Pockets $6,000 Check in Thrilling Fashion
By Kyle Souza/Souza Media
WINCHESTER, N.H. — Sam Rameau used a pass of Ron Silk in the second half of Saturday’s Tri Track Open Modified Series race at Monadnock Speedway to seal the deal. The Westminster, Massachusetts, native earned his first career Tri Track win in thrilling fashion, holding off some of the country’s best Modified talent over the final stretch of the third race of the season.
Rameau pocketed a $6,000 check with the victory as part of a lucrative purse that was over $40,000. It was the second stop of the season at the Winchester, New Hampshire, oval for Tri Track.
“We put a lot of work into this,” Rameau said. “A lot of people don’t know that its my full-time job to prepare these race cars. I put my heart and soul into this. The emotions are high.”
The final corner was nearly a repeat of the July 5 Tri Track race at Monadnock. While Rameau took the top spot from Silk on lap 72, and looked to be driving off to victory, a caution flag with just four laps to go doubled the field back up. Rameau spun his tires on the restart, but got away, before another quick caution stopped the action. Although Rameau hit the final restart perfectly, he couldn’t quite get away from Ronnie Williams.
Williams, the two-time and defending SK Modified champion at Stafford Motor Speedway, drove deep into turn three, slammed the back of the No. 06 Central Mass Tree machine of Rameau, and lost control. Williams would spin as the car dropped fluid, while the rest of the field rushed to find a way around. Some made it, some didn’t.
Monadnock Speedway NHSTRA Modified regular Brian Robie escaped the final corner carnage to finish second, while Matt Hirschman, a winner at Star Speedway on July 25, finished third. Woody Pitkat drove the Stan Mertz prepared No. 6 to a fourth-place finish, with Anthony Nocella finishing the top-five. Matthew Kimball was sixth, followed by Craig Lutz, Ron Silk, Carl Medeiros Jr. and Austin Kochenash.
Thirty-one cars attempted to qualify for the Monadnock 100, with 26 of them taking the green flag in the feature. Austin Kochenash, Brian Robie, Matt Hirschman and Kirk Alexander picked up an extra $300 each for winning heat races part of the Pepsi Challenge. Woody Pitkat would collect the Hard Charger award courtesy of Green Construction, a $500 bonus.
The Tri Track Open Modified Series returns to the track on Saturday, October 24, with the series debut at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut. The announcement of the Stafford event was made on Saturday in the drivers meeting. The Stafford Springs Modified Classic will round out the 2020 slate for Tri Track.
For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit tritrackmodifieds.com and follow the series on social media.
RESULTS: Tri Track Open Modified Series; Monadnock Speedway; August 15, 2020:
TRI TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES ANNOUNCES RACE AT STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY
SEASON FINALE MOVED FROM SEEKONK TO STAFFORD DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
By Kyle Souza/Souza Media
SEEKONK, Mass. -- Tri Track Open Modified Series and Stafford Motor Speedway officials jointly announced on Saturday a race date for the 2020 season. The Tri Track Open Modified Series will make their debut at the Connecticut half-mile on Saturday, October 24, marking the conclusion of the year for both the Tri Track Series and Stafford.
The race was originally scheduled to take place at Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts, however, due to guidelines from the state, and on-going discussions about possible fan capacity at the third-mile oval, Tri Track officials decided to make the move to lock-up another confirmed date.
The event will bring some of the top Modified drivers together to chase more than $40,000 in purse money with a $10,000 winning prize.
"We have been really excited to make this announcement and bring the Tri Track Open Modified Series to another historic track in the region,” Wayne Darling, Managing Partner of the Tri Track Open Modified Series, said. “We can’t thank the entire Arute family enough for working with us to make this happen.”
