In the mid 1970’s, D Anthony Venditti was already looking for a lower cost alternative to the already expensive open wheel Modifieds that ruled the northeast. After a trip to the mid-west, D Anthony had his future. Beginning in 1978, the All Pro division raced with the Cadet division with a flag waving from the trunk to differentiate the two alike looking cars. In 1979, they became their own division, with a name change to the widely known Pro Stock later that season. In 1980, the Modifieds were ousted and the Pro Stocks were the headlining division. After the modifieds returned for 3 more seasons, in 1984, the Pro Stocks became, and have remained the premier division of the A.R.C.
The cars were stock built race cars, not that different to our current Street Stock division, where many of the components had to remain stock on the car. Over the years, the cars got away from the stock steel bodies used in the early days and went to the more readily available fiberglass bodies, which were being shaped like many of the road vehicles. This continues to be the body choice used by just about all of the competitors.
While the exterior appearance continues to look much like the cars on the road, underneath the body lays a custom built race car. With a full tubular chassis and protective roll cage, this machine was not meant for the street. They are powered by a spec GM crate engine with over 400 Horsepower, which is designed to help keep the cost down. With the cost of a complete, ready to race crate engine, the cost is under $10,000, while competitors were spending over 3 times that amount to compete. This has allowed the competitors to continue to compete, while keeping costs down.
The tires are a 10” wide slick American Racing tire. These tires are designed to help with the cost of competition while keeping everyone on the same playing field. Each tire manufactured is made from the same compound so there is no advantage from one competitor to another. This keeps the drivers on their toes and their crew chiefs working hard to find the balance needed.
Over the past 30 plus years, many tracks have brought the Pro Stock class into their speedways; some have re-named them Super Late Models, while keeping the same principal. At Seekonk, the Pro Stock is alive and well, and will continue to honor the memory and vision of D Anthony Venditti.