Modifying Plans: Chris Pasteryak To Focus On Tri-Track Open Mods, Stafford/Thompson In 2021

Chris Pasteryak (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

The 2021 schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will see the series heading further away from being a Southern New England based division.

A series that has for many years seen nearly half of its events typically in Southern New England will have as many events in upstate New York in 2021 as there are in Connecticut. 

With an ever-growing slate of Tour Type Modified options away from the Whelen Modified Tour, series veteran Chris Pasteryak of Lisbon has decided it’s time for a change. 

Pasteryak, who has run full-time with the Whelen Modified Tour for the last three years, will step away from the series in 2021. 

Pasteryak will instead focus his efforts on running full-time with the Tri-Track Open Modified Series along with taking part in the Tour Type Modified Open events at Stafford Speedway and Thompson Speedway. 

The Tri-Track Open Modified Series will run a six-event schedule in 2021. Stafford Speedway has four Open Modified 80 events scheduled for 2021. Thompson Speedway, under the direction of operators Cris Michaud and Tom Mayberry, will have six Tour Type Open Modified events in 2021, including the return of the Thompson 300. 

“Going to run the Thompson Open races, going to run the Stafford Open races and the Tri-Track [Open Modified Series]. That’s the plans for next year,” Pasteryak said. “If I learned anything from last year it’s that these things can change at any moment these days. But that’s what I’m planning for. Kind of staying closer to home and doing shows that we can kind of come back and sleep in our own bed at night.” 

The 14-race 2021 Whelen Modified Tour schedule features three events in upstate New York, two events in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. Three events at Stafford are the only scheduled Whelen Modified Tour events in Southern New England this year.

It’s a big change for a series that in recent years typically featured seven events in Connecticut and one in Massachusetts. 

“With business and everything else, being away from home that much is not easy,” Pasteryak said. “If I had a regional sponsor … I’d probably look at that schedule and that would be good for them. If I was from New York State or Pennsylvania or New Jersey – which there are a lot of teams like that – it would be the best schedule in years because they have way more races closer to home. I’m in an interesting position. I don’t think that the Whelen Modified Tour schedule is necessarily bad. I think it’s going more in a regional direction, which is kind of what it used to be. It’s not a bad schedule, but for us, the local races this year are more appealing.” 

The 40-year old Pasteryak will have a focus on chasing the championship on the Tri-Track Open Modified Series for 2021. He said he likes the direction he sees the series headed. 

“The races that they go to kind of take the motors out of the equation,” Pasteryak said. “That’s good. And if they want to make that series bigger they have the pieces there to do it with. They have the tech staff, they have the equipment, they kind of have the infrastructure there to do it. … And [Tri-Track managing partners Wayne Darling and Ed Bennett] didn’t cut the purses last year. That’s a really big deal to me. They did what they said they were going to do.

“With six races for next year, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that number. There’s enough other races to pick from now. … If they were going to run eight races I’d make plans to go to all eight. But there are a lot of guys that when you start to get up around double digits and they’re getting closer to other races then they start picking and choosing. I think six will get a lot of people focused on doing all of them. And who knows what could happen next year with COVID if things have to get moved around again. Having just six races really does give them some leeway to make moves if they need to.”

The return of the Thompson 300 as part of the Sunoco World Series weekend at Thompson Speedway in 2021 has Pasteryak excited on putting an emphasis on winning that event. 

“It’s great what they’re doing at Thompson,” Pasteryak said. “I love the fact that the 300 is back at the end of the year. I kind of feel like the more races I can run on that tire and under that rules package during the season, the better prepared I’ll be for the Thompson 300.”

Pasteryak has made 69 starts over eight seasons of competition with the Whelen Modified Tour. He had one top-five and three top-10’s in nine events in 2020. He said he’s not closing the door entirely on the series. 

“I like the way that they do things,” Pasteryak said of the Whelen Modified Tour. “They do a good job running those shows. They pay good, I’m not knocking any of that. … I’ll get my license and go through the drug testing and all the driver physical stuff. Then we’ll just kind of sort of go from there. I think things will change a bunch with everything as the year goes on. Nobody knows what’s really going to happen.” 


  1. Smart point of view from a classy racer. Good luck Chris!

  2. Good Luck in 2021 Chris

  3. Good luck in 2021 chris. I know you’ll be a welcome addition wherever you run

  4. Chris Pasteryak said, “I think things will change a bunch with everything as the year goes on. Nobody knows what’s really going to happen.”


