Story By: ERNIE SAXTON / LEN SAMMONS PRODUCTIONS – SYRACUSE, NY – Oswego Speedway Supermodified driving legend Otto Sitterly has entered the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled by VP season finale as a last minute addition to the Syracuse field.
Sitterly, of Canajoharie, NY, will be driving the Jason Simmons Fulton NY-based No. 98T TQ Midget. He replaces Tyler Thompson, who drove the car at the series race in Atlantic City at the end of January, but cannot avoid a new job commitment.
The races are being held at the New York State Fairgrounds Exposition Center on Friday and Saturday nights March 11-12. The BELFOR Property Restoration concrete series event is sponsored by IndyKart Raceway of Rochester, NY.
Sitterly, 53, has never driven a TQ Midget. He has recently announced plans, with his Supermodified car owner John Nicotra to a limited SuperModified schedule this year while possibly trying to defend the ISMA winged SuperModified series title he won for the first time last year.
The popular competitor is a nine-time champion at Oswego Speedway (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019), more than any other driver in Oswego history. He is also a three time Oswego Classic winner. Sitterly will be JSR teammates with Bobby Holmes, the 2021 350 SuperModified Classic winner.
The Sitterly entry follows the recent announcement of Brick, N.J,’s Joey Payne, Jr. and Islip, N.Y.’s Timmy Solomito entries at Syracuse. Payne, a two-time winner of the NAPA KNOW HOW Atlantic City Gambler’s Classic (2004, 2007) will be driving the Webber No. 19. Solomito, a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular, will be behind the wheel of the FX Caprara Cars No. FX1.
The challenge for the 50 TQ Midget teams will come when the field is split into three Friday night Triple Twenties Qualifiers.
The winners get $1,000 thanks to Oswego Speedway and Circle T Enterprises Ready Mix. The top three in each Qualifier also by-passes Saturday night heat races and are locked into the first nine starting spots in the 40 lap A-Main that closes the two day show in Syracuse.
Over 110 entries have already been filed by TQ Midget, Champ Kart, and Slingshot teams.
Also at stake are the 2022 Indoor Series championships. Douglassville, PA dirt Modified driver Tim Buckwalter’s TQ Midget victory at Atlantic City brings him to Syracuse with a slim 15 point lead over TQ Midget specialist Matt Janisch of Nazareth, PA
A New Yorker, however, has won the Indoor Series fueled by VP championship the last three years. That makes Scott Kreutter, who finished fifth in Atlantic City an odds on favorite. Kreutter, a dirt Sprint Car driver enters the event, third in the standings 26 points out of first place.
Kreutter, the owner of IndyKart Raceway located at 17 Miracle Mile Drive in Rochester, N.Y. and the race sponsor, will also have added fans on hand to cheer him on to victory and the title.
Defending series champion Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, NY enter the race fourth in the points after a disappointing AC crash racing for the win, yet he remains still very much in the title hunt.
Friday’s program beings at 7:30 PM with heat races for the TQ Midgets, Slingshots and Champ Karts. The fastest 12 from Friday afternoon qualifying will also make a run for the pole at night in a special knock out time trial session. The program will conclude with the three TQ Midget 20 lap qualifier features.
On Saturday racing begins at 7 PM with qualifying races for the three divisions followed by their feature events.
Ticket holders on both Friday and Saturday will have the opportunity to walk the pits before the action begins to meet drivers and see the race cars up close. Fan Fest hours start on Friday at 6 PM and Saturday at 5:30 PM.