Fast Learner: Jake Johnson Wins Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series SBM 125 At Star 

Jake Johnson celebrates victory in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series SBM 125 Saturday at Star Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

EPPING, N.H. – Last October in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series season finale at Seekonk Speedway, Jake Johnson turned plenty of heads by scoring a third place finish in his series debut. 

Saturday at Star Speedway the 19-year old from Rehoboth, Mass. made sure the world of Modified races knows his name. 

Johnson was a dominant force in cruising to victory in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series SBM 125 Saturday at Star Speedway. 

Johnson was making his fifth Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series start Saturday at Star. 

“It really is just a dream come true,” said Johnson, who has also made four starts this season with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. “It couldn’t have worked out any better.” 

Before Saturday’s event at Star Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series managing partner Wayne Darling had to leave the track due to a medical issue. 

For Johnson, the celebration of victory couldn’t begin until he had a chance to speak with Darling. After climbing from his car in victory lane Johnson was handed a phone with Darling on the line. 

“Wayne is the reason I’m running with this series,” Johnson said. “I just wanted to thank him for everything he’s done for us. I was glad that I was able to do that.” 

Woody Pitkat of Stafford was second and Max Zachem of Preston third. 

Johnson was able to easily hold off the field on seven restarts over the final 44 laps. He said he didn’t mind the rash of cautions late in the event. 

“It felt good when your spotter is talking to you and telling you you’ve got a gap,” Johnson said of being able to pull away from his pursuers on each restart. “The fans like to see a lot of restarts at the end. It keeps the interest up. I knew we had a good car. The fans love to see the action. It made it more fun for me, it made it more meaningful. You’ve got to put your elbows up and drive for it.” 

Despite finishing second, Pitkat was one of those celebrating Johnson’s victory. Before starting in a Modified last year, Johnson had spent a number of years competing in Late Models. 

“It’s cool to see.” Pitkat said. “I feel like a lot people can’t jump from a Late Model to a Modified. It’s a lot. Thankfully I’ve been able to accomplish that. But to see a guy like that adapt so quickly, and win one of the biggest races out there is really cool. It’s nice to see somebody different. If you can’t win it’s nice to see somebody different win.” 

Johnson started on the pole. Chase Dowling went by him for the top spot on lap four. On lap 52 two cars at the tail of the end the lead lap got together forcing Dowling to slow in turn four and allowing Johnson to get by him for the lead. 

The first caution flew on lap 74, sending everybody to the pits. Matt Galko won the race out of the pits with Pitkat in second and Johnson third for the ensuing restart. 

Johnson went to second on the restart, but caution flew once again on lap 75. Following the next restart Galko drifted up the track in turn three, allowing Johnson to assume the lead once again. Johnson was never challenged again at the front. 

Jake Johnson celebrates victory in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series SBM 125 Saturday at Star Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)


  1. Great win for Jake, was very impressive on all of those restarts. Let’s not forgot Jake has had some big moments in his racing career, winning the Snow Flake 100 in 2020 ( mind you by DQ) but would have podium behind Bubba Pollard and Stephen Nasse is no small feat.

  2. wmass01013 says

    I know the storm is brewing for this race, MH Speeding in pits, obviously we didn’t see, Shocked by the call in local Mod racing, Shocked by the call by Tri Track against the POSTER BOY of the series, Shocked because MH is a very smart calculated driver who doesn’t do things like this. Overall a great race with the lane choosing and hard racing on a VERY HOT DAY N NIGHT.

  3. MMTTS SBM11 Star Speedway Pick 6 Results says

    MMTTS SBM11 Star Speedway Pick 6 Results

    Eddy….06 Hinckley, 92, 60, 24, (21), 76….10+6+21+23+17=77
    AlJ….. (60) 88 9CT 25 92 25NH=2+5+8+6+13=34
    csg….. (60) 88 9ct 92 williams swanson…2+5+6+8+11=32
    Ken L. (60)-88-Williams 9ct-92-25nh….2+8+5+6+13=34
    Bobf… 60, 92, 25,(williams) 9, (07), 88….21+6+8+5+2=42
    Earl….9CT, 60, (07), 88, 3, 06…5+21+2+9+10=47
    Wanna..(60) , 92 , 88 , 4 NH , 20 , 92…6+2+27+3+6=44
    Mike H…60. 9CT, 25, 25NH, 92, (06MA)…21+5+8+13+6=53
    wmass…(07),88,60 25 9 75…..2+21+8+5+17=53

    Suitcase Jake & csg 32 *
    Ken L & AIJ 34*
    Doug & Bobf 42*

    Remainder of the field
    I Wanna Play 44
    Earl 47
    Mike H & wmass 53
    Fast Eddie 77

    *The tie break was not able to resolve the ties for the podium finishers in this Pick 6

    Fast Eddie……2
    Suitcase Jake……2
    Get serious……1
    Viva race fan…1
    Rafter fan……1
    Big city………..1
    I wanna play….1

    Suitcase Jake…7
    Fast Eddie………5
    Bigcity ……..…..3
    Lapped traffic ….2
    Rafter fan……….2
    Liz Cherokee…..2
    Ken L………….2
    Viva race fan…….1
    Get serious……1
    Mike H………..1
    I wanna play…1

  4. nice win for Jake (with his own machine+crew) .. impressive…

  5. Stars support divisions stink,5 car heats does not cut it and so much time is wasted in victory lane,hey better get he 350 car counts up for the claccis

  6. So what was the head count? Packed, anemic, somewhere in between. Looked pretty sketchy from the barkalounger. Come the think of it Monadnock did as well. Are the New Hampshire tracks pulling their share of the MMTTS load or is the turn out the reason they went from two events in 2021 to one this year? Does the future of the series look to be more heavily weighted to Vermont, Connecticut and Mass?
    Agree the Hirschman penalty was justified but not wild it was the death penalty in the event. Otherwise the results were the ideal for an open where cars you’d never imagine could compete for the win did and one actually won it.

  7. A podium that i did not deserve. Really blew it on that one. But like i said, better to be “lucky” than good anyday. Thanks for all the numbers crunching doug.

  8. Suitcase Jake says

    Well deserved Win ..!! Great family …. Used to race with his Dad Andy in Pro Stocks….
    They build the best Propane delivery Trucks in New England along with Propane Plus
    their Propane home delivery business .. Andy’s Brother Tim has son’s that also race
    I believe Nick Won the Late Model Championship at Thompson….

  9. Fast Eddie says

    Crowd was pretty good, a lot of late arrivals due to the heat I’m guessing. Weekly divisions were a little light, but some decent racing. I wonder if the SMAC and 350 supers being run at Oswego may have lightened up the Star field. I remember seeing a few teams I normally see at Star at Seekonk with the SMAC that weren’t at Star yesterday.

  10. jim cowman says

    Jake calling Wayne in the hospital was a CLASS ACT

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