2009 will usher in the sixth year for the True Value Racing Series Modified division in the New England region. With both race budgets and the economy tighter this year, plans have been made to maintain the series with a 16 race schedule.
“For the 2009 season coming up, we have sixteen races this year,” said Director of Racing Operations, John Hoyt. “We are going back to every track we competed at in 2008, except for Wiscasset. We will also be dropping down the field of cars to twenty-four down from the twenty-six cars from last year. “
With the economy being tight and unsure this year, most tracks and divisions are in survival mode. We saw 2009 start with Daytona International Speedway taking measures such as cutting the price of tickets and closing grandstands. The question hits closer to home when we look at short track racing and series such as the True Value and the impact on them this year. Hoyt and series founder Jack Bateman have been actively working to do what they can to maintain the series through the tough times.
“We are going to have to bite the bullet and go forward this year. As much as everybody is worried about the economy, no one is sure what it will be, but either way, we are going to keep doing what we are doing.
“There are not any major changes and our rules and we will accommodate a lot of people. That is our key and our series is in demand right now. “
True Value Modified Racing Series competition will be starting at the end of April and behind the scenes a lot of prep work and plans are being completed for the first day of the season. Hoyt and the True Value officials will be ready to go when the racing starts.
“I think that we are good. We have over 45 entries already signed up for this year and we had fifty- something last year in total. So we are well above where we usually are at this time. There are going to be a lot of guys doing five or six races here and then five or six races there. But in spite of that I think that throughout the year we will be able to maintain our twenty-four car field. The one exception may be Maine where it will be a little light because we do not have anything to draw from up there.”
In order to survive the tough times, some short tracks such as Monadnock Speedway (NH) have made the decision to bring back the modifieds to their weekly shows to draw cars and increase their weekly fan base. Will competing with tracks for cars effect the True Value Series?
“I am sure that there will be guys that go there and then come back with us for some races,” said Hoyt. “ It is the same old game. You have guys who race at short tracks and then they find themselves thinking that they are not being treated fairly. We are going to continue to do what we have to do for the series.
Everybody knows that the series is a good series to compete in. Everybody gets along and nobody wrecks their car a lot. It is a lot of good clean racing.
“The more Modifieds there are, the better it is for the sport. We know with the way things are with the economy, it may hurt us a little bit.” But, Hoyt and Bateman have taken measures to help teams. “The purse for the win has been increased to $2000 and we reduced the field of cars to twenty-four.”
So put your “True Value Hardware” snow shovels away and get ready for the first of the sixteen True Value Modified Racing Series shows, Saturday night, April 25, at Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, NH.