EPPING, N.H. — Jeff Abold grabbed his first-career International Supermodified Association victory Saturday at the Bob Webber Sr. Memorial Star Speedway Classic 125.
Abold had it all come together and the Star Classic was all his. Abold had been close to victory in the past here. He had always run well at the prestigious event, but fell just short of the victory.
Starting 10th in the field, Abold calmly wove a path through those challengers lap after lap. With only a few caution flags to slow him down, Abold lapped everyone but the four cars remaining in the top five, pulling into Victory Lane with his family.
The win was his first in ISMA, but one his three-time ISMA champion father Pat had not achieved. Abold’s confident, calculated run through the field was a memorable one.
“This feels awesome,” he said. “From lap 1-125 the car was just phenomenal. I just have to thank my crew and everybody for working as hard as they did. They came up with a great setup for the car. We had a good game plan coming into this race, and I think we executed it pretty well. We’ve run well here in the past and each year we get better and better, but it always seems there is somebody that is right there running well and apparently this was going to be our year for it.
“This takes a little of the disappointment away from the Oswego Classic. So we were really, really into it for this weekend. We wanted to come out and make this one count and we did that.
“I want to thank my crew, my family, my dad and grandfather for working so hard; Larry, Kenny, Josh, Mike, just everybody here. I also thank my wife for all her support, and my mother.”
Five-time Star Classic winner Chris Perley had a special mission in this race. Perley had wanted to get the win to honor long-time racing supporter and friend Russ Conway who had recently passed away. He gave it his all, but fell one spot short, a distance away from the cruising Abold.
“I’m real happy to finish second,” Perley said. “I really wanted to win tonight for Russ Conway, but I’ll take a second. It’s a lot different being here without him. I love coming to Star Speedway and glad to see all the fans here. I want to thank all my sponsors and my crew for all their hard work. Jeffrey had a great car. A big congratulations to Jeffrey and the 05 crew.”
Jon McKennedy, winner of the inaugural Bob Webber Sr. Memorial race last season, rounded out the podium this season with his third-place finish.
“It was a decent run,” he said. “We started seventh and ended up third. We were just too loose, loose off the whole race. We kind of had a bit of an issue with the right rear tire all day, as it was too big. I was worried it was going to be an issue in the race. And it was. We had a little bit too much stagger. It was too loose, but we ended up third.”
Kyle Edwards, who placed fourth in the race, mentioned that his goal for the race was collecting some points on current point leader Mike Lichty.
“A top five finish, it’s not what we really wanted,” Edwards said. “Once again we missed the set up a little bit, the balance of the race car was just off from the beginning of the race. I think we would have had a good 150-lap car, but they cut the race to 125 and we were kind of going off notes from the 150-lap race. It just didn’t play into our hands.
“All in all, fourth place is not bad. We have one race to go and if we’re going to repeat as champion, we need a win. I guess we’ll just go on to Thompson and just give it hell. Fourth place is nothing to hang your head for here. It’s a Classic. Many good names and it’s a tradition. So we are happy but not quite satisfied.”
Bob Webber Sr. Memorial Star Speedway Classic 125
Feature finish: 1. Jeff Abold, 2. Chris Perley, 3. Jon McKennedy, 4. Kyle Edwards, 5. Mike Ordway Jr., 6. Mark Sammut, 7. Mike Lichty, 8. Joe Gosek, 9. Otto Sitterly, 10. Russ Wood, 11. Ryan Locke, 12. Jeffrey Battle, 13. Jamie Timmons, 14. Dan Bowes, 15. Mike Muldoon, 16. Bobby Chartier, 17. Eric Lewis, 18. Ben Seitz, 19. Tyler Thompson.