LEE, N.H. — Jon McKennedy won his third-career Ollie Silva Memorial 75 on Friday in International Supermodified Association (ISMA) racing action at Lee USA Speedway.
Starting on the outside of the front row, McKennedy took the immediate lead, but lost it soon thereafter to 2018 ISMA champion Kyle Edwards. McKennedy regained the lead on lap 29 and kept it the rest of the way.
Edwards finished second and Russ Wood placed third. Completing the top five in the 17-car field were Jeffrey Battle and Dan Bowes.
McKennedy also won the Ollie Silva Memorial in 2012 and 2014. In addition to first-place prize money, McKennedy also won the $1,000 halfway bonus from Shea Concrete Products.
“The team gave me a great car. This thing was awesome. I was able to get the lead and just kind of set my own pace,” said McKennedy, who thanked his crew and sponsors. “It’s nice when you’re out front with clean air on the front wing and top wing and you are able to set your own pace. Kyle kind of caught me a little off guard there, but I thought he was going too hard, too early so I kind of let him run away a little bit. Then with the $1,000 halfway bonus from Shea Concrete coming up, I thought maybe I should try and get that and I was able to. From that point on I could kind of control the race.”
“We just had too good a car, too early,” Edwards said. “We gave it hell and then we just started wagging the tail on the second half of the race. We were just hanging on. A podium is good. I think we put on a good race for the fans.”
Wood, an eight-time ISMA series champion, said he was happy with his third-place finish.
“We had fun tonight. The car was decent. We knew Jon would be tough, and Kyle. They are both good runners,” Wood said. “I took it easy in the beginning of the race. Then I realized I had to get going. In the middle of the race the car was really fast in the high groove. It got a little loose a few times in the end.”
Rookie Jeffrey Battle, Wood’s teammate in the Lane 9, and McKennedy led the field to the initial green flag. McKennedy assumed the lead. A caution flag waved shortly thereafter for Mike Netishen’s No. 55, which was done for the night, as was the No. 51 of Dave Duggan.
Edwards jumped by Battle as racing resumed. Chris Perley, who started in eighth, looked to be the man on the move until suddenly the No. 11 was into the wall just past turn 2. He was towed in for a tire, but more damage was found and he was out of the race.
On this restart, Edwards surged forward and moments later took the lead, pulling quickly away. McKennedy stayed in second followed by Battle, Wood, and Bowes. The next five were Mike Lichty, 2018 Silva winner Mike Ordway Jr., Ben Seitz, Jamie Timmons, and Mark Sammut.
Traffic allowed McKennedy to gain ground on Edwards and eventually regain the lead. Edwards stayed close for a while and position shuffling saw Wood go past Battle for third.
McKennedy cruised to the win, while in the late stages, Edwards was being hounded by Wood. Edwards maintained the runner-up spot to the finish.
Battle, who competes in the 350 Super division, was in a big-block super for just the second time. He thanked car owner Howie Lane for the opportunity.
“This is pretty good for only the second weekend of racing in the car and the first time in this white car, really. We went out to Sandusky and got caught up in a wreck on Friday night. Then we were running 10th on Saturday night and had a motor issue that caused us to pit on the last lap. But, that’s all part of racing. Tonight was definitely awesome to go out there and maintain a nice fourth-place finish,” Battle said.
Bowes, second in the 2018 ISMA title chase, took fifth in the Silva Memorial.
“We started off the race kind of riding along and made a couple easy spots up just being in the right lane,” Bowes said. “I tried to follow Russ there. He knows how to run these races. So I tried to save tires and follow him. The car started to get tight about 25 laps in and it just got tighter and tighter.”
Ordway Jr., Seitz, Lichty, Sammut, and rookie Ryan Locke, in his first race, finished up the top 10.
Ollie Silva Memorial (75 laps): 1. Jon McKennedy (21), 2. Kyle Edwards (1E), 3. Russ Wood (97), 4. Jeffrey Battle (9), 5. Dan Bowes (25), 6. Mike Ordway Jr. (61), 7. Ben Seitz (32), 8. Mike Lichty (84), 9. Mark Sammut (78), 10. Ryan Locke (37), 11. Bobby Chartier (29), 12. Ryan Coniam (74), 13. Jamie Timmons (27), 14. Michael Muldoon (15), 15. Chris Perley (11), 16. Dave Duggan (51), 17. Mike Netishen (55).