Claremont, NH - There is a lot of buzz about this weekend’s open Modified race at Claremont Motorsports Park, rightfully so, for the robust and talent-laden roster. But, for the locals of the Speedway and grassroots fans, those that are being honored and the sentiment behind the race is equally as exciting.
When the likes of Matt Hirschman, Ron Silk, Jon McKennedy, Mike Willis and the 30+ car field take to the speedway for qualifying on Friday night, they will be doing so in honor of great drivers, who, not only built their legacy but that of Claremont Motorsports Park as well.
“I guess I never really thought about it until last week when we attended the luncheon,” said current Claremont Motorsports Park Promoter and racer himself, Mike Parks. The luncheon, coordinated by Maurice Hurd of title sponsor Maurice Enterprise, was a celebration of the legends.
“I looked around at all the guys that, as a kid, I watched battle week-in and week-out during the glory days of Modified racing at Claremont,” added Parks.
Honored will be Rusty Ball, Bruce Batchelder, Jack Bateman, Jerry Bly, Ronnie Bodge, Ernie Boudreau, Punky Caron, Peter Daniels, Danny Ferland, Goodwin Hannaford, Dwight Jarvis, Donnie Miller, Bobby Turner and Alan Whipple.
Pits open at 1pm for Modifieds and 3pm for all other divisions. Main gates open at 4pm as practice gets underway. Post time is 7:00pm.
Qualifying for the 100-lap main event will include heat and consolation races. Late Model Sportsmen, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks and Six Shooters will complete the night’s racing card. General admission is $30 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12 will be available at the track on race day.
In addition to the lucrative $10,000 to win for the Modifieds, the race will pay $1,100 to take the green. Specialty awards including the $200 Lu-Mac’s Package Store Hard Luck Award will also be on the line. Lap sponsorships have been secured to ensure that a purse is in place for the B-Main. Non-qualifiers will also receive a portion of the purse which exceeds $50,000.
For drivers, teams and fans, this ‘one-off’ event is likely even more poignant in what has become known as the COVID -era. With facilities everywhere shuttered because of state guidelines, the racetracks of New Hampshire have become somewhat of a haven for competitors and fans alike.
A race of this caliber is a much-needed boost to grassroots racing in New England.
“Watching the quality of the field that will be assembled at our little racetrack in New Hampshire, that’s what I am looking forward to the most,” said Parks. “I really think we will have one of the most talented group of drivers that you can assemble - from the Modified Tour, Race of Champions (RoC), Tri-Track and Modified Racing Series’ teams and local track champions. We’ve got the best of the best!”
The Racers Honoring Racers 100 presented by Maurice Enterprises, will have the best of the best, honoring the Speedway’s best of the best!
Parks recalls a particularly memorable night with Donnie Miller. “I was working with his son [the late Ricky Miller] on the Modified. At this point Donnie was pretty well out of the seat. We raced at Monadnock on Friday night with Ricky, with no plans to race the rest of the weekend”.
After some good-natured ribbing about his age and waning ability from Parks at the race shop the next day, Donnie challenged his ‘agitator’ to get the car ready, they were going racing.
“So, I did,” said Parks. “Donnie was in his best form that night. We just showed up and won!”
Of the 34 drivers entered, any one of them could show up and win on Friday night for the 100-lap open Modified event.
“Between the Speedway officials, Maurice Enterprises, Dick [Williams] along with all his team and The Racing Guys, we have a $50,000 event, “added Parks “It’s kind of mind blowing from my perspective. I really believe that this could be one of the best events in all of New England for 2020.”
Maurice Enterprises 100 Entry List (as of August 26, 2020): 06 - Les Hinckley; 06 - Sam Rameau; 07 - Patrick Emerling; 3 - Jeff Murray; 3 - Matthew Swanson; 5 - Tommy Barrett; 6 - Woody Pitkat; 7 - Kurt Vigeant; 7 - Jon McKennedy; 12 - Andy Jankowiak; 14 - Scott Wylie; 15 - TJ Bleau; 16 - DJ Shaw; 17 - Danny Knoll Jr; 23 - Mike Douglas Jr.; 25 - Brian Robie; 25- Chuck Hossfeld; 25 - Calvin Carroll; 26 - Bucky Demers; 27 - Derek Robbie; 44 - Anthony Sesely; 46 - Craig Lutz; 50 - Ron Silk; 50K - Matthew Kimball; 50 - Carl Medeiros Jr.; 55 - Ryan Doucette; 58 - Eric Goodale; 60 - Matt Hirschman; 66 - Austin Kochenash: 71 - Brad Babb; 76 - Kirk Alexander; 78- Diego Monahan; 82 - Anthony Nocella; 83 - Mike Willis.