confirmed a change that will allow big- or small-block engines - and all things in between - to compete at the Ulster County quarter-mile next season. Previously, the headline class had been solely reserved for 358-Modifieds under 2004 DIRT rules.
For 2007, competitors may enter Accord competition with any engine combination (big-block, small-block, 430, 9-to-1, aluminum spec head, crate) on gas or alcohol with a wet or dry sump set-up.
Palmer feels the new, wide-open rules package will allow more cars to compete on Friday nights.
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: MR. DIRT NOW KNOWS WHERE TO GO IN 2007
Fueled by the return of the popular twin-bill at autodromes Drummond and Granby in late summer, the 2007 Mr. DIRT 358-Modified Championship Series is now set with more than a dozen extra-distance events culminating with the crowning of the Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRT 358-Modified Champion for a 25th consecutive year. Hoosier-Sunoco Mr. DIRT 358-Modified top contenders will be following the lucrative small-block trail at season’s end with bonus points added in from a driver's hometrack to determine the overall titlist.
“We’ve put together a solid series for our 358-Modified teams with most of the events tied together to make travel plans more feasible for both racers and fans,” said DIRT MotorSports NorthEast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning Cory Reed. “Opening with a new doubleheader in Quebec and closing during the traditional Eastern States Weekend at Orange County offers a great schedule of high-paying races from top to bottom.”
Reigning overall Mr. DIRT 358-Modified points king Brett Hearn captured the elusive small-block title after garnering five big-block championships from 1990-2001. Hearn secured the coveted crown following his seventh season championship at Orange County where he logged four of his five small-block victories during the season. Although Hearn remains the all-time 358 Mr. DIRT Series race winner with 62, the Sussex, N.J. ace went winless during the past tour, marking the first time that has happened since 1995 when champion Pat O’Brien was denied a victory lane appearance. Alan Johnson (3) was the only repeat race winner last year in the rain-shortened eight-race tour.
2007 Mr. DIRT 358-Modified Championship Series Schedule
Mon-Aug 20100Autodrome DrummondDrummondville, QUE
Tue-Aug 21100Autodrome GranbyGranby, QUE
Sun-Sep 2100Cornwall Motor SpeedwayCornwall, ONT
Fri-Sep 7100Autodrome EdelweissHull, QUE
Sat-Sep 875Brockville Ont SpeedwayBrockville, ONT
Fri-Sep 1475Can-Am Motorsports ParkLaFargeville, NY
Sat-Sep 1550Lebanon Valley SpeedwayWest Lebanon, NY
Fri-Sep 21100Rolling Wheels RacewayElbridge,NY
Wed-Oct 375Can-Am Motorsports ParkLaFargeville, NY
Thr-Oct 4100Brewerton SpeedwayBrewerton, NY
Fri-Oct 5100Rolling Wheels RacewayElbridge, NY
Sat-Oct 6150New York State FairgrndsSyracuse,NY
Fri-Oct 12100New Egypt SpeedwayNew Egypt, NJ
Sat-Oct 20150Orange Co Fair SpeedwayMiddletown,NY
*All events subject to change.
TVMRS: 2007 SLATE IS SET
The much anticipated schedule for the 2007 season for the True Value Modified Racing Series has been announced and the fourth year tour will bring its exciting brand of open wheel racing to nine different venues in the New England region. The 18 event schedule was announced by series president and founder Jack Bateman. All events will be point’s races with the exception of the "Modified Madness" mid week special July 18 at Seekonk, MA, Speedway. Seekonk officials have indicated the race will again be officiated by the TVMRS.
The new date will allow for New England race fans to have a free weekend to attend the prestigious Race of Champions. The new date was switched with what was earlier announced as an Oswego & MSA Super Modified show at Sandusky Speedway. That event at Sandusky will now take place on Saturday, September 15th which allow for spectators to see both events. In the past several years Super Modified standouts have competed in the Race of Champions Modified 200, most recently with Joe Gosek qualifying in the last two editions in a Lee Sherwood back up mount.
Race of Champions Owner Andrew Harpell remarked, “Our relationship with Pat Furlong and Steve Gioia at Oswego Speedway has been fantastic and we all agree that the wider separation between Classic Weekend (Labor Day) and the Race of Champions will help create greater momentum for both events.” He added, “The RoC Modified Tour runs a major event on Classic Weekend and this date change will keep the events from being too close together for both our fans and drivers.”
