September 15,2019 (Winchester, NH): Chase Dowling of Roxbury, CT, who started deep in the field of the Monadnock 100, capitalized on patience and some late race drama to score the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) victory at Monadnock Speedway on Sunday afternoon. The race was held a day later due to inclement weather but still delivered all the excitement as expected.
“Today I was more patient in a race car than I have ever been,” said a smiling Dowling from victory lane. “I did not let the race get to me and I knew that we were going to be good at the end.”
Richard Savary of Canton, MA, who qualified through the consi, turned his luck around in 2019 with a solid runner-up finish. Jacob Perry of Pawcatuck, CT, brought out a mid-race caution but recovered to score a podium finish. Matt Galko of Meriden, CT, had a season-high finish of fourth. Hometown favorite Alexander of W. Swanzey, NH, completed the top five.
Tommy Barrett of Millis, MA, Anthony Sesely of Matawan, NJ, Austin Kochenash of Danielsville, PA, Woody Pitkat of Bellingham, MA, and Dylan Izzo of Munroe, CT, completed the top ten.
After the redraw, Ben Byrne from Greenfield, MA, a regular in Monadnock’s Sportsman Modified division, started on the pole of the 26-car field; sharing the front row with Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks, CT. Byrne jumped to the early lead with Hinckley in tow. On lap 13, Hinckley drifted high allowing Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT, and Ronnie Williams of Ellington, CT, to take over second and third, respectively. With 20 laps down, driver settled into a single file run with Byrne still at the point and enjoying a comfortable margin over Silk.
The first caution of the event flew on lap 30 when one of the favorites to win, Todd Patnode of W. Swanzey, NH, stalled on the front stretch. Another local favorite and contender, Russ Hersey of Swanzey, pitted during the caution.
Once back to green, Williams used the bottom groove to pass Silk for second. Pitkat got up alongside Silk to challenge for position as well. He took the spot on lap 36. Dowling was beginning to make his charge to the front. At the head of the field, Byrne and Williams had extended their lead in a two-car break away.
The bid for the win ended for Williams ended on lap 46 when his car slowed to bring out the second yellow. Under the caution, Cam McDermott of Canterbury, CT, hobbled down pit road with mechanical woes. Several other cars pitted while the leaders elected to stay out.
On the ensuing restart, Pitkat made a bid at the lead but Byrne was able to retain the top spot. At halfway, Byrne was pulling away from the field. The third caution waved on lap 61 for debris on the speedway. During the caution, Williams rejoined the field several laps down while several other drivers took the opportunity to pit. The lead duo of Byrne and Pitkat remained on track as did Joe Kendall from Winchendon, MA.
When racing went back green, Kendall was able to take second away from Pitkat. Deeper in the pack, contact between Matt Swanson of Acton, MA, and Perry saw both cars spinning and the fourth caution flag of the event flying on lap 64.
After only three laps of green flag racing, the fifth caution was displayed when Pitkat spun as a result of a flat tire. At the time of the caution, Byrne was still the leader followed by Kendall, Savary, Galko, Alexander and Silk. Up for the challenge on the restart, Byrne maintained his lead. Savary was able to get by Kendall for second. Having trouble getting going, the sixth caution flew on lap 68 for a spin by Barrett.
The complexion of the race changed on lap 70 when the leader Byrne slowed coming out of turn three to send cars scattering and the caution flying. Under caution, Byrne and Kendall both pitted.
Savary was the new leader when the race went back to green. Alexander took chase in second. Other drivers began making their move toward the front as the laps began to wind down. With 20 laps to go, Hinckley passed for position four; making it Savary, Alexander, Silk, Hinckley and Galko inside the top five.
The eighth caution of the event waved on lap 88 for a spin by Joey Jarvis of Ascutney, VT. On the ensuing restart, Silk and Hinckley made contact. Silk spun in front of the field in turn one to bring out the caution. No other cars were collected. Hinckley pitted with a left front flat as Silk went to the rear of the field. The restart pitted leader Savary against Dowling, who had inherited second as a result of the incident. Dowling wasted no time getting by Savary and into the lead.
With 8 laps left to go, the tenth and final caution occurred on lap 92 when Brian Robie of Sunapee, NH, went around in turn three. On the final restart of the event, Dowling was able to maintain his lead. Savary would have to settle for second ahead of Perry, Galko and Alexander.
Dowling crossed the start/finish line taking the checkers and capturing the “Monadnock 100” for car owner Jimmy Paige.
“I came in for a pit stop about halfway through and put on a rear tire and made a few adjustments,” stated Dowling. “I knew that we were good.”
