2007 Mod Tour Preview - Looking at the Rest of the Class by Mike Twist
A Comprehensive Look at Everyone on the Tour
Renee Dupuis, Chris Pasteryak, Jim Storace and Kevin Goodale were all at the Icebreaker, Round One, with new paint schemes and a fresh outlook on the new season.
THE REST OF THE CLASS
Ronnie Silk is back in the #19 George Bierce machine. Anthony Sesley will be at the first three races at least – with hopes of running the full year if he can find a little bit of sponsorship help. Carl Pasteryak will keep on trucking with his #75. Danny Sammons is back in the Ralph Solhem #0 with a year of experience under his belt.
Billy Pauch, Jr. returns to the #06 Greenfield Racing car after replacing Steve Whitt late last year. Pauch is getting more used to racing on pavement. Robbie Summers plans on a very busy year as he splits time between the #1 Modified and a ride on the ISMA Supermodified Tour. Rick Fuller will run at least eight races in the newly-renumbered Bear Motorsports #13. With enough backing, this could turn into a full-season deal.
WHERE DID THEY GO?
A number of familiar faces aren’t going to be in the pits this year on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Doug Coby won the Spring Sizzler in 2006, but was shuffled out of the Chase #77 and is now running his own underfunded and mostly sponsorless SK Modified weekly at Waterford Speedbowl. Is he bitter? Heck no, Coby reports that running the Bowl is a ton of fun. Still, it probably won’t be long before someone gives him another shot at running on the Tour.
Chris Pasteryak (Top - #5) and Kevin Goodale (Bottom - #58) both have new looks for this season. (Jamie Williams Photos)
We've already picked the top 16 competitors from last season, then threw in two guys who ran partial schedules but still won races and added a pair of rookies in for good measure - click here to read more. But those aren’t the only teams who plan to run a full schedule of Tour races in 2007. There’s a whole gaggle of racers who want to take their careers to the next level this coming season.
Ken Barry was at the Icebreaker last week, but did not attempt a qualifying lap. His efforts were devoted to helping Richard Savary qualify sixth in a his back-up Art Barry-owned machine instead. Barry, the 2004 Modified Tour Rookie of the Year, needs a sponsor to do much racing this season and is keeping busy behind the scenes building racecars at the family business – SPAFCO Racecars.
Tom Bolles and his #76 car weren’t at the Icebreaker either. Bolles is devoting plenty of time to the family’s Bolles Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep dealership, which opened a new showroom within a stone’s throw of Stafford Motor Speedway not too long ago. Expect to see Bolles roll out his #76 at nearby races to home like Stafford and Thompson later in the year.
Tommy Cloce and the legendary family team, Hemi Cuda Racing, didn’t hit the Modified Tour much in 2006. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still racing. The team cars have sprouted fenders instead. Cloce is entered in this weekend’s PASS North Super Late Model opener at Beech Ridge with the Hemi Cuda team fielding the car.
WHAT ABOUT OLE' BLUE?
The Boehler Enterprises #3 will start out the season with Bobby Santos, III in the driver’s seat. The team is looking for sponsorship to run through the season. Santos will be in the car as much as possible, but with a schedule of ARCA RE/MAX Series and NASCAR Busch Series races planned for Bill Davis Racing, he won’t be able to resemble anything close to a Mod Tour regular.
WHO'S UP NEXT?
There is plenty of new blood looking towards the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Thompson track champion Woody Pitkat helped out the Curt Chase team last season and would love to move up onto the Tour, should an opportunity present itself. He will be running select True Value Modified events, getting acclimated to driving the higher-horsepower Tour-Type Mods than the SK’s he’s a titlist in.
Bobby Santos stands by the #3 BRE ride.
STILL PLUGGING ALONG
And then there are Wade Cole and Jake Marosz. These guys are loyal to the Tour and work with peanuts. Their idea of a successful weekend is to make the show and finish the feature. Their dedication is second to nobody else in the pit area and it would be wonderful to see what either competitor could do with top notch equipment.
One thing is for certain, the pit area at a Whelen Modified Tour race wouldn't be the same without Cole's #33 (and the cool ramp truck that brings it to the track) or Marosz's #9 in attendance.
You never know just who might show up to run a Modified Tour race here and there. Over the past few seasons, we've seen Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Todd Bodine and Steve Park make Tour starts. Could there be more of that in store this season?
New Hampshire’s Andy Seuss won on the Whelen Southern Modified Tour at Nashville this spring. While he runs in the True Value Modified Racing Series for Brian Schofield’s #07 team, his family-owned #70 team plans to run as many Southern Modified Tour races as possible, as well as a few “Northern” Tour races. He’s talked to car owners in the North and South, so there is always the possibility of this youngster in a familiar ride before too long.
Keith Ruocco has been very impressive in the SK Modified ranks at Stafford and Thompson over the past few seasons. He’s still a young pup, but could very well end up on the Tour before too long.