Richard Savary grew up at Seekonk Speedway (MA) watching his father, New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer George Savary, win Modified races. The younger Savary has raced at the track off and on since the 80’s and experienced his fair share of success in Modified competition at “The Cement Palace. But what he accomplished on Thursday night tops it all.
The Canton, Massachusetts driver came out on top of a fierce battle with James Civali to win the $10,000-to-win Tri-Track Open Modified Series Open Wheel Wednesday event.
“In a Modified, this is definitely at the top,” Savary told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s definitely the biggest win of my career. I’ve been coming to Seekonk since 1975 watching my dad race and win Modified races. To win this race here is a big deal.”
Savary started the 100-lap feature from the fourth spot but quickly made his way into the second position following a lap 3 restart. From there, he closed in on Civali and began making a challenge for the race lead. The two drivers put on a show for the fans going wheel-to-wheel for nearly 15 laps before Savary used a power move on the outside to take over the lead on lap 27.
It was just a hard race and a hard run,” Savary said of the battle with Civali. “I tried to cross him over then I’d let the tires cool down and go back to the outside. We just got a good run off of two to get along side of him. For the fans that must have been great to see that side-by-side going on.”
Civali, who was making just his third start in a Modified since 2011, wowed fans throughout the night as he piloted the No. 52 Wayne Darling-owned machine to a runner-up finish. For a driver who hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to race in recent years, the strong showing with a brand new team was very encouraging.
“We were hoping to be able to do this but you know how hard it is to come out here for a one-race deal, never worked with these guys, never driven here in a Modified,” said Civali. “It was pretty cool to come out and run like this. The car was about as close as it could be. We were just a couple inches short. Our cars were nearly identical.”
Over the course of the last two seasons, Savary has been a force to be reckoned with in Modified competition at Massachusetts’ only asphalt oval. He scored a Valenti Modified Racing Series win at the track in 2014 and then backed that up by visiting victory lane in the series’ only visit to the track so far in 2015.
He attributes his recent success at the track to the amount of laps he’s completed at the speedway throughout his career.
“I think it’s just from racing here so long and knowing where to run on the track,” Savary stated. “You know that if you’ve got a good car here you’ve just got to cover the bottom and that is what James was doing. Knowing that, our car was running on the outside and that’s how we got the lead and then I covered the bottom.”
For Savary, winning at his home track makes the biggest win of his career even more special. Dozens of people flocked to victory lane after the race to congratulate him on his win.
“People kind of consider this to be a home track for me because I started my career here back in the 80’s,” Savary explained. “I only come here a couple times and it feels like it’s old home week where you see so many people you know. It’s great to see everybody and then to have them see a good run just tops it off.”
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com