This Saturday night, the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) heads to Monadnock Speedway for the running of the Monadnock 100. The facility, now under the ownership of the Wrenn Family, is located in Winchester, NH, just 10 miles, give or take, from the towns of Swanzey - home of three Series’ regulars. These hometown favorites are also clear favorites to win at the quarter mile. Russ Hersey of Swanzey, Kirk Alexander and Todd Patnode, each of West Swanzey, NH, will head to their hometown track looking for victory.
Each like their chances when the 100-lapper goes green on Saturday night at approximately 9:15pm.
“It is my best opportunity to win a Tri-Track race,” said Hersey. “I’m the most comfortable at this track.”
Patnode, who runs at Monadnock weekly in the track’s NASCAR Sportsman Modified division, is the currently division’s point leader. He will undoubtedly be looking to add to his win tally.
“I am really looking forward to the race,” said Alexander, who has been plagued with misfortune all year. “I like our chances.”
Practice starts at 2pm. Qualifying for all divisions gets underway at 5pm including 15-lap qualifying heat races for the Modifieds. Features are expected to go green at approximately 6pm. There is a Sunday rain date for the event.
The similarities of these three drivers does not end with their confidence in their ability to win on Saturday night. Their histories, their prowess and their love for the track are as close as their geographic proximity.
All three drivers cut their teeth on the high banks of Monadnock Speedway. Alexander took his first laps in a Mini Stock while Hersey and Patnode got their starts in Street Stocks. The three grew up together racing at the track.
“We all started here and graduated through the ranks,” said Hersey. “Each of us has thousands of laps here.”
Alexander has feature victories in multiple divisions including Mini Stocks, Late Models, Pro Stocks and Modifieds; winning multiple track championships in Pro Stocks and Modifieds. Hersey has wins in Enduros, Street Stocks, Late Models, Pro Stocks and Modifieds; also winning multiple track championships in Pro Stocks and Modifieds. Patnode, too, has wins and championships in multiple divisions and looks to add to the list of titles in 2019.
All three have Tour-Type Modified wins at the speedway as well.
The most impressive of all the similarities between these three great racers; however, is not reflected in the record books. It may just be in the respect they still have for each other after decades of competition and the context within which it exists.
“I have no problem beating them and they have no problem beating me,” said Alexander, with an air of admiration and friendship.
Over the year’s there has been a perception of a rivalry between these three ultra-competitive drivers but what really exists is a kinship.
“There’s no rivalry between us,” said Hersey, too, with a genuine admiration in his voice. “But we still want to beat each other.”
All this has got to leave one to wonder, is there something in the water in Swanzey, NH?
He doesn’t necessarily drink the rarified water, but Brian Robie does share the same speedway. The addition of Monadnock to the 2019 Tri-Track Open Modified Series schedule was surely a welcome one for Robie of Sunapee, NH, another Series regular. This season, Robie has run wheel-to-wheel with Patnode in the track’s NASCAR Home Tracks Sportsman Modified division. Familiarity and comfort to the racy high-banked quarter mile could be just what Robie needs to break into TTOMS victory lane.
While there will be stiff competition from the over 30 drivers registered for the event on Saturday night, the Monadnock 100 could very well come down to one of these talented four drivers.
Adult general admission for a full racing card that also included Young Guns, Pure Stocks, Late Models, Sportsman Modifieds and Late Models is $30. Senior (65+) general admission is $20. General admission tickets for kids ages 11-18 is $10 and kids 10 and under are admitted free. Pit entry is $40.
To learn more, visit TriTrackMods.com, MonadnockSpeedway.com or visit follow both on social media.
-Tri-Track Open Modified Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com