Delaware, Ontario (May 15, 2015) -- At ISMA's opener of the season, Ohio's Dave Shullick Jr. turned up the heat on his Jim Bodnar-built 95 super nicknamed “Fire” Friday night at Delaware Speedway to make a torrid last lap pass of race leader Jeff Locke. Shullick and Locke both had past Delaware wins in their resumes and they put on a almost side-by side duel to the finish each looking for another victory. For the last 15 laps of the 75 lapper they had the fans on the edge of their seats as they clocked high 15 to low 16 second laps on the Canadian half-mile. As the white flag unfurled over the 95 and 37, Shullick made his move and edged by Locke in turn one heading for victory. It was both a joyful and a poignant win for the Amherst driver as he dedicated the win to two very special people.
“The car was really good. It never faded at all. It was as good on lap one as it was at the end. It's just a tough place to pass. There's no place to do it. I had some really good runs off four. I was getting around a lot of people there. I was almost thinking of bonsai'ing Jeff in three a couple times but I really didn't want to crash us both. On the last lap, I saw the white flag and I was underneath him pretty decent. I knew I was going to drive it in there. I made a run going into turn one and it stuck and he gave me plenty of room. I appreciate that.
“This race I'd like to dedicate to two people. In November I lost my mom...it was really emotional. She was a big part of all this racing group. We're missing her a lot. Then in January we lost CoCo Adams, who was a friend and on our crew. This race is for both of them.
“It was my eleventh year anniversary today. My wife is home in Ohio. She didn't make the trip. Thanks to her for letting me come race today. Happy anniversary!”
New Hampshire's Jeff Locke, who took over the lead from Canadian Mark Sammut on lap 52, had won his career-first ISMA victory at Delaware and was looking for a second win there. It was close, but no cigar.
“I had a good run; finished in second. We did good. Congratulations to Dave Shullick. They deserved it. They had a pretty good car. It was a great run for them. I'll definitely take a second for the first race of the season. It's something to build on and we'll go get them next week at Oswego.
“I have to thank everybody who works on this thing. They gave me a good car to run today. Thanks especially to Brian Allegresso, Doc Hathaway and Jerry Martel. These guys bust their butts and I really appreciate it.”
2014 ISMA champ and winner of the past two consecutive events at Delaware settled for a third place finish. Said Ben after the race, “The car was good. We had a solid third place finish. And I'd like to thank my sponsors, Sam Lorusso and his family, and my car owner Dickie Bien. He gave us a good car tonight. We had some car issues that kind of slowed us up towards the end. I think we would have been right in contention if some parts hadn't failed. It was a good night. I'm happy to come out on the first race of the season with a third. We can go on to Oswego and keep fighting.”
Mark Sammut jumped to an early lead from his outside front row spot and looked to be the man to beat as he quickly built up a lead over Locke, Seitz, Eddie Witkum Jr., Jon McKennedy and Rob Summers as the race began to sort out.
A long green stretch allowed Sammut to build a margin over Locke, Seitz, Witkum, McKennedy in the Booth 61, Summers, Mike Lichty, Chris Perley and Lou Cicconi, driving the Lane 97.
By the lap 20 mark, the leaders were hitting slower traffic but Sammut prevailed. On lap 28, things came to a halt when the yellow flew, first for a visible fire under the 48 of Rich Reid and also for a spin by Rob Summers as Mike McVetta and Tim Ice pitted during the confusion.
Sammut took up where he left off on the restart but Locke, Seitz, Lichty and Shullick Jr., who had started 12th, were now within firing distance. But Sammut was able to pull away as the battle behind took the pressure off for the time being.
On lap 50, a few positions had changed behind Sammut, with Locke, Seitz, now Shullick, Lichty, McKennedy, Perley, and Ryan Litt still pursuing the 78 while guarding their current spots.
Suddenly, on lap 52, the leader came off turn 4 meeting some lap cars. Sammut brushed with one, the 21 of Witkum and as the two struggled to keep their cars going straight, Locke seized the opportunity and jumped by on the outside to take the lead. No yellow flew and Sammut recovered to keep second while Shullick gained third. Seitz, Lichty, McKennedy and Perley were top seven.
It was now Locke building up a healthy lead on a track with a declining field as cars dropped by the wayside. But it was not long before the last yellow of the race came on lap 58 when Dave McKnight and Rob Summers tangled in between turns one and two. Both were hooked out of the race.
On the restart, Locke led, but Shullick put “Fire” past Sammut and began his pursuit of Locke.
The race became a two-car battle out front as a few car lengths behind Seitz held off Sammut, Lichty, McKennedy, Litt and Perley. Danny Shirey in the Stout 49, Alison Cumens and Witkum were the only other cars on track, but not on the same lap.
It was a constant onslaught by Shullick on the outside of Locke, but lap after lap, Locke reciprocated. Seitz, in third, moved slightly away from his challengers as the laps wore down. Cumens left the race when a puff of smoke emitted from her 39. She would finish 10th.
Still flying around the track, Locke and Shullick continued their exciting wheel to wheel racing, until that last lap when Shullick finally made a pass attempt stick.
Shullick crossed under the checkers leading only the most important lap – the last one. Locke, Seitz, Sammut and Lichty finished top five.
Sammut described his run, “We were lucky we had a great starting spot. So that helped a whole bunch especially on a track like this. It's tough to pass. At the beginning of the race I was trying not to use the car up. I was cruising around really. We got into lapped traffic and I saw the 37's front bumper a couple times so I stepped it up a little bit. As the race went on the car seemed to be getting better. Then I got into the 21 a little bit. It wasn't anybody's fault. Just one of those things. That let Locke get around the outside of me. I'm to blame as much as anybody. That cost us the lead. Then we were running along pretty good but the last restart killed us. The tires were done after that. The car never did really come back to what it was. It took at last five laps to get going again. Even if we'd been leading on the last restart, I don't think we would have been able to hang onto it. Hey, it was a good run; a good way to start the season. The car's in one piece. Compared to a couple nights we had last year, the car ran really well.”
