Tom Herzig's Trackside: Modified will be busy this weekend if the weather cooperates
The Valenti Modified Series, which last went green in April, returns to action at Seekonk Speedway on Saturday night. Seekonk is familiar territory for Todd Annarummo of Swansea, Mass., who won the Modified feature at Star Speedway over the weekend.
Star is gearing up for its big, independent Modified show, the SBM 125, which goes Saturday, June 15. It's looking like the Star race, boosted by lap sponsorships and other contingencies, will have a payout in excess of $45,000, which would make it the biggest Modified race ever at the Epping bull ring.
Friday night, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is at Stafford. Like the Valenti Series, the Whelen Tour has been quiet since late April when Bobby Santos won Stafford's CarQuest 150. Santos is based in Indiana these days. He finished second to Darren Hagen on Memorial Day weekend in the "Night Before the 500" USAC Midget race at Lucas Oil Speedway. The next Modified Series race after Seekonk is at Stafford Motor Speedway Friday, June 21.
Star's SBM 125 will likely include some well-known chauffeurs from the Whelen Tour and the Modified Series such as Ted Christopher, Doug Coby, Ryan Preece, Rowan Pennink, Pennsylvanian Matt Hirschman and Granite Stater Andy Seuss.
The SBM 125 format calls for an allowable tire change during the event. It will be a officiated/overseen by the race control triumvirate of Bobby Webber Jr., NEMA Midgets Race Director Tom Fox and Area Auto News and Lowell Sun columnist Kevin Rice.
Matt Frahm of Salem won the Granite State Pro Stock Series David's House 106 at Monadnock. It was Frahm's second win on the Series circuit this season. The GSPSS races at Devil's Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vt., this weekend.
Frahm started on the pole of the David's House 106 in the MetRx No.14 after a redraw. He was soon getting pressured for the lead by Barry Gray and decided to keep his powder dry for the end.
"Monadnock is a racy, bumpy quarter-mile, a bit of a beat and bang track," Frahm said. "I took my time. I figured there would be some cautions. I knew Mike O'Sullivan was working his way up through. I feel like we had a little more tire at the end."
Frahm, 22, started racing Hobby Stocks at Star when he was 14. He moved up to a Small Block Supermodified and was third in points as a rookie. He's been mentored by the likes of Busch North Series ace Tracy Gordon and Bobby Cabral. He's done some racing in the Nationwide Series and will likely do some more at some point. K&N Pro Series veteran Buddy Desrocher is Frahm's car chief. His (car owner) father Dave, Roger Dion, Deanna Welch, Frank Paris and Roger Aubrey comprise the team. Frahm likes the Granite State Series format and says he's looking forward racing for the first time at Devil's Bowl.
Jeremy Davis of Tamworth watched Frahm and O'Sullivan race side by each for the final three laps and then managed to catch O'Sullivan at the line to claim second.
Davis won the 2012 Pro Stock title at Canaan and he won a GSPSS event there earlier this season. He grew up in a racing family. His grandfather won titles at Star and Lee. His mother, Kim, is a former Strictly Stock champ at White Mountain. His team includes his father, Mike, his sister, Nichole, and buddies Tom Harwood and Craig Pearson.
White Mountain got its season under way. Quinny Welch of Lancaster won the Late Model main. Welch was part of a 28-car field that attempted to compete in an ACT Tour 150 to open Riverside Speedway, but 29 laps in, the weather got bad. Within minutes of the race getting halted, there were flaming trees down over power lines on Route 3 south of the track.
At Lee on Friday, Jake Stergios of Candia carried the checkers for both a NEMA Lites feature and the Small Block Supermodified main. JR Baril of Haverhill, Mass.. won the Late Model Sportsman feature. Bob Watson, who served as Lee's General Manager and tirelessly worked the marketing beat, has returned to Florida where he has a home and a 7-year-old granddaughter who races quarter-midgets. Watson is putting together a three race winged Supermodified series slated for New Smyrna during Speed Week 2014.
Roger Tanguay of Lowell, Mass., came from the back of the pack for another Rookie Stock win at Hudsonon Sunday. Billy Osborne of Plaistow won the Roadrunner feature. Eric Vilandre of New Bedford, Mass., was the V-6 Modified winner.
Tom Herzig's column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org