Oswego Speedway race summary 2002-07-06

Fireworks light up sky at Oswego; Otto Sitterly lights up track with last lap pass to win; Lupa in Super Stocks and White in Limited Supers take home career firsts. Oswego, NY - It was a night for fireworks and celebration at Oswego Saturday and...

Fireworks light up sky at Oswego; Otto Sitterly lights up track with last lap pass to win; Lupa in Super Stocks and White in Limited Supers take home career firsts.

Oswego, NY - It was a night for fireworks and celebration at Oswego Saturday and St. Johnsville, N.Y. supermodified driver Otto Sitterly did his part to provide the entertainment. Oswego's Shawn Muldoon grabbed the lead in the Clark Concrete 45 from Bob Bond just past the midway mark and looked to be a first-time winner in his rookie year. But up from ninth starting came Otto Sitterly. The always exciting Sitterly was fourth on lap 40. By lap 44 he was knocking on Muldoon's back door. Sitterly got alongside of Muldoon out back and coming off turn four as the checkered was about to be unfurled, Otto put his foot into it and nosed out Muldoon at the line. It was a second career win for Sitterly who picked up a Twin 30 last August at Oswego.

Earlier in the evening, the super stock event and limited main were just as exciting with Chris Lupa and Tony White garnering their first-ever Oswego feature wins.

Otto Sitterly celebrated most exuberantly atop his car before coming down to say this about his win. "The car was super, super tight, I don't know what happened at the end. I think more than anything, everyone came to me. We didn't get much quicker. You've got to save it here. You can't win it early in the race. I've learned that the hard way many times. Late in the race, as I said, I think everybody came back to me. Maybe I turned it up a little bit. Boy it's fun to watch Greg Furlong drive a loose race car! On the pass for the win, Shawn got loose. We were quicker at the end. Shawn's going to be a really good driver. I think he just got loose there and did what he had to do to save it. And, it was to our benefit."

Muldoon, who came over to congratulate the man who stole his win, was a bit speechless. "It was a good run," said Shawn.. "I have no idea what happened there at the end. If I knew that I would have won. It was still good. It didn't quite make up for last week because we didn't win this week. We'll be okay."

In the amazing shuffle that occurred within the last five laps of the Clark Concrete 45, Tim Gareau came out third after Sitterly got by he and Greg Furlong. Gareau was pleased with his effort. Said Gareau afterwards, "Congratulations to Otto. It was a pretty good run for us. For once the car was going to the front. I just can't catch a break. I'd like to thank the crew and the sponsors for staying with me. I think when we can nail the handling once and for all, we'll get it. We lost stagger at the end of the race and I was getting real loose and I was just trying to hang on to what I had. Those guys were better at the end. So, congratulations to the rest of them! It was fun."

A pileup in the third heat of the supermodified events shifted the super feature to the finale, allowing for car repairs. But, the wait was well worth it for the fans on hand.

Breath-taking excitement came right at the green flag of the super go when Jeff Holbrook's 35 got a little sideways off four scattering the field all around. Holbrook straightened her out but the yellow had flown and he went to the rear. Ray Graham needed a push and Hal LaTulip made a quick pitstop after the incident.

On the new green, rookie Shawn Muldoon out ran veteran Jamie Moore for the lead and Muldoon, who saw his possible victory lost in a crash with Ray Graham the previous race night, was loaded for bear. Muldoon tried to pull away from the pack, headed up by Bob Bond, but never got far out of sight, especially from Bond.

Bond, too, was hungry and brought out all his weapons. On lap 20, Bond shifted to the outside of Muldoon off turn four, taking the lead on lap 21. Muldoon tacked to Bond while Tim Gareau, Greg Furlong and Jamie Moore were top five.

On lap 24, new point leader Howie Page and Jeff Holbrook brought out the yellow out back. Page, with a hole in his radiator, was unable to continue. Holbrook did not continue. Hapless Bob Goutermout, who was overheating on the track, pulled his 77 in also.

On the restart, Muldoon made his presence known to Bond right away and within a lap, Muldoon reclaimed his number one spot. This time he pulled farther away from the field while Bond had to fend off the advances of Gareau and Furlong. Moving up quietly, however, was Sitterly. he wouldn't remain quiet for too long.

On lap 30, it was Muldoon, Bond, Furlong, and Sitterly while a tense battle for sixth on back ensued between Moore, Stowell, Gilliam, Snyder and Trytek. With ten to go, yellow bunched the field as Jerry Curran and Bill Peri scrambled into the pits.

A lap 38 yellow found Bob Bond in the wall. Bond, who was fighting Tim Gareau tooth and nail for second, lost it coming out of four, hitting the outer steel with quite an impact. Said Bond later, "I got too high. Got a little loose. I just lost it on my own."

Jamie Moore pulled in the Lair 44 at this juncture out of sixth. On the restart, the real excitement began. Muldoon had Gareau, Furlong and Sitterly tight behind him. Keith Gilliam and Dave Trytek were closing in also. Sitterly pulled alongside Furlong on lap 41 as the pair both chased Gareau in second. On lap 42, they formed as tight a triangle as possible going 120 mph plus. On lap 43, Sitterly finally broke past Furlong and now was alongside Gareau. As the clocked ticked to 44, Sitterly pilfered second from Gareau. He had 5/8th's of a mile to take Muldoon.

