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
TRACKS: SEEKONK GOES MAD OVER MODS
Last year, Donny Lia bested several strong competitors from the True Value Modified Racing Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and weekly tracks to win the first ever Modified Madness special event at Seekonk Speedway.
This year, the race will be back with a $30,000 plus total purse on Wednesday night, July 26th. The race will consist of 100 green flag laps and the winner’s share of the purse will be $10,000.
Viveiros Insurance will present the show that has qualifying scheduled to kick off at 7pm. Entries are currently being accepted for the event, which will run under TVMRS rules but is a non-points event.
NWMT: JENNERSTOWN TO MIX PAST AND PRESENT
Jennerstown Speedway (PA) has announced that the late Ivan Baumgardner (aka Butch Gardner), Fuzzy Rubritz, Johnny Grum, Milt Miller, Turk Burkett, Jim Nave, Charlie Cragan and Bill Awtey will be inducted into the speedway’s Hall of Fame during a special ceremony on Saturday evening June 17 prior to the running of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Wheeler Bros.100-lap event.
“This is a special time when we step back in time to honor those individuals who have helped to make Jennerstown Speedway the success that it is today,” said General Manager Larry Mattingly. “It is just a small token of our appreciation to remember the competitors and officials that competed and worked here over the past 76-years.”
The initial class of inductees included: the late Mike (Little) Serokman, Jimmy Burns, Larry Wright, Lou Blaney, Steve Peles, the late Piney Lasky, and Jack Freeman.
Aside from the modified 100-lapper, there will also be a feature event only program for the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series divisions.
The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing (EMMR) will present a static and on-track exhibition of vintage race cars, including several that raced at the Somerset County oval in past decades.
Veteran NASCAR Nextel Cup driver and former modified champion Jimmy Spencer will also be conducting a free autograph session.
A reunion of former Jennerstown Speedway competitors will also be held at the EMMR vintage car display. Former drivers are asked to contact the speedway at 814 629-6677 to secure credentials. Anyone with Jennerstown Speedway memorabilia is welcome to share at the display area.
TVMRS: JOHNNY BUSCH FINDS A HOME IN TVMRS
While at Monadnock Speedway for the True Value Modified Racing Series event of two weeks ago, Johnny Bush walked back to his hauler with a smile on his face. He was at a race track and doing what he was born to do.
“I have a major learning curve going on though because a lot of these tracks we have not been to. We are working that part out. A lot of the tracks are similar to those from the NASCAR Tour so it does help out. The car is great, but the driver has to learn what to do on the race track. We have not run for quite a few years after we ran the tour, so we have a few cobwebs to get rid of. The car was real good in practice today, but it felt better at Lee. We had been to Lee once before so it helped. I have been racing since 1976, so I have a few laps behind me and we will catch up.”
It turns out that Johnny comes from a family of racing:
“My mom was one of the many early women racers that raced at Freeport Speedway (NY). She raced two nights a week in a hobby stock. She had a Ford Coupe. Back then they had jalopies and modified also. She did not have a lot of money so she ran the jalopies in the early sixties.
When they brought the car to the track, they had to pry me out of the car so she could go racing. I would sit in the seat all the way to the track. Racing was always something that I had to do.”
The True Value Modifieds will return to action on Saturday, June 17th at Waterford Speedbowl (CT). (Denise Dupont)
BG MODS: JEFFREYS’ LUCK FINALLY CHANGES
The past few weeks have been a wild ride for Robert Jeffreys.
Jeffreys won the Craftsman 100 on May 13, boosting him to one point away from the points lead. But for the next two events, Jeffreys finished 22nd and 20th due to ill-timed mechanical problems.
Donny Lia was the top dog last year at Seekonk's Modified Madness show. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Most would have been sick with discouragement - but not the 61-year old veteran from Winston-Salem. “I come back every week to win races. I’m not worried about the points. I’m here to win races,” said Jeffreys. He got his wish Saturday night, capturing the pole with a time of 13.493 and taking the checkered for the first 25-lap race for the GMAC Insurance Personal Pit Crew Modified Series. This makes Jeffreys the only repeat winner out of eight races at Bowman Gray Stadium.
The “Madhouse Scramble” put Brad Robbins of Winston-Salem on the pole for the second race with Burt Myers of Walnut Cove on the outside row. “In my opinion, Burt
Midvale Speedway (USA Modified Photo)
Jeffreys enjoys the spoils of his victory. (Bowman-Gray Photo)
is one of the best down here. I was real worried,” said Robbins about starting next to the two-time champion.
But when the green flag fell, it was Robbins who burst out to a solid lead. He never looked back, winning the second 25-lap Modified race – his first win since early 2002 and only his second career victory ever. It was an especially significant achievement when Robbins received his trophy from the night’s sponsor, Clarence Baity from Baity’s Discount Tire Sales. “Clarence Baity was my very first Sponsor 14 years ago when I had a Sportsman car,” said Robbins. “To win it and then go up there and see Clarence – that was just great.”
USA MODS: MIDVALE GETS READY
The USA Modified Series continues it’s tour this Saturday, June 10th at Midvale Speedway, Midvale, Ohio for the Demon Carb 100. Coming off the second rainout at Flat Rock Speedway in Michigan, racers are excited and ready for the $1,500 to win $250 to start, 100 lap contest, that will bring the USA Mods there for the first time. Along with the $1500 dollar prize, the winner will receive a Demon Carb for his night’s work on the tight 3/10 mile track. This will also be the first 100 lap event of the season, as the Tour strays away from it’s normal 50 lap events.
“Midvale wanted to do something special and with Demon coming on board we thought 100 lapper would work well. It will give the racer time to advance and a little extra money in their pocket” said Keith Beeching, USA Modified Director.
