Oswego, NY (May 9, 2018) – In 2017, the 97 team of Howie Lane and driver Tim Jedrzejek had what might be considered a good year on the ISMA supermodified trail. They finished second in the competitive ISMA point standings, and had one feature win at New London-Waterford Speedbowl. One thing eluded them….an ISMA championship.
Over the twelve-race slate of races scheduled in 2017, the Lane-Jedrzejek team never finished out of the top ten, six of them were top fives – a first, two seconds, one third and two fifths. Not at all a bad record, but not quite enough to put them on top of the leaderboard and bring home a first-time championship.
Looking back to the ISMA season beginning the records show that Timmy Jedrzejek had an admirable season despite the team concentrating their garage and track work on both Lane Racing 97s. Yes, 97s, as the Lane team brought out a new car as a second machine during the year to have as a main car or a backup depending on the track and the situation. One black and one white 97 filled the Lane pit stall each race.
The race for the ISMA title was basically between Jedrzejek and Jon McKennedy, aboard the Pam and Lee Vinal Motorsports team for the first time. While the duo see-sawed back and forth in points during the season, Timmy led by a few markers going into the final battles. The title would come down to the last three big races on the schedule. At the Oswego SuperNationals Jon came home with a 4th while Timmy took a 7th. McKennedy now topped the leaderboard by 7 markers and the group headed for the prestigious Star Classic, which McKennedy had won in 2013.
Star was a nail biter for the two ISMA champ contenders. Jon came home with a second with Timmy J right behind in third. Basically 24 points separated the two going into the ISMA portion of the World Series. The race for the crown was on!
When the dust cleared at the famed Connecticut oval in October, McKennedy was on the podium in third and Jedrzejek finished fifth.
In the Thompson post-race interview, Timmy commented in regard to the season finale, “It's bittersweet. But we finished fifth. That's not a bad day but not as good as we needed to win the championship. We were struggling out there. We got really free during the race. I knew we were in trouble. But you just try and pace it and save the tires as much as you can without loosing a whole bunch of positions, but it didn't work out so well. We'll take a second in points and a fifth today. The car is in one piece. You know we've had a really good year. I have to be proud of that.”
Recently Timmy took a minute from his busy job at Enerco Group Inc. in Ohio where he has worked for 28 years, to reflect on the rapidly approaching 2018 season.
“We’re looking forward to getting back to the track with the 97 team. And we are hoping to build off what we accomplished in 2017 and gain just a few more points on the competition. All of our team members will be returning to help support the car on and off the track. We have a good solid group of guys that have been with the Lane team for many years. I am still the new guy on this team.”
“Starting the season at Monadnock May 19 will be a big challenge to all the ISMA teams. Fortunately we did get to take a few laps there last month to give us an idea of what to expect and it’s a tricky place for sure. After this opener things get back to normal for a few races than it’s off to the new Ontario track. Jukasa looks like a very fine speedway that should be another challenge for all the teams.”
Going into his fourth year with the Lane team, Timmy summed up his goals for the season succinctly, “We are Looking to put the 97 on as many podium finishes with some wins along the way in 2018. I want to give a big thanks to Lane Racing, Howie, Debbie, Tony and Marsha for all the support in fielding this championship contenting team!!!”
Tim, his wife Ronda, son Kasey and daughter Riley, reside in Independence, Ohio. Ronda comes from a racing family with both her dad Ron and brother Jon both having competed or still competing in the supermodifieds. Now, both the Jedrzejek offspring and the Henes offspring are starting their own careers and not surprisingly, have found victory lane very quickly.