Hooked: Dave Sapienza Ready To Make Tri-Track Open Modified Series A Regular Stop





Dave Sapienza (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

It looks like Dave Sapienza has a found a second home to satisfy his desire for Modified racing competition. 

When Sapienza, a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular, saw the Tri-Track Open Modified Series would host an event at Monadnock Speedway on July 5, the day after he was scheduled to run at White Mountain Motorsports Park, he jumped at the opportunity to get in the show. 

Before the weekend Sapienza said it just made sense to go to the Tri-Track event. Monadnock Speedway, in Winchester, N.H., was an easy diversion for the team on the way back to their home base of Long Island after competing in North Woodstock, N.H. at White Mountain. 

Sapienza went on to finish 11th in his Tri-Track Open Modified Series debut at Monadnock Speedway on July 5. 

Saturday Sapienza will return to action with the series to run in the SBM 121 at Star Speedway in Epping, N.H. 

Sapienza said as of now his intention is to run the remainder of the Tri-Track Open Modified Series schedule in 2020. 

With the 2020 Whelen Modified Tour schedule seemingly grower thinner by the week, Sapienza sees the Tri-Track Open Modified Series as the perfect alternative to maximizing his investment in his team. 

“If I have to dedicate one of my Tour cars for the Tri-Track I’m going to do that,” Sapienza said. “If I have to I’ll go out and buy a new motor to be more competitive I’m going to do it. It’s a no brainer. 

“I’ve got a lot of money invested. I’ve got four Tour Modifieds and a $250,000 hauler. All engines, rear, spares. I’ve probably got three-quarters of a million dollars worth of [stuff]. Do I want to sit at home? Nope.” 

The 2020 Whelen Modified Tour schedule has been decimated because of restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

Thus far, six of 17 events on the original Whelen Modified Tour event have been cancelled. Events have been cancelled at Thompson Speedway (April 5), Stafford Speedway (April 26 and Aug. 7), Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (May 8), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 18) and Iowa Speedway (July 31).

The series has run two events so far at Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway (June 21) and White Mountain (July 4). Both events were run with purses significantly lower than teams normally run for. Sapienza said the next event at White Mountain on Aug. 1 will see a purse even lower than the first time the series visited earlier this month. 

Sapienza said he’s expressed his disappointment recently to Whelen Modified Tour series director Jimmy Wilson 

“The entry blank for the next event at White Mountain is $10,000 short from the last one,” Sapienza said. “And nobody can get an answer why. … And everybody seems to be a little afraid of [NASCAR] to speak out. They worry about repercussions. I’m not worried about repercussions from NASCAR for speaking my mind.

“I told [Wilson] I’m not really happy with the way this season is going. … I told him ‘You’ve always had my cooperation, everybody else’s cooperation. We’re all standing behind you. We’re showing up with the 33-35 cars at your Tour. And this is how you repay us? We’ve all stuck with you now. And it’s not showing in the results in what we’re getting paid.”

Whelen Modified Tour events at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway and Wall Stadium in Wall, N.J. have been postponed but not rescheduled as of yet. The Whelen Modified Tour currently has 10 more events with dates sets, though a number of those event are likely very questionable to be run. 

“[Wilson] told me we’re going to get 12-14 races in this year,” Sapienza said. “I said ‘So you’re saying we’ll probably be racing until Christmas Eve?’” 

The Tri-Track Open Modified Series has four events remaining this year including the Star event Saturday. Sapienza will be making his first trip to the quarter-mile Star Speedway on Saturday. 

“I’ve heard it’s a pretty nice place and that I would like it,” Sapienza said. “I just don’t have a motor for it other than my spec engine. I still think we have plenty of power in those motors. 

“I had never been Jennerstown and I had never been to White Mountain, and you see how good I’m doing when we go to these unchartered tracks. I’ve been up there running with the big heads, but the finishes don’t really show it.” 

Comments

  1. Journalists must love Sap. He’s up there with TC with the quick wit. Sap and TC would have been something else together.

    Eric Goodale is making his first Star appearance. Any chance he is available for an interview? I’m guessing no. LOL!

  2. Racers want to race. They also want to get paid. Tri track is the perfect series, need a few more shows though. Stafford should run their own open modified shows, offer 5-6K to win, and tell WMT no more shows. Pay them, and they will come.

  3. These guys need at least 10k to win! When r these guys going to wake up, band together and look for another association to run for. Nascar has proved throughout the years that they don’t care about the tour or home track racing. I watch The World of Outlaws, and see them get 40k to win a 35 lap race. Dave, get something started.

