Sources: New Northeast Based Touring Modified Division In Early Stages Of Organization

RaceDayCT Logo For SidMultiple sources within the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the Valenti Modified Racing Series have confirmed talks have been ongoing recently concerning the formation of a new Northeast based touring Modified division.

The division would look to compete in Tour Type Modifieds like those that run now with the Whelen Modified Tour and Valenti Modified Racing Series.

Organizers are investigating the potential for the new series competing at many of the same short track venues that the Whelen Modified Tour and Valenti Modified Racing Series compete at. Organizers are looking at the possibility of having the series set to start competition possibly as early as the 2015 season.

NASCAR has sanctioned the Whelen Modified Tour in its current touring system since 1985. The Valenti Modified Racing Series, founded by Modified racer Jack Bateman is competing in its 11th season in 2014.

Sources have indicated the players behind the organization of a new series include multiple Valenti Modified Racing Series team owners, including at least two team owners who have won championships with the Valenti Modified Racing Series. Another player in talks has been, according to sources, a current Whelen Modified Tour team owner who has won with the series during the 2014 season.

One Valenti Modified Racing Series team owner who asked to remain anonymous said talks are ongoing and have been positive.

“Things have gotten out of control with the Valenti Modified Racing Series,” the Valenti Modified Racing Series team owner said. “There’s no consistency with anything and the series is being run into the ground and Bateman is watching it happen and not doing anything about it. … And the cost of running a competitive [Whelen Modified Tour] team today is ridiculous and NASCAR doesn’t care about helping that division in any way. It’s time for something new that works and we have the right people behind it to do it the right way.”

Longtime former Thompson Speedway consultant, Ben Dodge, who has been involved in all facets of Modified racing, from team ownership to track management, has been rumored to be someone series organizers would like to see running a new division.

Dodge said he couldn’t comment on any talks he’s had with anyone involved in the possible new division.

“I love Modified racing, I think most people know that,” Dodge said. “It’s been a huge part of my life. And I would definitely be interested in being involved in running any track or series at this point because I love the sport and I love being a part of it.”

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  1. no matter who, or what or when or however it always always comes down to MONEY

  2. Wow!

  3. So now you are going to spread the car counts even thinner? All the modified teams need to gather around one series they believe in. I am not sure what NASCAR brings to the table? I don’t see many NE Mod drivers being called up to fill seats. So bail out. It would seem easier to take control of an existing series. Organize and make a presentation with either you do X or we are ALL gone. Have this new organization in the background cooking incase they both don’t get the message.

  4. If this is a move to replace the VMRS then fine but we don’t need 3 modified touring series in New England.

  5. So it started with the NWMT they had 30 or so mods. Then racers got mad so they made another division the VMRS. Now there is the NWMT 24 cars then the VMRS 30 cars. So now we make another division that will decrease car counts not only in both the NWMT and the VMRS again but also all the weekly car counts. Seems a lot like down south a dozen or so late model “touring” divisions and then the weekly car counts dwindle into the single digits at your local home track. Open your eyes people without the weekly car counts there will be no more tracks for these touring divisions to run at. Go back to how it was a few years ago with only the NWMT deal with the rules and deal with the prices. If you want to race, race at your local track and keep the racing community alive.

  6. Ben Dodge would definitely be a great person to run a touring series, if he hooked up with Scott Tapley, that would have the makings of a successful Tour series!

  7. Do we really need another Mod series? Car counts are down, and you think a third one is going to help.

  8. Huh. I wonder if Scott Tapley is involved. He did a good job at the Bowl and with the VMRS. I guess time will only tell.

  9. A new series would be good if the officials can officiate. As an ex official I have seen many times where things were overruled by the higher ups. I always tried to be equal with everybody. No favoritism.

  10. We already have a series (the MRS) that is second rate for drivers and teams that can’t compete on the WMT. Why would we want a 3rd rate Modified series for drivers to crash and burn.

    Did anyone watch that crap at the Speedbowl this past weekend. The MRS changed the rules in the middle of the race.

    What the WMT brings to the table is point fund money and rules stability. The MRS brings neither. We can’t fix the Modifieds we have now, so lets bring in another Modified Touring series. Forget it.

    As a life long Modified lover this has reached the stage of ridiculous.

    We already have 3 Modified Touring series now. WMT, MRS rules not enforced and the ROC rules not enforced all with different Mod rules.

    MAKE THE RULES THE SAME and everyone would benefit.

