OSWEGO, NY – Defending Novelis Supermodified champion Dave Shullick Jr. took off from his fifth place starting spot to win the C’s Beverage ‘Summer Championship’ this past Saturday night at the Oswego Speedway. It was the fourth victory of the season for the North Ridgeville, Ohio, driver and the ninth of his non-wing career at the Steel Palace.
“The car was really good tonight. We fought a tight piece all day and didn’t know how much to tighten it for the feature race, but we got it good,” Shullick said in victory lane. “I played with some brakes under the caution and then it was pretty damn good after that.”
Dan Connors Jr. and Aric Iosue brought the field to green for the 50-lap main event with Iosue leading the first circuit from the outside.
After diving to the low side of rookie Tyler Thompson on the initial start, Shullick was on a mission from the inside of the third row and quickly began to work the outside lane on fourth starting Brandon Bellinger, Connors, and Iosue.
By the completion of lap 2, Shullick found the high side of Bellinger for third before taking the runner up position away from Connors one lap later coming off the exit of turn four.
Shullick was not done yet, as he immediately reeled in the Iosue No. 11 and drove right around the outside for the lead coming to complete lap 4.
As Shullick began to pull away, Shampine and Otto Sitterly were busy at work behind him as Shampine drove into third around the outside of both Bellinger and Connors with Sitterly following him through for fourth all the way from his twelfth starting spot.
Fresh off his first victory in nearly three seasons, it appeared as if Sitterly was poised for two in a row as he breezed by 8 cars in only five laps early on.
No sooner than they found the top five did Shampine and Sitterly take second and third as the pair worked past runner up Iosue by lap 6 with Shampine making an outside pass for second and Sitterly using the bottom part of the speedway to grab third.
Shullick, Shampine and Sitterly showed right away that they were the class of the field in this particular event as the front three had pulled away from everyone by lap 10 with Shampine and Sitterly slowly but surely closing in on the No. 2.
With less than 20 laps in the books, Shullick was well on his way, already lapping up to 14th running Dave Gruel in the No. 50 and later catching 13th running Dave Danzer in the No. 52, Logan Rayvals in 12th, and Thompson who had since dropped all the way back to 11th.
Lapped traffic became a major factor for the leaders at the halfway point and it was on lap 27 when Shampine looked high on a lapped car that Sitterly attempted to fill the gap, but the two brushed with Sitterly pounding the inside hub rail before cutting back across the track and making heavy contact with the outside wall to bring out the Canale Insurance & Accounting yellow flag.
Sitterly was OK, but the Nicotra Racing No. 7 sustained heavy damage.
The points leader was now out of the race with 23 laps to go and this allowed the second, third, and fourth place drivers in the standings of Shampine, Barnes and Shullick, to close the gap on the seven-time track champion.
All of the lapped cars were left in between the new top three of Shullick, Shampine and Iosue on the ensuing restart and this wound up allowing Shullick to pull away even further from the rest of the field, eventually lapping up to 8th place Jeff West by the completion of the main event.
Iosue lost a ton of ground coming back to the green after the lone caution, handing third over to Connors, fourth to Bellinger, and fifth to the No. 05 of Jeff Abold, but only for a moment as Bellinger was immediately able to take away the final podium position from the Connors No. 01 just one corner later.
For the remaining 20 laps, Connors would then be forced to fend off Abold, who was back for the first time in several weeks after dealing with motor issues on his ride. He ran rather strong in the ‘Summer Championship’ to wind up grabbing his first top five of the 2018 season.
Further back in the top ten, Iosue had fallen all the way back to seventh with the ‘Hustler’ Michael Barnes, wheeling his way up from eleventh to sixth in the Syrell Racing No. 68.
Out front on the other hand, it was pure domination for Dave Shullick Jr. as with his victory, DJ has now tied Barnes for third place in the standings just 35 points behind Sitterly for the lead.
Shampine was able to hold on for second place in the main event to come within just 11 points of the current championship leader with only four regular feature events remaining.
Oswego Speedway returns to action for one of it’s biggest shows of the season on July 21 when Best Western PLUS Captain’s Quarters and Quality Inn and Suites Riverfront presents the $10,000 to win Mr. Novelis Supermodfiied and $1,500 to win Mr. Pathfinder Bank SBS.
Tickets remain available by calling the speedway box office at (315)-342-0646.
For more information on Oswego Speedway, visit OswegoSpeedway.com