MODS AT SEEKONK

I think this is turning into an annual rant. But I think it's a good one, and worth considering. So here goes.

I grew up in Seekonk. It's a little town in eastern Mass., that isn't known for much of anything. Isn't much known at all for anything if you're not into motorsports, or sports in general, for that matter. But if you are a racefan, you likely have heard of the place, no matter where you live.

Seekonk Speedway bills itself as "The Acton-Track of the East." That's more than hype. I'm only one of many fans who would tell you that "The 'Konk" hosts the most competitive racing of any track in  - well, New England? The Northeast?  America?

The track's late patriarch, D. Anthony Venditti, never was afraid to lead the way in creating and introducing racecars and rules that opened the pits up to more teams than most weekly tracks could attract.  Venditti built the track for midgets, the tiny racecars that nonetheless are as fast as anything racing on the "shorttracks" that host most weekly racing. And when midgets got too expensive for most racers, he shifted focus to divisions of cars built from pieces of street vehicles. The modifieds allowed the most - well - modifications. Soon those too, got too rich for the blood of the typical weekend warrior.

So  Anthony created the "pro stock." Sure, it evolved into the "late model" that became the main course at most shorttracks. Seekonk still sold the pro stocks as a new division, even as different versions of late models were born and evolved. In their quest to stand out, Seekonk even created a "late model division" a step below its pro stocks. Yet they both are late models, just two varieties of the same dish.

Seekonk also has a "street stock" division. These cars allow little in the way of "racecar" parts in favor of salvaged pieces from junked street vehicles. Those parts are getting harder to come by. That especially is true with body sheet-metal, as most bodies now are part of a cars' whole structure and thus not ripe for peeling. So now those cars run "aftermarket" racecar bodies - just like the pro stocks, just like the late models.

What's my point? I forgot! Oh yeah, it's time to bring back the unique and distinctive modifieds to Seekonk.

I know they race at Seekonk, in special events for touring series. There are at least two touring series for mods, which are now thoroughbred machines that race at places like New Hampshire Speedway, where they'd be faster than NASCAR's TV-star Monster Energy Series if they didn't make the mods strangle their intake to slow them down.

The thing is, though, a lot of other tracks in the Northeast watched as their own modifieds got priced right out of weekly racing. So they started introducing divisions for less-expensive, simpler and more-restricted mods to return to the weekly wars. Those cars are out there, running at three tracks right next door in Connecticut, as well as points north. And know this. Some of the teams racing them would love to take a crack at Seekonk.

Further, there are tons of modifieds parked somewhere that could return to the track with more modest power and cheaper tires. Throw in one of the very crate motors allowed in Seekonk's fendered cars and I bet you'd see the field fill up fast.

It happened with the midgets, for one car. In the last few years a couple of more modest midget clubs led to many of those cars being dug out of the back of the barn. That's how I got to go midget racing. You can even race a more modest version of the otherwise monstrous supermods, the fastest cars racing on shorttracks anywhere. Folks could drop in one of those crate motors and mount some rock-hard tires and you'd resurrect a whole bunch of parked racecars.

So Seekonk, bring back the modifieds. You have nothing to fear but more action.

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