51's MODIFIED MADNESS Presented by Advance Auto PartsCompiled by Mike Twist
News From Throughout The Mod-ern World - North and South, Asphalt and Dirt
DIRT: CAYUGA COUNTY FAIR OPENS UP
The 52nd consecutive season of stock car racing at Cayuga County Fair Speedway officially gets underway April 9 with the traditional "home" opener at the site of DIRT MotorSports™ NorthEast. The initial open-wheel effort will be given on Sunday as the mighty DIRT Modifieds chase a $3,000 first-place prize in the headline 50-lap main event.
the giant grandstands opening at 9:30 AM on both days. Qualifying is slated to start at 1:15 PM on Saturday and will be followed by feature races for both the Sunoco Modified and Late Model divisions. Sunday’s “Super Seven” races will start at 12 Noon.
TVMRS: MONADNOCK PRACTICE IS SET
This week, the True Value Modified Racing will host an open practice session at Monadnock Speedway (NH) in preparation for the 2006 TVMRS opener there on April 15th.
The practice session will take place on Saturday with gates opening at 10am and the track being open for hot laps between Noon and 5pm.
SK MODIFIEDS: MORE ACTION AT WATERFORD
The battle that appeared to end under the checkered at the SK-150 will resume Saturday night at Waterford Speedbowl. Both SK-150 winner Frank Ruocco and runner-up Kenny Horton will be back at the “Bowl for Saturday night’s 35-lap SK-Modified feature.
For the second straight year DIRT MotorSports™ NorthEast Driver of the Year Tim Fuller will be back to defend his track points championship in the Modified division.
“Cayuga County is a lot like Fulton and I’ve had enough laps around both to finally figure them out,” said Fuller, 38, who edged open-wheel veteran Pat Ward by just three points (788-785) to claim the coveted CCFS big-block crown in ’05. The Edwards, N.Y. pilot also topped the Fulton Speedway points chart. Ward and third-place points-getter Jimmy Phelps will lead a parade back to ‘The Port’ that features some of the area’s best open-wheel stars. “It’s tough enough to finish every race during
the same year so winning titles back-to-back is quite a feat considering the competition. And any time you can win is something to hang your hat on nowadays.”
Last season Fuller became the sixth Modified driver to earn consecutive CCFS championships since DIRT was founded in 1976. DIRT NE Hall of Famer Will Cagle actually collected four straight crowns from 1973-76 while Dave Lape (1982-83), Danny Johnson (1987-88), Billy Decker (1998-99) and Alan Johnson (2002-03) followed the consecutive titles that Cagle also registered in 1978-79.
With both regional and hometrack points now up for grabs, officials are hoping to lure a banner field of cars to Cayuga County by running a mixed 358/Mod division in the weekly program. In order to be awarded home track bonus points and track point fund money secured by DIRT, participating tracks must have at least five small-block powered cars in the field to have those points count. In the combined big-block/small-block division at Weedsport this season open-head 358-Modifieds are allowed to weigh in at 2500 lbs. and those small-blocks with aluminum heads can cross the scales at a minimum of 2400 lbs.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFED TOUR: IT’S ICEBREAKER TIME
The list of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers submitting entries for the 2006 ICEBREAKER at Thompson Speedway reads like a who’s who in the most popular racing division in the entire northeast. The list includes the best of the best. This lineup of racing talent can only lead to an extremely exciting season opener for race fans when the flag drops on the 150 lap ICEBREAKER feature event this Sunday, April 9th.
Whelen Modified Tour defending champion, Tony Hirschman, leads the impressive list of driving talent signed up to compete in the ICEBREAKER. Six-time champion, Mike Stefanik, Rick Fuller, Ted and Mike Christopher, and Ed Flemke, Jr, will be joined by one of the most successful drivers in the history of modified racing, Reggie Ruggiero.
Todd Szegedy, with national sponsorship from Wisk and Snuggle, returns to the Modified Tour battles. He will lead the charge of young guns that have been so impressive in this extremely competitive division. Young Zach Sylvester, who came within inches of winning last
year’s ICEBREAKER, will be looking to gain that win this year since it was snatched from him in the last lap of the 05 running of the ICEBREAKER by Ted Christopher. Matt Hirschman is following in his father’s foot steps and showed his talents in last year’s World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson. Jimmy Blewett, Eric Berndt, Chris Pasteryak and James Civali are only a few of the extremely talented young drives who will challenge the veterans in the 150-lap ICEBREAKER.
