ISMA: New Royalty Crowned at Oswego; Trent Stephens Tops King of Wings VIII

Jacob Seelman Featured, Northeast, Supermodifieds 0 Comments

Trent Stephens won his second career winged Supermodified event at Oswego Speedway Saturday night, claiming the coveted King of Wings VIII crown. (Bill Taylor photo)

Trent Stephens won his second career winged Supermodified event at Oswego Speedway Saturday night, claiming the coveted King of Wings VIII crown. (Bill Taylor photo)

OSWEGO, N.Y. – Oswego Speedway fans hailed new royalty during Saturday night’s King of Wings VIII feature for the International Supermodified Association, as Trent Stephens soared to victory in the 50-lap main event for his first series win of the season.

Stephens passed polesitter Moe Lilje on lap 21 and never looked back, leading by as much as 2.5 seconds at times and holding off fast qualifier and two-time event winner Mike Lichty down the stretch run to the checkered flag.

The triumph was Stephens’ first victory at the ‘Steel Palace’ since May 23, 2009 — an MSA-sanctioned win during Port City Weekend.

“It feels good to win again here, that’s for sure,” said Stephens of the win, which was also his second career ISMA victory. “2009 was my first time here and my first win here period. That was pretty cool and now it’s been a long time since then. It’s been frustrating the whole way. But, it feels good to win this one.”

“I think Moe had a little issue in traffic and I think I was able to capitalize on it. I’m not sure if I could have gotten him out in open air, but lap traffic always plays a part in these races, especially here at Oswego. It’s hard to pass lap cars here. Luckily that worked out for me for the good in that sense. Later in the race … it was definitely harder and harder to pass them, but we have tried some different things on the car and I think that really helped me with getting by lap traffic and off the turns. Those changes showed tonight and paid off pretty big for us.”

Lilje led the field to the green flag, but a quick caution slowed the pace after just one lap, with a three-car pileup on the exit of turn four collecting track regular Dave Danzer, Tim Ice and Eddie Witkum Jr. Of the trio, only Danzer returned to the race after the incident.

From there, a grueling green flag run broke out all the way to the finish, with 49 straight laps and slower traffic testing the leaders the entire way.

Lilje led early in the run ahead of the ACME Racing pair of Stephens and teammate Danny Shirey, and by the time five laps were in the books, it appeared as if the bout would be settled between Tim Jedzrejek, fast qualifier Mike Lichty and Dave Shullick Jr. — who ran in positions five through seven.

By the time 10 laps went down, Lilje’s lead was 2.2 seconds as Jedzrejek and Lichty began their charges forward. The pair moved to third and fourth on the 11th round and traffic aided them in beginning to close the gap.

As they closed, Stephens hit the button and soared around the outside of Lilje for the lead on the 21st round, as the No. 76 was held up behind the slower car of Dan Bowes.

From there, the laps ticked off and Jedzrejek and Lichty continued to close as the top four positions tightened up past the halfway point. With 15 to go, Lichty blasted past Jedzrejek for the third position and set his sights on the top two.

It took three laps for Lichty to run down Lilje and one more for him to scoot clear on the outside of turn one with 11 to go, but though Lichty got to second and had the pace to contend with Stephens, he simply had too big a deficit and not enough time to be able to run the lead down and was forced to settle for second.

“We had some problems there getting past fourth (Shirey) as the two guys up front were hitting the tail of the field, but when we did get into second the car was definitely good. Time just ran out on us tonight. Hats off to Trent and the Stout crew for their win. It means something to win the King of Wings at Oswego. We’ve won it twice, so it’s cool to see them get it if we couldn’t.”

“I needed a caution, I think, if I wanted to have a shot at him. There was just too much congestion to make a lot of ground. All in all, though, it was a good night. I was thankful for that first yellow though, because my helmet flew up on the opening lap and I had air hitting me right in the face. Thankfully we were able to get that resolved and make a charge there. It was eventful, but P2 isn’t a bad day.”

Fellow Canadian Mark Sammut rounded out the podium in third, followed by Lilje and Tim Jedzrejek.

Journeyman Mike McVetta, Shullick, Shirey, Rob Summers and Chris Perley were the balance of the top 10.

The ISMA season continues on July 16 at Pennsylvania’s Jennerstown Speedway.

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RESULTS: International Supermodified Association; King of Wings VIII; Oswego Speedway; July 9, 2016

ISMA Supermodified King of Wings VIII (50 laps): 1. #19 – Trent Stephens, 2. #84 – Mike Lichty, 3. #78 – Mark Sammut, 4. #76 – Moe Lilje, 5. #97 – Tim Jedrzejek, 6. #22 – Mike McVetta, 7. #95 – Dave Shullick Jr., 8. #49 – Danny Shirey, 9. #74 – Rob Summers, 10. #11 – Chris Perley, 11. #17 – Ben Seitz, 12. #52 – Dave Danzer, 13. #64 – Jim Paller, 14. #25 – Dan Bowes, 15. #61 – Mike Ordway Jr, 16. #40 – Bob Magner, 17. #65 – Tim Ice, 18. #21 – Ed Witkum Jr.


About the Writer

jacobseelmanJacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.

Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.

The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

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