A new Dirt Modified series is coming to the New York/Pennsylvania area, but not the type of Modifieds you are probably thinking. The IMCA-style Modifieds that are most prominent in the Midwest are getting a little more recognition on the East Coast with the formation of the new NY Penn IMCA Modified Series. This series is focused on bringing competitive racing to New York and Pennsylvania while also trying to help grow the division in the area.
Taking the reins of the newly formed series is Jake Maynard, a full-time competitor of the division since 2013. Although running a series will be a new endeavor to the driver out of Wyalusing, PA, promoting is something familiar to him and his family. His father, Billy, owned and operated the Wyalusing Valley Speedway for a number of years. Along with that, Jake was able to promote an event for the IMCA Modified division at Susquehanna, PA’s Penn Can Speedway at the end of the 2020 season for King of the Can weekend, drawing a large car count and adding a future interest into building the division.
“When I saw Gary Folk Jr. being the promoter of Penn Can for 2020, I knew he would work with me on getting the IMCA class to be a part of King of The Can weekend,” Maynard told Speed51. “I approached him around May and we touched on the idea for mid-summer. When the end of August hit he called me and asked me how many cars I can promise him for $1,000-to-win, $100-to-start and I told him 15. I put together all the bonuses and had each lap sold twice, meaning two drivers would walk away with lap money per lap.”
The race was a success with over 24 cars entering the event and bringing in over $1,000 in bonus money. Brad Smith would go on to claim the victory after an exciting feature event that saw side-by-side action and slide jobs throughout the race. After receiving positive feedback from drivers, teams and fans, Maynard was contacted by the IMCA sanctioning body and decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and give promoting a go.
Although this is the formation of a new series for the IMCA Modifieds, it is not the first time that a series has been run in the area. The former Empire State Series was once the premier series on the East Coast for the division, but unfortunately came to a demise in 2016. Since then, many New York tracks have dropped the division and car counts have seemed to diminish at the tracks that continue to support the series. Maynard is hoping that this series will help to bring car counts up and that there will be a loyal following of the NY Penn IMCA Modified Series.
“Realistically my goal is 18 cars per race. I hope there will be a few races where we have a full field and possibly even a B-Main to set our field of cars,” Maynard explained. “I would love to see at least 15 guys commit and bust their tails off to go for a championship. I’m hoping I can say 30 to 40 different drivers signed in to do battle for the year and I’m hoping some of those names are brought here from Michigan.”
A schedule is currently being put together with some tracks already committing dates to the series. As of now, the only confirmed race on the 2021 schedule for the NY Penn IMCA Modified Series is the Billy Maynard Memorial Race at The Hill Speedway in Monroe, PA on July 2, 2021.
“Right now we have Penn Can Speedway, which we are aiming at three races with them right now. The Hill Speedway is in the process of being sanctioned and that will gain us at least two or three races. Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, NY seems to be keeping the class so that will give us a chance of at least two races. Skyline Raceway in Homer, NY is going back to Saturdays and looking to add IMCA sanctioning as well which will help out the class tremendously and gain another two races,” Maynard said of the schedule. “Other tracks on our radar to work something out with are Thunder Mountain Speedway (NY), Weedsport Speedway (NY), Woodhull Speedway (NY), Five Mile Point Speedway (NY), Clinton County Speedway (PA) and possibly Fonda Speedway (NY). I want to add some tracks you haven’t heard of IMCA being at and possibly tracks new to many of us where maybe we can get spark going for the class and possibly add a race to the schedule late in season if they would like.”
With an ambitious schedule also comes a payout worthy of attention. In addition to bonuses for heat wins and hard charger, a nightly sponsor will accompany the event to help the pay spread throughout the field. Aside from the event pay, drivers are eligible for many other special bonuses through the IMCA sanctioning.
“The project pay structure will be left up to the tracks with a bit of help from myself to help guide them to an ideal and favoring pay to help bring the cars. For the tracks who are kind of nervous about the idea, I wouldn’t mind working on an ideal sliding pay scale to help them adapt to the idea,” said Maynard. “I would like to make them all $750 to $1000-to-win as a sanctioned track with a winner’s purse of $1,000-to-win or more automatically qualifies you for the ballot of the IMCA All Star race in Boone, IA for the IMCA Super Nationals and that means a lot to us fellow drivers. Running under the IMCA banner helps the series in the long run. Buying the $115 license to be eligible for the series, state, regional, and national points will benefit our drivers in the area. The series being sanctioned will also give the drivers a chance at a great payout throughout the top 10 in points along with a bunch of consitigency awards that will be awarded throughout the top 10 in points. Also with the sanctioning and buying that license, the member is covered by the IMCA insurance from the time they leave the driveway to the time they arrive home from that race. It’s literally a win-win for everyone that way.”
-Story and photo by: Evan Canfield, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ecanfield17