Verona, NY (Nov. 19, 2016) – The elegant Turning Stone Casino was once again the site of the annual ISMA awards banquet which honored the 2016 champion car owner Jim Bodnar, 2016 champion driver Dave Shullick Jr. and the rest of the top 15 point getters. It was the second consecutive year that the Ohio-based Bodnar-Shullick team took the title, battling the Reed-Lichty team throughout the year. The top team was rewarded with a trophy and jacket in addition to the winner's check.
Master of Ceremonies Dan Kapuscinski began the night's program by introducing the top fifteen ISMA car owners which included, in order, champion 95 Bodnar (Dave Shullick Jr) , 84 Craig Reed (Mike Lichty), 97 Howie Lane (Tim Jedrzejek), 78 Mark Sammut, 61 Clyde Booth (Mike Ordway Jr.), 22 Mike McVetta, 17 Richard Bien (Ben Seitz), 19 Steve Stout (Trent Stephens), 76 Jim Bodnar Jr. (Moe Lilje), 25 Tony Bowes (Dan Bowes), 49 Steve Stout (Dan Shirey), 74 Brad Lichty (Rob Summers), 70 Gary Morton (Dave McKnight), 21 P&L Motorsports (Ed Witkum Jr.), 65 Yevette Meihls (Tim Ice).
The 2016 Drivers were also were recognized, in order Dave Shullick Jr., Mike Lichty, Tim Jedrzejek, Mark Sammut, Mike Ordway Jr., Mike McVetta, Ben Seitz, Trent Stephens, Moe Lilje, Dan Bowes, Dan Shirey, Dave McKnight, Tim Ice, Kyle Edwards, and Chris Perley. A plaque and check were presented to each. The separate point fund is sponsored by KDP Townhouses, Lane Tire Sales, Patco Transportation, the ISMA Ladies Auxiliary, 50/50 sales and Carol Haynes and Jim Feeney.
The Randy Witkum Memorial Rookie of the Year sponsored by Ed Shea was Ohioan Talon Stephens. He received a $500 check and a jacket noting the award.
The ISMA Lap Leader award went to Dave Shullick Jr., who also took top honors in the Shea Concrete 'Steel Palace' Super Series based on points earned from the three Oswego Speedway appearances during the season. The other four finishers in that series were Mike Lichty, Mark Sammut, Tim Jedrzejek and Ben Seitz. Each received a trophy and check for their efforts.
Next up were some of the traditional ISMA awards with the Locke Crane Service Mechanic of the Year award going to Clyde Booth, owner and builder of the 61 supermodified driven by Mike Ordway Jr. and the Crew of the Year honors going to the Mike McVetta 22 team. All the 22 team members received jackets right down to Stella McVetta, baby daughter of Mike and Gina McVetta!
The Slice-N-Go Deli Up and Comer award (plaque and check) went to Mike Ordway Jr.
Several drawings for sponsored prizes were held with Trent Stephens winning the Seymour Enterprises Helmet, Mark Sammut picking up the BS&B Radiator and Howie Lane winning the New England Motor Racing nose wing kit. The drawings were held from the top 15 drivers in attendance.
The annual Jack Murphy Memorial Recognition award as voted on by the membership, went to Dennis Heppell. The Lois Matczak Memorial Woman of the Year, sponsored by Skip Matczak, went to ISMA secretary Jessica Stephens. The Jim Soule Memorial award was presented to Mark Sammut and finally the Jim Shampine Memorial award was presented to Doc Hathaway, ISMA vice president who lends his expertise and assistance to many teams throughout the season.
Entertainment by Jammin Beats DJs concluded the night's activities.
In an early general membership meeting, a tentative 2017 schedule was discussed with the season opener once again at Oswego Speedway on May 27 with the Jack Murphy Memorial. June 2 and June 23 finds ISMA returning to some former hosts in Lancaster and Stafford Speedways. July 15 finds a return to Jennerstown Speedway with July ending at the annual Hy-Miler weekend at Sandusky Speedway. August begins on the 4th at Lee USA and the 5th at New London Waterford Speedbowl. On August 19, it's a trip north of the border to Delaware Speedway. September 2 is the ISMA SuperNationals at Oswego Speedway as part of Classic weekend and then the following weekend Star Speedway's Classic is on tap. The season ends as always at the traditional World Series of Racing at Thompson Speedway. Several other venues are being looked at this time and the official schedule will be released when and if there are additions. The 2017 awards banquet is already slated for November 18 at the Turning Stone Casino.
Board members who will serve through 2019 are Mike McVetta, Steve Stout and Lee Vinal . Tony Bowes will serve through 2018 replacing the retired car owner, Dick Bien.
A multitude of door prizes, donated by Mark & Stella Burns, Eagle Beverage, Essex Seafood/Lane Racing, Dennis & Sue Heppell, Hoosier Racing Tire, Kathy Harrington, ISMA Novelty Trailer, Lupien Engraving & Gifts, Mitchell's Speedway Press, Murray's Transmission/Sammut Racing, Northeast Metals Technology/Bowes Racing and Patco Transportation/Lichty Racing, were passed out after dinner.
And finally, a big thank you to all the volunteers who made the banquet a success: Terry Bowes, Kathy Harrington, Carol Haynes, Jim Feeney, Dennis Heppell, Sue Heppell, Ronda Jedrzejek, Debbie Lane, Howie Lane, Leanne Lane, and Bobby Rodier.