Classic at LEE USA will continue the tradition

By Russ Conway, with contributions by Carol D Haynes, ISMA PR


Lee, N.H. – New England’s longest running traditional oval-track
racing event, the “Classic” for Supermodifieds, is now officially
sanctioned and scheduled for the green flag on Saturday night, Sept. 11th, here at Lee USA Speedway.

The 45th annual “Classic” already has drawn a long entry list as the
grand-daddy event of New England motorsports returns to Lee for the
first time since 1967, sanctioned by International Supermodified Association (ISMA).

This year’s championship program has a new site and a special new
format making up the 100-lap “Classic” with two 50-lap segments
events. At the end of the first 50 laps, the race will stop. A tire change and fueling will be allowed while the small block supers run their 40-lapper. During this time, the top 8 drivers in position from the first 50 will redraw from marked Pepsi cans to e for the second 50. The first driver to finish the 100 lap total will be the ISMA Classic winner.

Then to add to the excitement, there will be an overall point champion. Points will be awarded in each 50-lap portion. The overall best finisher in the twin races for the 100-lap distance will win the 2010 “Classic” overall point championship which features bonus prize money for the first three point getters. In case of a tie in points, the tie-breaker will be determined by the best finish in 12-lap qualifying heats, giving each heat race extra incentive for drivers.

Fans will be treated to green-flag racing only, meaning caution-flag laps will not count in this special all-out “Classic” championship clash.

Six-time ISMA Champion Chris Perley, of Rowley, MA, is among the
top entries. Perley is a four-time Classic champion (1996, 2005, 2008, 2009) and is attempting to become only the third driver ever to win three consecutive Classics. Legendary Ollie Silva won three straight between 1969 and 1971 and Russ Wood scored a Classic hat trick (2002-2004).

Wood, of Pelham, N.H., is a five-time Classic champion and will be driving the sleek Brian Allegresso-prepared winged No. 29 equipped with a 900-horsepower motor.
Bobby Santos III, the current 2010 NASCAR Modified Division National Championship point leader, will be making a rare supermodified start in this “Classic” race. Santos is a late entry driving Clyde Booth’s low-slung special design No. 61 from Mooresville, N.C.

Santos is no stranger to the Lee Oval, having the 2006 Ollie Silva Memorial Championship. In 2007, Santos finished second after starting 22nd in the Silva 75-lap Supermodified event at Lee.

The winner of numerous United States Auto Club (USAC) events from California to the Mid-west and Northeast, Santos is looking to add the “Classic” championship to his list of career achievements.
Justin Belfiore, the 2007 “Classic” champ from Ipswich, MA, has a beautiful winged supermod ready to roll which he has driven to top
finishes in California, Nevada and Vermont.

Canada also is represented with some top cars headed to the Classic from north of the border.

Mark Sammut, of London, Ontario, won this July’s 100-Lap “Hy-Miler
Championship” at Sandusky, Ohio. Sammut is no stranger to
the Lee 3/8-mile banked oval. Sammut won the 2009 Ollie Silva Memorial 75-lap supermod event with a spectacular late race charge.

Mike Lichty, of Innerkip, Ontario, finished fourth after leading some of the 2009 Classic and will return for another try. Craig Rayvals, of Brockville, Ontario, took a nasty flip at Lee in 2009, but will return for a bid at the 2010 Classic title.
Ray Graham, of Ankeny, Iowa, won this year’s “Mr. Supermodified” Championship at Oswego, N.Y., and is entered for the Classic at Lee.

So is the four-time Northeast Midget Racing Association Champion Ben Seitz, driving a new highly sophisticated winged supermodified.

Also scheduled on the Classic night program is a special 40-lap small block supermod feature event plus a full card of stock car racing.

The pit area on Classic Saturday will open at noon with the grandstand
box office opening at 4:00, for practice warm-up sessions. Stock car heats start at 6:00. Supermodified Classic qualifying heats begin
at 6:30, the 100-lap “Classic” starts at 7:30, with the first 50-lap main event.

Back in 1966, the old Lee Raceway tri-oval hosted the first Classic
which was the only other time the championship was decided by points earned in race segments. Racing Hall-of-Famers, Eddie West, Don MacLaren and Bob Cloutier shared the inaugural Classic title. Bud Crotty won the 1967 Classic at Lee before the race venue shifted
to Star Speedway, in Epping, N.H.