Modified racers from as far away as North Carolina will be making the trek to Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) this Sunday, April 3 to kick off the 2016 Top Speed Modified Tour season. The series will begin its 28th season when the green flag is waved for a 40-lap feature as part of the Cabin Fever Championships.
Dave Muzzillo, the owner of the popular open-wheeled Modified touring series, enters the new season with the goal of trying to rebrand the name of the tour’s sanctioning body. Previously, race fans have known the series as “ICAR Top Speed Modifieds.” Muzzillo stated that the sanctioning body itself will be known as “International Championship Auto Racing” moving forward instead of the acronym that many have become used to.
“In the past everybody has always talked about it as ICAR,” Muzzillo told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Well, what is ICAR? We’re actually going by International Championship Auto Racing now. We’re trying to bring some more excitement. That’s our main goal, and it is business as usual trying to get more tracks on board for future racing. I think I’ve got the best Modified racers in the country that race with us.”
Six-time Top Speed Modified winner Travis Eddy, 2014 series champion Chad Poole, veteran Don Skaggs and Eldon Zaycek, Jr. – the driver making the trip from North Carolina – will be among the drivers joining the series this weekend in Indiana. Muzzillo said that he’d be shocked if there wasn’t at least 30 Modifieds in the pit area Sunday at Lucas Oil Raceway.
“I’ve got a lot of new people that have never even raced with us that are going to be racing. I think if you were going to start out the year that is about the best place you could start out with,” he said of the .686-mile oval located in Brownsburg, Indiana. “It’s an easy-going track with lots of room for mistakes. The history that it has with NHRA owning it is impressive.”
2016 will be the second year in a row that the Top Speed Modified Tour will feature both a North and South division. The series created the new format for the 2015 racing season and according to Muzzillo it worked out great for race teams throughout the Midwest.
“That worked out great because travel expenses are so expensive,” he said. “It gave a guy an opportunity to be able to go for a championship without having all of the travel expenses.”
Moving forward, Muzzillo is looking forward to expanding the International Championship Auto Racing and Top Speed Modified brands throughout the country. He hopes to expand out of the Midwest and hold races in other regions over the course of the next few years.
“The International Championship Auto Racing needs to take the next step and get its brand out in the country more to get a bigger footprint than where we’re at right now.,” explained Muzzillo. “We need to get over by the Mississippi line. We need to get down to the Georgia line. We need a bigger footprint in Modified racing.”
This Sunday, fans all over the world will be able to watch the Top Speed Modified Tour live on Speed51.com. That is just one of many ways that Muzzillo hopes to continue showcasing the racers that support his tour.
“It gives the people that aren’t going to be able to afford to drive 200 or 300 miles the chance to be able to watch asphalt open-wheeled Modifed racing. That’s the big thing. This is giving more exposure to our drivers so that maybe more tracks in the Midwest can see us race and say, ‘Hey, I really need to have those guys race at my track.’”
The live video stream on Speed51.com will begin at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. Fans can purchase a live video ticket for $19.99 by clicking here.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Scott McIlwain