The Northeast’s top Modified racers have plenty of reasons to book a Memorial Day weekend trip to New Hampshire’s Upper Valley. Thousands of them, in fact.
With $15,000 on the line for the winner alone, next Friday’s Racers Honoring Racers 100 at Claremont Motorsports Park is shaping up to be one of the biggest races for Tour-Type Modifieds in New England this spring.
The race is a tribute and a testament to a promoter who has been instrumental in the resurgence of open-competition Modified racing in the Northeastern United States.
Situated only minutes from the Vermont border, Claremont Motorsports Park has become an important bridge between the ardent racing fans of the Upper Valley and southern New England’s fascination with Modifieds. The Racers Honoring Racers 100 brings together the top drivers from New Hampshire’s weekly Modified program, the NASCAR Modified Tour and other regional touring series in a veritable who’s-who of open-wheel talent.
Claremont promoter Mike Parks, a former Pro Stock competitor himself, has been committed to big-dollar shows since taking the reins at the speedway in 2020. Parks, working with Modified supporter Dick Williams and promotional team The Racing Guys, hosted the Maurice Enterprises 100 at Claremont that summer, drawing cars from all over for a $10,000-to-win Tour-type Modified open.
The Racers Honoring Racers 100 is another collaborative effort between Parks and The Racing Guys, with added support from Ron Bouchard’s Auto Stores and Maurice Hurd of Maurice Enterprises.
Williams, who has announced his retirement, is among the racers recognized through the all-star showdown. The longtime promoter and Modified supporter was one of the founders of the Tri-Track Open Modified Series in 2014. Through the efforts of Williams and superfan Jim Schaefer, the “Long Island Mod Maniac,” high-stakes open-competition events rose in popularity over the last eight years as a companion, if not a competitor, to established championship Modified racing.
Also being honored through Friday’s race is Bob Summers, the founder of Hoosier Tire East, who passed away in early 2020. Summers first partnered with the racing-tire specialists in 1981, building Hoosier Tire East into the key supplier for racing tires to tracks and tours throughout the Northeast.
The track-record winner’s prize has tempted many of the region’s top names in open-wheel racing. Six-time NASCAR Modified Tour champ and recent Tour winner Doug Coby, versatile veteran Woody Pitkat, and Connecticut contender Les Hinckley are among the visiting challengers.
Their road trip will be far from a walk in the park, though. Local champion Brian Robie, Vermont hotshoes Dwight and Joey Jarvis, and rising star Matthew Kimball are only a few of the regional racers trying to keep the $15,00 jackpot a little closer to home.
To take home the big prize, locals and long-haulers alike will have to go through Matt Hirschman. “Big Money Matt” has been true to his reputation in 2022, winning up and down the Eastern seaboard and even earning a berth in July’s Superstar Racing Experience event at Stafford Motor Speedway. Hirschman won the Maurice Enterprises 100 in 2020, pocketing $10,000 and making himself an early favorite for next Friday.
But Claremont’s tricky third-mile layout is anything but textbook, and on the drop of the green flag, all past experience is merely a formality.
The Racers Honoring Racers 100 headlines a full Friday-night racing card featuring Claremont’s In City Sugar Shack Mini Stocks, 103 Auto/Heads Up Motorsports Late Model Sportsmen, Avery Insurance Six Shooters and LaValley Building Supply Pure Stocks. Gates open at 5:00pm, with racing starting at 7:00pm. Tickets are available exclusively at the gate for Friday’s race. Adult admission is $30.00, seniors are $20.00, children 6-12 are $5.00 and kids 5 and under are free.
For more information, please visit Claremont Motorsports Park at http://www.claremontmotorsportspark.com or find us on Facebook.