Fifth place finisher Mike Lichty commented later, “ We were good at the beginning. We started ninth and we were up to fourth around lap 30. We weren't pushing the car too hard. The car was just very, very good. Then after the first caution, it just went real, real loose. We just had to fight the race track and the car after that. It looked like a lot of people had problems, other than the front two and Ben obviously had it figured out. Hey, we'll take it. This isn't my best race track and the car's in one piece. I'm extremely looking to Oswego!”
Pit Notes: Trent Stephens had something break in the rear of the Stout 19 in practice. The crew took the part to the Sammut garage to weld it and came back just in time to run the feature. Unfortunately, Trent only got in two laps before exiting... Lou Cicconi had a fuel like go in the 9 and followed Stephens to the pits 8 laps later...The 48 driven by Rich Reid had a broken cylinder head in the Bill Denny-owned machine...Tim Ice's 65 pulled in 17 laps shy of race end with a leaking problem.. The 46 of Coniam, the 39 of Cumens and the 5 of Kevin Jaycox Jr. all had mechanical ills keeping them from finishing. The next ISMA event is the Jack Murphy Memorial at Oswego on May 23...
RACE SUMMARY Delaware Speedway Harvey Lennox Memorial Series I. May 15, 2015
Heat 1: Mark Sammut, Ben Seitz, Lou Cicconi, Dave McKnight, Alison Cumens (Stephens and BJ MacDonald dns) Heat 2: Rob Summers, Jon McKennedy, Dave Shullick Jr., Mike Lichty, Tim Ice, Kevin Jaycox Heat 3: Jeff Locke, Eddie Witkum Jr., Chris Perley, Ryan Coniam, Danny Shirey, Rich Reid, Ryan Litt
Delaware Feature (75): 1. Dave Shullick Jr. (95), 2. Jeff Locke (37), 3. Ben Seitz (17), 4. Mark Sammut (78), 5. Mike Lichty (84), 6. Jon McKennedy (61), 7. Chris Perley (11), 8. Ryan Litt (88), 9. Eddie Witkum Jr. (21), 10. Alison Cumens (39), 11. Danny Shirey (49), 12. Tim Ice (65), 13. Dave McKnight (70), 14. Rob Summers (74), 15. Ryan Coniam (46), 16. Kevin Jaycox, Jr. (5), 17. Mike McVetta (22), 18. Rich Reid (48), 19. Lou Cicconi Jr (97), 20. Trent Stephens (19)
Lap Leaders: Mark Sammut (1-51), Jeff Locke (52-74), Dave Shullick Jr. (75)
ISMA HARD CHARGER AWARD, sponsored by Dale, Greg and the Snowball Gang” - Dave Shullick Jr (95)
LAST CAR RUNNING AWARD sponsored by “ReSourse - Alternative Energy Solutions” - Eddie Witkum Jr. (21)
RADICAL RACE GEAR ISMA LAP LEADER AWARD: Mark Sammut
10TH PLACE FINISHER, in memory of Harvey Lennox #10 - $182 for his 182 wins - Alison Cumens
Oswego, NY (May 23, 2015) -- Just over a week ago, Canadian Mark Sammut had a good chance of winning the ISMA opener at Delaware, Ontario. After leading more than half the race, his win didn't materialize and he settled for a fourth place. At Oswego Speedway Saturday night, Sammut moved into second place with less than ten laps to go in the Irish Jack Murphy Memorial 50 and deftly pursued fellow Canadian for the win. On the last turn of the last lap, Sammut pulled alongside Lichty and just edged the 84 out for the victory as they crossed the finish line. The ISMA portion of the Super Spectacle’ presented by Shea Concrete and Corr/Pak Merchandising win was worth $6000 to the London, Ontario, and his first-ever Oswego victory. It was a fifth overall career ISMA victory.
Said Sammut after his crowd-pleasing win, “This is unbelievable. We had one that kind of got away from us last week. I made a bit of a mistake and it probably cost us the race. I am lucky to be able to redeem myself tonight. I couldn't get the 21 on the bottom and I didn't have a lot on the top. Then Mike got by us both on the top and I said to myself I'll have to get by him up there. By that time Mike had a fair distance on me so I just hung on and tried to move up.
“We came up on McKnight there near the end and unlike some other lap cars, Dave showed some respect, gave us room and got out of the way. Mike and I went by on the outside. Then Mike and I came into turn three and I said if I'm going to beat him to the line I have to go in deeper then he does on the outside and put him on the bottom. Lucky it worked out and I held it. We beat him to the line but it must have been by inches. I don't we were very far apart.”
Mike Lichty, who had set a new track record in ISMA time trials with a torrid 14.829 lap, thought he might have the win wrapped up too, but for Sammut's last lap charge.
“We were great all day. I couldn't believe how quick the guys were running up front I figured they were going to fade a little and burn their stuff up. I got an opportunity to pass Mark around lap 35 and then got Eddie. The nI just got totally snookered. I opened a bit of a lead from what I heard and I was just cruising. I had no idea he was coming. I was getting to pass a lap car there with about five laps to go. I kept getting closer and closer, kind of cruising, thinking no one was behind me. I played it cool not quite sure how I was going around McKnight. I should have picked the pace up and got by him. Looking back on it now if I had passed Dave then, the end might have been different. Hey you live and learn. I'm happy we are on the podium and congrats for Mark.”
