After a few years of traveling competing with his Modified, veteran racer Chris Pasteryak is primed to return home to full-time racing with the Tri Track Open Modified Series this season. The Lisbon, Connecticut, driver will compete in his family-owned No. 75, returning in hopes of winning and contending for the championship.
Pasteryak’s season will also include the six Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Outlaw Open Modified Series events and the four Stafford Motor Speedway Open Modified Series races.
“Going back to where I have been before and it’s the right time because of the way the schedules worked out this year with Thompson, Tri Track and Stafford,” Pasteryak said. “Between the three, you can run 16 or so times for really good purses, at good tracks.”
Tri Track Open Modified Series teams will compete twice each at Monadnock Speedway (May 1 & August 14), Star Speedway (May 22 & July 24) and Seekonk Speedway (June 30 & October 23). Pasteryak went to victory lane in Tri Track competition in May of 2015 at Lee USA Speedway, but has since been shutout. He took the last three years to focus on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, where he scored two top-five finishes. He visited over 12 different tracks during the span, a variety of flat and banked surfaces, and the experience should help in his return.
With 18 career Tri Track starts, Pasteryak is looking forward to it.
“The competition is so tough with Tri Track,” Pasteryak said. “Chances are we should be quick enough on speed, but a lot of it depends on the luck of the draw and how the races play out. The experience with different tracks — some of it transfers, and some of it doesn’t. I’m not going back to Tri Track because I think this is going to be any easier. If you can go out there and make every race, that’s good.”
Like anyone else in the field, his immediate goal when he shows up to the track is to win the race. But Pasteryak recognizes the stout competition the series offers and how difficult it will be to qualify, nevermind run up front. But once he makes it into the races, he should be a major threat to win with all of his experience.
“Everybody is there to contend for the win,” Pasteryak said. “I want to unload and be quick and fast enough to make the race, no matter what draw we get for the heat race. It will all depend on how it plays out from there. The nice thing with Tri Track — it seems like if you’re in the race, you have a shot. You have to be there in the last 20 or 30 laps with a bit of tire management. It’s all about positioning yourself.”
With previous winning experience at Seekonk in Modified Racing Series competition, Pasteryak’s goal at the Massachusetts third-mile is to return to the front of the field. But he’s also excited to return to Star and Monadnock in 2021.
“I really like all of the tracks,” Pasteryak said. “My luck at Star hasn’t been great, but I like going there. I’m getting better and better at Monadnock. It would be nice to get back up front at Seekonk. I feel like when we were so good there, everyone got better.”
Pasteryak will also be one of many drivers chasing the Call Before You Dig 811 Modified Challenge, a new points partnership between Tri Track and Stafford. As part of the partnership, the new points series will pay the champion $8,110. Drivers must finish inside the top-10 in the Stafford Open Modified or Tri Track Open Modified Series feature events to score points. The race winner will receive 10 points, with each subsequent position earning one less point, with the 10th place driver grabbing one point. The driver with the highest point total from the combination of 10 events will receive the $8,110 bonus.
“Definitely going to give that a shot to try and go after it,” Pasteryak said. “The Tri Track races don’t conflict with Stafford and I think it’s a great thing. I use Call Before You Dig at work all the time — it’s great of them to come on board and it’s a nice bonus between the Tri Track and Stafford races for all of the drivers.”
Heading into 2021, one of Pasteryak’s major crew members, Cam McDermott, won’t be with the team on a full-time level. McDermott will be driving his family-owned car in the six Tri Track races, and will also transition over to be crew chief for Eddie Harvey’s team on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Pasteryak says the team will be ready with a few of the crew members stepping up to fill the void left by McDermott, and is happy to see his close friend get the opportunity.
“It’s a great opportunity for Cam,” Pasteryak said. “He wanted to run the Tri Track events this year as a driver, and this will give him the chance to do it and go to the tour with experience. Anytime you lose a crew member of his caliber, it’s definitely leaving a void. But we have some really good people with us on the team.”
Pasteryak has support from a long list of family, friends and crew members, and also sponsors Dawley’s Collision & Custom, M.V. Williams Builders, Sunoco Race Fuels and Ballard Truck Center, among others.
“It would take me too long to list all of my supporters, we have some really great people with our team,” Pasteryak said. “Everyone is coming back, with a few guys stepping up. It’s going to be fun. The competition is definitely as hard as it has ever been since I have been driving a Tour-Type Modified. It’s going to be tough.”