Dave Shullick, Jr., has been a fixture in the racing scene for more than a decade. Since 1999, when he was named Rookie of the Year at Ohio’s Sandusky Speedway, he has dominated the supermodified racing circuit. In 2013, Dave Shullick, Jr., won the circuit’s premier event, the Hy-Miler Nationals at the Sandusky Speedway.
Located in Sandusky, Ohio, near Lake Erie, the Sandusky Speedway held its first race on May 14, 1950. The facility featured a dirt track and a wooden grandstand that seated 3,500 fans. In 1951, a quarter-mile track was built inside the half-mile track, but there were too many problems associated with the experiment and no further races were run on it after that year. The track was paved in 1955 and the wooden grandstands were replaced with a steel structure. The track was closed for the entire 1970 season, but re-opened in 1971 and has operated continuously ever since.
The Sandusky Speedway is a popular venue for a variety of racing events, including street stocks, hobby stocks, modified and supermodified. It opens its gates for practices about mid-April, with the first race held in early May. The season ends around mid-October, though the speedway opens on New Year’s Day for a special one-day Hangover Race, held in any weather.
On August 24, 2012, the International SuperModified Association (ISMA) held a race at the Sandusky Speedway in Sandusky, Ohio, in memory of two important figures in the sport, Don Reed and Ralph Jaycox. Home field fans had plenty to cheer about as three Ohioans took to the podium following the fifty-lap race. Bob Dawson won first place, and his teammate, Moe Lilje, won third place, while Dave Shullick Jr. placed second.
It was a fitting victory for Dawson, whose car owner’s father was Don Reed. But David Shullick also had an impressive showing, denying Lilje the second-place spot. He thanked the fans as well as his fellow ISMA racers for bringing such impressive cars to the Sandusky Speedway. The competition was fierce throughout the race, and mechanical problems forced several drivers to bow out early, but the winners couldn’t be stopped. Dave Shullick Jr. also won the DB3 Graphics “Hard Charger” award for the race.
Not only does the supermodified car look unlike any other type of racing vehicle, it handles differently than any other car. Dave Shullick Jr. races them in the Midwestern Supermodified Association (MSA) and the International Supermodified Association (ISMA), and finds driving them a unique challenge.
The most distinctive element of the “super” is the wing; it is much larger (24 square feet of surface) and higher than wings on other types of race cars. Like other style wings, the super’s wing enhances traction in turns by tilting up and lifting the back of the car. The wing levels off on the straightaway; air compressors regulate its angle.
The engines are uniquely powerful; their output can easily exceed 800 horsepower. To improve handling, the engine is placed off-center on the left, enabling faster cornering speeds. For the same purpose, each wheel mounts a different size tire, from 18 to 13 inches wide.
Although trial and error has determined some optimum settings, each car is hand built and the rules allow for variations in design. Each supermodified car is uniquely adjustable to the tracks it uses.
— David Shullick Jr. has built a solid career in the MSA, including the Rookie of the Year award, a holder of four track records, and the MSA Points Champion from 2005 to 2007.