Dave Shullick Jr., who saw his hold on the Oswego winged track record, fall to Lichty earlier, was not displeased with his third place. “It was a pretty good run from fifteenth place. The car was a little loose. We had a right rear tire problem tonight. But you'll have those. When you're running for points and you can salvage a good run on a not perfect night, it means a lot.”
Alison Cumens, who had just won her first-ever supermodified checkered flag in her heat, sat on the pole alongside Eddie Witkum Jr. at the start of the Irish Jack Murphy Memorial 50 with Witkum taking the lead on the green. Moving quickly up to take second was Jeff Locke. Lichty, Sammut and Ben Seitz also moved by Cumens and the race was on.
By lap ten Locke was glued to Witkum as the duo had pulled away from the field and were encountering slower tail-end traffic. Behind them a good distance back, Lichty, Sammut, Seitz, Cumens, Jon McKennedy, Kyle Edwards, Ryan Coniam and Shullick ran top ten with Coniam exiting the race shortly thereafter.
The lead duo of Witkum and Locke maneuvered through traffic as the next three swapped positions with Sammut moving up to third, trailed by Seitz and Lichty now fourth and fifth.
By lap 20, the front runners of Witkum, Locke, Sammut, then Seitz, Lichty and Cumens spread out a bit in the clean air with Louie Cicconi and Trent Stephens finding mechanicals ending their race early during this green flag run.
On lap 22, the first of only two yellows in the fast-paced race, dropped for Ben Seitz as he contacted a slower car and crashed his 17. The car was flat bedded in and the 2014 ISMA champ was done for the day. Jim Paller, McKnight, Kevin Jaycox Jr., and Keith Gilliam went pitside during the yellow with McKnight and Paller returning to the fray.
The restart saw Witkum in command once again with Sammut now second, having moved by Locke just prior to the slowdown. Lichty, McKennedy, Cumens, Shullick and Edwards were behind as Danny Shirey, Rob Summers and Chris Perley were trying to gain spots. Perley, who had a driveshaft go in the heats, had started 23rd and was struggling to get into the top ten
With twenty to go, the top five of Witkum, Sammut, Lichty, Locke and McKennedy were pulling away from the second half of the top ten.
The top three battle became intense as the race wore down. Sammut was tacked to Witkum as Lichty was likewise on Sammut's rear end, as Locke and McKennedy held their own duel, fending off Shullick Jr.
The second and final yellow fell on lap 34 when Mike McVetta's 22 stopped in between 3 and 4 with an oil leak.
Green fell and the last 15 laps of the race finished up the story as the fans watched the front runners dice their way home. On the restart, Lichty tried to get under Sammut as Witkum held a precarious lead. Shullick, in turn used the opportunity to get my Locke as Lichty and Sammut ran side by in front.
In a one lap swoop, Lichty gained the lead as Witkum fell to Sammut's pressure. Lichty wasted no time taking off from the second and third place fight as Shullick, Locke, McKennedy, Edwards, Cumens, Summers, Danny Shirey, Perley and Tim Ice were still racing hard behind.
On lap 42, Sammut put Witkum back to third and it was a Canadian fight to the finish. As described by Lichty, he really wasn't aware that Sammut was sneaking up on him for several laps but on lap 48, Sammut had gotten into firing range and in that last lap, he found a way around as the two cars came side by side off four as the checkered was about to fly. According to the clocks, Lichty was .058 seconds behind the 78 as they crossed the line to thunderous applause. Shullick, Witkum and Locke finished up top ten.
Witkum described his race, “Well we led for 36 laps. That was all good. Once the fuel load went away, the car started getting tight. I knew those guys would be coming. We just hung on for as long as we could and ended up fourth. We'll take it especially after the day we had. It was just a real tight car. We'll make some changes. We'll get it. I have to thank Bobby Harrington and Lee Vinal, my car owners, Pam and Lee, my Uncle Bob – these guys work non -stop, all because of my fault...”
Locke was happy with a good finish. “Another top five. This is a really good start to the year. The car started off loose, but started to get tight toward the end. I have to thank all these guys. They work so hard, every week. Thanks to my Dad, Brian Allegresso, Jerry Martel, Doc – all these guy work hard and I'm really honored to drive this car. It's a lot of fun.”
ISMA returns to Oswego for their next event on June 13.
ISMA EVENT #2 PORT CITY 160 SPECTACULAR
Oswego Speedway, May 23, 2015
Sponsored by Shea Concrete and Corr/Pak Merchandising
Added Bonus Feature Purse by Raeco Metals, Mike Lichty, owner
(Bonus monies added to 1st thru 5th place finishers)
Heat 1: Danny Shirey, Jon McKennedy, Justin Belfiore, Ryan Coniam, Dan Bowes, Rob Summers, Dave McKnight, Lou Cicconi, Jr., Howard Page
Heat 2: Alison Cumens, Ben Seitz, Mike McVetta, Eddie Witkum Jr, Trent Stephens, Jamie Timmons, Keith Gilliam, Chris Perley
Heat 3: Jeff Locke, Kyle Edwards, Mike Lichty, Mark Sammut, Dave Shullick Jr, Tim Ice, Jim Paller, Kevin Jaycox Jr
DNS: Otto Sitterly (7)
Irish Jack Murphy Memorial 50: 1. Mark Sammut (78), 2. Mike Lichty (84), 3. Dave Shullick Jr. (95), 4. Eddie Witkum Jr. (21), 5. Jeff Locke (37), 6. Jon McKennedy (61), 7. Kyle Edwards (1), 8. Alison Cumens (39), 9. Danny Shirey (49), 10. Chris Perley (11), 11. Tim Ice (65), 12. Justin Belfiore (98), 13. Jamie Timmons (27), 14. Jim Paller (64), 15. Dave McKnight (70), 16. Rob Summers (74), 17. Dan Bowes (25), 18. Mike McVetta (22), 19. Howard Page (18), 20. Ben Seitz (17), 21. Keith Gilliam (87), 22. Kevin Jaycox Jr. (5), 23. Lou Cicconi Jr. (97), 24. Trent Stephens (19), 25. Ryan Coniam (46)
Lap leaders: Eddie Wikum Jr. (1-36), Mike Lichty (37-49), Mark Sammut (50)
Caution Laps Used: 25
Mays Polynesian Motel and Mini Mart Fast Time Trialer: Mike Lichty – New track record 14.829
Dave Shullick Jr., second fast, 14.857 (only two cars in 14 second bracket)
ISMA Hard Charger: In Memory of Irish Jack Murphy: Dave Shullick Jr.
