Sammut took the historic half-mile on Monday evening for hot laps to try to get the jump on the competition: the only super modified driver to do so at Delaware during pre-season thunder. ISMA officials reported to the track on Tuesday that a strong field is expected for Friday's event with twenty-two drivers officially confirming their attendance in advance. The two-race Harvey Lennox Memorial features one race in May and another in August with Delaware set as the only Canadian stop for the ISMA tour this season.
"This car hasn't even been run this year until today," explained Sammut. "This car is pretty old actually. It was new for the 2002 season and we've won six races with it over the years. Some nights it's great, other nights... Not so great."
Sammut and his team have a new car being put together to replace their existing vehicle. The assembly of the new car is no easy task. Everything about a Super Modified is custom and done up completely for racing. There is no factory that builds these incredible 800+ horsepower winged vehicles and no two are exactly alike: something fans are sure to notice during Friday evening's autograph session when they can get up close to the cars and meet their daring drivers.
Super Modified racing is particularly special at Delaware Speedway. The track itself was reconfigured in the 1960s by track promoter and Super Modified driver, Jack Greedy, to its current half-mile length specifically to accommodate Super Modified competition.
"This is huge here at Delaware, you can see every year the stands are full," added Sammut. "Looking back to the 60s and 70s when Delaware ran Supers on a regular basis, there's still a lot of those people around that come out to see them every time. There's a lot of history here and a lot of legends made themselves at Delaware."
The track and a grassroots organization called "Yesterday's Speedways" are set to celebrate that history on Friday evening. The Super Modifieds visit Delaware twice this season as part of a series dubbed the Harvey Lennox Memorial. Lennox, a famous driver from the golden age of Super Modified racing at Delaware, will be honoured through a special display of classic Super Modifieds as well as through the attendance of a number of legendary drivers. Lennox passed away during the off-season but was recognized by fans at the Delaware as the grand marshal of the event last August.
Mark Sammut would love to see his name added to the list of legendary drivers close to home. A victory as part of the Carstar Collision and Glass Service Harvey Lennox Memorial Series would be a step in the right direction. Sammut has taken home a win in Canada before, with a Cayuga Speedway victory in 2009, but has never won at Delaware.
"It's great to be able to run at home and maybe one day we'll put our name on a feature win here," he said. "We've been close here a few times. We've been knocking on the door and maybe Friday night it'll be our turn."
The Carstar Collision and Glass Harvey Lennox Memorial is set to run at Delaware Speedway on Friday evening. If the event is unable to run on Friday evening as a result of weather, the race will run on Saturday. Tickets are available through the track website www.delawarespeedway.com or at the gate the night of the race.