LORAIN, Ohio — official series release — Jim Feeney photo —
Thirty-one years ago the International Supermodified Association ran their first race event at Lorain County Speedway. The No. 22 of Navarre, Ohio’s Doug Saunier was the winner of the 1984 100-lapper.
Fast forward to 2015 when ISMA returned to Lorain County on Friday night, seeing young NASA engineer Michael McVetta win Friday night’s 50-lap feature and drive his No. 22 to a career-first victory.
Tying the two events together? McVetta happens to be Saunier’s son-in-law.
McVetta, driving a self-built supermodified, and veteran Dave McKnight lead the 25-car ISMA Summercafield to green, with McVetta immediately taking control and never being seriously threatened for the lead despite several skirmishes that slowed the event with yellow flags.
The win was all the more rewarding for McVetta after a heavy crash at Oswego Speedway on June 13 left him nursing an injured finger from the incident, but unfortunately, McVetta also saw his first victory marred at race’s end when a broken watts link sent him into the first turn with a damaged car.
Getting a lift to victory lane as his car went on the hook, McVetta was all smiles despite the fact he faced another major repair session.
“This is unbelievable,” McVetta smiled. “I want to thank all those who stepped up and helped us get back on track. There are so many to thank. Acme Racing gave us a big hand and gave us a rear end. Euphoria Vapor came over one night at ten o’clock and helped us set up the car. The Fourth Turn Crazies; they are always there for us. I can’t say enough about Dave Ennis and his family. They do everything for us. Thanks to Ridgeway photos. Thanks to my family, my sponsors and friends. I can’t thank them all enough. I couldn’t do this without them.”
Rob Summers, who finished second, might have garnered a win had things played out differently.
“I thought I had it for sure there,” Summers said. “The twenty-two did what he had to do. He kind of put me toward the wall one time and toward the infield another. I could have probably put my foot into it but we would have probably had two wrecked race cars. For us to get a second place is good because the beginning of this year has been tough for us. I’m happy for the whole team.”
Dave Shullick Jr., who started back in fourteenth, rounded out the podium in third.
“I just started a long way back,” Shullick admitted. “I had a good car. I learned a few things tonight about where the track wants us to run. If we race tomorrow, we’ll be pretty good.”
Despite some ominous weather forecasts for the weekend, Lorain County Speedway was able to finish their planned activities just prior to a light rain beginning to fall.
In time trials, Canadian Mike Lichty broke the existing Lorain track record with a 11.798 second lap. Danny Bowes, McVetta and Danny Shirey won the qualifiers.
CREDIT: International Supermodified Association