Tag Archives: Tri Track Open Modified Series

Craig Lutz Pushes To Monadnock Win in Series Debut

Photo: Tom Morris/Myracenews

Two months delayed due to COVID-19, the Tri Track Open Modified Series finally opened the 2020 season on Sunday evening at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire. There were 37 of the top Modified drivers in the Northeast at the high-banked oval, with four heat races, two consolations, and a 100-lap feature keeping fans busy throughout the day. Monadnock’s NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series divisions were also on the track, along with the Pro Truck Series. 

The Tri Track Rundown is a quick look back at the most recent series event: 

LUTZ PUSHES HINCKLEY INTO THREE, WINS DRAG RACE TO THE LINE 

Not bad for a debut. Craig Lutz, a rising Modified star in New England, entered the final corner of Sunday’s Tri Track Open Modified Series opener in second, a car length back from race leader Les Hinckley. By the time they hit the middle of turn four, Lutz was under Hinckley and winning a drag race to the line, pocketing a $6,000 check as part of a more than $40,000 purse. But the way he made the move was what set off some major controversy post-race. 

Lutz slammed the back bumper of Hinckley at the bottom of turn three, sending Hinckley up the track, and Lutz by to the win. In the debut start on a competitive series, Lutz was holding the checkered flag at Monadnock. 

“It’s Modified racing,” said Lutz. “You have to understand that I’m going for the win, he’s going for the win. He’s hanging on for dear life. I gave him a little tap that he wasn’t expecting and I was able to open up the bottom. We both finished… he still finished second.” 

The day didn’t start off well for Lutz. After a blind draw, he started last in the second heat race, and finished sixth, missing a qualified spot by one. When he rolled out for the consi, he started at the front, and picked up the win – advancing him to the main event, with a 22nd place starting spot. 

It took him 99 laps to find the lead. 

“A little bit of both, you come in here and you think the setup is going to work and it just didn’t,” Lutz said of what happened in the heat, with a bad draw and the setup off. “We drew last for the heat race, and the whole field is stacked because there are so many good cars. We had to be patient with a small track and not a long of room to make passes. I just tried to pass everyone smart and keep the wheels on it so I could be at the front.” 

Lutz, who drove a family-owned car with help for Russell Goodale and Goodie Motorsports, plans to be back with Tri Track on July 25 at Star Speedway for the annual SBM showdown. 

HINCKLEY NEARLY BREAKS WINNING DROUGHT 

Les Hinckley was one corner away from his first career Tri Track Open Modified Series win. But it all went away in the final 500 feet. After the push from behind, Hinckley lost control, and nearly saved it enough to beat Lutz to the line. But it was the final drag race that hurt his chances, while he was still trying to collect the car. 

Hinckley started at the bottom of the top five, led laps, and was in contention in the final corner.  

“We found a home in the first two-thirds of the race to ride and keep our spot,” Hinckley said. “I just tried to take care of the car. After the competition caution, we made the right adjustments and to the front we went. They weren’t going to catch me without the cautions. He tried to drive through me on the restart but drove over the left-rear and bottomed out the car. I would have been a fool if I gave up the bottom, and he had no chance of going around me on the outside. He never tried. If you could pull up record books, I’ve never driven through anyone like that for a win. I never squared a guy up, punted him in the back, moved him up two grooves and felt good about myself. That was his only shot.” 

After the checkered, Hinckley showed his displeasure with Lutz, driving up beside him coming to the start/finish line for Victory Lane ceremonies. He was also visibly and verbally upset with Lutz. 

“Craig wasn’t faster than I was. He didn’t have a shot to pass me,” Hinckley said. “He didn’t have any turns left to get it done. That was his move. Not lift, drive in the corner, and use me for the brake.” 

Hinckley will have his next shot to earn his first career Tri Track win at Star Speedway on July 25, another track he is familiar with. Hinckley had plenty of background experience at Monadnock, both in Modifieds and Pro Stocks. 

Notebook: Monadnock Regulars Impress; Some Tri Track Stars Were Quiet 

  • -Ben Byrne, who won the NHSTRA Sportsman Modified race at Monadnock on Sunday, a drove a crate motor in the Tri Track Series race and pulled off a third-place finish, leading laps in the middle stages. Byrne also showed success at Monadnock last year, where he nearly won the Tri Track race. For his third-place effort, the team collected a $300 bonus courtesy of Barlow Construction for being the highest finishing crate motor in the field. 
  • -Matt Kimball, who was fastest in practice, struggled in his heat, missing a qualified spot. He rebounded in the consi and drove through the field late to finish fourth.  
  • -Ron Silk and Chase Dowling finished fourth and fifth — strong runs to open the season for the veterans. Dowling was looking for his third straight Tri Track win driving for Jimmy Paige, dating back to last year. He was on the bumper of Hinckley with 10 laps to go, but got shuffled on the outside lane on a restart and missed his opportunity. 
  • -Matt Hirschman, Woody Pitkat and Ronnie Williams all finished at the bottom of the top-10, but all three seemed off on the setup all day. Williams earned the final qualifying spot in heat one, while Hirschman did the same in heat four. Pitkat struggled in both the heat and the consi and didn’t qualify. He earned a provisional, and started deep in the field — driving through for an eighth-place finish. Courtesy of Green Construction, Pitkat earned the Hard Charger award worth $500. 

