He might not have the most expansive racing plans for 2022, but Jacob Perry’s ambitions are big as ever. The 20-year-old Modified driver is teaming with veteran car owner Jack Bateman for the third-straight year on the asphalt side, with the main focus once again being on the Modified Racing Series for the Pawcatuck, CT native.
After a long offseason, Perry is ready to show what he’s got starting this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as the Modified Racing Series opens its season during the Northeast Classic on Saturday.
“I’ve been working a lot and just trying to get all of our plans straightened out, and all the racecars ready to go for this season. Between the two Modifieds and the dirt car, there’s a lot to check over and get ready to run,” Perry told Racing America.
While he may be from Southeast Connecticut, also home to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Perry considers ‘The Magic Mile’ to be a second home track for him; and the personal connections run even deeper than that.
“I’m very excited. Loudon is kind of a home track for me, I spent a lot of time racing Bandoleros there. Anytime we can get back there, it’s always really, really special. It’s great to be able to start the season up there, I think it gives me a slight advantage. We ran very well there my first ever time in a Tour Mod. I can’t wait to see what we can do now.
“Believe it or not, my middle name is named after Adam Petty, that’s part of why running there is so important for me. Of course it’s where all the Cup stars go when they come to New England. Loudon can make or break your career, you look at guys like Bobby Santos and all of the amazing things he’s been able to do in racecars. He shows it when he goes up to Loudon.”
Perry has run Modifieds at NHMS twice before, once in MRS and once on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour; both times with calamity befalling him unfortunately. But, he feels that should he keep the nose clean, that No. 47 will be a threat to win on Saturday.
“I think I learned a lot the last time I ran up there and we also have a good notebook to look at. I actually have a couple of guys that I’ve been messaging back and forth with who I consider experts up at Loudon. I’ve even got a plan to work with one of them in practice to make sure we can get the car tuned for running in the draft. We should have a solid piece off the trailer, and I’m excited to work these guys who’ve gained my trust after all the work and improvement we’ve done.”
Last season, Perry had a career year, winning three out of nine races in MRS 2021. However, a pair of DNF’s cost him a shot at the title, which was taken by Brian Robie. With a six race schedule for MRS 2022, the need to not only finish, but finish well is paramount right from the get-go.
“It makes it tough, especially going to Loudon for the first race. It’s a big track and big things can happen there. You can make or break your season in just the first race of the year. We can’t make any mistakes, because the team with the least mistakes will usually come out clean and win the race. If we can do that, get a good finish, then it will be a good year.”
Along with the MRS, Perry and the 47 camp will participate in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Granite State Short Track Cup; the three races at Lee USA Speedway, Monadnock Speedway, and Claremont Motorsports Park. He will also be back on dirt at Lebanon Valley Speedway in his family-owned Sportsman Modified for a pick-and-choose schedule.
Naturally, he hopes to pick up more races along the way should anyone be willing to give him a shot.
“We got the full MRS schedule. We’re also running the three Granite State Whelen Modified Tour races at Lee, Monadnock, and Claremont with the 47 as of right now. We’ll be playing a little bit with the dirt stuff. That’s about it for now. I’m hoping to be back in a Dirt Midget for a few shows, but yeah nothing too crazy, we got a plan.”