Tour-type Modified racers and fans in the Northeast have one last chance to get their fix this weekend before the harsh reality of winter sets in. The inaugural Haunted Hundred for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series takes place this Saturday at Seekonk Speedway (MA) and Modified stars from throughout the region will be trick-or-treating for a big prize.
While the Haunted Hundred is a new event this season, it has already built up a hype comparable to its summertime Open Wheel Wednesday counterpart, attracting many big-time Modified drivers and teams.
Among those drivers is NASCAR XFINTY Series winner and former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece. The Berlin, CT driver is using the Haunted Hundred as a chance to get a leg up for the 2018 season, and like many other drivers he will be going bounty hunting Saturday.
“We’re more or less using these late races as a kind of test session. I’m excited to see what we can learn and I’m looking to going for the bounty that they have up on Matt Hirschman,” Preece told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
Hirschman swept the first three Tri-Track Open Modified Series races in 2017, already clinching the $5,000 championship back in August. Now, the Series has decided to up the stakes by offering a $1,500 bounty bonus to any driver who can win the race and beat Hirschman, provided Hirschman finishes on the lead lap. That bounty is in addition to the $6,000 winner’s check already on the line.
It is a challenge that Preece likes and is eager to accept.
“I think it’s good. I’d like to see more of that type of stuff,” Preece said. “It brings more excitement than just to see who is going to win the race. It is going to play out to where, ‘Hey, is somebody going to beat Matt Hirschman?’ It’s a cool deal and it gives a little more incentive. That extra money always helps.”
Preece is also hoping to get a breakthrough win at Seekonk, a track where he has never won at, but is coming off a third-place run in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour back in August.
“Think it’s known that I’ve never really been great at Seekonk, it just doesn’t fit the style that I look for in a race car,” Preece admitted. “So, I’ve been working on changing my style to get better at Seekonk. I’m still working on that, but if I can hit on it, it will help me on the Tour. Looking forward to the challenge.”
The entry list for the Haunted Hundred hit the 40-team mark on Tuesday, with Preece adding that the money and reputation of the Tri-Track Series is providing a big draw for this fresh event.
“A lot of people just want to support Jim Schaffer and the Tri-Track community. They enjoy these open show races; they feel they have a shot at winning and that’s always a good deal.”
While Modified shows are normally run at night during the heat of the summer, this event will be an afternoon affair with classic New England fall weather expected. Preece expects no additional challenges, in fact he believes this schedule might make setup a bit easier.
“A race track is a race track; it doesn’t realistically know if it’s night or day, it only knows if it’s cooler. One thing is that we practice during the day so that’s one thing we won’t have to worry about.”
With the Haunted Hundred also streaming live on Speed51.com this Saturday, it will allow Modified fans from far and wide to watch all the action. Preece of course is confident that his fan base will be able to watch no matter where they are.
“It’s cool, people are always happy when they can watch a Modified race.”
Race fans unable to make it to Seekonk Speedway this Saturday can purchase their pay-per-view tickets to watch the race for $19.99. Live video tickets can be purchased today by clicking here.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA, RI & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos