Sload; a veteran of the ISMA tour, was highly impressive in her rookie Novelis Super campaign driving the John Nicotra owned, Otto Sitterly prepared No. 39 to that memorable feature win, as well as eight top ten and three top five finishes for a fifth place run in the overall standings.
"Looking back on 2019,”I think our first year was successful,” Sload said. “ My biggest goal coming into the season was to just win one race. I knew with Otto and the Nictora crew that it could be in reach, but I never thought it would come the first weekend. From the first practice, everyone treated me like family. I felt very comfortable and it all came together quickly.”
Not only did Sload’s first win come in the first Oswego Supermodified start of her career, but it was her first race in more than a season and a half as well. A graduate of the ATQMRA, Alison made the move to Supermodifieds in 2013 and raced with ISMA part-time through 2017, a stint that brought her a handful of top five runs along with ISMA Rookie of the Year accolades.
“After spending a lot of time touring with ISMA, we took all of the 2018 season off. That allowed me to have a clear head and be ready right from the get go,” added Sload. “I think some believe that win out of the gate was easy because (Michael) Barnes broke, but I did actually hold off Joe (Gosek) for 34 laps, which is not an easy task.”
The former ATQMRA champion from Dunmoore, PA, has of course turned heads at Oswego before, also winning her first career TQ feature on the short track during Classic Weekend of 2011. In June of 2015; Sload thrilled fans again, finishing runner-up to now teammate Sitterly in King of Wings VII. Nothing, however, compares to the attention she received after that first win.
“I welcome the attention that has come from being the only female,” offered Sload. “If it boosts attendance, I think we all win. The day of my first win was unreal, but really I am just another driver going for the next win. While fans have been so fantastic and receptive, I’d like to think that is because I can wheel and not because I’m the only female.”
Car owner John Nicotra echoed Sload’s thoughts, stating, “I think the spotlight that comes with Alison’s presence is great for Supers altogether, but it is also because she can drive. I was so impressed with her professionalism. She wasn’t there to look pretty, be the girl that races, and pose for pictures. She was never satisfied, and that’s why she is successful. We are excited to work with her, Brent Cumens, Buddy Sload, and everyone again. They are all great people.”
Sload’s goals for 2020 are simple; first and foremost, to have fun. “It sounds cheesy, I know,” she said. “But, I want to try to stay consistent, keep my nose clean. That is the key to a better points finish. If I could do that and just focus on learning from Otto some more, we will be in very good shape. Of course, a win or several are on the ‘to-do’ list as well. As for Classic, I would like to do better there. We are capable of a better finish.”
Sload’s sponsors for 2020 include Cumens Motorsports, Di and Dallas Krapf, and Corr-Pak Merchandising. Alison is also selling new shirts for the season, provided by John Brush at Corr-Pak. Tees are on sale for $25, and you can message Alison on Facebook to order.
Although the Speedway’s 70th anniversary season is currently on hold due to the public health pandemic; when officials wave the green flag, Sload will be ready. “I’m just looking forward to getting back to the race track,” she concluded. It can’t come soon enough.”
Those looking for further updates on the Speedway’s 2020 season are asked to log onto the track website at OswegoSpeedway.com, LIKE at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway, or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway and Instagram @OfficialOswegoSpeedway.
As of May 12, 2020, patrons are also reminded that the Speedway office remains closed due to the restrictions, and all camping and ticket sales are halted for the time being. The 2020 event schedule is tentatively scheduled to resume on June 6, pending local and state guidelines.
About Oswego Speedway: Oswego Speedway is a 5/8 mile semi-banked pavement racing oval located off the shores of Lake Ontario in scenic Oswego, NY. The speedway has been a continuously run weekly racing venue since August 1951. The premier open-wheel pavement short track cars in the world, Supermodifieds, run weekly at the Oswego Speedway making it the only weekly Supermodified racing venue in the world. The Small Block Supermodifieds and 350 Supermodifieds accompany the full blown Supers on a weekly Saturday night schedule which runs from May through September. Oswego Speedway is mentioned in racing circles as the “Indy of the East,” as no fewer than a dozen past and present competitors have competed at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway including Mario Andretti, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, and former International Classic Champions Bentley Warren, Joe Gosek, and Davey Hamilton.