October 10, 2018 - Now only days away from the 56th Annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, we update our countdown to this Sunday’s ISMA 50 with current second-place owner and driver in the standings, the father-son combination of owner Doug and driver Kyle Edwards.
Kyle, driver of the family-owned No. 11E supermodified, has enjoyed what many would call a breakout year in ISMA competition. After years of picking and choosing which ISMA events he attends, Edwards made the commitment to run full time on the circuit this year and its paid dividends.
The Ohio native who now resides in Bartlett, Tenn., opened the season with arguably the most surprise victory of the year at Delaware Speedway, which marked his first career ISMA triumph. Since the opener, he’s been either first or second in the standings with New Hampshire’s Dan Bowes. The pair, neither of whom has ever challenged for an ISMA championship until this year, will enter Thompson as the only drivers with a realistic chance at the 2018 title.
While Bowes has racked up five top-five finishes compared to Edwards’ three, the Tennessee transplant is the only driver to finish top 10 in all 10 starts. His consistency has him only 16 points behind Bowes in both driver and owner standings. While Bowes will be the favorite entering the World Series, he’ll have to stay on his game, especially come feature time. One small mishap by the No. 25 will open the door for Edwards.
With his track record of top-10 finishes this year, if bad luck strikes Bowes, Edwards will likely have the chance he needs to steal the championship away and not only become a surprise first-time feature winner in 2018, but a surprise first-time ISMA champion, as well.
To add to the interest level in the championship battle, neither Edwards nor Bowes are exactly masters of the ultra-fast five-eighths-mile banked oval. In fact, Edwards has never attended the World Series, and Bowes has plenty of starts there but has never finished in the top five.
While some 20 drivers and teams will be vying for a feature win in the season's final race, fans will need to keep a close watch on Edwards and Bowes as each driver goes for what would be the biggest accomplisment of their supermodified racing careers to date.
ISMA practice and qualifying races will be Saturday, Oct. 13 with the ISMA 50 joining numerous other divisions' main events on Sunday afternoon at Thompson.