What is at stake? $12,500 goes to the winner with $1,000 in purse money available just for starting the race. The allure of being the first winner in Meltdown history is all a strong motivator.
FALL IS THE TIME FOR BIG MODIFIED EVENTS Presented by Advance Auto PartsMike Twist
Major Races From North Carolina to Connecticut Are Set For Next Few Months
Other forms of racing might be winding down, but the harvest time is primetime for fans of Asphalt Modified Racing. A close tight fight with three races to go – two of them being long-time Tour classic events – for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour promises to make the homestretch an exciting one when it comes to point racing.
Meanwhile, fans will also have two big Modified civil wars brewing after the Tour season is over. North Carolina’s North-South Shootout has become a very successful event in the past few seasons, while the Mason-Dixon Meltdown on Thanksgiving weekend at South Boston is a highly-anticipated new event where the Mods will share center stage with Super Late Models.
WORLD SERIES, OCTOBER 20th-21st
Where is it? Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut - just over the border from Massachusetts. Thompson is the site of five events on the 2006 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Schedule.
What is it? The Modified Tour race at Thompson is pretty straight forward with 150 laps of racing. What makes the World Series unique though is the fact that the Tour shares the stages with many other types of racing during the open-competition weekend. Hundreds of racecars ranging from Mini-Stocks to Sunoco/SK Modifieds to ISMA Supermodifieds to NEMA Midgets will be a part of the World Series weekend.
What is at stake? The World Series is the second to last race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule and a number of good drivers, including Donny Lia, Eddie Flemke, Chuck Hossfeld, Jerry Marquis, Zach Sylvester and Reggie Ruggiero have yet to win in 2006. Time is running out.
Who are the favorites? Jerry Marquis won last year’s World Series and the list of Mod Tour drivers who have won at Thompson is a long one. Ted Christopher, Mike Stefanik, Eddie Flemke, Tony Hirschman and Chuck Hossfeld are all among the previous winners at the Big T. Picking a clear favorite at the track is close to impossible.
Where is it? Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut is a track located right in the heart of a picturesque New England town.
Jerry Marquis won last year's Modified portion of The World Series.
South Shootout has developed into an event where rivalries are renewed each year and glory is on the line. Two days of practice lead up to SK and Tour-type Modified features on Saturday night. The entry list for the race is always a strong one – with Northern heroes like Ted Christopher, John Blewett, III and Donny Lia taking on the best of the South – guys like Junior Miller, Tim Brown and the Myers Brothers.
What is at stake? $5,000 goes to the winner out of over $56,000 in posted awards. That’s not to mention the bragging rights that also come with a victory.
Who are the favorites? In the three years of the North-South Shootout, it has been a Blewett/Lia show. John Blewett, III won the race in 2003, Donny Lia stole the crown away in 2004 and Blewett returned to victory lane last season. These two seem to have a leg up on their competition at Concord.
Where is it? The 4/10th mile South Boston Speedway in Southern Virginia is the site of the Mason-Dixon Meltdown. The track has hosted the NASCAR Busch Series previously, as well as the NASCAR Southeast Series and Late Model Stock Cars.
What is it? The Meltdown is a two-day show that is co-headlined by a 250 green flag lap Tour-type Modified event and a 250 lapper for Super Late Models. Big names in both racing worlds have announced their intentions to compete on what is going to be a jam-packed weekend of racing. Support races will include shows for Legends cars and Pro Challenge machines.
Who are the favorites? That is anyone’s guess right now. Most of the Modified drivers have never raced at SoBo before, so everyone is on equal footing heading into the race. It doesn’t matter if you are a proven winner like Chuck Hossfeld (the first entry for the race) or a Modified rookie like Bobby Grigas, III (a guaranteed started thanks to his victory in July’s Open Show at Canaan), this race is wide open.
With several Modified pilots knocking on doors for Super Late Model rides as well, there is a good possibly of an ironman winner on the Meltdown weekend.
Chuck Hossfeld and the #79 Hillbilly Racing team were the first entry for the Mason-Dixon Meltdown. (51 Photo)
What is it? The Fall Final is the race that closes the books on the Stafford racing season every year. This year, it is also the final event of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season thanks to a rainout from its original date last weekend.
What is at stake? The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship. Currently, there are six men within 200 markers of the point lead – Mike Stefanik, Ted Christopher, Eddie Flemke, Todd Szegedy, James Civali and Tony Hirschman. Each driver has won a Tour race at Stafford before.
Who are the favorites? Qualifying for the race was able to take place last weekend before the rains came. Todd Szegedy and Donny Lia qualified first and second for the race and have some speed behind them. Szegedy also has luck on his side. He also redrew the pole position for the event.