OSWEGO, NY – Defending Speedway champion Dave Shullick Jr. broke a continuous string of bad luck to score the first victory of 2022 for the Osetek Racing Technologies team, and the 16th Oswego Supermodified checkered flag of his career on Saturday night.
Shullick, who had yet to finish in the top five this season prior to the win, started in third, and after Tim Snyder led the opening lap, ‘The Shoe 2’ made his move for the lead, taking command of the 75-lap Independence Grand Prix in a dominant performance the No. 95 team.
“The car was really good early, but we blistered a right front tire, which is really a new one for me,” mentioned Shullick. “The car got pretty tight towards the end and I was worried they were going to get me. I felt like a sitting duck in traffic, but out front by myself I was alright. On that last restart, I spun the tires down the back stretch, and then spun them again out of four. I couldn’t drive in real deep because the car wouldn’t turn so I had to back the corner up, jump on the throttle to get it to turn and then stand on the gas to get it off the turn. We’ll have to get it figured out and come back here in a couple weeks, but we’re fortunate to be here and after the start of the season we’ve had this feels good for sure.”
Finishing runner-up in her second appearance of the season was Alison Sload, driving John Nicotra Racing’s ‘Black Betty,’ which has now been re-numbered the 39. Sload recovered from mechanical issues earlier in the evening for a hard charge from tenth to second in the main event.
“After the start we had earlier today, I didn’t know what it would be like for the feature, but the guys got it back together for me,” Sload said. “We had a power steering hose come undone, but we made it all work. I have to thank Otto (Sitterly), for sure, because even though he’s not here, he worked his ass off on this car, along with Danny, Chris, Big Dan, Jason, my husband Buddy, and the rest of the team.”
Completing the podium was second generation Canadian campaigner Logan Rayvals, who earned the first top three finish of his career at the Speedway. Rayvals has returned to full-time competition at Oswego this season.
“We had some issues with the car tonight, but I think we are on a good track now,” stated Rayvals. “It is a long race, we only had a couple cautions, but everything worked out. I have to thank my parents, the crew, Larry, Frank, my girlfriend, Connor, and everybody that helps with this car.”
The ‘Zero Hero,’ Snyder, and Rayvals, brought the field to the green flag for the 75-lap Grand Prix with Snyder inching out in front down the back straight.
Rayvals tried to battle back on the outside, but quickly had to surrender second to Shullick, who next dove underneath Snyder for the lead on lap 2.
Early on, the running order was Shullick, Snyder, Rayvals, fifth starting Jeff Abold, and sixth starting Tyler Thompson in the top five.
With Rayvals jammed behind Snyder, Abold took advantage in the high road to steal third, and next dove low under Snyder to move into second on lap 6 with Thompson making the very same one lap later to take over third.
Pinned to the outside, Snyder was then freight trained to the back of the pack with Gosek, Brandon Bellinger, Sload, Dave Danzer, and Lou LeVea Jr. all going underneath him for positions five through nine, respectively.
With 50 laps to go, Gosek had to surrender the five spot to Sload and then to Danzer; two cars who had come from the rear of the field; dropping the No. 00 to seventh, and Bellinger back to eighth.
Now in the top five, Sload quickly reeled in Rayvals to take over fourth, next looking to pursue third running Thompson.
In heavy lapped traffic with 20 laps remaining, both Abold and Thompson had closed significantly on Shullick, who had lost what was nearly a straight away lead.
Shullick was finally able to clear traffic with a dozen laps remaining, but the field was slowed one lap later for a spin by fifth running Danzer out of turn four.
In clean air for the restart, Shullick was able to open back up a half straightaway lead over Abold, who slowed out of second, moving Thompson into the runner-up spot, Sload third, Rayvals fourth, and Gosek in fifth.
The 05 stopped down the back stretch, and this brought out another yellow flag, with Abold needing to be towed pitside with a flat left front tire.
When the green flag was put back in the air, Thompson was doing his best to keep pace with race leader Shullick, but a mechanical failure on the No. 98 sent Tyler for a nasty ride first nose first into the outside wall, and then backwards into the turn three foam.
Thompson was unhurt in the hard crash, but the car was heavily damaged.
After a cleanup, the field would re-stack one more time, and while Sload; who assumed second, had taken a peak to the inside on the restart, Shullick eventually walked away in the remaining 8 circuits for the comfortable win.
Sload, Rayvals, Gosek, and Bellinger finished top five, with Danzer, Abold, Thompson, LeVea Jr, and Russ Wood were credited with top ten finishes.
The Novelis Supermodified division will have the week off for this Saturday, July 9th’s Winged Super Challenge before resuming their 2022 season in the July 16 ‘Summer Championship’ alongside J&S Paving 350 Supers and Pathfinder Bank SBS.
For more information, please visit OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or Instagram @OfficialOswegoSpeedway.
Best Western PLUS and Clarion Hotel & Suites Riverfront Night
Novelis Supermodified Grand Prix 75
Saturday, July 2, 2022
Feature (75-laps): 1. 95 DAVE SHULLICK JR, 2. 39 Alison Sload, 3. 94 Logan Rayvals, 4. 00 Joe Gosek, 5. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 6. 52 Dave Danzer, 7. 05 Jeff Abold, 8. 98T Tyler Thompson, 9. 83 Lou LeVea Jr, 10. 41 Russ Wood, 11. 54 Camden Proud, 12. 0 Tim Snyder DNS 90 Jack Patrick, 37 Ryan Locke, 15 ® Nathan Byrd, 01 Dan Connors Jr.
Heat 1 (12-laps): 1. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 2. 54 Camden Proud, 3. 98T Tyler Thompson, 4. 05 Jeff Abold, 5. 00 Joe Gosek, 6. 0 Tim Snyder, 7. 83 Lou LeVea Jr. DNS 15 ® Nathan Byrd
Heat 2 (12-laps): 1. 02 Brandon Bellinger, 2. 41 Russ Wood, 3. 94 Logan Rayvals, 4. 52 Dave Danzer, 5. 90 Jack Patrick, 6. 39 Alison Sload, 7. 37 ® Ryan Locke DNS 01 Dan Connors Jr.
D&S Landscaping Hard Charger: #39 Alison Sload
Lighthouse Lanes Up & Comer: #94 Logan Rayvals