51's Modified Madness Presented by Advance Auto Parts
News From The Ground Pounders - Dirt, Asphalt, North and South
Compiled from Series, Team and Track PR Reports
TVMRS: Thompson Race Is Truly a Value For Race Fans

It will be a battle of champions like no other Thursday night, June 18, when the True Value Modified Racing Series travels to the famed Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, CT., for the tours first Thursday night appearance. The race,” The Town Fair Tire 75,” will highlight the program.

Five champions including, current TVMRS title holder, Chris Pasteryak, seven-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, Mike Stefanik, current WMT Champion Ted Christopher, Thompson Modified champ Kurt Vigeant, and defending race winner Todd Owen, are all entered. Vigeant, plus fellow Thompson racer and many time champion Jeff Zuidema, both will be making their 2009 debut with the sixth year series.

In addition, the list of expected entries from throughout the Northeast is talent laden and impressive.

Current TVMRS points leader and two time winner this season, Jon McKennedy, is entered. McKennedy has won two consecutive races, at Claremont, NH., and Seekonk, MA.  He'll be joined by Waterford Speedbowl winner, Doug Coby, Thunder Road VT.,winner Stephen Masse, former TVMRS racers, Bobby Grigas from the Whelen Modified Tour, and Whelen Southern Modified Tour ace Andy Seuss, veteran, Jimmy Kuhn, Mike Douglas JR, and Jack Bateman. “Showtime” Jimmy Blewett has shown interest in the special event and is expected to compete.

TVMRS regulars Rob Goodnough, Les Hinckley, Richard Savary, Eddie Spiers, Mike Holdridge and Ed Dachenhausen are all expected.

New England's premier modified series will race 75 green flag laps. Qualifying races and a consolation race will determine the starting lineup for the “Town Fair 75.” Qualifying begins at 5:30 PM. The first feature race is slated for 6:45 PM.   

Thursday's race is a qualifying event for the All-Star race to be held the night before the Race of Champions at Oswego, NY. in September.

Tickets are family priced at only $20.00 for adults; $5.00 for youngsters ages 6-14 and those 5 years and under will be admitted free of charge. 

DIRT: Aussie Peter Britten Now ‘Upover’ In United States Big-Block Modified Debut

Flying in from the land downunder for a three-race set over the past weekend, Australian V8 Dirt Modified Champion Peter Britten made his maiden voyage upover to the United States to take on some of DIRTcar Northeast’s best.

Mixed results left plenty of room for improvement and just as much enthusiasm for the 21 year-old superstar from Brisbane, Queensland, who crossed the ocean with the Victorian State Championship and prestigious Australian Championship titles tucked away neatly under his belt.

“Its really amazing how close together many of these tracks are over here,” remarked Britten, who competed at Can-Am Motorsports Park (finished 13th) in LaFargeville on Friday and travelled south to Fulton Speedway (20th) on Saturday before closing out his first weekend of racing in America at Cayuga County Fair Speedway (24th) in Weedsport on Sunday. “At home I have one track about 15 minutes away and there’s 2-1/2 hours to the next.”

Once more buckled in behind the wheel of the patriotic #1 Troyer Big-Block entry, Britten concludes his six-race tour in New York State this weekend with a first-time stop at Brewerton Speedway (June 19) along with return visits to Fulton (June 20) and Cayuga County (June 21).

“All the tracks are quite a bit bigger in the states, its just a matter of making the right changes and getting comfortable once you’re out there,” noted Britten, who began his speedway racing career at age 15 and last season earned Rookie of the Year recognition in the V8 Dirt Modified class. “It was tough adjusting at the start of the nights but I feel like I’m getting used to how things are done now and am anxious to get some more laps. We tried some different shock combinations at Weedsport after hours and that really helped us make a lot of progress.”

“Can-Am is pretty big but it was still a really cool place to get around, quite an experience compared to the quarter-milers back home. Fulton was a little closer to what I’m used to, still the turns were sharp which made the straightaways seem longer than they actually are. Cayuga County was a different story, even the lesser known guys do alright here so we had our hands full all night,” said Britten, whose parents Paul and Jane, recently became partners in an Australian dealership distributing Troyer race cars and a full line of the vital components.

More familiar in another hemisphere steering his family-owned JBR Motorsport no. 21 Troyer machine during the 2008-09 season, Britten is piloting a brand new ‘09 Troyer mount during his North American campaign. When he heads back home with his father next Wednesday for the 30-hour trip, the same car and two more brand new Troyer creations will be shipped across the ocean to greet him upon arrival.

“For me the tires were probably the biggest thing to adapt to from the start,” Britten added. “I’m used to the 104” (circumference) sprint tires that we run on in Australia, the 92” Hoosiers require a totally different style to drive. But that’s why I’m over here, to learn and try to get better. I guess like any serious racer I would love to race for a living but there’s a lot of things that would need to fall into place for that to happen.”

