Monday, May 27, 2024

Massachusetts race car drivers sweep 3 of 4 Indy short tracks

Episode 427

June 4, 2023

Massachusetts men sweep three of four Indy area short track wins

All eyes were on the Indy 500 yet three of the most famous races in the Indianapolis area did not take place on the 2 1/2-mile oval; rather Friday at Carb Night Classic and Hoosier 100 at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Brownsburg only 15 minutes from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Saturday featured the 75th Annual Little 500 with 33 sprint cars on the 1/4-mile oval Anderson Speedway with nearly $140,000 in prize money.

The other Indy area short track was the USAC National Sprint Car Circle City Salute 40 lap feature race at the 1/4-mile dirt track at Circle City Raceway on the east side of Indianapolis. Princeton, Indiana’s Kyle Cummins held off repeated attempts at the lead from Justin Grant and Jake Swanson enroute to victory making him the only non-New England winner over the three-day period.

Jake Trainor Takes Two

From Medway, Massachusetts, 18-year-old Jake Trainor impressed with his two-victory trip to Indy; Friday’s National Midget race at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) and Saturday evening’s Little 500 sprint car race at Anderson Speedway. He defeated some of America’s most famous short track midget and sprint car drivers and teams.

Trainor graduated from Tri-County Regional Vo-Tech Center in Franklin, Massachusetts in the plumbing program. Since then, he has worked full-time for Matt Seymour at Seymour Performance in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Each day he works on race cars. Trainor hopes to make racing his career.

Trainor is a first-generation racer who at the age of six went to one of the Ice-Breaker spring races at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. The desire to race was ignited in the youngster.

A quarter midget was acquired for racing at Thompson. Trainor spent the next six years honing his skills as a racer and mechanic in quarter midgets.

As a 12-year-old, he spent one year in wingless midgets Eastern Midgets Association (EMA). The Ford Focus powered machines whet his appetite for more.

The Northeast Midget Association (NEMA) Lites became his training ground from 13 to now. He won season championships in 2021 and 2022.

Jake Trainor in Matt Seymour owned NEMA Lite midget # 29 side-by-side with #59 Brayden Egan at Star Speedway, Epping, New Hampshire in June 2022.

Growing up in Medway, Trainor’s racing hero was Franklin, Massachusetts’ Bobby Santos III who raced for Seymour Brothers until moving to Indiana to race full-time in USAC and related series. Trainor could not imagine that someday he and Santos III would be teammates.

Trainor at Indy

The first time Jake Trainor set foot in Anderson Speedway, the site of the Little 500, was Wednesday May 24th for the official practice in the K-Tron sponsored sprint car owned by Barry Kittredge. In 2022 the car was driven by Kenny Schrader in the Little 500. The car was set up by crew chief Matt Seymour.

In practice the car was fast, just a tic behind perennial favorite Kody Swanson. Qualifying the next day resulted in Trainor third fastest which meant outside front row for the start. Top three times for four laps determined the qualifying spots like the Indy 500 qualifiers. Kody Swanson was on the pole with four lap time of 43.614 seconds, Tyler Roahrig 43.654 seconds and Trainor third with 43.872 total.


Pole position for Little 500 Kody Swanson right, Tyler Roahrig center and outside front row Jake Trainor. (Jack Kessler, Anderson Speedway photo)

From Anderson Speedway press release, Trainor said he didn’t know what to expect in his first time at Anderson Speedway. “This is awesome,” he said. “Pavement is what I do. Back home we race 30 times a year with winged midgets.” Trainor said he was surprised about his qualifying run. “Still trying to get over starting on the front row,” he said of the start. “Two of the best in the business starting under me, my best bet is to settle in and follow someone who will lead the way for me.”

After Thursday’s qualifying at Anderson Speedway, Carb Night Classic for the IRP National Midget Race was the next day, Friday. The 40-lap midget race is part of three events at IRP this season with $5000 to win.

Bobby Santos III started from the pole in the 30-lap midget feature but was passed by Trainor who went on to win by .859 seconds over his childhood hero. Chuck Gurney Junior finished third. All three cars are owned by Indy Performance Composites (IPC) Jeff West.