A large field of Mods are expected with current USA points leader Tim Burkett and team member Brian Nester topping the list. Runner up in points and hot after to back to back wins, Michigan’s Bob Curry. Hudson Indiana’s Brad Springer, former USA Champion Rodney Scott, Ft. Wayne’s Scott Coe, and sophomore contender Mike Hadley Jr. are all expected to compete.
DIRT: SUPER DIRT WEEK PLANNING ALREADY UNDERWAY
The 35th edition of Super DIRT Week, Oct. 4-8, will continue to showcase DIRT MotorSports NorthEast’s premier touring divisions --- big-block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock. However, in the 2006 autumn attraction staged at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, teams competing in the 358-Modified and Sportsman main events will all be awarded the same amount of points toward their respective overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRT Championship.
“The idea of giving show-up points only to the small-block and Sportsman drivers is consistent with the fact that Super DIRT Week has been shortened this year, and the common factor is an attempt to save money,” said Gary Spaid, DIRT MotorSports NE Director of Computer Scoring Operations & Points Coordinator. “There’s now a more realistic chance to run for the Mr. DIRT title without building a special car for Syracuse, a belief held by many teams over the years.”
The late Al Chamberlain of Altoona, PA drove this car to many Jennerstown victories during the 1950's. (NASCAR Touring Photo)
NorthEast Series and should be treated as such,” Spaid added. “Valuable points will still be at stake and hopefully more teams will get involved as an experience on a mile dirt track is unlike few found anywhere else on our circuit, or around the entire country for that matter.”
With the October auto racing extravaganza once following a seven-day format, Super DIRT Week XXXV has been reduced to four full days of trackside activity beginning on Thursday with car inspection and time trials for both Modifieds and 358-Modifieds. Sportsman entries make their first appearance Friday on the Syracuse Mile while Pro Stockers arrive Saturday. Traditional 'satellite' events remain intact at nearby Brewerton Speedway (Oct. 5) and Rolling Wheels Raceway (Oct. 6-7).
Camping will be allowed and 'early bird' inspections will actually begin Wednesday to allow for the full schedule of time trials and qualifying races on Thursday and Friday. Only one set of time trials will be offered to the big-block Advance Auto Parts Modifieds in place of the two-day format used in the past, with Mod & 358 poles determined on Thursday. The remainder of the weekend schedule basically stays intact from previous years with Friday, Saturday and Sunday agendas following a similar path.
SUPER DIRT WEEK XXXV – 2006 Schedule
*All Times Subject To Change.
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4
10am-6pm - 'Early Bird' Inspection Modifieds & 358-Modifieds under grandstands,
12noon - Gates open, camping area opens.
THURSDAY, Oct. 5
8am - Gates Open,
8am-12noon - Inspection area opens under grandstands,
11am - Advance Auto Parts 'Media Day' Press Conference, Infield Bldg,
12noon - Modified & 358-Modified practice,
3pm - 358-Modified time trials¬ (Top-six locked into front 3 rows),
4pm - Modified time trials¬ (Top-six locked into front 3 rows),
7:30pm - Brewerton Speedway, Mr. DIRT 358-Modified Series.
FRIDAY, Oct. 6
8am - Gates Open & Inspection area opens,
10am - Track opens for Practice,
12noon - Twin 20-lap 358-Modified Heat Races lined up by time trials (next 10
non-qualified cars qualify from each),
1:30pm - Triple 20-lap Modified Heat Races lined up by time trials (next 10 non-qualified cars qualify from each),
2:30pm - Sportsman time trials (top 24 qualify for feature race),
7:30pm - Rolling Wheels Raceway, Mr. DIRT 358-Modified & Sportsman Series.
SATURDAY, Oct. 7
8am - Gates Open & Inspection area opens,
9:30am - On track warm-ups and practice for Pro Stocks, Sportsman & 358-Mods,
11am - Sportsman Last Chance Race,
11:20am - Pro Stock Practice Final Session,
12noon - 358-Modified Last Chance Race,
12:45pm - Pro Stock open time trials ¬40 minutes (top 24 qualify for feature race),
3pm - 358-Modifed 150-lap Championship (40 cars to start),
7:30pm - Rolling Wheels Raceway, ESS/URC/PSG Sprint Car Challenge.
SUNDAY, Oct. 8
8am - Gates Open & Inspection area opens,
10am - Track opens for Pro Stock Practice,
10:30am - Modified Practice Final Session,
10:45am - Pro Stock Last Chance Race,
11am - Modified Last Chance Race,
12:15pm - Pro Stock 25-lap Championship (30 cars to start),
1:45pm - Modified 200-lap Championship (44 cars to start).
MONDAY, Oct. 9
Rain date for Saturday or Sunday events.
He’s also smiling because he has found the perfect place for him to go racing.
“It is great driving in the True Value Modified Racing Series,” said Bush. “The officials are wonderful, the competitors are real great. The NASCAR Tour was more like a job and this is definitely more like fun. The transition to these cars was very easy when you are use to doing a traveling tour, that part is pretty easy.”
Although Bush might know the cars from years of experience, but the tracks are a different story.
358-Modified and Sportsman teams in pursuit of the coveted Mr. DIRT Championship will now receive 100 points at Super DIRT Week, whether they win their race on Saturday or suffer terminal mechanical failure during the weekend. The only requirement is that a legitimate attempt to qualify must be made through time trials, heats and/or the last chance race. The regular Series points structure will be in place for the Modified and Pro Stock main events scheduled on Sunday.
“Super DIRT Week at Syracuse is still a major happening for DIRT MotorSports, a significant part of the
Johnny Bush (#68) races with Kirk Alexander. (Jim DuPont Photo)