Bobby Webber

Star Speedway owner Bobby Webber is hosting a back-to-school program on Saturday night.

THE 2020 regional oval short track racing schedule continues to have all the twists and turns of a road course as venues and sanctioned series adjust to the demands of the COVID-19 era. Here’s an update of the current lineup.

Claremont Motorsports Park: It’s Fan Appreciation Night Friday at Claremont, featuring a $5 admission, a 50-lap Mini Stock Battle of the Belt series race and the New England Antique Racers. Louie Maher of Spencer, Mass., a longtime four-cylinder competitor throughout the area, carried the checkers at Claremont’s last Mini Stock special in June.

It was recently announced that Claremont will host a $10,000-to-win open Modified event Friday, Aug. 28, organized in large part by promoter Dick Williams, one of the driving forces behind the evolution of Tri-Track Modified Series. Williams is being well-supported by local Modified devotee and auto salvage broker Maurice Hurd. Many former racers who turned a gazillion laps at Claremont will be honored that night, including Dwight Jarvis, Bruce Batchelder, Peter Daniels, Jack Bateman and Jerry Bly. Over 30 teams have already registered to contest the $50,000-plus purse, including many regulars on the Tri-Track circuit. There will be more.

The Granite State Pro Stock Series’ biggest race of the year paying $10,000 to win, will take place at Claremont Sunday, Sept. 6.

Lee USA Speedway: It’s Back-to-School Night at the Seacoast oval with a Six-Shooter Special, a full complement of weekly divisions, plus the Senior Tour Auto Racers and the N.E. Classic Lites. Lee has the Freedom 300 set for Sept. 11, which includes a $10,000-to-win Pro Stock 150, $5,000-to-win for Street Stocks, Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) Lites and fireworks.

Star Speedway: The Epping quarter-mile has been very busy lately with two nights of racing a week. Saturday, Star has a Back-to-School program of its own, sponsored by The Pasta Loft of Hampstead/Milford. The 350 Supers headline the event. Dave Helliwell of Pelham, Jeffrey Battle of Westford, Mass., Mike Collins of Strafford and Rich Eaton of Seabrook are in a tight championship points battle in the open wheel division. Star’s biggest weekend of the year, Sept. 18-20, has the Granite State Pro Stock Series in for the Vynorius 100 Friday, the ISMA Supermodified Bob Webber Sr. Memorial 150 and 350 Randy Witkum Memorial Saturday plus a Modified Racing Series 100 Sunday.

Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.: Jason Gray of Thetford, Vt., is the points leader and most recent winner in the Sabil & Sons DIRT Sportsman Modified division at the quarter-mile, while Seth Carlson of Stafford, Conn., driver of Skip Matczak‘s Seals-It machine, leads the USAC Dirt Midgets. Saturday is Foodbank Benefit Night sponsored by Dead River Company.

Monadnock Speedway, Winchester: The “Mad Dog” hosted a Tri-Track Open Modified Series thriller last weekend that was won by 18-year-old Sammy Rameau of Westminster, Mass. — with no small amount of help in the pits from veteran driver and wrenchman Russ Hersey. Rameau caught up with Modified ace and race leader Ron Silk midway through the 100-lap contest, drove right underneath him and then survived a hard hit in the final turn from Ronnie Williams, which was more like a crash-and-burn move than the all-too-common bump-and-run ploy. Brian Robie and Matt Hirschman dodged the wreckage to finish second and third.

Friday night, Monadnock’s Sportsman Modifieds will compete in Twin 35’s in a New Hampshire Short Track Racing Association (NHSTRA) Modified Battle for the Belt doubleheader. Robie is the weekly point leader, followed closely by Trevor Bleau of Troy and defending champion Ben Byrne of Deerfield, Mass. Next Saturday, Aug. 29, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is in town for the Advanced Gas Distributors Inc. 200. This weekend, the Whelen Modifieds are at Jennerstown, Pa.

White Mountain Motorsports Park, Woodstock: Event No. 2 in the Jon Parks Tractor Sales Flying Tiger Triple Crown headlines White Mountain Saturday. After a week off, White Mountain returns with a doubleheader pairing the Modified Racing Series 100 with a 75-lap Late Model feature.

Hudson Speedway: Hudson’s Sunday night schedule continues this week with five divisions. The Street Stocks have a close points chase going on headed up by Kris Schroeder of Haverhill, teenager Bryce Howard, who has several seasons at Hudson under his belt already, and Justin Beecher of Billerica, Mass.

Oxford (Maine) Plains: The 47th Annual Oxford 250 will take place Sunday, Aug. 30, but due to Maine restrictions, the front grandstand seating is sold out. Speed51.com will stream the event live. Details are available on its website.

Note: Not only are race schedules fluid as various sanctioning bodies and tracks flex with the ups and downs of the COVID-19 situation, but seating capacity, ticket availability and pay-per-view coverage vary from track to track. It’s advisable to check online when possible about the options and requirements of attending an event in person.

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On Track This Weekend

Claremont: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Lee USA: Friday, 7 p.m.

Star Speedway: Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

Bear Ridge (Vt.): Saturday, 6 p.m.

Monadnock: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Riverside: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Rumtown: Saturday, 4 p.m.

White Mountain: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Hudson: Sunday, 5 p.m.

Thunder Road (Vt.): Sunday, 6 p.m.

Tom Herzig’s column appears in the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Email him at tomherzig@hotmail.com.