The International Super Modified Association was founded in 1974 by multi-time Oswego Speedway champions Jim Shampine and Nolan Swift to ensure the future and longevity of supermodified racing. With the help of a Central New York businessman, Tom Heveron, Shampine and Swift formed ISMA as a forum for owners and drivers to express their ideas and opinions.
ISMA’s initial goals were to upgrade supermodified racing with better safety conditions, offer more events per season, ensure sufficient purses, and aid drivers and teams. The association worked with track managements in making decisions and in discussing ways of improvement.
The club encouraged new drivers and owners to join supermodified racing, worked to capture racetracks’ interest in supermodified racing, and helped to promote the division to a wider audience.
Heveron became the original ISMA president and was aided by Shampine as the vice president and Fred Graves as the secretary and treasurer. These three men and numerous others led ISMA through its developmental stages.
The new supermodified racing association soon negotiated with western New York’s Lancaster Speedway, now known as Dunn Tire Raceway Park, for a 40-lap race held on July 3, 1974 which saw Richwood, Ohio’s Todd Gibson garner the association’s first feature win. The following year ISMA booked races at Fulton (N.Y.) Speedway with a $5,000 purse and $1,000 to win.
In 1976, ISMA developed a point fund with tracks contributing $500- $1,000 per race to this fund. Unlike most other point systems, ISMA adopted a system that awards points to the car owners, citing the fact that the association was an owners club rather than drivers. This “owners points” policy is still intact today.
By 1977 ISMA had accomplished sanctioning over $96,000 in purse money and races, adding a point fund of $4,400 paid by promoters, offering tow money at all ISMA-sanctioned races, having insurance certificates from each promoter on file, and working with other promoters for more races.
The ’77 season saw ISMA events at Ontario, Canada’s Delaware and Flamboro speedways, New Hampshire’s Star Speedway, Connecticut’s Thompson Int’l Speedway and Fulton. Thirty-five years later, Delaware, Star and Thompson continue as ISMA host tracks in 2012.
Today, ISMA continues at the forefront of supermodified sanctioning bodies, pioneering the franchise system, in which teams purchase a franchise at the beginning of the season. Creating a win-win situation for both the teams and promoters, each of the franchise teams are allowed to miss up to three shows during the race season while being guaranteed a minimum starting purse of $1,000 at each event. This system helps to ensure solid, stable car counts and a successful event for the promoter.
Over the past decade, ISMA has sanctioned between 13 and 17 shows a year, including two of the prestigious supermodified races – the July Hy-Miler Nationals at Sandusky (Ohio) Speedway, which has been a staple ISMA event since 1978, and September’s Star Classic at the quarter-mile Star bullring, an event that has a history dating over 40 years.
ISMA continues to look to the tracks of the past to preserve its history, while searching for new venues to move into the future.No Events
The 2012 campaign marked the 28th for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, which was established in 1985. The first race was held at Thompson International Speedway on March 31, 1985 and the 26th season concluded with the 112th event in Tour history at that same historic track in Northeast Connecticut with the coronation of Bobby Santos as champion.
The modern-day NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was set up a regional touring format for the popular style of race cars that were the feature attraction at many race tracks throughout the Northeast. In the past, drivers were required to race three or four nights per week at numerous individual race tracks holding championship events in order to garner points towards a national championship. A touring series, patterned after the popular NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, would formalize the procedure used to determine a NASCAR Modified champion. A total of 29 championship events were held the first year. Since then the tour has maintained a schedule of between 14 and 27 races each season.
Richie Evans, named the Greatest Modified Driver in NASCAR history in 2003, was the series’ first race winner and champion. Winston came on board as the first series sponsor of the division and it was known as the Winston Modified Tour. Jimmy Spencer became the first multiple champion, winning titles in 1986 and 1987. Mike McLaughlin won his only championship in 1988. Mike Stefanik won the first of his record seven championships in 1989. Jamie Tomaino earned his only championship in 1990.
The year 1990 was significant as the series raced for the first time on a superspeedway at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September. Stefanik added a second championship trophy to his collection in 1991. Jeff Fuller and Rick Fuller closed out the Winston era by winning championships in 1992 and 1993.
Wayne Anderson won the first championship under the Featherlite sponsorship in 1994 driving for Len Boehler. Tony Hirschman replaced Anderson in Boehler’s car and won the series in 1995, the first of his five championships. The 1996 season brought the Tour to a road course for the first as Watkins Glen was added to the schedule.
Hirschman and Stefanik would combine to win nine more championships over the next 11 seasons. Hirschman won in 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2005. Stefanik took top honors in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006.
Jerry Marquis won a classic points battle with Reggie Ruggiero in 2000 and Todd Szegedy won the 2003 title in his sophomore season. Hirschman’s title in 2004 closed out the Featherlite era. He joined Stefanik as the only driver to win a championship for three different car owners.
NASCAR’s oldest division welcomed a new sponsor in 2005; Whelen Engineering of Chester, Conn. Donny Lia in 2007 and 2009, and Ted Christopher in 2008, have earned their first series championships under the Whelen banner.
