in the late 1970's and early '80's the "Open Show"
format was highly popular for pavement Modifieds up
and down the east coast, and Star Speedway was a
part of that. This Saturday night and 30 years
later, those memories will be rekindled by a new
generation of stars.
With drivers like 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee
Richie Evans from Rome, New York and Brian Ross, who
ran a few races at Star some 30 years ago from his
Ballston Spa, N.Y., home at the request of Evans,
these type of shows thrived in most instances.
"Richie was instrumental in making those races
successful," Ross recalls. "I don't know whether the
promoters called on him for help or if he did it on
his own. He would call up different guys or see guys
at the races and say hey come on up to the show at
"Usually if he asked you or hinted that it would be
fun, you kind of followed up with it. He had that
leadership and charisma. He used his leadership role
very, very well."
The 2012 version of this Exeter Decorating SBM 125
Modified Open at Star will count only green flag
laps, with a pit stop to change one tire allowed,
bringing the potential for a race never seen at Star
before. This just might be a race that fans will
remember 30 years into the future.
Drivers such as Mike Stefanik, Matt Hirschman, Jon
McKennedy, Jacob Dore, Josh Cantara, Louie
Mechalides and Bobby Santos have visited victory
lane at Star, and are familiar with the
surroundings. Others like Todd Szegedy, Richie
Pallai and Brian Loftin will compete for the first
time, while Doug Coby, Ryan Preece and Les Hinckley
will be in less familiar territory, but talented
just the same.
"I looked forward to going there just because it was
a different place to go, where you might get a
different group of guys you're racing against," Ross
noted. "Those shows were always fun. It was
something different. It gets you out of your regular
routine and your points chasing deal. Richie liked
the shows that put up a good purse and were fun to
The Grand Marshall for the event, and former car
owner Mario Fiore is one of many fans who will be at
Star on Saturday for the first time in many years.
These types of events were always among his
favorites. Fiore's most memorable win came in the
Race of Champions Modified Open at Flemington, N.J.,
when a guy he didn't even know at the time, Billy
Pauch filled in as a last minute driver replacement,
and he won the race.
"It should be really interesting," Fiore remarked.
"I enjoy watching them race on a small track. I'm
looking forward to it."
The Saturday program begins with an abbreviated
concert at 4:50 PM, featuring Jilly Martin and Ryan
Brooks Kelly. At 5:30 PM racing begins with heat
races for the Outlaw Late Models, Strickly Stocks
and Roadrunners, with the Exeter Decorating SBM 125
qualifying heats to begin just after 6:00 PM. The
main event is slated for approximately 8:30 PM.
Admission for this special event is only $25 for
adults, with seniors and juniors aged 11-15 admitted
for $15. Kids 10 and under are FREE with a paid
adult. For more information log onto:
www.star-speedway.com, call the track at
(603) 679-5306, or check out the official
Star Speedway Facebook page.