Seitz Adjusting Well to Howie Lane’s ISMA Supermodified

E arlier this month at Seekonk Speedway, Supermodified fans got a chance to view the newest driver-team pairing, which has set big expectations heading into the 2021 ISMA season. That is 2014 ISMA champion Ben Seitz, joining forces with noted car owner and fellow New Englander Howie Lane to drive the No. 97.


In the non-points season opener at Seekonk, Jon McKennedy continued the domination he had shown in the abbreviated 2020 season, but Seitz made quite the race of it, hanging with McKennedy on the outside in a thriller over the final five laps. While the No. 97 ended the night runner-up, there was much promise shown as the first points race of 2021 looms near.

WATCH LIVE: ISMA at Monadnock

“We were as happy as you could be with a second-place finish. It was the first time for me in that car, with that setup. We made a lot of changes throughout the winter and I thought it went pretty smoothly. Obviously, Jon had a little more pace than we did, but not by much. Everything was pretty good first time out.”


This coming Saturday, June 26 marks the beginning of the ISMA championship battle, with a 75-lap race at Monadnock Speedway in New Hampshire. Despite just one race together so far, Seitz is hopeful that the 97 camp can chase the 2021 title together.


“It just kind of fell in place. Howie’s been good to work with so far, I do a lot of work with Richard Witkum on the car too, and it has worked out well. Seekonk, we got to sort some stuff out, shake some things down, and hopefully we can be better at Monadnock for it. It’ll be the start of the points deal, so hopefully we can get another solid finish.”


With just the one ISMA race at Monadnock in 2018, Seitz has most of his laps on the fast quarter-mile from back in his NEMA Midget days. Seitz, also a four-time NEMA champion, has learned that the art of compromise is the best approach to setting up any kind of racecar at this tough customer of a racetrack.


“It’s a lot of fun. The track itself is very challenging because there are two ends, so your setup is never truly perfect. You can be good on one end, like in one and two, and you’re off in three and four. So, it’s like a balancing act, but there’s a lot you can do on that track as far as the racing line, and how you’re driving the track to accommodate what your car is doing. It’s challenging, but fun.”


One noted characteristic of Monadnock is its old and rough racing surface. A daunting task for many drivers and teams, to Seitz it is simply another task to check off during the day’s practice session.


“It’s also a rougher track, which isn’t good or bad. It’s a different characteristic that you kind of have to work around. It’s something that we are going to work around Saturday morning in practice.”


Serving as the 2021 championship opener, Monadnock is a race that many Supermodified drivers have had circled since ISMA released their racing calendar over the winter. The reason being, with just three ISMA sanctioned events in 2020, due to New York State COVID-19 restrictions and the closure of the Canadian border, the series lost some its usual stops, along with some usual race teams.


Now, the Cape Cod driver is looking forward to finally being able to once again race for a second ISMA title.


“Last year was hard for everybody, we’re looking forward to finally getting back to normal, going racing, and being able to race for a championship.”


The ISMA Supermodifieds are also back on Speed51.TV for the second time this June. See this weekend’s All State Materials Group 75 live from Monadnock Speedway at 9:15 p.m. ET on Saturday night with your Speed51.TV yearly or monthly subscription.


-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Connor51CT

-Photo credit: Speed51

Seitz Adjusting Well to Howie Lane’s ISMA Supermodified