OSWEGO - The Novelis Supermodified Road to the Championship came to an end Saturday night at Oswego Speedway with Canajoharie's Otto Sitterly once again conquering the "Steel Palace" on Davis Bros. Inc. Fall Championship Weekend.
Sitterly started from the sixth position in the 75-lap season finale, blasted by point rival Joe Gosek on lap 16 for the runner-up spot, and then stole the lead from Michael Barnes on lap 44 to cruise onto his fourth victory of the season, giving Sitterly a 13-point edge on Gosek for his sixth career Oswego Supermodified track title.
Sitterly, Gosek and Shaun Gosselin entered the final Novelis Supermodified point event of the season separated by just 22 points, with Sitterly holding an 11-point edge on Gosek.
Otto Sitterly, second from left, celebrates with his wife, Phoebe, and car owner John Nicotra after securing his sixth Novelis Supermodified track championship at Oswego Speedway. (Photo submitted)
That lead would shrink to just seven points before feature time after Sitterly spun in his qualifying heat race, driving hard with Budweiser International Classic champion Bob Bond.
Despite Gosek's second-place finish in his heat race, the driver of the No. 00 did not have enough come feature time to hold off Sitterly in the Nicotra Racing No. 7, as Gosek would have to settle for a runner-up finish in the main and the point championship.
Pat Lavery charged on hard at race's end for the third position ahead of Barnes and Bond in the top five feature positions.
Sitterly spoke with infield announcer Keith Zehr in Turning Stone Resort Casino Victory Lane.
"The lapped traffic was actually a lot of fun," said Sitterly. "The car was pretty good, that is Davey Hamilton's car right there that is the car that was in the wall two weeks ago. We put it back together all fresh, and after I put my car in the wall a few weeks back, it just hasn't been the same. It used up the right rear tire in the Classic like it has never done before, so something isn't quite right there. We'll take my car back together and straighten it out, but this car doesn't need much of anything."
Sitterly went on to comment on his heat race spin, racing with Bond.
"You know, you can take it easy out there," said Sitterly. "But, Pat Lavery came over after that spin and said to me 'what are you doing out there' and I told him, 'Well, I was racing.'"
With a total of six track titles on his side now at Oswego Speedway, Sitterly is on the cusp of entering historic territory with the likes of Shampine, Warren and Swift.
"I've got a lot of appreciation for everyone that has ever done anything for me," said Sitterly. "None of these championships is any better than the other; they are all very special to me. This was a tough year; this racing game is not easy for anybody here. There were a lot of emotional highs and lows, and that can be tough."
Sitterly's sixth track title brings him one step closer to Jim Shampine and Bentley Warren, who each won seven Supermodified championships at Oswego Speedway.
Nolan Swift remains the all-time track title holder at Oswego with eight.
Four of those championships came in the A-Modified era, with another four in the modern era of Supermodified racing at the Speedway.