Britten is well on his way to making his wish come true, already piling up some formidable stats that are comparable to any of his weekly foes on the homefront. Over a span of four years racing in various classes (AMCA Nationals, Super Sedans and V8 Dirt Modifieds) he has won one of every four races run, been on the podium (1st, 2nd or 3rd) one in every three races and qualified for the pole-position start one in every three attempts.

“The hardest thing for Peter to overcome is the handicapping, he had to start in the back behind so many good cars,” stated Billy Colton, who heads the Troyer operation based in Rochester, New York. Britten will accompany Colton and the H & H Motorsports team with driver Jimmy Phelps and crew chief Randy Kisacky when they travel to Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown on Wednesday, June 17 for an Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series event.

“Peter is a very intelligent driver, he definitely knows what he’s doing out there. I really wish we could run all three tracks again to measure what we’ve learned, but the plan now is to make it back to both Fulton and Weedsport. I’m confident Peter will improve taking what he’s learned and applying it with some better starting spots. We even stayed after the races ended at Weedsport and ran some 17.8 second laps. The track was much better later on yet Steve (Paine) won turning 18.4s so we know we’re getting close,” Colton figured.

PASS Mods: Autograph Night, PASS Modifieds at Lee Friday Night

It has become an annual Lee USA Speedway event that is hugely popular with fans young and old. Autograph Night, a track annual meet and greet, is as popular with the drivers, as it is with fans. "No matter what sport your into, it's always a cool thing to meet your favorite competitor," said track manager Bob Watson.

"We are able to close down the track for a period of time and let the fans have at it. They come out onto the speedway. It's fun to watch the kids go around from car to car collecting pictures, autographs, having their photo taken with their favorites. The drivers like it too. They giveaway candy, pictures, items that represent their sponsors, and they answer questions. Sometimes the Dad's look as eager as the children do," Watson concluded.

On the speedway, the tracks weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will be in competition. The E-Keys 4-Cars Late Models, Prime Storage Late Model Sportsman, Hobby Stocks, David's Race Cars & Components Roadrunners, and American Race Parts Iron-Man, will all see action. They'll be joined by the visiting PASS Modifieds for round two of the Twin State PASS Modified Series. The first event saw a very competitive race at Lee.

Postponed last week, The American Red Cross will be on hand for their annual blood drive. Blood Donor hours are 1:30 PM to 6:00 PM on the speedway grounds. A blood donor card or picture ID must be presented to donate. Refreshments will be served.

The Red Cross provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply. The need for blood is constant - every two seconds somebody in the nation needs blood. Fans that donate blood will be admitted free and their names will be entered into a special drawing for Boston Red Sox tickets and t-shirts.

Friday nights racing at the family friendly Rte 125 oval begins at 7:15 PM

ASA SMRT: Motor Mile Date is Moved

Officials of the American Speed Association (ASA) sanctioned Southern Modified Race Tour (SMRT) and Motor Mile Speedway have announced the ASA/SMRT tour event scheduled for June 20th has been rescheduled for Friday August 21st.

“It is our wish to put on a good event every time we take to the track”, said SMRT spokesperson Randy Myers.  “We felt that due to the promise of a “short” field of Modifieds, it was in everyone’s best interest to reschedule the event. The folks at Motor Mile have been great to work with in this tough situation and to come up with a date that didn’t conflict with their regular schedule as well as other series or tracks was says a lot about the way they run their facility.  We want their fans to see a great event and this date will give us the chance to do that. The date is the Friday after the Modifieds invade Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time and the heightened interest there could carry over to the Motor Mile Mod show. We just want to put on a good show and this gives us that chance.  I do apologize to the fans and drivers for this inconvenience and look forward to returning to Motor Mile in August” Myers said.

A great field of cars that will include Motor Mile Regular, Mike Looney along with Scott Rigney, Stuart, VA’s Jay Foley and a host of other Modified regulars should be on hand.  Motor Miles U-Cars and Street Stocks along with the East Coast Flathead Racing Association will make up the event card.  Start time will be 8:00 PM on August 21st.

The next event on the ASA / SMRT schedule is at Orange County Speedway on July 11th when the Modifieds will be on the same program as the RC Cola / Moon Pie ASA Southeast Asphalt Late Models.    

Ocala: Mathews Dominates Modifieds At Ocala

For the first time in three weeks, Mother Nature showed mercy to Ocala Speedway and allowed the racers to finally feel the rush of hitting the clay, and a solid group of determined drivers thrilled the crowd with exciting action.  Joining the three regular divisions that were scheduled were the Florida Mini Sprints, which brought a competitive field of cars to challenge Ocala's tough mystique.

