Decision Made To Drive The Final Chapter In Race Career For Roy Seidell 

Roy Seidell (Photo: Jim DuPont)

By Denise DuPont

LOUDON, N.H. – Roy Seidell and his #22 modified has been a long time fixture in racing. I personally did not realize how long a career in a modified Seidell has had. This year he will complete his forty-first consecutive race season. I am not sure but this has to be some type of modified career record.

Reaching his 65th birthday this year, Seidell has made the decision to retire from racing and concentrate on his family life.

“This is my last year of racing,” Seidell said. “We have had a lot of ups and downs throughout the years and we have had a lot of fun. I am going to miss a lot of the people and some people I am not going to miss at all. Other than that I have to do something else in my life that takes two of us instead just me all the time.”

Spending a lot of time on both the road and track, along with the hours in the garage, a racer becomes somewhat addicted to the sport. Getting out of the seat of a modified what is next for Seidell?

“I have a new truck,” Seidell said. “I also drive around in a ’34 Ford with which I drive around to hot rod shows. I will ride my Harley and when I am not too busy I get in the boat and ride the boat.”

Seidell starting his racing career in 1977 at Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Mass. and has raced each consecutive year since.

“I have not missed a season of racing in all those years,” Seidell said.

With a race career extending over forty years, Seidell has seen a lot of changes. Reminiscing he defined his most memorable time in racing  .

“I have so many racing memories, but I would have to say that Riverside Park really stands out,” Seidell said with a smile on his face. “I had a great time at Riverside Park. It was a lot of fun.”

After fifty-one years of race track operations, Riverside Park Speedway closed following the 1999 season at the track.

Seidell had to find a new race venue with Riverside no longer available as his home track. He made the decision to join other drivers and move to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

“From Riverside I transitioned into the Modified tour.” Seidell said.  “That was OK but then the series started to out price themselves. And a guy has to do what he has to do to stay racing.”

In 2004, Jack Bateman started a New England based Modified series which was advertised as an option for family based race teams. The Modified stock car racing sanctioning body based out of Canaan, New Hampshire was established as the Valenti Modified Racing Series.

When the Valenti Modified Racing Series was formed, Seidell made the decision to move from Whelen Modified Tour competition to the new option offered by Bateman.

“At that time the Valenti Modified Racing Series was the place to go,”  Seidell said. “So I moved the Modified Racing Series. The series is the best place to go particularly if you are not made of a ton of money.”

With the bittersweet decision to hang up his racing helmet, Seidell is looking forward to completing the 2018 race season and then move on to a new chapter in his life.

“It has been fun racing Modifieds over the years,” Seidell said.

When Seidell retires from Modified competition, he will notch his place in the history of the “ground pounders” and join the ranks of others before him.”

Race Note:
Riverside Park Speedway was a 1/4 mile oval race track, located inside of Riverside Amusement Park in Agawam, Massachusetts. Auto racing was a new attraction following World War II, park owner Edward J. Carroll demolished a dance hall that had burned down in 1948. In its place he built a flat 1/5 mile oval track with a pit area and grandstand alongside the Connecticut River. The first full season of “modified” stock car racing was 1949. The track was reconfigured twice over the years, ending up as a progressively banked 1/4 mile oval under NASCAR sanction.

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