September 1, 2013 – Story/Audio By Tom Baker – Photo by Bill Taylor – Oswego, N.Y. – The 57th Annual International Classic 200 at Oswego Speedway looked, for the first 100 laps around the 5/8-mile oval, as if it would be a thrilling duel to the finish between several of the top Supermodified competitors in the nation.
Then, over the next 50 laps, several of the top contenders either crashed or had mechanical failures, leaving Bobby Bond and Otto Sitterly as the odds-on favorites.
Bond decided around lap 150 it was time to go, and he went straight to victory lane and the top prize of a gorgeous diamond ring and $15,000.
Local racer Pat Lavery and Boise, Idaho’s Davey Hamilton started in the front row, and Hamilton fired first, leading until lap 103 when Lavery took over. Hamilton was one of three Nicotra Racing team cars (Sitterly and D.J. Shullick were the other two) and all three seemed destined to fight for the win.
That is…until Shullick’s steering broke and Hamilton had a bolt back out of one of the car’s rear wings, sending it into the wall, all between lap 100 and 150.
Another contender, Ray Graham, blew the motor. Joe Gosek broke a spindle. Lavery faded.
It came down to Bond and Sitterly and Otto, who won 3 of the last 4 Classics, had no answer for the newer Hawk Chassis No. 47.
At the stripe it was Bond, Sitterly, Shaun Gosselin, Canadian Ryan Litt and David Gruel in the top five. The win was Bond’s second in the Supermodified division’s marquee race.
Canadian Mike Lichty dominated the ISMA Supermodified Classic for the “winged” Supers, leading most of the way and outdistancing D.J. Shullick at the end. Shullick had become the first driver to ever run a 14 second lap at Oswego earlier in the night with a blistering 14.972 second time trial lap that converts to an average of just over 150 MPH!
Andrew Schartner won his second Small Block Supermodified (SBS) division Classic, leading 74 of the 75 laps and holding off his mentor Russ Brown to take the checkers. Brown finished second and announced that he would not be racing full-time in the SBS division at Oswego next season.
WINNER – Bobby Bond
SECOND – Otto Sitterly
THIRD – Shaun Gosselin
FOURTH – Ryan Litt
DAVEY HAMILTON – Lead the first 103 laps before hitting the wall due to a malfunctioning tail wing –
SMALL BLOCK SUPER CLASSIC WINNER – Andrew Schartner and second place Russ brown
ISMA Supermodified Classic Winner – Mike Lichty
FASTEST MAN IN OSWEGO HISTORY – Dave Shullick Jr. –
JOE TRENCA (16-year-0ld Sprint Car racer makes ISMA Supermodified Debut) –
KEITH SHAMPINE – Picks up over a half-second to put new Chris Osetek Super into Classic field –
CAMDEN PROUD – 14-year-old Quarter-Midget racer spent some time testing his family’s Small Block Supermodified during Classic Week preparing for a 2014 Rookie of the Year run and had to manage the car through some motor issues during his test. This is Camden’s first professional interview and he handled it…well…like a pro! –
This and That…
Sprint Car racer Jessica Zemken was in 11th when she spun trying to get around a slower car and tagged the inside wall. She was having a good race until then. As soon as the Classic ended she left the track to make the hour trek to Utica-Rome Speedway to race her Sprint Car in a $7,000 to win show.
It was great to see the Canadian competitor presence in the 200 again although two of them, Mike Lichty and Dave McKnight, had tough races. Lichty was caught up in a crash not of his own making and McKnight went out early with mechanical woes.
McKnight was driving for Gary Morton, who “retired” after Friday night time trials at the age of 61. Gary will continue to own the car with McKnight in the seat.
Ryan Litt did a pheonominal job in the “Lair Jet” No. 88. The 410 Sprint Car racer looked like a seasoned veteran running for the first time without the wing on top of the Supermodified.
It appears the “new” Hawk Chassis design is superior enough to basically render all of the older style cars ineffective, especially in longer races. Lots of post-race conversation about the utter dominance Bond showed when he got into clean air with the newest of Joe Hawksby Jr.’s creations. Only Otto Sitterly (the car DJ Shullick drove today) and Brian Sweeney own similar designs. Three more are supposedly ordered for next year.
Joe Gosek started his 34th Classic and showed no signs of stopping. As stout on the track as ever at the age of 57, “Double-O Joe” suffered a broken spindle early in the race that altered his car’s handling and he was never a factor, making several pit stops throughout the event.
Mother Nature was overly kind during Classic Week. Above average temperatures and very little rain made for virtually flawless practice/race conditions. Only late Sunday night after all the racing was over did a strong Thunderstorm blow through the Oswego area.
For complete results of the Small Block Supermodified (SBS) Classic and Sunday’s International Classic, see our companion stories elsewhere on RaceChaserOnline.com.
“Fall Championship Night” is coming up at Oswego Speedway in a couple of weeks. For complete details, visit www.OswegoSpeedway.com