Category Archives: Tri Track Open Modified Series

TTOMS HEADS TO OPS AS PART OF PRESTIGIOUS 250 WEEKEND

Photo :Laura Marie/Passingbird

Seekonk, Mass (August 13, 2019): On Saturday, August 24, 2019, the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) will make its debut at 3/8-mile Oxford Plains Speedway (OPS) in Oxford, ME, for the running of the Oxford Plains 100. Known for its short straights and wide, sweeping turns, the open-wheel action at OPS on the eve of the Oxford 250 promises to be intense with a stacked field of talented modified competitors scheduled to compete.

“We are really excited to be running at Oxford Plains Speedway,” said Series managing partner, Wayne Darling, “and honored to have been invited by Tom Mayberry and his team to run on Oxford 250 weekend. We know that the Tri-Track drivers and teams will put on a show worthy of this weekend.”

Pit gates open at 9am on Saturday, August 24. Grandstands open at 10:30am for a full-day of practice from 10:30 to approximately 4:00pm followed by an evening of great racing action that also includes Street Stocks, Vintage racers, Classic Lites, Legends and ACT Late Models. Heat races are scheduled to go green at 4:30pm followed immediately by feature racing.

Pit admission on Saturday is $40. Grandstand admission is $30 for adults. Juniors, ages 6-12, are $15. Oxford’s traditional Family 4 Pack (2 Adults & 2 juniors) will be available for $65. Skyboxes seats are also available for $50 for adults and $25 for juniors.

The first three races of the TTOMS series have been nothing short of outstanding with heated battles right down to the wire. Series standouts Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, Ronnie Williams of Ellington, CT, and Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT, have each posted impressive victories.

And while the action will be much the same, the man standing in victory lane may be different. Despite being the first visit by the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, a number of competitors have competed at Oxford. The Modified Racing Series competed at the facility for many years.  With OPS experience and modified wins to their credit Anthony Nocella of Berlin, MA, Andy Shaw of Center Conway, NH,  and Kirk Alexander of W. Swanzey, NH could be considered favorites to win on August 24.

Nocella won in 2016 when the Modified Racing Series last visited the historic oval; Alexander in 2007. Shaw has a number of starts at the track in both full-fendered and open wheel racers; winning several races in the Pro All Star Series (PASS) Modifieds.

Hirschman, Williams, Silk, of course, can’t be counted out. Matt Swanson, with back-to-back podium finishes in TTOMS competition and Andy Jankowiak, with a string of strong finishes in various Modifieds series this summer, are both poised and ready for a Series victory.

 Other contenders include Woody Pitkat, Tommy Barrett, Les Hinckley, Russ Hersey, and Richard Savary. The stout entry list is dotted with great talent from up and down the east coast and includes the likes of   Geoff Rollins, Joey Jarvis, Jacob Dore,  Matt Galko, Jeff Gallup, Andrew Charron, Kurt Vigeant, Colbey Fournier, Brian Robie, Calvin Carroll, Anthony Sesely, Bill Dixon, Jon Kievman, Carl Medeiros Jr., CJ Bolton and Brad Babb.  

For more information on the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, log on to tritrackmods.com or find the series on Facebook and Twitter. 

SWANSON SEEKS FIRST TTOMS WIN AT HOME TRACK

SBM 125 Set for Star on July 27

Seekonk, Mass. (July 21, 2019): Before Matt Swanson began making a name for himself aboard the legendary Ole Blue in Modified competition he was a regular at Star Speedway. On Saturday, July 27, the Acton, MA, driver hopes to turn that familiarity into victory during the Tri-Track Open Modified Series SBM 125.  Swanson will go head-to-head for the win with a full-field of Modifieds that will also include the likes of red-hot Ronnie Williams, Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman, and many more.

“I haven’t really raced there in a while,” said Swanson, of Star Speedway. “The last time I ran there was in a NEMA Lite and before that in Bobby Webber’s 350 Super. I’m hoping it all comes back to me.”

If it does, it could mean a return to his winning ways. Swanson was the Modified track championship at Star Speedway in 2014.

Saturday’s start will be only Swanson’s second SBM race start.