The Tri Track Open Modified Series, along with the $40,000 purse/6,000 winning prize, also paid out a long list of contingency awards through sponsorship from supporters of the series.  

Superior Refinishing was also providing a $200 award if the polesitter had won the race. However, since Tommy Barrett didn’t take the checkered flag first, the $200 rolls over to the next stop at Star Speedway and raises another $200. If the driver who starts on the pole wins at Star, they will collect $400 in bonus money on top of their winnings. 

CONTINGENCY AWARDS: MONADNOCK SPEEDWAY; JULY 5, 2020: 

  • -Green Construction Hard Charger: $500 – Woody Pitkat 
  • -Pepsi Challenge Heat Winners: $300 each – Brian Robie, Chase Dowling, Ben Bryne, Dave Sapienza 
  • -Pepsi Challenge Consi Winners: $300 each – Matt Swanson, Craig Lutz 
  • -Barlow Construction Top Crate Motors: $300 (Ben Byrne) & $200 (Brian Robie) 

Speed51 To Air Tri Track Opener at Monadnock Speedway

SEEKONK, Mass. — Race fans who can’t attend Sunday’s Tri Track Open Modified Series opener at Monadnock Speedway will have the opportunity to stream the race live on Speed51.com. Through a partnership with the series and Speed51, fans can purchase the day of Tri Track racing for just $24.95 and not miss a lap of Modified racing.  

The revenue created through the broadcast will go towards helping the Tri Track Open Modified Series cover costs for the event, including the purse, which has not been cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purse for Monadnock rises over $40,000, with $6,000 up for grabs for the winner. New for 2020, the Pepsi Challenge begins with heat and consi races paying the winner. Courtesy of Pepsi, each heat and consi will pay $300 to win, giving drivers every extra incentive to step on the loud pedal during qualifying races. 

The heat and consolation races, along with the 100-lap feature, will air live. None of the other divisions competing at Monadnock on Sunday will be shown on the stream due to broadcast restrictions. 

Monadnock Speedway, per guidance from the state of New Hampshire, will allow up to 50% fan capacity through the grandstands for the event. The Tri Track Open Modified Series has put a list of strict guidelines in place to maintain social distancing and best health practices to keep all competitors, teams, staff and fans safe, but still open the season after a two-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“This is going to be one of the top modified races of the season, especially due to the delay, everyone can’t wait to get back to the track,” Wayne Darling, Managing Partner of the Tri Track Open Modified Series, said. “We hope all race fans will be able to come to the track to witness some of the top competitors in the entire Northeast battle at Monadnock, but we’re pleased to partner with Speed51 to give those fans who can’t make it a chance to watch all the action.” 

Tri Track teams will enter the pit area at 9 a.m., to ensure social distancing, while practice will begin at 12 p.m., with 45 minutes scheduled. Heat races will start at 2 p.m., while consolation and feature racing will follow. The Tri Track Open Modified Series feature is estimated to take the green flag around 7 p.m.  

Speed51’s stream will go up for the heats, then down, and back up, down, and up, for the remainder of the racing. Race fans shouldn’t be concerned if the screen goes dark in between races. Be sure to follow Speed51 and the Tri Track Open Modified Series on Facebook for full updates on race day. 

“Our team at Speed51 is pumped to work with the Tri-Track Open Modified Series and Monadnock Speedway to kick-off the 2020 season,” Brandon Paul, Content Manager at Speed51, said. “The Tri Track Series is one the best things going in Modified racing right now, with big money and big stars at each event. We hope that our live broadcast will provide a few hours of entertainment for the diehard Modified fans who are itching to watch racing during this time.” 

Tri Track has developed a list of strict guidelines to ensure the safety of race teams, drivers, staff and fans. Guidance provided by the state of New Hampshire and local officials, along with CDC recommendations were all used to come up with best practices. Teams will be restricted to 10 crew members per car, including the driver and car owner, and face coverings are strongly encouraged when social distancing is not possible. Tri Track officials will use face coverings. Social distancing protocols will be in place and teams are asked not to enter another competitor’s pit stall to avoid groups larger than 10. 

The Tri Track Open Modified Series management realizes that some of the guidelines being imposed are not ideal, but we are working to ensure that the health and safety of competitors, team members, officials, employees and fans is paramount at this time. 

Registration for Monadnock remains open at $150 for just the one event, or $450 for the entire season. The $450 amount is only in place for teams that register by the time of entry into Monadnock. Teams that have already registered do not need to register again. Those who have not must visit tritrackmodifieds.com and the team info tab to fill out their registration. 

Teams will be asked to contact Michelle at the Monadnock track office at 603-239-4067 with their car number and list of 10 people entering on their crew. If a team does not have 10 people, just be ready to provide the people you have planning on attending. Teams can also email a full list to monadnockspeedway@ymail.com. Teams must pre-order tires at Hoosier Tire East by calling Dan at 860-646-9646. 

