|08-17-2011, 04:04 PM||#1|
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Long Tough Week Pays Off
Sitterly puts wreck behind him, wins third of year at Oswego
OSWEGO, N.Y. (August 14, 2011) – In exactly a week’s time, Otto Sitterly and the Nicotra Racing team went from one of the lowest lows any short-track race team can experience to a convincing feature win Saturday night at Oswego Speedway.
A week removed from a ground-pounding wreck that all but destroyed the team’s primary No. 7 supermodified, Sitterly returned to the lakeside oval this weekend ready to field a new 2011 Hawk Jr super that was built this past winter.
In Sitterly’s first full race night in the new car, the Canajoharie, N.Y., veteran proved Nicotra’s sentiments there are no backup cars in his camp, and all Nicotra Racing supers are primary racers featuring only first-class equipment.
Sitterly started eighth in the 50-lap main and quickly moved into second by lap 10. Otto ran in the runner-up spot for the next 20-plus laps, watching rookie Dave Danzer race strong out front.
In the midst of battling through lap traffic, Danzer went to the high side of a lap car while working lap 31, slipped into the marbles and spun out. Sitterly moved clean to the inside and now held the lead over Ray Graham Jr. Otto hit his marks over the final 19 laps and ran to a 0.998-second triumph over Graham to notch his third win of the 2011 season.
In the post-race interview, Otto spoke with much candor after what he called a “tough, long week” for him and the Nicotra Racing crew.
“Once I took the lead, there was no doubt in my mind (we were going to win),” Sitterly said to LakesideRacingNews.com’s Chris Porter. “(The car) would have had to run out of fuel or the wheels would have had to fall off; there was no doubt. I knew the car was going decent and if someone would have shown me a wheel, I would have held my line and raced them hard and clean.
“We knew we had a good car. We tested it a couple of times and it’s pretty much identical to the other car.”
Otto admitted there were plenty of questions in his mind on whether or not he’d be back to race this past Saturday at Oswego. He cited several people who urged him to come back and continue battling.
“I probably was not coming back without my wife and this guy right here,” Sitterly said, alluding to John Nicotra. “John’s relentless; he gave up calling me and called my wife, and when she’s behind you, she’ll make you believe you can do anything. She’s a special individual.
“This says a lot for our crew, as well. Last Sunday so many guys drove out to the shop – some from hours away – to tear apart the wrecked car. They didn’t need to do that. Tuesday night the guys show up and get the new 7 together and then switch over Davey’s (Hamilton) car so it’s ready in case we need it. I can’t say enough about what these guys are all about. I need a group of guys like this behind me so I can get my rear end in gear. I have that with this group.”
Saturday’s triumph makes Sitterly the first three-time winner of the 2011 season at Oswego. He now has 19 career supermodified wins at The Big O.
Two regular nights of racing remain at Oswego before the annual Budweiser International Classic 200 Labor Day weekend. They’re both regular 50-lap mains, this Saturday, Aug. 20 and Saturday, Aug. 27.