Several subtle changes in the weekend schedule are expected to be announced shortly as the Race of Champions Weekend will be bigger and better in 2007. The 2007 Race of Champions Modified Tour and qualifying trail is expected to be announced in the upcoming days as well.
For additional information on the 57th running of the Race of Champions Weekend please contact the RoC offices at (607) 775-5555 or contact the Oswego Speedway offices directly at (315) 342-0646. For lodging information you can log on to the official Oswego Speedway website and click on the “Track Info” (Directions + Lodging) icon.
DIRT: MS. DIRT TO APPEAR AT MOTORSPORTS 2007 SHOW
Ms. DIRT MotorSports Chelsea Miller will be representing the nationally recognized sanctioning body with her own when she competes in the Len Sammons Productions Ms. Motorsports 2007 contest at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, N.J. on January 13. The Saturday afternoon pageant is part of a blockbuster off-season weekend for auto racing enthusiasts in the seaside resort town slated for January 12-14, 2007.
will be the seacoast area host with three dates booked on June 15, July 13, and the season finale, the annual Oktoberfest weekend, Oct 20, 21. The Seekonk MA, Speedway will host three point shows in 2007, June 23, August 18, and the annual D.A.V Memorial weekend Oct 6, 7.
In keeping with his original plan of adding a new venue each season, Bateman scheduled a 100 lap race at Oxford Plains, ME., July 21st. The TVMRS will be the headline event the night before the legendary TD Bank North Oxford 250. Said Bateman, "We have been given a wonderful opportunity to showcase our series at one of New England’s most storied short track events, the Oxford 250." When previously announced, track owner Bill Ryan showed the same enthusiasm, "We have heard from many fans who were hoping to see a top-notch modified tour on our 2007 schedule. The True Value modifieds are a perfect fit," he stated.
The series will return to two famed short tracks both rich in modified history. The Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough,ME., will play host to the ground pounders on Aug 4, for the third consecutive season while an invitation has been extended to return to the 5/8 mile Thompson CT Speedway for their "Modified Mania" weekend Sept 8, 9.
Gone from the schedule is the former Star Speedway.
RoC: OSWEGO’S RACE OF CHAMPIONS CONTINUES ON IN ‘07
The running of the 57th annual Race of Champions Weekend will take place on September 20, 21 and 22 at the famed Oswego Speedway. The 2007 date is one week later than the past several years with the Modified 200 still serving as the highlight of the weekend on Saturday. Once again Sunday (September 23rd) will be set aside as the rain date for any portion of the weekend’s events.
The Race of Champions Weekend remains as the culmination of the season long asphalt weekly racing battles throughout the northeast. The best talent annually meets at Oswego each fall to compete in the Race of Champions. Even though the Modified 200 remains the biggest asphalt Modified race in the country the support divisions all see the best talent converging in each of their respective divisions.
The new weekend is expected to be met with favorable reviews on a number of fronts from both competitors and fans alike. Over the past several years many of the weekly race track programs have seen both their track and regional point battles carry into mid-September due to rain outs. This will no longer be a concern for teams as all of the northeast weekly point battles will have been played out.
Jim DuPont Photo
When the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing begins on February 9, 2007 look for track records to fall right and left. Florida's fastest speedway is about to get even faster as the new pavement begins to be put down beginning Jan. 3. In addition new fencing and other upgrades will make this a year to remember at New Smyrna Speedway.
TRACKS: ACCORD MAKES RULES CHANGES
If you've got it, you can run it in Accord Speedway's 2007 Modified division. Promoter Gary Palmer recently
Ms. Motorsports Chelsea Miller (DIRT Photo)
Eric Beers has been a regular at the Race of Champions for several years. In 2007, he won't have a Modified Tour race on the same weekend to work around. (51 Photo)
For the last four seasons Miller has provided solo performances of our national anthem during Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. This past October she performed double-duty, also posing for pictures as she represented DIRT MotorSports NorthEast after earning the ninth Ms. DIRT title in March.
"It’s already been fun traveling around the DIRT circuit and meeting a lot of new fans, I’m sure carrying the DIRT banner in Atlantic City will be another great experience," said Miller, 19, from Langhorne, Pa., daughter of veteran special events race promoter Bob Miller. “It’s a tough competition with so many talented girls, I’ll just give it my best shot and see how things turn out.”
