Tom Herzig's Trackside: Monadnock welcomes SupermodsBy TOM HERZIG
May 16. 2018 10:01PM
On Track This WeekendStafford Speedway (Conn.): Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Claremont: Friday, 7 p.m.
Legion Speedway: Friday, 7 p.m.
Monadnock: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Bear Ridge (Vt.): Saturday, 6 p.m.
Speedway 51: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Star Speedway: Saturday, 6 p.m.
White Mountain: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Oxford Plains (Maine): Sunday 2 p.m.
THE International Supermodified Association and Monadnock Speedway are hoping to do each other some good Saturday when the winged Supermodifieds head to the Winchester oval for what could be a home run event if Mother Nature cooperates.
It’s been 40 years since the ultra-quick and agile open-wheel rocket ships took to Monadnock’s quarter mile for a much-anticipated start to ISMA’s 2018 season.
New England racing legend Bentley Warren will attend as the grand marshal of the Carquest Genden Auto Parts 75 presented by T-Bird Mini Marts. Warren is the proprietor of Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel, Maine, which has posted a $1,000 bonus for the fastest time trialer. Yes, time trials can be a snoozer to some, myself included, but not with Supermodifieds streaking about with $1,000 on the table. Don’t blink during any lap — you’ll miss it.
The ISMA Supers compete annually at Lee USA and Star Speedway and cultivating a third regular regional venue would be welcome. Stafford Speedway has fallen off the ISMA schedule, at least temporarily, and last year’s World Series finale at Thompson Motor Speedway was noticeably short on cars.
Car count won’t be a problem Saturday. Series champion Jon McKennedy and Star Classic and Thompson World Series winner Dave Shullick of Westlake, Ohio, headline a list of entries that includes Ohio hotshoes Tim Jedrzejek, Mike McVetta and Trent Stephens, Mike Ordway Jr. of Fremont, and past champion Ben Seitz of Bourne, Mass.
ISMA President Richard “Doc” Hathaway, who took over the reins in January says the association aspires to move winged supermodified racing forward by reaching out more to competitors and fans alike and “promoting more broadly.”
Hathaway, a mechanical engineering professor at Western Michigan University, has a lifetime of experience in the racing world. He saw his first race at Seekonk when growing up in Massachusetts and spent time at New England Dragway in Epping. He’s built and owned sprint cars and was actively involved in the famed Canadian American (Can-Am) road racing series.
“The Monadnock folks have been working their tails off,” Hathaway said. “They’re turning every stone.”
Hathaway is confident better times are ahead for ISMA Supermodified racing in part because of its new Hoosier tire package.
“We tested with the help of several teams at Stafford and Toledo Speedway and came up with both new compounds and new construction,” he said. “We’re convinced the new tires will really help. We’re in good shape.”
Because of the long-distance hauls many of the ISMA teams face — their schedule includes Ohio, Ontario and western New York — Monadnock is going to have to make an early decision on Friday about taking its chances with an iffy weekend weather forecast.
Friday night events at Claremont, Legion Speedway and the Valenti Modified Series 80 at Stafford Motor Speedway appear to have the best shot at racing without weather complications this weekend. The American Canadian Tour (ACT) and Pro All-Star Series (PASS) doubleheader at Oxford Plains on Sunday may be able to avoid rainfall as well.
One track with a knack for thumbing its nose at Mother Nature is Bear Ridge. Up to a point, by being a dirt track with a solid local base of race teams and fans, the “Home of the Coupes” can withstand some wet weather.
Last Saturday at Bear Ridge, Walt Hammond Jr. of Canaan won the Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified main Hammond started fifth and drew away late. Adam Pierson was the runner-up followed by Robert Tucker, Mike Ryan and the previous week’s winner, Kevin Chaffee. Todd Hayward of Bradford, Vt., and Earl Maxham of Hartland, Vt., were first and second in the Sportsman Coupe feature. The Sprint Cars of New England (SCoNE) were also in action. Matt Hoyt of Campton came away with the win.
The New England Mini Stock Tour raced at Claremont Friday and when tech inspection was over, Nick Anderson of Oxford, Mass. was holding the winner’s trophy. Cody LeBlanc was officially scored in second place.
Mark McClay won the R.E. Hinkley Super Street feature. McClay will try to repeat in this week’s 52-lap Dean Smith Memorial race.
Quinny Welch began defense of his Late Model track title at White Mountain Motorsports Park with an opening night win.
Valenti Modified Series driver Mike Willis Jr. of Grantham is featured in an article on the Stafford Motor Speedway website as a lead-in to Friday’s 80-lap main event. Willis is fielding a brand-new Troyer chassis machine this season and he’s off to a good start.
Troyer Race Cars founder Maynard Troyer of Spencerport, N.Y., passed away recently after a lengthy illness. He was a NASCAR driver (his spectacular accident at Daytona in 1971 became a part of racing lore) and he was a very accomplished Modified racer throughout the Northeast. His greatest success came in designing and building cars and specialized racing parts for both asphalt and dirt racing.
Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.