Tom Herzig's Trackside: Modifieds to visit Lee
A STELLAR FIELD of Modifieds — promoter Jim Schaefer predicts 40 or more — will be at Lee USA Sunday for the Powered by Sunoco Bull Ring Bash 100.
Yes, Sunday is Mother’s Day and, if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, but the date offered the chance to bring a large all-star cast to Lee because the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the Valenti Modified Series and the Race of Champions New York Asphalt Modified Tour all have the weekend off. Mothers will be afforded $5 off the price of an adult ticket ($25) at the front gate Sunday.
Likely entrants include, in no particular order, Matt Hirschman, Rowan Pennink, Jon McKennedy, Ryan Preece, Dwight Jarvis, Tommy Barrett Jr., Les Hinckley, Andy Seuss, Todd Annarummo, Justin Bonsignore, Steve Masse, Chris Pasteryak, Max Zachem, Norm Wrenn, Andy Jankowiak and Richard Savary, a recent winner Valenti Modified Series winner at Seekonk.
The race was inspired in part by the success Star Speedway has had with its SBM 125 Open Modified event. The fourth annual SBM 125 goes at Star on Saturday, June 14. The Bull Ring Bash, the SBM 125 and Seekonk Speedway’s “Modified Madness” July 23 mid-week show make up the Tri-Track Open Modified Series. The series, which has some procedural variances track to track, has a sizeable point fund that’s accessible to competitors who show up for all three events.
At Lee, thankfully for race fans’ sake, there will be qualifying heats, five of them most likely, as opposed to time trials. Only green flag laps count in the feature. One tire change will be permitted.
The Bull Ring Bash pays $5,000 to win and $1,000 to start. Repeat: $1,000 to start. You could have a panel of experts debate at length how effective deep purse money is as a drawing card, but it proves that Schaefer and fellow promoter Dick Williams are passionate supporters of Modified racing. In addition, there will be a “B” feature paying $3,000 to win.
Monday, it was announced that the leader of each lap will earn $30, with eight laps worth an impressive $80 to the race leader: laps 2, 5, 20, 57, 61, 69, 85 and 99. Additionally, lap 73 will pay $130 through sponsorship from Pat’s Auto Center. These additional bonuses could land the race winner upwards of $8,000.
The Modifieds will be joined on Sunday’s card by the EKeys4Cars Supermodifieds, David’s Race Cars & Components Hobby Stocks and the North East Classic Lites.
Schaefer is a regular at Riverhead Raceway, the not-quite quarter-mile on Long Island. He caught the racing bug at the former Islip Speedway and followed the exploits of Greg Sacks, Charlie Jarzombek and George Brunnhoelzel. “We’re hoping fans who love modified racing like we do, come out to Lee and support such a unique race,” he said.
Star Speedway kicks off its 2014 season Saturday with the Pro All Star Series Super Late Models as its headliner along with the PASS Modifieds, Strictlys and Roadrunners. Over the weekend, ol’ pro Mike Rowe of Turner, Maine, won the Southern Maine Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep 150 at Beech Ridge. Travis Benjamin, Austin Theriault and DJ Shaw were 2-3-4.
Two racers from Hudson will strap in for Star’s PASS 150: Joey Polewarczyk Jr. in the No. 97 sponsored by Pole’s Automotive, Granite State Auto Salvage and Dojo Sante Martial Arts, and 17-year-old Derek Griffith, who will make his PASS debut in the LCM/Tyngsboro Motors No.12.
Bear Ridge got partway through its opening night before getting washed out. Adam Pierson of Fairlee, Vt. won the USAC DMA Midget main. James Fadden of Plainfield drove to his first ever Late Model victory.
The ISMA winged supers were rained out at Oswego Speedway. Monadnock’s Cinco de Mayo race card was also aplazar por la lluvia, or rained out.
The American Canadian Tour was to have held its Spring Green 100 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vt., but the race was postponed until a later date because of wet conditions.
Legion Speedway in Wentworth opens Sunday. The Sprint Cars of New England will be in town along with Sportsman Modifieds, Super Streets, Mini Stocks and Mini Sprints.
Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.