September 16, 2023 – Evans Mills Raceway Park (JEFF ABOLD)

By Carol D. Haynes, ISMA PR; photos by Jim Feeney

Jeff and the Team Abold crew in Evans Mills victory lane
Jeff and the Team Abold crew in Evans Mills victory lane

EVANS MILLS, N.Y. — Jeff Abold utilized lap traffic with a couple of laps to go Saturday night to win the inaugural John Burr Classic 100 on Championship Night for the newly merged International Supermodified Association and Midwest Supermodified Series at Evans Mills Raceway Park.

With two laps remaining, Abold overtook longtime race leader Mike McVetta for the winning pass. The win marked the second of the 2023 ISMA / MSS Supermodified Series for the Baldwinsville, N.Y., driver after he claimed the Hy-Miler Nationals 100 at Sandusky (Ohio) Speedway in late July.

McVetta held on for second with Maine driver Mike Ordway Jr. completing the podium in third. North Carolina’s Trent Stephens finished fourth and Ohio’s Moe Lilje rounded out the top five in the Dan Soule-owned No. 32.

McVetta’s disappointment from losing the race was short-lived. Minutes after the checkered flag waved, the Ohio owner-driver learned he had become the 2023 ISMA / MSS champion.

“Well, it hasn’t sunk in yet really,” McVetta said about the championship. “I grew up around supers but never really thought about being able to do something like this. And never thinking about it happening makes this all special. We build our own cars and equipment and it’s a family thing. We don’t have a budget, we just make do with what we can do. I didn’t really even think about coming home now with a championship and the trophies and talking to all the fans last night. But I think the 3/8th mile tracks are good for supers. You get a lot of confidence.

And racing with Jeff like we did was good because he’s a clean driver and he’s built up a lot of confidence and he’s fun to race with. I’d like to thank my sponsors, Eco Mechanical, Perfection Fabrication, EV Naturals, Gary’s Body Shop, Simpson Race Products, Sweet Manufacturing, and the 4th Turn Crazies. And a big thanks to Evans Mills for having us and all the fans who turned out to watch. That was great. Hope to be back next year.”

McVetta and Abold race for the lead
McVetta and Abold race for the lead

McVetta entered the race second in the standings and 29 points behind owner John Nicotra and driver Otto Sitterly, who were looking for their third consecutive series title. Sitterly’s No. 7 wouldn’t refire on a lap 15 red flag for fluid on the front-straightaway; his machine was pushed to the pit area and he wouldn’t rejoin the race, relegating the Canajoharie, N.Y., driver to a P19 finish and taking him out of the points lead.

Kyle Edwards entered the night third in the standings and only 33 markers back of Sitterly. Edwards ran in the top five throughout the first half of the race but faded in the second half to finish 10th.

The race was led to green by the 22 of McVetta, followed by Kyle Edwards, Mike Bruce, Brandon Bellinger, Dan Conners and some other Oswego regulars

A yellow-then red flew on lap 15 for a car off the track and unfortunately a fluid cleanup of the track, Otto Sitterly, one of the aforementioned challengers for the championship, headed to the pits and out of competition.

18 cars were on the track when the race restarted. And the McVetta 22 was at the point with Trent Stephens, Edwards, Jeff Abold, and Bellinger close behind.

Lap 34 found Dave Shullick Jr headed to the pits and out of the action. On the restart it was McVetta, Stephens, Abold, Edwards, and Mike Ordway Jr trailing.

Lap 35 top five were 22, 19, 05, 11 and 61 as the race resumed. But a battle immediately ensued between McVetta and Stephens, with Edwards, Abold and Bellinger coming on strong.

Lap 38 saw a minor slowdown for Talon Stephens’ 30 in turn 4. He was able to restart.

Lap 40 had McVetta, Stephens, Abold, Edwards and Ordway Jr top five runners. The next lap saw a change when the McVetta took off and began to pull away. He built up a quarter mile on Stephens, Abold, Ordway Jr and Edwards quickly. Mike was catching the tail of the field as the 50 lap was passed. On lap 52 the Jon Lesiecki pulled into the infield to slow things for s brief time.

