By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
EPPING, N.H. -- Veteran Modified ace Matt Hirschman, nicknamed “Big Money”, was back to his winning ways on Saturday night at Star Speedway. Hirschman scored a victory with a winning purse of over $14,000 in the 10th annual SBM classic at Star in the third race of the Tri Track Open Modified Series season.
The win was the first of the season in Tri Track competition for Hirschman -- a five-time series champion -- and also his third since Tri Track took over the SBM event. It was Hirschman’s 13th in his 32 career Tri Track starts -- 10 victories more than any other driver.
As a driver who is known for tire maintenance, Hirschman’s strategy was nearly the opposite with all of the extra lap money bonuses on the line. After winning his qualifying heat race, Hirschman took part in a 12-car redraw to determine the starting lineup and started the race from the pole position. He led the first 78 laps, essentially unchallenged, before he took his car to pit road for a fresh Hoosier tire.
When he did -- nearly half of the rest of the field -- who had all pitted earlier in the race -- stayed on the track. That sent Hirschman back to the middle of the pack, where he restarted 13th. He would slice his way into the top-10 by lap 85, then into the top-five on lap 95. He chased down leader Jon McKennedy and took the top spot on lap 112, then held off the field following a late flurry of cautions, and one red flag, to score the victory.
Behind him, McKennedy settled for second, with Chase Dowling third, Ronnie Williams fourth and Ron Silk fifth. The run marked the third consecutive top-five for Silk to open the Tri Track season, which gives him a comfortable lead in the championship standings at the halfway point of the six-race schedule.
Max Zachem, Justin Bonsignore, Brian Robie, Dana DiMatteo and NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece finished the top-10. Sam Rameau, who won the Tri Track season opener at Monadnock Speedway on May 1 and entered the race second in the championship standings, struggled most of the day and finished 23rd.
Through the Pepsi Challenge, the following drivers earned $300 for winning qualifying heat and consi races: Chase Dowling, Brian Robie, Jon McKennedy, Matt Hirschman, Earl Paules, Cam McDermott and Anthony Nocella.
The Tri Track Open Modified Series returns to the track at Monadnock Speedway for race four of the six-race schedule on Saturday, August 14. For more information on the series, visit tritrackmodifieds.com and follow on social media.
RESULTS: TRI TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES SBM X: STAR SPEEDWAY: JULY 24, 2021:
BIG STAGE: Tri Track Returns to Star Speedway With Big Money On the Line in 10th Annual SBM Classic This Saturday
By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
SEEKONK, Mass. -- Over 35 of the best asphalt Modified drivers from across the Northeast will come together at New Hampshire’s Star Speedway this Saturday, July 24. In the third race of the Tri Track Open Modified Series season, the 10th annual SBM Classic, drivers will chase a purse of over $65,000. Tri Track will post the normal purse of just over $40,000, followed by additional bonus funds that will be distributed by racing journalist Kevin Rice and the track, post-race. The race is set to be the highest paying in the history of Star Speedway.
With only two of the six events on the 2021 schedule in the record books, the series has two different winners, and a championship leader who has been the most consistent. Sam Rameau won the opener at Monadnock Speedway on May 1, and Jon McKennedy followed it up with victory at Star on May 22. The annual Open Wheel Wednesday, which was originally scheduled for June 30 at Seekonk Speedway, was postponed due to a power outage until August 25, and will now act as the fifth race.
This means Saturday’s action at Star is the first of three races in the next month. McKennedy dominated the race at Star, and is heading back looking to sweep both visits at the oval. Rameau, who was the top contender at Monadnock, looks to rebound from a finish outside the top-10 at Star in May. They will be joined by NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece, series points leader Ron Silk, Ronnie Williams, Justin Bonsignore, Les Hinckley, Anthony Nocella, Matt Swanson, five-time series champion Matt Hirschman, and more. A full expected entry list for the race is available at the bottom of this story.
Silk leads Rameau by eight points in the championship standings, with Hinckley in third, 14 points back, and Hirschman fourth, 15 points from the lead. Anthony Sesely, Woody Pitkat and Chris Pasteryak follow in the standings. The Star event will mark the midway point in the chase for the Tri Track championship trophy.
