Brian Robie Wins Modified Racing Series Vacationland 100 At Wiscasset Speedway

Brian Robie (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

Brian Robie used a late pass of Matt Swanson for the lead and went on to win the Modified Racing Series Vacationland 100 Satuday at Wiscasset (Me.) Speedway.

It was the first career Modified Racing Series victory for Robie, of Sunapee, N.H.

Having Matt there I knew it was going to be really tough. I had to have a perfect restart and fortunately I got it.”

Kevin Iannarelli of Shirley, Mass. was second and Swanson, of Acton, Mass., third.

Swanson dominated much of the event but suffered carburetor issues late and lost the lead to Robie on a restart with eight laps remaining.

“[Team owner] Gary Casella brought one hell of a race car,” Swanson said. “This car actually raced at Stafford Motor Speedway last night [with Joey Cipriano III driving] and they did not go to bed last night so we could come up here. Gary talked it over with me at about 12:30 last night and we got here just in time for the third round of practice. To come out with a third place finish obviously isn’t what we wanted, but we’ll take it.”


  1. Let’s see I got to view a pretty good modified race from Maine that ended just as the introductions for the NWMT race in Lancaster were going off. Does it get any better then that?
    Swanson and the 25 did have the race in control until they didn’t and seeing guys like Robie and Iannarelli who usually aren’t racing for a win get some love was great. Like Bonsignor would be later on Swanson in his chat in victory lane just stood out as an example of the best the local racing can offer in terms of relating to fans verbally in a short period of time. And doing it after a disappointing finish.
    Watching the two kids Barry and Perry was interesting as well. 15 years old huh. Must know somebody to jump the learning curve most drivers are expected to negotiate to a greater or lesser degree.
    Look MRS you are what you are and for my money it’s pretty good for what you’re trying to accomplish. But if you’re going to live stream you need to consider replacing John Spence. He’s way past his prime at this stage and can barely keep up. The Casella team worked like dogs to make that race the day after the Stafford race and John Spence appeared to be mocking them by saying they’re known for getting there when they get there. The Casella story was a promotional tool Spence muffed that wasn’t evident until Swanson played the card in victory lane. His call is bare bones which is fine but it’s low energy more like a lullaby before bedtime then an high energy modified race.
    Up in Vermont, NH and Maine what you get in support divisions is a lot of main stream cars in the spirit of the old Street Stocks like true near stock Mini’s, front wheel drive Six Shooters and true 8 cylinder Street Stocks. Affordable and now granny and gramps can watch their grand children on TV in many of the events like Speed51 that show support divisions. My view you can’t promote that aspect enough to get young people involved in racing. You don’t need to come from well to do families like down here you can build and race a car on a budget and race it at an event shared with a true head line division.
    We love our Stafford the big dog but they are missing out on an opportunity. Perhaps with good reason considering the bigger size of the track or for insurance reasons but missing out none the less.
    Stafford only has purpose built, ground up, sophisticated race cars. Were they to have a truly stock class FloRacing would give them an opportunity to promote the living snot out of it and get more young people involved. Not with some division built on car bodies that are now plastic shells of classic cars but cars young people drive and are familiar with. Every Friday night saying you too can be a part of the show sharing the track and audience with the SK modifieds, being on TV for all the country to see and do it at an affordable price. Stafford does it with Karts and it’s worked out OK allowing kids from family with means to move up but the working young people are mostly left out of the process.

  2. James Scott says

    Doug really? John Spence is a class act and far from being done as a play by play guy. I would prefer to listen to him over many of the others. But you certainly are entitled to your opinion.

  3. wmass01013 says

    James Scott i will say this, i do Love listening to John Spence doing a MOD RACE but he WAS AWFUL CALLING the Wiscasset race, both during the Heats and Starting Lineup he was confused, seemed lost or like he was calling the race from his living room at home, Maybe just a Bad night for him but was Not fun hearing him stumble through that race!

  4. NH Modfan says

    Doug, I have been listening to John Spence for many years at most of the NH tracks. He has a rich history of the places I grew up going to with my dad. I much prefer his style than others I won’t mention by name at other new England tracks because there is no reason to attack announcers. If its not for you turn your volume down. If your at the track, more than half the time you can’t hear them over the engines anyways. JMO

  5. Yes it is an opinion. Just one person and one of no consequence in the big picture.
    He’s a class act you say. How would you know and in what respect? And what does that have to do with being a good announcer?
    That was a bad call at Wiscasset. He seemed distracted and disengaged. Announcers have bad calls like we all have bad days.
    My larger issue has to do with the old hands that riddle modified racing and Spence is one. Not just an announcer but a key person in the MRS series with media as well as announcing responsibilities. Probably a good friend of Bateman. One of the hardest things in racing these days is to move on from old hands that have turned in decades of quality race related work in some form. Stafford recently moved Kyle Rickey to the announcers booth and young guns like Bonssa Tufa not to mention Mark and David Arute are helping to turn the page at Stafford looking to the future. At least it appears that way to this race fan and I couldn’t be happier about it.
    Sorry if I offended. All I’m saying is that if the MRS hopes to remain viable with a clearly defined opportunity in their modified niche they have a decision to make. Accept their fate as a dying series, get a race here and there for old times sake and do everything as they have been. Or sacking up and making fundamental changes with a chance of solidifying their position in the northern tier race tracks with a new and vibrant product that will attract fans and competitors. The humdrum announcing, the no mid race tire change rule and their championship model are among the things they need to look at if they are to survive longer term.
    For a couple years Stafford had their new opens and the VMRS races. The difference was stark. High energy and a growing audience in the new Stafford opens with a mid race pit stop. VMRS low energy and by all appearances simply sleep walking doing what they have always done with no regard to the changing times.
    Your choice.

  6. It was a good race on the track, $ 5.00 Bucks to enter Grandstands !!! WOW what a deal ., They pay more to enter the pits… Nice way to bring in the Family and Neighbors too. Swanson looked like he had them covered but his carburetor went south…. Interesting Victory Lane .. Cars brought directly in front of grandstands , Must be real interesting if there is Drama with the Finish.. Happy & MAD people right on top of you ,,, It is Unique to Wiscassett . Maine’s Fastest Track , I never got a Chance to Drive ….Looks pretty tough to figure out lots of height transitions & Banking looks different from one end to the other .. That’s why you should take a walk around every track you go too, See it all first hand , Seams,bumps, rumble strips , curbs etc,,,…

  7. Interesting that Swanso drove the 25 in this race (vs. Williams or Cipriano). Perhaps Casella’s late decision to enter the race and availability made Swanson the choice.

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