Lee, NH – The biggest race of the 2015 Lee USA Speedway season is on the schedule for next Friday night, August 7th, as the ground-pounding open-wheeled action of the International Supermodified Association (ISMA) comes to town for the annual Ollie Silva Memorial Classic at “New Hampshire‘s Center of Speed”.
Defending race winner Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, MA has to be considered among the favorites again this year, he‘s coming off a big win in the Sandusky, Ohio Hy-Miler event two weeks ago, and currently sits second in the ISMA point standings behind second-generation racer Dave Shullick II of North Ridgefield, OH, who is also among those expected to contend.
McKennedy is a former regular and multi-time winner in the Lee USA Small Block Supermodifieds, and he’s already visited ISMA victory lane here twice, in both 2014 and 2012 aboard the legendary Dunigan Racing entry. Rain postponed the 2013 edition of the race, making McKennedy king of the hill for the past three years at the fast 3/8th‘s mile speedplant.
Jon has taken over the driving duties in the famed Clyde Booth machine for the 2015 season, and the combination has been potent since the drop of the season’s first green flag. Booth is no stranger to Lee’s victory lane either, as his machine topped the 2008 running of the race with current ISMA points leader “Shoe Two” at the wheel.
Other top ISMA contenders expected to appear for the event include current third place points man Jeff Locke of nearby Raymond, who sits just six points behind McKennedy in the 2015 standings, and has a long history of success at Lee dating back to his days aboard a Small Block. Locke already has a couple of top fives to his credit in the Ollie Silva driving his Locke Crane Services-sponsored big-block.
Fourth place points man Mark Sammut makes the haul down from London, Ontario, Canada each year for the event, and his name is on the short list of winners since the race’s inception, taking home the big trophy after the 2009 running of the Ollie Silva Memorial.
Although he’s only running a part-time schedule in 2015, ISMA’s all-time feature winner Chris Perley will be another fan favorite next weekend driving the legendary Vic Miller machine, and he’s got three Ollie Silva’s (2004, 2010, and 2011) to his credit, as well as a handful of other podium finishes including four seconds and a third at the Lee USA ISMA stop.
Second-generation wheelman Eddie Witkum, Jr. of Westford, MA should be another counted among those to watch, he dominated the Lee USA Small Block Supers for a couple of years, and has been nothing short of impressive in his time on the ISMA tour. Witkum’s resume includes runner-up here to McKennedy in 2014, and a third behind Jon and NASCAR veteran Johnny Benson in 2012.
Other notables on the entry list include Dan Bowes of Byfield, MA, another former Lee USA Small Block champ whose best career ISMA finish is a runner up to Perley here in 2011. Multi-time champ Tommy Tombarello is working on an ISMA deal for the Ollie Silva, and he will be battling brother-in-law Justin Belfiore, also of Haverhill, MA, who was a podium finisher in 2011.
Auburn’s Mike Netishen, Lyndell, PA driver Alison Cumens, Ben Seitz of Bourne, MA, Jamie Timmons of North Andover, MA, Tim Ice of Seville, OH, Timmy “J” Jedrzejek of Independence, OH, Lee USA Supermodified regular “Super Dave” Sanborn of Tilton, Rob Summers of Vernon, CT, and “Liquid Lou” Cicconi of Aston, PA are just a few of the drivers expected to compete.
As always, the race will be one of the highlights of the 2015 season, with lap times for the Supermodifieds expected to range somewhere between “did you see that?” and “holy cow!”. Be sure to get your ticket for the season’s most exciting event, the ISMA Ollie Silva Memorial Classic this Friday night, August 7th.