Matt Vassar To Drive John Hummel Owned SK Modified At Stafford Speedway

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Matt Vassar (Photo: Stafford Speedway/Driscoll MotorSports Photography)

After returning to Stafford Speedway in 2017 with Tony Membrino, Jr. behind the wheel, John Hummel has announced that his familiar blue, neon yellow, and orange #11 Hummel Brothers Hot Dogs machine will be piloted by Matt Vassar for the 2018 season. Membrino recorded three top-10 finishes this season behind the wheel of the #11 machine and now Vassar, who recorded 4 top-5 and 8 top-10 finishes as a rookie driver in Stafford’s Late Model division, will take over the driving duties of the #11.

“I’d like to thank Tony, Jr. and the entire TMR Racing team for all their hard work and efforts this season,” said John Hummel. “I’m looking forward to building on the momentum we enjoyed this past season. I love racing at Stafford on Friday nights and we’ll have Matt Vassar driving the car for the 2018 season.”

“We’ve been working on something for a week or two now,” said Matt Vassar. “John’s ride opened up and although I didn’t think I had a chance at landing it, I was told I should submit my resume because the worst that could have happened was him saying no and look what happened. I have a chance now to do something that I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d have a chance of doing and I’m looking forward to making the best of the situation, having a lot of fun, and hopefully we can go out and win some races.”

Vassar comes into the SK Modifieds® with a vast background racing full fendered Late Model cars but the 2018 season will mark the very first time that Vassar will be behind the wheel of an open wheeled modified car. While he knows he faces a steep learning curve, Vassar is confident that he and the #11 team have what it takes to not be overwhelmed and find success in their first season together. Vassar will be leaning on the experience of Ed Flemke, Jr., who piloted the Hummel car years ago on the Whelen Modified Tour, in order to help accelerate his learning curve.

“It’ll be my first time in a modified but I’m very excited about the opportunity to be able to work with someone like Ed Flemke and to drive for someone as distinguished and well known in the modifieds as John Hummel,” said Vassar. “It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m very excited. I know we’re going to have our work cut out for us because the SK Modifieds® at Stafford is the toughest division in the country. It’s not going to be easy but we’re going to have some fun. It’s going to take a lot of work on our part and I feel like John will give me every opportunity I need to succeed and I don’t see why at the end of the day we can’t achieve some of our goals. It’ll be difficult for sure, but the challenge will be worth the risk. With already having laps on the track I don’t have to worry about learning the track again and there’s plenty of videos online showing how to get around the track in a modified and I think having Eddie in my corner will help get me up to speed pretty quickly. This opportunity is like hitting the lottery for me. I’ve been smiling so hard lately, I swear my smile goes from ear to ear and I’m excited to see what path the 2018 season will take us on.”

While keeping in mind the task that lies ahead of him for the 2018 season, Vassar has set some modest goals for his initial foray into the world of SK Modified® racing at Stafford Speedway.

“Obviously everyone’s goals are to win a race and be a contender for the championship,” said Vassar. “Personally my goals this season will be to have fun, I’d like to win a race, and then third I want to win Rookie of the Year. I think the biggest challenge for me will be to figure out what I need the car to do and then what kind of setup balance the car needs to have me to do the things that I’m asking the car to do. If we can find that, I think we can be pretty successful.”

In addition to his SK Modified® duties this upcoming season, Vassar might also be busy in the Late Model division both as a driver and a car owner.

“I bought Jim Mavlouganes’ car and I’m looking at the possibility of racing the NAPA Spring Sizzler, NAPA Fall Final, and the extra distance race and then stepping back into a car ownership role with my brother coming up to race the car in the other races next year,” said Vassar. “We’ll see what happens with the Late Model.”

For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at


  1. Good Luck to Matt and John,glad the 11 is coming back. So what is Hollywood doing next year?

  2. He is racing

  3. I hope Hollywood can land a ride this year. The kid is a wheelman and can get the job done.

  4. Tony has had success in open wheel cars and had 3 top 10’s in 17 races at Stafford in that 11 car. Obviously not impressive but seems like something to build on. Now this Late Model driver thinks he can jump in and win? Why not give Tony another go at it. The SKs are a Shark Tank and they will be eating hot dogs again this year. My advice to this guy would be to throw away all their set up notes. For as many times that car started up front and even on the pin and fell backwards with Tony in the car, find your magic somewhere else. Glad they are running and good luck, Have fun.

  5. Henry Lecomte says

    I got a young Hungry kid that needs a ride not only is this kid gonna turn heads when We get him up North he will turn the open wheel Divisions upside down More to come

  6. Good look to the new kid, he’s gonna need it!! He’s got HUGE shoes to fill to try to follow up to a 4 time track champ & TWO Championships in 1 year & 17 Wins In 2016!! Do the math from 2016 to 2017, hmmmm .. it’s a no brainer .. WEINER CAR !

