Saying Goodbye: Valenti Modified Racing Series Not Returning To Stafford Speedway In 2020

Chase Dowling celebrates victory in the Modified Racing Series Lincoln Tech 80 on Aug. 30 at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

After a decade in competition at Stafford Speedway, the Modified Racing Series will not return to the schedule at the historic venue in 2020. 

Modified Racing Series founder and operator Jack Bateman confirmed to RaceDayCT Thursday morning that the series will not return to Stafford next season. 

The Modified Racing Series has run annually at Stafford since 2010. 

“It’s pretty disappointing without question,” Bateman said. “I thought we’ve done a pretty good job for them, but apparently they don’t see it that way I guess. I am very disappointed.” 

Stafford Speedway president Mark Arute declined to comment on the decision to drop the Modified Racing Series from the Stafford schedule in 2020. 

The series ran its first event at Stafford on Sept. 10, 2010, an event which was won by the late Ted Christopher. The series has run 22 events at Stafford since 2010. 

The series ran one event at Stafford in 2019, which was won by Chase Dowling on Aug. 30. 

Stafford debuted its “Tour Type Modified” Open 80 events with two races in 2018. In 2019 the track hosted three Open 80 events. That number is expected to increase for the 2020 season at the track. Stafford Speedway will release its 2020 schedule on Nov. 13. 

Over the 22-races run by the Modified Racing Series at Stafford since 2010, Tommy Barrett Jr. and Rowan Pennink led all drivers with three victories each. 

Christopher, Keith Rocco, Woody Pitkat, Chris Pasteryak and Jon McKennedy each had two series victories at the track. Dowling, Steve Masse, Ryan Preece, Todd Szegedy, Anthony Nocella and Richard Savary were the other series winners at Stafford over the last decade. 

Bateman said he is hoping to release a tentative 2020 schedule when the series holds its banquet on Nov. 24 at Thompson Speedway. 

“It’s a work in progress right now,” Bateman said. “There’s nothing that I can give right off the top of my head.” 

Bateman said he does expect the series to return to Thompson in 2020. The series ran at Thompson as part of the Icebreaker weekend in 2019 and also held its season finale as part of last month’s Sunoco World Series weekend. 


  1. Is it still the Valenti MRS?
    No surprise that the series in not returning to Stafford in 2020. The Open 80s at Stafford have been good, but I hope the track can upgrade (more $$ = stronger fields?) those events in the future.

  2. Fast Eddie says

    I think we all kind of knew this was coming. The pit stop possibility made for a lot more strategy in play for the racers. I think it made for a more interesting race overall for the fans. Hopefully the field size will continue to grow (a.k.a. bigger payout). Maybe the Arutes can get some companies involved for sponsorship on all four events.

  3. Not sure where the MRS is going to run. Monadnock seems to be gravitating to Tri track. Stafford is going with their home grown opens. Claremont dropped the last scheduled MRS show and is now promoted by the owner of the Granite State Pro Stock series. Waterford is a big question mark and seemed to be going with the American Mod series before they shut down. The only tracks from last season left are Lee, Thompson, NHMS and Beachridge. Beachridge I remember had a pretty bad car count. I am guessing maybe 3 Lee, 2 at Thompson, 1 at NHMS and 1 at Monadnock. Might be able to get back into Speed 51 perhaps white mtn or thunderroad if they give up on that bullring bash series which folded after 1 event. It is kind of sad. I have seen a bunch of good True Value/Valenti MRS series races over the years. The problem is most of the good races I have seen were several years ago and the more recent years havent been as good.. I am really curious to see what they come up with.

  4. No surprise here. The MRS is not a true series, more of a loosely organized open tour. Lots of cars run the MRS, just a couple run the whole schedule. Run the whole schedule and you have a good shot at winning the championship. The championship is meaningless. Stafford put their “toe in the water” with the open events and did rather well. Stafford could probably run a couple more open shows in ’20 and be successful. Good for them. Make the events stand alone, all out events. No ties to other races, no championships, just all out races.

  5. Kind of makes you wonder ….

    Lots of SK / SKL teams out there. Solid fields with Tour Type and built motors. Could we be looking at a resurgence of weekly Tour Type mods at Stafford in the future?

  6. Indeed most did think it was coming. The three Open races for different reasons on each occasion had energy. The VMRS race was kind of flat and the lack of pit stops didn’t help.
    It was a good tradition and it’s always sad to see a long standing relationship die but things change and in my view this is a good thing.
    More money is always good. However Stafford also has to feed the track divisions as well. They are not and will never be the TTOMS nor do I think they want to be. The Stafford Opens are their own category. It’s a balancing act to put the money where it will do the most good.

  7. Dropping the MRS in favor of more open 80 shows is ok in my book. The MRS races we’re boring, where as the mandatory pit stop made the open 80 exciting. Now if they can get more sponsors to up the purse. Dirt racing has allot of high dollar shows, but doesn’t seem to catch on with asphalt racing. Maybe Stafford can change that. Imagine the car count at a $20,000 to win show.

  8. Stuart Fearn says

    Make the last one of the year $20k to win, hell even $10k to win and that will boost the field and excitement level into orbit! It is always a big risk doing that because questionable weather could put a damper on the crowd and make it a losing proposition too.

  9. No big deal in my book. MRS is all done. Stafford isn’t interested in a big dollar marquee event. Just monthly tour type races they can make a little extra dough on at the backgate. It’s never going to be what many of you want it to be.

    Can we officially bury the term “OPEN” event? This is a division that runs monthly at Stafford. Same with Tri Track. Open events don’t have points. They don’t have point funds. Even the Seekonk Open has become just another point race for Tri Track. It doesn’t have the draw it use too. A vast majority of all the modifieds out there only run partial schedules. Doesn’t that make every event under every sanction flag an open?

  10. I think the issue with the MRS may be its leadership and their ability to think out of the box and embrace change. I guess my thought is it is Jacks series and you either play along or move along, maybe I am wrong? I guess I would ask how many years has the MRS been in existence and what has really changed? Like I said in a previous thread I really think the MRS will die a natural death unless something drastically changes from top to bottom soon. IMO………

  11. The Stafford Open is really not an open anyway so absolutely yes, bury the term open for Stafford. I believe the TTOMS are open events though and that is based on what I see comparing the rules package for both especially in the engine area.

  12. Below is directly from the TTOMS registration form;

    Tri Track Mod Series Registration Form

    Pre Registration makes you eligible for the point fund, bonus money, and the owner bonus (car owners free pit pass at each race). Entries must be in by April 1.

    They definitely have a point fund along with other incentives.

  13. Opens are are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. We bit into one last year and got a Preece. Ummm, yummy.

  14. Stafford is doing a cool thing with the open 80’s and the purse may be the same or less that what they paid out to VMRS/MRS. MRS (Without Valenti) may lose a couple of tracks but can branch out to find other tracks previously not run on by MRS. MRS needs a solid promotional team working to open new venues. Tri Track/TTOMS has done some good things and we’ll have to see how things go in 2020. The Racing Guys (Former Tri Track?TTOMS Founders) are going off in the direction of honoring the stars of yesterday and today and they have a lot of history to share going forward. I don’t know anything about the American Modified Series and haven’t seen any advertising done to show they’d be at any tracks in New England. 2020 should be interesting. Dad and I will continue to support The Racing Guys as we know their hearts are in the right place.

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