Climbing The Ladder: Jacob Perry Moving To Valenti Modified Racing Series For 2018 Season

Jacob Perry

Jacob Perry has long dreamed of racing a Super Late Model. And the 16-year old from Pawcatuck isn’t giving up on that dream.

And in the meantime, he’ll very gladly accept the reality of what’s being offered to him for the 2018 racing season.

Perry will follow in the footsteps of his father Dennis to a Tour Type Modified and make the jump to the Valenti Modified Racing Series full-time in 2018, driving for the Ashaway Performance Engines team.

“I think it’s absolutely huge,” Perry said. “I have been sitting here nervous even though it’s still only December. It’s going to be a totally different atmosphere. I’m not going to be at the [New London-Waterford] Speedbowl, where I grew up. And I’m not going to be at Thompson [Speedway], where I used to watch my dad. I’m going to all these new places, some of them I’ve never seen before. … I’m excited but I’m nervous. I’m optimistic for what the future brings.”

Perry will make the jump to the Valenti Modified Racing Series after spending two years in the Mini Stock division at the Speedbowl.

He had three wins as a rookie in the Mini Stock division in 2016. Last year he had two wins and nine top-five’s in 14 events and went to the final event of the season five points out of the division lead. He ended up third in the standings for the season in 2017 after getting wrecked in the final event while battling for the win.

“I ran Bandalero’s for five years,” Perry said. “And throughout those five years all I would do is beg for a Legends car ride. Beg beg beg. … But my dad didn’t think they were safe enough so I didn’t end up with a Legend car. We waited out the five years in Bando’s and the whole time I had the Mini Stock sitting in my garage.

“My dad said ‘If you want to race this, you strip it, you rebuild it.’ So he made me do all the work on it. I completely stripped it, I completely rebuilt it and he helped me out on a couple things I couldn’t do. But he made sure I was the one that did it so it was no spoiled rich kid racing going on in our shop. I ended up going out my rookie year and we had a super successful year my rookie year in the Mini Stock and it just kept getting better and better and better as we went.

“I’ve always dreamed of racing Late Model’s, I’ve always loved those cars. Especially Super Late Models – so if anybody is looking for a Super Late Model driver they can just let me know. My dad told me ‘Two wins in your rookie year in a Mini Stock and I’ll buy you a Late Model. Well, I got three wins in my rookie year in the Mini Stock and there was no Late Model sitting in my garage. So he cut me an even better deal and he let me practice the [SK Modified] a few times towards the end of [2016].”

In 2017 Perry ran nine events in a Pro Four Modified and made four starts in the SK Modified division at the Speedbowl, with three top-10 finishes.

“We know it’s going to be a challenge being the youngest one in the division without any Tour Modified experience,” Perry said of the jump to the Valenti Modified Racing Series. “But we are also still confident in our team’s ability and knowledge.”

Norm Perry will serve as the crew chief for the team, which will have support from Northeast Race Cars & Parts, Sunoco Race Fuels, Valenti Family of Dealerships and Bilstein Shocks.

As part of his charitable efforts, in 2017 Perry kicked off his Cancer Warrior Car with his SK Modified starts. That program will carry over to his efforts with the Valenti Modified Racing Series. Perry recently auctioned off the back panel of his Cancer Warrior car from 2017 with the Spicer Mansion of Mystic winning the auction for $550, which was donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Hear more from Jacob Perry about his 2018 plans on the Jan. 2 edition of Unmuffled, the RaceDayCT Podcast



  1. Just Wondering says

    This young man has a bright future, clean cut, marketable, polite, great family. The complete package. And also smart enougb to know he has to earn the respect of the other racers before trying to be the next superstar.

  2. Yet more young talent joining the modified ranks just wondering if he should have tried to run an SK for a full season first. Best of luck

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