Canaan, NH. – 13 years ago Kirk Alexander was in prep mode ready to try something new. The Modified Racing Series was set to debut at Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, NH.
Right off the trailer Alexander was fast that night. Potent enough to win the series opener and lay the foundation to become the all-time Valenti Modified Racing Series winner.
Alexander hopes to add to that total this Saturday night when the VMRS kicks off a 16-race schedule at the popular ¼ mile facility with the running of the Bond Auto Parts ‘Spring Dash 100.’ Alexander has garnered 31-series victories.
Fresh off a practice day a week ago at Monadnock where Alexander reeled off fast laps throughout the shake down session, the 16-time winner at his home track was pleased how things went first time out. He clocked a 12.7 lap time before the day was over in the John Corliss owned # 43.
“I made changes to the car,” Alexander said this week. “Changed some geometry. The car is more stable and has more forward bite. Reminds me of my old car.”
Alexander hopes to have a better season than last. “Worst luck I have ever had in a race car. Nothing went right. Hopefully the changes we have made will make for a better season.”
Woody Pitkat, of Sturbridge, MA, the reigning Valenti Modified Racing Series Champion is entered for Saturday’s race. Pitkat, after the 2015 season, moved to a race team fielded by longtime racer Dan Stebbins, of Bernardston, MA. With Pitkat, last years championship team members including crew chief, Greg Feldon, Bob Norris, and Jason O’Grodnick also moved to the Stebbins entry.
Former Series Champion Chris Pasteryak, of Jewett City, CT., will compete this weekend in a brand new Troyer mount. The new car last year now becomes a new ride for his father Charlie to be run in selected events.
Former Monadnock Champion Todd Patnode, of Richmond, NH is entered for the Spring Dash 100 lap race. Jon McKennedy, of East Chelmsford, MA, already a two-time winner this season in PASS South Series competition, is an expected entry.
Richard Savary, of Canton, MA, Todd Annarummo, of Swansea, MA, Matt Mead, of Richmond, NH, and Long Island, NY’s Dave Schneider are slated to compete.
Newcomers Ryan Kuhn, of East Bridgewater, MA, son of former series regular Jimmy Kuhn, and 15-year old T.J Bleau, of Troy, NH, will debut this weekend.
Saturday’s race program begins at 5:00 PM.
As the 2016 racing season quickly approaches, the work on race cars has intensified. The same can be said for the local speedways, and that’s certainly the case for the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH.
Owner-promoter Larry Cirillo and his team have been busy with maintenance and pit expansion. Race fans are going to see a variety of classes coming to the fast, high banked 1/4 mile track, as each month Monadnock will offer a different touring series.
Cirillo commented “I hope it’s not too much on our package or too much of a burden on our customers, because each series coming in is a special event. We’ll not only host our weekly competitors which includes the sportsmen-modified’s, super stocks, thunder stocks, mini stocks and young guns, but we will add a touring series each month.”
On April 30 when Monadnock opens for the first event in 2016, the exciting Valenti Modified Racing Series will be on tap, like they have been for the last 12 years for the Bond Auto Parts 100.
The VMRS will also invade the high banks on July 2 for the Firecracker 100 and August 20 for the popular Victor Johnson Memorial 100.
“The open wheel modifies have always been a popular division with the race fans in this area, and I think they’re becoming more popular because of the Tri-Track series; a series that has been drawing in the neighborhood of 40 cars or more with a real good payoff that the owners and drivers seem to be happy with.” Cirillo said.
Other touring divisions that will see action includes the Granite State Pro Stocks on May 28th and August 13,
“Show Me The Money”- Tri-Track Modifieds on June 11, New England Midget Association “Iron Mike Memorial”- June 18, and Whelen Modifieds- July 23. Other specials will include New England Antique Racers, STAR antiques, Pro four modifieds, Vintage Outlaws, Classic Lites, New England Truck Series and the New England Street Stock Tour.
On top of all that for the first time ever, the new Modified Touring Series will highlight the May 21st event with the Winchester 200, a race paying $15,000 to win and a payoff exceeding $72,000.
Cirillo said, “Gary Knight is an energetic local racer who loves the modifies and he approached me wanting to promote a modified race with sponsorship from American race tire. Race dates were at a premium because we didn’t want to interfere with any other series. I hope for Gary’s sake this series becomes a popular one. You have to remember years ago, Jack Bateman came to me with the idea of the MRS and asked me for a race date, but I did him one better. I gave him six dates for that first year, but told him don’t forget where you came from when this gets big and it did get big. Now this is what Knights MTS is trying to do. Gary is an aggressive person with some great ideas. Bringing on different series hopefully will bring out new race fans.”
As for the weekly program, Monadnock race director Michele Cloutier said “it looks like we will have a pretty hearty field of sportsmen-modifies again this year. We have made a rule change in that only a crate 602 will be allowed, we have dropped all the open motors, we think that will make it more equal, that’s going to make a huge difference. We’ll also see Cameron Sontag in a modified sportsmen after his move up from a mini stock.
As for the mini stocks I hope to see growth there, we did some rule changes to be more in line with other area tracks and series. It also makes it easier for someone local to purchase a car from anywhere in New England and race it at Monadnock. Our superstock field last year had nine or 10 different winners, so were not changing a thing with them or the thunder stocks, those rules seem to be working fine. And our young guns division are a bunch of great kids that hopefully move up in division after a few seasons.”
The expanding pit area will accommodate a larger field of cars with an easier traffic flow. All good things seem to be happening at the Monadnock Speedway for the April 30 opening date.
New Pairings Set With Whelen Modified Tour Ready To Roll
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Each off season brings change to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and a handful of familiar names are gearing up for the coming 2016 season with different teams.
