Naples, ME – Lee USA Speedway and the NE Big-Block Super Modified Series (NEBSMS) have inked a deal to run the 22nd annual Ollie Silva Mid-Summer Classic Saturday August 6th, 2022. For the past 21 seasons ISMA has sanctioned the event. Reduced cost of the sanctioning body and huge faith in the new series prompted the switch.
Joe Bassett, the General Manager of Lee USA Speedway, says he is really excited to try something new in 2022. “This race is special to my heart. It’s extremely important to me not only for Lee but with the importance of Super Modifieds in my back ground. With the all the great things that Tom Mayberry has done with the Pro All Stars Series and Oxford Plains Speedway I know he is going to put an amazing product on the track.”
While NEBSMS is a brand-new series this year, supermodifieds have a rich history in Lee, NH dating all the way back to 1965 with NESMRA (New England Super Modified Racing Association). Originally featuring races on a freshly paved 1/3 mile tri oval both on the pavement and on the snow, Lee was reconfigured in 1984 to its current 3/8-mile configuration. Over the years Lee has had many of the supermodified greats celebrate in Victory Lane – namely Bentley Warren, Chris Perley and Russ Wood who all top the all-time ISMA Win list.
The First Ollie Silva Mid-Summer Classic was won by Russ Wood in 2001, and since then 10 other drivers have taken victory in the prestigious race. 11 races have been won by the same three drivers. Dave Shulick Jr. has three wins while Chris Perley and Jon McKennedy are tied atop the list with four each. With McKennedy winning two of the last three Ollie Silva Memorials and all 8 of his last supermodified starts he is favored to break the tie this year. However when it comes to Lee there is never a guarantee. With the massive horsepower of supermodifieds and the nearly 4-decade old racing surface tire management is going to be a key. The difference from old tires to new tires is well over a second, providing lots of comers and goers and action throughout the race.
Luckily 13 of the 16 licensed drivers living within 2 hours of Lee, and 8 living within an hour from the track, understand all about tire management. Joe Bassett is thrilled to see some more familiar faces on the track this year. “It’s cool to see some of the cars that have been pulled out of the woodwork. Bringing out the local cars is going to be really big for us and the new series. This is going to bring out a lot of New England supermodified fans because it’s going to be primarily their local drivers. In years past it has been a lot of guys from the Midwest and New York. We loved having them but the fans really want to see their drivers from NH and Massachusetts.”
Tell your friends that on Saturday August 6th, 2022, the 22nd Annual Ollie Silva Mid-Summer Classic will no doubt be one of the biggest events in New England. Stay tuned for more information regarding laps and purse to be announced within the coming weeks.
-NE Big Block Super Modified Series Press Release/Racing America