The halfway point had paste and things began to heat up. McVetta had Abold on his tail while Ordway. Stephens, and Bellinger were right there.

On lap 62 yellow flew when Connors’ 01 spun and some oil was put down. It was time for a refueling.

With the end in sight and 38 laps to go, the battle between 22, 05, 19, 61 and now the 32 of Lilje heated.

Yellow flew on lap 79 for the AJ Lesiecki to really make it interesting as all restarts are double file as by the rules.

For the waning laps, McVetta, Abold and Ordway were out front with Stephens and Lilje watching for time to move in.

But time ran out when the 5 to go and the show between Mike and Jeff ensued with everyone on the edge of their seats as the two sliced and diced through traffic And with 2 laps to go, Abold got the chance and grabbed the lead from McVetta for the lead and win. Third was Ordway, Stephens and Lilje.

Abold said later that it was “great racing with Mike. He’s one of the cleanest drivers and I respect him for that. It was great racing all around. I’ve never been to this track before. We had to do some changing to the car but we’re happy to get the win. Mike had the fast car, for sure.”

The huge trophies McVetta carried to his pit were proof of that. The fans, especially the kids, had photos taken by them as keepsakes.

A shout out goes out to Evans Mills management and workers for having the ISMA/MSS championship and their fine facility and to their sponsors like TJ Toyota (not an unfamiliar name to supermodified racing), Waite Toyota, Ken Kibbles Roofing and NAPA Auto Parts for assisting on bringing the supers to the John Burr Classic for the first time.

Twenty-one cars started the race. A special thanks goes out to the Oswego Speedway track safety crew, which traveled to Evans Mills to help throughout the day, and to Evans Mills Raceway Park staff for hosting a terrific inaugural event.

CANDID PIT PHOTOS HERE

Jim Feeney photos —

John Burr Classic 100 Results

Evans Mills Raceway Park • Evans Mills, N.Y.

John Burr Classic 100 — 1. JEFF ABOLD (05), 2. Mike McVetta (22M), 3. Mike Ordway Jr. (61), 4. Trent Stephens (19), 5. Moe Lilje (32), 6. Brandon Bellinger (02), 7. Mike Lichty (74), 8. Mark Sammut (78), 9. Dave Danzer (52), 10. Kyle Edwards (11E), 11. Dan Connors Jr. (01), 12. Jonathan Lesiecki (14), 13. Joe Gosek (00), 14. Talon Stephens (30), 15. Dave Helliwell (30), 16. AJ Lesiecki (88), 17. Dave Shullick Jr. (95), 18. Lou Levea Sr. (66), 19. Otto Sitterly (7), 20. Mike Bruce (22), 21. Eric Lewis (28).

Jim Valentine-sponsored Fast Qualifier: Mike McVetta (12.001)

Heat Races Top 3 —

Heat 1: 1. Trent Stephens, 2. Dave Helliwell, 3. Dave Shullick Jr.

Heat 2: 1. Kyle Edwards, 2. Dave Danzer, 3. Mike Ordway Jr.

Heat 3: 1. Jeff Abold, 2. Mike Bruce, 3. Otto Sitterly.

Special Awards —

4th Turn Crazies-sponsored Hard Charger: Jeff Abold

NY Racing Mom-sponsored Last Car Running: Joe Gosek

Ryan Phelps Auto Sales-sponsored Halfway Bonus: Mike McVetta

Hoosier Free Right-rear Drawing: Moe Lilje

 

One Response

  • Hi I was at the race at Evans mills race on Saturday evening. I was in the pits were i got a chance to meet Jeff abold as he was getting out of his race car after his win with the great pass on the outside in turn 4 . I congulated him on the win and the pass. Were would I be able to get a t shirt of him . Thanks very much 😀.

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