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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



by Denise DuPont

There are many teams and drivers that participate in racing but when it comes down to doing what you love the low-budget teams are right on top. Every race team struggles when it comes to finding sponsors and backing for the money needed to race. Some teams get big sponsors while others remain mom and pop type race teams and shops.

On the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour there are two teams that come to mind when you think low budget racing, Wade Cole (#33 NWMT) and Jake Marosz (#9 NWMT).

Wade Cole is there every race competing and trying to do the best he can. What does it mean to him to be a low budget racer competing on the NWMT? “You always just try to do better. You do not have the money that the big teams have. So you do the best with what you have. We are trying just to improve. A lot of teams try to help us get a little better and that is what we are after. We just want to try to be more competitive.”

Modified cars have been competing on short tracks weekly and on larger tracks as part of the NASCAR Touring series. The short track racing can be as competitive as the Tours and cost less so why do low budget teams such as Cole and Marosz select to run in longer more costly events? “Both of them (short track and Modified Tour racing) are great choices,” Wade Cole said about weekly short tracks versus the Tour division. “I enjoy the tour because of the camaraderie. Sometimes when you are at a small track it is a little bit tougher to get along with people. The short track racing - crashing and stuff like that. Out here (Mod Tour) everybody tries to help everybody. It is a really good experience. There is a lot of knowledge. The knowledge on the tour is just incredible with the top teams that have the knowledge. Top teams knowledge they sometimes share with you and you just do not pass it on to somebody else.”

This year Wade Cole helped fellow NWMT racer, Jake Marosz, when Marosz needed a car to continue racing. Marosz had sold his race equipment to support his business and ensure his families income. Cole knew Marosz loved racing and took an opportunity to help Marosz out when racing spring came. “We have worked together for several years. Financially he could not do it again this year. “I asked him if he wanted to retire or was it that he could not afford to race?” He said he could not afford to race. So basically I put him in a car and it is his motor in the one car. I am buying it from him on the easy payment plan so we are taking one race at a time. We will see how it goes. He got into a little trouble today but it was not his fault. It was a racing mishap.”

Jake Marosz in the #9 car has been competing with the NWMT in every race that he can. Every race he is out there trying. He may not have the faster car and best equipment but he does have persistence and a love of racing modifieds. “We have been a low budget team now for seventeen years. I love the sport but sometimes it gets a little out of hand and it is hard to do it. Wade offered me an opportunity to drive this car and I was not expecting it.”

Marosz was prepared to be on the sidelines this year when the economic situation made him reassess his love of racing. “He (Wade) had an extra car. He bought the motor that was in my car originally. So I am driving his car with my motor and my carburetor. So I know how to get the setup with that.”

At Thompson’s Ice Breaker, Marosz was involved in an incident that took him out of competition early. “The car ran good today. I just got sideways. I went to stop and I could not stop in time, so I got sideways and hit the back. There is not much damage. We can fix it for fairly inexpensively. We are going to try to make a race at a time. We are going to try to stay out of trouble. If we do not have motor trouble then we will keep going the rest of the year.”

So with Stafford’s Spring Sizzler coming up, we will see more modified racing, local and tour cars.
Let’s see how the teams on a shoe string do.

Low Budget Race Team Notes:

Why do you want to race?

Wade Cole
“When I first started out, I was selling Speedway Scenes. I was about six year old. That was great. I thought it was wonderful. And then I worked on the car at my dad’s house. That was pretty darn good. They when I got to work on the car in the pits that was even greater. Unfortunately the one time I was offered a chance to run my dad’s car in a mechanics race. What happened was they lost the clutch in their car and my dad said “you are out and I am in”. I told him, “You know what, I really wanted to try it once.” We talked about what we could do and I got my own car for $300 bucks. That was in 1972. I ran my first race in 1972. And I have loved it ever since.”

Jake Marosz
“I wish I knew. Guess I just like the excitement of it. I like dancing and I like racing. I was in the infield watching racing when I was a kid. When I am in the infield watching the cars I want to be in it. I do not want to be on the sideline.” “My first race was at Waterford Speedbowl in 1974 in these modifieds. My friend went to buy one and he did not buy it. So I said, “Do you mind if I buy it? He said go ahead.” And that is how it all started. The fourth race that I ever went to, I was in a race car.”

Are there any lessons that you have taken away from Racing?

Wade Cole
“I use to drive a little crazy on the road and now that I drive the race car, I pretty much drive real slow. My wife tells me “Can you go a little faster.” It is not a thrill on the road. The thrill is driving on the race track with the people that are here. The fans and the little kids that are here, it is really great.”

With the NASCAR Modified Tour a more expensive division to run in, have you considered a modified car at a local track?

Jake Marosz
“I do not like the SKs. I tried it. I ran the tour years ago before it was “The Tour”. I ran here at Stafford, Thompson and Waterford in these types of cars here (Thompson Speedway). Then the tour came about and I retired. I retired a while to take care of the family. Then I came back into it and then I took a year off. Then before you know it I took thirteen years off.”

So how did Marosz get back into racing?

Jake Marosz

“My friend was retiring from racing and I bought everything that he had. It was the car #9 of Billy Simon from Cromwell, Ct. Then I went back into it. I wanted to go to Monadnock but you had to race there for the year. I did not want to drive the car there for the year, so I decided to go to Riverside. Then Wade said why don’t you come race up here at the Thompson 300. That was my first tour race in 1994. Then Loudon was the next race I went to. I have been on the tour ever since. I have not missed a race since then. I would say I am addicted to it. It is hard to get out of racing. I would not be in a car if it was not for Wade. My business is busy and taking up a lot of my time. So I had to think about retiring as an owner of a car. I just could not afford it.”

  Source: Denise DuPont /
Posted: April 21, 2010

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