  11. People have a real chance to do something special here, Get rid of the dry sump big dollar motors, only quick change rears and no jerichos or crazy transmissions put a untouched 604 in them, some kind of shock rule, same carb rule and race for 2-2500. Let 18-23 degree guys race the Tour and MRS! There would be a field of 30-35 cars easy a show! Dirt has figured it out its time asphalt does.

  12. It seems to make more sense to make one right than three struggling.

  13. Scott Collier says

    There was nothing said above about a sanctioning body. It absolutely cannot be NASCAR ! We are sick and tired of watching half a race and watching the remainder as caution laps. Also lets qualify these cars in heats and do away completely with time trials.

  14. Crazy in NY says

    I don’t know squat as to who is behind this but the name Kevin Stuart is the obvious one.
    Having a name like Ben Dodge associated with it gives it instant cred I think. Yes 3 is too
    many but one of the others will die off and 2 will survive in the long run. Jack has only himself to blame for the up rising and most of us Mod lovers have given up on NASCAR caring about the “little” guys ( the ones that inspired the MRS in the first place) that make up the backbone of this sport. I’m all in favor of it. I hope it flies.

  15. So we’ll have 3 modified series and no late model series? That’s what’s always baffled me. I’m not driving 3 hours north for an ACT race or a PASS race. I’d like to see a late model tour or an SK modified tour. We’ve got plenty of Late Models and SK’s but no one’s putting them to good use outside of weekly racing. Meanwhile, let’s have a 3rd modified tour so that there’ll be a tour race every week in CT.

  16. Dumb idea. Two is enough. Now we’ll have three with low car counts instead of just one.

  17. Something must be done. NASCAR is letting it’s oldest touring division die on the vine.
    Some new faces need to be included in planning a logical and well planned effort to merge the current groups into one cohesive unit. Track owners should be involved and careful thought put into this.
    It will take time and some diplomacy but the results could bring us back to the ROC days like we had at Pocono in the ’80s. NASCAR is the biggest part of the problem.

  18. Sounds like everyone is assuming that the WMT would continue to be sanctioned by NASCAR. I’m not so sure that’s a good assumption – what with dwindling car counts of late for that tour, and it is not a given that Thompson will or even wants to host the NWMT in 2015.

    Yes, I know the demise of the NWMT is something that is written about every year – even Shawn has some articles on that in the last 4-5 years – yet it still seems to exist. But it exists – it does not thrive, and it certainly does not grow..

    Who’s to say NASCAR didn’t put out the word to a couple of the WMT car owners and New England modified czars to say “Hey, we may be getting out of sanctioning the tour…might want to see if you guys can pull something together with VMRS and RoC and some of their tracks and car owners.”

    I agree, 3 tours (4 if you count RoC) would not work.

  19. This wouldn’t be a 3rd series it would be a 4th series as there is already the ROC…

  20. Having followed the wmt for the last three years I can say its getting pretty pricy tickets travel time off work etc. thought about doing the vmrs next year but u need a rule book every week to keep up with the changes. The best races I have seen all year are right in my back yard. Stafford Sks. Great track good car counts top name drivers a good field of young talant.steady officals and great racing.So a third touring division not me.I’ll take a season ticket to stafford.oh ya $1.50 hot dogs hell ya

  21. Brian Danko says

    The days of NASCAR continuing to sponsor the NASCAR modified tour is in the near future. Everyone can see the problems with NASCAR and their rosy outlook for the tour except them. Ben Dodge would be the only person right now who could get a series up and going. Yes, it would certainly hurt teams running on the Tour and the modified racing series but hopefully smart car owner would look at the purses and the structure of the series and decide. Nobody loves the modifieds more than I do but when I see what is happening, it makes me fear for the division as a whole.

  22. We do need a new series vmrs is to stupid and nascar no one can offorid it

  23. How about one track just brings tour mods in as a weekly division? Seems to work for riverhead

  24. Shawn, what’s your opinion?

  25. Jerry,
    I’m keeping my opinion to myself for the moment, though I’ll have more to say about it early next week.

  26. mike serluca says

    I think they should call it: The RacedayCT Modified Division and everyone should race modified Toyota Camrys, then we will see if you truly have a top 5 car all day…. bahahahaha!

  27. darealgoodfella says

    ‘Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.’

    MRS started because of unhappiness with the NASCAR Mod Tour. That was about 11 years ago. MRS has grown, has been a successful alternative series, but as of late, appears to be self-destructing. So now there seems to be a need for a replacement for the MRS. Three mod series will not be viable. BTW, no disrespect for ROC, they have their own territory towards the west that does not really compete with the northeast mods. ROC should be able to sit by and watch the dysfunction going on.

