Eastern States 100 Favorites, Contenders, Purses, Past Champions and More – DTD Exclusive

By MIKE MALLETT

The big money continues to flow for Modfied teams on Saturday afternoon at the Orange County Fair Speedway with the running of the Eastern States 100 for the small-block Modifieds. The event pays a whopping $15,000 with a total purse of over $80,000.

This event should bring out some of the biggest stars in racing. They’ll all be hoping to get to victory lane in order to make them eligible for the bonus for winning the 100 and the 57th edition of the Eastern States 200 on Sunday. That could net them a hefty $65,000 paycheck for the weekend.

Before we get to Eastern States Weekend, DirtTrackDigest.com takes a look at the event with information that includes the format, purse, history, favorites and more.

Format




The small-block feature will be 100-laps in distance. During the 100-lap feature caution laps will count from laps 50-90. In the event of a caution, the race will finish under green, white, checker. There will be double-file restarts for entire race. Lap cars will be sent to the rear should a caution come out. The Last 10 Laps must be green. The race may go extra distance depending on cautions.

Qualifying will begin with time trials. Time trial results will determine the top six locked in positions for the small-block Modified Eastern States 100. These top six cars will not be listed in a qualifying race. Everyone else will be lined up heads up in heat races based on their times.

Position numbers seven and eight are the only guaranteed starting spots. If the driver qualifies better than seventh or eighth, this position will become available. One of these positions belong to Anthony Perrego for his small-block win on Championship Night.

Heat races will be eight laps in distance with top qualifiers transferring to the Eastern States 100. Heat races will feature double-file restarts for all eight laps. The finishing order will line up spots eight through 26.

The small-block B-Main will be twenty-five laps. The race will utilize double file restarts for all twenty-five laps.  At minimum, the top six drivers will be locked into the feature.

Purses

Eastern States 100: 1 $15,000 2 $10,000 3 $8,000 4 $6,000 5 $5,000 6 $4,500 7 $4,000 8 $3,500 9 $3,000 10 $2,500 11 $2,000 12 $1,500 13 $1,250 14 $1,000 15 $900 16 $800 17 $750 18 $750 19 $725 20 $725 21 $700 22 $700 23 $675 24 $675 25 $650 26 $650 27 $625 28 $625 29 $600 30 $600 31 $550 32 $550 33 $525 34 $525 35 $500 36 $500

Total Purse: $ 81,550

B-Main: The B-Main will pay $1,000 to the winner with spots seven through 26 earning $250. Not all drivers are guaranteed money if they make the main-event.

Bonus Money:
Small-Block Pole: $500
Small-Block Modified Dash: $1,000
Small-Block Modified Hard Charger: $1,000
Hard Clay Open/Small-Block Feature Sweep: $5,000

Past Champions

2017 Stewart Friesen, 2016 Brian Krummel, 2015 Brett Hearn, 2014 Brett Hearn, 2013 Stewart Friesen, 2012 Brett Hearn 2011 Jimmy Phelps, 2010 Brett Hearn

2009 Brett Hearn, 2008 Brett Hearn, 2007 Brett Hearn, 2006 Billy Decker, 2005 Jerry Higbie, 2004 Brett Hearn, 2003 Alan Johnson, 2002 Brett Hearn, 2001 Brett Hearn, 2000 Danny Johnson

1999 Danny Johnson, 1998 Kenny Tremont, 1997 Kenny Tremont, 1996 Danny Johnson, 1995 Brett Hearn, 1994 Doug Hoffman, 1993 Kenny Tremont, 1992 Danny Johnson, 1991 Danny Johnson, 1990 Brett Hearn

1989 Jeff Heotzler, 1988 Jeff Heotzler, 1987 Brett Hearn, 1986 Brett Hearn, 1985 Brett Hearn, 1984 Doug Hoffman, 1983 Doug Hoffman, 1982 Doug Hoffman, 1981 Dick Keiper, 1980 Mike Petruska Sr.

1979 Harry Behrent, 1978 Anthony Ferraiuolo IV, 1977 Brett Hearn

Favorites

Stewart Friesen: It’s not difficult to put last year’s race winner in this category. Friesen is a two-time winner of the event and he comes in as the defending champion. You know he sees the big money on the line with a sweep for Friesen a very strong possibility. When Friesen pulls into the pits at Orange County, he has to be considered one of the favorites.

Brett Hearn: Hearn has won the small-block portion a record 16-times. That is simply impressive. I don’t think is much more that needs to be said. He leads all drivers in this category by a wide margin. Danny Johnson is second all-time with five career wins in the event. He hasn’t won the 100 since 2015, he’s due.

Anthony Perrego: Perrego was a five-time winner in the small-block ranks in 2018. He came up three points short at the conclusion of the season in the chase for the title. He has to be considered a favorite after having a career year at the Legendary House of Power. He’ll be a threat to both Friesen and Hearn for the win. His best finish all-time in the small-block event is a third in 2016.

Contenders

Brian Krummel: Krummel was the surprise winner of the event in 2016 event and this year he was the small-block Modified champion at Orange County. He has yet to reach victory lane this year with the small-block so why not make the first win of the year a $15,000 one.

Craig Mitchell: Mitchell had a successful small-block season at Middletown finishing third in the overall point standings. Last year he finished sixth in the event. So combining Mitchell’s strong small-block season with his past quality efforts puts him in category of contender for Saturday afternoon’s event.

Matt Sheppard: As I stated in the Hard Clay Finale preview, Sheppard has never won at Orange County. How is that possible? He hasn’t run every small-block race the past few years, but he does have one podium finish in the event back in 2011. Eventually he has to come to come through like he has in recent years at other places he hasn’t had ton of success at.

Final Thoughts

Car Counts: There is a ton of cash on the line this weekend at Orange County. How many drivers will be vying for a chance at the huge payouts? Last year there were 63 (unofficially) cars entered for the small-block portion. With $15,000 up for grabs will there be more than that pit-side? I hope so.  This event should rival the car counts for Super DIRT Week.

Competition: I think the one thing that stinks about the Saturday portion of Eastern States is that there are numerous events held on the same Saturday in proximity that take away from the event. Delaware International Speedway, New Egypt Speedway and Outlaw Speedway all have higher paying Modified events against Orange County on Saturday night. I miss the old days where everyone converged on Middletown. I’m not knocking those other tracks. I get why they do what they do and understand it. It’s a business and these events make money. Hopefully every one of these events has large car counts and are profitable for the promoters. I’m just being selfish because I’ll be at Eastern States.