Dazzingly Debut: Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series Impresses In Thunder Road Debut

The starting field for the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series staged on track before the division’s feature on Sunday at Thunder Road (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

BARRE, Vt. – Before Sunday, it had been 12 years since the rumble of Modifieds was heard echoing around Thunder Road International Speedbowl.

After Sunday, it seems quite certain that Modified fans won’t be waiting another decade to see Modifieds return to the historic quarter-mile bullring in Barre, Vt.

The Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series made its first visit to Thunder Road on Sunday as part of the track’s 59th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic racing card and the impression left on track management, series management, competitors and fans seemed all positive.

Asked Monday if he was interested in bringing the series back in 2023, Thunder Road co-owner Cris Michaud said: “Absolutely. I’ll probably talk more to [Tri-Track Series operators Ed Bennett and Wayne Darling on Tuesday]. I’d love to make this a tradition.

“I thought it went fantastic. Tri-Track brings a professional show. They are right in synch with what we we’re doing as far as trying to get the show done efficiently. They were on time on everything they did. And the drivers were just great. I thought it was a great show. The fans loved it. I thought everything went off smoothly and it was all very efficient and I thought the racing was great for the first time at the track for the series.”

Said Bennett: “We had a really positive experience. Good car support for the times. Everybody was giddy about how easy the Thunder Road people were to work with. Big cooperation, a lot of respect. You can’t say enough for the cooperation with the track and their staff and whole deal. I didn’t hear one person complain about anything Sunday.”

Chase Dowling won the 100-lap event and in victory lane saluted the huge crowd on hand.

“I just want to say, all you fans, this is badass,” Dowling said.

Michaud said attendance was better Sunday than in recent years for the Memorial Day Classic event.

“It was a better crowd,” Michaud said. “I know we had a lot of emails and Facebook messages from Modified fans from Southern New England. We had a lot of Connecticut fans and a lot of Massachusetts fans there and that’s what we were looking for. We wanted to showcase what we have to those fans and also showcase the Modifieds to our fans. I think it was a good mix of our fan based and people coming there who hadn’t been there. That’s what we wanted to accomplish. Obviously the more fans you have the better.”

Third place finisher Matt Hirschman told fans he was ready to join them on the frontstretch hill for the 150-lap Late Model feature following the Tri-Track event.

“You guys got a great thing going here with this crowd up on the hill,” Hirschman said on track following the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series. “Hopefully tech goes quick and I can get my dinner and come join you up there for the Late Model race.”

Michaud said the hope is to add to all that surrounds the weekend at Thunder Road.

“The Memorial Day Classic is something special at Thunder Road,” Michaud said. “… I think with Tri-Track, adding them, we can turn it into something huge. We had a cornhole tournament the [Saturday night] and a band out in the pavilion. People enjoyed that. I think it’s something that we could make a weekend of it. Something like the old days where you have parties before the races and really make it special.”


  1. Suitcase Jake says

    Put in on your bucket list…. Thunder Road is a Great Experience …. Racing is Fast….
    Food is Great… People are Great….. Lots of viewing options…..

  2. If Thunder Road does get a date with the TTOMS for 2023 hopefully they can schedule a weekend date that doesn’t conflict with another tour type modified series race.

  3. Earl,
    I’d say Cris Michaud made it pretty clear that they would like to bring the series back for the Memorial Day Classic card in the future. Keep in mind, when dates were being announced last fall, the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series was the first Tour Type Modified event announced as official for Memorial Day weekend.

  4. IIRC, JDV announced the agreement to return to Jennerstown either the day of or the next day. though nothing more was said until the schedule release basically.

  5. I’ll be there every year as long as there’s Mods, thought it was a great race. There was something about that race that was distinctively Thunder Road and distinctively modified. Felt like a super mod race so much, leaders taking off and catching the back of the field in no time and then weaving through the lap traffic. I just wish the race was longer to force more tire strategy/ fall off, 100 laps flew by at the speeds they were turning.

    Only way I’d miss it is if I ever go to the 500 or 600.

  6. Best Memorial Week end classic at thunder road. Looking forward to next year especially if the mods are back. The updates that have been made are awesome.

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