Story By: CODY MANMILLER / SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES – MILFORD, DE – To longtime Modified fans, Md.’s Hagerstown Speedway still holds a special place in their track rolodex, and when the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco returns to the Maryland facility on Saturday, Jordan Watson will be a bit nostalgic.
“I have a lot of old memories at Hagerstown,” Watson said. “I spent a lot of time there as a kid for Octoberfest, and I’m really excited to go back.”
Watson, though, has been on the track – as a rookie, he competed in the final Octoberfest weekend.
“I didn’t know a lot back then,” Watson joked. “I’ll definitely be looking forward to redeeming myself a little bit from the last time we were there.”
“It’s certainly an interesting place to go to and I’ve been watching videos and I think the racing is going to be really good, if the weather allows for it,” he added.
Watson, a very accomplished First State driver with plans to run Bridgeport, N.J., weekly aboard the Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz-sponsored No. 51, savors the opportunity to step outside of his typical racing region to try new places.
“Hagerstown, and also Port Royal (Pa.), are awesome red clay race tracks that we just don’t normally get to race at,” Watson began. “Going to great facilities in front of some people that don’t normally get to see Modifieds and our product is great for sponsors and with the viewership on Flo, it creates a different avenue of people that watch Northeast Modified racing than what we are used to.
“Getting people pumped up to come watch us here or at Selinsgrove (Pa.) is good for selling tickets and drawing people to our sport,” Watson continued.
On the line this weekend at Hagerstown is the opening race of the five-leg STSS Elite Series, which offers a minimum of $12,000 to win, $2,000 for 10th and $1,000 to start. The Northeastern Supply ‘Mods in the Mid-Atlantic 50’ also serves as the first of an 11-event STSS Rent Equip/Party Central South Region tour.
“Previously, with the way the sport was, we’d look at what it was to win races,” Watson said. “Now, as a local, family-owned team, with the prices of diesel, prices of tires and to maintain cars, to go take the green and make a thousand bucks is awesome.
“It’s starting to put us in a similar category of late model racing and, with broadcasting on Flo, I’m excited to see where Modified racing will be in five years.
“Of course the quality of cars is going to be awesome, but to run in the top 10 with a smaller team is a really good deal financially,” Watson added.
Being a multi-time track champion in the state of Delaware, Watson has plenty more to look forward to in 2023 with the inclusion of Delaware International Speedway and Georgetown (Del.) Speedway under the NASCAR sanctioning umbrella.
“I’ve always kind of heard about the NASCAR deal through Grandview and knew that the banquets would be held at a cool, different places, but to have two tracks in my backyard and where I run really well at, it’s awesome to have a chance to make some extra money and really a great deal for dirt track racing in general in the state of Delaware,” Watson said.
“It’ll be cool and interesting to match up against guys across the United States and will hopefully draw more cars to both Georgetown and Delmar to race for NASCAR points and make some extra money,” Watson continued.
The 2023 season will provide some new opportunities for Watson and his team, all starting with a trip down memory lane this weekend at Hagerstown Speedway.