Accord Speedway Set To Host Post-Thanksgiving ‘Gobbler’ Saturday, November 24

ACCORD, NY – Eat Thanksgiving dinner with the family, we’ll provide the dirt-track dessert.

On Saturday, November 24, the curtain comes down on the Northeast outdoor season in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. Accord Speedway, the quarter-mile clay oval operated by Gary and Donna Palmer, plays host to the ‘Gobbler’ season finale for the sixth consecutive year.

The ‘Gobbler’ is an annual post-Thanksgiving co-promotion involving the Palmer family and BD Motorsports Media LLC.

The headline event, of course, is the 50-lap main for the ‘Mashed Potato’ Modifieds paying a healthy $5,000 to the winner plus bonuses. Last year, the event featured an epic battle between eventual winner Andy Bachetti and runner-up Mike Ricci. The pair traded the lead on several occasions before Sheffield, Mass., driver Bachetti ultimately won out.

The Modifieds will compete under Short Track Super Series rules for this event.

The ‘Cranberry Sauce’ Crate 602 Sportsman are set for a 25-lap event offering $1,000 to take the victory.

Also on the docket, the ‘Pumpkin Pie’ Pure/Street Stocks in a Shootout Series event honoring the memory of Ron Wright, a Four Cylinder ‘Feast’ and a side of Enduro pudding.

Pit gates will open at 9 a.m. Grandstand gates will unlock at 10 a.m. Hot laps begin at noon and the first green flag flies at 1 p.m.

Adult grandstand admission is $24. Seniors (ages 65 and up) pay $22. Kids 11 and under are $5. Reserved outdoor seating can be obtained for $26. Limited indoor seating is available for $35 by calling the speedway office at 845.626.1142.

Pit admission is $40, with no license required.

There is a ‘weather date’ in effect for this event of Saturday, December 1.

Accord Speedway is located at 299 Whitfield Road Accord, NY 12404. To learn more about the speedway, visit www.accordspeedway.com, call the speedway office at 845.626.1142 or the race day line: 845.626.3478. E-mail the speedway at accordspeedway@yahoo.com.

To learn more about the 2018 Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

Oh, Black Betty: Sitterly Earns Record Breaking Eighth Oswego Supermodified Title

Photo: Michael Jaworecki Myracenews

OSWEGO, NY (November 2, 2018) – Oswego Speedway’s newest track champions Otto Sitterly and Anthony Losurdo will finally be awarded for their well deserved honors at the track’s Hall of Fame and Championship Banquet set for tomorrow evening at the Lake Ontario Event & Conference Center in Oswego.

Following a shocking winless streak that spanned two straight seasons, Sitterly unleashed the wrath of John Nicotra’s ‘Black Betty’ on the Novelis Supermodified division in 2018 and dominated the second half of the season, winning a quarter of the twelve main events scheduled as part of the regular season.

After spending his 2017 campaign as chief wrench both on John Nicotra’s No. 7 car driven by himself, along with Dave Shullick Jr’s No. 2 plant, Sitterly decided that he would instead like to focus on only his team for the 2018 season and it paid off as ‘DesperOtto’ drove to career championship number eight, passing Bentley Warren and Jim Shampine to break the record for most Supermodified titles in speedway history.

As it would turn out, Sitterly finished in the top five in nearly every single race he entered throughout the course of the season and in the mere two events he missed the cut for a top five, he was involved in his only two on-track incidents of the season, which was a far cry from the disappointing number of DNF’s that piled up a year earlier.

This year, Sitterly sang a different tune as the Canajoharie, N.Y. driver started his season with a fine fourth place finish in his debut with the former Joey Moriarty No. 51.

Later in the evening, as part of Opening Day’s second Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50, Sitterly returned to the podium and did so with a color other than blue on his car for the first time since 2006.

Fans are used to that trademark Nicotra blue, but for this year, Sitterly decided to leave flat black on the No. 7, thus resulting in the now infamous ‘Black Betty’ nickname. Otto left no doubt that he was certainly ‘back in black,’ continuing on with what wound up being one of the most successful seasons of his Supermodified career.

With the Opener in the books and two top five efforts to his name providing for a nice kickstart to 2018, Sitterly began his season atop of the point standings heading into the Spring Championship on June 9.

