Story By: KYLE SOUZA / TRI-TRACK SERIES – BARRE, VT – For the first time in the history of the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series, race teams are heading to Vermont this weekend.
On Sunday, May 29, the series will celebrate Memorial Day weekend at Thunder Road Speedbowl as part of the 59th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic for the Granite City 100. The $10,000 to win race, which bolsters a purse of over $40,000 throughout the field with $1,200 to start, will draw some of the top Modified talent to the Vermont speedplant for one of the most anticipated races of the year.
A field of 25 cars is prepared to assemble for the race on Sunday and it includes names like Matt Hirschman, Chase Dowling, Ronnie Williams, Chris Pasteryak and more. Hirschman, a six-time Tri-Track champion, leads the point standings entering the second race of the season. The man they call “Big Money” has put together a dominant start to the 2022 season up and down the East Coast, including winning the $10,000 opener of the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series season at Monadnock Speedway on April 30.
Dowling, Williams and Pasteryak look to get to Victory Lane at Thunder Road. Oddly enough, although few drivers in the field have previous laps at the track since Modifieds haven’t been to Thunder Road in over a decade, Chris Pasteryak is one driver who does. The Lisbon, Connecticut, native had a top–five finish with the Modified Racing Series there in 2010 and was ninth in 2009. Kirk Alexander, who is entered for Sunday’s race driving the Norm Perry No. 76, won the Modified Racing Series event at Thunder Road in 2008.
Les Hinckley, who is working through the 2022 season with a new car, also has previous laps at Thunder Road, finishing seventh and sixth in his two Modified Racing Series starts at the track. The above names will be joined by New Hampshire standouts Brian Robie and Matthew Kimball, veteran Todd Patnode, Sam Rameau, Richard Savary, Matthew Swanson, Carl Medeiros Jr. and more.
Coming off a strong top-five finish last weekend in a different Modified event at Lee USA Speedway, rising star Jake Johnson may be one of the favorites heading into Thunder Road. Johnson may only have a few Tour-Type Modified races under his belt, but has shown speed and is excited to be traveling to a new track for Memorial Day weekend.
“I’m excited to head to Thunder Road, especially since no one has been there in a Modified in many years and I feel like this will even the playing field for drivers like me that have a lack of experience,” Jake Johnson said. “Coming off a strong run with the BRE Racing team at Lee USA Speedway last weekend, hopefully I’ll have some good momentum on my side heading back to the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series to race in Vermont.”
Max Zachem, set to compete in the No. 20 for his family-owned team, is another driver with previous laps at Thunder Road. The Preston, Connecticut, native finished inside the top-10 at the track in 2010.
“I’m excited to get back to Thunder Road this weekend,” Max Zachem said. “My rookie year in 2010, I ran there in the Modified Racing Series – we had a top-five finish and led some laps. Cris Michaud and company have done an excellent job revamping the track and we’re excited to return for Memorial Day weekend. I really believe our cars and tire compound will be an excellent race with the great entry list we have heading into the weekend.”
On Saturday, May 28, Thunder Road will hold a practice session from 11-3:30 p.m. for any Monaco Modified Tri-Track teams who would like to attend to get some early laps.
The race day schedule at Thunder Road includes one Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series practice from 10:45-11:45 a.m., and qualifying heats beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Granite City 100 is scheduled to take the green flag around 3:30 p.m., live on FloRacing.TV. All of the racing action from the day at Thunder Road – which includes a 125-lap race for the Maplewood Irving Late Models – will air live on FloRacing.TV for fans who can’t make it to the track.
Tickets for the event are $30 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-12 and kids five and under are free. Pit passes will be $35 for ACT licensed members and $45 for non-members.