III READY FOR TRI-TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES
AT WATERFORD-NEW LONDON SPEEDBOWL
Les Hinckley III of Windsor Locks thinks about the
Tri Track Open Modified Series, one word comes to
his mind — “competition.”
“It’s as competitive as any racing series you’ll
find in New England,” Hinckley said. “There are top
notch drivers from every division that competes in
the Northeast. The heat races are stacked with great
drivers. Then if you have to go to the consolation
races or the B Mains, it doesn’t get any easier.
You’re surrounded by great cars.”
Hinckley, however, has watched the first three races
in the Tri-Track series from the disabled list. He
competed in the opening Valenti Modified Racing
Series event at Monadnock Speedway, but then was
operated on to have a disk removed from his neck.
His return was a memorable one. After being idle for
three months, he came back and won in his comeback
race, the Valenti Series Victor Johnson Memorial 100
at Monadnock Speedway on Aug. 22.. Then on Aug. 29,
he was pinch-hitting for Ryan Pennink in the Gary
Casella Automotive No. 25 and finished third.
His toughest challenge will take place Sunday. He be
driving his own car, the 06, in the Dunleavy Truck &
Trailer Repair 100 at the New London Waterford
Speedbowl, a track on which Hinckley has had mixed
“We won a Valenti race there a few years back, and
we’ve also crashed there,” Hinckley said. “But we’ve
always been quick there.”
Hinckley will be surrounded by open-wheel all-stars.
Drivers such as Ryan Preece, Doug Coby and Ted
Christopher on the Whelen Tour, Chris Pastryak,
Woody Pitkat and series point leader Todd Annarummo
from the Valenti Series, Matt Hirschman and Andy
Jankowiak from the Race of Champions Series and
George Brunnhoelzl and Andy Seuss will be in action.
Also entered is one of the most talented teen-age
drivers in the Northeast, Tommy Barrett.
Hinckley, however, should be motivated by the
“This is what we do best; we know we’re going to
have a fast car,” Hinckley said. “It‘s all about the
circumstances you find yourself in. Sometimes they
shine on you. Sometimes they bite you.”
The money is also a motivator — an overall purse of
more than $50,000, with $5,0000 going to the winner.
A driver can also pocket $1,000 by winning the
Ballard Trucking Circle of Friends B Main. It will
be one of the most lucrative races ever held at the
Team will be allowed to change one tire during the
race, putting an extra layer of strategy into the
“The guys who put a right rear tire on in the last
race had a difficult time getting back through the
field,” Hinckley said. “We’ll probably plan on
making a tire change. That’s something we always
plan on before the race. But that plan is always
subject to change during the race. It all depends on
what happens. That’s a decision that Butch Shea, my
crew chief, will have to make.”
Hinckley is just happy to do what he does best —
rubbing fenders with the best drivers in the
During the past five years, one of those drivers has
been Keith Rocco. He has won more races than anyone
at the Speedbowl including two victories last year
on the Valenti Modified Racing Series with a
His No. 68 car will be in action Sunday to take a
shot at the $5,000.
“Sunday is going to be an eventful day,” Rocco said.
“I’d love to see about 50 Modifieds show up.”
Rocco says he has a car that can run with anyone.
“My car is pretty fast all the time,” Rocco said.
“Whether we pit for a tire or not depends on how the
race goes. George Savery didn’t change a tire when
he won the Tri-Track race at Seekonk, so he proved
it can be done.
“Tire strategy will be important. We just don’t know
what our strategy is yet.”
He doesn’t have to know until Sunday afternoon.
Practice starts at noon Sunday, with the first
qualifying heat races starting at 1:30. The
Speedbowl’s SK Lites and Late Model divisions will
be in action.
Following the consolation race and the Ballard
Trucking Circle of Friends Race, the Dunleavy Truck
& Trailer Repair 100 will take place.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $8 for juniors 13-16,
Children 12-and-under always are admitted free.
For more information, contact
speedbowlct.com or call 860-442-7223.
Michael Serluca /
September 10, 2015