Shortly thereafter, Otto continued his consistency on week 2, and finished runner-up to teammate Dave Shullick Jr. in the 50-lap main event.

The following week saw the running of the Novelis Supermodified Twin 35’s and it was the evening’s first main event that was destined to be the race that left fans talking all season long.

Ironically enough, Sitterly and Shullick got together while battling for the lead in the first twin, and unfortunately Otto was penalized for the contact forcing the No. 7 to go to the tail end of the field. At that point, he was only able to recover for an eighth place finish.

In the second twin, which Shullick sat out due to damages from the contact, Sitterly put on a clinic and drove from the back of the pack to his third podium finish of the season behind Michael Barnes and Joe Gosek.

Over the years, it has been proven that consistency wins championships at the Oswego Speedway and Sitterly’s 2018 run was just that; consistent. However, everyone knew that Otto wanted more than just a championship. He wanted to break that winless streak.

Two years earlier, Dave Gruel fell less than ten points short of the 2016 track championship, nearly capturing the track title without winning a single race all season.

After Sitterly extended his point lead with yet another runner-up effort to Shullick in the June 30 Independence Weekend Grand Prix, Shullick’s speed continued to beg the question as to whether or not this would be Sitterly’s fate as well.

With the point standings in his favor, July 7 finally turned out to be Sitterly’s night.

Otto charged from tenth to the top three in just a matter of laps and worked over Brandon Bellinger to take the lead at halfway. Several late race cautions forced him to hold off Shullick, who overtook second in the closing stages but on this occasion, the now eight time track champion was able to hold on for what at that point was his first feature win since September 20th of 2015.

With momentum on his side and all of the confidence he needed, Sitterly was poised for what at the very worst looked to be another podium finish one week later, but his efforts came to a screeching halt with just over 20 laps to go as the No. 7 car made contact with the No. 55 of Keith Shampine working through lapped traffic. This resulted in Sitterly’s first DNF of the season and instead awarded Shullick the victory.

After destroying the front end of his car, the heavy accident left Sitterly with just one week to repair his machine ahead of the following weekend’s $10,000 to win Mr. Novelis Supermodified feature event and it turned out that all of that hard work would pay off for Nicotra Racing.

Incredibly, Otto drove from tenth to first in less than three laps and took over the lead with 72-laps to go. His momentum never faded in the extra distance show and Sitterly put on an absolute clinic, lapping up to fifth place enroute to his fourth career paycheck in the 32nd running of Mr. Supermodified.

Following his biggest victory in several years, just three events remained in the race for the championship approaching the month of August and Sitterly continued to dominate the final month of the summer, starting off with a second place finish to Barnes on August 4.

Next, on August 11’s ‘Family Night,’ Otto drove to win number three and it came in what was one of the most unforgettable finishes in speedway history. In lapped traffic, Sitterly ducked down low off of the final corner to beat returning hall of fame driver Doug Didero at the line by a mere 0.010 seconds to win his third main event of the season.

By the time the last event in the road for the championship rolled around, the only battle left in the point standings was between Shullick, Shampine and Barnes for second, third, and fourth as Sitterly was long gone approaching August 18.

In the final regular show of the 2018 season, Otto put the exclamation point on his record breaking title run with a drive from twelfth to victory number four on the year ahead of Aric Iosue and Joe Gosek on the podium.

By virtue of his win on track championship night followed by a dominant late race performance over Didero in the International Classic two weeks later, Sitterly tied and then later surpassed Nolan Swift for fifth on the all-time Supermodified win list with an impressive 42 victories put together in just ten winning seasons.

More than two months after clinching his record breaking title, Sitterly will accept the accolades for his efforts tomorrow evening before likely mounting a run at a ninth title in ‘19 with John Nicotra.

Should Otto win the 2019 championship, he will pass Nolan Swift (8), for most overall championships in Oswego Speedway history.

Ticket sales for the baquet are now closed, but as part of the event, discounted room rates at host location Best Western PLUS in Oswego will be available to all ticket holders for $119. For more information, you can call the hotel at (315)-342-4040 or visit their website at BestWesternOswego.guestreservations.com. Plan to bring your banquet ticket with you upon check-in.

