358 Modifieds to Return in 2016
PLATTSBURGH - The 358 Modified class will make its return to Airborne Park Speedway on Sunday, May 29. The Modifieds will be part of an action-packed Memorial Day weekend schedule.
The Modifieds ran two shows during the 2004 Airborne racing campaign. Mike Perrotte claimed both checkered flags that season and then he had ideas about the future. The following season Perrotte, as track promoter, implemented the dirt-style Modifieds on the asphalt as the headline division. They competed as the headline division at Airborne until 2013. At its peak, the Modified division had as many as 35 cars signed into the garage area for weekly racing, forcing B-main features for the final qualifying spots.
Airborne promoter John Walker contacted Perrotte about holding a 358 Modified race this year.
"I'm happy to announce that we have reached a deal with Mike," Walker said. "We're extremely excited to have the Modifieds back at Airborne. I can't wait to hear the roar of the 358's as they race around the half mile."
Perrotte will be directing the Modifieds in their return to Airborne.
"When John asked me about the possibility of doing something, I talked to some of the drivers and there was a strong interest from the old group of 358 racers," Perrotte said. "This is going to be fun because it's basically a reunion of the group that was racing a few years ago."
Commitments to the event have already began coming in. The Wesley Moody stables will have two machines prepared for competition, with 2008 and 2010 Ernie's Discount Tools Modified Champion Patrick Dupree of Saranac Lake at the wheel. Saranac Lake's George Foley, the 2007 point champion, will have two cars in competition and be piloting his number 34. Other drivers that have committed to the event include Olmsteadville driver Jessey Mueller, Sheldon, Vermont's Aaron and Adam Bartemy, Mooers Forks' Chris Cayea, and Plattsburgh's Kevin Broderick. Some Canadian competitors from the Province of Quebec are expected to throw their hat in the ring as well.
The DirtCar Modifieds on asphalt are unique, as they are typically found on the clay.
"The Modifieds on asphalt are unique to our era, but in the 1960's they ran regularly on both asphalt and dirt," Perrotte said. "The uniqueness of Modifieds on asphalt today is that the cars aren't designed for optimal handling, which provides exciting racing."
The Memorial Day weekend at Airborne will be a two-day event on Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29. Saturday will feature regular racing action, including the Renegade and Mini-Modified divisions and an important race for the Sportsman Modified division. The top five finishers in the Sportsman class will be granted a guaranteed starting spot in the 358 Modified race on Sunday.
More event details and driver commitments will follow. To stay up to date, visit www.airborneparkspeedway.com or on facebook under "Airborne Park Speedway."