This past weekend, Sunset Speedway fans were served a nice treat in the form of the ISMA Super Modified Series.
Now why was this a treat? Let’s just say that these cars aren’t your usual stock cars.
The ISMA Super Modifieds are the fastest cars that we can find to have at Sunset Speedway and basically are an overgrown modified. They weigh approximately 1850 pounds with big-block methanol fuel-injected Chevrolets that pump out over 800 horsepower. They can do speeds over 140 mph at tracks that less than a mile – let that sink in. The secret? 20” Hoosier right-rear tires with loads of downforce courtesy of the air-strut adjustable wing on top.
So what does that equal? Pure speed and loud horsepower. Everything that a fan loves about racing. The lap times that these cars were able to pull off were beautiful.
OSCAAR Super Late Model competitor Dwayne Baker set the pole speed for the Don Biederman Memorial for the OSCAARs at 13.0 seconds back at the end of June. Lou Cicconi set the quickest time of the day for the ISMA Super Modifieds at lap of 12.099 seconds. Yes, these cars are basically a second quicker than the OSCAAR Super Late Models.
In Sunday afternoon’s event, Jeff Locke started on pole and led all 75 laps at Sunset Speedway to take the victory in the feature.
“First of all, great facility; great place,” Locke said afterwards. “I really appreciate Sunset Speedway for having us. I hope we put on a good show for the fans. A good turn-out. Starting out front was a good thing; track position was key. It was really hard to pass. Once you get a lot of laps on the tires, you start slipping and sliding a little bit and we were able to keep it up front and here we are.”
Now with everything said – was the event a success? Was it worth the $40 admission as that’s the question I always hear?
My honesty wants to say this – yes and no – as it depends what type of fan you are.
If you are a racecar that likes pure speed, seeing different types of racing and styles of cars, then this was your show as this was a good example of that.
However, the feature race was mostly a single-file racing affair. Now that brings no excitement, which to some fans, equals a huge let down as you want to see side-by-side racing and close competition.
The problem is the super modifieds are WIDE and Sunset, a 1/3 mile, is NARROW to them. In exchange, that makes for it to be hard to pass for them. Now at a bigger track that is wider say Delaware or Kawartha, boom, you have a side-by-side racing affair. Another point was this was their first ever time at Sunset so always with a first race at a track for a series, you have those who hit the set-up and others that don’t.
Say a second time around, you may get some more competitive racing with other drivers finding that edge.
In conclusion, with the good and bad, it was a great show and I was glad that I went. I had a great time as they did put on a show and it was nice to experience something different for a change that you normally don’t see. You could say the same for the rest of the crowd, too, as Sunset packed the house on Sunday.