Training Days: Valenti Mod Racing Series Owner Giving Teen Tryout For Series Director Position

Jordan Harnish

Jordan Harnish

STAFFORD – Valenti Modified Racing Series founder and owner Jack Bateman will have a shadow by his side as he serves as interim series director for tonight’s Town Fair Tire 80 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

After parting ways with former series director Scott Tapley following an event at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway on June 7, Bateman decided to take on the role as interim series director while searching for Tapley’s replacement.

But it didn’t take long for Bateman to have an individual step up inquiring about the open position.

So tonight, while oversees officiating of the event at Stafford, Bateman will have 19-year old Jordan Harnish by his side.

Bateman said Harnish contacted him after hearing about Tapley’s resignation and the two met earlier this week at Hudson Speedway in Hudson, N.H.

“He seems like a real capable young man, but he’s only 19,” Bateman said. “I think what we’re going to do is I’m going to have him be my assistant for four or five races. And if he feels he can do it and the rest of the folks with the series and teams are comfortable then I’ll give him the job. But I want to make sure that he’s the right guy. I don’t want to discriminate against his age, but most of us have been doing this for a really long time. … It’s got to be a good feeling for everybody in order for it to work.”

Harnish, of Bangor, Me., has been around racing through his family since he was young helping his father’s race team. He said he got involved in helping with track officiating by the time he was 11 years old. He said he has worked as a flagger/starter at Speedway 95 in Hermon, Me. and the Wiscasset Speedway in Wiscasset, Me. He said he also spent time working as a starter with the Northeast Mini Stock Tour.

“I’ve been doing things at Speedway 95 for five years and they don’t have a race director there,” Harnish said. “The flagman makes the calls up there. So I’ve been overseeing racing there. The rulebook for racing is pretty much identical up there as to what they’re doing here, just I’d be sitting in a tower here instead of waving a flag.”

Harnish said his age shouldn’t be an issue, especially when it comes to overseeing a group of team owners and competitors, most of which are much older than he is.

“I’ve got thick skin,” Harnish said. “I just hope I can be around here and earn some respect from guys. Hopefully next year Jack can have me doing this. I want to show them that even though I am young, I do know enough that I know I can do this job and be fair. Rulebooks are rulebooks.”

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  1. Mike Ray says

    I wish the man well;good luck!

  2. I don’t have a problem with him, but will the competitors who are 3x older than him have any respect for “some punk kid”?

  3. He is very well respected in maine he will do a great job if they’re 3x older they probably will respect him good luck to him

  4. Puppet Master says

    It looks like Jack got exactly what he wanted, some one who will cater to his desires and be his puppet. Anyone with two eyes and a heartbeat knows that the former director left because Jack wanted to put his own car in the race at Seekonk when it didn’t qualify and to disqualy a qualified car but was told no. And then magically after not qualifying last night his race car makes the race because they disqualified a random car. It’s a shame that this man uses his power to toy with people’s money and time, a complete embarrassment to the sport. Rest in peace MRS

  5. Call me crazy but I don’t see this going well.

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