CARMEL, Ind. – This Saturday May 20 will be one of the biggest events in the history of Modified racing, as the NSTA Top Speed Modified Tour, in conjunction with the Southern-based Modifieds of Mayhem Tour, will take part in the Short Track US Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway for the running of the Thunder Valley 50.
More than 80 entries were submitted from as far away as Texas and Canada with drivers hailing from nine different states and one Canadian province.
Tyler Shullick of Vermillion, Ohio is making his return to the Tour after an impressive 2016 campaign. He scored wins in the Tour’s final appearance ever on the pavement at Mansfield Motor Speedway and laid claim to the prestigious Hot Shoe 100 at Whittemore Speedway. Shullick has made his name known as a driver capable of making noise in big-time modified events. Shullick will be a strong favorite to add a win at Bristol to his already impressive resume.
Current series point leader Chad Poole of Springfield, Ohio has been a dominant force on the Tour in 2017. After running out of fuel while leading at Lucas Oil Raceway, Poole has won back-to-back races at Anderson Speedway and South Bend Motor Speedway. If his hot streak continues it will lead him to the front of the pack at Thunder Valley for what could be a third straight win and the biggest of his career.
Blake Rowe, winner of the opening race of the season is poised to return to the track for the first time since a devastating crash at Anderson. Rowe was on his way to capturing the win at Anderson before Bob Sibila Jr.’s mechanical failure took out both cars. Rowe was forced to miss the race at South Bend and relinquished his point lead. With a brand new car built for Bristol, Rowe looks to redeem himself and his Ortonville, Michigan based team with a strong performance at the concrete jungle in Eastern Tennessee.
Jeff Letson of Madison, Alabama is currently in third place in points for the Modifieds of Mayhem Tour after posting a podium finish at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia. The veteran driver, with over 20 years of experience, looks to park his familiar number 131 in victory lane. With impressive credentials on the short tracks of the southeastern United States, Letson is one of the favorites to capture a win at this famous venue.
The concrete surface, high banking and lightning fast speeds are daunting enough for the drivers of the NSTA Modified Tour. With one of the largest fields ever expected to be in attendance, simply qualifying for the Thunder Valley 50 will place an extreme amount of pressure on the drivers. The best drivers in Modified racing from across North America will be ready to meet the challenge and leave their legacy at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Tickets for the event are still available and can be purchased online through Bristol Motor Speedway. If you are unable to attend, you can watch flag-to-flag coverage of the events on pay-per-view available through Speed51.com.
-NSTA Top Speed Modified Series Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com