Miller, a 5'7" hazel-eyed blonde-haired beauty, is currently a hair stylist and cosmotologist, holding higher aspirations of someday becoming an actress. Despite her young age, Miller carries years of experience that afford her veteran status in the entertainment industry. Aside from entering numerous local and regional singing competitions, Chelsea has made plenty of select trackside appearances and performed the National Anthem.
Chelsea traveled to many of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series events in 2006, participating in fan interactive
activities, and taking part in the race track “Kids’ Club” events which she greatly enjoyed. A highlight for Chelsea was dropping the green flag at Rolling Wheels Raceway on two occasions. She also made appearances on behalf of DIRT MotorSports at several Eckerd Drug Stores and recently represented DIRT at the PRI show where she took part in several radio talk shows.
For Chelsea, her experiences with DIRT MotorSports reached far beyond just the victory lane photo shoot. “I enjoy working in racing and someday hope to expand my horizion to become an announcer, official or even work in auto racing promotions,” Miller commented.
In 1998 she first stood on the podium during Super DIRT Week to sing the national anthem, and did so for eight consecutive years. In 2004 she released her first CD with a pair of original singles while a second CD was in progress with two more songs.
To compliment her past experiences, Chelsea’s short term goal is to win the Ms. Motorsports title with hopes to continue her work and efforts in serving all of motorsports. The newest Ms. Motorsports titlist stands to collect $1,500 while first runner-up receives $500 and second runner-up earns $250. A $500 award for Best Swimwear has been posted along with additional prizes for Sportswear and Congeniality. The overall winner will also be offered a $1,000 poster deal with five mandatory appearances guaranteed.
Traditionally the series launches it season opener at the popular Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, NH, and fans can expect the same April 14. A total of five events have been scheduled at the western N.H. speedplant including Memorial Day weekend, May 26, the tracks Independence Holiday celebration on July 7, with two additional dates on July 28 and August 25.
A return engagement has been booked April 21 at the Waterford CT Speedbowl, the first of two appearances at the shore line oval. The second race is scheduled June 9.
The Canaan NH Speedway has secured two date - June 2
and August 11 while the Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH
"We had to make a decision," said Palmer, who purchased the speedway from Dave Flach in 2001 and has operated it successfully since then. "The 358-Modifieds under those rules are dying out.”
Palmer has made it clear that he won't penalize his weekly competitors who have money and time invested in their small-block pieces. He has a set of rules in place to keep all cars on an even playing field.
Competitors utilizing the '04 DIRT engine package on gas must weigh 2,400 pounds (no two-percent). ALL other combinations must tip the scales at 2,600 pounds.
Again in 2007, all Big A Modified cars will be permitted to run two, even 65-inch sail panels.
In recent seasons, the year-end events at Accord have been listed under open competition, allowing for big- and small-block engines. Because of the track's size and layout, the result was parity and plenty of side-by-side racing, which is what Palmer expects in '07.
The '07 Accord season will open with a pair of practice sessions on April 6 and 13, with the first "official" green flag set for April 20.
DIRT: FRESHMAN PASSES AWAY
Former DIRT MotorSports public relations liaison Aaron Freshman passed away at age 84 on December 28, 2006 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The entire staff at DIRT MotorSports sends it deepest condolences to his family.
Known fondly as “Chief” on the DIRT of Central New York circuit, Freshman was born in Auburn, New York and was the son of Barney and Gertrude Gates Freshman. He was an Army veteran of World War II and lived in Camillus for 40 years before retiring recently in Raleigh, NC.
When DIRT MotorSports was established in 1976, Freshman already held strong ties with DIRT founder Glenn Donnelly that had taken root during the 1960s. Freshman was in the appliance retail business and when K-Mart Stores first opened in the Syracuse, N.Y. area he maintained a direct connection with Donnelly, himself an auditor for the General Electric Company at the time. As Donnelly’s DIRT empire grew, so did corporate sponsorship as Freshman landed many major accounts that included Wheels Discount Auto Supply Stores which evolved into today’s partnership with Advance Auto Parts.
Survived by his wife, Marjorie Freshman; daughter, Ann Freshman; son, Charles Freshman; a brother, Herbert (Edith) Freshman; and several nieces and nephews. Graveside service and burial will be conducted at 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 3, 2007, at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn. Contributions may be made to your local V.F.W. Birnbaum Funeral Service, Inc.
Brett Hearn (DIRT Photo)
The Mods will no doubt pick up speed in this year's Florida Speedweeks.
Rich Ricci did his share of winning at Accord in 2006. (Accord Speedway Photo)