Renewed Energy Behind NorthEast Race Cars Tri-Track Open Modified Series For 2017

(Press Release from Tri-Track Open Modified Series)

Northeast Tri-Track LogoThe Tri-Track Open Modified Series formally announced this week the expansion of its operation. Founding partners Dick Williams and Jim Schaefer have joined forces with Wayne Darling of Seekonk, Ma. and Mark Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. The operational group is already well into plans for the 2017 season with a number of additional announcements expected in the coming weeks.

“The series just got too big for us to handle on our own,” said Schaefer, who joined Williams in creating the series.

As long-time team car owners, Darling and Pennink bring not only a ‘racer’s perspective’ to the series but also much-needed resources to the already successful NorthEast Race Cars Tri-Track Open Modified series.

Back in 2014, the uncertainty of some of Modified racing’s more prolific open (non-sanctioned) events sparked the duo to take action. Williams and Schaefer stepped in with passion and determination to build the NorthEast Race Cars Tri-Track Open Modified Series. Now, some three years later, that same resolve has prompted the two to seek additional help.

“Dick and Jim built this thing from the ground up,” said Darling. “It’s our time now to step up alongside them to build on the solid foundation – to make the series stronger. To turn it into the professional series we know it can be.”

The caliber of the teams that have supported the series since its inception along with the backing of the foundational race tracks will go a long way toward helping the Tri-Track Open Modified Series achieve those goals.

“We really want to do what is right for the competitors,” added Schaefer. “We really think this is it.”

Championship racers have anchored the, on average, 40-car rosters dating back to 2014 with the likes of Doug Coby, Matt Hirschman, John McKennedy, Keith Rocco, Chris Pasteryak, Woody Pitkat and others. Series champions have include McKennedy (‘14) and Hirschman (’15 & ‘16).

The inaugural season of NorthEast Race Cars Tri-Track Open Modified Series saw the races at Lee USA and Star Speedways in Lee and Epping, N.H., respectively as well as Seekonk Speedway in Ma. In 2015, the series traveled back to Lee and Seekonk adding Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. and New London-Waterford Speedbowl; where they held two events. In 2016, the schedule once again included Star, Seekonk and two at Waterford dates. An event scheduled at Monadnock was cancelled due to rain.

While the name of the series is more representative of the point system than the scheduling, the Tri-Track Open Modified Series 2017 event schedule is shaping up to be a great one for both racers and fans alike.


  1. Hopefully this means more dates with Stafford and Thompson figuring into the mix.This could be great for the competitors and fans alike.Good luck and keep us posted please.

  2. This press release doesn’t tell me anything. It’s like a Seinfeld episode.

  3. Art, I think a big reason for the series success is the track selection. The smaller tracks you don’t need a 650HP tour motor to run good. I believe Matt Hirschman won Seekonk one year with an SK motor with bolt on enhancements (somebody correct me if I’m wrong on that). Stafford and Thompson are very horsepower dependent tracks. Might be a good show but I don’t know if you’d see the big car counts.

  4. Crazy in NY says

    JHR, your spot on correct. Matt did indeed win the Seekonk race with an SK. (The Bob Horn #50) over Ryan Preece. For sure the small tracks are the series strength and it’s about handling and strategy
    and not the big steam to out run everybody. Stafford and Thompson isn’t needed to make the series
    grow. I’d like to have Riverhead added and some of the other smaller tracks in Vt and NH. Either way
    Waterford was a great addition to the already fantastic series. Hopefully Wayne and Mark can boost
    it to the next level.

  5. I hear what you guys are saying and I’d love a race at my home track of Riverhead,but Stafford and Thompson are legendary to modified racing.So I would hope to see at least one show at each track.Smaller tracks in VT and NH, maybe Plattsburgh too.It’s all good with me.Love to see nascar get theirs

  6. Unfortunately, they’re putting dirt on Airborne Speedway over the asphalt. Another one bites the dust!

  7. Andy Boright says

    Um Art, Plattsburgh has gone dirt, and the Vermont asphalt tracks are struggling just to stay open.