“It was an aggressive race at the end with guys giving it their all. That is why these Tri-Track races put on a good show. It is a lot of hard races with a lot of money on the line. And, we all do what we have to do to win.”
Thanks to generous support from Ron Bouchard’s Auto Stores and the Bouchard Family, the family of the late Ricky Miller and Kathy Maffei-Thompson, each competitor who took the green for the Monadnock 100 received $1,100.
Heat race victories went to Patnode, Pitkat and Hinckley. Savary won the consolation race.
Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, a two-time TTOMS winner in 2019, was not present for Sunday’s Monadnock 100. Hirschman made the difficult decision to go to Lancaster, NY, for a Race of Champions event. He is in the hunt for the series’ championship as the points’ leader.
The next race for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series will be the Haunted Hundred at Seekonk Speedway on Saturday, October 26, 2019.
Tri-Track Open Modified -Monadnock 100 Official Finish – September 15, 2019 – Monadnock Speedway – Winchester, NH: 1. Chase Dowling, Roxbury, CT; 2. Richard Savary, Canton, MA; 3. Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck, CT; 4. Matt Galko, Meriden, CT; 5. Kirk Alexander, West Swanzey, NH; 6. Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA; 7. Anthony Sesely, Matawan, NJ; 8. Austin Kochenash, Danielsville, PA; 9. Woody Pitkat, Bellingham, MA; 10. Dylan Izzo, Monroe, CT; 11. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 12. Dana Dimatteo, Farmington, CT; 13. Matt Swanson, Acton MA; 14. Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT; 15. Joey Jarvis, Ascutney, VT; 16. Andrew Molleur, Shelton, CT; 17. Calvin Carroll, Andover, NJ; 18. Brian Robie, Sunapee, NH; 19. Ronnie Williams, Ellington, CT; 20. Ben Byrne, Greenfield, MA; 21. Joe Kendall, Winchendon, MA; 22. Cameron Sontag, Sterling, MA; 23. Cam McDermott, Canterbury, CT; 24. Mike Holdridge, Madison, CT; 25. Russ Hersey, Swanzey, NH; 26. Todd Patnode, Swanzey, NH. DNQ: Andrew Charron, East Greenwich, RI; TJ Bleau, Troy, NH; Rob Janovic, Jr., Waterford, CT; Geoff Rollins, Groton, MA; George Sherman, Framingham, MA.
Seekonk, Mass. (September 12, 2019): This Saturday night, the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) heads to Monadnock Speedway for the running of the Monadnock 100. The facility, now under the ownership of the Wrenn Family, is located in Winchester, NH, just 10 miles, give or take, from the towns of Swanzey – home of three Series’ regulars. These hometown favorites are also clear favorites to win at the quarter mile. Russ Hersey of Swanzey, Kirk Alexander and Todd Patnode, each of West Swanzey, NH, will head to their hometown track looking for victory.
Each like their chances when the 100-lapper goes green on Saturday night at approximately 9:15pm.
“It is my best opportunity to win a Tri-Track race,” said Hersey. “I’m the most comfortable at this track.”
Patnode, who runs at Monadnock weekly in the track’s NASCAR Sportsman Modified division, is the currently division’s point leader. He will undoubtedly be looking to add to his win tally.
“I am really looking forward to the race,” said Alexander, who has been plagued with misfortune all year. “I like our chances.”
Practice starts at 2pm. Qualifying for all divisions gets underway at 5pm including 15-lap qualifying heat races for the Modifieds. Features are expected to go green at approximately 6pm. There is a Sunday rain date for the event.
The similarities of these three drivers does not end with their confidence in their ability to win on Saturday night. Their histories, their prowess and their love for the track are as close as their geographic proximity.
All three drivers cut their teeth on the high banks of Monadnock Speedway. Alexander took his first laps in a Mini Stock while Hersey and Patnode got their starts in Street Stocks. The three grew up together racing at the track.
“We all started here and graduated through the ranks,” said Hersey. “Each of us has thousands of laps here.”
Alexander has feature victories in multiple divisions including Mini Stocks, Late Models, Pro Stocks and Modifieds; winning multiple track championships in Pro Stocks and Modifieds. Hersey has wins in Enduros, Street Stocks, Late Models, Pro Stocks and Modifieds; also winning multiple track championships in Pro Stocks and Modifieds. Patnode, too, has wins and championships in multiple divisions and looks to add to the list of titles in 2019.
All three have Tour-Type Modified wins at the speedway as well.
The most impressive of all the similarities between these three great racers; however, is not reflected in the record books. It may just be in the respect they still have for each other after decades of competition and the context within which it exists.