The Stafford event will mark the fourth race of the season for Tri Track. The season opened on July 5 at Monadnock Speedway, where Craig Lutz went to Victory Lane. Tri Track returned to Star Speedway in New Hampshire on July 25, with the annual SBM, which saw Matt Hirschman hold the checkered flag. Race three of the season takes place on August 15 at Monadnock Speedway.
Stafford Motor Speedway is the “Home of the SK Modifieds”, known as the top weekly Modified division in the entire country. Their weekly slate as part of the NASCAR program includes the SK Modifieds, SK Light Modifieds, Late Models, Limited Late Models and Street Stocks.
The SK Light Modifieds and Street Stocks will join the card on October 24 to fill out a thrilling day of racing in Connecticut. Both Stafford and Tri Track have had their seasons effected due to the COVID-19 pandemic but feel like this will give both a chance to end the season with a major event.
“This is great for Modified racing,” Mark Arute, President of Stafford Motor Speedway, said. “The team at Tri Track shares the same passion for Modified racing that we have at Stafford and the crazieness of 2020 has allowed this event to come together. It should be a great show for the fans and will be an event that ends this season on a positive note.”
Additional details surrounding the event will be made available to the public once complete. Stafford Motor Speedway runs at 25% capacity per the state of Connecticut, therefore, advanced ticket sales will be available closer to race day. Face coverings are required anywhere except when seated, socially distanced, in the grandstands.
For more information on Stafford Motor Speedway, visit staffordmotorspeedway.com and follow the track on social media, where you can find the latest updates. For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit tritrackmodifieds.com and follow the series on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
RETURN TO NEW HAMPSHIRE FOR COMPETITIVE NIGHT SET FOR THIS WEEKEND
By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
SEEKONK, Mass. -- The Tri Track Open Modified Series returns to competition this Saturday, August 15, for race three of the 2020 season at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire. This is the second stop at the high-banked oval this season, and if the first one was any indication, fans won’t want to leave their seat until the finish checkered flag and beyond.
On July 5, Craig Lutz used a bump-and-run to get around Les Hinckley in a final dash to the finish line, bringing fans to their feet, and creating a bit of frustration between some of the top contenders. Now, as the season hits the middle of August, these two could be headed straight for a rematch. But they won’t be the only top contenders when Tri Track takes the green flag on Saturday.
Matt Hirschman, who has 12 career Tri Track wins, including the SBM at Star Speedway earlier this year, is coming back looking to rebound from a performance he wasn’t happy with last time at Monadnock. Although the driver of the No. 60 finished seventh, Hirschman wasn’t pleased with the way the car handled. After dominating at Star, he’s heading to Monadnock looking to pounce.
Lutz and Hirschman are the two Tri Track winners so far in 2020. Lutz earned his first win in his debut race at Monadnock earlier this year. Veteran Modified competitors Chase Dowling, Matt Swanson, Ron Silk, Woody Pitkat, Anthony Nocella, Ronnie Williams, Chris Pasteryak, Richard Savary and more are also expected, along with Monadnock weekly competitors Ben Byrne, Derek Robbie and Matt Kimball. And that’s only a taste of the drivers who will unload their cars in the mountains of New Hampshire this weekend.
“We can’t wait to get back to Monadnock,” Wayne Darling, Managing Partner of the Tri Track Open Modified Series, said. “If the last event there was any indication, it should be a great show on Saturday night.”
Per a new order by the state of New Hampshire, face coverings are required for everyone that is entering and exiting the pit and main grandstands, when walking in crowded areas, and visiting the concessions or restrooms. Fans who are seated in the main grandstands, following social distancing guidelines with group of 10 or less six feet apart, will not need the mask once seated. Race teams are not required to wear face masks in their own pit stall, however, when leaving the stall, team members must have them on when social distancing is not possible.
Also, per order of New Hampshire, grandstand capacity is limited to 50% for this event, so race fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets ahead of race day on the Monadnock Speedway website, or make sure to get to the track early. Names like Sam Rameau, Kirk Alexander, George Sherman, Kurt Vigeant, Calvin Carroll, and more, have also pre-ordered tires.