Since Tri Track became part of the SBM event, McKennedy (2014), Hirschman (2016, 2017 & 2020), Todd Patnode (2018) and Silk (2019) have been to Victory Lane.
The race also marks the fifth of 10 events in the Call 811 Before You Dig Modified Challenge -- a combination of the six Tri Track events and four Stafford Motor Speedway Open Modified shows. Points are awarded to top-10 finishers in each event, with 10 going to the winner, 9 to second, 8 to third, and so on, down through the top-10. After the first four races, Preece leads the standings with 20 points, over Williams, who is four points back. Nocella, Silk and Mike Christopher Jr. currently finish the top-five. Following Saturday’s race at Star, the next race in the Call Before You Dig series will be the Open Modified 80 at Stafford on July 30.
There is an optional practice day for Tri Track race teams on Friday, July 23, from 3-7 p.m. Teams that are interested must pre-register with the track. Tickets for Saturday’s race day are $30 for adults, with seniors, juniors (11-16) and military set at $25. For children ages 4-10, entry is just $10, and kids four and under are free. Pit passes will also be available to the general public for $40 for Star members and $45 for non-members.
Star Speedway’s own J&S Paving 350 Supermodifieds are set to compete in a 40-lap Marco Turcotte Memorial special, joined by the MLM Diagnostic Pure Stocks, Murphy and Son’s Roofing Six Shooters and K-Cobb Slingshots. All Star divisions will compete in both qualifying and feature racing.
For more information on Star Speedway, visit StarSpeedwayNH.com. For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit TriTrackModifieds.com and follow the series on social media.
ENTRY LIST: Tri Track Open Modified Series SBM X at Star Speedway; July 24, 2021:
(CAR # -- DRIVER)
00 — Justin Bonsignore
02 — Geoff Rollins
06 — Les Hinckley
06 — Sam Rameau
06R — Driver TBA
07 — Kyle James
07 — Patrick Emerling
2 — Frank LeToile Jr.
3 — Matt Swanson
5 — Tommy Barrett
6 — Woody Pitkat
6 — Ryan Preece
6 — Ben Byrne
8 — Earl Paules
9 — Chase Dowling
11 — Ricky Knapp Jr.
13 — Dylan Izzo
16 — Ron Silk
18 — Max Zachem
21 — Angelo Belsito
25 — Ronnie Williams
25NH — Brian Robie
27R — Derek Robbie
27H — DRIVER TBA
27 — Anthony Sesely
41 — Joe Ventrillo
50 — Carl Medeiros Jr.
50C — Joey Cipriano III
55 — Ryan Doucette
55B — Robert Bloxsom
60 — Matt Hirschman
66 — Austin Kochenash
73 — Andy Jankowiak
75 — Chris Pasteryak
76 — Kirk Alexander
76 — Dana DiMatteo
79 — Jon McKennedy
81 — Josh Cantara
87 — Brett Gonyaw
92 — Anthony Nocella
99 — Richard Savary
By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
SEEKONK, Mass. -- Local racing journalist and longtime Modified supporter Kevin Rice is increasing the purse for the 10th annual SBM event at Star Speedway on Saturday, July 24. The third race of the Tri Track Open Modified Series season, set for 100 laps, is one of the most historic races on the series schedule. Outside of Open Wheel Wednesday at Seekonk Speedway, the SBM is the longest-running annual event for the Tri Track Open Modified Series each year.
This year’s race will put the top Tri Track talent against NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour stars, Open Modified drivers, local favorites and more. The base purse, provided by Tri Track, is over $40,000, with $6,000 guaranteed to the winner. However, Kevin Rice is going above and beyond to increase bonus awards for the entire field. Rice is posting these awards separately from the Tri Track Series -- and will be paying them out on his own following the racing action. Tri Track will only payout the normal base purse following the race.
Awards include bonuses for the highest finishing father in the field, highest finishing driver who has never competed on the Whelen Modified Tour, highest finishing driver that has never qualified for a SBM race, a tough luck award, and more. Fans can see the full list of bonus awards by clicking below.
