Numbers Game: No Need For Name Change For Tri-Track Open Modified Series

The Tri-Track Open Modified Series was started as a trio of “Tour Type” Modified open events to be held in 2014 at three separate short track racing venues. 

In 2015 the series expanded from three events at three tracks to five events at four different venues. Want to know more about the series history of the Tri-Track Open Modified Series? Google it. 

Wait, what’s a Google? 

Seriously though, if you have the access capacity to be reading these words on this website there’s probably about a 99.9 percent chance you know exactly what Google is. 

The word Google actually has no meaning. It’s a brand name that was created somewhat mistakenly in 1997 when developers of a new internet search engine accidentally misspelled the word googol, which defined is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. 

Today that meaningless word that had nothing to do with the marketing of the internet search service it was attached to is one of the most recognizable words in the world. 

Sometimes a brand name doesn’t make sense. Chances are when someone mentions Amazon you think first of the world’s largest online retailer even though that company has nothing to do with a river or rainforest in South America. Doesn’t make sense, but it works. 

Which brings us back to the Tri-Track Open Modified Series. 

In today’s social media world where there’s always someone ready to throw an opinion out when any topic is raised, the name Tri-Track Open Modified Series seems to create a regular argument among Modified racing faithful. 

In 2020 the Tri-Track Open Modified Series will hold events at four different venues as part of a six-event schedule.

It seems without fail when the Tri-Track Open Modified Series is mentioned somewhere there’s typically one or two people who ask when series management will change the division’s name. Since 2015 the series has competed each season at more than three tracks, so why is it still called “Tri-Track”?

And here’s why they shouldn’t change the name even if the words that make up the name don’t quite make sense. 

The recognition equity that exists with the current brand name in use is more valuable than any positives that could be created going forward with a rebranding of the product. 

On a recent Facebook post six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby argued for a name change for the series and used the company Dunkin’ to bolster his argument that sometimes a name change is needed. 

In 2018 Dunkin’ Donuts became simply Dunkin’. Company executives cited a greater emphasis of focus on products being sold by the company beyond donuts. 

Here’s where comparing Dunkin’ Donuts to the Tri-Track Open Modified Series doesn’t work. If you made a name change to the Tri-Track Open Modified Series to remove the term “Tri-Track” from its name, you’d have to fully rebrand the product. That’s not something Dunkin’ had to do.

Dunkin’ didn’t change their name in the sense that they rebranded themselves with an entirely new identity. They modified their brand name to better fit the identity that the general public had already essentially changed for them. We all know that even before Dunkin’ changed their name most people already referred to them in conversation simply as Dunkin’. All they did was officially modify their name to fit how the general public already saw their brand identity. 

That’s not an option the Tri-Track Open Modified Series has. You’re not going to just name it Open Modified Series because that name would be entirely too generic for the marketplace. And you’re not going to rename it each year based on how many track’s the series will go to. And you’re not going to rename it the Multi-Track Open Modified Series because that just sounds ridiculous.

So you have the option of staying with a name that has bushels of brand equity or changing to a name that is entirely different from the branding you’ve cultivated and established over six years. 

No matter what anybody thinks about the name, the owner of any brand must consider how their customer base will be served by a name change. In the instance of the Tri-Track Open Modified Series you’re talking about a customer base already inundated by a confusing alphabet soup of divisions that feature “Tour Type” Modified racing. 

In the past five years or so the “Tour Type” Modified racing landscape has included the Whelen Modified Modified Tour, the Whelen Southern Modified Tour, the Valenti Modified Racing Series, the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, the Race of Champions series, the Modified Touring Series, the Southern Modified Racing Series and even the American Modified Tour. Forgive us if we’ve failed to mention any new division’s that have been dreamt up in the last couple weeks. And let’s no forget there are also “Open Shows”.

So surrounding all those names and descriptive phrases you have a Modified fan base that gets confused at times by what is what anymore, and with good reason. It’s hard to keep up with all of them whether they’re operating, out of business or even just someone’s envisioned hope.

Recently Modified Racing Series founder and operator Jack Bateman announced that his series would no longer carry title sponsorship by the auto dealership group Valenti. The series had a 10-year relationship with the company in which time it was branded the Valenti Modified Racing Series. In most circles of Modified racing the series became known simply as “the Valenti Series”. 

Last month a story was published on this website about the Modified Racing Series not being on the schedule at Stafford Motor Speedway in 2020. The headline read: “Saying Goodbye: Modified Racing Series Not Returning To Stafford Speedway In 2020” 

Apparently the use of the term “Modified Racing Series” in the headline created mass confusion among readers. Stafford Speedway management was forced to deal with the calls and messages of confused racing fans asking them why the track would no longer be hosting any Modified racing divisions at their facility. 

One word changed everything. One word created confusion among the customer base. Take away Valenti from the series name and many didn’t know what the “Modified Racing Series” actually was. Understand, this is a series that just completed its 16th year in operation and has always been called the Modified Racing Series, but yet, drop one word and people were left baffled. 

