International Supermodified Association Begins 30th Anniversary Season - All-Time Top Ten ISMA Feature Winners Announced Oswego, NY - In 1974, the late Jim Shampine and most recently, the late Nolan Swift, began to formulate a concept they felt...
International Supermodified Association Begins 30th Anniversary Season - All-Time Top Ten ISMA Feature Winners Announced
Oswego, NY - In 1974, the late Jim Shampine and most recently, the late Nolan Swift, began to formulate a concept they felt would insure the future of supermodified racing. They wanted to form an organization that could eventually guarantee fair purses for the new group's owner-members. A standard rulebook would govern the trips to various racetracks throughout the northeast and Canada and the exposure to many new fans would help insure the future of this exciting racing. Eventually, businessman Tom Heveron was approached to assist in those early formative days and The International SuperModified Association was born.
The only surviving member of that early trio, Tom Heveron, spoke of those early days from his Florida home. "I'm proud to be a part of the formation of ISMA. There was a need for the organization, to make the purses better and to get outside of Oswego to show supermodifieds. ISMA has helped keep the sport alive. It was necessary then and it's necessary now."
Heveron and his son, Doug, won the ISMA owner-driver titles four straight years from 1979- 1982. More of Tom Heveron's recollections will be in the ISMA Yearbook 2003-2004, which will go on sale the weekend of May 1-2 at Star and Seekonk's first two Lucas Oil - Helping Hands of America ISMA shows.
ISMA's first title-holder was Steve Gioia Jr., who recently became co-owner of the famed Oswego Speedway. Steve remembers that 1976 achievement proudly. "My first ISMA championship is something I'll always honor and treasure," said Gioia who acquired three more titles through 1986. "Someone mentioned then that if ISMA ever turned into anything that I would always be remembered as the first champion." Well, it did and Steve is fondly remembered as the first! He will continue to insure the future of supermodified racing today at what he calls the "hub of supermodified racing", Oswego Speedway.
Those early ideals espoused by Shampine, Swift and others continue into 2004 as the now internationally-known ISMA traveling group begins its 30th anniversary season. Over the 4-decade span of ISMA racing, many car owners and drivers have competed and all have contributed to the organization's success.
In commemoration of the 30th anniversary, an all-time feature win list has been compiled. Leading the all-time feature list is Pelham, NH's Russ Wood with 45 wins. Non-point feature wins were kept separately. Wood, who drives for Paul Dunigan racing, has five ISMA driver titles to his credit. Following Wood are 2. Bentley Warren (40), 3. Mike Ordway (27), 4. Joe Gosek (26), 5. Chris Perley, 6. Dave McKnight, 7. Pat Abold (13), Doug Heveron (13), 9. Warren Coniam (12) and three drivers tied for 10th - Jim Shampine, Eddie Bellinger Jr. and Dave Shullick Sr. with 10 wins each. All of the top seven feature winners are still active within the organization.
The entire list of 59 drivers are being posted on ISMA's website ISMAsupers.com. A year-by-year, race by race list from 1976-2003 will also be in the 30th anniversary ISMA Yearbook.
Nineteen shows are slated for the 2004 ISMA season with two major sponsors, Lucas Oil Products and Helping Hands of America signed onboard. For more information and a color schedule, write ISMA at PO Box 2753, Liverpool, NY 13089.