ISMA AWARDS BANQUET CONCLUDES SEASON HONORING THE MILLER-PERLEY TEAM AND MORE
By Carol D. Haynes
Sat., Nov. 17: The 33rd ISMA –Wirtgen race season concluded November 17th with their annual awards banquet, held once again at the Turning Stone Casino. The Vic Miller- Chris Perley team, after a second straight record-break season, once again took home the huge ISMA championship trophy where it will remain until November 2008. With 11 feature wins this season and 10 last, Chris Perley, admittedly is not quite sure how it all happened. But, he's certainly happy it did, as are car owner Vic Miller and the entire team.
Speaking from the podium the Rowley, Mass. driver commented on the team's accomplishments. "Every year we start out hoping we can win a couple races and end up close to where we were before. None of us would have expected that we would improve on last year. I couldn't do it without a dedicated crew, a great car owner, and great sponsors who supply us with great equipment. I'm real lucky to be part of this team and to be a part of a great group of guys to race against because obviously I wouldn't be here if there wasn't anybody to race against.
"This has been a blast. I just hope I have a quarter of the year I had this year next year. Obviously everyone is beginning to tough it up and the competition was getting real good towards at the end of this season. I'm sure everybody will start off next year where they left
off and there could be a new guy up here next year."
While Perley and Miller carried out the trophy, new jackets and the lion's share of the top monetary prizes, many others were also honored. The top 20 car owners and then the top 20 drivers were also given plaques. Kathy Harrington, who started the driver point fund,
was presented the Support Award for her fine efforts. Driver point fund sponsors include Perley's Marina Repair, Sweet Manufacturing, Luther's Wayout Grafix, Inkspot, and SUPRS.net.
Brad Lichty, owner of supermodifieds 74, 84, and 94 – the latter two finishing 4th and 5th in the standings, was voted the ISMA Mechanic of the Year, sponsored by Slice n Go Deli.
The Randy Witkum Memorial Rookie of the Year award, sponsored by Shea Concrete, went to a very deserving Mike Ordway Jr., who in his first full ISMA season finished runner-up in points. Ordway Jr., driving the Wentworth-owned 10, picked up a feature win the night after his high
school graduation, a prize many veterans have yet to earn. Ordway Jr. also earned the ISMA Achievement award and to top off his night, NEMRS' Butch Valley Jr. presented Mike with a new Hans device.
Strong, Maine driver Vern Romanoski was another big winner as he received the ISMA Most Improved Driver award, the AJ Michaels Memorial award, the Gater Racing News Most Popular Driver award which included a trophy, a check and a Leaf gift certificate, and a helmet given each year by Seymour Enterprises and determined by the luck of the draw among the top ten drivers in points.
ISMA membership voted the Jeff Holbrook crew the Race Threads Crew of the Year. This team managed to keep three supers (35, 40, 70) in action at most of the ISMA events with two top ten point finishes and a thirteenth for a commendable year. They also picked up two Simpson
prizes as drawn from among the top twenty driver names.
Brian Allegresso who has been a part of ISMA and the supermodified scene for at least three decades, took home the Jim Soule Dedication award while Bud and Barb Skinner received the coveted Jim Shampine award. Barb's "all-time favorite driver" Bentley Warren presented this
The 2008-2009 slate of ISMA officers includes Howie Lane, president; Jerry Kritzman, vice president, Kathy Harrington, secretary and Delores Murphy Treasurer/Membership.
The ISMA Board of Directors is made up of Eddie Bellinger Jr., Ray Chesbro, Jeff Holbrook, Brad Lichty, Vic Miller, Jack Murphy, Brian Allegresso, Mark Sammut and Dan Soule.
In some barnstorming sessions over the two days of Turning Stone, ISMA Board Members did some major revamping of the ISMA point system, which, along with some rule changes, will be published in the new 2008-2010 ISMA-Wirtgen Rulebook due out shortly.
A tentative 2008 schedule was discussed, but not finalized, at the afternoon general membership meeting. The ISMA-Wirtgen Super Series will begin at Waterford Speed bowl and end at Thompson Speedway, as has been tradition. In between tracks hosting ISMA events will be Toledo, Kawartha, Cayuga, Jennerstown, Stafford, Sandusky, M40, Mansfield, Lee All-Star, Delaware, and Berlin. A new possible addition being discussed is Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Maine. The final schedule with be announced as soon as it is complete.
Finally it was announced that Torco Fuels will join the ISMA-Wirtgen family as a sponsor in 2008 providing contributions to the point fund and other incentives.