With less than one month remaining until the season-opening event at Oswego Speedway (NY), the International Supermodified Association is beginning to gear up for an exciting 2014 season. The high-power, lightweight cars considered by many to be the fastest oval short track racecars in the world will offer fans in many different parts of the country and beyond the chance to witness blazing-fast speeds this upcoming season.
The 2014 schedule will kick-off with the “Irish” Jack Murphy Memorial 56-lap event on May 3 at the home of supermodified racing, Oswego Speedway. During previous ISMA events hosted at the Oswego, New York 5/8-mile, cars have turned unheard-of lap times in the 14-second range.
ISMA will also visit the Oswego Speedway oval for 50-lap features on June 7 and July 12 before their final visit to the track on August 30 for the ISMA Super Nationals 60-lap event. If the past is any indication, those in attendance for any of the ISMA events held at “The Steel Palace” this season will be treated to a fantastic display of blazing fast speeds and side-by-side racing.
In addition to visiting the home of Supermodified racing on four different occasions in 2014, ISMA will make their return to both Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) and Airborne Park Speedway (NY) this season. ISMA President Howie Lane has both of these events highlighted in bright yellow on his 2014 calendar.
“I love Oxford,” Lane told Speed51.com. “I’m so happy we’re going back there. That’s a track where you can actually get in trouble and keep going. On the frontstretch you can see two or three-wide racing there. Our cars are designed for tracks like that.
“Airborne is great for these cars as well. The amount of speed our cars can get on their straightaways is something to see for the fans. I’m excited to see the show that our cars put on there this year.”
Only one event on the 2014 ISMA schedule is scheduled for a distance of over 100 green flag laps and that is the most prestigious race on the schedule, The Star Classic 150 held at Epping, New Hampshire’s Star Speedway.
This 49th Annual Star Classic will take place on September 6. With big money on the line and the prestige that goes with winning the annual event, drivers are sure to put on one whale of a show for those in attendance.
“The Star Classic is always an event we look forward to,” Lane said. “The history behind the event is so rich and it makes this an event that all of our teams look forward to every season. It’s unique for us because it’s the only event our cars absolutely have to pit during.”
Similar to the way the National Football League has franchises, ISMA also offers race teams the opportunity to become franchise teams prior to the start of each season. By becoming a franchise team, teams are guaranteed at least $1,000 minimum regardless of their finish if they qualify for the event.
“We should have 20 or 21 franchise cars this season,” Lane told Speed51.com. “Becoming a franchise team really helps all the teams. We all have our bad days where you start, something silly happens, and you’re done early. With the franchise cars, if you qualify you’re guaranteed $1,000 minimum.
“What’s great about the franchise too is that it guarantees that 20-plus cars are going to be at a race track. The average promoter is looking for as many cars as they can get in the pits in order to put on a good show for the fans. I like to see 26 or 27 cars and we’ll put everybody in the feature. I don’t like to send anybody home unless we just can’t help it.”
Franchise entries are already piling into the ISMA office and with the season just a month away the series has started to introduce franchise teams on their Twitter page.
Thus far Mike Lichty’s No. 84, Eddie Witkum’s No. 21, Tim Ice’s No. 65, Mark Sammut’s No. 78, Moe Lilje’s No. 8, and Alison Cumens No. 39 have all been announced as 2014 franchise teams.
Defending champion Lou Cicconi, last year’s runner-up Ben Seitz, last year’s Star Classic winner Jon McKennedy, Rookie of the Year contender Ryan Gath and the driver with the most wins in ISMA history Chris Perley are just some of the drivers expected to be announced as franchise teams in the upcoming weeks.
Combining of one of the most talented fields with one of the most diverse schedules in ISMA history will create a number of exciting, on-your-feet moments for fans of the fastest short track oval cars in the world during the 2014 season.