RPW Column: The Champ Trail: Stafford Stays With Flo, MRS Sets Schedule, Preece To SHR & More…

Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – As of this coming Friday, January 14, four weeks remain before the start of the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Modified tour season at the New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna, Fl on Saturday, February 12.

From New Smyrna the WMT will wind its way north for a total of 16 events and will end the season at the Martinsville Speedway on Thursday, October 27.

The World Series for the tour type modifieds at New Smyrna will begin on Monday, Feb 14 and wind up on Fri, Feb 18 with the Richie Evans Memorial 100. Included in the series is the John Blewett III Memorial 76 lapper on Wed, Feb 16. The Super Late Model Orange Blossom 100 closes out the World Series on Saturday night, Feb18, FloRacing will live stream all events.

In some real good news, after a successful first year, Stafford Speedway and FloRacing are proud to announce an extended multi-season partnership to broadcast all of Stafford’s racing events on FloRacing in 2022 and beyond. In addition to the extended partnership, FloRacing has contributed $40,000 to the Stafford Speedway weekly racing point fund to boost the total point fund payout to $73,000 in 2022.

“Our first season with FloRacing has been nothing short of a success,” explained Stafford COO Paul Arute. “Our goal is always to showcase the teams and drivers that call Stafford home and our production team accomplished that in 2021. We will continue to focus on telling our competitor’s stories on the weekly FloRacing broadcast and through all of our social media content. For anyone who tuned in throughout the 2021 season you saw the Stafford Speedway production team’s continued evolution of the broadcast. We look forward to bringing race fans more of the same for many years to come on the FloRacing platform. New for 2022 FloRacing will boost the point fund for our five weekly divisions replacing the weekly FloRacing bonuses in 2021.”

With their FloRacing subscription Stafford Speedway fans will continue to have access to an ever growing list of short track racing offerings on asphalt and dirt across the country.

The 2022 point fund will reward the top-15 in the SK Modified® division and the top-10 in the Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock divisions with $73,000 in bonuses. This, on top of the nearly $650,000 in prize money awarded to the weekly divisions throughout the season, pushes the total prize money up for grabs in 2022 north of $700,000.

“Adding another $40,000 into the point fund is big for the weekly competitors,” continued Arute. “We say it over and over, weekly racing is our number one priority and the growth of this point fund revolves around that focus. We have to thank FloRacing for supporting our 5 weekly divisions and look forward to continuing to entertain everyone who tunes in with the best weekly asphalt racing in the country.”All of Stafford’s 24 scheduled events will air live on FloRacing.

Word comes from Bob Finan on Long Island that the 2021 champions of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series of Riverhead Raceway will be recognized Friday evening January 14th at The All Star of Riverhead. Seven divisional champions will receive their 2021 championship rings from Connie Partridge & Tom Gatz to complement the championship plaque and point fund check honoring their 2021 success.

The championship awards were to be presented prior to the Islip 300 on Saturday November 13th of 2021, however when severe weather moved in pushing the event to Sunday afternoon track management made the decision to move the championship awards presentation off the race program. The decision to postpone the championship awards came about to streamline the now Sunday show in order to allow fans an early start home for work Monday, along with a 20 plus degree dip in the ambient temperature from Saturday to Sunday.

The 2021 Riverhead Raceway parade of champions will be led by Buzz Chew Chevrolet NASCAR Modified champion Kyle Soper who captured his third championship in four years with car owners Wayne & Joette Anderson. In addition to the championship plaque, point fund check and ring, Soper and team will be presented the with Eddie Partrdige NASCAR Modified Championship Drivers Cup.

Joining Soper during the parade of champions for 2021 are Jeremy McDermott, Late Models, Richie Davidowitz, Crate Modifieds, Scott Pedersen, Figure Eights, Cody Triola, Blunderbusts, Jack Handley Jr., Super Pro Trucks, George Tomko Jr., Legend Race Cars, Brian Brown, Street Stocks and Paul Wojcik, Mini Stocks. Additionally the top five in all nine divisions will be presented their 2021 point fund checks and plaques.

One positive aspect of the two month delay in the awards presentation now allows the 2021 Rookie of the Year drivers to be named and honored Friday night from the seven NASCAR divisions. The Bandolero class had a post race awards ceremony with trophies provided by JCR Motorsports awarded after the final race in September.

The All Star of Riverhead can be found at 96 Main Road (Route 25) in Riverhead, NY 11901, just west of the Route 105 intersection.

After a long period of speculation Jack Bateman has finally released the 2022 Modified Racing Series tentative schedule .

In 2022 it include 6 Tracks in 3 states .

The MRS will begin the 2022 season at N.H.I.S in Louden,N.H. at The Northeast Classic for open practice day on April 15th and then on Saturday April 16th they will compete in a 50 lap event at the Granite States Magic Mile. The series then moves to the White Mountain Motorsports Park in beautiful Woodstock N.H. for 75 laps on June 4th. Next stop on the 2022 campaign will be at the Wiscasset Speedway in Wiscasset ,Me. on July 9th with 75 laps of competition with a unique exciting format to be announce at a later date.

The next stop is on August 27th at the Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford Me. for the Saturday nite before” The 250″ for 75 laps. The series next returns to the Granite state to Epping NH at Star Speedway on Star Classic weekend to close out the weekend on Sunday September 18th for 100 laps of competition. The 2022 season will come to conclusion at the World Series of Racing at Thompson Speedway in Thompson CT. on October 7th for 50 laps on the high banks.

It was great to hear that Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has hired Ryan Preece as its reserve driver for the 2022 NASCAR season. The 31-year-old racer from Berlin, Connecticut, will perform simulator work while running a mix of races across each of NASCAR’s top-three touring series, Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck. Preece will be a Ford Performance driver in each series, and he will be the default driver if any of SHR’s fulltime drivers are unable to compete due to COVID-19 or any other unforeseen circumstance.

Preece will run a total of 12 races, two in Cup, three in Xfinity and seven in Truck. His Cup and Xfinity Series races will be in coordination with SHR and its technical alliance partners. His Truck Series starts will come with David Gilliland Racing.

Preece’s two Cup Series races will be May 1 at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway and May 29 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. His three Xfinity Series races will be April 2 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, May 28 at Charlotte and June 25 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. His seven Truck Series races will be March 4 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 19 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, May 6 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, May 20 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, June 24 at Nashville, July 23 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Sept. 9 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

On a sad note, Dick Daddario, longtime Whelen Modified Tour official and hauler driver, passed away last week. He was a close friend of Brian Ross and a partner at one point.

Steady Eddie Flemke, a Modified legend in his own time, won the first ever race on asphalt at Stafford in 1967 and the first ever race at Stafford that was promoted by Jack Arute in 1970. Flemke won on 23 occasions before retiring. His last victory at Stafford was in the Labor Day 200 at Stafford in 1977.

Read all about it in the all-new book, The Modified Years At Stafford, by the Grace of God and 600 hp, which is gaining interest and has become a must have in race fans and competitors library. The book documents Modified Racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway from 1967 to 1986. Race by Race, Year by Year, it’s all there. Read all about it! Books are now available on Amazon.com and Coastal 181 (877-907-8181 toll free) and are available thru Stafford’s web site in their store. Order yours now. Makes a great gift!

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