51's Modified Madness Presented by Advance Auto Parts Compiled by Mike Twist
North, South, Dirt and Asphalt...All The Latest From the Mod-ern Racing World
SPEEDWEEKS: DIVERSE FIELD GETS READY FOR NEW SMYRNA
Every February, the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing draws a diverse entry list of modifieds to New Smyrna Speedway. Through the years, everyone who is anyone in the Mod community has gone south for Speedweeks including Richie Evans, Reggie Ruggiero, Ted Christopher, Steve Park, the late Tom Baldwin, Jimmy Spencer and even Tony Stewart.
Chuck Hossfeld and the #79 Hillbilly team both have winning records at Speedweeks on their own. This year is the first time that they will team up at New Smyrna. (51 Photo)
This year, the Speedweeks competitors are coming from all different walks of racing.
Defending New Smyrna champion Andy Seuss leads a contingent of full and part-time True Value Modified Racing Series competitors that also includes Bobby Grigas, III, Jon McKennedy, Jim Storace and Ryan Preece. TVMRS race winner Louie Mechalides is also going to Speedweeks, but will race his Super Late Model instead of a Modified.
The list of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regulars going to New Smyrna is also stout. Ted Christopher will hunt for more Speedweeks victories with his Eddie Whelan-owned #36 ride. The Blewett Brothers will be racing with John, III in the #00 Brady Bunch Modified and younger sibling Jimmy driving the #19 of George Bierce. Donny Lia, a former winner of the Richie Evans Memorial 100, will be back to hunt down another win in the week’s biggest race. Eric Beers will wheel his own car, James Civali will drive a second Brady Bunch Mod, Zach Sylvester will drive his own #15 before joining up with the Curt Chase team for the start of the points season. Chuck Hossfeld and the Hillbilly Racing team will be a threat all week long, Billy Pauch, Jr. will continue his asphalt Mod education during the stretch of events and Kevin Goodale will tow south from Long Island to race at New Smyrna.
Race of Champions Modified drivers Earl Paules, J. Wesley Swartout and Rowan Pennick will compete during the week. 2005 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the Year Tyler Haydt will be there as well. Dave Sapienza and Justin Bonsignore will lead the Riverhead Raceway (NY) contingent at Speedweeks.
Speed51.com will be on hand all week long to bring you the latest coverage of the events, so be sure to stay tuned.
SPEEDWEEKS CONSISTS OF DIRT RACING TOO!
The asphalt Mods aren’t the only game in town for Florida Speedweeks. Big block DIRT Modifieds will also raise the roof down in the Sunshine State.
Recognized as one of the premier motorsports operations on the East Coast, VMS is a state-of-the-art dirt racing facility equipped with a 3000+ watt Public Address/Sound Reinforcement System. Boasting a 1/2-mile dirt surface with 14 degree banking in the turns, the speedway hosts events every Saturday night from late March through September. VMS offers 17 television quality MUSCO light poles, 4-tier outside guardrail and 3-tier inside guardrail retaining structures while the infield is surface treated with a tar and gravel mixture. Virginia Motor Speedway has erected 5500 permanent aluminum grandstand seats and private skyboxes for sponsors and offers 20+ acres of free parking and camping.
“We are very excited to have the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series visiting our facility for the very first time. With the event now being 60 laps, our fans are assured of seeing ‘on top of the wheel’ action from lap one to lap sixty,” commented Virginia Motor Speedway track owner Bill Sawyer.
Joining the Advance Auto Parts Big-Block Modifieds at VMS on May 3 will be a full show of Super Late Models. Plans are being finalized to have several of NASCAR’s stars in attendance and racing in both the Big-Block and Super Late Model events as NASCAR will be at Richmond International Raceway that same weekend. More information will be released as the details are finalized. Contact the DIRT MotorSports NorthEast Office (315/834-6606) during normal business hours for specific questions or log into the DIRT homepage at www.dirtmotorsports.com to find out more about the entire circuit. To learn more about Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway, fans may call the Speedway office at (804) 758-1VMS (867) or visit the track’s website at www.vamotorspeedway.com.
TRACKS: COMMON RULES SET FOR SPENCER AND CHEMUNG
A number of rule compromises were reached recently in a meeting held between a number of track operators, series directors and part suppliers. These rules will apply at Spencer and Chemung Speedways for the SST class in 2007, as well as on the RoC Tour.
Currently Spencer, Stafford, Waterford and Thompson all require the use of the Low Back Muffler system. That rule will also now be in effect at Chemung and at all SST Tour races in 2007.
“More and more often we are being faced by factors of the population who want to limit the
noise generated by speedways,” stated John White. “The addition of this Low Back muffler
rule at all major tracks throughout the northeast and at SST Tour events will help to show
these neighbors we are trying to be better neighbors and helps to ensue we can race into
Recently one Spencer track official attended a race track in Florida were no mufflers were
being used. He related, ”You forget just how much noise is generated from one of these
cars without a muffler system. I saw fans leaving the grandstands and covering their
children’s ears as it got so loud. I know my ears were ringing for an hour after the race.”
The officials at the tech meeting also decided to eliminate the use of the DART Platinum
head from the SST division.
Announced earlier the Tigor ignition switch will be mandatory in all NASCAR Modifieds and
SST Modifieds running at Spencer and Chemung speedways. This switch will interrupt a carburetor stuck wide open and thus possibly save lives.
