Story By: KYLE SOUZA / TRI TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES – SEEKONK, MA – When the Tri Track Open Modified Series returns to the track for race three of the season next Wednesday, June 30 at Seekonk Speedway, multiple returning drivers will look to knock-off polished series regulars.
All competitors will be chasing a special $10,000 check in the 16th annual Open Wheel Wednesday at the Massachusetts third-mile in what has become one of the most anticipated races in Tri Track history.
Teams will return to Seekonk for the first time since 2019, with COVID-19 cancelling all 2020 Modified events that were scheduled at the Action Track of the East.
Leading the list of drivers returning to TrI Track for a shot at capturing the big check is six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby, who is coming off a strong few weeks of competition. Coby won the inaugural Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) event at Stafford Motor Speedway on June 12, then announced a few days later that he would be making his Camping World Truck Series debut in September with GMS Racing. Coby finished a strong stint by winning the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Riverhead Raceway on June 20.
The Milford, Connecticut, native will drive his No. 10 Doug Coby Racing entry looking to become the only driver to win Open Wheel Wednesday four times. Right now, Coby and Matt Hirschman — a five-time Tri Track champion expected to be a favorite next week — are the only drivers to have more than one win in the special event, with three each.
Coby will be joined by NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece, who will look to hold the checkered flag at Seekonk’s tricky oval for the first time. Preece competed with Tri Track in the season opener at Monadnock Speedway, finishing ninth — but that wasn’t up to his winning standards. Since then, Preece has top-five finishes in the Stafford Motor Speedway Open Modified 80 and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action at Oswego Speedway. Preece will drive the Call Before You Dig No. 6 in competition against the top talent in Modified racing.
Another driver returning to Tri Track for his first Tour-Type competition of the year is rising star Blake Barney. Focusing his efforts on some weekly track racing this season, Barney, who won his two weekly events at Wall Stadium last year, will drive the famed No. 14, owned by his family, that is historic in Modified racing. Barney has limited laps at Seekonk, but is looking forward to getting back to the toughest competition out there in hopes of carrying the big check at the end of the 100-lap feature.
Barney has also been running events at Evergreen Speedway and Mahoning Valley Speedway this season, finishing second to Hirschman twice at Evergreen.
“Seekonk is like a bigger Mahoning Valley Speedway, I’ve run there three times and I’m excited to go back there,” Barney said. “Whenever I go to a Tri Track show, my biggest goal is just to make the race itself in general and then go from there. I’m confident that we will make the race. That’s the coolest part for me about running Tri Track — my grandfather and my dad have been around racing forever, and they tell me all the time about having to simply just qualify into races years ago because of the car count and competition. It’s competitive. There are no slouches out there for the feature. It’s the best of the best.”
Additional invaders include former Seekonk Speedway Pro Stock champion Angelo Belsito, driving for Kevin Harvie, Seekonk Pro Stock regular Colbey Fournier and former Seekonk Sport Truck champion Rob Murphy.
The list of invaders will have a tough task at hand — going up against 2021 winners Sam Rameau and Jon McKennedy, points leader Ron Silk, five-time champion Hirschman, Justin Bonsignore, Ronnie Williams, Anthony Nocella, Les Hinckley and many more.
General admission tickets for adults are $30 per person, with children 6-12-years-old set at $10. Any kids five and under are free. Front gates open at 4 p.m., just in time for fans to catch the practice session for the Tri Track Open Modified Series. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. with heat races and feature action will follow. Seekonk Speedway is back at full capacity and fans will flock to Massachusetts for this special event.