And why? Because among the alphabet soup of Modified divisions there is a value equity in the consistency of the name. Change one thing and you create bewilderment. 

So yes, the name Tri-Track Modified Open Modified Series doesn’t make that much sense and literally hasn’t made much sense since the division’s second second season in 2015, but the value of familiarity to what that name represents outweighs what the series would get from changing the name to something entirely new and just creating puzzlement in an already wildly baffling Modified racing marketplace.

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  1. Shawn, excellent article.

    There is brand equity, and Tri-Track has earned respect and brand equity. It is a moniker with value. We will see how well the brand survives without Schaeffer and Williams. As of today, Tri-Track means good purses.

    Another example is Federal Express. Remember them? Well, that’s FedEx. Is FedEx the Federal Government? Where is all the concern?

    If there are people that are hung up over the fact that Tri-Track runs at some number other than three tracks, too bad. Plenty of companies have evolved away from their original names and very few even realize it.

    The way I look at it, Tri-Track runs at three tracks, and then some extras. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣


  2. Fast Eddie says

    This is kind of like the Boston Garden or Great Woods for me. There have been a few different names for each venue since their original names, most of which I don’t really know, because I always refer to them by their original names. Old habits die hard I guess. To me this will always be the TriTrack Modified Series, so I hope it stays that way!

  3. Perhaps referring to the MRS as “Bateman’s Modified Racing Series” would ease potential confusion.

  4. Ken Latham says

    Spot on Shawn

  5. I still call the Xfinity Series the Busch series. I’ll probably call the MRS series the Valenti series for many years to come and would probably continue to call the Tri-track series the Tri-track series no matter what they would name it.. Whatever it’s called just make good racing and I’ll be there!

  6. wmass01013 says

    i STILL call them WINSTON CUP, Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck series but anyway, Tri Track is fine with 4 tracks, now if they expanded to 8-10 races with 5 or 6 tracks maybe not so much, I think 6 races is perfect for them.

  7. Great points Shawn!

    Other examples can be found in college sports. The Big 10 doesn’t have 10 schools, the Big 12 doesn’t have 12, and the Atlantic 10 doesn’t have 10. Sure, it seemed a little weird at first but most people don’t even think about it anymore.

  8. The origins of Google. Doug Coby Dunkin it but actually muffing it not getting the fact that the business model changed for the fast food chain.
    Unsaid the shift in series management complete but the fan base perhaps not so eager to see any more changes.
    What a terrific well developed opinion peace. Made a point and learned something in the process.
    It’s the logo. How do you obsolete that wonderful logo.

  9. Crazy in NY says

    Since 2014 I’ve missed 2..Tri Track races and in that time on the pit side I’ve never heard even once someone complain about the name. I’d wager it comes from the professional complainers on Fb and any other of a host of other sites. Google isn’t real either is Jello and Coke doesn’t contain the original recipe but who gives a damn? TTOM is a rose by any other name. Long live the WayneEd Open Modified Series..

  10. From the original article: “On a recent Facebook post six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby argued for a name change for the series and used the company Dunkin’ to bolster his argument that sometimes a name change is needed. ”

    Tri-Track is an extremely successful, young series. It is well known and respected. Great car counts. It raises the purses and pays the purses. And somebody says a name change is needed?????

    Tri-Track Tri-Track Tri-Track Tri-Track Tri-Track Tri-Track Tri-Track Tri-Track Tri-Track Tri-Track


  11. I would have to ask; in how many TTOMS events since 2014 has Doug Coby competed? How has he supported this series? I believe the answer to that question would make up my mind on what qualifies him or not to argue for a name change for such a successful series. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…………

  12. Earl, I have been to most of the TriTrack races and only remember Coby being at one Open Wheel Wednesday event in a Modified. The #2 team was using it as a test session for the first WMT race back on the schedule. He’s been at a few of the other events, but he was driving a Midget for the Bertrands.

  13. That was a $10,000 test session to the good. $$$$. Coby is waiting for the competition to get better before he returns. Lapping the field apparently isn’t a lot of fun even if it pays well. LOL.

  14. I call the Cup series boring.

    I call the xfinity series (or its current name/sponsor) the farm system or the laboratory. Kinda like the AHL, AAA baseball, Cape Cod League, etc. However, these cars are much better looking.

    I call the truck series the the land of the misfits. You know, like the land of those exiled and misfit toys in the Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer cartoon.

  15. Earl,
    Here is the Coby history with the Tri-Track Series. (6 races)
    2014 Seekonk 13th
    2015 Lee 20th
    2015 Monadnock 9th
    2015 Seekonk 26th
    2015 Waterford 23rd
    2016 Seekonk 1st

  16. Thanks for the great info Fast and N.H.

    JD, when did Coby lap the field?

  17. JD might be referring to the 2016 race he won. I think there were only 5 or 6 cars on the lead lap at the finish.

  18. Change it.

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