The SBM VIII presented by the Tri-Track Open Modified Series will feature a 125 lap main event for the Modifieds. The full night of racing also includes Late Models, Street Stocks, Six Shooters and Legends. Racing will get underway at 4:20pm with qualifying for all divisions followed immediately by feature racing. Grandstands open at 11am and admission is $22 for adults and $20 for seniors. A junior ticket for kids ages 11-16 will be available for $15 Kids under 10 are admitted free.  Pit admission is $45.

“If this race is anything like the last two we’ve had, which we certainly expect it will be, especially at Star, the fans are in for a great night of side-by-side racing,” said Series co-founder, Jim Schaefer.  “I think I look forward to this race as much as a fan as I do a promoter-maybe more so.”

With some of the most recent Modified event winners and hottest drivers scheduled to compete in the TTOMS event at Star Speedway, the SBM 125 will undoubtedly provide fans with exciting racing action from the drop of the green through all 125 green flag laps of competition.

“It’s a racy little race track,” added Swanson.

And, Swanson is one of those drivers that is hot right now. He’s fresh off a competitive fifth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He finished third in the most recent TTOMS event at Seekonk back on June 26 and in the Bud Light Open Modified 80 on July 12 at Stafford Motor Speedway the young gun finished second.

“All this success is because of the teams I get to drive for,” said Swanson. “I am fortunate enough to drive for not only owners but crews that put their heart and soul into preparing these race cars. It’s a real confidence booster when you know that every time you get behind the wheel, you have a solid chance of winning.”

The respect is clearly mutual. The young driver has been in high-regard starting from a very young age. Racing now for legendary car owners the Boehlers, he has also done so throughout his career for the likes of the renowned Seymour family.  Much of his early modified success came aboard cars owned by the popular and successful owner in NH racing circles the late Marco Turcotte. He’s even wheeled a racer for Star Speedway promoter, Bobby Webber, Jr.

Swanson began his career quarter midget racing at facilities like Little ‘T’ located at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Coming up through the ranks, his focus has always been on open wheel racing; piloting everything from micro-sprints, NEMA midgets and SK lights before progressing to tour-type Modifieds. Swanson earned the Modified track championship at Star Speedway in 2014. The same year he made his Tri-Track Series debut.

Since then, Swanson has competed regularly with the Tri-Track Series as well as the Modified Racing Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.  In 2016, at just 16 years of age, Swanson was the Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 2016.

Swanson believes that he would not have the opportunities he has today without the support of the Webber Family.

“The Webbers gave me the opportunity to race a modified at such a young age. Not many other guys get a chance like that,” said Swanson. “They let me run in a division with high-powered cars that let me get such important experience. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”  

That respect, too, is mutual.

“Matt was always one of Dad’s favorites,” said Bobby Webber, Jr., Star Speedway owner, of his late father. “‘We watched Matt grow up at Star. He’s a great kid with a great family. His father John and I have been friends for about 30 years.

It could probably be said that John and Bobby grew up in racing together too.  Swanson is definitely a sentimental favorite for the Webber Family this weekend.

While a win is the ultimate goal, a win at Star Speedway would undoubtedly be special to Swanson and his family as well.  The goal for Swanson and his team is to keep the good momentum from the last several races going.

Admittedly, Swanson hopes that the “Ole Blue” used by BRE Racing in Tri-Track competition, will be as racy as the Tour car was in the Modified Tour race.

“We were good as soon as we unloaded at Loudon,” said Swanson. “I’m hoping that same holds true this weekend too.” 

And, while debate swirls around chassis builders in Modified racing today, there is no doubt that Swanson will strap into a truly unique and original home built Modified when he looks for a victory on Saturday night at Star Speedway.

Interestingly enough, the car which is maintained by the dedicated crew of Greg Fournier, John McKenna, Scott Richards and others, is older than its driver.

Showing wisdom quite possibly beyond his age, Swanson is quick to recognize the efforts of Larry Westgate and his company All-Phases Renovations.

“Larry’s support has allowed us to put a good schedule together that includes not only the 18 races of the Modified Tour but also the six Tri-Track events,” said Swanson. “This is helping us get stronger as a team. We are learning more about each other and the guys are learning more about what I like in the car.”