Last Car Running, sponsored by Dr Mom says School is Cool (Marsha Gadzera): Dave McKnight
Lorain, OH (June 26, 2015) -- Thirty-one years ago the International SuperModified Association ran their first race event at Lorain County Speedway. The 22 of Doug Saunier of Navarre, OH was the winner of the 1984 100-lapper. Fast forward to 2015 when ISMA returned to Lorain County and saw young NASA engineer Michael McVetta win the Friday night 50-lapper, driving his 22 to a career-first victory. McVetta, ironically just happens to be Saunier's son-in-law. It was all the more rewarding for McVetta who had crashed heavily at Oswego Speedway on June 13 and was nursing an injured finger from the incident. Unfortunately, McVetta also saw is first victory marred at race end when a broken watts link sent him into the first turn with a damaged car.
Getting a lift to victory lane as his car went on the hook, McVetta was all smiles despite the fact he faced another major repair session, as he spoke, “This is unbelievable. I want to thank all those who stepped up and helped us get back on track. There are so many to thank. Acme Racing gave us a big hand and gave us a rear end. Euphoria Vapor came over one night at ten o'clock and helped us set up the car. The Fourth Turn Crazies; they are always there for us. I can't say enough about Dave Ennis and his family. They do everything for us. Thanks to Ridgeway photos. Thanks to my family, my sponsors and friends. I can't thank them all enough. I couldn't do this without them.”
Rob Summers, who might have garnered a win had things played out differently said, “I thought I had it for sure there. The twenty-two did what he had to do. He kind of put me toward the wall one time and toward the infield another. I could have probably put my foot into it but we would have probably had two wrecked race cars. For us to get a second place is good because the beginning of this year has been tough for us. I'm happy for the whole team.”
Dave Shullick Jr., who started back in fourteenth commented, “I just started a long way back. I had a good car. I learned a few things tonight about where the track wants us to run. If we race tomorrow, we'll be pretty good.”
Despite some ominous weather forecasts for the weekend, Lorain County Speedway was able to finish their planned activities just prior to a light rain beginning to fall.
Twenty-five ISMA supermodified competitors filled the pits hoping for the chance to finish at least the first of the two-days of racing scheduled. Time trials were won off without a hitch as Canadian Mike Lichty broke the existing Lorain track record with a 11.798 lap. Dave Shullick Jr and Rob Summers were also under the previous record of 11.858 followed by Otto Sitterly and Timmy Jedrzejek in the top five trialers.
Danny Bowes, McVetta and Danny Shirey won the qualifiers as the program moved by at a rapid, uninterrupted clip with rain showers looming not far away.
Just prior to the start of the ISMA feature Dave Shullick Sr was honored as the winningest driver in Lorain's history with the dedication of the new Clubhouse on the backstretch named after him. Saunier was also interviewed as the last ISMA winner at the speedway.
The 50-lap ISMA event hit the track running just after 9 pm with McVetta and Dave McKnight leading the 25-car field to green. McVetta immediately took control and never really was threatened despite several skirmishes that slowed the event with yellow flags.
Jeff Locke brought out the first flag on lap 3 and was the first race casualty followed by Rich Reid in the 48 and Charlie Schultz in the 71.
McVetta took off on the restart trailed by Trent Stepthens, McKnight, Rob Summers, Jon McKennedy, Ben Seitz and Dave Shullick Jr.
Yellow fell again in lap 13 when Moe Lilje, driving the Vic Miller 11, came around in turn two. Moe took the 11 pit side and out of the race. Tim Ice was also called in at this juncture for leaking fluids and he too, declared ofn.
On the green, the yellow and red 22 gunned it and pulled away from Stephens, McKnight, Summers, McKennedy, Shirey, Shullick, Seitz and Timmy Jedrzejek, the Oswego winner on June 13.
McVetta put the 5 of Kevin Jaycox Jr. down a lap on the 22nd circuit and gained some real estate and Stephens and the others battled by the 5 as the halfway mark approached and passed.
On lap 29, the 39 of Alison Cumens, who had also met with the foam blocks at Oswego on June 13, spun trying to get by the 5. Just as the green flew, Shirey was nudged out of sixth place and into the infield.
McVetta, after each yellow was able to pull away from Trent Stephens as McKnight held off a charging duo of Summers and Shullick. Summers moved into third on lap 33. One lap later Alison Cumens again flew the yellow in turn four and restarted at the tail of the field.
Once more McVetta was able to take control pursued by Stephens, Summers, McKnight, Shullick, McKennedy, Otto Sitterly, Seitz, Jedrzejek and Mike Lichty.
The final slow down came on lap 36 when the 77 of AJ Lesiecki drove into the infield and back out, still seeing the flag unfurled from the starter.
