Supermodified racer

Alison Sload poses in front of the Nicotra Racing supermodified at Oswego Speedway. Sload last year became the first female driver to win a Novelis Supermodified feature at Oswego.

OSWEGO — Alison Sload, the Pennsylvania driver who became Oswego Speedway’s first female supermodified feature winner in her first non-wing start one year ago, is again looking forward to a full-time effort with Nicotra Racing in 2020.

Sload, a veteran of the ISMA tour, was impressive in her rookie Novelis Supermodified campaign driving the John Nicotra-owned, Otto Sitterly-prepared No. 39 to that memorable feature win, as well as eight top-10 finishes and three top-five finishes. She wound up fifth in the overall track supermodified point 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,” said 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, Pennsylvania, has turned heads at Oswego before, also winning her first career TQ feature on the short track during Classic Weekend of 2011. In June 2015, Sload placed second to Sitterly in the King of Wings feature.

Nothing, however, compares to the attention she received after that first win.

“I welcome the attention that has come from being the only female,” Sload said. “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.”

“I think the spotlight that comes with Alison’s presence is great for supers, but it is also because she can drive,” Nicotra said. “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 to have fun and race consistently strong.

“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.”

Oswego Speedway’s season is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. When officials wave the green flag, Sload will be ready.

“I’m just looking forward to getting back to the racetrack,” she said. “It can’t come soon enough.”

See www.oswegospeedway.com for more details.

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.

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