AUBURN, NH. – Since it was initially announced that the 350 supermodifieds would be returning to Star Speedway in 2015, anticipation has been building.
“The interest in the division has been huge,” said Bobby Webber Jr, Star Speedway General Manager. “We have had many entry forms already submitted for the 350 supermodified division and we are expecting more.” After piloting 350 supermodifieds for the past few seasons Webber has decided to spend more time in the office chair of the race track he runs. He has decided to relinquish his seat behind the steering wheel. “I’m turning my focus over to the operation of Star and I have asked Mike Netishen to drive the #19 TJCO Maintenance Services 350 super.”
Netishen the 2014 International Supermodified Association (ISMA) Randy Witkum Memorial Rookie of The Year and multi-time 350 supermodified feature winner says he has been interested in running 350 supermodifieds at Star Speedway ever since the announcement was made that the division would be returning full-time in 2015.
“Racing at Star is a lot of fun and it is even more fun when you’re in a super,” explained the Auburn, NH racer. “The track has plenty of grip and is always racy.”
In the few starts that Netishen has in a supermodified at Star he has proven he has what it takes to navigate the historic ¼ mile Epping oval. Last September he finished in 6th place in New England’s oldest auto racing event the ISMA Star Speedway Classic 150. In the process he beat out multiple time ISMA Champions in addition to an Indy 500 starter.
The supermodified mount that Netishen will be wheeling in 2015 is no stranger to victory lane or championships. The Butch Valley Sr built supermodified is a proven winner at Star Speedway and other local short tracks.
“The TJCO Maintenance super is a very solid piece and I believe we will be a contender right out of the gate,” said Netishen.
The competition for the 2015 Star Speedway 350 Super Championship is shaping up to include a diverse cast of drivers which include a former champion, winners and a fresh crop of new faces. Notables include 2005 Champion Mark “Sparky” MacIver, veteran pilot John Leonard, feature winners Joey Scanlon, Billy Osborne, Matt Seavey, rookie Jarrod Soucy and Dennis Potter.
These drivers and more are anticipating the 11 race championship battle which begins May 2nd and concludes with the season championship on August 29th.
One of the most anticipated events scheduled will take place on September 12th. The Randy Witkum Memorial will return to pay tribute to the 350 Supermodified pioneer. Randy was integral to bringing the 350 Supers to fruition and was the divisions first feature winner. Witkum used his prowess in the 350 small-block supermodifieds to make the jump to the big-block supermodifieds but was tragically killed while competing in one at an ISMA race at Jennerstown Speedway in 1999. This event will be a non-points event and is expected to bring a large field of 350 supers as drivers and fans alike pay tribute to Randy.
The Webber Family has carefully crafted the 2015 350 Super schedule around the New England and Oswego Speedway ISMA event dates. The 350 Supers will not be in action when ISMA is racing at New England Tracks and Oswego with the acceptation of the June 13th Oswego date and the ISMA Star Classic. This leaves the door open for supermodified drivers such as Netishen, Eddie Witkum and Dave Sanborn to run more supermodified events without conflict as these drivers frequent both ISMA and the 350 Supers.
This is perfect for Netishen in particular as he is planning to run all of the Star Speedway 350 Supermodified races in addition to all of the New England ISMA stops in 2015 and select ISMA events at Oswego Speedway which is known as “The Home of the Supermodifieds” and is located in Upstate New York.
Webber, Jr. acknowledged the fact that “None of this would be possible without our dedicated sponsors,” he then added, “I would like to thank all our associate sponsors which include Serenity Property Services, L&W Auto Repair, Omni Electrical, Sunoco New England Racing Fuels, Sherwood Wheels and Velocita.” Division sponsors include NH3 Plus Industrial Refrigeration / Penix Racing, American Racer Tire, Seals It and New England Motor Racing Supply.
-Thomas Netishen Press Release. Photo credit: Mike Netishen Facebook