At a medium-banked track like the 3/8-mile Waterford, these newbies can hone their racing skills that don't just involve learning how to go fast, but how to pass and work traffic and how to concentrate long enough to take the checkered flag.
As far as the action goes, there was plenty of side-by-side racing in all divisions, especially with the SK modifieds. The sign out front touts that, but in my notes I took, I called out the great door to door racing long before I took the photo at the top of this article.
Waterford is one of those tracks where we get a comfortable feeling that the community supports the racing. And that is crucial to the very existence of racetracks. Here, on this night, as soon as the fans realized that the rain was not coming, they arrived in good numbers and the event went off very well.
I really believe that the length of the track, the medium banking and the class structure and number of classes will all add up to success for this track for many years to come. With continued community support and a program that encourages youth participation and providing the entry-level classes to enable that, Waterford is a model track.
The old race cars create a...
The old race cars create a lot of interest as history plays a big part in the popularity of NE racing. This car represents S.T.A.R., or Senior Tour Auto Racers organization and was on display in the grandstand area at Seekonk.
I honestly can't think of...
I honestly can't think of a better way for Dad and Son (or Daughter for that matter) to spend their time together than to be working on a race car and going to the races. You just gotta know this youngster is going to grow up with better values because of it.
There were some very nice...
There were some very nice and colorful Midgets on hand. The racing is great among these cars. Driver talent is what usually makes a huge difference. And the cars that handled and were easier on the tires gravitated to the front.
This was our first and only venture into the state of Massachusetts and we couldn't have picked a better weekend for racing. This was the DAV Fall Classic race that featured the Bob Valenti Modified Racing Series as well as the NEMA, Northeastern Midget Association cars along with the SYRA, Seekonk Youth Racing Association, and other classes for a total of 12 divisions.
Other classes present were the Pro 4 racers, Late Models, Super Trucks, Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, Sport Fours, Sport Trucks, and Street Stocks. This made for a very busy schedule, but the track ran everything right on schedule.
Seekonk had an early start compared to other New England tracks. It first opened on May 30, 1946. Remember that WWII ended just months earlier in the later part of 1945. D. Anthony Venditti began construction of the track immediately after the war was over and must have been quite a visionary. He knew that the returning soldiers and the families they would spawn would need both an outlet for their youthful energy and a place for the family to go for entertainment. Racetracks, at that time, fulfilled both needs.
Francis Venditti, Anthony's son, hosted our visit and along with his mother has operated the track since his father died in 1991. From 1946 till now with one family in ownership is a long time for uninterrupted management of a racetrack. It's a monument to the vision of this family that it could remain successful year after year.
Before going to Seekonk, I had visited Spafco Race Chassis and car builder Ken Barry and his dad, Art, at their shop in Preston, Connecticut. There we talked about setups, his cars and his upcoming SK race that weekend at Seekonk. We compared notes, discussed all of the various things that go into the setup of the SK Modifieds and came to some conclusions for a package we both thought would do well.
Previously, Ken had said that Seekonk had not been that good of a track for him and I think it may have been because some of the other tracks he runs are special, in that they are very hard on tires and the setups need to be different to compensate. We could go more conventional here.
We basically put the car into a normal and balanced setup without any rear steer or Ackermann. Once he tried the car out, everything felt good. In the heats, he gained five positions from the draw placement farther back and this helped him get a good starting spot in the feature.
Ken Barry's SK Modified is...
Ken Barry's SK Modified is the platform for give-away candy for this pit party where the fans can come in and mingle with the crews and drivers. Ken and I had fun working out a setup for Seekonk and after leading the most laps finished Second.
This Mini-car lines up for...
This Mini-car lines up for the feature. Note the GoPro camera mounted on the roof. It's probably for show and tell at school on Monday.
I just love these retro haulers....
I just love these retro haulers. This one, used by the Ryan Preece Modified team, is in mint condition and still provides all that is needed to transport car and tools to the track each week. Bob Garbarino, another Northeast Modified team owner and multi-time champion in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has an antique hauler that is still in use.