Three defending champions from Modified tours across the Northeast were present at the Motorsports Racecar and Trade Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, Pennsylvania.
Defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece confirmed his plans to race for the Flamingo Motorsports championship team at the Daytona UNOH Battle at the Beach and will be in his family-owned car at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing held at New Smyrna Speedway in February. Before he heads down to Florida, Preece will be racing indoors in a Three-Quarter (TQ) Midget in Atlantic City, New Jersey the last weekend of January and in Trenton two weeks after that.
"I just enjoy driving any types of cars," Preece remarked. "I love racing in the midgets."
Rowan Pennink will also be competing in those two events before getting his season started.
"Win!" is Pennink's short and simple goal.
Pennink confirmed with RaceDayCT.com that he will not be making the trip to Florida; however, he will be back on the NASCAR and Valenti Series circuits on a full time basis once again in 2014. Pennink was the 2013 Valenti Modified Racing Series champion.
After announcing his return to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, 2013 Race of Champions Tour champion Matt Hischman mentioned that he will continue running as many RoC races that do not conflict with the Tour. He will not be making the trip to Daytona, which was the site of his broken wrist in last year's UNOH Battle at the Beach, but will be present at the New Smyrna World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. Hirschman's day at the show was a busy one. In addition to two autograph sessions, Hirschman led a seminar titled "Pavement Modified 101" in which competitors could ask various set-up questions.
A champion on the weekly level in 2013 was Candor, New York's Jimmy Zacharias. The Chemung Speedrome champion has some bold plans for 2014. He will start the year in Florida, bringing down two cars to compete at Daytona and all seven nights at New Smyrna. From there, Zacharias will move to the NASCAR Tour with a new motor in preparation for the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway. Depending on how things go, he will decide whether to continue running the Tour races or run for the Whelen All-American Series national title mainly competing once again at Chemung. Regardless, Zacharias committed to making the trip for Bristol and both New Hampshire Tour races.
There is no doubt that the Modified Tours and even the events leading up to them will be full of drivers with championship resumes.