Podium finishers at the IRP National Midget Championship Series race one. Left to right third place Chuck Gurney Junior, winner Jake Trainor, and second place Bobby Santos III. Kyle O’Gara and Kody Swanson rounded out the top five. (3 Stooges Racing photo)

Santos III Silver Crown race nets $26,000

Franklin, Massachusetts’ Bobby Santos in 2009 moved to the Indy area to pursue his racing career. IRP must be one of his favorite tracks. Santos now has 15 victories on the .686-mile oval.

Driving the DJ Racing Silver Crown car owned by Dick and Jane Fieler took the pole position edging out Kody Swanson in the Mission Foods Doran Binks # 77.

Kody Swanson dominated the first 115 laps until he pulled off the track in turn 1/2 with a broken cam drive that runs fuel pump unit. Running second at the time, Santos III led the remaining 31 laps picking up $25,000 plus $1,000 pole award.

The 146-lap race was unique in USAC which due to the loss of the Hoosier 100 race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds one-mile dirt track, saw fit to make this race a replacement for the time 100 lapper at the Fairgrounds.

Franklin, Massachusetts native 37-year-old Bobby Santos III makes the Hoosier 100 the second win of the day at IRP by New England drivers. Santos works full time for DJ Racing at their Brownsburg shop. Bobby makes his home in Fishers, Indiana. (Dan Martin photo)

Santos made a statement to the field with a 4.271 second lead over second place Logan Seavey at the end. Seavy in now leading the Silver Crown points race. Finishing third was Tyler Roahrig with Derek Bischak fourth and Taylor Ferns rounding out the top five.

According to Richie Murray USAC Media, when asked about how confident the racer was late in the race, Santos humbly replied, “I feel like I’m probably a better mechanic than I am a racecar driver. As far as putting a car together, I’m confident on that side of it.  The setup isn’t always perfect, and I’ve proven that a lot.  Mechanically, I’m pretty confident.”

Little 500 to the rookie

On Saturday attention shifted back to Anderson Raceway for the 75th Annual Little 500. That’s 500 laps on the quarter-mile track with 33 starters and two mandatory pit stops. Action all the time is characteristic of the race.

Pole winner Kody Swanson lead more than half of the laps. On lap 180 Swanson started to experience power steering issues eventually having fluid squirt on the California native. Swanson stayed on the lead lap and lead until eventually losing the lead to Trainor with 55 laps to go. A last lap pass by Caleb Armstrong for second relegated Swanson to third.

Rookie Jake Trainor hung around the top five all day with trips to the front which he held after each of his two pit stops. “Somewhere around the halfway point, I started to believe I could win this race”, said Trainor.” When I saw the checkered flag, I thought unbelievable! It was a blast!”

Like Indy 500 winners, Seymour Performance Products (SPP) sponsored. Jake Trainor drinks the milk of victory at the Little 500. Trainor will return to IRP later this season. (Jeff Champagne photo)

Ryan Motorsports team wins two to open season

Racing at Speedway 660, Geary Woods, New Brunswick, Harvey’s Ryan Messer #1 gathered his second feature race in a row and his first Maritime Pro Stock Tour victory May 27, 2023. Outside of Messer is the #99 of Craig Slaunwhite. Ryan Motorsports next race is June 17 at Oyster Bed Speedway on Prince Edward Island. (Rye Grizzly Chapman photo)

In Victory Circle, Ryan Messer celebrates with crew chief/father Robb Messer left, Ryan Messer, Penny Messer, Cheerleader and Mom, and Kamdyn Cawdle, girlfriend. Robb Messer commented, “Today was a great day! We have worked so hard for this over the last couple years. After the struggles we had last season, even though we knew we were making improvements every week, it really felt good to finally have a statement kind of win!” (Ryan Motorsports photo)

Brenda Sue Update

You may remember Brenda Sue Carver the motorcycle land speed racer from Texas. She had a tragic accident September 4, 2016, at the Loring Timing Association (LTA) Fall Event when she laid the bike down at high speed. The story was told in Episode 125, October 2, 2016, and Episode 211 May 6,2018


Texan land speed racer on her way to recover despite loss of leg

After Brenda Sue was fitted for an artificial limb by Hanger Clinic in Texas, she fought depression and other problems. The battle yielded some adventures on a bike at the drag strip and more. Look what Brenda Sue has been up to lately.

Brenda Sue Carver is one tough cookie. A motorboat was fitted to allow the Seguin, Texas woman the opportunity to water ski. (photo by Jeri Pressler)

Let’s go racing!

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)