“I have no problem beating them and they have no problem beating me,” said Alexander, with an air of admiration and friendship.
Over the year’s there has been a perception of a rivalry between these three ultra-competitive drivers but what really exists is a kinship.
“There’s no rivalry between us,” said Hersey, too, with a genuine admiration in his voice. “But we still want to beat each other.”
All this has got to leave one to wonder, is there something in the water in Swanzey, NH?
He doesn’t necessarily drink the rarified water, but Brian Robie does share the same speedway. The addition of Monadnock to the 2019 Tri-Track Open Modified Series schedule was surely a welcome one for Robie of Sunapee, NH, another Series regular. This season, Robie has run wheel-to-wheel with Patnode in the track’s NASCAR Home Tracks Sportsman Modified division. Familiarity and comfort to the racy high-banked quarter mile could be just what Robie needs to break into TTOMS victory lane.
While there will be stiff competition from the over 30 drivers registered for the event on Saturday night, the Monadnock 100 could very well come down to one of these talented four drivers.
Adult general admission for a full racing card that also included Young Guns, Pure Stocks, Late Models, Sportsman Modifieds and Late Models is $30. Senior (65+) general admission is $20. General admission tickets for kids ages 11-18 is $10 and kids 10 and under are admitted free. Pit entry is $40.
To learn more, visit TriTrackMods.com, MonadnockSpeedway.com or visit follow both on social media.
Seekonk, Mass. (September 9, 2019): Whether it is racing excitement, sentiment or cold hard cash, the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) always has something extra for fans and competitors alike. Saturday night, September 14 at Monadnock Speedway will be no different. With extra incentives built into an already robust purse, the stout field of Modified competitors will pull out all the stops in pursuit of victory; ramping up the racing action for fans of the series, open-modified racing and Monadnock Speedway.
The winner of the Ron Bouchard’s Auto Store Challenge Cup will be decided on Saturday night. When the checkers fall on Round #2 of the Challenge, the driver with the best overall finish including Round #1 at Claremont Speedway, held earlier this year, will receive the coveted Ron Bouchard’s Auto Stores Challenge Cup trophy and $500 bonus courtesy of James Osterhoudt.
With the support of Ron Bouchard’s Auto Stores, the Bouchard and Miller Families and Kathy Maffei-Thompson, competitors will receive a minimum of $1,100 to take the green flag for the Monadnock 100. Thanks to the continued generosity of the Don Miller and the Miller Family, all Tri-Track Open Modified Series drivers in competition on Saturday night will receive complimentary admission in honor of the late Ricky Miller.
The stacked field of competitors is expected to reach over 30 including the most recent Series winners Matt Hirschman, Ronnie Williams and Ron Silk. Other drivers to watch during the Monadnock 100 include Chase Dowling, Matthew Swanson, Woody Pitkat, Les Hinckley, Tommy Barrett and Richard Savary. Some other notables include a relative newcomer to the Series Austin Kochenash, who showed promise earlier this season, and former SK Modified Champion Rob Janovic, making his first start of 2019. The trio of hometown favorites – Kirk Alexander, Russ Hersey, and Todd Patnode- cannot be counted out.
Pre-race ceremonies on Saturday evening will include a tribute to the late Carl and Treva Merrill. This dynamic duo indelibly changed the face of New England racing. Carl, an honored Army Air Corps veteran, who, for over 60 years, served in various capacities from flagman to chief steward to race director at several speedways in the Northeast including Thompson and Monadnock Speedways as well as the now defunct Westboro Speedway. He had no greater role than that which he served at Norwood Arena. With his guiding presence in the late 60s and early 70s, Norwood was one of the nation’s best of its time.
Treva was an integral part in Carl’s racing career even taking an active part in the operations of the Speedways from selling tickets to running the souvenir concessions and even selling 50/50 tickets. She was as stalwart supporter of her husband of over 60 years. Carl and Treva passed away in January and May of 2013, respectively.
Paula Bouchard will serve as the Grand Marshall for the event.
Practice gets starts at 2pm. Qualifying for all divisions gets underway at 5pm including 15-lap qualifying heat races for the Modifieds. There is a Sunday rain date for the event.
Adult general admission for a full racing card that also included Young Guns, Pure Stocks, Late Models, and Sportsman Modifieds is $30. Senior (65+) general admission is $20. General admission tickets for kids ages 11-18 are $10 and kids 10 and under are admitted free. Pit entry is $40.
