The Modifieds were back in town, and the action didn’t disappoint.
With $10,000 on the line in the annual Open Wheel Wednesday, Ronnie Williams was holding the big check at the finish. But he didn’t have the dominant car throughout the whole race. Early, it was NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular Ron Silk who charged from his fifth-place starting spot through the field to take the lead on the outside lane. But when Silk, Woody Pitkat and Matt Hirschman pitted from the front just after halfway, the complexion of the race changed.
Matt Swanson, another regular on the Whelen Modified Tour, charged to the lead and tried to hold off a charging Williams, who had pitted himself before halfway. Although Swanson did everything he could, he was just hanging on at the end on the older tires, and had to eventually settle for third. Williams won, while Tommy Barrett returned to modified racing, and Seekonk, and finished second.
The Tri Track Open Modified Series qualifying format always provides exciting heat races, and it did it once again on Wednesday. Three, 15 lap, heat rounds were contested and fans got to see some side-by-side, rubbing action that the modifieds are known for.
How about the run for Rob Murphy in the feature? The former Seekonk Sports Truck champion was running second in the final half of the feature, and for a while, it looked like he had a chance to try and snag the win away from the rest of the field. It definitely was impressive, and kudos to him and his team for taking the local knowledge and showcasing it in front of home town fans. That home town advantage still lives on.
The NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites were also in town for their annual Boston Louie Seymour Memorial classic. In the NEMA Lites, an extended distance of 50 laps occurred in memory of Dave Steele. Former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ken Schrader was at the track competing in the Steele event, where he finished fourth. Ryan Locke was able to celebrate as the winner in that one.
Shortly after, Avery Stoehr broke into Victory Lane in the NEMA Midgets feature, scoring the Boston Louie classic checkered flag. The Midgets only come to Seekonk once a year, but I can tell just from walking around the stands that a lot of the fans enjoy watching them on the brink of losing control. Those Midgets are certainly one of the more dangerous cars in all of auto racing, and watching drivers wheel them is a pleasure.
Even though we had two modified races in the month of June, we will have to wait a few months for them to return. The next time they will be on the track is the Haunted Hundred in October.