While his modifieds were set to head to the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Demetrios Drellos took a six-hour ride to Delaware. He brought his 604 late model with him to Georgetown Speedway, where he won last Saturday.
“I don’t regularly drive my late model, but I love to travel with it,” Drellos, of Queensbury, New York, said. “I started to do so a year ago when I went to the Sunshine Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. It’s something I would like to do more often.”
In his modified, Drellos won the track championships this year at a pair of New York dirt ovals — Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta and Fonda Speedway.
“I enjoy the technology aspect of the late model,” said Drellos. “It is the way the car is built, and the way the suspension functions. I love the setup. Modifieds are a little behind the times compared to a late model.”
Drellos also loves the opportunities the dirt late model setup provides over the modified.
“When something works on a Panhard-bar setup [in a modified], no one wants to change it,” Drellos said. “With a late model, you still can hunt — you can stack springs, do more with bump stops, and tune the shocks.”
The Northeastern-style modifieds use a straight front axle, which creates a different situation than the late models.
“With a late model, you are working with loads and getting greater grip,” said Drellos. “With a modified, you are looking for balance because you can only put so much grip into it because the front end can turn the car only so much because of the straight axle. A late model has an independent front suspension and can steer so much better.”
Ultimately, it’s the technology in late models that captivates Demetrios Drellos.
“I know it sounds nerdy to say all that about the technical attraction of late models,” Drellos said. “But it is what is enjoyable to me when I take the late model on the road.”
The Outside Groove Director of Photography has written hundreds of stories since the website’s inception. This year marks his 54th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.