For more information visit the Tri-Track Open Modified Series at TriTrackMods.com and Monadnock Speedway at MonadnockSpeedway.com
Entry List -Tri-Track Open Modified Series -Monadnock 100
Saturday, Sept 14 Monadnock Speedway
00 – Chase Dowling
02 – Geoff Rollins
04 – Joey Jarvis
04 – Dylan Izzo
3 – Matthew Swanson
3 – Matt Galko
6 – Woody Pitkat
6 – Benjamin Byrne
7 – Andrew Charron
8 – Cam McDermott
12 – Rob Richardi
13 – Cameron Sontag
15 – TJ Bleau
16 – Colbey Fournier
21 – Les Hinckley
24 – Todd Patnode
25 – Brian Robie
25 – Calvin Carroll
25 – Ronnie Williams
27 – Anthony Sesely
35 – Jacob Perry
43 – Tommy Barrett
50S – Ron Silk
50 – Carl Medeiros Jr.
51- Rob Janovic
60 – Matt Hirschman
66 – Austin Kochenash
74 – Manny Dias
76 – Kirk Alexander
82 – Mike Holdridge
88 – Russ Hersey
93 – George Sherman
99 – Richard Savary
176 – Dana Dimatteo
Oxford, ME (August 24, 2019): The Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) made their debut at Oxford Plains Speedway (OPS) on Saturday night as part of the Oxford 250 weekend. And, while Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, had never raced at the Oxford, ME, oval his ‘inexperience’ at the track proved to be inconsequential for the experienced veteran who dominated the race to take down the victory.
Ronnie Williams of Ellington, CT chased Hirschman to the checkers and Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, NY, put on quite a show to complete the podium. Andy Shaw of Center Conway, NH, a multi-time winner at OPS in both Late Models and PASS Modifieds, was fourth followed by Brian Robie of Sunapee, NH.
Hirschman officially led all the laps of competition. The race; however, was not without some tense moments for the eventual winner.
By virtue of his heat race victory and a good pull during the redraw, Hirschman started the 100- lap event from the pole. He jumped out to the lead from the drop of the green with Anthony Nocella of Berlin, MA, taking chase. Woody Pitkat of Bellingham, MA, and Brad Babb of Windham, ME, were looking racy in the early going; running inside the top-five.
Johnny Kievman, of Deerfield Beach, FL, who had started fifth, was falling back through the field. In the early going, contenders like Matt Swanson were struggling to make headway. Up front, Nocella began to falter losing positions to Pitkat and Babb. Babb immediately went in search of second. Williams had moved up a few positions and into fifth. Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT, too, was making slow progress. Gaining two positions to move into seventh.
By lap 20, Babb got by Pitkat to take over the runner-up spot. A bit deeper in the pack, Shaw was keeping pace with Silk as the two worked their way toward the front. Leader Hirschman could not get any breathing room over Babb during the green flag run. Pitkat and Nocella ran nose-to-tail as Williams took chase in fifth.
At lap 30, the battle was heating up between Pitkat, Nocella, and Williams while Shaw continued to shadow Silk. Nocella was able to take the spot away from Pitkat on lap 37. Just outside of the top-five, Robie, Jankowiak, Matt Galko of Meriden, CT, Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks, CT and Russ Hersey of Swanzey, NH, were locked in a battle of their own.
By lap 40, Williams had also gotten by Pitkat. A few laps later Pitkat lost ground to Shaw and Silk; falling further down in the running order. Up front it was all Hirschman and Babb. Just shy of halfway, Nocella showed a surge. Passing Babb for second on lap 49 and bringing others along for the ride.
At the halfway marker Hirschman now led Nocella, Williams, Shaw, and Babb inside the top-five. Silk, Pitkat, Robie, Jankowiak and Hinckley comprised the top-ten at the crossed flags.
Williams begin to look low on Nocella for second with Shaw right in his tire tracks. He made the pass stick on lap 55. Shaw followed suit. Williams immediately caught Hirschman. Robie began to pressure Silk for sixth. This allowed Jankowiak, Hersey and Hinckley to join the fray.
Up front, Hirschman had a mirror full of Williams who, in turn, had to contend with Andy Shaw. The lead pack was in heavy lapped traffic before the first caution flew on lap 71 for a single car spin by Calvin Carroll of Andover, NJ. Tommy Barrett of Millis, MA, was put to the rear of the field for his involvement in the incident.
Under the caution everyone headed to pit road except for four cars – of which Jankowiak and Hersey where only on the lead lap. After quick service from his crew, Hirschman came off pit road first followed by Nocella, Williams, Swanson, Silk, Richard Savary of Canton, MA, Robie, Babb, Hinckley and others. Shaw lost the most ground on pit road and was relegated to restarting outside of the top ten.
