TRENT STEPHENS OPENS 2024 ISMA-MSS WITH WIRE-TO-WIRE OSWEGO WIN

OSWEGO, N.Y. — Ohio native Trent Stephens scored a convincing win at the 2024 ISMA-MSS Supermodified Series opener Saturday night at Oswego Speedway in the Shea Concrete / CORR/PAK Winged Challenge 50.

Stephens, who now resides in Salisbury, N.C., started second outside of pole-setter Mike McVetta and jumped to quick lead into turn 1 on the initial start when the yellow and eventually red flag waved for an accident on the front straightaway involving Mike Bruce. Bruce’s No. 22 was heavily damaged, and he was OK.

Once racing resumed, Stephens and McVetta raced side-by-side for over a half lap until the two made contact into turn 3, which nearly sent Stephens’ ACME Racing machine into a spin. The multi-time MSS champion was able to save it, and the incident proved to be the closest call he’d have all race.

Mark Sammut brought out the race’s second yellow flag in turn 2 on lap 12. The front end on the Canadian’s No. 78 suffered substantial damage, but Sammut was OK.

Once racing resumed, Dave Danzer gave Stephens a solid run into turns 1 and 2 on the restart, and Stephens was able to hold off the Oswego, N.Y., driver. Meanwhile, Canadian Mike Lichty was shooting through the top five, passing multiple cars on the restart and then moving into P3 with an outside turn 4 pass on Dave Shullick Jr.

Lichty would use the same turn 4 move on Danzer a few laps later to move into P2, and he’d set his sights on Stephens, who’d built a strong lead.

Lichty would close the gap as the pair sliced through lap traffic on a long green flag run that would eventually finish the race. The two-time ISMA series champion would make things interesting down the stretch, but he wouldn’t have enough to overtake the Buckeye native, as Stephens would cross the finish stripe 0.306 seconds in front of Lichty’s No. 84 for his sixth career series victory.

Shullick would finish behind Stephens and Lichty to round out the podium. Danzer held on for P4 and McVetta rounded out the top five.

“We had a really good car,” Stephens said in Oswego’s victory lane “We showed up and this thing was fast all day. I have to thank the crew; those last 10 laps were a little hairy, and I just didn’t want to make a mistake and it worked out.

“It was a weird day,” Stephens admitted. “Normally we don’t touch wheels with anybody, and there was a bunch of contact today. We had a real fast car and I was watching the board and saw Mike get into second and I knew I had to go. Again, thanks to the crew, Ken Ganley Buick / GMC, S&S Cleaning and DMI rear ends. It’s a good way to start off the season, that’s for sure.”

CANDID PIT PHOTOS HERE

Jim Feeney race photos —

Oswego / ISMA / MSS Winged Challenge Results

Oswego Speedway • Oswego, N.Y.

Winged Challenge 50 — 1. TRENT STEPHENS (19), 2. Mike Lichty (84), 3. Dave Shullick Jr. (95), 4. Dave Danzer (52), 5. Mike McVetta (22M), 6. Ben Seitz (11), 7. Tyler Thompson (98T), 8. Kyle Edwards (11E), 9. Dan Connors Jr. (41), 10. Moe Lilje (32), 11. Otto Sitterly (7), 12. Tyler Shullick (96), 13. Michael Muldoon (15), 14. Johnny Benson Jr. (74), 15. Kody Swanson (14), 16. Camden Proud (54), 17. Lou Levea Jr. (83), 18. Rich Reid (55), 19. Mike Ordway Jr. (61), 20. Mark Sammut (78), 21. Brandon Bellinger (02), 22. Dave Helliwell (50), 23. Mike Bruce (22B).

Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux-sponsored Fast Qualifier: Mike Lichty (14.857)

Precision Welding-sponsored Heat Races Top 3 —

Heat 1: 1. Dave Helliwell, 2. Rich Reid, 3. Dave Shullick Jr.

Heat 2: 1. Ben Seitz, 2. Dave Danzer, 3. Trent Stephens

Heat 3: 1. Tyler Thompson, 2. Michael Muldoon, 3. Mike Lichty

Special Awards —

NY Racing Mom-sponsored Hard Charger: Moe Lilje

NY Racing Mom-sponsored Last Car Running: Camden Proud

Hoosier Free Right-rear Drawing: Brandon Bellinger

 

 

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