OSWEGO, NY _ Dave Shullick Jr. capped a banner year by not only closing the deal on his second Oswego Speedway Supermodified track championship, but by earning his first career Mr. Supermodified win worth $10,000 this past Saturday at Oswego Speedway.
The driver of the Osetek Racing No. 95 was sitting third with one lap to go when leaders Jeff Abold and Tyler Thompson crashed in turn four, handing the leader over to Shullick, who was able to keep Otto Sitterly at bay on a green-checkered restart for his third straight victory.
“You know, they say sometimes it is better to be lucky than good, so we will take that tonight,” Shullick offered. “Jeff (Abold) had the car tonight and we were not quite as good as we have been, but we had a good car. It was just tough racing up front, but we just lasted it out and it’s exciting to be here. I don’t always run my best for this race, so to be standing here today to get this title as Mr. Supermodified is pretty awesome. This is one of the only ones I hadn’t gotten in my career. I think the fans got a really good race today. There was a lot of passing and it was a lot of fun out there.”
Championship runner-up Sitterly started in eighth, and ran fourth for much of the race, but was also able to pick up a pair of spots due to the accident coming to the checkered. It was the fifth top five finish of the season for Otto.
“We really weren’t very good,” Sitterly said. “It was a long 75-lap race. That could have been a 25-lap race and I would have been happy with it. Unfortunate to see the 05 and the 98 up into the fence there and it looks like it was coming to the checkered so that sucks for both of them, but sometimes you have to take it when you can get it.”
Dan Connors Jr. drove a phenomenal race to charge all the way up from nineteenth to third in the No. 01. It was his fourth top five and ninth top ten finish of the season, more than any other driver in the division. Connors continues to knock on the door for career win number one. “I guess I can’t complain about tonight,” Connors stated. “We kind of ran into some avoidable issues in the heat race and it wasn’t looking too good. We started way in the back, but they hit the set up pretty much right on. It probably couldn’t have got any better than it was. I just took it one car at a time and ended up here. The car has been improving every week and we definitely improved it again this week.”
The ‘Zero Hero’ Tim Snyder and Lou LeVea Jr. were the front row for the 34th running of the 75-lap, $10,000 to win event and it was Snyder using the bottom part of the Speedway to take the early lead away.
LeVea Jr. got way out of shape on lap 2, moving third starting Alison Sload into second, fourth starting Thompson into third, fifth starting Abold into fourth, and eighth starting Sitterly into the five spot as the No. 83 fell back to sixth.
Snyder had started to pull away early on, but Thompson went under Sload for second on lap 5 with Abold making the same move a lap later as the pair would now quickly begin to close in on the race leader.
The yellow flag came out on lap 8 for a turn three tangle between Michael Muldoon and Lou LeVea Jr. which ended the night for both cars as well as Dave Danzer and Max McLaughlin, who were collected in the incident.
On the restart, Snyder was shuffled from the lead to fifth with Thompson, Abold, Sitterly, and Shullick all going around the No. 0 on the outside.
With ten laps complete, Thompson had already built a healthy half straightaway lead, but soon after the yellow flag came back out for a Lou LeVea Sr. spin in turn four.
Thompson was again able to pull away from Abold on the restart, but further back, the two cars on the move were Brandon Bellinger and Michael Barnes, who had gone by Snyder and Sload to move up to fifth and sixth, respectively.
But, a broken header would drop Bellinger out of the race on lap 14, moving Barnes up to fifth, Snyder sixth, Sload seventh, Joe Gosek eighth, Keith Shampine ninth, and Connors in tenth with 60 laps remaining.
Back in front, Shullick had worked Sitterly over for a good 15 laps before he was finally able to find a way by and into third on lap 27 as Barnes began to close on positions two through five.
With 30 laps complete, it was still Thompson in the lead ahead of Abold, Shullick, Sitterly, and Barnes, but that is when things began to get interesting.
Thompson caught heavy lapped traffic with 45 laps remaining and lost a ton of ground to Abold, with Abold making a run on the high side of Thompson to look for the lead in traffic.
Sitterly was also caught up in the lapped traffic and Barnes took advantage, sliding into fourth behind Abold and Shullick.
Thompson was able to clear this traffic, and in clean air, pulled right back away from Abold – that is, until he caught up to another pack of lapped cars with 40 to go.
When this happened, Abold, Shullick and Barnes were immediately back on the tail pipes of the No. 98T.
Abold took a second peek to the high side of Thompson, but could not make the move stick, instead giving Shullick an opportunity to look low and take over second on lap 40.
Shullick then went to go for the lead coming out of turn four, but was unable to complete the run as Thompson dove low in front of the No. 95 desperately looking for a way around the traffic.
