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Monday, June 5, 2017

Stephens takes win as ISMA Supermodifieds return to Lancaster


Trent Stephens and family in victory lane
A packed crowd was on hand Saturday night as the International Supermodified Association (ISMA) made its first visit to Lancaster National Speedway in 14 years. Fans got to see the fastest short track cars in the world thunder around Lancaster’s 1/2-mile as part of “Double Wing Night” at Lancaster.

The ISMA Supermodifieds blistered the track with the quickest lap times being run in under 15 seconds and average lap speeds of over 132 mph. Dave Shullick Jr. of N. Ridgeville, Ohio set a new track record during practice with a lap time of 14.794 seconds.

24 ISMA Supermodifieds took the green flag for their first feature at Lancaster since 2003. Moe Lilje and Dan Bowes led the field to the initial start of the 50-lap main event with Lilje jumping out to the early lead. Trent Stephens of Ravenna, Ohio started fourth, but took advantage of a restart on Lap 4 to move into the second position, then tracked down Lilje for the lead, which he took over on Lap 15.

Mack DeMan
Dave McKnight Jr. came into the event as one of three drivers with a previous ISMA win at Lancaster. After starting the day with rear end problems during practice, his crew made repairs in time for his heat race. McKnight started eighth and used the outside line to pick up a few position early on. He made the move of the night around Lap 20 with a three-wide pass around Dan Bowes and a lapped car to take over fourth place.

McKnight moved into the runner-up position about midway through the event, but Stephens was able to pull away from McKnight and the rest of the field in clean air. Lapped traffic allowed McKnight to reel Stephens back in, but he couldn’t get by Stephens. Stephens pulled away once again after the leaders got through the lapped traffic and cruised home during the final laps to score his first ISMA victory of the season, with McKnight earning the runner-up finish.

Rich Sharpe
The other portion of “Double Wing Night” at Lancaster was the winged Can-Am TQ Midgets, which also made a long overdue return to the 1/4-mile inner oval. Mack DeMan of Mississauga, Ontario picked up the win in the 25-lap feature. DeMan passed Adrian Stahle for the lead on Lap 10 and never looked back as he drove on to victory lane, using knowledge he gained racing at Lancaster in non-winged TQ Midgets events to help him get around the track. Stahle settled for second, followed by Lancaster regulars Andy Nye and Andy Jankowiak in third and fourth respectively.

Rich Sharpe of Lancaster scored his third win of the season in the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks, passing Lou Carbone for the lead with six laps to go. Carbone finished second followed by Mark Hoch, Trevor Pettit and Dave Wilson.

Dave Milbrand Jr.
In the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders, Dave Milbrand Jr. of Clarence earned his first career feature win, leading 21 of 25 laps in the winning effort after passing Joe Brunka for first place on Lap 4. He survived a strong challenge from defending track champion Kevin Bainbridge in the final laps to hold on for the victory.

The X-Press Signs Stock Car Series returns to action on Saturday, June 17 with the Joe Reilly Sportsman Summer Slam. The Sunoco Sportsman will be showcased in their biggest race of the season. The Advance Auto Parts, Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders and NYPA TQ Midgets will also be in action. Racing starts at 6:30 p.m. Keep up with the action at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

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