Jeff Mathews and his crew somehow missed the mark on their initial set up for the races, and struggled a bit in their heat race, but by the time that the 25 lap feature rolled around Mathews had the car to beat.  But a first lap blunder in turn 4 almost ended it for the 33 when he tried to pass pole sitter Jason Davis on the outside and spun, collecting Wayne Hammond who slammed into the driver's side of Mathews' car.  Both drove away from that incident and Mathews returned to his original starting spot for a complete restart.

The second start went far better for Mathews,and by lap 2 he had stolen the lead and was off and running with it.  With first place basically gone, everyone else had to fight for what was left and several drivers battled over second and third place.  Jason Davis managed to hold onto second until a late race slip allowed Dave Barber and Wayne Hammond to leave him behind.  In the end it was Jeff Mathews with a decisive victory as he pulled away from the field, followed by Dave Barber for second place.  Wayne Hammond collected third place finish with Jason Davis and John Bradley finishing out the top five.

Mahoning Valley: Rain Hits After Heat Races

Mahoning Valley Speedway fell victim to rain but not after a valiant effort none-the-less to try and get the show in.  A mid-afternoon downpour pushed the start time back a half-hour as track crews did a yeoman’s job in ridding an overflow of water on the race surface.

Heat races were then run for all regular track classes plus the season premiere of the micro stocks.

As intermission was concluding with the track’s annual Fan Appreciation Night in which all drivers and cars assembled along the front straight for a meet and greet, the rain returned and never stopped, thus making it an early night.

Heat winners included Rick Kirkendall and Lou Strohl in the Modifieds.  On July 18. it will be the Modifieds doing double duty with their make-up race.  All make-up features will begin the night of racing on their respective make-up dates. Regular qualifying will then take place.

Wall: Twin 50s Are Rained Out

After waiting out persistent showers as long as possible, Able Ford Subaru Racing Series promoter Jim Morton was forced to rain out the tour type Modified Twin 50-lap stock car racing program Saturday night (June 13) at Wall Stadium. Morton announced that rain checks will be honored at any Saturday night stock car racing program this season.

Morton also said that the tour type Modified Twin 50-lap program that was rained out will be rescheduled. He said that he will be checking various speedway and series schedules in search of a date that will accommodate all tour type Modified competitors. He said he expects to announce the rescheduled date early in the coming week.

Auto racing will return to Wall Stadium this Saturday night (June 20) as the third mile paved oval presents “Fan Appreciation Night” and the on track racecar party. Plans call for qualifying to begin at 5:00 p.m. sharp. Once qualifying is complete, every car in the Wall Stadium pit area will be driven down on the track and parked before all fans in the grandstands are welcome onto the track to take pictures, collect autographs and inspect all the racecars. At approximately 7:00 p.m., the fans will return to the grandstands and the cars and crews will return to the pit area before main event racing begins.

On the schedule will be the Red Bank Sleep Shoppe Modifieds in a 40-lap feature race, the Calabreeze Pools Sportsman cars in a 25-lapper, the Street Stocks in a 25-lapper, the Flanagan Retail Development Factory Stocks in a 20-lapper and the INEX Legend Cars in a 20-lapper.

Adults will be admitted to the grandstands for just $15.

Wall Stadium is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. The speedway office is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and all day Saturday during events. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400, while more information is also available at www.wallspeedway.com.

SST Mods: Dunn Tire Date is Added

SST Series; Great news Short Track Race Fans, The SST Modified Tour in conjunction with Dunn Tire Raceway Park has scheduled another big event of entertainment. The open wheel machines of SST have been added to the June 27th schedule of events, in light of the unfortunate cancellation of the Cayuga date.

Director of circle track operations at DTRP, Lori Overdorf stated ‘ this is a great opportunity to show our support to the SST teams that continue to grow within our region’. SST modifieds run weekly in Lancaster along with Spencer, Holland and Wyoming County. Additional teams under the same rules across Central NY and PA will also be invited to visit the SST Tour events as well. The SST Series include an awesome cross section of teams & drivers focused on growing our sport. The more teams, the more fans, the more action.

A brief discussion on the promotion & marketing of the event included an open invitation to our Canadian Friends. The originally scheduled date at Cayuga Motor Speedway, Canada, stimulated new interest in the SST Series north of the boarder. Every effort to regain that show will be made next season, but in the mean time, SST and DTRP are gearing up for 75 laps of open wheel competition on Saturday, June 27th 2009

Lee USA Speedway will host the PASS Modifieds on Friday night.
The True Value Modifieds are headed to Thompson this week.  (Jim Dupont Photo)
Peter Britten signs autpgraphs for fans.  (DIRT Photo)