On lap 41, Thompson again had to get way out of the gas as he tried the low side of the slower car going into turn three.
This would give the outside lane not only to Abold for the lead, but Barnes for second as well, as for just a split second the ‘Hustler’ had gone by both Shullick and Thompson in the same corner to take over the runner-up spot.
Thompson, however, was able to take second back from Barnes using a daring low side move to finally clear the traffic going into turn one.
By now, though, it was a totally different race as it was Abold the new leader over Thompson, Barnes, Shullick, and Sitterly with 30 laps to go.
Unfortunately, the exciting run by seventeenth starting Barnes would end in the pit area with mechanical woes as he was working Thompson over for second with 25 laps to go.
Now, the top five consisted of Abold, Thompson, Shullick, Sitterly, and Connors, who had gone by Shampine, Gosek, Sload, and Snyder to make it all the way up into the five spot.
As the laps wound down to just 10 remaining, everyone thought Abold had the win in his hip pocket with a big lead over Thompson and a clear track ahead.
…until the No. 05 caught traffic with three to go.
Thompson had driven the wheels off of the No. 98 to catch leader Abold in the closing laps and unbelievably, appeared within striking distance as Abold took the white flag.
Going into turn three, Abold was still pinned in behind a lapped car, and Thompson saw the opportunity he was looking for to make a last lap, last ditch effort at the race lead, but got into the corner too hot, tagging the rear end of Abold, and sending the leader around.
As Abold was spinning, Thompson caught his wheel and also went spinning sideways into the outside turn four wall.
Both cars ended up on the hook in an extremely unfortunate ending to an excellent run for both drivers.
The race would end on a green-checkered restart with Shullick now the new leader over Sitterly, Connors, Shampine, and Sload in the top five and that is the way they would finish.
Gosek, Shampine, Sload, Snyder, and Tyler Shullick filled out the top ten.
Oswego County Federal Credit Union and C’s Beverage Center
Track Championship Night
$10,000 to Win Mr. Novelis Supermodified
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Feature (75-laps): 1. 95 DAVE SHULLICK JR, 2. 7 Otto Sitterly, 3. 01 Dan Connors Jr, 4. 05 Jeff Abold, 5. 98T Tyler Thompson, 6. 55 Keith Shampine, 7. 39 Alison Sload, 8. 00 Joe Gosek. 9. 0 Tim Snyder, 10. 25 ® Tyler Shullick, 11. 90 Jack Patrick, 12. 68 Michael Barnes, 13. 56 Hal LaTulip, 14. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 15. 66 Lou LeVea Sr, 16. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 17. 15 Michael Muldoon, 18. CraZ8 ® Max McLaughlin, 19. 52 Dave Danzer, 20. 22 ® Mike Bruce
Heat 1 (12-laps): 1. 15 Michael Muldoon, 2. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 3. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 4. 56 Hal LaTulip, 5. 90 Jack Patrick, 6. 66 Lou LeVea Sr, 7. 01 Dan Connors Jr.
Heat 2 (12-laps): 1. 39 Alison Sload, 2. 0 Tim Snyder, 3. 05 Jeff Abold, 4. 7 Otto Sitterly, 5. 52 Dave Danzer, 6. 68 Michael Barnes, 7. 22 ® Mike Bruce
Heat 3 (12-laps): 1. 00 Joe Gosek, 2. 98T Tyler Thompson, 3. CraZ8 ® Max McLaughlin, 4. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 5. 55 Keith Shampine, 6. 25 ® Tyler Shullick
Group Time Trials: 1. 68 Michael Barnes – 16.184, 2. 95 Dave Shullick Jr. – 16.329, 3. 02 Brandon Bellinger – 16.389, 4. 7 Otto Sitterly – 16.412, 5. CraZ8 ® Max McLaughlin – 16.448, 6. 05 Jeff Abold – 16.478, 7. 01 Dan Connors Jr. – 16.492, 8. 98T Tyler Thompson – 16.538, 9. 52 Dave Danzer – 16.556, 10. 15 Michael Muldoon – 16.626, 11. 55 Keith Shampine – 16.628, 12. 0 Tim Snyder – 16.662, 13. 83 Lou LeVea Jr. – 16.801, 14. 00 Joe Gosek – 16.861, 15. 39 Alison Sload – 16.889, 16. 66 Lou LeVea Sr. – 16.923, 17. 90 Jack Patrick – 17.018, 18. 25 ® Tyler Shullick – 17.321, 19. 56 Hal LaTulip – 17.489, 20. 22 ® Mike Bruce – 18.072
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #01 Dan Connors Jr.
Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer: #01 Dan Connors Jr.
2021 Track Champion: #95 Dave Shullick Jr.
2021 Rookie of the Year: #22 Mike Bruce