With McVetta seeing a career-first victory just 13 laps ahead, he once again gave it his all as Summers and Shullick hounded Stephens who still held second. On lap 38 Summers made his move around Stephens as Shullick also came by for third.
With ten to go, Summers was definitely closing on the 22 with Shullick tacked right on his rear. McVetta now was holding on for dear life as the five to go was given and the 5 of Jaycox was about to create an obstacle for the 22 as Summers and Shullick were applying all the pressure they could muster. Stephens lost fourth to Shullick's teammate Otto Sitterly shortly thereafter. McKennedy also moved by the 19 in the waning laps.
With two to go, the 22, 74 and 95 were nose to tail, McVetta was able to gain a couple feet as the white flag well. As the checkers fell for McVetta, the crowd gave its approval at the newest winner, but the drama wasn't over quite yet. McVetta's 22 was stopped just off turn one as flames erupted from the car. He was out of the car in an instant and quickly rolled to extinguish any possible harm.
Summers and Shullick finished second and third with Sitterly and McKennedy rounding out the top five.
Sitterly, coming off two non-winged wins at Oswego the previous week, one a dead heat, had this to say about his fourth place. “It wasn't too bad of a run. The car was pretty tight. It got a little bit better when we were in an open track, especially if I was behind other cars. It was just pretty tight most of the race. It was a really tough place to pass. I talked to Dave (Shullick Sr) earlier in the night and he sort of told me a couple lines to run. I tried a couple of things he told me. And, more than anything some of the guys just didn't come off the bottom. Once DJ went around and showed me the outside, I learned from what he did and was able to make a few passes on the outside.”
Jon McKennedy was not displeased with fifth. “We had a decent day. We pushed most of the race so it was tough to maneuver but overall it was a good day. It's a tough little place. The car has to be turning just right to be able to pass. We're in one piece and have a top five. Hopefully we'll get it in tomorrow.”
ISMA event #5 Lorain County Speedway, June 26, 2015 Time Trials – new track record set by Mike Lichty 11.798
Heat 1: Dan Bowes, Charlie Shultz, Ben Seitz, Rob Summers, Ed Witkum, Alison Cumens, Moe Lilje, Jon Henes
Heat 2: Mike McVetta, Jon McKennedy, Timmy Jedrzejek, Dave McKnight, Dave Shullick Jr., Ryan Coniam, Tim Ice, Jeff Locke
Heat 3: Danny Shirey, Trent Stephens, Otto Sitterly, Mike Lichty, Jim Paler, Mark Sammut, AL Lesiecki, Kevin Jaycox
Dave and Buster's Summercade ISMA 50: 1. Michael McVetta (22), 2. Rob Summers (74), 3. Dave Shullick Jr. (95), 4. Otto Sitterly (7), 5. Jon McKennedy (61), 6. Trent Stephens (19), 7. Ben Seitz (17), 8. Eddie Witkum (21), 9. Timmy Jedrzejek (97), 10. Mike Lichty (84), 11. Ryan Coniam (46), 12. Danny Shirey (49), 13. Mark Sammut (78), 14. Dan Bowes (25), 15. Jim Paller (64), 16. AJ Lesiecki (77), 17. Alison Cumens (39), 18. Kevin Jaycox Jr. (5), 19. Dave McKnight (70), 20. Jon Henes (36), 21. Tim Ice (65), 22. Moe Lilje (11), 23. Jeff Locke (37), 24. Rich Reid (48), 25. Charlie Schultz (71).
51 Caution laps were run
ISMA Free Bike Giveaway was sponsored by Reed's Salvage of Grafton, OH
Hard Charger Award, sponsored by the 4th Turn Crazies – Dave Shullick Jr.
Radical Race Gear ISMA Lap Leader – Michael McVetta
Oswego NY (June 13, 2015) – Last Thursday, Timmy Jedrzejek and his family were enjoying a vacation in North Carolina. A phone call from Howie Lane, sent them packing up and heading, not to their Ohio home, but to Oswego Speedway to drive the Lane 97 at the Saturday ISMA show. Timmy J jumped behind the wheel of the car for the first time in practice, felt comfortable and later that night led all 50 of the feature laps to his his career-fifth at Oswego Speedway and his seventh overall in ISMA. The $6000 win came with his fourth car owner, having previously won driving for Dave May, Craig Reed, Danny Soule and now Lane. The win was not a cake walk by any means for Jedrzejek as he was pressured by Mike Lichty for almost the entire distance.
Timmy replayed his whirlwind couple of days. “It's been quite the special week. I was on vacation and Howie called. We cut our vacation and came to Oswego and that's not a bad deal. My wife and kids were just as excited to be here as they were on vacation. But I can't be grateful enough for Howie and the team. The package they gave me today was just amazing. We had a little bit of a fuel problem earlier and to get the car to fire. That was our only hiccup all day long. We made some adjustments just before the feature. Howie, Rich, and myself put our heads together and we felt we had a pretty good car. The car was comfortable to drive. Definitely the starting position helped. I was able to get the lead off four at the start. And I was able to set sail and get into the rhythm and then the traffic came.”
Lady luck smiled on Jedrzejek and frowned a little on Mike Lichty just prior to the midway mark. Lichty was able to take away the lead in traffic but a yellow flag negated the pass.
“This car was not real comfortable in lap traffic. It showed. Mikey got by me. I thought all right let's just stay with him and then caution came out. I said oh, thank you. I pulled up next to Mikey and put my hands up and said sorry buddy and I took the spot back.