The Tour has produced drivers and crew members who have climbed up the ladder to the three NASCAR national series among them Spencer, McLaughlin, Jeff Fuller and Steve Park as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs Greg Zipadelli and Tommy Baldwin Jr.
The Whelen Modified Tour has raced at 37 different speedways in 13 states from Maine to North Carolina in its first 26 seasons. In 2007 the Whelen Modified Tour made its first appearance in the Midwest as it held a race in Mansfield, Ohio and it visited venerable Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for the first time in 2009. Thompson, which has played host to the most events, and Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway have sanctioned at least one series race in each of the first 26 seasons. The 2011 season will feature the first international event with a trip to Delaware, Ont.
Modifieds are NASCAR’s oldest division of racecars. The Whelen Modified Tour is one of four NASCAR-sanctioned regional touring series across the U.S., along with the Whelen Southern Modified Tour and the K&N Pro Series, East and West.No Events
Midget winners at Waterford Speedbowl line up behind Johnny Thomson, generally considered to be the best open-cockpit driver to ever come out of New England.
Thomson, a Lowell, MA product, posted an impressive record including two Midget victories at the Speedbowl in 1951 – the facility’s initial season.
Thomson won a fog-shortened race on July and a 35-lapper on July 14th, both ARDC sanctioned.
The Speedbowl is a “charter member” of the Northeastern Midget Association, hosting the first of what is now 66 events, on May 31, 1953. Bill Eldridge, NEMA’s first champion, was the winner in the Parmenter #55, besting Sid Cook and Elmer Gunnerson. The event followed by less than 24 hours NEMA’s first-ever race at Seekonk Speedway.
Two active drivers top the all-time win list. Nine-time club champion Drew Fornoro heads the list, winning six times between 1982 and 1999. Bobby Seymour has five between 1968 and 2000. Mark Buonomo has been very successful as well, the first in 1999.
Size and surface makes the Speedbowl one of the premiere Midget ovals in the northeast. Over the decades speeds have increased dramatically. In the fall of 1951, New Jersey driver Len Cross (who like Thomson wound up at Indianapolis) won an AAA-sanctioned 100 lapper. George Tichenor set fast time with a 17.92 -seconds plus lap. Joey Payne Jr. was the quickest qualifier for the Boston Louie with 13.380 seconds run last year.
Among the more notable NEMA shows at the Speedbowl are Jeff Horn’s 1993 triumph (giving him three straight wins), Ted Christopher’s Modified Nationals win in 1998 (in an Angelillo back up car) and Paul Lawless 6:26 romp to victory in the 2001 Nationals.
For more on NEMA History at Waterford Speedbowl, please click hereNo Events
The NEMST was created by former mini stock competitor Bob Guptill in the fall of 2008. The NEMST was inspired by the Four Cylinder Nationals presented by Gary Sagar at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. The need was realized for a equal traveling entry level series. The NEMST had a goal of providing tight clean racing without the high cost of most touring series. With robust racing fields and outstanding talent the NEMST puts on some of the best races in New England. The NEMST has taken local racing back to its roots by creating a fun, competitive, and inexpensive series that has garnered auto from national magazines and regional television With car counts that have more then doubled since our first event in 2009 the NEMST has proved itself as a premier racing series in New England. Consistent rules and even competition further promote series growth and advancement.No Events
The New England Race Truck is a full-sized, V-8 powered race truck built to compete on asphalt oval tracks up to ¾ mile in length. It is a high-quality, professionally engineered racing vehicle that offers maximum performance at an affordable price. Make no mistake; this turnkey race truck is ready for the track. Whether you are racing a ¼ or 5/8 paved mile, you will feel that power of this competition vehicle. But don’t be fooled, New England Race Trucks has designed a truck that levels the competition playing field placing the real emphasis on your driving ability and not your financial ability. This is what attracts so many to the race truck series. Whether you are driving a Chevy, Ford, or Dodge truck, these equally powered vehicles place it all on the line leaving it up to you to drive your way to the front of the pack.
New England Race Trucks feature fiberglass bodies that replicate Ford F150, Chevy Silverado, and Dodge Ram Trucks. All are V-8 powered Ford 302, Chevy 305, Dodge 318, and or newly added GM – 602, and 603 Crate motor program that will make racing more affordable for some. With automatic transmissions, the engines are built to ensure equal power output among the three different makes.
For greater power without sacrificing reliability, all engines feature a spec-racing carburetor, manifold, cam, electronic ignition and more. New England Race Trucks also feature dual reservoir master brake cylinders for adjustable (front/rear) brake bias, racing coil springs front and rear, and steel bodied racing shocks. Custom upper A-arms and wedge jack bolts provide adjustment according to track length and surface.
Most of the parts used in New England Race Trucks are available from local auto parts retailers. The chassis features a full sportsman-style roll cage made from 1.75” x 0.095” tubing, formed aluminum racing seat with 5-point safety harness, window net, and collapsible steering column. The 15-gallon fuel cell rests in a metal canister and each New England Race Truck includes an on-board fire suppression system. NETS offers the drivers and teams the experience of touring different tracks and learn the fast paced race day’s events that they must learn to adapt to. NETS race schedule tours in the Northeast area of NH, CT, and NY.No Events