Oswego, NY - Ready to break out of the dreary cold winter in the Northeast, several supermodified teams have announced their intentions of heading to Phoenix International Speedway with their cars to test the 2001 Copper World Classic waters. The...
Oswego, NY - Ready to break out of the dreary cold winter in the Northeast, several supermodified teams have announced their intentions of heading to Phoenix International Speedway with their cars to test the 2001 Copper World Classic waters. The supers join the USAC midgets, USAC Silver Bullet sprints and the Indy Racing League during the 4-day event March 15-18.
Among the ISMA supermodified competitors that are busy preparing for the long haul west are Canadian Brad Lichty and his two talented drivers, Dave McKnight and Doug Saunier; Joe Gosek in the Paul Dunigan-owned 29; Johnny Payne, driving for car owner Steve Miller and the Armand and Doug Boisvert-owned two-car team. Doug will pilot one of the New England supers while veteran Mike Ordway will climb aboard the second of the Boisvert cars. Saunier, of Navarre, Ohio, many may remember, holds the distinction of winning the first supermodified Copper Classic ever held at the Phoenix oval almost twenty years ago. Dave McKnight, who finished third in the ISMA point race in 2000, is always competitive wherever and whenever he drives onto a speedway.
Joe Gosek, 2000 ISMA champion in the Dunigan 26, will be on board the 29 super, which the team has chosen to take to Phoenix. Gosek, a veteran of the Indianapolis 500 and several other IRL races, indicates he is looking forward to the trip to Phoenix with the Dunigan team. They'll head to Las Vegas after the Copper World Classic for another Supermodified Racing League(SRL) - sanctioned event. Joe's ISMA teammate, Russ Wood, will take over the seat of the 29 super when the season starts, while Gosek returns to his championship-winning #26 at the pair vie for a possible unprecedented seventh ISMA championship for car owner Paul Dunigan.
New Jersey's John Payne, driving his second full season for Miller in 2001, is an experienced and versatile pilot who has many years in the open wheel midget ranks. The two New Hampshire drivers, Boisvert and Ordway, will also bring much talent to the grid. While Ordway has the edge on years of competition and in credentials, Boisvert has steadily progressed up the ladder in the past two years in the powerful supers. Ordway will return to drive the Clyde Booth-owned supermodified when ISMA opens its season in May.
A rundown of the 4-day schedule for those lucky enough to get to make the trip from the frozen north follows. The cars and drivers get a chance their first practice in on Thursday, March 15 with a Speed Fest Party beginning at 6 pm.
On Friday, March 16, practice continues for the USAC Midgets, the SRL supers, the Silver Bullet cars and the IRL, with that day ending with a "Participant Cookout".
Saturday, March 17 begins with IRL and Silver Bullet practice, followed by IRL qualifying, SRL and midget practice, Silver Bullet Qualifying and a midget consolation. Racing finally begins with the 25-lap SRL Supermodified Racing League main which starts at 2:00 pm, followed by the midget main, and the Silver Bullet consi.
Sunday, March 18 begins with IRL and Silver Bullet warmups with the Silver Bullet cars gridding at 11:30 am. The IRL cars grid at 1:15 pm with the IRNLS/Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 beginning at approximately 2 pm. For further information on the SRL events and Phoenix activities, log on to www.supermodifiedracing.com/PIR or www.PhoenixInternationalRaceway.com.