Pit gates open for Tri Track teams only at 12 p.m., followed by the rest of Monadnock’s race teams at 1 p.m. Practice begins at 3 p.m., with 45 minutes for the Tri Track Open Modified Series. The Tri Track teams will also have a 15-minute scuff from 5:15-5:30 p.m. Heat races begin at 6 p.m., followed by the start of feature racing at 7 p.m. The Tri Track Open Modified Series feature is scheduled to take the green flag around 9 p.m.
The NHSTRA Modifieds, Late Model Sportsman, Mini Stocks and Pure Stocks will also join the card. For more information on Monadnock Speedway, fans are encouraged to visit monadnockspeedway.com and follow the track on Facebook. For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit tritrackmodifieds.com and follow the series on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
PURSE: TRI TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES AT MONADNOCK SPEEDWAY, AUGUST 15:
BYRNE, KIMBALL, ROBBIE AMONG LOCALS WHO LOOK TO EARN TRI TRACK CHECKERED FLAG
By Souza Media/ Kyle Souza
SEEKONK, Mass. -- When the Tri Track Open Modified Series rolls into Monadnock Speedway this Saturday, August 15, the race will be a battle between some of the Tri Track stars and Monadnock regulars. Monadnock runs a weekly Modified division as part of their NASCAR program, and multiple of the competitors will be jumping up to the Tri Track Series looking to defend their home-turf in the 100-lap feature.
Ben Byrne, who is a three-time winner in the NHSTRA Modified weekly division this year, has shown his strength multiple times in the past with Tri Track. Byrne was a frontrunner in the race last year, and on July 5, he charged to the front of the field, taking the lead on lap 33, and holding the top spot through a caution period on lap 64. Byrne would lose the lead but settle for a third-place finish after Les Hinckley and Craig Lutz got together racing for the lead in the final corner, with Lutz pushing to the win.
Byrne feels like he needs some redemption after showcasing the speed under the hood in the last few Tri Track races at Monadnock and not coming away with the checkered flag.
“We started running just for giggles to see how we would shape up against them,” Byrne, the driver of the No. 6, said. “We led a whole bunch of lap the first time but got tied up in a wreck, in the second one we led a bunch of it and we messed up the pit stop, and this last time we came back to finish third. We usually run the short races weekly... playing with the big boys is good experience for us.”
Brian Robie and Matt Kimball are also two Monadnock regulars who are no stranger to running with the Tri Track Open Modified Series. In July, Matt Kimball was fastest in the only practice session of the day, but struggled in his heat, and didn’t qualify through it. He would finish second in the consi race, advancing to the feature, and would eventually finish sixth.
It was a long day for Kimball, but well worth the sixth-place result driving the No. 50. Robie would lead all 15 laps in his heat race, start the feature up towards the front, and finish 12th in one of the most competitive fields Tri Track has ever assembled. Robie also currently leads the track point standings by a large margin over Byrne.
For Byrne, winning with the Tri Track Series would be the top moment in his career.
"We put a lot of homework into the new car we built this year,” Byrne said. “It’s really been paying off. To be running toe to toe with the Tri Track guys with a crate motor and 200 horsepower down, it means a lot to us... I think we will probably have to burn the tires off it for a minute or two (if we win). It would be pretty close to a dream come true.”
Along with the Monadnock regulars, a stout field of Modified competitors is expected Saturday at Monadnock. Lutz and Hinckley could renew their battle for the win, while names like Chase Dowling, Ron Silk, Matt Swanson, Ronnie Williams, Woody Pitkat, Dave Sapienza and more are expected.
Teams will compete in heat racing, consi rounds, and the 100-lap feature as race three of the season takes the green flag.
Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets ahead of race day on the Monadnock website, with New Hampshire limiting grandstand capacity to just 50% because of COVID-19. Masks are recommended and social distancing will be enforced.