The ensuing restart found Jankowiak and Hersey on the front row. What could have been a race-winning strategy was for naught; especially for Hersey. Contact between the lead duo sent both cars sliding and the second caution flag flying. With contact, Hirschman got hooked together with Jankowiak. Showing veteran prowess, the duo continued driving and eventually became dislodged. When the dust settled Galko, Nocella and Savary were also collected. Under caution, Hersey, Jankowiak, Galko, Nocella and Savary headed to pit road. All but Savary were able to continue.
Without a lap complete, it was once again Hirschman and Williams at the head of the field for the ensuing restart. Swanson and Silk made up row two. Back under green, there was three-wide action deeper in the pack with Carl Medeiros, Jr., of Westport, MA, Pitkat and Hinckley vying for position. Medeiros got the short end of the exchange; falling back several positions. A spin by Babb on lap 75 brought out the third caution.
When racing resumed it was Hirschman once again showing the way with Williams taking chase. Swanson ran a distance back in third with Shaw and Robie in tow. Silk was experiencing some woes having faltered and falling back toward the rear of the field. He would soon retire from the event.
The front duo had worked their way out to a half-straightaway advantage, but Hirschman had no real pressure from Williams. The best battle on the field was for fourth between Shaw and Jankowiak. Robie and Nocella were locked in a heated battle as well.
Jankowiak got by Shaw on lap 88 and immediately hunted down Swanson. The complexion of the race changed for several drivers on lap 90. Jankowiak was looking to get by Swanson for the third when the two made contact. Jankowiak went spinning also collecting Swanson and Nocella. The caution was the fourth and final of the event
The new running order inside the top -five with 10 to go was Hirschman, Williams, Shaw, Robie, and Pitkat. The likes of Carroll, Joey Jarvis of Ascutney, VT, and Jacob Dore of Sanford, ME, were setting up to have strong nights restarting inside the top-ten with the dash to the checkers.
On the ensuing restart Hirschman began to check out on the field. Williams ran a distant second. Shaw and Pitkat were duking it out for third. Robie headed a battle for fifth that included none-other than a recovered and fast Jankowiak, Hinckley and Babb. Jankowiak took over the position and was looking for more. He got by Robie, took a position from Pitkat. Not done yet, the hard-charger took third position from Shaw with only a couple of laps left.
With Hirschman handily taking the win over Williams. Jankowiak had a stout run to come home third. Coming to the checkers, contact found Pitkat spinning with Shaw running to a fourth-place finish over Robie. Hinckley, Babb and Carroll wound up in sixth through eighth. Pitkat, who took the checkered backward, was credited with ninth. Kirk Alexander of W. Swanzey, NH, completed the top-ten.
Heat race victories went to Nocella, Hirschman, Swanson and Robie. The consolation event was won by Alexander. The feature event was paced by two different era Modifieds owned by the late, great Bob Judkins, after the Series’ paid tribute to the Hall of Fame driver.
Tri-Track Open Modified -Oxford 100 Official Finish – August 24, 2019 – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME: 1. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 2. Ronnie Williams, Ellington, CT; 3. Andy Jankowiak, Tonawanda, NY; 4. Andy Shaw, Center Conway, NH; 5. Brian Robie, Sunapee, NH; 6. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 7. Brad Babb, Windham, ME; 8. Calvin Carroll, Andover, NJ; 9. Woody Pitkat, Bellingham, MA; 10. Kirk Alexander, W. Swanzey, NH; 11. Anthony Nocella, Berlin, MA; 12. Jacob Dore, Sanford, ME; 13. Matt Galko, Meriden, CT; 14. Matt Swanson, Acton, MA; 15. Joey Jarvis, Ascutney, VT; 16. Jon Kievman, Deerfield Beach, FL; 17. Larry Barnett, Moosup, CT; 18 .Geoff Rollins, Groton, MA; 19. Colbey Fournier, Berkley, MA; 20. Kurt Vigeant, Oxford, MA; 21. Russ Hersey, Swanzey, NH; 22. Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA; 23. Anthony Sesely, Matawah, NJ; 24. Ron Silk, Norwalk, NJ; 25. Carl Medeiros, Jr., Westport, MA; 26. Richard Savary, Canton, MA; 27. Kris Watson, Hermon, ME. DNQ: Andrew Charron, E. Greenwich, RI; Steven Dickey, Milford, NH; Derek Robie, Bellingham, MA; Bill Dixon N. Waterboro, ME; George Sherman, Framingham, MA.