Newly Forming “Modified Touring Series” Looking To Put Valenti Modified Racing Series Out

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Editors Note: After publication of this report, Eric LaFleche announced that he has backed out of his involvement with this series.

The flyers floating around the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Sunday boasted of a “New Modified Series Coming To Town”.

But it looks like a group that knows the “town” isn’t quite big enough for another series.

Organizers of the newly forming Modified Touring Series had flyers being distributed at Waterford over the weekend boasting of the new series.

Longtime racer Gary Knight of Charlestown, N.H. is behind the series, along with Eric LaFleche and Patrick Brooks of Victory Lane Radio.

Knight made clear Monday the intention of the series at this point is not to add another alternative, but rather to replace a current choice.

Knight said that the series will only form if the Valenti Modified Racing Series is no longer an option for teams in 2016.

Jack Bateman, founder and owner of the Valenti Modified Racing Series, has made no indications that he plans on folding or selling his series at anytime soon. The Valenti Modified Racing Series recently completed its 12th season.

“We’ve been in negotiations with Jack Bateman to purchase the series and that was unsuccessful,” Knight said. “And we really just felt like we could provide a better product, but we can’t have two series. The intent is not to have to two touring series’. The tracks do not want two series’. Jack has reached out to get his dates. Right now everything is on hold. He’s been advised that he has competition.

“We’ve offered our package to the racetracks. We’re putting our package together for a general meeting with the teams. The teams are the deciding factor. If they choose to go with this series then it gives the tracks to make the decision of what series they want to plug into. We can’t have two series. I will not damage Modified racing. It will hurt the racetracks and hurt the fans and hurt the teams by having two series run the same type of rules.

“The intent is not to have another series. The teams need a choice. The product that they have been dealing with for the last eight years has not been that great. The MRS has had a lot of things working against them due to their own management. I think most everybody in the business understands that.”

The Valenti Modified Racing Series ran five of their 14 events at Connecticut short tracks in 2015. The series ran three times at Stafford Motor Speedway and once time each at Thompson Speedway and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

Mark Arute said he plans to host the Valenti Modified Racing Series three times in 2016 and that nothing is “on hold” in any negotiations with Bateman.

“I just heard some bits and pieces about it,” Arute said of the new series. “… I’ve talked to Jack and tentatively scheduled dates with him. We’re just waiting on some of the NASCAR stuff to finalize things.”

Shawn Monahan, general manger of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, said he has no talks with anyone involved either.

“I’m not entertaining that at all,” Monahan said. “I had a guy walk up to me and shake my hand and tell me that he wants to start a touring division and gave me his business card. That business card is still in my wallet, I have not even gave it an ounce of thought.”

Josh Vanada, general manager of Thompson Speedway, said has had no conversations regarding the new series with any of its organizers.

Attempts to reach Bateman were unsuccessful Monday.

Knight said his group is planning to have a general meeting with teams interested in their series on Nov. 14 or 15. Knight said series organizers already have an agreement in place to have American Racer tires as the official tire supplier of the series.

Knight said the series already has a commitment from former Valenti Modified Racing Series director Peter Frappier to head their tech team along with Goodwin Hannaford.

Knight said his team is ready to offer a product better than what the Valenti Modified Racing Series is offering teams.

“You need to have a purse structure that’s fair and advertised,” Knight said. “When you sign dates with a racetrack the racetrack are looking for a series that’s going to work with them in promoting and marketing the events. You have to have a solid tech team and a solid management team.

“We don’t get involved in running the races. Even being a racer myself, I believe you hire people and put them in place and you don’t change their decisions unless they feel they’ve been proven wrong by the racer.”


  1. You can’t have 2 Modified Series running the same rules. LOL
    That’s the stupidest line I have ever heard. LOL
    The best thing that can ever happen to Modified racing is to have all Modified Tours on one set of rules. That way teams could run whenever or wherever they like. You would see a lot more teams crossing over to all of the Modified Tours, but that would be to good for the race fan.
    These people don’t have a clue.

  2. racer177788 says

    WHY….this touring division bull is getting out of hand. Who are these clowns?

  3. I don’t know about this. The 2016 schedules will be out in a few weeks. Kind of late in the game to start this deal. Amateur hour at its best . Didn’t we hear rumblings of this last year or was that yet another group trying to start a series? I think a better idea would be for Tri-Track and VMRS to align. Incorporate some of the TTS race structure and purse within the VRMS schedule. That said, The WMT is still king and that is where the big boys play and that it what I pay to see.

