LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — Story by Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza — Seekonk Speedway photo —
The first season of the Tri Track Open Modified Series in New England was a huge success for all parties involved.
The series saw three races that were held at Lee USA Speedway, Star Speedway and also at Seekonk Speedway, (as part of their “Open Wheel Wednesday” spectacular show). The trio of races fielded car counts of up to over 35 cars and brought about some exciting heat racing where drivers made daring moves in an attempt to qualify for a total purse of more than $30,000 in all three races.
As soon as the 2014 Tri Track Series in the history books, the buzz around New England has been about whether or not the series will be back in competition in 2015. And in a Race Chaser Online exclusive, series organizer James Schaefer has announced the tentative schedule for the second annual Tri-Track Open Modified Series season in 2015.
The calendar will see a May 17 race at Lee USA Speedway, kicking off the series on a Sunday at the same season-opening track from a year ago. However, a race at Monadnock Speedway on Saturday June 13 will replace the Star date on the Tri Track circuit. The finale of the three-race series at Seekonk Speedway will be on July 1, again as part of the Open Wheel Wednesday spectacular.
While these dates are tentative, Schaefer says things are quickly taking shape for 2015, and says the series is a “throwback” of sorts to the old days.
“The series is an attempt to bring drivers from all different series and different tracks together for some old fashioned fun,” Schaefer said. “We are expecting to pay out good purses (over $30,000 per race) along with a non qualifiers race ($5,000) that we raise from selling laps at $50 per lap. That way all drivers go home with something.”
In 2014, the series brought about a championship point fund for the driver who compiled the most points in the three races combined, which was won by longtime modified driver and current ISMA competitor Jon McKennedy. The points fund will also return in 2015.
“We also have a decent $10,000 point fund. I thought the crowd and car count at our last race at Seekonk Speedway was outstanding. The car count doubled from the year before,” Schaefer said. The Seekonk open modified show has been in existence since 2005, but became a part of the Tri Track Series last year when Schaefer built the three-race circuit.
“We hope to dupicate that at both Lee and Monadnock this year. Anytime you bring that many people and cars together it is definitely a good thing for the sport.”
The series will also bring back sponsored awards to go along with the races. Bruce Bachta has informed Schaefer that the “Diamond and Crown Hard Charger” award will be offered to the driver that gains the most position in each race, with $100 up for grabs. Cliff Nelson has also said he will put up $100 at each race as part of the “Cliff Nelson Crown Award,” given to the leader on lap 90.
While these awards are a start, the series will still have to offset the cost of renting out two of their 2015 venues.
“We will be renting out the tracks on two occasions (Lee and Monadnock), and that is a risky feat. Obviously, we do not want to lose our shirts — we did lose money on the Lee race last year — but if the fans show their support, the series should be a success.”
Just like last year, the series is looking for sponsors to put up money to help the purse. They are also looking for anyone who is willing to sponsor laps at $50 per circuit. Interested parties can contact James Schaefer via Facebook link for more information.