Oswego, NY - The International Supermodified 2016 season will get underway at the Oswego Speedway with practice on Friday, May 27 and the Jack Murphy Memorial 50 on May 28. The opener also includes the first of three Shea Concrete Super Series events at Oswego which carries a separate point fund, paying the top five point getters at the end of the three races, on May 28, July 9 and Sept. 3.
The defending champion of the Murphy Memorial is Mark Sammut who won his first-ever career feature at Oswego, and fifth overall, last May. Sammut has a new car “finally completed” as he puts it, and is ready to “compete for the ISMA championship this year.” Sammut, of London, Ontario, finished third in the overall ISMA points last season.
He won’t be alone in that goal as Dave Shullick Jr. is also ready to defend his 2015 inaugural ISMA title. The Shoe II has a “brand new Level Performance engine and is ready to repeat as champion.” The Bodnar-Shullick team shared six feature wins in 2015 during the ISMA season, between Shullick (5) and past Oswego champion, Otto Sitterly, who parked the Bodnar 7 in victory lane at the King of Wings.
Second place finisher in points in 2015 and a former ISMA champ, Mike Lichty, also has his eyes on the prize with two cars in the Craig Reed stable ready to go after “minor updates” over the off-season. The goal is simple, “to win more races and hopefully, the championship.”
And there certainly will be no lack of challengers for the above trio. Just taking a look at the ISMA franchisees to date proves that. There’s Clyde Booth’s potent 61 with second generation driver Mike Ordway Jr. at the helm. Mike’s dad, “Big Mike” drove for Booth many times and finished up the 2015 in that ride, took home fourth at the Star Classic after having been out of the car for sometime. “Little Mike” has some small block super racing under his belt and should certainly make the 61 go! He has 14 small block wins and 1 ISMA feature win (M40) to his credit already.
And, don’t forget Chris Perley (forget the Rowley Rocket?) who sits atop the All-Time ISMA feature win list with 72 wins which includes eight Oswego victories. The Vic Miller-Perley team, while not running a full circuit in 2016, intends to be at Oswego and they have a new Hawk chassis to boot, besides their second car.
How about the strong contingent from Ohio which includes Timmy Jedrzejek, who took the Lane 97 to two victories at the Big O in 2016. He’s back with that ride and they are hunting for wins and a top three in points.
Other franchise cars, as of this writing include the 25 of Dan Bowes, the 39 of Alison Cumens, who wants her first ISMA win to be at Oswego; Dave Duggan, Mike McVetta, Tim Ice, Eddie Witkum Jr., Kyle Edwards, and the Stout team of Trent Stephens and Danny Shirey
One name that has recently been added to the above list is Jimmy Bodnar (son of Jim Bodnar) who has embarked on the project of building his own supermodified, registered as the 76. Race fans will certainly recognize his driver-to- be, listed as none-other- than Liquid Lou Cicconi. While Jimmy admits the car might not be ready for Oswego, that powerful combination should come out of the box shooting for victory when they do show!
And there are so many others that we will hopefully see opening day like former champ Ben Seitz, Rookie of the Year Kevin Jaycox, Eric Shirey, Ryan Coniam, Bob Magner, Mike Netishen, Jim Paller, Dave McKnight, Kevin Shirey, Rob Summers, Jamie Timmons, AJ Lesiecki, Jon McKennedy, Ryan Litt, Logan Rayvals, and Justin Belfiore. The Dan Soule 32 is reportedly almost ready to roll, but no driver has been listed at this time.
Will some of the Oswego regulars partake of the winged-non- winged event? Jeff Abold, Brandon Bellinger, Lou LeVea Jr., Tim Devendorf, Michael Muldoon, or others could possibly.
Whatever the case, the weather is warming up and the racing action should be too for this Memorial Day Port City Super Spectacle. You won’t want to miss 160 laps of amazing racing - Jim Shampine Memorial 75, Jack Murphy Memorial 50 and the Tony White Memorial SBS 35!
Open practice for Novelis Supers, ISMA Supers and PathFinder Bank SBS only. takes place on May 27, with pits opening at 4:30pm, hot laps from 6-10 pm. Grandstand admission is FREE. Pit admission is $25.
Then on Saturday Corr/Pak Merchandising and Shea Concrete Products present the Port City 160 “Super Spectacle” with pits opening at 11:30am, Front Gates open at 1:30pm, ISMA Time Trials at 4pm, Racing begins at 5pm. There is a rain date of May 29.