Two tracks in the Northeast are hosting two great Tour-type Modified events on back-to-back nights, Wednesday and Thursday; Seekonk Speedway in eastern Massachusetts and Lancaster Speedway in western New York, both separated by close to 450 miles and over seven hour of highway driving.
In 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s it would be commonplace to see drivers make that journey, not so much today. But, there are those willing to take up the challenge. This includes New York State veteran racer Chuck Hossfeld, who is making the long trek to Seekonk for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series Open-Wheel Wednesday 100, before returning home to Lancaster for the Race of Champions Ol’ Boy Cup on Thursday.
A difficult challenge, but far from impossible for Hossfeld and the No. 22 team. In fact, most of the crew even have some racing plans for Friday night as well.
“It’s kind of old school with two midweek races back-to-back, start off Wednesday at Seekonk and then the Ol’ Boy Cup at Lancaster on Thursday. Then my crew chief Joe Mancuso is going to race his car Friday at Spencer Speedway (NY), so we’re going to go root him on Friday, so it’s a whole week of racing,” Hossfeld told Speed51. “Dirt guys do it often, but for asphalt guys it doesn’t work out. I’m excited, it’ll be busy but a fun week.”
Open Wheel Wednesday at Seekonk has been a race that has been a “pick and choose” event for Hossfeld over the past decade, depending on how the team was performing and what the basic feeling was at that time of the year. Despite some bad luck in first part of the RoC Modified Series season, Hossfeld has been rolled along with confidence, stemming from a Florida Speedweeks that included a win at Bronson Speedway and a World Series title at New Smyrna Speedway back in February.
Above all, it is an event that Hossfeld wants to support after the years of great dedication given by organizers, teams, and fans.
“A lot of people support it because the folks at Tri-Track do such a good job in finding money to have $10,000-to-win. I feel like it’s something you have to support. Having said that, Seekonk always puts on a great race, there’s always good side-by-side racing, and there’s not a bad seat in the house. We’ve had some good runs there, won a NASCAR Tour race there back in the day. Definitely feel like we’ll have a good car and put on a good show.”
Plus, having a $10,000 payday is not a bad incentive either.
“When I was younger, I just wanted to race, I didn’t want to think about the money, but as you get older and you have more of a business sense of mind, it’s good to go to great paying races. It makes a trip like the one to Seekonk worth it.”
Going from the third-mile ‘circle’ that is Seekonk, to the long straights and turns of the 5/8-mile Lancaster Speedway near Buffalo is quite the transition, especially if you do it with a single car. As it turns out, that’s the plan for the 22 team, as they plan to use their best car to do both races.
“We are going to run one car this week, barring any major trouble, we can do pretty much anything on the car, other than changing a clip or whatever. We have all of the bolt-on items that we need if there’s an issue, and fingers crossed hopefully there isn’t; we should be able to straighten it out and be at Lancaster on time.”
There was a time earlier this year back in the winter where Seekonk might’ve had the week to itself on the Northeast Modified schedule, luckily the purchase of Lancaster by a fresh group of owners have kept the venerable oval going for 2019. Hossfeld, being one of many relieved to be able to race there.
“The fact that people bought the place is a great, in my area Lancaster is a big item if you’re a race fan, you know about it. Like Seekonk, Lancaster puts on great racing, and its got great fan support because it is centrally located in a good area. I’ve been going since I was a kid, so to see the place close would’ve been really terrible for race fans.”
The 60-lap Ol’ Boy Cup is much more than just a mid-week treat for the racing community in western New York, it is a great tribute to a great community figure, one who helped Hossfeld get his start.
“Thursday at Lancaster being in honor of the Ol’ Boy, who’s Bill Colton, Sr. I don’t know if a lot of people know this, but he came up with the foam walls that they use there and are used at a lot of tracks. He was also the first person that ever put me in a Modified, he bought a Modified and was able to help me go racing. It would mean a lot to me, we’ve won it a handful of times but it would be awesome to repeat that.”
Race fans unable to make the long trek between Seekonk and Lancaster can count on Speed51 to be their eyes and ears throughout the week. Open Wheel Wednesday at Seekonk Speedway will be broadcast live on the Speed51’s Summer Thunder presented by PFC Brakes this Wednesday night June 26, while the RoC Ol’ Boy Cup at Lancaster Speedway @ New York International Raceway Park on Thursday, June 27 will be shown via highlights on the 51 Network this coming Friday.
The price to see both of these and much, much more on the Speed51 Network is just $9.99-a-month or $79.99 for a yearly subscription. Click here to sign up today.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51