Oswego, NY - The dynamic Chris Perley-Vic Miller supermodified team has always had the potential to be winners, easily proven by their excellent record. But, they couldn't always compete on the full ISMA trail because of low funds In 2001,...
Oswego, NY - The dynamic Chris Perley-Vic Miller supermodified team has always had the potential to be winners, easily proven by their excellent record. But, they couldn't always compete on the full ISMA trail because of low funds In 2001, however, they'll get a little boost in the the expense department from a familiar name when the Ed Shea Concrete Products logo is painted on the side of the potent number 11.
Veteran car owner Shea laid aside his racing commitments a couple years ago due to his expanding New England concrete business, but not his love of the sport. For 2001 the multi-time ISMA owner champion, is hankering to return to his old hobby, this time as a sponsor on the Miller-Perley team.
Said Ed recently, "I have wanted to get back into ISMA supermodified racing but without the daily grind of maintaining my own car. Vic Miller is a hard-working supermodified car owner, who has always maintained really fast ra ce cars. With Chris Perley in the driver's seat, the potential is always there for a victory. We feel that with this new arrangement we can go after the 2001 ISMA Championship."
In the six years that Vic Miller and Chris Perley have been a team, there has only been one year that they competed full time on the ISMA trail. "In 1996, we made all the races," said Perley recently from his home, "and we finished second in the points. We hadn't planned on running every show, but each time we did well, we got closer in points, so we kept going."
The Miller-Perley team opened that '96 season with a win at Tioga and went on to win the Oswego Nationals and Star Classic. A flat tire at Jennerstown the next week eventually hurt their run at the title.
Perley was more than pleased to welcome Ed Shea on board as a 2001 sponsor. "Right now we are planning on running all of the ISMA races if everything works out. Having Ed Shea help us out takes the curse off the schedule. We've always had a few small sponsors who have helped us and having Ed with us will definitely do even more." said Perley. "Everyone knows Ed Shea and he and Vic go way back. When Ed approached us this year, we certainly couldn't say no. We were very happy with the whole thing."
Perley and Miller right now plan on having two cars. The new car that was finally completed late in 2000 will be the main car. "We took a while to finish that car, but we were very pleased with the outcome," said Chris, "We ran the car three times. Once at Oswego with Mike Ordway driving. Once at Star where the power steering line went and finally at Thompson in October, which we won. We were really happy with it and the old one's still good, so for once we have two 'keepers' in the garage."
While still being buried in March snow, forecasts of a new race season with a new sponsor, seemed a bit early, but Chris had one thing to say. "I won't say we are running for the championship. Vic hates to count points. But, obviously we won't be running for second either. I don't think anyone goes out there thinking they can't win."
The "Rowley Rocket", who resides in that Massachusett's town with his wife and three-year old son, won't be letting any grass grow under his feet this race season. He still plans on running his Pro Stock ride at Thompson. "There won't be many conflicts," said Perley, "As most of Thompson's events are on Thursday nights. There are only three times when I have a little problem." It looks to be an interesting year for the popular 16-year racing veteran. "I'll be running ISMA, the Pro Stock, and working at Perley's Marina which makes for a busy year. I'll try it this season and see what happens then I'll look back over it and see if I have to retire from one of the first three." laughed Chris.
Thirty-year-plus car owner Vic Miller reiterated his driver's feelings. "Ed will bring a big boost particularly in the engine department. We're planning on running all the ISMA shows now that there are no Star events. With Ed's help two new motors are being prepared by R&R which will add to the three we have. We've got two real good cars to go with the motors. We'll concentrate on ISMA and see what we can do. In racing luck plays a big part. We've got a proven team and we've got a good chance at doing well."
The team has been busy over the winter building many spare parts to add to their preparedness. "We've been working two or three nights during the week and on weekends fabricating parts," said Miller, "All our spares are interchangeable between the two cars. But the motor program is the most important. Motors have become more complicated to build than in the old days. You can't just take a few days and build one. You have to order and wait for parts, sometimes for quite a while. That's why Eddie's (Shea) involvement means a lot. It gives us a good start on the season in the motor department. It's taking a lot of pressure off us as the motors have always been the hardest part of the racing."
Miller is not one to make any predictions right now either. "I never look too far ahead. If it all works out at one race, you go to the next one. If you're running good, things will fall in place."
The Ed Shea-sponsored Miller-Perley supermodified team do look forward to ISMA's first race of 2001 right in their backyard at Lee USA Speedway on May 5. From there, if things work out, they'll head down the road to Seekonk Speedway for second leg of the weekend doubleheader on May 6. They'll be prepared. They'll be fast and as always, the "Rowley Rocket" will be an integral part of the excitement that is ISMA supermodified racing!