The green flag has been waved many times at Seekonk Speedway (MA) since it opened in 1946, but on May 30 it will wave over the start of a brand new racing series in New England. The 1/3-mile cement oval just outside of Providence, Rhode Island will play host to the debut race for the North East Street Stock Tour.
The North East Street Stock Tour, co-founded by Scott Fanning and Nick Ray, has quickly gone from a small idea to an actual series. They hatched the idea just this past year back in May, made a Facebook page and immediately had support from racers and fans alike.
"Scott went online and started a Facebook page and said we wanted to start a tour and it just took off," said Ray.
"The speed it picked up over the last couple months is almost so overwhelming to the point that you're almost in shock," Fanning said. "I'm thrilled. I'm absolutely thrilled."
The new series will have an eight-race schedule and will be making stops at Seekonk, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT), Speedway 51 (NH), Lee USA Speedway (NH) and Speedway 95 (ME).
Fanning and Ray will be co-directors for the tour. Fanning, a former racer himself, said one of the hardest things he's experienced so far has been trying to make decisions from a managerial standpoint rather than a racer's point of view.
"It's very hard to not look at it as a competitor," said Fanning. "I don't think it ever 100% leaves the thought process."
But that can also be a good thing for the series. Fanning said his main goal is to try to make it as simple as can be for teams to come and run the tour.
"I didn't want a tire that's going to last only two weeks," Fanning said. "I wanted a tire that's going to last for these guys. If they only buy two tires all year after buying their four initial tires then I'm happy. I've been looking for what is going to make it easy for a competitor to come race in my series."
One decision that already has a lot of potential competitors happy is the decision to run two races at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; one to be held World Series of Speedway Racing in October, and the other to be held as part of the first ever stock car racing event on the new road course on September 12th.
"It's definitely a very exciting thing," said Ray. "I'm excited for our competitors. It's going to be a good challenge for all of them and us."
Fanning echoed Ray's sentiment of general excitement for the road course race.
"I'm excited because we are going to have a ton of cars show up to this race," Fanning said. "I'm friendly with a bunch of drivers in lower Connecticut and up in Maine and this is all they're talking about. If you ever looked at our Facebook page and saw the comments these guys are bringing, these guys are psyched. And that makes me psyched. These guys are looking forward to doing something that nobody gets to do. That's pretty cool. These guys are pumped."
Fanning and Ray believe that this series will be a quick hit with the fans in New England. Why? Well, Ray said the reasoning is simple.
"It's street stock racing, man," Ray said. "It's the best racing you're going to see out there. It's the most competitive and people love watching it. It's door to door, beating and banging and they get it done."
For more information on this new tour, Ray and Fanning urge fans to search N.E. Street Stock Tour on Facebook.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Pit Row Photos