    Chris Pasteryak clearly did not consult with 🌈JD🌈.

    Hey 🌈JD🌈, you see this?

  5. Fast Eddie says

    I think the Pasteryak team is just the first to decide this, with more teams to be joining them. Less $$ and time off work for travel, easier on mostly volunteer crewmembers, and good purse $$ may make sense to more than a few teams to not chase the WMT. No NASCAR, no problem! Plenty of good tour-type Modified events to see, and moves like this will only improve them! Glad to be hopefully able to see more of the #75 team this year!

  6. Seems to be a solid financial decision based on what is on the horizon for 2021. Best of luck Chris to you and team 75. Solid racing family that has been around for a long time.

  7. That was my impression as well LJ. He said nothing bad about anything just what was right for him.
    What’s his motor situation? He’s a spec guy isn’t he? No specs at Stafford. Are specs a dying breed?
    Further movement away from the NWMT you think? Then there’s the contingent like Coby that make it their absolute priority. Is this a story about one team or something bigger. The NWMT should be fine. A shorter schedule with more glam may see teams we don’t know of yet gravitate in.
    Sidebar…LFR. So what do all the shifting priorities mean to a previously NWMT focused LFR? Absolutely nothing judging from the Rochester facility shop tour showing the recent upgrades. TFR has all of modified racing covered from Sportsman modifieds to SK’s to tour modifieds and the NWMT. Plus Late Models.

  8. Shawn this would indicate Stafford allowing Wmt Spec Motors for Open 80 Competition, ‘but according to the Rulebook that was published last week the Spec was not allowed?

  9. Rich,
    No change to that rule.

  10. Thanks Shawn,

    Something is brewing for sure he wont be the only one with this mindset , but seems odd since these guys all have LFR/FURY Cars that were all built to take advantage of the SPEC Motor, and WMT Teams are heavily invested into SPEC Motors (2 per car avg) now have to change motors just to run Stafford is silly when Tri Track, Thompson, MRS are already Spec Friendly. That’s why I was curious if Stafford was updating that rule, because if they did it would definitely open the Doors to more of these type of decision’s.

  11. Look, you either have the money to run the NWMT, or you don’t. If you want to compete at the highest level, you pay the ante. It’s that damn simple.

    If the additional travel costs too much, you can’t afford to run the NWMT. Period. End. Stop.

    There’s more travel with this NWMT schedule, and that indeed might winnow out some other teams that are marginally funded. Look at Stuart/Silk last season, they realized they had no chance at a championship, so they did not run a long haul event, not worth it, just being practical.

  12. When Nascar released their schedule I figured some teams might decide to stick to a more regional schedule instead of chasing Nascar points all over the place. A few comments stuck out. 1 He stated he was really impressed that Tri track stuck with the original purse last year. Could we read into this that Nascar did reduce purses when they were trying to schedule races during the pandemic which didnt sit well with some of the Nascar teams. He was smart to not say anything bad about Nascar. He is definitely leaving the door open to running some races with them next year and in the future. 2. Travel sound like the biggest factor in his teams decision. I would not be surprised if more teams come to the same conclusion and expect other teams to make a similar decision. With the explosion of Open mod events you can put together a pretty full season racing in the region hitting tour events and opens. 3 Nobody knows what will happen. It makes sense to keep your options open as this statement is probably just as accurate for 2021 as it was last summer. From these comments I infer Tri track, already a fan favorite, regional schedule seems to be gaining favor with racers. I expect at the end of 2021 tri track will average more cars in 2021 than the Nascar tour. I am not sure that happened the last couple of years. Someone correct me if I am wrong. Interesting read. thanks.


    Not true. I’ve known. I am right again. And a few others know what will happen. We already lived through a year of chaos, and as long as the coronavirus COVID-19 numbers are rising, we can expect more of the same, and worse. C’mon, rub those two brain cells together, get them working.

    Again, sadly, that is not true. We know idiots will not wear masks. We know that the Trumpsters are definitely not going to wear masks in protest to their idiot leader losing the election. They are doing it right now. You know I’m right. Our very own forum jester idiot 🌈JD🌈 proves that every time.