“Then obviously I knew he was there and I knew he was strong, so that gave me the desire and will I guess to drive even harder. I made some adjustments to the car under that caution which helped when I got in traffic again. It wasn't still great but it helped me enough to stay ahead of Mikey. Those last six laps when the caution came out I just said okay it's going to be a dog fight for six laps. There is no lap traffic in the way. I gotta just drive. And, he was there, he was there. And he was there. I was just giving it everything I had. When you can come here, especially recently and run well enough to keep ahead of Mikey and DJ, you know you've accomplished something. I'm extremely proud of this 97 team. To be honest I just felt comfortable for the first time ever in the car. I said after the second practice, hey I can drive this car. It was a perfect day. The starting spot helped out a bunch but we still had a great car for the feature. We put it up front and kept it there. That's more than I can ask for?
For Lichty it was the second straight ISMA event where he could have easily been the winner. He tried everything he could and just came up one spot short.
“I drove my balls off. I'm definitely disappointed that we didn't win but I'm not disappointed in the way we ran. It wouldn't matter if we finished first or third. The battle with Timmy was fun... as a racer it was fun. I just have to thank Reed's Salvage, Craig, Carol, and Deanna for sponsoring this deal, Eddie Shea, Oswego Speedway and ISMA. I have a lot of respect for Timmy. I always have. It showed tonight the way we can run one another and how hard of a driver he really is. I'm just happy to race him. It was nice to put a good race on like that for the fans. It was fun.”
While the show once more was concentrated on the front two spots much of the time, tenth place starter Dave Shullick Jr. once again finished on the podium, moving up more spots than the lead duo to get to his third place.
“It's a lot of work starting from tenth and coming up to third. It was a good race and a good finish. We are in one piece. Now we got the points lead so it's good. I just wish we would have started a little further forward. We'd have been right there with those guys. But by the time I got there we were all used up. I had no right rear. It was still a good run. I'm happy for Timmy. To put that deal together at the last minute and to come here, start up front and run good is something. In past years I would have been upset that those guys started up front and we had to start in the back and work to get up there. The big picture is the points now. And, that's what we're going for. These podium finishes are what's going to get it done. If we can keep this up we'll be fine.”
A strong field of 29 winged supers was shortened by one before qualifying began when Alison Cumens had something break in the rear of her 39, sending her hard into the foam. She was done for the night.
A similar scenario occurred in the third heat when Mike McVetta's 22 broke and his night ended in the foam in turn three. The strangest incident came at the end of the first heat when Otto Sitterly's wing on the Nicotra 7 tagged the back cable of a tow truck as Otto came into victory lane after his win. The car was deemed unfixable and he would not run in the feature.
With the field pared down by three, twenty-six cars were led to the feature green by Rob Summers and Timmy Jedrzejek with Jedrzejek getting a good run off four to take the lead. And, he immediately took off leaving Summers to hold off Lichty and the pack behind. The 97 was tracked down slowly by Lichty as Ryan Coniam, Jeff Locke, Summers, Jon McKennedy and Chris Perley were grouped behind.
Lap traffic loomed ahead of Jedrzejek by the lap 10 mark and Lichty used it to close up the gap.
The first yellow came on lap 14 when the 70 of Dave McKnight slowed and stopped in turn one. He would be pushed into the pits, not to return.
Lichty made an outside attempt at the Jedrzejek mount on the restart but Timmy was able to hold onto the lead but he was never able to shake off the 84 who just kept coming from all sides. The lead pair pulled away from third place runner Coniam with Locke, Shullick, Summers, Perley, McKennedy, Mark Sammut and Ben Seitz dicing for position behind.
Lap 23 found the 97 and 84 encountering some slower cars and this time Lichty was able to make one of his persistent pass attempts stick and he took the lead, but only momentarily. The yellow flag fell to make the pass for naught.
The restart saw Timmy J holding on to his lead for dear life as Lichty was pounding on the door behind. Coniam remained in third with Locke, Shullick, Perley, Summers, McKennedy, Sammut, Seitz, Dave Danzer, Trent Stevens and more not giving up on attempts to move forward. There were still a good number of strong cars in contention.
The crossed flags at the 25 -lap mark intensified as the 97-84 war up front as green took command. The pair came up on one after another of slower cars and there was no giving up by either of the frontrunners as the race continued at a rapid pace.
With fifteen to go it was Jedrzejek, Lichty, Coniam, Shullick, Locke, Perley, Sammut and Summers with McKennedy and Seitz still in the mix with a good amount of cars still on the track.
Lichty was trying every which way to take the lead and with less than ten to go, he had a couple more chances with those lap cars playing a prominent role.
And, then came the last yellow on lap 44 when the 21 of Eddie Witkum Jr. brought out the flag and went into the pits to end his night. During the ensuing cleanup, Rob Summers pulled the 74 out of tenth and came into the pits steaming. He too was done.
The aforementioned dog fight to the end began when the race resumed. No lap cars were in the way for the leaders when the green dropped. It was just Lichty trying every trick in the book to get by the 97... first on the outside, then on the inside off every turn that remained with the crowd screaming at every move.
As the checkered dropped on lap 50, Timmy J had made it through, leading all but that one lap that didn't count. Dave Shullick had taken over from Coniam in those last ten laps to finish third with Coniam and Locke rounding out the top five. The 97 crew was definitely elated with their first-time driver who made it three different winners in the the three ISMA shows to date.
For Coniam it was his best finish in a while after suffering a rash of dnfs. He was satisfied with fourth. “We were decent and it was nice to finish for the first time in however long it's been. The car was crazy, crazy loose but out on our own we could run the top three. Then we got into lap traffic and we just so one dimensional that we slid back and the 95 got us. But I think we a third or fourth place race car and that's where we finished. It's nice to be in one piece and we'll be ready for the next race.”
