By Carol D. Haynes, ISMA PR; photos by Jim Feeney
OSWEGO, N.Y. — An extremely busy month of July for the winged supermodifieds of ISMA and MSS begins on July 9 at Oswego Speedway for the Winged Super Challenge #2. The three race Winged Challenge for ISMA and MSS supermodifieds combined with Oswego regulars who strapped on wings, was inaugurated on June 4 at Oswego with Trent Stephens and Mike McVetta fighting it out in an exciting run in the waning laps of the 50 lap feature as they vied for the $6,000 winner’s prize.
On Saturday July 9, the second of these combined Winged Challenge series at Oswego Speedway cranks up the July’s action starting an auspicious and exciting run of events.
Then, heading west after Oswego, the winged supers head to Marne, Michigan for the Berlin Raceway. For ISMA it’s not their first experience at the historic venue which has been in existence since 1951 when it opened as a dirt track at the Berlin Fairgrounds. Older fans will remember the the invasion of the “Michiganders” as they became to be known who helped provide what is known as the ushering in of the Supermodified era at Oswego Speedway in the early ’60s with names such as Gordon Johncock, Dave Paul, Art Bennett, Johnny Benson Sr., Nellie Ward, and many more, hauling the distance to challenge the locals for the lucrative Classic purses. Art Bennett took the ’61 Classic win beating out the great Nolan Swift.
In the more recent ISMA era at Berlin, there have been 15 trips to the Michigan track, beginning in 1990, when a 50 lapper was won by Supermodified legend Bentley Warren. In the 90’s 5 races were run with Russ Wood taking three 50 lappers (1993, 1994 and 1999) with Dave Shullick Sr. and Joey Payne, taking home the 1997 and 1998 50’s to end the 90’s decade.
Canadian Randy Ritskes took home the initial win at Berlin in 2000. “Liquid” Lou Cicconi grabbed the 2001 while Chris Perley came on strong in Michigan winning 2002-2009, with a 5 races run.
The last two ISMA races run at Berlin were taken in 2010 by multi-talented Connecticut driver Ted Christopher. Christopher, who had little seat time in a super, showed his talent by winning several super races over the years. Christopher tragically died in a small plane crash in September 2017. The last race run at Berlin by ISMA was in 2012 and was taken by Lou Cicconi.
This upcoming return to Berlin also combines with the MSS contingent. While this will be the first trip for the MSS organization to the Michigan oval as a group, many, many of the talented supermodified drivers in the Ohio area, from Canada and others, who made the trip over the years. There was no shortage of pilots named Gibson, Shullick, Saunier, Lichty, Gosek, Ordway, Stutzman, Shirey, Soule, Didero, Bellinger, Lehnert, McKnight and more who come to test the 7/16th oval.
The Berlin 2-day racing begins on Friday, July 15 with a 40 lapper and concludes Saturday, July 16 with a 60 lap affair making up the “Bud 100” and will certainly provide two days of exciting racing.
And, after a brief hiatus and closing the month of July, the famed Sandusky Hy-Miler is on tap Friday, July 29 with the Fast 40 and July 30 for the 100 lap Hy-Miler Nationals to round out one busy month of racing. Ohio’s Mike McVetta took home his first Hy-Miler win in 2021 and Oswego regular Jeff Abold won the Friday Fast 40.
With the Sandusky Hy-Miler weekend ending the incredible racing of July, the combined ISMA-MSS contingent returns to Oswego Speedway for the third and final, Winged Super Challenge #3 on August 13th.
For tickets and more information on the second round of the Winged Super Challenge at Oswego, visit oswegospeedway.com.
For tickets and more info on the ISMA / MSS doubleheader at Berlin, visit berlinraceway.com.
For tickets and more info on the Hy-Miler Nationals at Sandusky, visit sanduskyspeedway.com.