(Editor’s Note: On Tuesday morning, Eric LaFleche confirmed with 51 his intentions to remove himself from the new touring series. 51 will have more on this story as it becomes available.)
There’s a new Modified series coming to the Northeast region in 2016. The Modified Touring Series will debut in 2016, and will be owned by Gary Knight who helped bring Tour-type Modifieds back to Claremont Speedway (NH).
According to Eric LaFleche, an advisor for the series and founder of Victory Lane Radio, the new series will run American Racer tires, will not allow Crate engines, and he also added that series officials have quite a few tracks highly interested although no official schedule is ready just yet.
“We have a lot of track support already,” LaFleche told Speed51.com powered by JEGS on Monday evening. “Lee has already expressed interest. Monadnock wants more than one date. White Mountain and Thunder Road are also interested.”
LaFleche made sure to mention that the new series will not conflict with any other touring series in the region such as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Valenti Modified Racing Series.
“Our goal is not to clash with the Tri-Track Series at all, and also to not clash with the MRS as far as running on the same dates,” he said.
The new series is the “brain child” of Knight, according to LaFleche. Knight, a long-time racer himself, helped bring Tour-type Modifieds back to Claremont on a bi-weekly basis midway through this season and the track saw attendance grow dramatically over programs that ran without the groundpounders.
Between that and growing discontent with other Tour-Type Modified series in the region, Knight decided to start a new one, according to LaFleche.
LaFleche said that he expected many drivers and owners to not be too supportive at first, but he said that has not been the case.
“We have a lot of driver support for this,” he said. “We have our purse structure worked out and the drivers that we’ve talked to seem to really like it. I’m talking about drivers such as Ted Christopher, Les Hinckley, and we’ve been talking to the Pasteryaks. Chris (Pasteryak) has seen our purse and loves it. And owner Kevin Stuart is on board, too.”
The Modified Touring Series has promised a purse that will pay $2,600 to the winner, $1,000 to the 10th-place finisher, and $600 to the last-place finisher.
LaFleche said that Peter Frappier and Goodwin Hannaford will share responsibilities in the tech department, with Larry Frappier as race director.
“The whole reason I agreed to help was because I told Gary that we have to have 100-percent transparency and you need respectable tech people,” said LaFleche. “Then he told me he got Peter and Goodwin. You have to have transparency, honesty and integrity. And that’s what I’ve seen so far.”
More information on the Modified Touring Series will be available soon, according to LaFleche. He and Knight will be headed to the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis in December, and they also plan to have a website available soon. LaFleche also added that there will be a general interest meeting in Springfield, Massachusetts on November 14, but an official location has not been set.
“There’s still a lot of work to do,” said LaFleche. “It’s just in its infancy, but even in the last two weeks I’ve seen it grow so much. Everyone is interested and they seem to like what they’re hearing.”
Speed51.com attempted to reach Knight for a comment, but our efforts were unsuccessful at the time of this story’s publishing.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com