Sitterly closed up on Muldoon off two, got alongside out back and with the crowd on their collective feet, off four they came. Flashes, like the soon-to-be fireworks, ignited the air as the photographers had gathered at the line for the finish. As the duo approached the finish stripe, Muldoon lost his chance at victory for the second straight week as Sitterly edged the 79 out front. A huge throng of well-wishers stormed into victory circle as Sitterly danced on his roll cage. It was one heck of a finish to say the least. Muldoon, Furlong, Gareau and Gilliam finished up the top five.

Furlong, back in Oswego for a non-wing show, commented, "We were loose right from the git-go. These guys are doing there homework and they are starting to get faster and faster. We didn't quite have the car we should have had. Otto ran a heck of a race. He(Sitterly) got underneath me and man I tried to get back by him and couldn't quite do it. He made a helluva move to get into third and then into second. On his way up he did a good job. Otto won this race."

Keith Gilliam was a spectator in fifth. "Well I'm very happy," said Keith. "We had a great run in the heat. A great run in the feature. I was giving those guys a little room at the end there. I thought there might be a wreck up front. But, there wasn't. It was a driving experience tonight. The car was real loose at the end and I had my hands full. I really had to drive it. But, I'm very happy. This really helps me out in the points."

Trytek, Snyder, Stowell, Graham and LaFave completed the top ten.

Star Matteson was out front of the limited super feature once again and once again she held off a slew of challengers before giving up the spot and the chance to become the first female feature winner at Oswego. Matteson was chased right away by rookie Tony White, J.J. Andrews, Gregg Davis and more. Things went smoothly for Matteson as she lengthened her lead past the lap 12 mark. Unfortunately, yellow flew on lap 14, which cancelled out any progress she had made. Jeff Bartlett, Guard Nearbin, John Ketcham, Andy Noto and Chip Wood were among those affected by the flag.

On the restart, White and Chris Proud, also ready for his first win, bore down on the 82. On lap 15, White was alongside Matteson, but she didn't give up easily. It took Tony almost the entire circuit to put the 4 out front, and when he did Proud followed him by as Matteson was freight-trained back to fifth by Andrews and Mike Bond also.

Now it was a 4-3 duel to the finish. Chris Proud did everything he could to get by White shy of knocking him out of the way. The duo raced fast and clean around the track for ten laps while Andrews, Bond, Billy Izyk, Matteson, Gregg Davis, Jim Guyle, Mark Regan, Matt Wheeler, Lou LeVea and Steve Austin ran nose to tail behind.

At the checkered, it was White, Proud, Izyk, Mike Bond and Andrews in the top five. Matteson Davis, Wheeler, Guyle and Regan took the top ten spots. Also at the checkered, several cars ended up in the foam with a cleanup ensuing while Tony White and crew celebrated. White commented about his pass of Matteson and his ultimate win. "This is awesome" said the Oswego rookie just up from the super stock class. "It's unbelievable. It's like a dream come true. The car was perfect. It handled perfect. Danny Dennie, Joe Dunsmore and William White - they build them - it's great. I've got to learn how to drive. I know it will go faster. Like I said it's a dream come true for a rookie. I couldn't get a rhythm down until the caution came. I don't know if I could have caught Star. After the caution, I followed her, I got a little bit better rhythm, and she pushed up and I got by."

The super stocks got started under the hazy, smoke-filled skies with a yellow flying immediately for Joe Miller and Joe Skilinski. Eric Connors took up the lead on the green, but lost it after a lap 3 caution for the 99 of Doug Reaume.

Rob Pullen stole Connors' thunder but not for long as the 46 of Chris Lupa had worked his way into second on lap 5 and then by Pullen on lap 6. Connors fought off newcomer Frank Reakes and the hot rod Lincoln of David Fetterly. Reakes, a veteran of the dirt racing wars, charged up to challenge Lupa by lap 11 and the chase was on. They were into lap traffic, maneuvering gingerly by the slower cars.

Lap 15 saw the last yellow and the closing up of the field. Ironically, it also eliminated two of the top runners. Reakes brought out the yellow, but kept his 14 from contact. He still had to go to the tail In the interim, Lupa was pulled over with a flapping trunk lid which was deemed safe, but also caused butterflies for the potential winner. Also pitting here was the 21 of Fetterly out of a great run.

Lupa's adversary was now Dave Bock who soon lost his spot to Joe Miller. But time ran out for the contenders as Lupa crossed under the flag for his first-ever win. Miller, Reakes, in a phenomenal run back to the front, Bock and Kelly Miller. Bill Moore, Reaume, Pullen, Pat Mullen and Fetterly finished up the top ten.

A magnificent fireworks began just after 10 pm to end the already excitement-filled evening.

July 13 finds the Cup Lites at Oswego with July 20, the famed $10,000 to win Mr. Supermodified event.

-os-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Kelly Miller