In all, some forty three drives have filed entries a week before the race and more are expected. The 2006 ICEBREAKER could easily be one of the most competitive events of the year. Race teams will put forth their very best efforts to jump start a successful racing season.
The NASCAR modified contest will be staged on June 17, while the Steelers salute will take place Sept. 9. The ASA late model series North 100 event originally scheduled for June 17 has been moved to Sept. 16.
“We came to an 11th hour agreement with NASCAR to bring the open-wheel WMT cars (formerly known as the Featherlite Series) back to Jennerstown in 2006," said General Manager Larry Mattingly. "We really wanted another open-wheel event at Jennerstown to go along with our ISMA supermodified date. The NASCAR Modifieds were very popular here back in the 1990's, and we are hoping to build that tradition again."
Tony Hirschman Jr. won last years Jennerstown Wheeler Bros.150 event enroute to his fifth Tour title.
NASCAR Nextel Cup veteran Jimmy Spencer, who earned the nickname of 'Mr. Excitement' when he captured modified championships in 1986-87, will also be on hand June 17th for an autograph appearance. The Berwick-native has two Nextel Cup wins on his resume. Additionally, Spencer has earned 27 top-fives, 76 top-10's and four Bud pole awards. Spencer has also won in the NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck circuits, and currently serves as a commentator on SPEED Channel NASCAR television broadcasts.
IMCA: MODIFIEDS AND STRAWBERRIES
Deep South Speedway at Loxley hosts the Strawberry 50 special this Saturday, April 8, with the winner of the IMCA Modified main event going home with $2,000.
Sanctioned Stock Cars and Hobby Stocks are also on the card, with pit gates opening at 3 p.m., hot laps at 6 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m. All applicable IMCA points will be awarded. The Modified winner will also be added to the ballot for the All Star Invitational, to be held during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals at Boone, Iowa, Speedway.
Twenty-seven cars will start the Modified feature, which pays $1,000 to the runner-up, $750 for third, $600 for fourth and $500 for fifth. The 50 lapper will be halted midway for refueling and the last 25 circuits will be run under green.
As its name would imply, the event is held in conjunction with the local Strawberry Festival being held this weekend. More information is available by calling 251 964-6953.
Some Icebreaker action from 2005.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour cars will qualify for the ICEBREAKER this coming Saturday, April 8th and then have 24 hours to make the final preparations for the Sunday, April 9th race. Excitement surrounds this traditional season-opening event, but this year it seems that the excitement level is at an all-time high.
Sunoco Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Late Models, Thompson Modifieds, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks make up the highly competitive, six-division NASCAR Dodge weekly Series.
Gates to the grand old speedway will open for pit entrance at 8 AM on both Saturday and Sunday with
Tim Fuller in last year's #1 DIRT Modified. (DIRT Photo)
Ruocco bested Horton by less than a car length for the $5,000 SK-150 first prize. Calling the ‘Bowl “a fun place to race,” he decided to take advantage of another opportunity. His best friend Horton needed little convincing to join him.
Chris Pasteryak and Dennis Gada, third and fifth respectively in the incredible 150 finish, lead a group of Speedbowl regulars out to gain a little “revenge.” Others looking to get back on track after disappointing 150 efforts are defending champion Rob Summers, Tommy Fox and Rob Janovic Jr.
Gada, a driver/owner again, left no doubt about his championship intentions. Fox, Janovic, Jeff Pearl, Diego and Shawn Monahan and Frank Mucciacciaro Jr. are others in the line to dethrone Summers, the latter planning a full Speedbowl assault despite a Whelen Modified Tour commitment. (Pete Zanardi)
NASCAR WMT: JENNERSTOWN COMES BACK
Jennerstown Speedway has revised its 2006 schedule of events to include the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (WMT).
Kenny Horton's #19 (Top - Jim DuPont Photo) and Frank Ruocco's #97. (Btoom - Jamie Williams Photo) will both be back at Waterford this week.
Ted Christopher has won the last two Icebreakers. (Howie Hodge Photo)