The ICAR All-Star Modified Tour has announced a new, $20,000-to-win Modified race at Baer Field Motorsports Park (IN). The series announced that the Crown Jewel of Modifieds $20K Showdown will take place from July 4 - 7 as part of a huge weekend of racing at the Indiana oval.
ICAR All-Star Modified Tour and Baer Field Motorsports Park owner Dave Muzzillo worked with Bud Gray to come up with the crown jewel event. Gray is the promotor of the Hot Shoe 100 at Whittemore Speedway (MI), which will move to Kinross Speedpark in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula due to the massive popularity of the event. After a weekend of brainstorming at a prominent track for Midwest Modified racing, the Crown Jewel was born.
“Bud Gray and I were talking at Winchester and we were trying to kind of brainstorm some ideas,” Muzzillo told Speed51.com. “And the next thing you know, this is what we got. We were talking yesterday and he said that he didn’t think it would be this big with all that’s going on.”
The inaugural event will be a 200-lap race with a unique twist to the format. The first 100 laps will be contested on the half mile, while the final 100 laps will be contested on the 3/8-mile track, throwing a wrench to each team’s strategy.
Each 100-lap race will pay separate purses with $10,000 going to the winner of each race.
“We have a 3/8ths and a half-mile track together. It’s a challenge to run two different tracks on the same day for the teams and the drivers, so it makes everybody be a little more competitive and it gives their crews a little more work time instead of just sitting there watching their driver race, they actually get to be a part of it too.”
There has already been a huge reception from racers and fans alike for the event. Thirty-two drivers have already entered for the Crown Jewel, with many more expected in the coming months. Muzzillo is surprised at how the event has been received so far.
“We’re fifteen days into January and I’ve already received 32 entries. I didn’t think it was going to take off like this so quickly. We’ve already got people that have reserved camping spots, already wanting to buy grandstand tickets. I didn’t think it was going to be this big, this fast. I’ve got some dirt guys that are building asphalt cars to come race. We’re starting thirty cars and right now we’re anticipating at least eighty cars. It seems like everything we do around here, there’s so much excitement for it.
“The only problem that I see we’re going to run into is we’re not going to have enough camping spots for people,” Muzzillo continued. “We only have forty-six acres here total and we only have about twenty acres for camping. Grandstands wise, we can hold three thousand people so we’ll be okay there.”
The ICAR All-Star Modified Tour will not be the only racing to take place during the extended weekend. CRA will also be there with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and a $5,000-to-win CRA Street Stock race.
Muzzillo and Gray wanted to bring big-time Modified racing to the Midwest. With the success the Hot Shoe 100 has seen in its brief existence, they said it was time to bring another event to the region.
“If you look at the schedule for the weekend, it’s huge,” Muzzillo said. “There’s three days of lots of racing, and prestigious racing. It’s about time that the local Saturday night racers are racing for something big instead of driving to Florida to find a prestigious race to race in.
“All the prestigious Modified racing we have is all in Florida during Speedweeks or the Governor’s Cup. It’s time to have something up north. We got the Hot Shoe. It’s Bud Gray’s thing and I’ve helped him with it the first couple years and it’s gotten so big he’s had to move it to a different location.”
Despite the early success they have seen in advance of the Crown Jewel, Muzzillo has different plans for future versions of the race. As for now, Muzzillo is happy where the event is heading for the inaugural running of the Crown Jewel.
“The goal is to have it yearly and next year pick a different class of cars besides the Modifieds and do the same program that we are doing right now but with a different class of car, and then just rotate. We’re hoping that like every three years, we’re back to doing the Modifieds. Maybe next year it’s Street Stocks that we do it with.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com