall very hard after something broke on the Burke’s Do It Best Homecenters No. 00.
Gosek was quite shaken up after the impact and was taken to Oswego Hospital for a checkup, but is otherwise OK this afternoon.
It was a lengthy cleanup, but on the restart, not much changed as Shullick lead from green to checkered for the remainder of the main event to pick up the win which was the 37th career Oswego victory for car owner John Nicotra.
Bellinger crossed the line in second, Sitterly finished third while Thompson was beyond impressive in fourth, and Danzer rounded out the top five.
After heading to the pits early on, Davey Hamilton recovered for a sixth place finish in the No. 6 machine while Gosselin finished seventh, Shampine eighth, and Rayvals ninth all a lap down.
Dan Connors Jr. was back at the speedway Saturday night with his backup car and struggled getting up to speed, however he was able to hang on for a tenth place finish in the main event following a hard accident on June 16.
Rookie Brent Murray put together another top twelve finish with an eleventh place run in the Snyder Racing No. 0.
Michael Barnes, who swept the Twin 35s on June 16, struggled all race long in the Syrell Racing No. 68 and was only able to finish twelfth with a DNF after pulling in on lap 62.
LeVea Sr, LaTulip, Lou LeVea Jr, Gosek, Iosue, Bill Sharkey, Brian Sobus in the Schultzkie Racing No. 26, and Dave Gruel, who only took a lap of the main event after his heavy heat race crash earlier in the evening, were all DNFs.
Shullick was awarded the D&S Landscaping ‘Hard Charger’ for his drive from tenth to the win while Thompson was by far the Lighthouse Lanes Up and Comer picking up his first career top five effort at Oswego.
Roger Clark was back at the track for his first start in nearly two decades and was able to take the green flag in his heat race with the No. 4, but immediately took the car pitside and did not start the 75-lap main event.
Dave McKnight’s misfortune continues as he spun out and hit the turn three wall after blowing yet another engine in his heat race. McKnight was out for the evening after the crash as well.
Oswego Speedway’s ‘Road to the Championship’ continues July 7 when Helena Agri-Enterprises presents a 50-lap Novelis Supermodified main event and a 30-lap feature for the Pathfinder Bank SBS.
GA seating is just $15 with kids 16 and younger free. To purchase tickets, please call the track box office at (315)-342-0646.
For more information on Oswego Speedway, visit OswegoSpeedway.com.