The Monaco Modified Tri-Tracks Series (MMTTS) journeyed to Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, Massachusetts on Wednesday, June 28th for their famous ‘Open Wheel Wednesday 100” show. The 1/3-mile track was recently re-paved in the corners which changed the track and Modified teams’ notebooks.
Twenty-eight drivers practiced, scuffed tires and qualified. At race time the field was down two modifieds, as the No. 58 of Max Zachem withdrew with a bad clutch and Chase Dowling’s team packed the No. 9 in the hauler after engine issues.
After the redraw, young Austin Beers started on the pole, leading seasoned driver Kyle Bonsignore to the green. There were five lead changes including: Kyle Bonsignore (led lap 4 to 25), Jake Johnson, (led lap 26 to 48) Sam Rameau (led lap 49-73), and Matt Swanson (led lap 74 to 100).
There were 6 cautions, the worst of which occurred on lap 49 and involved early leader Kyle Bonsignore and front runners Ron Silk, Doug Coby, and Ronnie Williams.
Race winner, Matt Swanson Took the lead on lap 74 and did not look back to charge forward and capture not only a MMTTS win but a $10,000 purse for his efforts.
Austin Beers made his way back in the top five by lap 69 and at the end crossed the finish line second. Matt Hirschman’s car was a tick off due to changing track conditions and took home a podium finish. Richard Savary started the feature in fourth, finishing where he started. Doug Coby rebounded from an incident on lap 49 and piloted the No.10 across the finish line for a solid fifth place finish.
Veteran driver, Les Hinckley was the recipient of the first Van Horst Construction Hard Charger Award. Hinckley started the feature twenty-first and crossed the fish line in seventh position, gaining an impressive 14 positions.
MMTTS teams will regroup and prepare for their next series race at Star Speedway in Epping, NH on Saturday, July 22. Join us at the New Hampshire 1/4-mile bullring for some hot, summer racing.
Driver News & Notes
Matt Swanson, Winner
“It was such a perfect day. Honestly the car came off the trailer and ran really good. We brought a good car right from the shop. They were working until 10:30 last night to get the car done. It shows the dedication out of these guys. They didn’t quit and they believed in me. And they gave me a shot to drive this car.”
“It has been a long time coming to get a touring series win and especially in the Monaco Modified series. I have always felt their support since they started it, when they let me start competing at such a young age [Note: Swanson was 14 years old when he competed in his first MMTTS race]. And nine years later, here we are. It is just unbelievable!”
“We were sixth in practice and then qualified second in our heat race. And what we did in that feature race I am just lost for words. I am so thankful for the people that are surrounding me. It was very surreal coming across the start finish line first. “
“This is just something that I wanted to do for so long. And I put so much pressure on myself to be able to do what I have done and to come so close so many times. To finally win with a group of guys that I consider family. It is just unbelievable.”
Austin Beers, 2nd Place
“We struggled pretty early and the car was a handful at the beginning of the race. We made a pit stop and got a right rear and just slowly and methodically made our way through the field.”
“Thank you to Ron Blanchard, my spotter. He did a really good job. We were able to avoid the cautions and incidents there. I just tried to play it safe. I had some good restarts and the car was on rails at the end there. I just did not have enough for the No. 25. So, congrats to Matt Swanson. Their team was on top of their game today. It just felt good to get second after a long day. Prestige motorsports did a great job getting the car ready and bringing it here. I cannot thank them enough.”
Matt Hirschman, 3rd Place
“I think that the 25 was right, at the right time. We just got beat by a better car. We really didn’t even have a car to contend for the win. I felt that we did the first half of the race, but not the second half when you want to be at your best. So, we were just not good enough at the right time. We have plenty of good days when we hit it right, but we just missed a little bit tonight. It just did not happen. It is what it is. So, we did not have it but we still came away with a respectable third place in a competitive field. So, we will move on to the next race.”
Did the re-pave of the track affect your race?
“Not really. Seekonk has had a history of track changes during a race. And this is when your car changes. I just felt that they did not coincide tonight – the track and my car”.
Richard Savary, 4th Place
“We had a good day right from practice. We unloaded the car and it was fast, we went into the scuff session and the car was fast. In the practice session it was fast. It all rolls over and from that you have a good day. We’ve run the car twice so far and out of the box the car is fast.”
Plans for future MMTTS Events?
“I plan on running the rest of the Monaco Modified races. We just were not ready for Thunder Road race. So, we went to Monadnock to an open show up there. That was our shake down for the car because it is new to us. And the car ran well. So, we were ready to come here. We plan now on running at Star (Speedway) and the rest of the tracks with the Series. And that is it. I am too old for more.”
David Arute, 18th Place
“I was happy with the outcome – how I was racing and how far up we ran. The on-paper results don’t show how much speed we had. But I think that everyone that was there or watched the race knew we were fast. This is actually the first time I raced at Seekonk. I didn’t qualify last year so I didn’t get 100 laps of experience. But it being our first time here, with this car, our speed throughout the day got better and it raced pretty good. I was happy how it went. I’m not happy with the end result of course, but how the car performed the whole race was really good.”
“Last year I thought I figured the track out. I came here this year and it was completely different. So, I just had to start over. It takes me a while to figure out new tracks. I have always been at Stafford or maybe Waterford, but it took me a little while. When I got to the feature, and once I got to the front pack I followed Hirschman, Coby, and Silk. I was there with the best guys in modifieds and just followed and learned from them.”
“It seemed like throughout the day, the track changed so much. One time when I went out to practice it wasn’t cloudy and the next time it was cloudy. Then it got dark and cool. The track just kept changing.”
“When I watched the modified tour race it seemed like everyone was running the high groove. And I think everyone showed up thinking that was what was going to happen again. It seemed like throughout the day the track just kept changing especially in the feature. When I started out I was on the outside and by the end the track was not back to the normal Seekonk groove. Everyone was just moving all around as the track changed. It messed up the tire wear. At the end turn 3 and 4 was a little bumpier then most expected. But yes the track just kept changing and you had to adapt to it quick.”