TRIPLE Australian Champion Mark Robinson heads the entry list for the opening round of the Mr Modified Series at Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway on Boxing Night (December 26).

Also included in the starting line-up is two times national titleholder Andrew Pezzutti. The series has become an annual event at the venue since David Lander took over promoting the Lismore Showground Speedway some years ago and has increased in stature in that time.

The first round is vital for drivers as the tournament is conducted as an ongoing point scoring event, culminating with the series grand final on January 11.

But right now, it's all about Boxing Night and the opportunity to chase points and earn a prominent position in the standings for the January showdown.

“This opening round always is very keenly contested by the drivers because it's so important to score good points in the chase for Mr Modified honours. Each season we see Boxing Night as one of the major fixtures because of what the series means and it's also the start of annual holidays for many people who annually attend this event,” Lander said.

Phil McNamara, a NSW V8 Dirt Modified Champion and regular strong runner at Lismore, also has nominated and comes into contention.

Other drivers who have turned many laps at the testing Lismore Showground bull ring, Andrew Firth, Brayd Stephenson, Tim Luscombe, Sam Bruggy and Paul Booker are also on the 20 car entry list.

The main event opening round will be held over a 50-lap distance and tyre wear could play a role in determining the feature race winner.

With hot weather conditions likely, the latter part of the race will almost certainly be run on a slick track which is devoid of dirt on the lower pole line. The selection of the correct tyre compound also could go a long way toward determining the winner.

Track curator Tony Powell has spent many hours preparing the surface to ensure the night runs smoothly and drivers are given the best possible track conditions for the earlier heat events in addition to the long distance feature race.

The Boxing Night spectacular also will feature another round of the BH Contracting Driver to America series for the Wingless Sprintcars. There is little in points amongst the top runners ensuring racing will again be intense on the night.

Other categories featured on the variety programme are AMCA Nationals, Production Sedans, Junior Sedans and Street Stocks. Gates open at 4PM and racing commences at 5:30PM. (ARTICLE BY DENNIS NEWLYN).