The Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series has a new title sponsor, a strong contingent of drivers, and $10,000 on the line for the 2022 season opener. This Saturday, April 30, teams will compete in a 100-lap race for the big prize at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire. The race is the first of many on a stout schedule for the new year for the Tri-Track Series.
Picking a favorite for Saturday’s opener is a difficult task, but there are plenty of drivers to watch. Sam Rameau has been to Victory Lane in two of the last four Tri-Track races at Monadnock, and with his hometown crowd behind him, the rising star could be the one to capture the big check.
Six-time Monaco Modified Tri-Track champion Matt Hirschman is the clear favorite for the gold again this year when it comes to the championship, and more wins. Coming off a lucrative victory in the 50th running of the NAPA Spring Sizzler – which pocketed him over $24,000 – Hirschman is heading to Monadnock looking to score again. However, the Pennsylvania native will tell you that the high-banks of “Mad Dog” are not some of his favorites. Last year, he finished third and second in the two events at Monadnock – but would like to capture victory this time around.
Chase Dowling, driving for Ben Dodge, won the most recent Tri-Track race at Monadnock in August of last year. It was one of Dowling’s two victories in the final three races of the season - as the Connecticut native now has five career wins with the series, which is second all-time to Hirschman, who has 14.
Another hometown favorite looking to challenge is Les Hinckley. It’s hard to believe that the veteran hasn’t been to Victory lane in his Monaco Modified Tri-Track career, but the driver of the No. 06 certainly knows his way around the high-banks and will be a threat come Saturday night.
Monadnock Speedway NHSTRA Modified regulars Ben Byrne and Matthew Kimball are also expected to be strong contenders. Kimball is coming off a victory in the NHSTRA Modifieds at Claremont Motorsports Park last weekend, and both competitors know their way around Monadnock well. Todd Patnode, a former track champion, is also expected to compete in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track event.
Additional names to watch include veterans Kirk Alexander and Chris Pasteryak, former Monadnock winners with the Modified Racing Series, and Modified standout Ronnie Williams. As a two-time Stafford Motor Speedway SK Modified champion, Williams drives for Gary Casella on the Tri-Track circuit and is always a threat to visit Victory Lane.
Rising star Jake Johnson – a former Pro Stock and Late Model winner and Legends Cars champion at Seekonk Speedway – will also return to the series driving the No. 15 at Monadnock. Although it might be some of Johnson’s first laps in a Modified at the track, a strong top-five finish in the Haunted Hundred to end last season at his home track gave Johnson the experience he needed to be prepared.
Additional names expected include Chuck Hossfeld, Matt Galko, Joey Jarvis, Tommy Barrett, Dylan Izzo, Max Zachem, Dan Wesson (driving for Bob Horn) and more.
Monaco Ford, the new title sponsor of the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series for 2022, now in their 100th year, opened their doors in 1922 as Monaco’s Garage and ever since have been owned and operated by four generations of the Monaco family. The dealership has grown to a top-level Ford Dealership in New England, with a deep history in short-track racing. They are the perfect fit to help elevate Tri-Track to the next level – while also continuing to showcase Monaco’s history and drive to continue to evolve into the future while committing to their customers.
At the track on Saturday, fans will be able to purchase new Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series apparel on the midway courtesy of New England Racing Fuel. Apparel is also available today at nerfinc.com/shop-merchandise for sale online. Race day programs will also be for sale.
Monadnock Speedway will hold an optional practice session on Friday from 2-5 p.m. for race teams. Pit passes are $25 and any trailers who enter the track on Friday and park may remain there for Saturday. On Saturday, one practice session will take place from 2-3 p.m., while qualifying heats are scheduled for 5 p.m. The 100-lap season-opening feature is set to take the green flag around 8:15 p.m.
For those who can’t make it to the track, RacingAmerica.TV will stream the 100-lap feature race live. All tickets for the event will be sold at the gate, however, you may still buy advance tickets at MonadnockSpeedway.com. The weekend also includes over six other divisions of racing, and action on both Saturday and Sunday.
For more information on Monaco Ford, visit MonacoFord.com. For more information on the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series, visit MonacoModifieds.com and follow on social media for the latest updates.
-Story by: Kyle Souza/Souza Media
-Photo credit: Tom Morris