October 12, 2018 – At last we’ve made it to the final supermodified race weekend of 2018 – the 56th Annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
We end our countdown to this Sunday’s Thompson ISMA 50 with the team looking to wrap up their first ISMA series championship after leading the points much of the year, Massachusetts-based car owner Tony Bowes and his driver and son, Dan Bowes.
A veteran on the ISMA circuit and graduate of the New England 350 supermodifieds, Bowes has come into his own in 2018 with his No. 25 Brian Allegresso-built super, which the team brought out for the first time in late 2016. Last year was Bowes’ best season to date, finalized by a fourth-place finish in the standings but still lacking that coveted first feature win in ISMA competition.
While entering this year still winless, the Bowes team did enter as one of the favorites to challenge for a series championship. The 25 showed good speed from the start and proved it with a third-place result at the season’s second event at Lancaster, N.Y., in early June. A few weeks later Bowes would finish second to Mike Lichty at Monadnock and then finally score his elusive first career ISMA win north of the border at Jukasa Motor Speedway on July 14.
Now with the points lead, Bowes stayed consistent throughout the summer stretch. After average finishes of eighth and 11th at Sandusky, he was back on the podium at Lee USA and Delaware in August, finishing third in both races. Top-10 finishes at Oswego and Star concluded the summer and bring Bowes to Thompson, where he’ll enter the weekend with a 16-point lead over Kyle Edwards, who’s also looking for his first ISMA title.
Bowes will be the favorite for the championship come this weekend at the famous Connecticut five-eighths-mile oval, but he’ll need to continue the consistency and smart decision making that he’s showcased throughout the year to maintain the points gap between him and Edwards.
With five top-five finishes in 10 starts, only Lichty has more. A sixth top-five to close out the year would almost surely guarantee the Bowes group their first championship.
It will be a nail-biting time this Sunday afternoon for those inside the Bowes and Edwards camps. Once the green flag flies on the final ISMA feature of 2018, they’ll have 50 laps to decide one of the most prestigious awards in supermodified racing, the ISMA owner and driver championship.
ISMA practice and qualifying races will be Saturday, Oct. 13 with the ISMA 50 joining numerous other divisions' main events on Sunday afternoon at Thompson.