Story By: MATTHEW WIERNASZ / ISMA – WINCHESTER, NH – Howie Lane along with his driver Tim Jedrzejek are looking forward to the ISMA season opener at Monadnock Speedway on Saturday May 19 for the 75 lap race.
“ I’m very excited. I’ve been trying to get Larry (Cirillo) to do that show for about 10 years now. I think it’s going to be great. There’s a lot of hype about it. It’s the right size track for the Supermodifieds. We’re fast and it makes the driver the driver.” Lane Said
“ Definitely excited. It’s neat going to a new facility for the first time. Most of the ISMA competitors have neither seen it or raced on it. I know there is a few guys that have. Maybe some of them guys early on will have an advantage.” Jedrzejek said
Lane believes the race at Monadnock will see a lot of passing. At the second to last race of the year in 2017 which was the Star Classic at Star Speedway. The race saw a lot of passing.
Lane is unsure if he will bring a second car to the race on May 19. It is still a possibility.
“ I am not saying yes or no. There is still a possibility.” Lane Said
Jedrzejek feels it’s always neat going to a facility for the first time because of the unknowns where everybody will come in with their setup out of the trailer being a huge deal because you will have to hit it pretty quick with a couple rounds of practice and be ready to roll by the time heat races come around.
“I am sure our team and the 97 gang of Howie Lane will be up for the challenge.” Jedzejek said
Jedzejek has done some research on the quarter mile oval to get a glimpse of what it’s like. All the work not only I have seen online but everyone that has talked about it is really impressed with the facility and feels there has been a lot of improvements in there and the race track over the years.
“ We love coming to a first class facility and we look forward to it.” Jedrzejek Said
Some of the drivers were comparing Monadnock to Star Speedway in Epping, NH.
“It’s going to be a neat bullring Supermodified race with hopefully a lot of passing and puts on a good show for the crowd there.” Jedrzejek Said
One driver that will be in contention that evening will be Jon McKennedy. McKennedy has some experience at the quarter mile oval having a few modified victories under his belt.
“He’s one guy that is a key to every race we go to. One of the guys that you need to run with in practice or better then and he will be a guy that is everybody is watching. I might pick him out or another guy out and actually studying the line that he’s run around the track just to try to pick up the few extra tenths I am missing.” Jedrzejek Said
The ISMA Supermodifieds will also have time trials where a $1,000 bonus will be rewarded to the driver who sets fast time and will also possibly set the track record.
“ That’s going to be a very exciting time trial period when anybody that has a sense for that thing say in practice and your in the top 10 and you got a good race car under you. You’re definitely going to put everything out there for that extra bonus cash that’s on the line and it’s gonna make it exciting not only for the drivers and the crews but for the fans as well. If you’re thinking about coming out to that race. I think you would want to put the extra effort to get there a little early. Buy yourself a hot dog and be there for qualifying.” Jedrzejek Said
Lane believes the track record will be broken.
“ I don’t know what the track record is so it’s hard for me to say. I’ve seen the modifieds race there. I ran in the past there in the pro stocks. I would say we got an awful good chance of breaking it.” Lane Said
For the start of the new season at a new track with the ISMA Supermodifieds, Jedrzejek feels it’s always good to get out of the gate strong whether it’s a win, top five, a good competitive run will definitely help set the tone for the season
“ We don’t want to face points the first week out but in reality, every point counts. The first race is just as valuable as the points in the last race so I think everyone is going to get every point they can out of this first race. “ Jedrzejek Said
Jedrzejek knows what track he enjoys and not enjoys.
“Usually the ones you don’t enjoy are the ones you don’t have success at. You don’t want to go back to those.” Jedrzejek Said
The exciting thing for the drivers of ISMA when they come to Monadnock on Saturday, May 19 is it’s a new venue.
“ The crowd and the excitement of everybody there is coming to see Supermodified Racing that hasn’t been at that track in 40 years.” Jedrzejek Said
It’s going to be exciting for the teams drivers and fans on May 19. Lane believes when the ISMA Supermodifieds come to the quarter mile oval that fans will be happy.
“ Hopefully we got them standing up at the end of the race because they are not sure who is going to grab it is what I am hoping for.” Lane Said
There is a plan a few weeks prior to the race to do some testing and run some laps during intermission to get the fans pumped up for the event on May 19. He hopes to see this event being a grand slam.
“ Joe (Lewandoski) helped me tremendously getting it in there. Larry (Cirillo) knew he wanted to do it. He couldn’t make up his mind. Finally said yes. I just hope it’s a home run.” Lane Said
The chemistry between Jedrzejek and Lane is from the first time Jedrzejek drove the car to the conversations they have where it is easy going no pressure style.
“Howie and I respect each other as professionals. Nobody second guesses each other. Everybody has their jobs to do. There’s no questions besides that. My job is to drive the car. Howie is a great car owner that gives us the equipment and tools we need to do our job.” Jedrzejek Said
Howie Lane’s crew have been together for many years where Jedrzejek feels likes he is the new guy where he has been the last four years.
“They have years of history together and everybody knows where their position is and their job and they all respect each other well. It’s such a good fit. They treat my family and I so good. I couldn’t imagine going and racing for another team right now.” Jedrzejek Said
The Monadnock Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions will be apart of the program beginning at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for reserved seating will be $25 in advance and $30 at the gate. Tickets for general admission for adults will be $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Seniors will be $15 and Kids 12 and under will be $5 at the gate. The rain date will be on Sunday, May 20 at 2:00 p.m.