“Most unlimited oval race track racing in the world,” exults New England racing historian Russ Conway.
That defines super modified racing, and that is what is coming to Lee Speedway in Lee, N.H., on Sept. 11.
The 2010 Classic Race is New England’s longest-running traditional oval track racing event, and it returns to Lee for the first time since 1967.
The 45th annual “Classic” event already has drawn a long entry list of best super-modified drivers, including reigning champion Chris Perley of Rowley, Mass.
For those who haven’t witnessed super modified racing, it is an event to be experienced. It is open-wheel racing at its finest.
“Great thing about the supers is it’s great racing,” Conway said. “They are the most exciting cars on the short track.”
Lee Speedway is a 3/8-mile track, which can squeeze three cars abreast on a turn. It is on these tight turns that these cars pull over 3.5 Gs, which is the equivalent to a space shuttle liftoff.
Super modifieds are powered by fuel-injected, big-block engines that run on methanol fuel, which produce over 850 horsepower. The cars are noticeable for their three hydraulic wings that create a downforce that allows the driver to make tight turns at high speed.
Russ Wood of Pelham, N.H., who is a five-time Classic champion, says the game plan for the race is simple: “The strategy is, right foot step on it and go.”
Other drivers include Bobby Santos III, the current 2010 NACAR Modified Division National Championship points leader. The class known as the granddaddy of New England motorsports is drawing the best drivers from Canada and the Midwest.
The Classic’s format is two 50-lap races, and the winner will be the best finisher of the two events.
The pit area on Classic Saturday will open at noon with the grandstand box office opening at 4 p.m. for practice and warm-up sessions. Stock car heats start at 6 p.m. Supermodified Classic qualifying heats begin at 6:30 p.m., and the 100-lap “Classic” starts at 7:30 p.m., with the first 50-lap main event.