This means that the Tigor switch MUST be on by practice day. There are still a few available by contacting John White for the price of $150.00 plus shipping.
“We are maintaining the same engine configuration for 2007 we have been using event though the NASCAR Tour Modifieds are undergoing a change. This change will not be legal at Spencer on a weekly basis,” added White.
TRACKS: MAHONING LIVES ON FOR 2007
Over the past few months there have been a number of rumors circulated about Mahoning Valley Speedway on whether or not the popular paved ¼-mile would see action this year.
The property which the track sits on was said to be bought and sold. Everything from shopping centers to housing developments where going up. Rumors indeed.
The 2007 season schedule is released and better then ever since being run under the direction of the husband and wife team of Doug and Gena Hoffman, now in their third year as promoters of the Lehighton raceway located on route 443.
Starting in April and running up to October, the Hoffman’s have put together a very motivated line-up of events headlined by the “Super-7 Series,” which will be seven special occasion races for the Modifieds.
At Mahoning Valley Speedway it’s all about the basics of stock car racing. Side-by-side action, great competition and some of the most loyal fans the sport has to offer. With the Super-7 Series along with great support classes it’s a sure bet for another extraordinary year of pure racing excitement.
The Super-7 Series will entail a purse that is currently in excess of $100,000 in prize money. Each of the seven race winners will earn no less then $3000 with $200 to take the green.
A separate point tally will be kept as the top seven point getters will each take with them an additional $1000.
Bonus points will be awarded to any driver who races in any Mahoning Valley regular show which they can then apply to their Super-7 Series point tally. Two (2) points will be the bonus that a driver can earn.
All Super-7 events will utilize time trials to determine the starting grids. The 12 quickest timers will be locked into the main. Thereafter heats will be run with those line-ups determined by the original draw from time trials.
The first Super-7 Series race will be held on Opening Day, April 7 which will be the Frost Free 100.
The other Super 7 dates are May 5, the Spring Fling 100. June 9, the R.S. Snyder 75-lap Race of Champions (RoC). Wednesday, July 4, the Fan Appreciation Firecracker Modified 100. July 28, the Hot Summer Night Modified 100. August 18, 75-lap RoC and the Season Finale Modified 100 on October 6.
All of Mahoning’s regular classes, Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro4 Late Models, Factory Stocks and 4-Cylinder Stocks will have a full year ahead.
The speedway has also booked the 4c Super Modifieds on four occasions, April 21, June 30, August 11 and September 1.
Last year the Dorney Park Race Reunion Night was a huge success and will return again this year on the night of May 26.
The third annual running of the C & D Landscaping 100 for Street Stocks will take place on Labor Day weekend, the first Saturday night in September.
September 15 will also be a special night as the Northeast Late Model Association (NELMA) has signed on for their very first try at Mahoning Valley.
The will be three pre-season practice days during March on the 17th, 24th and 31st.
The 2007 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series for Big-Block Modifieds kicks off the season down south with four non-point events as part of the 36th Annual DIRTcar Nationals presented by Mopar Speed Shop at Volusia Speedway Park. Five straight days of trackside activity ---including practice on Feb. 13--- at the revamped VSP facility culminate Feb. 17 with a 50-lap finale offering a first-place prize of $5,000. In between, Feb. 14-16, each 30-lap DIRT Modified feature winner stands to collect $2,000.
The spacious half-mile clay oval is located off I-95 at exit 268, then 15 miles west on State Route 40 (1.5 miles west of State Route 11) in Barberville, Fla.
Pit gates swing open daily at 2 p.m., Spectator gates are unlocked at 5 p.m., Practice begins at 6 p.m., and qualifying races follow at approximately 7:30 p.m.
DIRT: HEADING TO VIRGINIA
The 2007 edition of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series includes the first-ever appearance at Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway for the mighty DIRT Big-Block Modifieds. The highly-anticipated ‘Thursday Thunder’ card at the Saluda, VA. half-miler on May 3 will also mark the initial 60-lap main event for DIRT MotorSports NorthEast’s premier open-wheel traveling tour, a distance that could emerge as the standard in years to come.
“The Virginia race was tentatively put down as a 100-lapper, as that’s been the customary distance for the majority of our Advance Auto Parts Series shows since 2000,” said DIRT MotorSports NorthEast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning Cory Reed. “After further discussion with track officials it was determined that VMS would be a willing test facility for the 60 lap distance. The race purse will not be lowered, so all the teams are happy. What we really want to do is study how the fans feel and their response to this event could have an effect on tour races in coming years.”
Highlighted by 29 race dates in six states and two Canadian provinces, the current Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series schedule offers a diverse mix of championship events leading up to the crowning of the overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRT titlist. Advance Auto Parts SDS ’07 activity kicks off in February with open-wheel teams traveling south for the 36th DIRTcar Nationals presented by Mopar Speed Shop at Volusia Speedway Park. Four non-point events make up the annual Florida Tour that will crown a Big-Block champion following the 10th straight winter bash, Feb. 14-17, staged in the ‘Sunshine State.’
DIRT Modifieds are going to thunder into Virginia this year.
The Modifieds at Chemung are going to have the same rules package as their counterparts at Spencer. (Chemung Speedrome/Jeff Martz Photo)