When the 32nd season of Whelen Modified Tour competition stars next weekend at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, one-fifth of the drivers in the starting lineup will be with different teams. Chase Dowling, Rowan Pennink, Woody Pitkat, Ron Silk and Todd Szegedy have all changed rides from 2015 to 2016 while Rob Summers will rejoin the tour for the first time since 2010.
And announced Wednesday, Jimmy Blewett is also back following a two-year absence.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR ROSTER
Dowling, who earned Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2015 with Tomaino Motorsports, has joined Berkley Auto Racing for the coming season. The Roxbury, Connecticut, native, now 18, recorded eight top 10s in 15 races as a rookie. He’ll continue to race the No. 9 with his new team, owned by Bob Katon.
Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania’s Pennink has moved on from his own team and into the seat of the famed “Ole Blue” No. 3 of Boehler Racing Enterprises for a full-time run in 2016. He recorded two wins and 58 top 10s in 124 starts across nine seasons in the No. 93.
A championship contender in 2015 with Buzz Chew Racing, Pitkat landed on his feet with Kevin Stuart Motorsports for the coming season after the Chew team decided to switch to dirt racing closer to its upstate New York home base. A nine-year Whelen Modified Tour veteran from Stafford, Connecticut, Pitkat recorded all three of his wins and each of his four poles in the two previous seasons with Chew. The Stuart team will be new to the tour this season, and current plans are to compete in 11 of the 17 events on the schedule.
The 2011 Whelen Modified Tour titlist, Silk made seven starts last year including five with Rob Fuller Motorsports. This year he will take over for driver/owner Danny Watts Jr. in the No. 82. A nine-time winner on the tour, Silk already drove the Watts 82 to Victory Lane once this year when he won the tour-type modified opener at New Smyrna (Florida) Speedway during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. The team currently plans to run the full slate of events.
In this game of musical chairs, Szegedy is the only driver to land in a seat he previously occupied. After a full season in the Mystic Missile Racing No. 4 last year, the 2003 tour champ wanted to reduce his schedule in 2016, and he will do just that with a return to Rob Fuller Motorsports. Szegedy, with 19 wins in 202 career races, posted an average finish of 15th in five starts in the RFM No. 15 two years ago.
Summers’ case is different from the previously mentioned drivers. Aside from a spot start in 2013, the Manchester, Connecticut, driver hasn’t competed on the Whelen Modified Tour since 2010. His last full-time season was 2006. He will return to a full slate in 2016, however, as he joined KLM Motorsports to drive the No. 64. Summers has 27 top 10s in 132 career tour races.
The vacancy left by Szegedy in the “Mystic Missile” No. 4 was the last piece of the puzzle put into place this offseason. Blewett was considering returning to the tour with his own No. 76 with which he last competed in 2013. Instead he landed a big opportunity with a team that has won three tour titles since 2007. The Howell, New Jersey, native has five wins and 36 top 10s in 105 starts since 2001.
The 17-race NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season will commence with the Icebreaker 150 on Sunday, April 10 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. For 42nd Annual Icebreaker weekend ticket and event information, please click HERE.
As a fan you can help “your guy” get a free tire at the first Tri-Track Open Modified race at Monadnock Speedway, on June 11.
Here’s how it works – buy a lap and put the lap on your your driver by sending a message mentioning that driver’s name. The lap can be sold multiple times.
The 4 drivers who have the most laps bought in their names will each get one free tire at Monadnock. Right now, Andy Seuss is in the lead with $200 in lap sales, Followed by Troy Talman , Bill Dixon, Andy Jankowiak Timmy Solomito and Ron Silk each with $100. If you have a favorite driver you want to help win a tire, buy a lap.
Laps are $25 per race ( or if you want same lap for all five races $20 x 5=$100 ) Laps can be purchased by driver, owner, crew, family, friend, fan, etc.
The winners will be announced on April 30. (In case of a tie, we will draw out of hat)
You can buy laps by contacting James Schaefer on Facebook or the Tri-Track Facebook page.
Gary approached many speedways with his vision and Larry Cirillo was the one who could see the possibilities of making this a spectacular event. Therefore, The Winchester 200 will be held at Monadnock Speedway- “The fastest high-bank 1/4 mile in the northeast”.
This will be a 200 green flag laps race taking place on May 21, 2016 (with a rain date of May 22, 2016)
Monadnock Speedway is hosting an open practice day on April 23 ($25.00 admission fee). American Race Tire will be on hand for teams to purchase practice tires. The tire price is $165.00
1st Place – $15,000.00 13th – $2150.00
2nd – $7500.00 14th – $2000.00
3rd – $5500.00 15th – $1800.00
4th – $4000.00 16th – $1000.00
5th – $3500.00 17th – $1000.00
6th – $3000.00 18th – $1000.00
7th – $2700.00 19th – $1000.00
8th – 2600.00 20th – $1000.00
9th – 2400.00 21st – $1000.00
10th – $2250.00 22nd – $1000.00
11th – $2225.00 23rd – $1000.00
12th – $2200.00 24th – $1000.00
There will also be a$5000.00 non-qualifying race
This is the highest paying purse in Modified Racing to date with the total purse being $72,825.00
This will be a one-day event with heats determining qualifying positions for the starting field.
Pre-Race Entry Fee is $150.00 and the updated pre-race registration forms are available now at
We’d like to welcome our first entries already:
Rick Kluth- car #27- Driver: Andy Janjkowiak from 2 Qwick Chassis/Kluth Motorsports
Dan Cabral- car #55- Driver: Joe Doucette
If you have any questions please call Gary Knight at 603-826-0063