WATCH LIVE: Ollie Silva Memorial at Lee
Back in 2018, second generation Supermodified pilot Mike Ordway Jr. earned one the greatest wins of his career, winning the Ollie Silva Classic at the track that he and his family call home.
“It’s certainly my favorite track to race track to race at and I think just because I grew up racing there. The car usually goes pretty good there. I’m looking forward to it, we’ll see what happens. Honoring Ollie Silva every year, it’s a race that anyone with a Supermodified wants to win it.”
The return to Lee USA is especially welcome for Ordway Jr. and the No. 61 Clyde Booth owned team following a disastrous two races on the road in Ohio and Upstate New York.
“We’ve had some bad luck as of late. We had a good car at Sandusky, Ohio two weeks ago and drove to second in the feature. Had a mechanical issue, had to pull in. Then at Oswego we had some mechanical issues in the second practice and didn’t even get to race that one. It’ll be good to go and get things turned around and straightened out for the rest of the season.”
Whether you race Supermodifieds, Tour-type Modifieds, Pro Stocks, whatever; any driver who competes at Lee USA for an extended race distance will have the worry of tire wear thanks to the track’s abrasive surface. But for those home track drivers like Ordway Jr. it is an advantage over their competition who do not have the amount of laps at Lee that he possesses.
I honestly think, and I’ve talked to some drivers in the past about it, that if there’s a home track advantage anywhere, I would say that it is Lee. The surface is very abrasive and is hard on tires. It’s one of those places where you just got to get in rhythm in your head and remind yourself that you have to make the tires last until the end.
Ordway then likened the type of driving to a certain Tour-type Modified driver who has won many races in his still active career, and also identifying one the current Supermod stars who has best displayed this ability.
“You have to be disciplined more with more of a ‘Matt Hirschman style’ type of race to get to the end there. I know Jeff Abold is coming from New York, he’s won the International Classic at Oswego and he’s won the Star Classic; to me he has that style of racing. Being able to let cars go at the beginning and get them back at the end. He’ll be there Friday night and he’s one of the guys to beat,” Explained Ordway Jr.
“Growing up there, and it has worked for me in the past, guys that want to race at the beginning you let them go, but stay in touch with them, and just try to be there at the end.”
Ordway Jr. has been the fulltime driver for Clyde Booth in the No. 61 since 2016, a seat that has seen many great talents, including two-time ISMA champion Mike Ordway Sr. Come Friday, Ordway Jr. is ready to head out and look for his next checkered flag, and to be able to present the veteran Supermod car owner with another trophy for the collection.
“I had wanted to race for Clyde Booth for a long time. Growing up, my dad always raced for him, and he’s had a lot of great drivers over the course of his career. I tell people all of the time I’m very fortunate to be able to race his car, and make the most of it while I can.”
See the 75-lap ISMA Supermodified feature of the Ollie Silva Mid-Summer Classic this Friday night, August 6 live from Lee USA Speedway on Speed51.TV.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51