Sitterly Dominates Again as Oswego Speedway Plays Host to the ASA Fleet Pride 200
By: Jeremiah Fish – June 10, 2006
Oswego, NY – At a track famous for its open-wheeled heritage and tradition, Saturday night proved that the lakeside oval also knows a thing or two about playing host to a full fender affair. The American Speed Association late-models were on hand for the running of the Fleet Pride 200. The ASA has not made a trip to the Oswego Speedway since 1985 and on that day names like Darrel Waltrip and Bobby Allison were the big names on the track for the ASA cars. The new breed of ASA competitor features a host of young and talented drivers who were piloting tricycles, not racecars, the last time the ASA saw action at Oswego. Kelly Bires, of Mauston Wisconsin, and current points leader in the 2006 ASA Late Model Series Challenge Division was a heavy favorite coming into the event. The rookie of the year contender has found himself with top five finishes in 4 of 5 events in the 2006 campaign. In fact that would be a five for five streak had Bires not cut a tire down late in the race in the Appleton 100 at Morris Illinois back on May 29.
The Format for the Fleet Pride 200 and the Jakes Automotive 45 for the Novelis Supermodifieds would see the host supermodifieds open the show with their feature event. Heat winners for the supers were first timer, Keith Shampine and in the second heat, a dominant Otto Sitterly.
Shampine is of course a familiar name at the Oswego Speedway; this heat race win was an extremely popular one among the Oswego faithful. Shampine’s uncle was of course the legendary Jimmy Shampine. Keith took the time out before the Jakes Automotive 45 to thank all of his crewmembers and his great sponsors at Chandler Automotive, Siemens, Cheap Seats Bar and Grille & Port City Machine for all they do to help him out. When Keith isn’t behind the wheel of an 800 horsepower supermodified, he is still in constant motion. Yeah seriously, this 22 year old is working his way through college at Oswego State University with as many jobs as one man can juggle, currently he spends his days working for Hoffmann Sausage Company in Syracuse and his nights working on the race car. The 45-lap affair was over nearly as quickly as it began. The #79, Filtrec sponsored jet driven by Otto Sitterly would lay in wait through a race marked by only three caution flags before striking and capturing his second consecutive win of the season.
That wasn’t the only storyline playing out on this day however. The youth movement in the ranks of the Novelis supermodified division held their own and cumulatively put on some of their best showings to date. The Ruby Tuesdays, Hazy Tavern, Amsoil sponsored, Coon-France Motorsports 03 Rocket guided by rookie of the year candidate Travis Bartlett drove to it’s best showing for the year driving home in tenth. A battle between Bartlett and veteran Jerry Curran for that tenth spot raged for several laps, at a great pace and in close quarters. Each man racing the other very clean until hard luck struck the Curran “Nuclear Banana” 24. That race between those two great competitors will have to be called a draw for now, with Curran being forced to the pits on lap 23 with technical difficulties. That race fans, is a clean fight that I would like to see, week in and week out between these two professionals. The super consistent Pat Lavery drove to a top five this weekend in his Plum Crazy 99, Pat made some adjustment to that car in the off-season and has shown already to be a contender in the 2006 campaign. The action further along up front was also encouraging to watch, in the fact that Bobby Bond had his 25 car back together after a bone crunching, frame tweaking ride into the safety foam up in turn one on Memorial weekend. Bond brought the 25 home third this weekend and it is always great to see a competitor like that run out front in the feature, you always know that he will fight like hell, but if someone get by him, he will keep it clean. Todd Stowell has his Collosse cheese 89 running well and turned in a valiant second place effort.
The Super Heroes of the Novelis Supermodifieds top ten looked like this: Otto Sitterly, turning in an astounding 16.782 second lap, in second place the 89 of Todd Stowell, third place went to Bobby Bond, followed by Pat Lavery, then it was Canadian Craig Rayvals in his 94. Tim Gareau found his way to a sixth place in the Burger King, Kerfien 5, next was the #1 of Shawn Muldoon, Hal Latulip in the 56, followed by Keith Shampine in his 85 and rounding out the top 10 Travis Bartlett in the Coon-France Motorsports 03. Two other things to note from the speedway this weekend was the appearance by 2005 ISMA Champion, Pat Abold in the Craig Rayvals 95. Abold looked very good in some hot laps during the practice sessions before the nights events got under way, Abold got a little seat time, parked the car and went straight to street clothes for the rest of the night. Abold has found his way to victory lane on numerous occasions at Oswego and many other tracks around the country, it will be great for the fans to see him back, whenever he gets the time to run. Abold devotes much of his time to his sons USAC Ford Focus Midget career at this point and has made that a priority since the closing of Dunigan Racings operations (permanently or otherwise) in the off-season. Secondly, we saw one of the many different drivers that will appear in the seat of the Furlong 72 make an appearance Saturday. Pathfinder Limited Supermodified Driver, Michael Barnes piloted the Furdi’s Modular Homes sponsored 72 well until getting into a bit of a jingle during the feature, after looking decent in the heat and in the early stages of the Jakes Automotive 45.
Next up were the ASA Latemodels and the Fleet Pride 200. The layout of the 200 Lap spectacular would be two 100-lap sessions. In between would be a 10-minute break for teams to swap out a maximum of two tires, grab some fuel and make adjustment as needed. It would prove to be a tale of two races as the first 100 laps were absolutely dominated by Jack Smith in his Waffle House / Urbine Machine #28. The first 100 laps were marked by six caution flags. After the break the rest of the top five began to make their move on the leader. Lap 113 would see Jack Smith’s night effectively come to an end unfortunately, in his #28. Racing for the lead with Jake Ryan in the St. Thomas Creations, Honeywell 19 through turn two, Smith would spin out rejoining the pack at the rear for a few laps, only to retire to the pits with an apparent suspension issue with his Ford Fusion. Ryan would pick up from there and lead the pack through the majority of the second session leading laps 113 through 180. After getting passed for the lead by Kelly Bires, Ryan’s night quickly and viciously got worse. On 182, it would be all over as Ryan’s 19 met the unforgiving walls of the “Steel Palace” on the front straight away ending his run and trashing the beautiful #19. Bires had been stalking the leaders all night in both segments. Riding around in the top five, pitting during the 10 minute break and then waited patiently for an opportunity. Bires and his Texor sponsored, WalTom Racing #89 were super consistent before and after the break and Bires would never look back once he got out front in clean air, bringing home the top spot and $4,000 for local charities for his efforts.
The top 15 in the Fleet Pride 200 at the Oswego Speedway: 1.Kelly Bires (89) 2. Chad Wood (2) 3. Travis Dassow (92) 4. Eddie Hoffman (8) 5.Charlie Menard (13) 6. Brent Downey (23) 7. Landon Cassill (7) 8.Frank Kreyer (99) 9. Bill Tomlinson (3) 10. Peter Cozzolino (11) 11. Jake Ryan (19) 12. Tony Rosebrugh (25) 13. Jack Smith (28)14. Jeff VanOudenhoven (08) 15. Jason Herrington (38)
The big shows keep on coming at the Oswego Speedway, on June 17 they are having an Open Wheel-A-Thon, Five classes of open wheel racecars will be on hand to compete in 6 feature events for the Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank Limited Supers, USAC Ford Focus Midgets, The Briggs and Stratton Tobias Slingshots and last, but absolutely not least, the Can-Am TQ midgets. Should be a fantastic show and one that unfortunately Luvracin.com will have to miss. We are going to the beautiful Chemung Speedrome for some short track action on the fast 3/8 mile paved oval and their