Series officials anticipate the remainder of the 2020 schedule will remain in place. A stop at Star Speedway on Saturday, July 25, is scheduled for the annual SBM 125, followed by another date at Monadnock on August 15. Seekonk Speedway’s rescheduled Open Wheel Wednesday on August 26th and the Haunted Hundred on October 24 will wrap the schedule. 

For more information on Speed51, visit Speed51.com, and follow them on social media. For more information on Monadnock Speedway, visit the track at monadnockspeedway.com. For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit tritrackmodifieds.com and follow the series on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates. 

TRI TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES RESCHEDULES SEASON OPENER TO SUNDAY, JULY 5TH AT MONADNOCK SPEEDWAY

MAKES MOVE TO AVOID CONFLICT FOR RACE TEAMS & RACE FANS  Photo Tom Morris/Myracenews

SEEKONK, Mass. — Tri Track Open Modified Series officials announced on Wednesday the series will move the originally scheduled season opener at Monadnock Speedway to Sunday, July 5, in the best interest of race teams and fans. 

Following the announcement of the season opener on Tuesday morning, NASCAR officials released a date for Saturday, July 4 at White Mountain Motorsports Park, which pins race teams and fans to decide between both events. The Tri Track Open Modified Series feels this is in the best interest of modified teams and the great fans of our sport. This will allow race fans to catch two modified races in the same state, on the same weekend, without both running at the same time.  

“We realize the schedule complexities that are going to occur during the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we look forward to working with all race tracks and teams to ensure we maximize our shortened race season,” Wayne Darling, Managing Partner of the Tri Track Open Modified Series, said.  

Tri Track has developed a list of strict guidelines to ensure the safety of race teams, drivers, staff and fans. Guidance provided by the state of New Hampshire and local officials, along with CDC recommendations were all used to come up with best practices. Race teams will receive an email from series officials with a full list of guidelines and event information and are encouraged to contact series officials with questions. 

Teams will be restricted to 10 crew members per car, including the driver and car owner, and face coverings are strongly encouraged when social distancing is not possible. Tri track officials will use face coverings. Social distancing protocols will be in place and teams are asked not to enter another competitor’s pit stall to avoid groups larger than 10. Fans are allowed at the track due to guidance provided by the state of New Hampshire that allows the track to operate at 50% of capacity.

The Tri Track Open Modified Series management realizes that some of the guidelines being imposed are not ideal, but we are working to ensure that the health and safety of competitors, team members, officials, employees and fans is paramount at this time. 

A full schedule for the event will be released once available. Fans will be allowed to attend the event at 50% capacity based on the latest guidance from state and local officials in New Hampshire.  

The Monadnock event will pay a winner’s purse of $6,000 with $3,250 to be paid for second and $2,600 for third, with a total purse of more than $40,000. NASCAR has not announced a purse structure for the event at White Mountain Motorsports Park. The Whelen Modified Tour has never run at White Mountain, which is not a NASCAR sanctioned track. 

Any cars that don’t qualify for the race will still earn $500 if they pre-registered early and $300 if they registered day of the event. 

Registration for Monadnock remains open at $150 for just the one event, or $450 for the entire season. The $450 amount is only in place for teams that register by the time of entry into Monadnock. Teams that have already registered do not need to register again. Those who have not must visit tritrackmodifieds.com and the team info tab to fill out their registration.  

 
Teams will be asked to contact Michelle at the Monadnock track office at 603-239-4067 with their car number and list of 10 people entering on their crew. If a team does not have 10 people, please just be ready to provide the people you have planning on attending. Teams can pre-order tires at Hoosier Tire East beginning immediately by calling Dan at 860-646-9646. 

Series officials anticipate the remainder of the 2020 schedule will remain in place. A stop at Star Speedway on Saturday, July 25, is scheduled for the annual SBM 125, followed by another date at Monadnock on August 15. Seekonk Speedway’s rescheduled Open Wheel Wednesday on August 26th and the Haunted Hundred on October 24 will wrap the schedule. 

For more information on Monadnock Speedway, visit www.monadnockspeedway.com and follow the track on Facebook. For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit tritrackmodifieds.com and follow the series on social media. 

PURSE: TRI TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES OPENER AT MONADNOCK SPEEDWAY, JULY 4: 

  1. 1. $6,000 
  1. 2. $3,250 
  1. 3. $2,600 
  1. 4. $2,200 
  1. 5. $1,600 
  1. 6. $1,500 
  1. 7. $1,400 
  1. 8. $1,300 
  1. 9. $1,200 
  1. 10. $1,190 
  1. 11. $1,180 
  1. 12. $1,170 
  1. 13. $1,160 
  1. 14. $1,150 
  1. 15. $1,140 
  1. 16. $1,130 
  1. 17. $1,120 
  1. 18. $1,110 
  1. 19. $1,000 
  1. 20. $1,000 
  1. 21. $1,000 
  1. 22. $1,000 
  1. 23. $1,000 
  1. 24. $1,000 
  1. 25. $1,000 
  1. 26. $1,000