  7. No offense Mr Hummel but to look at Matt’s results from a 10 car late model division and think he can drive is unreal. A modified is a whole other deal with WAY more competition and I don’t think you will even get one top 10 with this guy behind the wheel sorry I really don’t. If I knew you were looking for a driver my brother has been racing on family funded for years with many top 5’s and top 10’s in the SK and SK light divisions at all 3 tracks and can get the job done with funding, in this sport it’s about your name and connections and we never really went and seeked out a ride but he can build the entire car in our shop and save money but anyway good luck…

  8. Henry, let’s be real. No driver from the south is going to come in and turn our northern mod drivers upside down. I love watching top southern mod drivers come up and race with our big boys and barely get a top 10. At past races when the 2 mod touring series raced together like at Bristol how many times would we see 6,7,8 northern drivers in a row and the top southern guy gets credited for a win finishing 9th. Bring this guy up if he wants to learn how to race. We don’t care how many races he won at Hickory! Please!

  9. Vassar is no rookie to racing. From the Racedayct article on him 9/14/17.
    “While Vassar is still a newcomer to Stafford, he is no stranger to winning races or championships. Vassar has raced and won at tracks all over the Southeast, ranging from Pensacola, Lanier, Mobile, Gresham Motorsports Park, New Smyrna, and Montgomery with 2 championships to his name while racing at Gresham. Vassar admits that the transition to racing at Stafford has been tough with having to learn a new track and a new style of racing, which was compounded by the team getting a late start to the year.”
    Owners aren’t stupid. They change drivers for reasons. Many not so obvious to we casual fans. Chemistry, money, family ties, connections, personality. The Late Models are always lite as far as the field goes but easily 10 cars strong with long time, hard nose drivers. None the less modfan nailed it on the shark tank analogy and we love every minute of it. Good luck swimming in the “shark tank” Mr. Vassar, you’re going to need it. As for Membrino maybe someone can get him together for a chat with the Skowyra’s who’s plans as of now may be open to discussion.

  10. Amazing how everyone knows how an owner should spend his money and who should be in the car, get a car then spend your money how ever you want

  11. WeldingWonders says

    An opinion whining about people with opinions. when your only opinion is only drivers and owners have the right to an opinion. Earn your keep Elect and weigh in with ideas. Save the preaching for Sunday at church.

  12. Apple, cranberry, sausage, walnut, sourdough, cornbread stuffing/dressing in the over and ready in an hour. Don’t include me Elect, Not currently a driver/owner but think it’s a good move and maybe for Tony M. as well. Eat hearty!

  13. John Atashian says

    Hollywood is a Star, period. We don’t know the dynamics in regards to the change in drivers for 2018. The last name Vassar is no stranger to success in racing. I’m thinking Hollywood will pop up with a wonderful opportunity, he’s a Membrino. Enough said! Go get’em Hollywood, 2018 is your year. Tony, you are an incredible Wheelman! There may be miles between us these days but I am a big fan of yours. Don’t underestimate the heart, desire and talent of a Membrino! Love you guys!

  14. A driver with 3 championships in a mod gets replaced by one with zero laps in one? Something doesn’t add up, but best of luck to Mr. Vassar. As nice as it would be to see Someone like Woody or Solomito or another big-name driver in the 50 SK, I really hope Skowyra considers giving Hollywood a real shot in the shark tank. He cleaned house the last time he was in a good car, that car is one of the best out there… like Cheeze said, do the math!

  15. How is anyone supposed to know who your brother is when there isn’t one driver in any division registered at any of the 3 tracks with the first or last name being modfan, mod, or fan???

  16. Ben & Eileen Dover says

    It’s a entire different world in the SK’s, I’m sure Hollywood will tell you that. If I was a Betting Man I bet Hollywood is back in the Lites next year w/ his buddy T/A winning races, championships and not looking back!!! I’ll take that Bet Racers!

  17. Mike my brother’s name was not important to the discussion because mr Hummel has a driver

  18. Well, who is the betting man: Ben Dover or Eileen Dover? Sweet names by the way, you two live on the same street as Seymour Butts and Mike Honcho? Just curious…

  19. No offense, but if name was not important to the discussion because the seat was filled, what was the point of your post? To take shots at the driver choice and to say ‘don’t say I didn’t tell you so that you should’ve went with so and so’ ??

  20. This is the famous Hummel hot dog family. All this time I never realized it. A pretty impressive sponsor on the surface of it. Wonder why they haven’t fielded a more consistently competitive car. Maybe next year aye.

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