    Until the last sentence of the release, the fans were never mentioned. I take that to mean promotion of the series will continue to be weak, and the fans in the stands are just an afterthought.

    These guys are so full of themselves it makes me puke.

  8. Andy, sorry to see you so down on these guys. I spoke to Jim Schaefer a few times and he is a very sincere, hard working, modified fan. Those guys did this out of love of the sport! Darling and Pennick will surely bring this series up a notch; they certainly have the capabilities to do so. I’m sure promotion will improve, which will hopefully bring in more fans. Schaefer and Williams built a great series and additional help and input will only make it better. The TriTrack races I’ve been to were the best races of the seasons for me!

  9. Crazy in NY says

    If “these guys” you are referring are Jim and Dick your way over the line with that IMO. These guys have done more and put more hours promoting and arranging purse and sponsorship for the racers
    than anyone can imagine. NASCAR (at the Modified level) and even other series owners couldn’t stand in their shadows for what they have put together in just a few short years. It can only get better going forward. You know what makes me puke? you WMT snobs.

  10. Andy, this isnt a series for the fans, this is a back gate series. Did you see the stands at the waterford events? Empty. But 40+ mods in the paddock

  11. LOL more lunacy. Geez I don’t remember having to buy a TTOM series license and a pit passes
    are a few bucks more than general admission at Stafford or Thompson. The only fans that were
    cheated ( themselves) were the ones that stayed away. Guess if we had the 2,3,4,and 51 it would
    be a legit race effort. Give me a break.

  12. The Waterford Tri-Track race in October looked to be a decent sized crowd with a full parking lot. I think a lot of people were occasionally taking breaks to get warm and some people left after the TriTrack race, probably due to the cold. The Seekonk race had the best crowd in a few years for the Wednesday show. The Star race had a good crowd as well. I think they started practice @ 2:00 and people were there since noon! I sure didn’t see any “empty” grandstands.

  13. Andy Boright says

    Thanks modman for pointing that out. That sounds pretty consistent with the Tri-Track events I have attended.

    That and taking 45 minutes to pat themselves on the back in the middle of the show.

  14. “This isnt a series for the fans, this is a back gate series.”

    Maybe Stafford can help put more butts in the seats. The Friday Night program there is already a decent draw, add the back gate crews and the friends, relatives, and fans drawn by the touring cars, and there might be a great crowd.

    As a season ticket holder, I often thought the $38.50 ticket price for NWMT single night events chased some of the regulars away, and not all were replaced with tour fans. VMRS seemed to do pretty well attendance-wise at a slightly lower ticket price.

    Also speaking as a Stafford season ticket holder, I missed the All-American Series heats on NWMT nights. At least with the VMRS, we were able to enjoy some heat racing. I think the cup-style hot lap qualifying format is boring, many of the NWMT races are too long, and not true to the spirit of modified racing. I wish NASCAR would stop trying to make modified races like cup races. If you really need a “halftime”, cut the race in half and run dual features. Competition cautions and reds are the worst thing to come out of NASCAR in 30 years.

    All in all, I’d love to see non-NASCAR affiliated groups be successful with mods. I’m a short track fan that doesn’t really care about cup racing, enjoying short format, sprint-style racing on short tracks when I watch ovals. I don’t pretend modifieds are high-tech, they’re just tight, exciting racing. If I want high-tech, I have plenty of opportunity to watch IMSA multi-class racing, Indy Car, or WEC.

    Short track asphalt oval racing was born to be roots racing, showcasing a specific set of driving skills and strategy on a bull ring, with a specific car. Let it do what it does best. Look at WoO, and other dirt series… They seem to be doing great, because they’re simply doing what they’ve done well for years.

    Just my view from seats…

  15. Well said.cut tour 2 day events and make the longest race 75 laps and more cars show up due to lower cost to run and time commitment.

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