  4. Ambitious isn’t the right word for this… stupidity is closer to it. Bateman and VMRS aren’t just gonna roll over to the wayside to let this series takeover. Whoever these people are (never heard of them) sound like they can talk about forming this but won’t be able to start it. Flyers and a “town meeting” should’ve been held 6 months ago to have any chance at 2016. Expecting the MRS series to dissolve for them is comical. Degrading to Bateman and his series, actually, no matter how bad it gets over there.

  5. I am no authority on any of this. Just a fan. I agree with Craig. Align the rules packages so that teams can race all series. Wouldn’t that be cost effective for the teams so they don’t need different equipment for each series?

  6. Something fishy here, the press release on 51says this tour does not want to interfere with MRS schedule???

  7. Crazy in NY says

    As a fan of Modifieds I wouldn’t be against an upstart series trying to get Jacks cars. We all know
    the’re is a lot of grumbling about certain aspects of that series and what’s wrong with a little competition?
    This is in no way a threat to the deep pockets Tour so why even be concerned there? If the Knight series
    can match or better Jack’s purse, run on a cheaper tire and keep it honest in the pits/tech more power
    to them. I hope it flys.

  8. Well……As I see it we have 2 types of “tour type” Modifieds. NASCAR and then everyone else. How I see it they really are two different animals. The Whelen cars haven’t proven much on the open series . With that said the Open cars and MRS cars are pretty competitive with each other. Like him or hate him Bateman has put together a nice package for an affordable race car. The politics may suck but that is at every track and every series all the way to the top.
    The tri track series has proven there are plenty of cars still out there willing to race. the big money brings them out but the series doesn’t do that great of a job of putting people in the stands. Say what you want, that its the tracks job to do that or its the promoters job but, the truth is the NASCAR Tour does. Why is that…its called brand recognition and it sells. As a competitor the Whelen tour is out of my price range but the tri track works as does the MRS. What I think should happen is everyone get together and petition NASCAR and make more of a regional points thing and bring the tour type cars back to weekly racing. I know there will be all kinds of “what ifs” or “you can’ts” to this but I see a great fan base and a great car count base out there but no one can get them at the track at the same time. That will take the deep pockets of NASCAR and their willingness for return on investment and opening up of the rules to let the family race team back onto the track. I didn’t race the pre tour era (i.e before 1985) but from what I her it was a great time for modfieds 3 or 4 races a week. Why couldn’t that work again but with a regional points system. The people that want or can spend the money to travel will and will still win the championships but those of us that want to run 10 -15 shows a year close to home can as well and still be competitive.

  9. These Guys have no credibility, they ran tour type mods at Clearmont this year and paid 750 to win. Now they want to pay 2500 to win, ehere is all this purse money coming from? By all accounts the Clearmont division was a joke. I have been teched by Pete beforr and I do believe he is the best I have seen, that is only brightspot for me.

  10. racer17788 says

    Can someone please explain to me the “Nascar is getting so rich off of the WMT teams theory?” It makes zero sense.

  11. OK, so this issue is dead and buried now. We can all move on. We got another whole winter of WMT vs VMRS. Also, this notion that the WMT events are more expensive to get into is false. Thompson aside of course, I’ve forked over $30-$35 for general admission at just about every event, regardless of sanction this year.

  12. 1) The rules are the rules, and I ‘m guessing NASCAR has no interest in being similar to anyone else. 2) The VMRS series has made some great changes with the “twin 50” format at some tracks. I think that was good for the racers, fans, and venues; no 1/2 throttle first half of the race to save tires. Now if they can get their act together with officiating, maybe some of the teams they ticked off this season will return to the series.
    3) The Tri-Track series I think is great as is; a few special big money events with a points fund and different formats. I just hope those guys continue to do it, as three of my top five events this year were tri-track events.
    4) If new guys want to start a series, there’s nothing wrong with more competition. However, if they can’t buy the VMRS, I wish them luck with getting teams to buy American Racer tire inventories. I think they will need to come in with a confirmed full schedule and lots of posted prize money to get team commitments.

  13. knuckles mahoney says

    Nothing to see here, next.

  14. Shawn any more info on this series, It mentioned a meeting for this weekend, is that actually happening? It doesn’t look like MRS is going anywhere so maybe these guys already backed out?

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