Supermodifieds Getting Ready To Kick Start 2010 Campaign

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Cornelius, N.C.
While most forms of short-track racing have already begun their 2010 campaigns, supermodified racing in the East will get its start the first weekend of May, when Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway holds a Saturday practice session and the International Supermodified Ass’n opens Sunday, May 2 at Albany-Saratoga (N.Y.) Speedway.

Oswego will run three shows in May, beginning with a special 60-lap opener May 8 to commemorate the lakeside oval’s 60th-consecutive year in operation. A regular 45-lapper May 22 and the Jim Shampine Memorial 75 May 29 fill the month.

A total of 12 super shows plus the annual Labor Day Int’l Classic weekend continue Oswego’s status as the country’s only weekly supermodified track. Oswego began as a modified venue in 1951 until upright supermodifieds from Michigan invaded the speedway Classic weekend of 1961. Supers were the featured division on the opening day of 1962, and it’s been that way since.

One of the most competitive supermodified fields in years should make Oswego’s season a fine one. Expect three-time and defending track champion Otto Sitterly, 1996 Indianapolis 500 starter Joe Gosek, Joey Payne, Doug Didero, Greg Furlong and a host of others to vie for wins and the championship.

ISMA’s opener at Albany-Saratoga is highly anticipated, considering it will mark the supers’ first visit to the now-paved oval. Sitterly plans to head to Albany after practicing at Oswego the day before. The 2009 Classic winner has never won an ISMA feature, but should be considered one of the favorites at the Malta (N.Y.) oval.

Sitterly once raced stock cars on the dirt at Albany and laid down some fast laps while testing one of his John Nicotra-owned supers there last fall.

Chris Perley, Mike Ordway, Sr., Dave Shullick, Jr., Lou Cicconi, Mark Sammut and Russ Wood, to name a few, should be in the mix when ISMA waves the green flag on its new season.

The Midwest Supermodified Ass’n opens its fresh 13-race slate May 8 at Sandusky Speedway in Ohio. MSA begins at its two staple tracks, Sandusky and a May 22 show at Lorain (Ohio) Speedway.

June provides a busy month for the Ohio-based winged supermod tour; MSA has four shows on the card during the month, including a weekend swing at Ohio’s Toledo and Lorain speedways on June 11 and 12.

Last year’s MSA champ Tim Jedrzejek, Charlie Schultz, Randy Burch and the young Trent Stephens should continue as the top dogs of the MSA. Each of those four Buckeyes can run with ISMA’s best on most days; in fact, Jedrzejek may have the fastest winged super in the country right now with the Reed’s Salvage-owned Allegresso chassis.

West Coast supers began their new season April 3 at Madera (Calif.) Speedway. Driving a 360 super, Kyle Vanderpool outran the 410s to net the victory.

Low car counts continue to plague supermodified racing on the West Coast. Only four 410 supers and five carbureted 360s were in the pits at Madera. More cars are expected as the season progresses. Officials of the Supermodified Racing Ass’n, the only supermod sanctioning body west of the Rockies, say the group remains committed to supermodified racing on the West Coast.

The Denver-based Englewood Racing Ass’n will wait until May 29 to open its 2010 schedule at Colorado National Speedway. The upstart ERA is anticipating one of its best seasons ever after a fine 2009 campaign. Ten races, nine at CNS and one at Pueblo, Colorado’s I-25 Speedway, fill the card.