Quite simply put, the Supermodified racecar is the ultimate open wheel ground pounder on the American racing scene and once you see one you will never forget it. When the words Supermodified are mentioned, most people think of the New York based International Supermodified Association, better known as ISMA. However, there is a fairly new group based out of Northern Ohio that is making big strides with a great schedule of events, quality racers and equipment, and an enthusiastic fan base.

The Midwest Supermodified Association, or MSA, started out as a group with a vision, and evolved into hard core racers that have a loyal following in the middle portion of our country.

Seven years ago a group of racers from Ohio realized the need for a Supermodified organization in their home region. Spearheaded by Sandusky Speedway owner/operator Kevin Jaycox, the MSA developed a governing structure made up of nine board members and four Board of Directors. Rules and policies are created by the Board and then enforced by a team of 11 MSA officials. The MSA offer racers a reasonable racing schedule of 13 events (in 2008) with 2-3 week gaps between each event and a 100 percent return of purse money in addition to a sponsored points fund.

Unique, amazing, astonishing, awesome, or just plain cool, take your pick they all sum up the first impression a Super will leave you with. Mostly home built racecars, there is no real template or frame jig for the Supermodified racecar, each one different than the other with the added touch of the builders own personality.

"I have a partnership with my father on our racecar," says MSA racer Jon Henes. "We build the frames, bodies, wings, make our own front axles, and even build our own engines, we do it all."

While the design of the Supermodified is largely left up to the team, there are rules governing weight, width, length, wing surface area, tires, and engine displacement. Beyond that you can run coilover springs, leaf springs, or torsion bars. You can also mount your shocks wherever you want. The body and wing design is totally up to you. This freedom of design makes the MSA Supermodified racecar truly unique.

The rule book starts with the frame. The driver's compartment must be bent out of .095 Chrome Moly Tubing, and while MSA rules say you can use thinner tubing elsewhere most teams stick with the .095 around the front and rear clips. The car must have a weight of 1,850 pounds less driver after each race and carry a maximum wheel base of 100 inches while the max width of an MSA Super is 85 inches measured from the outer lip of one rear wheel rim across to the other.

Clearly the most striking feature of a Supermodified is the monster wing that sits atop the car. "Our wings have to stay within the width of the rear wheels. My wing is 24 square feet counting the wicker bill and the bi-wing," states competitor Randy Burch. Wing size and design is determined by the team as is the low slung ride height of these monsters.

"As a general rule the ride height is usually around 2 1/4 inches, up to 4 inches," says Burch. "It all goes back to the rear suspension. If a softer spring is used than we have to set the car a little higher, if we stiffen the rear up we can go lower to the ground."

Within the length and width rules, teams can design their front and rear geometry as they see fit. Consequently, some of the rearend offsets can get pretty radical in the name of making the car turn left. In some cases, the rearend will sit almost up against the left rear hub. Quick change rearends are the rear of choice within the MSA and the drive shaft goes directly from the rearend pinion to the engine crank. This direct drive set up means these cars have to be push started just like a Sprint Car.