  4. When the tracks saw that the tour would travel all the way to Myrtle Beach for peanuts that did them all in. Now the tracks will only pay that or LESS. These tracks are in the drivers seat now and don’t care the Tour will have no banquet and pay the champion enough money for a set of tires good luck.

  5. Knuckles hit it on the head. Racers want to race, and they want to get paid. The purse structure Tri Track has is great, and it’s starting to show as more WMT regulars make starts in the series. Dave fields top line equipment, and should be a welcome addition to an already stout field. It will be interesting to see what happens when WMT and Tri Track conflict. Which series will the racers choose?

  6. Patrick Tetreault Jr says

    How dumb would any driver have to be to choose WMT over Tri-Track seriously the racing on the Tri-Track series is great! My home track is Monadnock and the WMT is suppose to be the great tour why then do I have zero interest in watching a 3 man show sorry Doug you are a great Champion and I hate to lump you in with the other two one is a clowny/clutz and the other is a bonehead/bull!

  7. Fast Eddie says

    This guy has been one of my favorites on the WMT since finding out how he got to use #36. I thought it was pretty classy of him to ask Ed Whelen if he could use it because TC was his favorite driver. Then he had Bobby Santos subbing for him when he was recovering from the Wall Speedway crash which made me like him even more! Normally I look at WMT teams as invaders in a TriTrack race, but it sounds like he wants to become a TriTrack regular. WELCOME, C’MON IN!! I think he will definitely add to the overall quality of competition.

  8. wmass01013 says

    ok PATRICK and a 3 man show? so how many TRI track drivers win on a regular basis hmmmmmmmmmmmmm lets see MATT HIRSCHMAN 11 RON SILK 3 CHASE DOWLING 2A HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM ok

  9. 90% of the WMT teams will race for nothing these days. If you are outside the top 5 you can’t pay for the gas for the car, hauler and entry fee.with your winnings. Look at the message the weekly racers at thompson sent – they said “sure we will race for nothing ” and they don’t have half a million like these tour guys.

  10. -The Sapienze Enterprises 36 was at Franklin County Speedway Saturday night driven by Burt Meyers to a 4th and 6th finish.
    -How about a mention for Judy Thilberg of Sapienza Enterprises
    -Shop refurb? Looks good.
    -Speaking of TC great picture of Dave, TC and Ryan Newman together killing time between races on Judy Thilberg’s Facebook page.
    -Investment? OK but if you’re spending 10’s of thousands for a series appropriate motor to win thousands I’d call it entertainment. Maybe a brainer as opposed to a no brainer. If you get it hope to see you at Stafford.
    -No doubt the NWMT looks like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight in the wake of the pandemic. If you want to kick them while they’re down this would be the time. In the future they will have a full season while as good as the TTOMS is they are a nice limited series. Rumors of the NWMT’s demise may be premature.

  11. Dave Sapienza makes Great business decisions !!! So many drivers have followed the tour for so many yrs without the respect deserved!!! Making the decision to run Tri Track is good with the lack of payout on WMT and with chances of more cancellations it only makes sense. Look for Dave and his awesome crew to get a win this season. He’s that dam good!!!

  12. Personally I think it’s a mistake Speed51.. The $25 PPV for Monadnock was first rate, now you call an audible and require a membership in which case the race is included but maybe not for the next one.

  13. WMASS nailed it. TT put a bounty on MH after he won what, 5 in a row?? That was the race Preece went to the back as part of the bounty. Don’t do that this week Ryan. Try again Patrick.

    36 cars raced for peanuts last week at Stafford but people what to jump all over Nascar??

  14. Fast Eddie says

    JD, the race Preece went to the back was an SBM event at Star. There was extra $1000 if you could win from the back for the front row. Preece and Hirschman were eligible; Preece took a shot at the extra $$ while Hirschman opted to stay up front and lock up the championship worth $5K. The bounty was at the Haunted Hundred, an extra $1000 to the winner. I think that was the infamous “provisional” that Hirschman used instead of racing into the field through a heat or consi.

  15. wmass01013 says

    SOOOO the GREAT TRI TRACK is paying 6 k to win and 40 k Purse
    Stafford open 80 was 24 k purse $3500 TO WIN PLUS PPV $$$
    and the lousy NO GOOD TAKE ADVANTAGE of TEAMS NASCAR who does NOTHING FOR MODIFIEDS BUT USE and treat them like dirt is $56,I79!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. WMASS, these people don’t like facts. That’s $56k during a pandemic too. It’s usually much higher at most events.

    Go ask the 51 want the point fund haul was last year people. Another fact that is always overlooked.

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