A new Tour-Type Modified series is hoping to gain traction in the Upstate New York region in 2016. The American Modified Pavement Series, led by promoter Chris Zacharias, has released a six-race schedule that is set to kick off at Chemung Speedrome (NY) on May 1.
“The timing was right when John White who owns Spencer and Chemung decided to switch to American Racer,” Zacharias said. “He gave me a little bit of an angle to try to pull this deal off and that’s what happened.”
American Racer will serve as the official tire supplier of the American Modified Pavement Series during its inaugural season.
Zacharias emphasized that his new series is not meant to compete with the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour or any other series for that matter.
“I spent two days at a car show last weekend explaining to people that I’m not trying to compete with the other series, because my dates aren’t even conflicting with them,” said Zacharias. “There’s no reason these drivers can’t run both series. I have no designs or intentions, even if I do pick up other tracks down the road, of competing with any other series’ dates.”
He said that there is the potential of two more dates being added to the schedule, most likely at Wyoming County International Speedway. Currently the schedule consists of dates at Chemung, Spencer Speedway and Holland Speedway with the season coming to a close on October 2 at Chemung Speedrome for a 200-lap show.
“I’m working on two more dates at Wyoming County and there are possibilities at some of the other tracks in the southern tier of the area,” he said. “I got a late start on this, but the ball is rolling and hopefully I can make it a successful deal this season.”
The rumor mill had been churning recently in the New York area about this series, and the alleged involvement of former Race of Champions owner, Andrew Harpell, but Zacharias said that Harpell is not involved with the American Modified Pavement Series in any way.
“Not at all,” said Zacharias. “A lot of people are thinking he’s involved because I’ve said from day one that I believed the program that he had in place was a successful formula. And the rules package that he had in place I believe is sustainable so that’s the rules package I’m going with.”
Zacharias said that he has received nothing but positive feedback so far from racers in the region such as Matt Hirschman, Daren Scherer and more.
“A lot of the drivers said that as long as a lot of the dates aren’t conflicting, which at this point they aren’t, I have a lot of support from them, like Matt Hirschman. I’ve spoken with him quite a bit about this,” he said. “Everything has been really positive.”
Much of the positive feedback has had to do with the tire that Zacharias plans on having American Racer use for the series. It is a new tire that was used late last year at a 100-lap show at Wyoming County that was apparently well received.
“I think the biggest thing everyone is enjoying is the fact that the tire the series is going on is the tire they ran at Wyoming at the end of the year and it’s gotten great reviews,” said Zacharias, “not only for the handling of it, but also the price point.”
Zacharias said that he is committed to turning the American Modified Pavement Series into a long-term success, and he is trying to grow it slowly.
“This is basically a grassroots campaign,” said Zacharias. “I am not trying to promise anybody the world. I basically wanted to start out slow and try to build it over time rather than start out fast and crash and burn.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Mojo Photos