After more than a month of planning and preparation since their last event, the stars and cars of the International Supermodified Association head to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) on Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18 for their final event of the 2014 season. The annual event for the “winged warriors” takes place during the historic World Series of Speedway Racing weekend at the beautiful Thompson, Connecticut facility.
When all is said and done after 50 laps Sunday afternoon, both the ISMA driver’s championship and owner’s championship will be decided. Mathematically, three drivers and teams enter World Series weekend with a chance to claim the 2014 championships.
Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Massachusetts enters the season finale with a slim 46-point advantage over last year’s World Series winner Ben Seitz (Bourne, Mass.) and a 74-point advantage over veteran driver Rob Summers (Vernon, Conn.).
McKennedy, a three-time ISMA winner in 2014, was able to slightly open up the gap following the prestigious Star Classic 150 event at Star Speedway (NH), but knows that anything can happen, especially with a large field of cars expected.
“We have a fairly decent lead, but I’ve been racing long enough now that I know that anything can happen,” said McKennedy, a former Valenti Modified Racing Series champion. “We’ll do the best we can and hopefully we can come out on top. Everybody has put a lot of time and effort into the car this year and I just hope we can win the championship.”
For McKennedy, an ISMA championship would go straight to the top of his already impressive resume. He considers the high-horsepower, winged Supermodifieds to be the ultimate open-wheel racecar.
“It’d be awesome,” McKennedy said of what it would mean to win an ISMA title. “What’s faster than a Super? An Indy car and that’s about it. They’re just a really neat car, a light car with big horsepower. The guys we are racing with are great drivers with a ton of respect. You look at some of the names and some of the talent. It’s pretty cool and a blast to run with these guys.”
Seitz, who recorded ISMA wins at Sandusky Speedway (OH) and Delaware Speedway (ON) in 2014, enters the event hoping for a repeat of last year’s World Series event. Entering the 2013 season finale, Seitz trailed eventual champion Lou Cicconi by a sizable margin in the standings. Although he didn’t pick up enough points to overtake Cicconi, Seitz picked up his first career win at Thompson.
He is now hoping to carry over some of that momentum from last year to this year’s World Series and, with a smaller margin between him and the point leader, have a chance at claiming his first career ISMA championship with team owner Richard Bien.
“This year at least we can control our own destiny a little bit, unlike last year when we needed Louie (Cicconi) to have a really bad day in order to have a shot,” said Seitz.
“Our approach is basically to gain as many points as we can. The gap between us is close enough were we can decide it on the race track. It is kind of an uphill battle, but it’s certainly something that can be done so we’re just going to focus 100-percent and do the best we can.”
Seitz is focusing on the task at hand this weekend as he tries to erase a 46-point deficit, but acknowledged that an ISMA championship would be a dream come true if the stars align for him on Sunday afternoon.
“It would be really awesome to do it in Connecticut at Thompson, one of my favorite tracks. It would be really nice,” Seitz said. “I try not to think about it because I just want to stay focused on the task at hand. I just want to go race and see what happens.”
McKennedy, Seitz, and the rest of the International Supermodified Association stars will begin their weekend with a 50-minute practice session beginning at 4:05 p.m. on Friday afternoon. Final practice will roll off at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday with qualifying heats scheduled to begin shortly after 3:30 p.m. Pre-race ceremonies begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday and the final ISMA event of the 2014 season will be the fourth of five feature races that day.
-ISMA/51 Sports Press Release. Photo Credit: Jim Feeney/ISMA