    It comes down to getting people in the stands, to buy the tickets, to keep the concession stands busy, keep the revenue flowing in a very healthy volume to support larger purses that attract more cars.

    There are no ads out there promoting these tracks, races and events. Newsprint circulation is in severe decline, radio is in decline. Remember the itty-bitty teeny-weenie ads for Stafford and Thompson events? The world’s greatest products are useless when nobody knows about them. NASCAR needs to promote these events and apply their brand value and equity to the cause. NASCAR needs to understand that when consumption of their product is in decline, they need to reverse the trend. Look how NHMS promotes the Sprint Cup races since attendance fell off, there are plenty of ads on TV for ticket packages for the Sprint Cup races at NHMS, a track that used to have a waiting list years long for tickets. They can’t afford to not promote!!!! And the ticket prices… I went to a Sprint Cup race at Loudon in the heyday several years ago, had to be the worst seat in the place, and it was >$100. Now seats are going for ~$30. Think about that. TV ads and ⅓ the price tickets.

    For those of you that keep bringing up the cost of running the NASCAR Tour as too expensive, show us in the rules where those huge haulers are required. The cost of those huge haulers can be used for better race car equipment. And if you look at some of the recent champions over the years, they used small haulers and unpretentious trailers. Nobody is forcing those teams to spend that money on over-the-top haulers. Those teams complaining about cost to run the NWMT series is absurd. And when these teams that use the over-the-top haulers also run the alleged cost reducing spec motor, that is just silly. Are we competing haulers or race cars?

  28. Butch Capuano says

    Everyone keeps talking about 3 and 4 series, and I believe that this is what these talks are trying to address. Modified racing, as it exists at the current time, is dying !!! As a fan and competitor within this division for over 50 years, I am appalled at what I witness on a weekly basis. The racing and car counts are terrible. The NWMT, as it exists now, is not the answer. These races have become as boring as the Cup races. The VMRS, while a good concept, is not the answer either. Too many variables in the rules structure. If the powers behind these talks are serious, and involve the right people, then perhaps we might see a resurrection of the modified division. So, lets take a wait and see attitude before we condemn the entire idea.

  29. Stafford does give you some real bang for your buck on a weekly basis. Something to be said for the weekly show. We are tour obsessed here in New England.

  30. Thanks Mark for bringing up what some folks are forgetting – we have great weekly shows with, you guessed it, “modifieds”, several of them and some pretty good names too.. as someone stated above, even out the rules – or dumb down the “touring series” Mods – let them mix in at the weekly tracks, hold some open comp shows – i mean this solves a bunch o’ problems from my view – car counts, expenses, addresses options for owners (I’ll run Stafford this week? and that big open comp show at Thompson…) no silly hauls to Bristol or Daytona.. mods o’ plenty in the northeast, why tracks can’t work together on rules and realize that it would be best for modified racing is beyond me.

    We as fans have to get off this “touring” concept and get back to when weekly racing worked for all.. do I care the motor has a few less ponies? do I care the tire isn’t the exact same as a tour car? No!!!… there is no glory in touring racing, why continue with it? Let’s have Ben resurrect the Tri Track Series concept or expand on it.. I don’t know, 25 sanctioned shows, 7 different tracks, heats, consis – count points for your best 15 finishes, something like that – all the ingredients seem to be there, just need some creative thought and a willing fan base..

  31. Um, this would be a fourth tour, not a third for those of you who keep saying three. Remember the RoC tour? That is still around too.

  32. Helloooooo!!! Open your eyes. Can you say SK racing? How many of you have been to Stafford Speedway lately, it is the most competitive division around. Ohh yahh heres the kick, these SK Modifieds can run at 3 different tracks Waterford, Thompson and Stafford. How about we support the local weekly divisions.

  33. Should make a Sk tour

  34. All you people who are saying that the founding of the MRS was about “unhappiness”, or anything else to do with the NASCAR tour are just showcasing your ignorance. The ONLY reason for the formation of the MRS was that Claremont had announced they were dropping the Modifieds from their weekly program for ’04. All you WMT snobs need to realize that not everything in modified racing revolves around your tour.

    The MRS was a great thing for quite a while, but seems to have lost its way the last year or two. If Ben is involved with this new series, it could be just what Modified racing needs.