For more information on Monadnock Speedway, visit them at monadnockspeedway.com. For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit tritrackmodifieds.com and follow the series on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
WHICH ONE DO YOU RUN: MIXED BAG OF MOTOR PACKAGES, CARS COMPETING WITH TRI TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES
By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
SEEKONK, Mass. -- For years, the Tri Track Open Modified Series has drawn cars from all across the Northeast, merging some of the top Modified talent together for some of the best racing in the region. Some of the reason why the Tri Track Series is so successful with car count and stout racing on the track is because of the large array of motor packages, chassis and race teams involved.
Teams are drawn from more than five states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and they all come from distinct backgrounds. Some have been running with Tri Track for years, while others watched the success the series built and decided it was time to give it a shot to chase the lucrative purse structures. Cars have come from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Race of Champions Tour and Modified Racing Series, along with locals in Modified divisions from Monadnock Speedway and Wall Stadium.
And there is more after that. Most recently, NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece competed with the Tri Track Open Modified Series at Star Speedway during an off-weekend from Cup action, finishing sixth. The Tri Track Open Modified Series offers a purse of more than $40,000 throughout the field during the 2020 season, including $6,000 to win and $1,000 to take the green flag in the feature. Even the cars that don’t qualify for the race due to the high car count still receive some bonus money before they head home.
On the motor package front, there are about eight packages that are possible. Per the Tri Track rulebook, cars come to the track with a package that they wish to run and most conform to the current rules. There are Tour Type Modified engines, SK Modified and Sportsman Modified motors, NASCAR spec engines and more in the field. Depending on the motor combination a team runs, their overall car weight might be different. For example, Tour Type Modified motors that are between 355ci-364ci are 2,610 pounds on the scales. Those between 365ci-372ci are 2,600 pounds, while a NASCAR Modified Tour spec engine must be 2,660 pounds.
In five races during the 2019 season, three different motor packages went to Victory Lane, with each built in a different year. Matt Hirschman won with a NASCAR Spec Engine at Claremont Speedway, while he was able to pick up a victory at Oxford Plains with a 18-degree tour type engine, circa 2008. Ronnie Williams took the Gary Casella prepared No. 25 to Victory Lane with a 18-degree tour type engine that was circa 2005. Ron Silk and Bob Horn prepared a car with a circa 2004 Tour-Type engine and won at Star, while Jimmy Paige brought a 21-degree Dart Spec Head Tour Type motor built in 2018 to Victory Lane at Seekonk.
With different motors, there are also different engine builders in the field, with names like Hutter, Performance Technology, Bob Bruneau Engines, Mike Pettit Engines, Billy the Kid Race Engines and more building for competition. Although there is a bit of a weight difference between some of the motors, it doesn’t show on the track, with different packages winning and running at the front.
Outside of motors, there are also countless different cars and chassis builders in the field. There are a mix of Troyer, LFR (TFR Distribution), SPAFCO, Race Works, Boehler Racing, CD, Kluth, Fury and more chassis in the field. Some cars are home-built, like Boehler Racing and Matt Swanson or Rich Kluth Motorsports, while others are built in the chassis shop of a company. For example, SPAFCO Chassis supplies the car that nearly won Les Hinckley the opening race of the season at Monadnock Speedway.
Specifically last year, five different type chassis went to Victory Lane. It’s clear that the Tri Track Open Modified Series has a wide array of drivers, cars, motors and more. But the fans remain some of the best in Modified racing and have supported the series since its inception.
The Tri Track Open Modified Series returns to the track on Saturday, August 15, at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire. With the state of New Hampshire putting a max capacity of 50 percent on the grandstands, fans coming to the track are encouraged to purchase their tickets ahead through the Monadnock website.
For more information on Monadnock Speedway, visit them at monadnockspeedway.com. For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit tritrackmodifieds.com, and follow the series on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.