PHOTO: A new rev limiter rule at Airborne Speedway should help low-budget racers like Mike Wells (#76) to keep pace with perennial dominators Patrick Dupree and Martin Roy. (VMM photo)

-by Ricky St. Clair and Justin St. Louis

PLATTSBURGH N.Y. — Airborne promoter Mike Perrotte changed the landscape of weekly Modified racing at Airborne Speedway during the off-season by instituting a rev limiter in the track’s premier division.

The main objective for making the rule change is to create more parity among everyone in the division while keeping everything cost-effective for drivers and car owners alike.

“There are two goals,” Perrotte said. “It’s to save money for the racers and at the same time it will close up the field.”

Engines in the Modified class will not be allowed to turn more than 7,600 rpm in 2011, and will be strictly monitored. By enforcing the rev rule, it will make passing even more difficult for drivers like Patrick Dupree and Martin Roy whose higher budgets allow them to buy stronger engines that make power at high revolutions. Dupree and Roy combined to win 12 of 18 feature races a year ago; in theory, the new rule should produce more winners in 2011.

“They (Dupree and Roy) won most of the races last year,” Perrotte noted. “What that [rev limiter] is going to do is slow them up a little bit when they’re coming through traffic.”

Patrick Dupree, the 2008 and 2010 Ernies Discount Tools Modified track champion, believes that the rule will create more competition for him and his team in 2011.

“Yeah, I definitely think it will create more parity this upcoming season,” Dupree remarked.

Morrisonville, N.Y., driver Bryant Trim also believes that by enforcing the rev limiter, fans can expect to see more competitive racing in 2011.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Trim said. “I think it’s going to make the racing more competitive. We’re all going to be closer, and you’re not going to see one or two cars pull out in front of everybody else. It should make racing better for everybody, and make it more equal.”

Comparatively underfunded, Chris Cayea and Todd Ormsby were able to steal Modified victories at Airborne last year. Cayea thinks that while the rev limiter will help smaller teams keep a closer pace, the creativity that the DIRTcar and Airborne Modified rulebooks allow for will still make winning races hard for low-budget teams.

“It’s going to definitely help,” said Cayea. “It’s going to bring the bigger guys back down to us, but it’s still going to be half-and-half. [Dupree and Roy] will still be up there, but hopefully we can get some other guys up there, too. These cars are so different and everybody drives different. You can run pretty much whatever you want, and we’ve all got different motors, but still I think it’s going to be pretty good.”

Airborne Speedway’s 58th season opener kicks off on Saturday, May 7, at 5pm. The Modifieds will be competing in their annual 50-lap event, while the remainder of the track’s four weekly divisions will also be competing on the half mile.