Just a couple of quick thoughts on the release of the International Supermodified Association schedule that came out today at the banquet.
Personally, I think it’s probably the best ISMA schedule in a while. They are going back to some old haunts that have traditionally produced some of their best races and they are coming back west of New York for several of them.
Of note is the return to Jennerstown Speedway and although it’s not on the traditional Fall Classic date of the past, (in September), it’s interesting to think that Jennerstown could pull off an ISMA purse this soon into their rejuvenation. ISMA has two possible dates open, one in June, (which may prove to be the better of the two if you wonder about solvency of Jennerstown), and the preferred date in August.
Also, two dates at Delaware and a possible show at Cayuga, (listed as Tentative for August 22nd and the day after second Delaware date), is great for the bulk of the ISMA Canadian fans.
While Sunset and Chaudiere both enjoyed good grandstands, I think that it’s smart to go where there is an established base which is certainly Delaware and to some degree Cayuga, because in the end, what did ISMA or the division really gain by venturing to the other two?
Speaking of venturing out, there was a lot of talk about a double dip in North Carolina for 2015 and thankfully, that isn’t happening, at least as the schedule shows now. I stand on my thoughts of the first venture to North Carolina back in the day when I questioned the return on the investment for the teams. The hope was that a major sponsor would appear because of being in NASCAR country, yet each time the supers have been in the Tarheel state, nothing of note has materialized. With the waning interest in NASCAR as a whole, I certainly don’t see that it would be any different in 2015. Of course, if a promoter is willing to pay a substantial purse, (over and beyond what ISMA normally commands), then maybe it should be explored.
Lorain County is an exciting addition to the schedule and it appears that The County is fully behind the date as they refurbish the racey 3/8ths, which I’m told includes paving the pits. I’d suggest that ISMA is playing it’s cards right in this area as it will not only pad it’s fields with the Ohio cars, ISMA should also see less complaining about handicapping by the MSA teams as they will now have an opportunity to get a couple of shows in that are in their own back yard before Nationals. This could also begin to build a relationship with a potential replacement track for Nationals if Sandusky goes under. Now the question is, can The County hold enough fans to pay for the purse as well as, will the Ohio teams support the shows in Ohio as well as those that are somewhat close in Canada?
Scaling back to three shows at Oswego brings a sigh of relief for me. Call it personal, but Oswego needs to focus on it’s main attraction and that is non-wing supermodified racing. You can read about the full Oswego Speedway schedule elsewhere in a previous post. (See Note Below)
Looking at the East Coast, Waterford for the Wings and Wheels event returns even though it was recently sold. THAT is a good thing. The racing there is excellent and it’s good to be there for the New England base. The long standing dates at Lee, Star and Thompson remain in their traditional dates.
I’m sure much of the Eastern seaboard will rant and complain about the move back west, but it’s time. ISMA apparently has listened to some of the Ohio teams, (although, it seems hard to imagine what with all the bitching the last 6 or 8 years about handicaps and such), and I’m putting money on the fact that Craig Reed, Brad Lichty, Mark Sammut, and to some degree Gary Morton have made their voices heard.
It makes sense to me, ISMA car counts have struggled depending only on the New England contingent, even in New England, (although, as is usual, Thompson had a good one), and it bears to note that when you combine 16 from ISMA with 10 from MSA or 14 from Oswego, you’re going to look better for your promoter and your fans. As far as sponsors, well ISMA is still woefully complacent in talking about, nurturing or gaining new ones, so I’m not even considering that factor at this point when it comes to importance of car counts.
I’d like to see even more double-dip weekends to make the travel a little more palatable for the teams, but this is a good start with two day shows at Lorain County, Nationals at Sandusky, Lee/Waterford and potentially Delaware/Cayuga.
I am especially liking the fact that July fourth remains open and although I’m sure it’s strictly coincidental, it allows teams east of the Mississippi the chance to take in the $5,000 to win open competition event at Rocky Mountain Raceways in Salt Lake. This show has the potential to build into something decent and the purse for a 20 car, 40 lap race is substantial.
So there are my thoughts. Let’s hear yours. Share your comments on the 2015 ISMA schedule below.
Note: In the rush to get my thoughts down, I failed to account for the ISMA show in June at Oswego. So ISMA will continue with four shows at Oswego in 2015.
2015 International Supermodified Association Schedule
- 15-Delaware Speedway
- 23-Oswego Speedway: Irish Jack Murphy 50
- 13-Oswego Speedway
- 22-Jennerstown Speedway (Possible date as second choice)
- 26-Lorain County Speedway: 50 Laps
- 27-Lorain County Speedway: 100 Laps
- 11-Oswego Speedway: King of Wings VII
- 24-Sandusky Speedway: Friday Night Fast 40
- 25-Sandusky Speedway: Hy-Miler Supermodified Nationals 100
- 7-Lee USA Speedway: Ollie Silva Summer Classic 75
- 8-Waterford Speedbowl: Wings-n-Wheels 50
- 15-Jennerstown Speedway (First choice date)
- 21-Delaware Speedway: Harvey Lennox Series
- 22-Cayuga Speedway (Tentative)
- 5-Oswego Speedway: SuperNationals
- 12-Star Speedway: Star Classic 150
- 16-17-Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park: World Series of Asphalt Racing 50