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   The Chrome Horn - News




Back 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 Star.

"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 be at."

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.

Source: Kevin Rice / Star Speedway
Posted: June 14, 2012

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