Locke, celebrating his birthday, was content with fifth. “Another fifth place. We're working on it We tried a different set up here. These guys are working really hard and I hate to not get up there, but the competition with these supermodifieds and the wings, you have some of the best race car drivers out here. Really I should be happy with a fifth but I know we can do better. I know we need to get better. And, we will. I have to thank everybody for coming out here to help me. My dad gives us everything we need to run well. Brian Allegresso, Doc Hathaway and Jerry Martel work their butts off and I can't thank them enough.”
ISMA EVENT #3 ROUND 2 OF THE SHEA STEEL PALACE SUPER SERIES Time trials. Fast time Mike Lichty 14.913. ($50 from May's Polynesian Motel & Mini Mart)
Heat 1: Otto Sitterly, Ryan Coniam, Mark Sammut, Ben Seitz, Trent Stephens, Bob Bond, Dan Bowes, Bob Magner, Kevin Jaycox Jr., AJ Bernys
Heat 2: Dave Danzer, Dave Shullick, Rob Summers, Chris Perley, Eddie Witkum Jr., Dave McKnight, Justin Belfiore, Charlie Schultz, Howard Page
Heat 3: Jeff Locke, Jon McKennedy, Timmy Jedrzejek, Mike Lichty, Danny Shirey, Jamie Timmons, Dave Duggan, Mike McVetta, Brian Sobus
Heat Race Winners each received $50 from Pro-Check Food Safety (Carl Lafrate)
ISMA 50: 1. Timmy Jedrzejek (97), 2. Mike Lichty (84), 3. Dave Shullick Jr. (95), 4. Ryan Coniam (46), 5. Jeff Locke (37), 6. Chris Perley (11), 7. Mark Sammut (78), 8. Jon McKennedy (61), 9. Ben Seitz (17), 10. Dave Danzer (52), 11. Trent Stephens (19), 12. Danny Shirey (49), 13. Dan Bowes (25), 14. Justin Belfiore (98), 15. Jamie Timmons (27), 16. Brian Sobus (5), 17. Bobby Magner (40), 18. Howard Page (18), 19. AJ Bernys (87), 20. Rob Summers (74), 21. Charlie Schultz (65), 22. Kevin Jaycox Jr. (07), 23. Eddie Witkum Jr. (21), 24. Dave Duggan (51), 25. Dave McKnight (70), 26. Bob Bond (47).
25 caution laps run
ISMA Hard Charger Award Given in Memory of Vickie Decourcy ($100) – Brian Sobus #5
Radical Race Gear Lap Leader – Timmy Jedrzejek
Feature Purse Added Bonus sponsored by Reed's Salvage, Grafton, OH
Oswego, NY (July 11, 2015) - Canajoharie's Otto Sitterly has won many features, a number of championships and Classics, at Oswego Speedway, but the one title that alluded him until Saturday night, was the King of Wings. This was primarily due to the fact that he was not a regular winged supermodified driver. But that all changed when he teamed, last year, with Dave Shullick Jr. and the Bodnar team based in Ohio. Shullick had accumulated quite a list of accomplishments in his career, but his came with a wing strapped on his potent supermodified. The goal became that each talented driver switch roles. Otto wanted to win in a winged car and Shullick in a non-winged car and the quest began. At the 50-lap King of Wings VII Sitterly notched his first winged win with relative ease. He started on the pole and led every lap, pretty much without any serious challenge.
Standing in front of a large crowd of fans, some not exactly in favor of his victory, Sitterly acknowledged the sentiments, unruffled by some of the negativity. “I want to thank you guys for booing. I appreciate that,” Sitterly started out his interview. “I must be doing something right. This is an awesome race car. I want to take it home to my garage. Every time I have gotten in it I like it more and more. I don't know what to say. I have a lot of people to thank. Obviously one is Jim Bodnar, his wife Jan, DJ Shullick and his dad, and John Nicotra. It takes a lot of work to put one car together and we've got three, four cars. It's a lot of work. We're trying to help work on different ones and this is a sure way right here.”
When asked about working by the lap cars, Otto stated. “The car is really good, but it seems like when you get out of the groove a little bit and being behind another car, it takes a lot of downforce out. It lightens up and you can definitely feel it. But these are such great race cars that it's an honor to drive with these guys. Our next goal is to have DJ Shullick standing right here with no wing on top.”
Standing in victory lane was Alison Cumens, who started next to Otto up front and held her ground the entire distance to finish second. It had to be a great feeling for the Pennsylvania driver who has had some bad luck of late and who now is undoubtedly the highest finishing female in an Oswego feature to date. Alison noted after her run, “I was having a bit of a fuel issue on the backstretch. I was kind of chugging before I could get going. So I was struggling a bit on the restarts because of that fuel issue. But other than that I had a really great car. Once I could get going the car was perfect. I've had 3 or 4 podium finishes with ISMA, but this is the first here. I wish I could get the win but it will come at some point.”
Chris Perley, not a stranger to podium finishes or victory lane at Oswego, hounded Cumen's 39 throughout the race, “My car actually was pretty good. Alison had a fuel pump problem or something. She would just burp a little on the starts and that would bring me right up on her. But then she could take off. My car was terrible on restarts, but good on long runs. It was a decent run. We have just been chasing these tires. The tires are different than what we used to have. We could start in 12th or 15th and charge up through. You are not seeing that anymore. I'd like to put on a better show for the fans rather than to see the top four or five finish where they start. It's frustrating in the driver's seat. But we'll keep on plugging away and see what we can do. Hats off to Otto and Alison. This was a good top three finish for us. We needed it. We're always looking for more and we'll be back for the next one.”
