Seekonk, Mass. (June 9th): Anthony Nocella of Woburn, MA, has had a strong start to the 2017 season. He hopes to ride the momentum to a win on Open WheelWednesday at Seekonk Speedway on June 28 for the season-opening event for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS).
A regular on the Valenti Modified Racing Series, Nocella has posted two podium finishes in the Series’ first two events of 2017 including a win at Stafford Motor Speedway on May 19 and a third-place finish on May 27 at Lee USA Speedway. The versatile driver has also posted a victory on dirt this season in the POWRi Lucas Oil All-star Midget League event at Glen Ridge Motor Sports Park in Fultonville, NY.
Noting the lore of Stafford Motor Speedway, Nocella called the win at Stafford the biggest Modified win of this career.
“I feel like there is a lot of history there,” said Nocella with a bit of awe. “I have always wanted to win there. Plus, it is super competitive with guys that run there every week.”
He attributes his early season success to experience, preparedness, new team members who help at the shop, new sponsors for 2017 including AirGas and most notably the support of his Dad.
“We have been building and now we have good notes from the previous years. We finally have a good set-up under the car when we go to the different [tracks],” said Nocella. “It really started last year. We ended the year with strong finishes.”
Not only will Nocella have momentum on his side but the young wheelman has found victory at Seekonk Speedway in a Modified and in NEMA and Ford Focus Midgets. A victory in the track’s prestigious D. Anthony Venditti Memorial event was also Nocella’s first in a Modified.
“I have two wins in the Modified at Seekonk,” added Nocella, “and four or five wins in the Midgets.”
Nocella will be doing double duty on Open Wheel Wednesday competing in the prestigious Boston Louie Memorial for the Northeastern Midget Association, which is also on the racing card, for owner Bobby Seymour, who helped Nocella launch his budding career.
Off the track, Nocella is a quiet, unassuming young man. Yet, just below the surface lies an intensity and passion that quickly becomes evident on the track. With seven wins in the Modified Racing Series including the two at Seekonk, Nocella undoubtedly will be considered a contender among the strong field vying for the $10K purse.
“I feel like we will be fast,” added Nocella dryly. “The car is usually good and fast [at Seekonk]. If we are decent part way through the race, we will have a shot to win.”
He was; however, quick to point out the level of competition at this and all the Tri-Track Open Modified Series events.
“There will be a lot of good cars. It is going to be tough just getting into the race through the heat races.”
The event promises plenty of excitement with $10,000 on the line and a roster that features some of the best Modified racers in the country in 100-laps of green flag racing.
And, as Nocella pointed out, “it’s pretty racy even though it is a circle. It’s a two groove track that allows you to race side-by-side.”
So, what would Nocella do with the big payday?
“We would put it back into the car,” said Nocella. “The purse would definitely help pay the bill to freshen our motors.”
Nocella will surely be among the first to arrive at the “Cement Palace” when pit gates open at 10am on Wednesday, June 28. Grandstands open at 4pm with racing scheduled to go green at 6:30pm. Entry to Seekonk Speedway’s pit area is $35. Grandstand admission is only $25. Tickets are available online by visiting SeekonkSpeedway.com or by calling the Speedway office at 508.336.9959 Monday
through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. A rain date has been set for Thursday, June 29.