EPPING, NH- Saturday’s SBM 125 IV Modified Open at Star Speedway will bring with it the highest purse in track history, and there is no more fitting event announcer than Ben Dodge, who has been calling Modified races for more than 40 years, and Star ranks at the top of his list of favorite race tracks.
“It is one of my favorite race tracks,” Dodge said. “A lot of people just say that, but the truth of the matter is the competition for a Modified race at Star Speedway is among the best racing anywhere in the country.
“I mean that very honestly. It’s an incredible race track to run. It’s not a powerhouse race track. It’s not a handling race track per say. It’s a combination of three or four ingredients and the racing there is spectacular as a result. That’s what I enjoy the most.”
Dodge is one of the original employees of Ct’s Stafford Motor Speedway, which has been a staple track for Modified racing. He has been the voice of New Smyrna (FL.) Speedway for 42 years as well, calling the daily Modified events during February Speedweeks.
He was also the man behind the famed Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Mass. Dodge was the event promoter, race director and general manager at a track that is still talked about today as a place known for taking care of both fans and competitors alike.
“I hope that over these 40 plus years that I have left some kind of an impact on Modified racing because I love Modified racing,” Dodge furthered. “I’ve owned race teams. It’s my passion. It’s my favorite division and it always will be.”
Dodge will be calling a race with a concept that he always believed in. The SBM 125 is an event that brings all three reigning touring series champions together for one event. Ryan Preece, Rowan Pennink and Matt Hirschman are all entered, along with past champions like Kirk Alexander, Jon McKennedy and Maine’s Josh Cantara, a Star Speedway title holder.
A field of more than 30 drivers from across the Modified spectrum will be trimmed to 24 of the best for 125 green flag only laps. A pit stop for a one tire change allowed, bringing fans an event that promises to be among the most exciting in this 2014 race season.
Dodge is anxious for Saturday to get here, not only because he is the SBM 125 IV Grand Marshall, but because he is a Modified race fan first at heart, and these type of events are unique and exciting, and that is what it’s all about to him.
“I’m honored,” Dodge concluded when asked what it means to be the Grand Marshall at Star. “When you’re recognized by a facility like the Star Speedway, that has been hosting these Modified events that I have been a part of from the very beginning makes you feel good.
“It makes you feel like you brought something to the table in motorsports. There’s not many things you can be a part of for over 40 years. I’ve known the Webber family for a very long time. I was there through the Bobby MacArthur era.
“Whenever I can I get up there to witness the race program because it’s a good race track for the racers, and boy do the Modifieds put on a show at Star.”
For more information and an event schedule, directions, the dozens of event sponsors and more, log onto the track web site at: www.star-speedway.com.
-Star Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Jason Cunningham, NASCAR