RPW Exclusive: The Champ Trail; Monadnock Sold, Bullring Bash, Tri-Track & More

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – The Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) announced six race dates for the 2019 season. The series will visit Vermont three times during the season in a schedule marked by both traditional favorites and budding newer events.

The Series will kick off the season at Claremont Speedway in Claremont, NH, with the running of the second annual Claremont 100 on Saturday, May 25. The event was hugely successful in its inaugural year with strong car counts, enthusiastic fan support and great racing. The summer events kick-off with two traditional favorites. The popular $10,000 Open Wheel Wednesday at Seekonk Speedway will take place on June 26. The SBM 125 at Star Speedway is set for Saturday, July 27 at the ultra-competitive Epping, NH, bullring.

On Saturday, August 24, TTOMS will make its debut at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, ME. The 100-lapper for the Modifieds is set for the eve of the Oxford 250. The final two events of the season include the Monadnock 100 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH, on Saturday, September 14 and the fun and festive Haunted Hundred on Saturday, October 26 at Seekonk Speedway.

Over the course of the six-event schedule, competitors will vie for over quarter of a million dollars in purse money.

Brad Lafontaine of Northeast Race Cars And Parts has announced that Northeast Race Cars is the new Northeast Distributor and repair shop for FURY Late Model Chassis. Northeast is also a distributer and repair shop for Troyer Modified Race cars.

Riverhead Raceway race teams who finished in the top 5 of the seven NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions (Mods, LM,Crates, F8, BB. SPT & Legends) not only will receive a plaque for their effort but also a point fund check from promoters Eddie & Connie Partridge & Tom Gatz at their 2018 Awards Ceremony. Tickets for the January 11th, 2019 affair can be purchased Monday-Wednesday-Friday at the track from GM John Ellwood between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Aside from honoring 12 2018 champions and the top five the NASCAR WAAS Rookie of the Year awards will be dished out along with the 2018 Most Popular drivers.

Josh Venada, former general manager of the Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway has announced the debut of Tour-Type Modified racing returning to White Mountain Motorsports Park (WMMP) and Thunder Road Speedbowl in 2019 with the inaugural Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge. The promotion includes three brand new events that will feature many of the top Modified and Legends Cars drivers and teams in New England.

The Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge brings Modified and Legends Cars racing back to an area of northern New England that has been asking for its return. The events will feature some of the highest paying purses and most unique racing formats in modern grassroots motorsports.

The first Bullring Bash event will take place on Sunday, June 16 at WMMP. It will be joined by previously announced events at WMMP on August 10, and Thunder Road Speedbowl on September 14.

It will be interesting to see if Scott Tapley, who recently announced his departure as Race Director at Thompson, joins Venada.

In some good news, former short track racer Norm Wrenn Jr. sealed his purchase of the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH last Thursday, Dec 13 from co-owners Larry Cirillo and Fred Pafumi.

It’s the second track purchase this year for Norm Wrenn Jr. He purchased Lee USA Speedway in February and had been in negotiations to buy the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, but those negotiations eventually fell through. Cirillo and Pafumi had owned the track, a ¼ mile high-banked facility for over 30 years.

John Spence reported that the track will continue to carry the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanction, and in addition to their weekly divisions will host the Valenti Modified Racing Series, Granite State Pro Stock Series, Tri-Track Open Modified Series, International Super-Modified Association, and Northeastern Midget Association.

Wrenn disclosed Saturday the staff that worked the 2018 season will be welcomed back for the 2019 campaign, the 49th year of operation.

Fans and competitors can expect upgrades at Monadnock. Brand new bleachers including handrails will be in place for the new season.

Get well wishes to George Summers who is under the weather and currently in the hospital near his home in Upton, Mass. Hopefully he will recover from his illness and will be able to spend the Christmas and New Years holidays with his family at home.

On a sad note, Longtime Whelen Engineering executive and short track racing advocate Phil Kurze died on Wednesday, Dec 12, at 69-years-old after a long illness.

Kurze managed Whelen’s motorsports portfolio during a time it partnered with NASCAR’s regional and touring divisions, specifically the All-American Series, Modified Tour and EURO Series. He was a big supporter of the New England Modified scene.

“A sad day for racing,” five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby posted on Facebook. “Phil was a true fan of the Modifieds and did so much to ensure the stability and growth of the Whelen Modified Tour. He was also instrumental in carving out a spot for all of the weekly series and regional series champions in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

On the speedway stock market scene two of the three speedway stocks showed modest gains. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.78 to 43.22 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.02 to 2.01 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.50 to 16.34. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage dropped 4.72 to 52.69, NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.18 to 14.07 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 1.34 to 20.78. Two of the three car companies were up for the week. General Motors went up 0.41 to 35.10 and Toyota went up 0.13 to 120.10 while Ford dropped 0.30 to 8.52. In the home improvement sector, Lowes went up 3.96 to 93.36 while Home Depot dropped 0.50 to 172.29. In the area of big team sponsor’s stocks, McDonalds went up 0.33 to 183.29 while Coca-Cola dropped 8.00 to 210.15, Target Department Stores dropped 6.04 to 61.77, Dow/Dupont dropped 4.97 to 52.78, Fedex dropped 17.28 to 184.11 and Porter Cable Stanley Works dropped 4.23 to 118.36.

On the tube this week:

Very little Motorsports is on the tube. For those of you who have a Smart TV or have access to ComCast or FIOS or have a computer U-Tube has tons of racing in their library. Almost all events from Stafford, Waterford, Seekonk, Thompson, Riverhead, Bowman Gray plus many DIRT Modified events have been taped and are accessible. Plus there is a lot of historical stuff too. Do a search on what track you want!