With a momentum, a ‘home track’ advantage, and a flattened learning curve, a win for Matt Swanson and BRE Racing in the SBM VIII presented by the Tri-Track Open Modified Series at Star Speedway could be the first of many.

All the action gets underway when Swanson and the Tri-Track Open Modified Series rolls into Star Speedway in Epping, NH, on Saturday, July 27. Practice starts at 1:00pm. Racing gets underway with heats for weekly divisions at 4:20pm followed by heat race action for the Tri-Track Mods. Features for all divisions, including the 125 laps of ground-pounding Modified excitement, will roll-off immediately following qualifying activities. More information can be found at StarSpeedwayNH.com.

The Tri-Track Open Modified Series is proud to be a part of the Star Speedway family. For more information on the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, log on to tritrackmods.com or find the series on Facebook and Twitter. 

HIRSCHMAN RETURNS TO HIS WINNING WAYS IN TTOMS OPENER AT CLAREMONT

Claremont, NH (May 26, 2019): In what may be considered uncharacteristic fashion, Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA took the lead just past halfway of the Ron Bouchard’s Auto Sales 100 for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) season opener at Claremont Motorsports Park. Under picture-perfect conditions Hirschman bested a full-field that included runner-up Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks, CT, and emerging hot-shoe Ronnie Williams of Ellington, CT.

Heat races and consolation events set the 26-car field for the first leg of the Ron Bouchard’s Auto Stores Challenge Cup.  In total 34 cars attempted to qualify for the night’s event. After the redraw, Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, NY, and Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT, led the field to green. A bauble on the start for Jankowiak opened the door for defending race champion Mike Willis of Grantham, NH to make it three-wide with Silk and into the lead.

Todd Patnode of Swanzey, NH, handily made his way into third. The top three cars began to distance themselves slightly from fourth running Jankowiak. Matt Swanson of Acton, MA, in Ole Blue, was getting pressure in fifth from Anthon Sesely of Matawah, NJ.

The battle for the lead was heating up at lap 10 between Willis and Silk. Russ Hersey of Swanzey, NH, began to pressure Sesely for fifth. The first caution of the event flew on lap 13 for a two-car incident that involved Geoff Rollins of Groton, MA, and Carl Medeiros of Westport, MA.

On the restart, Willis was once again able to jump out to the lead over Silk.  Contact between the lead duo had Willis sideways; both were able to continue. Jankowiak spun amid the tussle to bring out the second caution again on lap 13.

Willis was back in command on the restart with Silk glued to his back bumper. Hersey was up to fourth and Sesely had his hands full with Hirschman and Sammy Rameau of Westminster, MA. Over the next few laps Silk was getting racy for the lead with Willis. Silk was the new leader at lap 20. 

With the top ten cars running nose to tail the best battle on the speedway was for eighth between Williams in the Roscoe Racing #25 and Hinckley, who was piloting the SPAFCO #21 for Art & Kenny Barry. At lap 30, a brewing battle for third place between Patnode and Hersey was slowed when Medeiros slowed on the front stretch to bring out the third caution.  Under yellow, Sesely gave up fifth position to head to pit road for service.

For the ensuing restart on lap 30, Silk and Willis made up the front row with Patnode, Hersey and Hirschman completing the top-five. Rameau, Williams, Hinckley, Matt Galko of Meriden, CT, and hometown favorite Bucky Demers of Cornish, NH, made up the top-ten.

Hirschman made his way past Hersey to take over fourth position on the restart behind Silk, Willis and Patnode. Hersey continued to backslide slightly; losing a position to Rameau as well. Contenders Woody Pitkat, of Stafford Springs, in the Stan Mertz #6, Kirk Alexander of W. Swanzey, NH, in the Perry Family entry and Tommy Barrett of Millis, MA, aboard the #43, were mired deep in the field.

Under green Silk was able to gain some distance over Willis while Hinckley was providing pressure to Hersey for sixth. As Silk continued to extend his lead, the top five was Willis, Patnode, Hirschman and Rameau.

At halfway, the top-five remained the same with Hinckley, Demers, Hersey, Williams and Joey Jarvis of Ascutney, VT, occupying the top-ten. The complexion of the race would change dramatically with the unfurling of the event’s fourth caution flew on lap 56 for a spin by Hersey.

