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Within one week of distribution, several teams have already entered the 125-lap Modified Open at Star Speedway which has enthused Modified fans up and down the eastern seaboard. It's a race with no points, no riding- only hard racing for a cash payoff on race night that is expected to exceed $40,000.

The first to enter the race was Max Zachem, an emerging Modified driver from Preston, Conn., who has already found winning success as a teenager in Legends cars. Zachem earned $1,070 with a 15th place finish last season. Veteran Richard Savary of Canton, Mass., who nearly won the Star track championship the past two seasons also entered on the first day.

Other entries already made official come from the last two Star Speedway Track Champions, Josh Cantara and Jacob Dore. These two Maine drivers found success in last year's event.

Cantara's Hannaford Racing 71 Team pocketed $2,625 for his impressive third place finish, as he beat Modified legend Mike Stefanik to the finish line by inches. Dore was on his way to the front when a minor incident forced him out of the race, but not before he had earned $1,410 for a 16th place finish.

Also filing early entries last weekend were second generation drivers Mike Douglas Jr., and Russ Wood Jr. Both drivers have their fathers, who competed weekly at Star in the Big Block Supermodified division as their crew chiefs.

Douglas qualified into the SBM 125 last season, aided by a time trial run that put him in the front half of the field for qualifying heat races. For Wood, this will be his first attempt at making it into the Modified Open, which is expected to bring a field of more than 30 cars from all three northern Modified touring series' and beyond.

Several awards are already in place, including the $250 "Messina's Flooring First Timer Award" which is expected to be hotly contested among close to ten drivers making their first-ever visit to Star for the June 15 event. That is one of more than 15 special cash awards that will make up the SBM 125 payoff.

In fact, the total purse is being boosted by more than 60 percent through business sponsorships and race fan donations. It is truly an event like no other in pavement Modified racing. Due to a high interest in new drivers planning to compete, a practice session has been added on Friday, June 14 from 5:00-9 PM.

There will be many more entries filed before the June 8 deadline, including 2012 NASCAR Modified Champion Doug Coby, who will also compete at Star on May 18 and June 1 to get acclimated to the quarter-mile.

Modified stars Ryan Preece, who earned $3,855 last season, track favorite Jon McKennedy, VMRS Champion Chris Pasteryak, and 2012 race winner and RoC Champion Matt Hirschman, who pocketed $8,792 at last years event are just a few of the drivers who have committed to running this event.

The rules, schedule and entry forms will be posted on the track web site this week at: www.star-speedway.com. More information can also be found on the event Facebook page. Laps are being sponsored at a rate well ahead of 2012 pace as well, with less than 25 laps remaining.

Lap money, which in many cases are worth more than the minimum of $50, will again pay half to the race leader and half to another top ten car by draw. The lap board is listed on the track web site. For more information on how you can become a part of this very special event, please email Kevin Rice at: NEChatter@aol.com.

This third annual event grew from 16 entrants in 2011 to 26 last season, and with a field of more than 30 cars expected a "B-Main Payoff" has been added. The first driver who does not qualify will leave with a check for $500. The race pays a minimum of $600 for the 24 starters.

This event, sponsored in part by the "Long Island Mod Maniac" Jim Schaefer and Hoosier Tire East is a must see for any fan of Modified racing. Many more announcements will be forthcoming in the days ahead, with 24 drivers taking the green just six weeks from Saturday in an all-star event that is sure to be, "A Race To Remember".

Source: Kevin Rice / Star Speedway
Posted: May 1, 2013

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