  35. I do Like the idea of a track running weekly tour mods like Riverhead does. Just a thought about Seekonk doing that.The pit area has been extended for some reason and I doubt that money spent was just for weekly racing.60 plus years or so of racing there and still independent track for the most part.any thoughts?

  36. A lot of the problem lies in the race tracks the tour races on.these tracks were built years ago maybe 50 years ago.tour mods are to fast for the way the old tracks are laid out ..
    All tour races are follow the leader except for NH cause of sizs of the track…
    S k mods at stafford put on a good show cause you can pass cars on that track.Get rid of the tour and make it a s k tour for all the tracks, bring the down the cost for all racers and fans..
    the best drivers we already have in the s k s ,so give them more reason to race on an s k tour….
    Pay them a little more and the sk tour will take off big time……..been a fan for over 52 years.

  37. Why would a weekly tour type division work around here? Anybody remember when Thompson tried it a couple years ago? Flop

  38. Ben Dodge involved? The owners behind this movement had better a hire a good comptroller. ‘Nuff said.

  39. Just what we need, another series with a lot of hype, little backing and a bunch of ‘legends’ (aka .. has-beens). MRS needs loosen Jack’s reigns and that series would take off.

    After seeing Jack start up front in a heat race at Waterford and look clueless, while causing a wreck.. that tells me something. Put your ego aside Jack, you can’t race like you used to. It’s kinda sad watching you “race”…

    Let the folks around you take charge and sit back. They will do a good job. You have John Jr and his ego, and Warren who’s a class act. Let them run with it…All you have to do is reap the benefits of their work and you can say “I created this series. Look at what a great series I created..” or whatever sad little story you want to tell. Enjoy buddy.

  40. You got to be kidding me. If you look what has happened to the sport in the last 10 years it has been on a down hill slide to no where. The tracks and people with these big ideas of starting more division are insane.What we have now are 15 four cylinder divisions 7 modified divisions and so on. This has ruined the sport. So instead of 30 cars in a race we are lucky to have 10. Less divisions more cars we will have better racing in return bigger crowds. Bigger crowds means bigger purses. I understand about the rules and calls that are made or not made depending on who is involved. That stuff can be fixed. Let the people do there jobs that they were hired for. If they fail they need to be replaced. Not someone else making calls behind a hired puppet. Bottom line is let’s not do anything that could compromise a race track. The north is very privileged with the amount of race track that we have. Before anyone has another big idea go build your own track and see how that works out for you..

  41. Like it. especially if its team owners who know what they want the division to be. If all modifieds ran the same rules like dirts modifieds you could get 40 – 50 cars to an event.

  42. Shake up the pot.May the best tour win.May create a tire war also.Modifieds need this sh ake up.Too idle for Too long.It just may benefit the teams.

  43. nascar uses the two modified touring divisions to train officials,and fill in time to give the fans some racing between all there top tier divisions practices and qual.The tour is nascars bastard child.They really could care less,as they keep showing.lets move on too a tour that works for the owners,drivers and team members and track owners.make all happy happy.

  44. Shawn, anymore to report on this. It has been a week or so. If this is something that is going to be a reality we as owners will need to know sooner than later. Sponsorship deals rules etc….

  45. Farmer,
    Nothing more at this point. I think if anything is going to happen for the 2015 season we’ll be hearing something within the next month or so.

  46. agree totally.i love racing but hate nascar,figure that one out……

  47. I just would like to see more cars in the field. The one thing the tour got going is not have a team owner owning 8 cars like hendrick. lol. I just want more cars and even playing field if possible. If you can combine the two series, should be something great.

  48. Steady Eddie Fan says

    I wouldn’t want to see a tour for the SK’s the weekly shows at Stafford and Waterford are the best modified racing around so let’s not ruin that by starting a tour for them. As far as a 3rd touring Division goes if they do it the right way for the owners and drivers and for the fans I’m all for it. Time trials suck they are boring and nobody wants to pay to watch them, run heats and consis (for the fans) but you have to be fair to the car owners and drivers with the rules, have them enforce them the SAME with everybody that’s all anybody can ask.

  49. What happened here?

  50. Hey Shawn….any word on this possible series going forward…….or maybe anything for a weekly or bi monthly tour type division at a local track say Seekonk , Waterford or Stafford? The idea that Claremount has sound good but a 3 hr tow is discouraging.

  51. Brian,
    I’m pretty sure the players involved in this idea have put it on the shelf at this point. Nothing new that I’ve heard of.

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