Monaco Modified Tri-Track Open Wheel Wednesday To Be $20K To Win In Honor Of Vinny Annarumo At Seekonk

$28K Overall Increase In Purse For 2024

When Matt Swanson heads to Seekonk Speedway for the track’s annual Open Wheel Wednesday event on June 26, he’ll be looking to double up in more ways than one. 

Swanson is looking to become only the second driver to win the event back-to-back since its inception in 2005. And he’ll also be looking to double up when it comes to payout for the winner. 

Management of the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series will double the winner’s share for the event – making the race $20,000 to win – as part of a $28,000 overall increase in the purse for the event in honor of legendary Seekonk competitor Vinny Annarumo. 

Annarummo, a 2019 inductee to the New England Racers Hall of Fame, passed away in February at 74 years old. 

Annarummo won the third Open Wheel Wednesday event in 2007 as a driver and won the 2010 event as a car owner with his son Todd driving. Before joining the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series as a managing partner in 2016, Wayne Darling won Open Wheel Wednesday as a car owner with Matt Hirschman (2008), Chris Pasteryak (2009) and Doug Coby (2011, 2013). 

“Vinny, myself and Ed St. Angelo all started about the same time at Seekonk,” Darling said. “[St. Angelo] and I are doing this for Vinny. I considered Tri-Track’s home to be Seekonk Speedway. Between Vinny and myself, we won six of the Open Wheel Wednesday events. I won four as a car owner and he won one as a driver and one as a car owner. He was a seven-time track champion there. I feel like we should honor him at Seekonk and that’s why [Ed St. Angelo] and I our doing this. … We just really wanted to do something for Vinny and his family. I’m very happy that people have come on board to help honor him and all that money is going back to the racers. I hope the racers and the crowd to show up to honor Vinny.” 

Annarummo, of Swansea, Mass., produced an amazing legacy of success at Seekonk Speedway, where he earned six championships. He won his first in 1973 in the Class B Late Model Cadets. He followed that with five Pro Stock championships at the track in 1990, 1992, 1993, 2004 and 2005. 

After a stunning career in full-fendered rides, Annarummo etched his name deeper into the history books at Seekonk by getting his first career Tour Type Modified victory in the 2007 Open Wheel Wednesday event. 

The Darling family donated the extra $10,000 for the winner’s share for the event. 

“My dad was very close with him, knew him for a long time and my grandfather knew him really well,” said eight-time Seekonk Speedway champion David Darling, son of Wayne Darling. “He worked on a lot of our cars throughout the years. And I raced him with him for quite a few years. He was just a great guy. To do this in his name and his memory, it’s just really for him and his legacy. 

“Hopefully having a bigger purse to win will cause a little more excitement at the front. In Vinny’s honor, he was always a clean racer, but a hard-nosed racer. I think if he were here to be there to see it he’d be pretty excited about having that money to run for because I know he was back when he ran the Modified when it was $10,000 to win.” 

This year’s event marks the 19th running of Open Wheel Wednesday. The event was not run in 2020 due to COVID restrictions. 

“It’s obviously quite a sad situation for Wayne to have lost his dear, dear friend.” Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series director of series development Renee Dupuis. “In his grief, Wayne has chosen to honor Vinny by putting together a $20,000 to win event, with a healthy payout throughout the field. I believe this will be the largest payout in Monaco Modified history. It’s extra special for Wayne to be able to honor Vinny’s memory at Seekonk, given his storied career at the track.” 

The total purse for the event will be about $74,000.

“Kudos to the entire [Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series] for obviously raising these purses and finding people to back these events and finding amazing partners to make it so we can race for this much money,” Swanson said. “That’s pretty cool. … Us as racers, we all need to get out and support these events and give the fans a spectacle to want to be at the race track and support these events. If everyone does their part, the fans support the event, the racers support the event and the promoters keep promoting the event, that’s what keeps this whole ball rolling up here. Hopefully everyone does their part. I know myself and my [Gary Casella owned] No. 25 team, we’re going to do our part to support the series and we’re going to be there and hopefully we can put on a show.” 

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