11.07.2009 Filed in: Press
By John Enrietto
Eagle Sports Editor
NEW BRIGHTON — Citing inconsistencies in rules and frustration over recent sanctions imposed by the BRP Modified Tour, Kevin Bolland is considering leaving Modified dirt track racing.
Bolland, who turned 50 on Friday, has won eight track championships during his career, including the 2002 and 2006 Modified titles at Lernerville Speedway. The New Brighton resident won his 100th-career feature April 24 of last season, but he was unable to compete at Lernerville's Steel City Stampede last weekend because of a two-race suspension levied by BRP. The suspension, which included a lifetime ban from the Syracuse National Modified Championships, occurred while Bolland was in Syracuse, N.Y., for the 2009 event. "I was there to watch. I didn't even bring my car with me," Bolland said. "There was a communication problem up there over an incident I wasn't involved in. "The whole thing just isn't right. It's very frustrating."
Bolland said a miscommunication at Tri-City Speedway resulted in him being black-flagged one night in June, ultimately costing him a fourth consecutive track championship there."I'm tired of confusion at tracks and with promoters," Bolland said. "BRP has a set of rules and specs that go with their races, yet tracks use their own rules when hosting those events.
"Everyone's not on the same page and that makes it tough to compete." Part of the Bol-Tech Motorsports ownership group, Bolland said racing is a business for him and he needs to finish among the top three consistently to keep his program going.
"Our purses around here dictate that," he said. Lernerville and other Western Pennsylvania tracks pay about $1,100 to their Modified feature winners each week. Tracks in New York and at Lebanon Valley pay as much as $2,500. "I know where Kevin's coming from because I'm in the same boat," said veteran Modified driver Brian Swartzlander. "If I don't finish among the top three, I don't get new tires on my car."
Swartzlander finished sixth at the Steel City Stampede and received $325. "We all do this as a business, in a way," he said. "You have to be able to keep your race program going. "The Modified division can't afford to lose Kevin. He's one of the top drivers we have. A lot of people pay their money to watch he and I go at it on the track. That's part of the show," Swartzlander added.
Bolland has put all of his equipment up for sale. It will be available at a Nov. 14 garage sale that will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bol-Tech Motorsports in Beaver Falls. Bolland's future in racing is anybody's guess including his own. "I'm not saying I'm retiring, quitting or anything," he said. "It's all up in the air right now."