26th ANNUAL ISMA AWARDS BANQUET HONORS ACHIEVERS OF 2008
By Carol D. Haynes
Vernon, NY – In the beautiful setting of the Shenandoah Club house at Turning Stone Casino, members of ISMA gathered Nov. 22 to honor the achievers of the 2008 season. The cozy banquet room fireplace took the chill off an unusually cold and snowy November evening as drivers, owners, crews, family and friends came together for the final time in 2008.
For the third straight year the Vic Miller –Chris Perley team took top honors on the point list with seven wins out of the 11-race event season. It was the team's fifth championship run since 2003. Perley and Miller both spoke briefly as they accepted 2008 ISMA Driver and Car Owner of the year awards. Perley thanked his owner, crew and sponsors for their support once more. He also said kidding, "I didn't do it all myself this year" bringing up an old speech phrase. He admitted that the competition was getting tougher and tougher and although the team won a majority of the time, it was not easy. Vic Miller also mentioned that whatever next year brings, that he looks forward to having fun.
In addition to the aforementioned awards, Scott LeClair, one of the behind the scenes men on the Miller-Perley team, was honored with ISMA Mechanic of the Year award.
Chris Perley, after three very successful and winning years in a row, claimed the ISMA Achievement award. Vic Miller was awarded the prestigious Jim Shampine Memorial award. Miller, who raced in the 60s and 70s against Shampine, was especially proud of being in the same echelon as the legendary innovator and one of ISMA's founders.
The top 20 in owner points received checks from the $50,000 point fund with the 21st finisher, Brandon Bellinger, picking up $500 courtesy of new sponsor Gino DiFilippo, owner of Shadow's Candle Co. The top ISMA drivers were also awarded checks from the driver's point fund initiated by Kathy Harrington two years ago. The sponsors for this separate point fund are Perley's Marina, Inkspot, Luther's Way Out Grafix, SUPRS.net, Russ Conway and Coastal181.com
Mexico's Bob Bond claimed the 2008 ISMA Randy Witkum Memorial Rookie of the Year award, finishing eighth in the final point standings in his first winged season of competition. Ed Shea Concrete Products sponsors this award, which was presented this year by Sheri Witkum Battle.
Jeff Holbrook, car owner and driver, was honored with the ISMA Most Improved Driver award while his entire 4-car team crew was presented the 2008 ISMA Race Threads Crew of the Year award.
The ISMA Support award went to Dennis and Sue Heppel. Dennis serves as one of ISMA's pit stewards while his wife Sue helps operate the ISMA Novelty Trailer, two important positions in the organization. The duo also sponsors the Mechanic of the Year award, which includes an embroidered jacket and a $500 check.
The annual Gater Racing News Most Popular Driver award, as voted on by the fans, went to Vern Romanoski for the second straight year. A check, trophy and free subscription were presented to Vern courtesy of the Gater.
An award which is being retired this year, the A.J. Michaels award, was presented to Mike Lichty, who like Michaels, has been very close to that first ISMA feature win, but has yet to achieve his goal. Michaels was killed in an opening day accident at Oswego Speedway in 1990.
The Jim Soule Dedication award went to Eddie Bellinger Jr., who has helped his son Brandon become a third generation supermodified driver, still following the do-it-yourself ideals of Soule. Bellinger Jr. also serves on the ISMA Board of Directors.
By luck of the draw, Jeff Holbrook claimed the new helmet given each year by Seymour Enterprises while Bob Haynes Sr. took home the new radiator from BS&B Radiators, owned by Canadian Wade Litt.
Earlier in the day ISMA's Board of Directors met to begin finalizing the 2009 schedule, which appears at www.ismasupers.com. While still somewhat tentative the confirmed list finds an auspicious 16-track slate with a possibility of an additional June doubleheader at All-Star and Thompson, with those two dates still in the works. Oswego Speedway's Sept. 4 event shows a Twin 30's format making 19 potential feature runs.
ISMA president Howie Lane laid to rest speculation surrounding some of the traditional events by saying that he and Sandusky Speedway owner Kevin Jaycox had signed a 3-year contract renewal of ISMA's Hy-Miler show at that Ohio speedway and that the Oswego Classic weekend event contract had already arrived, eliminating the confusion from this season. The 2009 schedule, with the 18-show schedule, counting the additional All-Star and Thompson June events, will find the ISMA organization vying for $735,000 in purse money. Several other agenda items including a revamping of the point system for 2009 and some minor rule changes which will be available as an addendum sheet for the already in print ISMA Rulebook.
The ISMA officers of Howie Lane, Jerry Kritzman, Kathy Harrington and Delores Murphy remain for 2009. Board members Brian Allegresso, Mark Sammut and Vern Romanoski were recently elected for new 3-year terms, joining Ed Bellinger Jr., Jack Murphy, Dan Soule, Brad Lichty, Vic Miller and Jeff Holbrook, who are serving out two and one year terms respectively.
MC and ISMA announcer closed out the ceremonies and handed the mic over to Rock a Rolla, the night's DJ and the dancing began!
Delaware, Ont. - August 19, 2016 – Mike Lichty and Dave Shullick Jr. have been locked in a battle for the 2016 ISMA championship for most of the season. Lichty had lost some headway at Lee USA in early August but came back to gain some by winning at the New London Waterford Speedbowl the next day. Shullick, with four feature wins coming into Delaware was ahead by a mere six points. Having won the last two races at the Ontario, Canada oval, he might have been considered the favorite to repeat.
Lichty, with two feature wins to his credit, had not had not fared well in the June Delaware show, finishing sixteenth. The tide turned Friday night for Lichty. Starting seventh in the field, he had some exciting duals with both Mike Ordway Jr. and Timmy Jedrzejek on his way to the front to become the leader of the Harvey Lennox Memorial 75 on lap 54.
Waterford, CT (Aug. 6, 2016) - Ohio's Mike McVetta led two-thirds of the Ollie Silva Memorial Friday night until a broken wheel cost him what might have been a third career ISMA win. Saturday night, he earned redemption at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl's Wings and Wheels 50. Starting on the pole, McVetta took command in the race and in a blink of the eye, cruised to victory.
The 50-lapper went green to checkered in 11 minutes and 11 seconds and although Mike Ordway Jr. tried to track McVetta down, he fell short in the rapid-fire display of winged speed.
Lee ,NH (Aug. 5, 2016) – Last season Dave Shullick won his second Ollie Silva Memorial 75 on his way to a first-ever ISMA championship. He was battling Mike Lichty for that ISMA title. In 2016 he and Lichty were again in a title battle going into Lee. Shullick, starting 10th, had to run down a high-flying duo up front in Mike McVetta and Mike Ordway Jr. to put the 95 into a position to pounce. But Lichty was also in the mix past halfway, moving by Shullick on lap 49 and then McVetta on lap 50. McVetta had a wheel break and pitted shortly thereafter leaving Lichty and Shullick to battle up front. Shullick went high and low looking for a way by the 84, finally taking the lead on lap 56. The second generation Ohio driver had control from there on in, taking the checkered with a healthy margin less than 20 laps later. Shullick had the race mapped out prior to the race, and 75 laps after the green dropped, Shoe II was right where he wanted to be - in victory lane.