    It just goes to show that the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is in control. As long as we do not behave, the coronavirus COVID-19 virus 🦠 is in control. Here’s the thing that demonstrates profound stupidity and idiocy… the Trumpsters, Qs, conspiracy idiots, et al., refuse to wear a mask, and other safety practices, because they think it’s all nothing more than a part of about being controlled by the authority. Nobody tells these idiots what to do, no way, no how. Wearing a mask to these idiots is about controlling them and they refuse to be controlled. Okay, fine. But the result is that the coronavirus COVID-19 is controlling them with all the shutdowns and restrictions to prevent people from getting sick and dying, the ultimate control. And these idiots are too damn stupid to realize this.

    Oh, let’s not forget that Trump claims that the coronavirus COVID-19 was created to make him look bad. All of you that agree, please post your affirmation.

    coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus COVID-19

    You idiots still do not acknowledge the existence of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, and try to make like it doesn’t exist. Idiots you are, one and all.

    As long as immature, childish, petulant idiot morons refuse to wear a mask, social distance and practice responsible social behavior, your precious racing is at risk. You are putting racing at risk. Even with the vaccine, it will take about another year before we can even think about relaxing mask 😷 and social distancing practices.

  14. WeldingWonders says

    “Well, I hate to say it again, but I WAS RIGHT!!!!! I’M RIGHT AGAIN!!!!!”
    “I’ve known. I am right again”

    STARRING: DAREAL (Idiots you are, one and all ) GOODFELLA


    1. We know idiots
    2. their idiot leader losing the election
    3. Our very own forum jester idiot
    4. profound stupidity and idiocy
    5. Qs, conspiracy idiots
    6. Nobody tells these idiots
    7. Wearing a mask to these idiots
    8. And these idiots are too damn stupid
    9. You idiots still do not acknowledge
    10. . Idiots you are, one and all.
    11. petulant idiot morons


  15. Doug, when you trolled Rob p. and the loss of his dad, you set the bar to the lowest it could be. You are the benchmark, the absolute lowest.

    And you, and all your other screen names, are an idiot.

  16. I wonder if Chris will drive a different car at Stafford? When the entry list is posted we will see. I don’t believe he mentioned which car in their stable he will drive at what race. Unless I missed something.

  17. just Me - The Original says

    Chris has two LFR cars, 2 spec motors and one 18 degree motor. I would think that one car would have a spec and the other the 18 degree. Additionally both Carl & Charlie each have their own Troyer car if needed. They have plenty of options.

  18. I just think something is going on with the engines. I took the commitment of the Dodge/Dowling 9 to Stafford opens as a signal Stafford would allow specs next year. The 9 was listed as using the spec. That didn’t happen but they are still committed to Stafford opens and now we have another spec team including Stafford in their plans that by rule will be sans the spec. What’s going on? Why wouldn’t Stafford include the spec when everyone around them holding opens is allowing them? As we’ve seen Stafford usually reads the tea leaves quite well so it follows they’ve calculated that the future of the vast majority of tour type teams does not include the spec engine.
    What Stafford has done is double down on their rules with tweaks for the full array of built engine alternatives. They also are stipulating quick change rears with specific diameter and ratio gear parameters that for all I know is meant to work with the engine to deliver a specific equalizing result.
    The Tri Track list of engines provided in conjunction with the race at Stafford shows them all in full flower. The spec the clear favorite for the NWMT hottest hot rods but otherwise losing favor in modified world. Maybe it’s the shorter life of the spec that makes it not as cost effective who knows. For whatever reason tour modifieds have moved on with the exception of a core of NWMT teams. That now have less races to use them at without weight penalties where they are the engine of choice.
    The observation that LFR designed it’s chassis around the spec is a good one. However LFR is only a part of TFR so they can accommodate any engine priority out there in any class of modified.
    The NWMT will be fine but the momentum is away from their formula that includes the spec. Sapienza last year referred to getting a Tri Track competitive engine and now we see the 9 and Pasteryak in the same mind set. Joining dozens of tour modified teams that mostly could care less about the spec engine.
    Engines are generally just too far in the weeds with regard to fan interest but I think a big change has been happening over the last few years that now is starting to become obvious.

  19. Thanks for telling me something I already knew just me. They have plenty of equipment and options to choose from.

  20. He will choose the car that gives him the best chance at… winning?

    Too obvious.

    How many wins does he have on the NWMT, TTOMS and Open Shows?

  21. just Me - The Original says

    Chris in MRS has two championships.
    8 wins, 52 Top 5 & 98 Top 10 finishes out of 129 races.

  22. As if you really care dareal. Precious so precious.

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