Ranking The Races: Top-10 Modified Events In New England In 2021

The 2021 short track racing season kicks off in just about a month in New England with the running of the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway. 

As usual, New England short track racing fans will have plenty of top level Modified type racing to choose from across the schedules of New England racing facilities in 2021. From Tour Type Modified racing, to SK Modified racing to SK Light Modified racing, there’s no shortage of great events on the schedule in 2021 in New England. 

Below we offer our take on the Top-10 Modified events scheduled in New England in 2021. 


1. Thompson 300 at Thompson Speedway – Sunday Oct. 10 

– The six-event Thompson Speedway oval track schedule in 2021 will be overseen by the partnership of American-Canadian Tour owner Cris Michaud and Pro All Stars Series owner Tom Mayberry. The pair put on the only two events run at the track in 2020. Michaud and Mayberry made the very bold step for 2021 of bringing the Thompson 300 back to the schedule. The 300-lap event will carry a $20,000 payout to the winner. Maybe it’s the money, maybe it’s the legacy of the event, maybe it’s the uniqueness of a 300-lap Modified race, but there’s no denying there’s more buzz surrounding this event than any other in 2021. 

2. Haunted Hundred at Seekonk Speedway – Saturday Oct. 23

– This Tri-Track Open Modified Series event has grown in stature in recent years for a number of factors. The race typically has a stout entry list, it’s the final race in New England for Modifieds and drama seems to regularly surround the entire day at Seekonk. Something about Seekonk and Modified racing that brews on-track drama. And with the Haunted Hundred being the last hurrah of the season for many Modified teams, there’s often a “Let it all hang” out feeling to the type of racing that happens, from the qualifying events through the feature. 

3. Spring Sizzler 150 at Stafford Speedway – Sunday April 25

– The greatest race in the history of Spring. Nuff said right? For many in Modified racing, adding a Sizzer win to the resume still ranks up there as one of the pinnacles. This year the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make only five appearances at New England tracks and three of those will take place at Stafford. The NAPA Spring Sizzler 150 will mark the first visit to New England for the Whelen Modified Tour in 2021. It will be the second series event of the season. 

4. Whelen 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Saturday July 17 

– We all know the list of superlatives that surround Tour Type Modified racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway goes on and on. Breathtaking, incredible, jaw dropping are some that quickly come to mind. Those in Modified racing often refer to events at NHMS as their Daytona 500, which always seemed odd because there’s only one Daytona 500 each year but there was typically more than one event for the Modifieds at NHMS. This year that description fits better for the Whelen Modified Tour in that the Whelen 100 marks the only visit to the 1.058-mile track in 2021 for the series. 

5. SK 5K at Stafford Speedway – Friday June 25

– Let the haters chirp about having an SK Modified event ranked fifth, so be it. The NAPA SK 5K at Stafford has matured into one of the showcase events across the board in New England Modified racing. In the realm of SK Modified racing, nothing else even comes close to bringing the showcase type event feel like the SK 5K does. 


6. Open Wheel Wednesday at Seekonk Speedway – Wednesday June 30 

– More than a decade ago Open Wheel Wednesday set the foundation of the return of big money Open Modified events in New England. Now part of the Tri-Track Open Modified Series schedule, the $10,000 to win event remains one that is regularly circled on the calendar as a must attend show for most top Modified drivers. And after a year without Modified racing at Seekonk thanks to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, the event only looms larger for those craving the drama that typically comes with Modifieds at Seekonk. 

7. Icebreaker 125 at Thompson Speedway – Sunday April 11 

– The Icebreaker 125 sparks to life the new Outlaw Open Modified Series at Thompson under the direction of Michaud and Mayberry. The $10,000 to win Icebreaker 125 kicks off the season for Modified racing in New England. The six-event Outlaw Open Modified schedule for 2021 has piqued the interest of many top Modified teams and the Icebreaker should prove to be a barometer of how well things go with the series moving forward for 2021. 

8. Fall Final 150 at Stafford Speedway – Saturday Sept. 25 

– Those around Modified racing have grown accustomed to the Fall Final being the penultimate event on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule and helping to set the table for the championship finale for the series, which for many years has been hosted by Thompson Speedway. This year the championship celebration for the Whelen Modified Tour moves over to Stafford with the series finale being part of the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford. 