Under yellow, all cars headed to pit road for service except Willis, Sesely and Jankowiak; the latter two had pitted previously. Hirschman won the battle off pit road to rejoin the field in fourth followed by Rameau, Silk, Hinckley, Williams, Richard Savary of Canton, MA, and Brian Robie of Sunapee, NH.

Willis jump out to the lead with Sesely falling in line in second, Jankowiak lost third position to Matt Hirschman on lap 57. Silk was hooked up in the outside groove in search for the lead once again.

Silk was gaining ground on the outside when the battle erupted with Silk, Rameau and Hinckley. The result found Silk hard into the outside wall on the front stretch to bring out the fifth caution on lap 61. Other cars collected included potential winners Robie, Patnode, Alexander and Jarvis. Robie, Patnode and Jarvis were able to continue. Rameau was penalized to the rear of the field.

Under the caution, the leader Willis ducked onto pit road for service.  After leading many laps of the event, he would ultimately not challenge for the win. 

On the lap 61 restart Hirschman was able to rocket by Sesely for the lead. He immediately ran out to a multiple car length advantage. Hinckley battled Jankowiak on the outside for third. Williams was making a charge back to the front; moving into the top-five on lap 66.  Brad Babb of Windham, ME, was having a great run; just outside of the top-five.

Hinckley moved into second position on lap 69 while a great battle was emerging for third between Sesely, Jankowiak and Williams. Swanson and Hersey were on the move as well.

Hirschman had a half-straightaway advantage over Hinckley with 25 laps to go. Jankowiak and Williams got by Sesely relegating him fifth. Williams immediately went to work on Jankowiak. Babb exited the speedway under green on lap 81 while running sixth.

Hersey had recovered nicely; knocking on the door of the top-five with less than 20 to go and looking for more.  Willis lurked outside the top 10 with only 15 laps remaining.

Hinckley could not cut into Hirschman’s lead as the laps wound down. Hersey took fifth from Sesely on lap 89; leaving Sesely to defend against Swanson.  With Hirschman handily out front, the best battle on the track continued to be for third between Jankowiak and Williams.  Williams took the spot way with five laps remaining.

Hirschman had stretched his lead over the final few laps and cruised to the victory over Hinckley, Williams, Jankowiak and Hersey.  Swanson, Sesely, Barrett, Calvin Carroll of Andover, NJ, and Robie completed the top-ten.

During qualifying, heat race victories went to Hirschman, Sesely, Carroll and Swanson. Consolation race winners were Dana Smith, Sunapee, NH and Colbey Fournier of Berkley, MA.

Tri-Track Open Modified Series-Official Finish-Ron Bouchard’s Auto Sales 100-Claremont Motorsports Park, Claremont, NH: 1. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 2. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 3. Ronnie Williams, Ellington, CT; 4. Andy Jankowiak, Tonowanda, NY; 5. Russ Hersey, Swanzey, NH; 6. Matt Swanson, Acton, MA; 7. Anthony Sesely, Matawah, NJ; 8. Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA; 9. Calvin Carroll, Andover, NJ; 10. Brian Robie, Sunapee, NH; 11. Joey Jarvis, Ascutney, VT; 12. Sammy Rameau, Westminster, MA; 13. Dana Smith, Sunapee, NH; 14. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs, CT; 15. Bucky Demers, Cornish, NH; 16. Mike Willis, Grantham, NH; 17. Richard Savary, Canton, MA; 18. Todd Patnode, Swanzey, NH; 19. Colbey Fournier, Berkley, MA; 20. Geoff Rollins, Groton, MA; 21. Brad Babb, Windham, ME; 22. Carl Medeiros, Westport, MA; 23. Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT; 24. Kirk Alexander, W. Swanzey, NH; 25. Mike Holdridge, Madison, CT; 26. Matt Galko, Meriden, CT. DNQ: Scott Adams, Lake Ariel, PA;  CJ Bolton, Weare, NH; Josh Cantara, Sanford, ME;  Andrew Charron, E. Greenwich, RI; Cameron Sontag, Sterling, MA; Chris Risdale, Rochester, NY; Kurt Vigeant, Oxford, MA. Scratch: Todd Owen, Somers, CT.