By Kyle Souza
SEEKONK, Mass. — When the Tri Track Open Modified Series season takes the green flag, Ronnie Williams will look to keep his hot streak going.
Williams seems like a driver who is more than fit to chase a second consecutive championship. The Ellington, Connecticut, native won the 2019 Tri Track title with car owner Gary Casella in their first year together as a team. Williams took the victory in the Open Wheel Wednesday $10,000 to win race at Seekonk Speedway, and sealed the title right back at Seekonk in the Haunted Hundred in October.
But that wasn’t his only success last year.
Williams also earned his second straight SK Modified championship at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway, becoming just the sixth driver in history to accomplish that feat. He drives for Adam Skowyra over at Stafford, another combination that has also been a successful one.
“It’s completely different with Gary and Adam,” Williams said. “They both bring great cars to the track – but Adam has like 15 guys that show up to the track and Gary has like four – but they both provide me great race cars that every single time I go to the track, I know I can win. I hadn’t been to at least a few of the tracks on the Tri Track last year – but we were able to have instant success. I’m really looking forward to going back there with Gary.”
Williams finished third in the opener last year at Claremont and followed it up by winning Seekonk. In the heat of the summer, he finished second at Star Speedway and second at Oxford Plains, which helped him open a gap in the standings. It was enough to hoist the crown with No. 25 team after Monadnock Speedway and Seekonk’s finale.
Just prior to Seekonk’s Open Wheel Wednesday win, Williams had come off a victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway driving for Casella just a few days earlier. After that, he won Seekonk, then picked up a win at Stafford in their biggest SK Modified race of the year – all in the same week.
“I look back at that week and it was just an unbelievable week,” Williams said. “I would have never thought we would go to Loudon, blow-up, and have the guys head back, and we win our heat and the race. We weren’t even planning to go to Seekonk when the motor blew – we had decided we were going to Loudon – but when we won – we decided to get ready and go to Seekonk, and we win that. Then on Friday, at Stafford, I was involved in a wreck and came back to beat Keith Rocco at the line… it was just a crazy week, and one I will definitely look back and just keep saying “wow” about.”
Two of those wins came with Casella, who he plans to team with again in 2020. Casella is no stranger to modified racing in New England – winning various races, and championships, across the region in his time as a car owner.
Tri Track races are a bit different than anything else Williams runs, because they are consistently 100 laps and do require drivers to save tires behind the wheel. He will be back at Stafford and will run select NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races in 2020.
He brings star-power to what the Tri Track Open Modified Series offers.
“You have to have a brain to know you are not going to win the race in the first 10 laps, so you don’t ruin your day or your teams day early,” Williams said. “Knowing when to save, when to go… just watching races over the years and learning about how to make it all work and having the car that will stay consistent throughout the race is key to the long races.”
New for 2020, teams will compete in at least five races to be eligible for championship, with one drop race factoring into the standings. The champion will be decided by taking the best five out of six point totals a driver receives. This will allow drivers to afford a small miscue and still be in contention for the title.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tri Track officials have extended the registration deadline for teams until April 30. Teams that enter before April 30 will have the opportunity to be part of all six races for just $450, while single event registration is open for $150 per race. To register, teams should visit the team info tab of tritrackmodifieds.com.
As of this writing, the season opener remains slated for Saturday, May 9, at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire. If there are any changes prior to the date, Tri Track officials will release them via the website and all social media channels. Tri Track plans to compete on Memorial Day weekend, May 24, at Claremont Speedway in New Hampshire.
In the meantime, follow Tri Track on social with Facebook, Instagram and a new Twitter handle, @TriTrackNE.