9. SBM X at Star Speedway – Saturday July 24 

– There’s just so many little things that add up to make this Tri-Track Open Modified Series event one that fans should mark as a can’t miss each year. Something about a warm July afternoon in Southern New Hampshire at a facility that still offers that classic old time short track feel about it. The quarter-mile bullring at Star typically makes for tight battles through the field from the drop of the green flag to the checkered 125 laps later.  

10. Northeast Classic 50 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Saturday April 17

– It’s Tour Type Modifieds at New Hampshire Motor Speedway so there’s really not much more that needs to be said. The inaugural Northeast Classic 50, put on by the partnership of Michaud and Mayberry, will offer an all-out sprint type event and open the door to fans seeing plenty of new faces they’ve never seen before competing on the 1.058-mile oval in Loudon. 





Comments

  1. getserious says

    The Michaud/Mayberry guys learned from the best produced program in the Northeast; the Tom Curley and Ken Squire shows up at Thunder Road. Nothing has come close to the efficiency, smoothness, fan-friendliness and competitiveness that has been up there for the past twenty years-plus. These guys are continuing it at TR and I’m glad to see them branching out and, I hope, bringing some quality to Thompson. Let’s hope the 300 is a success. With Thompson, all the TriTrack events, and the Stafford Friday SKs it is a year to look forward to.

  2. wmass01013 says

    My Only concern with the 300 is still running as part of the WORLD SERIES, i know its A holiday weekend and u have FRI SAT SUN format but adding what i think will be A EVENT like the Tri Track Stafford show last Oct. to 15 other divisions of racing is risky at BEST, u need perfect weather, no track issues and alll things to run smooth to get the NORMAL world series in without racing til midnights, now add HEATS, CONSIS AND LAST CHANCE race PLUS 300 LAP Mod race to the weekend and if you get 50 plus teams then i dont see how you can avoid very LONGGGGGGGGG days of racing, i know some may like the idea and willl bring plenty of adult beverages to help the weekend along but i would have made the 300 a stand alone event or add a few support divisions, WE SHALL SEE IN OCT.!!!!!

  3. 🌈🦄2020 says

    They probably will end up making it a stand alone event. Just like the sizzler and the icebreaker. If you want to attend all two or three days you’re going to have to spend a ridiculous amount of money.

  4. Seekonk fan says

    I wish they would make the 300 like the Milk Bowl. 3 segments with field invert after each stage. Like past 300’s we’ll all making making multiple pit stops to the parking/camping area. Doubt many will sit through the whole race.

  5. Yep, 👍

    I second that emotion.

  6. I wouldnt mind seeing a milk bowl style segmented Modified race. I think one of the last Nascar Tompson 300 was done in segments. If I remember correctly, It wasnt well received. I believe that short lived bullring bash at White MTN was supposed to be raced in segments. I think they got one race in with a very short field and I think they abandoned the segments. I am guessing the race teams are not in favor of the segmented race format.

    Honestly. there is nothing really to distinguish one race from another for tour type mods. You used to have the Thompson 300 the Stafford sizzler 200 the NHMS 250 and Thompson 125. Now pretty much all the races are 150 counting cautions and 80 to 100 not counting cautions. I think the return of Thompson 300 has such a buzz right now because it is something different then the status quo. How about some memorial races for TC and Mike Stefanik. I guess Riverhead just announced some Tribute races to TC but I think there should be something in CT in a tour type modified. Maybe take one of the opens and make it 113 lap tribute race to TC.

    my top 10 NE modified races I am most interest in attending this summer,
    1 Seekonk Haunted Hundred with pro stocks and late models. Come on it doesnt get any better,
    2 Thompson 300 Its the whole weekend,
    3 NHMS 100, Its routinely one of the best races of the year
    4 Star SBM Love that bullring
    5 Seekonk OWW, Mods belong at the konk.
    6 , NHMS NE classic, first time event I am intrigued and concerned
    7 Stafford Spring Sizzler (low due to normal distance tour race at twice the price for weekend)
    8 Monadnock Tri track pick one
    9 MRS at wiscassett Nice track in a picturesque town. Low on list due to MRS unknown car count.
    10 Stafford Fall final hopefully there is a championship battle.