Oswego Speedway’s 2019 schedule, along with a full rule book, are both a work in progress. The speedway’s 69th annual Opening Day has been set for Saturday, May 25th. Open Practice will take place a week earlier on Saturday, May 18.

For more information on Oswego Speedway, be sure to visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.

Racing With Jesus-Reflecting

The season is over for most of us. There are a few special events to run but for the most part our champions have been crowned. How did this season work out for you? Did you take time to enjoy all you have been blessed with? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

One of the great things in racing is that we get to race. Not everyone gets a chance to do what they have a passion for. There are many that don’t have the opportunities we have been blessed with. Have you ever stopped and thanked God for all he has provided?

At this time of year the thought that comes to mind is how thankful we need to be for what we have been blessed with. We need only to look around and see others who do not have the opportunities to do what we do.

Reflecting on the time we spent at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for the Sunoco World Series of Racing. The event, like many we serve, was full of many opportunities to touch the lives beyond the track. Allow me to share some of the “behind the scenes” happenings. One special opportunity was that we were able to get the teams and officials together to encourage a special friend of the Whelen Modified Tour as he recovers and deals with some medical challenges.

We also had a member of the modified community facing a difficult diagnosis without much hope on the horizon. We were able to come alongside, provide encouragement and lift them up in prayer.

We have been involved for some time with helping a member of the racing community secure new transportation. We were able to deliver the news that the resources have been secured to make the final payment. The van would be delivered debt free to him. We always need to remember that no matter how difficult things seem for us there are others who are dealing with more challenging days.

In addition to what is going on behind the scenes there are things happening right in front of our eyes. As many know the leadership at Thompson is in transition. This was the final weekend that many who make up the team at Thompson would be together. As you can imagine the challenge of pulling together the Sunoco World Series but add to that the weight of saying goodbye adds to the challenge. We were able to be there in a supporting and encouraging role to the staff.

As I looked over the line of Track Safety Workers assembled on the front stretch before the invocation each day my heart went out to them. As they stood proud, ready to serve there was someone missing. Earlier this year one of their own was taken home. Many of them shared how much his presence was missing. Even those who stand by to protect us need support and encouragement. We were able to stand alongside and hold them up.

We also get to do some cool stuff for others. In addition to the race weekend this was a significant weekend for several race families; McDermott, Gagner, Posocco and Palko. On Friday night I had the honor of officiating the wedding for Cam and Lauren, now Mr. and Mrs. McDermott. Following that up on Sunday night I officiated the union of Ryan and Kaitlyn, now Mr. and Mrs. Posocco. It is always a wonderful time to celebrate new beginnings and being a part of the milestones in the lives of those we serve in the racing community.

Speaking of milestones Friday, October 12 marked a significant day for Chace Bennett. If you recall three years ago we joined the “Race for Chace” to encourage Chace as he faced treatment for Leukemia. Chace is the son of Michael and Lindsey Bennett; Michael a Late-Model Champion at Stafford Motor Speedway. We have stood beside Michael and Lindsey along their journey with Chase. He is my Superhero! On Friday October 12, 2018 he had his last treatment. What an awesome milestone to celebrate.

These are just some snapshots of what our team was able to be a part of over World Series Weekend. There were many others and each day in each of our lives there are significant events that might seem to go unnoticed. One of the things that we cannot let escape our attention is that we are truly blessed to be able to go out and race. The freedom to do what we enjoy doing. I remind you not to take it for granted, give something back.

As Christians we have been blessed with a Lord and Savior. We are reminded of the love that God has for us and the provision he made for our salvation. Paul reminds us how we should live our lives.

Ephesians 5:1-2; Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

We should live a life of love, but what does that mean? It means we should have compassion in our hearts for those who are less fortunate. We should be kind and forgiving. We should be willing to make some sacrifices to help others out. We need to be willing to serve. To borrow from my wedding ceremony;

Ephesians 13:4-8a; niv; Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Let me encourage you to take this time to reflect on all that you have been blessed with. If you need to be reminded, take some time and serve those who are less fortunate. Make a sacrifice this harvest season and you will enjoy it more than you ever have before. Show others the love that God showed to you. Remember; but for the grace of God there go I.

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.

From weekly short track racing to NASCAR Cup racing