Seekonk, Mass. — The domination of the Tri-Track Open Modifies Series (TTOMS) by Matt Hirschman has been well-documented. There has even been a bounty placed on “Big Money”. Among the 41 drivers that are currently pre-registered for the event lie a few dark horses.
Of course, there are plenty of heavy-hitters ready to compete like Ryan Preece, Rowan Pennink, Bobby Santos, Woody Pitkat, Ron Silk, Keith Rocco and Anthony Nocella. The roster also includes a host of former Modified series winners – Les Hinckley, Tommy Barrett, Steve Masse and Russ Hersey. Ready to contend for the win are also a handful of ‘underdogs’.
For the Seekonk faithful, it may seem strange that Vinnie “Who” Annarummo is considered a dark horse to win Saturday’s race. With six track championships to his credit at the “Cement Palace”, the 68 year old driver from Swansea, MA, could be a contender. A former Modified winner at Seekonk with the Modified Racing Series, the elder Annarummo last raced a Modified at Open Wheel Wednesday at Seekonk back in 2015 for car owner Dick Ceravolo. He finished seventh in that last outing. But, according to his son, Todd, a regular with the Tri-Track Series, Vinnie has practiced the family cars regularly over the last two years.
“He’s still fast,” said Todd.
Annarummo simply stepped away from racing because of hearing problems. In what must have been a difficult decision for a veteran driver, he decided that his inability to hear his spotter made it dangerous and uncomfortable.
“This summer he ended up getting some new hearing aids,” added Todd. “He went and tested and he could hear better than ever.”
When this Haunted Hundred was announced the plan from the Annarummo camp was to run two cars-one for each of the former Seekonk Modified winners. But after a late season sale, only one car remained.
“So, he’s going to give it another shot,” said Todd. “He can drive the track like very few can. If we didn’t think he would be competitive he wouldn’t be doing it.
Fully anticipating a strong run by his father, Todd added “Plus, it will give him some material to beat me up with over the winter when he does do well”.
In addition to helping his father, Todd will have the opportunity to cheer on his young children who will undoubtedly be wearing costumes for the track’s Halloween costume contest.
Getting in the spirit of the Halloween-themed Haunted Hundred is another competitor who could be considered a longshot.
“We are going [to Seekonk] with evil intentions to kick everyone’s butt,” said Jon Kievman, aka Jonny Kay.
While new to Modified racing in the Northeast, Kievman is no stranger to racing and certainly no stranger to winning. Starting his career at the age of 30, Jonny Kay found success in the Late Model and Super Model ranks; winning races and champions in his home state of Florida.
After 20 years of racing and years of ribbing from his father, Kievman made the change to tour-type Modifieds in 2008.
“I got a bit bored,” said Jonny Kay. “I decided it was either time to retire or find some other avenue in racing where I could have some fun. I decided to try ‘real race cars’ as my Dad always called the Modifieds. ”
Unfortunately, his father passed away in 2008 and never saw him race a Modified.
At the ripe-old age of 56, after joining the ranks of the Modifieds, Kievman has found his place to have fun. He just may be having the time of his life. Surrounded by his beautiful wife and a dedicated and supportive crew, including crew chief PJ Fearns, Kievman is also finding success.
“We are running premium races against the cream of the crop in the Tri-Track series and while we would like to be winning every race-that is the goal for every race-we are running well,” added Kievman, although admittedly their finishes have not indicated how well they have performed.
“I’m not satisfied with the results, but I am with the progress,” said Kievman.
Progress that could just find Jonny Kay and crew in victory lane at Saturday’s Haunted Hundred at Seekonk Speedway.
Other drivers to watch out for on Saturday include the likes of Richard Savary and Chris Pasteryak. These two drivers are perennial winners who have been relatively quiet so far in 2017. Max Zachem fresh off a hiatus due to health concerns is hungry to get back to action and even hungrier for a win. Pro Stock ace Derek Ramstrom and the ageless Kirk Alexander should also be among the contenders.
Pit gates will open at 8am at Seekonk Speedway on Saturday, October 28. Grandstands will open at 11am with racing starting at 1pm. Pit admission is $35. Adult general admission is $25 and children 12 and under are admitted free. Also on the racing card is a 50-lap main event for Late Models and a 30 lapper for the INEX Legends. Building on a Seekonk Speedway Halloween tradition, prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. Children and adults alike are invited to participate in the costume contest. The rain date for the Haunted Hundred is Sunday, October 29.
Tickets are available online by visiting SeekonkSpeedway.com or by calling the Speedway office at 508.336.9959 Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. To learn more about the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, visit tritrackmods.com.
-Tri-Track Open Modified Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com