    I cant believe there are no tour type modified events at Speedbowl this year.

  7. What csg said.

    And get rid of the damn segmentation.

  8. No respect for the Stafford Opens. Oh well the heart wants what the heart wants.
    Check back later in the year when Hirschman shows up at Stafford to accumulate points to win the combined Stafford/Tri Track bonus going head to head with Williams, Lutz, Goodale, Bonsignor or whom ever then we’ll do a post mortem on this whole top 10 modified events thing.
    We’ve heard the chatter. The race teams are loving the 300 concept and most have it circled on the calendar. You’re right the crowd may be exhausted by the time the race is run just begging for it to be a stand alone event in the future. Or Michaud and Mayberry may know it’s biggest value is streaming nationwide on Speed51 as a marquee event with a really cool name.

  9. Is Thompson streaming on speed51? I didnt see anything on it and I have a sub to Speed51 so I am on their website somewhat regularly.

    I agree the Stafford opens may see some additional drivers this year due to the combined Tri track and Staffotd open points championship. I think the problem with the opens is there is no marque open to single out. Nothing special about one open over the other. Its tough to pick one over another. Kind of like my Monadnock tri track. They are both going to be good which one will be better who knows?

  10. CSG,
    There has not been any announcements about any streaming of events from Thompson in 2021.

  11. Thanks Shaun.

    FYI Michaud is Co-owner of Thunder road raceway in Barre VT. They announced a streaming deal with Floracing last week. Perhaps a thompson streaming deal might not be too far off. They are the very least not opposed to such an agreement. Well at least half the promoting group isnt against live broadcasting deals..

  12. With regard to the 300 and Speed51 I did made an assumption. Speed51 usually comes on board with Northeast modified shows seemingly on the fly at the last minute They did stream the Saturday open race at the Thompson World Series with only a few days notice as I recall and it was PPV. Tri Track they were coy as well and ended up making them part of their subscription service. The 300 has that big event feel and perfect to promote to the streaming audiences all over the country. I’m hoping it gets the big exposure it deserves. If I’m really wishing upon a star why not hope they produce all their events and offer a package deal to view them. They are nothing if not very savvy.
    You’re right of course on the Stafford Opens. However what turns out to be big at the front end of a season may be viewed differently at the back end. I’m hoping the combined TTOMS/Stafford bonus vaults a Stafford Open race into marquee status when the season winds down.

  13. CSG,
    Agreed, I wouldn’t be shocked if they announce some type of streaming deal at some point.

  14. Nice call on the Thunder Road/Flo Racing observation. It’s exciting. I think that means they have the apparatus to produce their own content like Stafford and Riverhead do. It’s not hard to imagine they reach greater economies of scale by spreading it out over all the Michaud and Mayberry offerings both separately and in partnership. May also signal the real serious effort by FloSports to make deep inroads to Northeast Asphalt racing.
    Hope-a-hope-a-hope!!!

  15. I know Mayberrys Pass have had some PPV on Speed 51 and I think they do the oxford 250 which is there biggest event. So Michaud is a Flo racing guy, Mayberry has worked with Speed51 in the past. You would think they find a provider. to cover Thompson. The promotion team has relationships already established with two good ones. Anyone else getting excited for some racing. I know I am..

  16. Turns out Northeast Sports Network that had races last year at events is doing the production. They did a good job last year but were low definition. Racing was not their primary focus so this arrangement with FloSports is a big upgrade. Competitors benefit with two double purse events totaling $30,000 in added money.
    At least one Thunder Road fan on Facebook realized what I was thinking when I heard it.

    “Ian Carey
    So you mean to tell me I can watch Thunder Road on Thursday nights and then Stafford on Friday nights? All on the same service on all of my devices? From the comfort of my home far away? I LOVE

    Thunder Road International Speedbowl
    Ian Carey That’s exactly what we’re saying.”

