Tom Herzig's Trackside: Supermodifieds set for Ollie Silva Memorial at Lee USA on Friday
THE ISMA Supermodifieds are set to swoop Lee USA Speedway on Friday night in the 14th annual Ollie Silva Memorial 75. Get there early if you can. This is a race date that got circled on calendars as soon as Lee announced its 2013 schedule.
The fuel-injected big-blocks are equipped with a wing mounted on air shocks. When the downforce on the wing overcomes the pressure in the shocks, the wing drops down to reduce drag down the straightaway. At 1,850 pounds with an 18-inch slick on the right rear, the Supers are wicked fast.
Coming in off a two-race weekend in Ohio, Pennsylvanian “Liquid” Lou Cicconi, the driver of the Vic Miller No. 71, is the Series point leader. Cicconi leads 2012 champion Mike Lichty of Innerkip, Ontario, by 79 points, but this is a two-race weekend — the Supers are at Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday and anything can happen at Lee. The track can get slick with the help of a little seaside mist or fog — just ask Small Block Super chauffeur Eddie Witkum Jr.
Witkum is nursing a compressed vertebra after a wreck last week. “It was a racing thing,” he said. “I was on the outside of Mike Netishen coming out of the turn and should’ve backed out sooner. The video cam showed that I had a little more room than I thought I had at the time. He was tight. I was loose. The gap got smaller and smaller in a hurry. When I lifted, the car took a set and then I was into the wall. It’s a hard pill to swallow with big races coming up in my back yard.”
It was only one week earlier that Chris Perley wound up in the wall with the same car after reacting to a piece of debris that flew into the cockpit.
Cicconi’s Shea Concrete No. 71 will likely be the lone Vic Miller entry this weekend. One of three team engines was already in Indiana being freshened and camshaft troubles arose in the other. Canadian Mark Sammut, third in points, will likely contend for the win. Ditto for Ben Seitz of Bourne, Mass., and last year’s Ollie Silva Memorial winner, Jon McKennedy.Steve Masse of Bellingham, Mass., retook the lead with six laps remaining to win the Valenti Modified Series 100 at Beech Ridge. Masse started on the pole and led the first 63 laps. On Saturday, the VMS Series returns to Waterford, where Masse won in April. Rowan Pennink placed fifth behind Anthony Nocella, Chris Pasteryak and Richard Savary to take over the points lead from Tommy Barrett Jr. (330-326).
Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, Vt., won the ACT event at Sanair Speedway in Quebec. It was the second win of the season for Hebert, the No. 2 point man on the Tour. Wayne Helliwell Jr., the point leader and defending ACT champion came from 24th to finish third, minimizing Hebert’s potential advance. Canadian Alex Labbe was the runner-up. Joey Polewarczyk Jr. started 13th and finished fourth. After a week off, ACT is headed to Beech Ridge.
Barry Gray won the Granite State Pro Stock Series JBH Memorial 100 at Monadnock with a lap-79 pass of Series founder Mike Parks of Walpole. Gray hails from Belchertown, Mass. He’s won many a race at Monadnock, including the inaugural Memorial 100 last year. The next GSPSS contest is at Star Speedway on Aug. 17.DJ Robinson, 20, from Sharon, Vt., won a raucous Modified feature at Canaan Dirt. Robinson pilots the Fourth Generation Paving No. 4 with help from his father, Dale. Robinson started fifth and had just got to the front when race control came over the one-way radio with red-flag alert for a multi-car pile-up on the frontstretch that ended points leader Randy Howe’s night.
Canaan Asphalt races Saturday night as a prelude to Sunday’s $5,000-to-win ACT-legal Late Model Subway Fresh Fit 150. There should be a strong field in the pits for this one.Jacob Dore of Sanford, Maine, drove to win number three in the Modified feature at Star Speedway.
The Outlaws and the Roadrunners ran double features at Hudson. Todd Warren held off Dean Wendell of Derry for his second 2013 win. Wendell gave Kevin Kephart a test before settling for another second in the nightcap. Jarrod Soucy carried the Roadrunner checkers the first time around. Fan favorite Jen Lord of Dracut, Mass., took the second Roadrunner feature.
Riverside Speedway in Groveton holds its first annual Chili Bowl Saturday — there’s a fan chili cooking contest and more with a 100-lap Late Model feature as the headline event.
Trackside appears Thursdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Riverside: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Star Speedway: Saturday, 6 p.m.
White Mountain: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Canaan Asphalt: Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
Legion: Sunday, 5 p.m.
Hudson: Sunday, 6 p.m.