RPW Column: The Champ Trail: Getting Ever Closer To Florida Speedweeks & More…

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – The countdown to speedweeks in Florida continues as only three weeks remain before action begins at the Daytona International Speedway and at the New Smyrna Speedway. The Modifieds, over 30 on the entry list, run at New Smyrna starting on Monday, Feb 8 and will finish up with the Richie Evans 100 on Friday, Feb 12.

For those who plan on spending the entire month in the Daytona area the Town of Ponce Inlet, Fla. commission has approved the tenth annual Historic North Turn Legends Beach/Road Course Parade, scheduled for Saturday, February 6, 2021, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Josh Vanada is no stranger to motorsports promotions. As the former General Manager of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Vanada assisted in coordinating some of New England’s most historic events including the Icebreaker weekend and Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing. Both of those events included the Whelen Modified Tour along with the annual June and August stops at Thompson during Vanada’s tenure at the Connecticut oval.

JDV Productions, led by Josh Vanada and his team of experienced professionals in motorsports, will return to grassroots short-track racing to promote three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events in 2021.

As part of the tour’s 37th annual season of competition, which includes a 14-race schedule in six different states, JDV Productions will promote races in three states, Pennsylvania, New York and Maine. Races at Jennerstown Speedway Complex (May 29), Oswego Speedway (June 12) and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (August 21) will be led by the JDV team.

All three events will be $10,000+ to win for drivers, including the Whelen Winner of the Race bonus award, and each will have a full purse structure throughout the field. JDV is committed to assisting the Whelen Modified Tour group to continue the deep history of NASCAR’s oldest touring series.

Tri Track Open Modified Series officials confirmed six dates last week for the 2021 season. The series will compete at three different tracks in two different New England states, headlined by multiple staple events and the anticipated return to Massachusetts.

Fans can expect a return to Monadnock Speedway (twice), two stops at Star Speedway, including the 10th annual SBM, and two stops at Seekonk Speedway including the prestigious $10,000 to win Open Wheel Wednesday and the fan-favorite Haunted Hundred.

The season begins back on the high-banks of Monadnock, in Winchester, New Hampshire, with a 100-lap feature on Saturday, May 1. Tri Track will visit Monadnock for a second time on Saturday, August 14, joined again by Monadnock’s weekly divisions.

On May 22, 2021, Tri Track will return to Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire, for the first of two dates on the 2021 calendar. Star has also been well-known for the annual SBM event, which returns for the 10th annual feature spectacular on Saturday, July 24.

With two dates, the return to Massachusetts and Seekonk Speedway is highly anticipated by the series, teams, drivers and fans. Seekonk will host the annual $10,000 to win Open Wheel Wednesday event on Wednesday, June 30, and also host the Haunted Hundred on Saturday, October 23.

The 2021 schedule is subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Pro All Stars Series (PASS) have released the latest round of information for the Thompson Speedway Icebreaker on April 9-11 and the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) Northeast Classic on April 17. Both events are expected to attract some of the biggest, most talented fields of the year as they kick off the 2020 New England racing season.

As part of the updates, ACT and PASS also have created a new Thompson Outlaw Open Modified Series information page. Teams and fans can visit www.acttour.com/outlaw-open-modifieds(link is external) for the latest about all six of the big-money events, including the 46th Annual Icebreaker and the $20,000-to-win Thompson 300. This page will be updated throughout the year. The Northeast Classic also has an information page at www.acttour.com/northeast-late-model-classic(link is external). The biggest piece of the puzzle now available is the complete Tour-Type Open Modified rules.

The Icebreaker is headlined by a 125-lap, $10,000-to-win Outlaw Open event. The inaugural Northeast Classic includes a 50-lap, $5,000-to-win Modified Open. Both events will largely follow the Tri-Track Modified Open Series rulebook. Tour-Type Modified cars must follow the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Race of Champions, Modified Racing Series, or Weekly track rules. Certain exceptions are outlined in a PDF on the series information page. Rules may not be combined between series. SK Modified–legal cars may also compete using any carburetor. A gear rule will also be in place for the Outlaw Open Series and Northeast Classic. The Thompson events require a 4.64 gear for built engines and a 4.52 gear for spec engines. At NHMS, built engines must use a 3.98 maximum and 3.74 minimum gear. The range for spec engines is a 3.83 maximum and 3.63 minimum. No restrictor plate will be required at either track.

Greg Felton, the Head of Race Tech for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, will serve in the same rule for the Open Modified events at both Thompson and NHMS. He can be reached at (413) 695-2272 or gt.felton@gmail.com with any Modified tech questions.

The Open Modified entry form for the Northeast Classic has also been released. It can be found on the official Northeast Classic page at www.acttour.com/northeast-late-model-classic(link is external). The 50-lap event will pay $5,000 to win and $600 to start with almost $29,000 in posted awards. Teams that enter by Thursday, April 1 receive a discount on their entry fee.

The entry form for the $10,000-to-win Icebreaker 125, which opens the Thompson Outlaw Open Modified Series, was recently released and can be found on the series information page. More than a dozen drivers had already entered the event at press time, including six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby, multi-time Thompson Speedway champion Keith Rocco, 2020 World Series Modified Open winner Mike Christopher Jr., and four-time Modified Racing Series champion Jon McKennedy. The first 26 teams that file entries will receive a garage stall for the weekend. More information about the rest of the weekend’s like-up is expected soon.

On May May 24, 1968 Bugsy Stevens made it two in a row on Friday night at Stafford. Eddie Flemke finished second. Nathan “Smokey” Boutwell finished third with Reno Tulonen and Leo Cleary rounding out the top five. The all new book, The Modified Years At Stafford, is gaining interest and has become a must have in race fans and competitors library. Race by Race, Year by Year, it’s all there. Read all about! Books are now available on Amazon.com and Coastal 181 (877-907-8181 toll free) and are available thru Stafford’s web site in their store. Order yours now. Makes a great gift!

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