    So what’s the next shoe to drop. The Northeast racing world is getting smaller. Turns out streaming races wasn’t a pandemic year expedient it was a catalyst for something that was going to happen anyway. What track or series is next and who will they make their deal?
    Speed51 produces and streamcasts races and appear to only be interested on bigger events. They PPV some, others they include in their subscription. Riverhead is sticking to the PPV formula like Stafford last year that now is substantially more expensive then the FloRacing tracks. Tracks like Stafford and Riverhead produce their own content and Thunder Road subs it out. Seekonk has their backward looking SeekonkSpeedway.TV but with crowd limits to start they most likely should be doing something showing weekly racing.
    At some point all this chaos is going to gravitate toward one formula and be more efficient. What Michaud and Mayberry do for their 7 events should be very interesting.

  17. Doug,
    Circling back on the questions about Tri-Track streaming. My understanding is that the Tri-Track hands off streaming rights of their events to the individual tracks. So as far as 2021 goes, it’s hard to say. Monadnock and Seekonk are still running under the NASCAR Weekly Series banner, and that can really complicate things with streaming these days. Obviously the Tri-Track race can be streamed independently at an event at one of those tracks, but it can’t include any support division racing. I’m not exactly sure what any streaming plans are for Star Speedway in 2021.

  18. That was an annoyance last year. Heat races shown then gaps until the feature on Speed51 for Tri Track events. Speed51 actually told me the tracks were making the call after one of my emails to them but I forgot that. They decide on streaming and make the call on black outs as well.
    The whole NASCAR deal with SpeedSport and NASCAR owning the rights to the events at NASCAR sanctioned tracks is a problem that is not going to go away. It didn’t work for Stafford and if this streaming thing does turn out to be a significant revenue stream in the longer run something is going to have to give. Seekonk especially with that strong multi state fan base can’t afford to miss out on it can they?
    Thanks for the intervening. I know getting into the weeds on streaming races is not a popular topic with the RaceDayCT audience at large.

  19. Good point. Nascar screws up the streaming, That is why Nascar is no longer involved witht the weekly racing at Stafford. It sucks when Tri track GSPS races at a Nascar track you never know when the feature is going to be streamed. You have to watch race monitor keep tabs on the Nascar weekly stuff to know when the stream will be coming on. I wouldnt mind seeing Seekonk ditch Nascar. I dont see the benefits outweighing the costs.

  20. Somehow in my head I was convinced the Tri Track races would be streamed but that’s not guaranteed at all. They could or not or they could go back to the blackout Seekonk used to have a couple years ago.
    I don’t pretend to have an inkling about the total benefits and disadvantages of being a NASCAR sanctioned track. However there is something grossly unfair about NASCAR controlling a local race tracks content. You’re right, at Monadnock we had to watch Race Monitor and wait. It was ridiculous and what was the point. How is blacking out Mini Stocks worth the bad will it causes.
    There is going to be a tipping point some time in the future. Streaming availability will become a primary component of the fan race track support decision making process and not just for some geezer in Enfield, Ct. Fans in the stands and teams in the paddock are going to expect to see replays on their smart phones to enhance the in person attendance experience or analyze the race they just ran. Now that folks will be getting a taste of the FloRacing experience where you have two Northeast choices for asphalt track racing they’re going to want their track dialed in as well.
    Maybe not all of that is the case but some of it is. NASCAR cannot continue to be a royal pain in the ass about streaming content. Virtually giving away NWMT races and blocking sanctioned tracks from making their own choices. Dirt racing doesn’t have this chaos do they???
    Correct me if I’m wrong but streaming rights was the over riding reason why Stafford walked away from a NASCAR sanction. Not the purses or fees or any of the other stuff that NASCAR demands it was the streaming rights. Ya think Stafford is some kind of exception or the point of the spear looking to the future? My bets on the latter.
    I’m a supporter of a lot of the structure NASCAR brings to local racing but they have this streaming thing in a place that is completely counter productive to racing accessibility.
    The times they are a changin. Stafford and Thunder Road forging their own path. Michaud and Mayberry with their 7 offerings may be next. They may do it piece meal but they seem really savvy and hopefully will take the longer view and create some kind of package deal. Tell you what we won’t have to deal with if they do is those ridiculous gaps.

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