Moe Lilje Nabs First ISMA Triumph
VALLEE JONCTION, Quebec – Moe Lilje made his visit to Autodrome Chaudiere’s high-banked quarter mile worth the trip Friday as he scored his first International Supermodified Ass’n victory.
Lilje started sixth and took his Reed’s Salvage-owned No. 8 past some tough competition into the lead just past halfway in the 75-lapper. Lilje was able to stave off the advances of some very quick cars to score his first victory. The exciting race ran just under 18 minutes, allowing for just one quick caution along the way.
Lilje was ecstatic with his victory.
“My first ISMA win. It’s been long overdue. We’ve had some decent opportunities and things just didn’t fall our way until tonight. I’m happy that we made the long voyage worth it. I started in the third row and got a couple cars there in the beginning,” Lilje said. “When I got to third I kind of rode there for 15 or 20 laps. When the 17 seemed to have picked up a little push I figured it was time for me to get going. Once we got out front it was smooth sailing until maybe the last 25 laps. Then we picked up a push and we really couldn’t maneuver like we could earlier. I knew the 79 was coming but we held on.
“A big thank you to Craig Reed and everybody at Reed’s Salvage. This is a big win for them. He couldn’t be here tonight because we had some truck issues. And, thanks to all our sponsors, Kelling Services, TG Eschtruth, Stewart’s Appliances and Simpson Race Products. Thanks to everyone.”
Second place finisher, and one of the fastest cars all day in practice, Jon McKennedy raced past Ben Seitz late in the event to garner the runner up spot. He too was experiencing his first run at Chaudiere.
“It was a good run for our first time here. We started ninth and there was only one quick caution early. We were able to get up to second,” said McKennedy. “We were a little bit too tight and the stagger closed up a little bit. But, now we know what to do for tomorrow. And, I think we have a real good shot to win. Congratulations to Moe. He ran a great race.”
Seitz, who also had been clocking some torrid times during the afternoon, was pleased with third.
“Third was a good run for us. I need to thank the sponsors, my car owner and Brian Allegresso,” Seitz said. “He’s given us a lot of help. The car was real good. It started off awesome. It got a little tight towards the end and we lost a spot or two. But, it was good. We ran solid all day. We’ll take a third place and go on to tomorrow”.
Sixteen ISMA cars took the green in the night’s finale at Chaudiere and eighteen minutes later they had wowed the crowd on hand with a classic display of what winged supers do so well, go fast, furious and all that with finesse. The field was led to the green by Timmy Jedrzejek and Dan Lane. It was Lane who grabbed the initial lead chased by Jedrzejek, Ryan Litt, Ben Seitz, Dan Bowes, Lilje and McKennedy.
The one and only yellow fell on lap 16 when the Lichty 74, driven by Litt, spun off turn two. He was able to restart, but a victim of this event was Ray Graham Jr. who had a fuel problem in the 61 and exited the race here.
Seitz used the restart to grab third from Jedrzejek as Lane ran out front. In the shuffle, Lilje also passed the 32 with McKennedy soon to follow. The chase was on.