Sitterly, in the Bodnar 7 and Cumens led the 26-car field down to green and it was Sitterly who grabbed the point, never to relinquish the spot. Several cars dropped by the wayside early as Brian Sobus in the Gillingham 5, Tim Devendorf, Mike McVetta and Jon McKennedy all pitted prior to lap 10. McKennedy's exit smoking brought out the first yellow for a fluid cleanup.
Otto took off on the restart green as Perley tried the get around Cumens to no avail and he settled back into third. Danny Shirey, Ryan Coniam, Timmy Jedrzejek, Ben Seitz, Dave Shullick Jr, Mike Lichty and Eddie Witkum Jr. ran top ten at this juncture and stayed pretty much in that order through lap 20 until another yellow flew as AJ Bernys brought the Gilliam 87 into the pits. Rob Summers and Bob Magner also made stops and returned to the tail of the field.
The restart of this lap saw a yellow-red condition as a melee broke out in turn two with Rob Summers's 74 hauled in on the flatbed, Joe Gosek's 00 on the hook, Lou LeVea Jr. on the hook and Dave McKnight coming in with some fluid leaking. Gosek and McKnight reentered the fray while Summers, Bob Magner and Lou LeVea Jr. called it a night.
Sitterly did not waste any time when the race resumed and he was back to a healthy lead in no time. Cumens, regained her strong second after her car made its burp. Perley, Shirey, Jedrzejek, Coniam and Seitz were joined by Lichty, Shullick, Witkum and Tim Ice in the top 11.
Sitterly passed under the halfway mark and was putting back runners down a lap by the 30th circuit.
Lap 31 saw another yellow fly as Ryan Coniam's 46 was planted in the foam between 3 and 4 and he was on the hook and into the pits.
Deja vu continued as Sitterly took off, Cumens bogged, Perley caught up, then Alison's car came alive and off they went. Shirey and Jedrzejek stayed in the top five as the race now went green to the end. Lichty, Seitz, Shullick, Witkum and Ice formed the top ten until on lap 38 Ice slowed and left the track with Jeff Locke moving up to take the spot.
Otto had his winged victory in sight now and he sped away quickly to fulfill his dream. Cumens, Perley, Shirey and Timmy J, stayed top five with Lichty, Seitz, Witkum, Shullick and Locke the top ten.
For second generation driver Danny Shirey, fourth was a career best at Oswego. “This is one of my best runs yet in ISMA. The car started to get a little tight towards the end. Perley was leaving the door open out of four and I could run up to him but just didn't have enough to get around him. The starts that Otto was pulling on the backstretch was a little difficult to put up with. ISMA has gotten me but they didn't say anything to him. I can't thank the ACME crew enough. Steve and Rich put a good car under me. We struggled through qualifying but made up for it in the heat race. And, I ended up with a nice top four run. Now we're ready for Hy-Miler.”
For Jedrzejek, who won the June 13 ISMA event, a fifth was what he kind of expected this night. “We started eighth tonight and finished fifth. I'm happy. I think we finished about where our car was going to finish tonight. We were about a fifth place car. There are just so many fast cars here. It is not a cakewalk back there. We see every week that it's not easy to come from the back. We got to fifth. Our car wasn't the best but it wasn't bad. We'll take it. Hats off to Howie Lane and the whole Doctor Mom School is Cool team. We had a good night. It's in once piece. All the parts are on it and it's rolling in the trailer. We'll just get ready for the Hy-Miler in a couple weeks and go from there.”
ISMA EVENT #5 KING OF WINGS, OSWEGO SPEEDWAY, JULY 11, 2015 Round 3 Shea Concrete Steel Palace Super Series, sponsored by Shea Concrete and Helena Chemicals
HEAT 1: 1. 46 Ryan Coniam, 2. 7 Otto Sitterly, 3 . 21 Eddie Witkum Jr, 4. 17 Ben Seitz, 5 . 65 Tim Ice, 6. 25 Danny Bowes, 7. 74 Rob Summers, 8 00 Joe Gosek, 9 07 Kevin Jaycox
HEAT 2: 1. 1 Kyle Edwards, 2. 84 Mike Lichty, 3. 49 Danny Shirey, 4. 39 Alison Cumens, 5 . 61 Jon McKennedy, 6. 37 Jeff Locke, 7. 83 Lou LeVea Jr., 8. 22 Mike McVetta, 9 . 5 Brian Sobus
HEAT 3: 1. 11 Chris Perley, 2. 78 Mark Sammut, 3. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 4. 97 Tim Jedrzejek, 5. 70 Dave McKnight, 6. 40 Bobby Magner, 7. 55 Tim Devendorf, 8. 87 AJ Bernys,
KING OF WINGS FEATURE (50): 1. 7 Otto Sitterly, 2. 39 Alison Cumens, 3. 11 Chris Perley, 4. 49 Danny Shirey, 5. 97 Tim Jedrzejek, 6. 84 Mike Lichty, 7. 17 Ben Seitz, 8. 21 Eddie Witkum Jr, 9. 37 Jeff Locke, 10. 95 Dave Shullick Jr, 11. 70 Dave McKnight, 12 . 25 Danny Bowes, 13. 78 Mark Sammut, 14. 00 Joe Gosek, 15. 07 Kevin Jaycox, 16. 65 Tim Ice, 17. 46 Ryan Coniam, 18. 1 Kyle Edwards, 19 . 74 Rob Summers, 20. 40 Bobby Magner, 21. 83 Lou LeVea Jr., 22. 87 AJ Bernys, 23. 61 Jon McKennedy, 24. 22 Mike McVetta, 25. 55 Tim Devendorf, 26. 5 Brian Sobus