Area Stock Car Racing: Pratt Jr. captures first Short Track Super Series modified win

The latest on stock car racing from The Recorder's Thomas Coughlin Jr.

Categories: Sports

Starting from the pole, Richie Pratt Jr. secure his first Short Track Super Series modified victory last Friday at Tri-County Racetrack in Brasstown, North Carolina.

Completing the top five were Alex Yankowski, Stewart Friesen, Danny Tyler, and Danny Johnson. Among the local drivers, Allison Ricci was 10th, Peter Britten finished 11th, David Schilling placed 12th, Jessica Friesen came in 18th and Mike Maresca 19th. Danny Johnson and Stewart Friesen were the only two to finish in the top five Thursday and Friday at Tri-County, and Billy Pauch Jr. was the only driver to win a heat race both nights.

Heat race winners were David Schilling, Andy Bachetti, Pauch Jr. and Erick Rudolph.

Saturday, teams would travel to the Cherokee Speedway, approximately 200 miles and three hours away. Known as “The Place Your Mama Warned You About.”
Brian Calabrese of Johnstown and his 602 crate sportsman team were one of many that towed down to Penn Can Speedway in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, on Friday evening. Unfortunately, the inclement weather forced the postponement of the program until Sunday. Calabrese then continued his journey to Cherokee. Two other locals that were at Cherokee for the sportsman race were Tim Hartman Jr. and Derrick McGrew Jr.

Heat race winners were Scott Hitchens and Joe Toth. During the redraw for the feature, Calabrese pulled the pole position for the sportsman feature. McGrew started third, and Hartman seventh. Calabrese led for the early part of the feature, but Hartman would then take over and hold on to claim the win over Calabrese, Toth, Eric Korman, and Tanner Van Doren. Young McGrew finished 15th.

In the modifieds Danny Creeden, Andy Bachetti, and Stewart Friesen won the heat races.

Larry Wight and Erick Rudolph set up the front row to begin the modified feature. Peter Britten started fourth, Mike Maresca fifth, Stewart Friesen seventh, Allison Ricci 20th, Jessica Friesen 22nd and David Schilling 28th.


Stewart Friesen scored the victory over Rudolph, Wight, Britten, and Creeden. Ricci finished 12th, Schilling 14th and Jessica Friesen 15th. 

Thursday night at Chatham Speedway in Chatham, Louisiana, northeast modifieds made their first appearance. I believe many years ago, when the DIRTcar Series did a southern tour, that they were scheduled to race in Louisiana, but I cannot remember if that ever took place. The Southern Super Modified Series was the promoter for this week’s events. Rules similar to Short Track Super Series were to be followed, with a few exceptions. Teams could use either Hoosier or American Racer tires and needed to weigh a minimum of 2,400 lbs. Some familiar names on hand for practice and tine trials were Stewart and Jessica Friesen, Erick Rudolph, Matt Sheppard, Jack Lehner and Larry Wight. Friday night’s program was scheduled to be heats races, B-mains and feature. Tonight’s schedule includes heats, B-mains, non-qualifiers race all leading up to the Return from the Corona 75, $10,000 to win feature.

New York may tentatively see racing this week. A number of tracks including, Fonda Speedway, Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Lebanon Valley Speedway and Utica-Rome Speedway, are planning to open for practice. Unfortunately, this will be done with no fans in the stands. As restrictions begin to loosen, I will post what tracks are allowing for fans. Sadly, New York is still riding that roller coaster of uncertainty, in regards to opening businesses. 

Here is a little something for you to think about. When it comes to track preparation, water is needed. Well, Fonda Speedway has always had access to the Mohawk River. Now factor in that the New York State Canal system is shut down due to COVID-19. The water level in the Mohawk is so low that track promoter Brett Deyo and staff have had to borrow enough piping to reach the center of the canal channel. That is something, that no one probably ever thought would be an issue at the Track of Champions.

Stay healthy, stay safe.

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