From Carol Haynes
Oswego, NY – For the sixth straight year the International SuperModified Association will spend part of Memorial Day weekend at Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut. This annual event has been the ISMA season opener for four of the six years and it’s always been exciting.
During ISMA’s tenure at Waterford, the feature wins have been divided between four different drivers. Liquid Lou Cicconi took home the inaugural event in 2005 in his basically new 75 super. Cicconi had to evade a six-car pileup and a challenge by Pat Abold in the 26. Randy Ritskes, driving the Budnick 88, Joe Petro and Justin Belfiore rounded out the top five.
In 2006 Justin Belfiore became a patient winner when he made the decision to sit back and wait for things to unfold in front of him. He watched as Rob Summers and Chris Perley drove by early on but three laps later, the three cars ahead of him were victims of lap car-initiated melee that brought out the red. Belfiore held the lead after that and survived a few more incidents before winning the 50-lapper ahead of Dave McKnight, Nokie Fornoro in the Soule 32, Scott Martel and Mike Lichty.
Chris Perley, who had not finished the first two May events at Waterford, finally broke the jinx in 2007 after only completing 18 of the 100 laps run in 2005 and 2006. Perley and Dave McKnight became the men to watch in this one and it was a white flag lap event that left one in victory lane and one out of the race. Coming into turn three, there was little room left for Perley to make a move as McKnight was trying to hold back the 11. The two cars brushed with Perley never skipping a beat while McKnight careened into the wall. Perley took the checkers ahead of Nokie Fornoro, Joe Petro, Rob Summers and Mike Ordway Jr. in the Wentworth 10.
Perley repeated his ’07 win in 2008, recording the fastest lap turned on the Waterford 5/8th’s mile (12.489) since the track opened in 1951. The fast lap came on the 44th circuit to boot! Jeff Holbrook led the way at the midway mark, but could not hold off the flying 11 who took the lead from the 35 on lap 27, never looking back. A bunch-up came on lap 37, but Perley sailed away to victory ahead of Holbrook, Robbie Summers, Ray Graham Jr. and Bobby Bond.
A new winner notched his name in the Waterford record books in 2009 when Ohio’s Dave Shullick Jr. took the victory. After several spectacular incidents in the first half of the 50-lapper, Shullick began his quest for the win ahead of Lou Cicconi, Perley, Jeff Holbrook and Mike Ordway Jr. A flag flew just before lap 30 for NASCAR truck star Johnny Benson who was just making a bid for fifth, sending Benson out of the race and setting up a shootout for the lead, which Shullick kept. While DJ sped away, Perley moved into second ahead of Cicconi with Holbrook and Ordway Jr. finishing up the top five at the checkered.
A great field of cars should be on hand for ISMA’s second event of the 2010 season with more action guaranteed. While 2009 ISMA champ Chris Perley has announced he will not run a full schedule this year, he most certainly will be back at Waterford to look for victory number 3. After a successful Albany-Saratoga outing, Lou Cicconi will definitely be there to challenge for his second win at the Speedbowl and Shullick will be there to defend his 2009 win. Many others are expected to be on hand, so don’t miss this exciting event.
Pit gates open on Saturday at 11 am for the ISMA cars only with a solo practice for the winged warriors slated for 1-2 pm. Pit gates for the rest of the divisions in competition will open at 2:15; grandstands open at 3 pm, with practice beginning then. Qualifying races start at 5 pm for the SK Mods, Mini Stocks, ISMA, Street Stocks and Late Models. A special Autograph Session will take place near the grandstands at 6:30 pm for the visiting supermodified drivers. General admission is $32 adult, $10 Youth and 6 years and under are admitted free. Pit pass with license is $40 and without license $50.
For more information log onto www.speedbowl.com