BONUS AWARDS: TRI TRACK SBM AT STAR SPEEDWAY, POSTED BY KEVIN RICE
Lap money is also on the line for all 125 laps in the race. The lap money will be paid out with half to the leader of that lap, with half going to a random top-10 running car by draw, except where noted otherwise on the form below. Any amount of money can be added to the laps stating “in memory of” without a sponsor name, for those who want to honor their family or friends.
LAP MONEY AWARDS: TRI TRACK SBM AT STAR SPEEDWAY, POSTED BY KEVIN RICE
Both the lap money awards and the bonus awards still have spots available for anyone looking to join in the program. For more information, contact Kevin Rice directly at 603-674-8677. Rice has been part of the SBM event for many years and is excited to continue to bolster a purse that will eventually rise over $60,000. Although Tri Track has only been involved since 2014, the SBM race is a long-standing event.
“The Tri Track Open Modified Series has carried the torch the last few years. Last Fall, I decided to move back up north, and staring at me right in the face was the 10th annual SBM at Star,” Kevin Rice said. “How could I not help make this the biggest race? I never expected the support I have gotten from everyone to shatter the all-time payoff record by thousands of dollars for this race. Track owner Bobby Webber Jr. is a huge part of it. He deserves a lot of credit. I’m just adding icing on the cake and I’m so excited for July 24 to get here.”
The Star Speedway SBM X will take place on Saturday, July 24, as the third race of the Tri Track season. In the first two events, Sam Rameau (Monadnock Speedway) and Jon McKennedy (Star Speedway) went to Victory Lane. The scheduled third event at Seekonk Speedway has been rescheduled to August 25 due to a power outage and lightning in the area.
Additional information regarding the Star event will be released next week.
For more information on Star Speedway, visit StarSpeedwayNH.com. For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit tritrackmodifieds.com and follow the series on social media.
Check out the starting lineup for the Speed51 Modified Madness at Seekonk Speedway, rescheduled from June 30 to August 25 due to a power outage and lightning.
45 - Dan Meservey Jr
87 -- Brett Gonyaw
8 -- Earl Paules
76 -- Kirk Alexander
11 -- Ricky Knapp Jr
55 -- Ryan Doucette
76CT -- Dana DiMatteo
27 -- Derek Robbie
2 -- Frank L'Etoile Jr
55 -- Robert Bloxsom III
6NH -- Christopher Jackman
39 -- Gary Rinehimer
07 -- Kyle James
50 -- Carl Medeiros Jr.
82 -- Rob Murphy
F16 -- Colbey Fournier
By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
SEEKONK, Mass. -- Seekonk Speedway and Tri Track Open Modified Series officials announced on Wednesday night a postponement, and rescheduled date of Wednesday, August 25, for Speed51.TV Modified Madness. Due to an electrical outage due to a power line down in the Seekonk area -- and severe lightning in the area -- officials had no choice but to move the race in the best interest of safety for all involved.
On August 25, the remainder of the event program will be run, with feature event action for the NEMA Lites and their 50-lap Dave Steele Memorial, a 40-lap event in the inaugural Seekonk event for the 350 SMAC Supermodifieds and the 100-lap, $10,000 to win Speed51.TV Modified Madness for the Tri Track Open Modified Series.
Fans are asked to keep their general admission tickets to be granted re-entry on the new race date. Race teams and fans who entered the pit area are also asked to keep their pit passes for re-entry on the new date.
For Tri Track Open Modified Series teams, the five competition tires used at Seekonk on Wednesday must be brought back for the new date. Those five tires are not to be altered, and must be brought back dismounted from their rims, in order for officials to scan them in and check for any alterations.
“We worked with all three divisions to come up with the best date that would work for their teams, as well as our great race fans at Seekonk Speedway,” Ed St. Germain, Director of Business Development at Seekonk, said. “We look forward to welcoming back all of the race teams, and the fans that came out to support the show, when it continues in August. That $10,000 Modified Madness check is on the line and the race is shaping up to be one of the best in the 16-year history of the race.”
The Tri Track Open Modified Series returns to the track for what will now be race three of the season on Saturday, July 24, at Star Speedway for the 10th annual SBM event.
For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit TriTrackModifieds.com and follow the series on social media. For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media.