50 Greatest Modified Drivers – George Kent
“Quiet and Cunning”
In the span of close to 20 years, George Kent entered Victory Lane at Stafford Motor Speedway only once. He won the NASCAR Modified Tour Pentax 100 on September 7, 1987. He is, however, one of the 50 Greatest Modified Drivers of All-time as voted by the public part of the Stafford Salutes NASCAR at 50 program. He has won multiple races at Martinsville, the Pocono Race of Champions, and the Oswego-Bud 200.
Kent’s early years were spent between Tioga (Shangri-La) and Spencer Speedways where he had numerous wins and seven track championships between the two tracks. Kent never raced at Stafford on a regular basis, but when NASCAR formed the Modified Tour in 1985, Kent never missed a race.
For most of his career, which dates back to the early 1970s, Kent drove a Modified owned by his brother Ron. The only exceptions were in 1978 when he drove for Carl Smalles and in 1991 when he drove for Art Barry.
He was known as a methodical racer. Rarely a top qualifier, Kent was a cunning racer and a strategist. He would play pit stops to his advantage and always conserve his equipment and, more often than not, wear his competition down and end up in Victory Lane at day’s end.
Kent admits to being introverted and always kept to himself. He is simply the type of driver who would slip behind the wheel and do his talking with his right foot and his hands. For the most part, Kent raced most of his career without a major sponsor. His cars were never flashy but on may occasions, Kent’s yellow #26 stood out over the rest of the field which is a true testament to the hard work and ability of the Horseheads, New York native.
By: Phil Smith