Oswego, NY - Chris Perley and the Vic Miller supermodified 11 team had what they considered a very good year in 2003. They finished every one of the ISMA-Lucas Oil-Helping Hands America races they competed in and they ended up in victory lane in...
Oswego, NY - Chris Perley and the Vic Miller supermodified 11 team had what they considered a very good year in 2003. They finished every one of the ISMA-Lucas Oil-Helping Hands America races they competed in and they ended up in victory lane in four of those fourteen events. They capped the season with a victory at Thompson International Speedway's World Series in October, which gave them the 2003 ISMA Owner-Driver championship title to boot. They certainly would like to continue doing the same thing in 2004.
"I'm just looking forward to racing again," said Perley from Perley's Marina in Rowley, Mass. "It's been a long, cold winter and I hope we haven't lost anything along the way. I'm hoping to be able to run as good as I did last year. Of course, defending the title will be exciting and having back-to-back championships would be fun. But, there is a lot of good competition out there and that's not an easy task."
The last repeat driver champion was Russ Wood who captured the 1996-1997 titles. But, when it comes to owner champions, ISMA's Paul Dunigan has had a lock on the prestigious owner trophy. From 1995 through 2000, Dunigan claimed the top prize with Mike Ordway, Wood and Joe Gosek as drivers. Dave McKnight broke the string in 2001 capturing the title for car owner Brad Lichty, but Dunigan and Wood were back in full force to reclaim the 2002 championship. And, 2003 saw Perley and Vic Miller battling Wood and Dunigan down to the wire to break up another potential repeat. It won't be any easier this season.
"I'm sure there will be people stepping up this season to make the competition even tougher than it was last year," Perley continued. "Last season you didn't know until the last lap many times who was going to win. No one was a shoe-in. We won a few last year and we'd like to win more, but you can't count on anything. Paul Dunigan has another new car and Woody is always tough. And there are other guys too. Actually I'd really be ecstatic just to continue doing what we did last year."
The Miller-Perley team, which pretty much stayed intact over the winter, has produced a new car for 2004, but they do not plan on bringing it out until later in the season. "We probably won't run that car until Classic time at Oswego," said Chris, "Unless we have to. We ran as a one-car team all last year and got lucky. Hopefully we won't need to use this other car for a while."
The Vic Miller - Chris Perley 11 was backed by the following supporters in 2003: E.F. Shea N.E. Concrete, R&R Engines, NE Motor Racing Supply, Perley's Marina, Barrett Transportation, Hardy Transportation, and Jack Cook Enterprises. That list should stay the same in 2004 according to Perley.
"Everything is pretty much the same," said Perley, "And, that's not a bad thing because I'd be happy with continuing in the 'same-old-same-old' way. That would be just fine with me."
Perley, who also may take a few P.A.S.S. rides during the season, enters his 19th year of racing and his 15th year in the winged supermodifieds. His ISMA feature win total now stands at 17 and he will be looking forward to adding to that total for sure in the same way as last year. And for the fans that sit in the stands that translates into heart stopping, flat-out excitement every time the 36-year old driver sits down, straps in and takes off racing! With some new venues such as Stafford Springs Motor Speedway (CT), Mansfield Speedway (OH), Wall Stadium (NJ) and a return to Jennerstown (PA) where Perley won in September 1995, it should be quite a season for the champions and for the fans.
Perley is owner-operator of Perley's Marine Repair and he and his wife Kerry reside in Rowley, Mass. with their two sons Connor and Allen.