Brand New Northern Modified Challenge Series Announced

PHOTO: The all-new Northern Modified Challenge Series opens at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, VT with the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic on Sunday, May 26. Vince Quenneville, Jr. (#78), Cody Sargen (#55), and Ron Proctor (#27) are among the drivers expected to enter the series. (MemorEvents photo)

Modified racers to tackle northeastern asphalt and dirt tracks in five-race championship

RUTLAND, VT – Northeastern Modified stock car racing teams will be hitting the road in 2013. Management at Vermont’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway has announced the creation of the all-new Northern Modified Challenge Series for center-seat Modified cars. The five-race schedule will be the ultimate test for drivers and race teams, as events will be staged on both asphalt and dirt surfaces.

The Northern Modified Challenge Series will follow Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s 2013 Bond Auto Parts Modified division rulebook, allowing a wide variety of racecars from tracks across the Northeast to compete. While the sealed General Motors “602” crate engine will be the primary power plant that most teams use to compete, the events are also open to cars using 358 cubic-inch engines with a carburetor restrictor plate issued by series officials at each race.

The inaugural Northern Modified Challenge Series features a five championship events staged on four vastly different race tracks. The Challenge begins on Sunday, May 26 at 1:30pm at the high-banked quarter-mile at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT. The track’s 51st annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic will raise the curtain on the Challenge schedule with a 50-lap event, run as a companion race to the Vermont State Late Model Championship Series. Featuring 18-degree banked corners and the infamous “Widowmaker” wall, Thunder Road is sure to take even the best race teams to task in its first-ever event for dirt-style Modifieds.

Several teams have already turned laps in test sessions at Thunder Road in preparation of the May 26 event. Todd Stone of Middlebury, VT, who won the opening event at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on May 5, was one of the drivers who tested in April, turning fast laps of 12.6 seconds – nearly a half-second faster than the Late Model cars that compete there regularly. Not only will the Thunder Road event award championship points toward the Northern Modified Challenge Series, it will also give each competitor 50 bonus points toward the Devil’s Bowl Speedway track championship.

The Northern Modified Challenge Series will have an exciting two-track weekend doubleheader on August 2-3. The Challenge runs on its home track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT for the second annual C.J. Richards Memorial 67 presented by Carrara Masonry & Concrete on Friday, August 2 at 7:00pm. The Modified division has produced exciting side-by-side action and straightaway speeds topping 125 miles per hour at the Devil’s Bowl half-mile in its four seasons as an asphalt track.

The second half of the doubleheader brings the Northern Modified Challenge Series to Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, NH for a 50-lap showdown presented by S.K. Bean’s Enfield Garage on Saturday, August 3 at 6:00pm. Dirt-style Modified racing is not unprecedented on the fast, smooth 1/3-mile asphalt track at Canaan, although the most recent event for the cars there was staged nearly a decade ago.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway will host the Northern Modified Challenge Series again during its annual Vermont 200 Weekend on September 14-15. The event’s format, which will be designed to create exciting competition, will be announced at a later date.

The Northern Modified Challenge Series will crown its inaugural champion on Saturday, October 12 on the tough, racy 1/4-mile clay oval at Canaan Dirt Speedway in Canaan, NH at the second annual Jaycox Property Maintenance-sponsored “OctoberFAST” event. The Charlie Elliott Memorial Canaan Cup 100-lap main event will pay a cool $2,500 to the winner.

“We are so proud and excited to have created the Northern Modified Challenge Series for 2013,” NMCS Director Mike Bruno said. “I have to thank Tom Curley at Thunder Road and Dick Therrien at Canaan for their great support. Our tracks will showcase the talent level of the Modified drivers and teams in this region, and we are all really looking forward to these races.”

The Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic on Sunday, May 26 at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, VT is the opening event for both the Northern Modified Challenge Series and the Vermont State Late Model Championship Series, with racing scheduled to begin at 1:30pm. For more information, visit www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.com or call (802) 265-3112, or visit www.thunderroadspeedbowl.com or call (802) 244-6963.

NORTHERN MODIFIED CHALLENGE SERIES
2013 Schedule of Events
(as of Friday, May 10, 2013)

No. – Day/Date – Event – Distance – Start Time
1. Sunday, May 26 – Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic – 50 Laps – 1:30pm
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – high-banked 1/4-mile asphalt oval

2. Friday, Aug 2 – Carrara Masonry & Concrete C.J. Richards Memorial – 67 Laps – 7:00pm
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, VT – progressively-banked 1/2-mile asphalt oval

3. Saturday, Aug 3 – S.K. Bean’s Enfield Garage Night – 50 Laps – 6:00pm
Canaan Fair Speedway – Canaan, NH – semi-banked 1/3-mile asphalt oval

4. Saturday, Sept. 14 – Vermont 200 Weekend – Qualifying & Shootout Day – TBA – 1:30pm
Sunday, Sept. 15 – Vermont 200 Weekend – Main Event – TBA – 1:30pm
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, VT – progressively-banked 1/2-mile asphalt oval

5. Saturday, Oct. 12 – Jaycox Property Maintenance “OctoberFAST” – 100 Laps – 2:00pm
Charlie Elliott Memorial Canaan Cup
Canaan Dirt Speedway – Canaan, NH – semi-banked 1/3-mile clay oval

PHOTO: Alex Bell (#23) is one of a handful of drivers who have tested their open-wheel Modifieds at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, VT in preparation for the Northern Modified Challenge Series event on Sunday, May 26. (Alan Ward photo)

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