(THOMPSON, CT) It was a hot one at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in more ways than one as race fans braved
near triple-digit temperatures for another afternoon of great racing action at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on
Wednesday, July 29th.
The evening included five feature events, including the main event, the Whelen Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint, presented by
King Cadillac GMC. The three-segment race served as the penultimate event of the night and was the second one of these
being held at Thompson throughout the 2015 season. The event challenged drivers to finish in the best position possible
through two 20-lap and one 10-lap segments, earning fewer points the closer they were to the front. The driver with the
lowest number of points after the three events claimed the overall win. In addition the first two segments acted as
regular points-paying Sunoco Modified events.
The first segment saw the first big caution of the night to that point after a battle for the lead resulted in a five car melee
when Keith Rocco caught the left rear quarter panel of Nick Ladyga in turn four after leader Jason Sundeen attempted a
block, collecting at least three other cars in the process including points leader Woody Pitkat.
The incident worked to the benefit of Ryan Preece who took the lead after the restart, after starting deep into the top
ten. He would go on to win segment one while Eric Berndt finished second and Pitkat recovered from the mid-race
incident to finish a strong third.
The field was shifted for the second segment, sending Preece to the rear of the field and while he had made his way to
the top five within the first three laps Preece’s luck would run out when mechanical failure caused him to retire only a
handful of laps into the segment. He would return for the third and final segment.
Pitkat’s luck would continue however as the seasoned veteran and points leader led much of the second segment, despite
his involvement in the crash in segment one. Following a crash with four laps to go when Ladyga encountered more
trouble, slamming the outside wall in a one car incident, Pitkat saw his lead disappear after teammates Berndt, who had
been involved in an incident early in segment two, and Rocco took over the top two spots and never looked back. Pitkat
would settle for third for the second consecutive segment while Berndt followed up his runner-up finish in segment one
with a win, carrying only three points, one for his win and two for his runner up, into the final segment. Pitkat had the
second lowest amount of points going into the final segment with six followed by Keith Rocco who had accumulated eight
The ten-lap final segment had Berndt and Pitkat starting on the front row, having accumulated the least amount of points
and, while a daring dive to the bottom on turn 2 gave Pitkat the lead, a spin would bring out the caution and reset the
field as it was at the start due to the field unable to complete a lap. The two leaders also made contact before the
caution came out as the entered turn four.
Pitkat attempted another daring dive on the restart but was unable to pass Berndt, who ran away with the lead and never
surrendered. Pitkat took part in a hard fought battle with Keith Rocco who took the second position on lap four. The
teammates Berndt and Rocco would finish one-two once again and Pitkat would go on to finish third in all three segments
of the 20/20 feature event. Preece finished fourth in segment three after he was sidelined for much of segment two.
Berndt’s point total of only four points was low enough to give him the overall win while Pitkat finished second with nine
points and Rocco finished third with ten. Berndt’s victory proved to be the highlight story of the night as the veteran drove
the #76 for the first time during the 20/20 feature. He said he was thrilled to be in victory lane and thanked his team for
their hard work and for giving him a shot.
“It feels great you know. These guys put in a lot of hard work for the two cars they had here tonight,” he said. “We
finished first and second (in segments two and three). What more could you ask for. It’s a great organization and I’ve got
to thank them for giving me the shot and here we are.”
Starting off the night were the Vintage Outlaws with a ten lap feature that saw the fifth win of the season for Smithfield,
Rhode Island’s Scott Quinn. After starting in the back of the field of seven cars Quinn moved his way through the field
quickly, taking the lead into turn one at the start of the third lap of the event. He never looked back and took home the
“I’d like to just thank my brother (and Crew Chief Rob Quinn, Jr.) for all the work he does and my sponsors,” he said. “We’
re winning because we go home every week and we pull the car apart and we just build it right back to new and come
back to race - The car is really good and my brother made a good call with a gear change because he knew the track
would be slippery tonight so we were able to try something different and it worked.”
Next in line were the Late Models, which ran caution free for a 25-lap feature dominated by Mark Curtis who started on
the front row. The race featured bumping and banging by several drivers as they worked their way to the front, however
Curtis never blinked in his quest for his second Thompson victory of the season.
Curtis said, “We got that good start up front – We had just a really good car. We made some wholesale adjustment to
tighten it up with the slippery conditions out there today and I just paced myself trying to hit my marks.”
Curtis was later disqualified after Tech inspection, giving Jeff Rocco the win for the night, followed by Keith Rocco as
well as Rick Gentes and Brian Tagg.
The third feature of the night, the Xtramart Limited Sportsman Series, was full of action as the 20-lap feature saw an
intense battle for the lead through much of the race. The biggest battle of the race saw eventual winner Jesse Gleason
and runner-up Larry Barnett side by side or nose to tail for much of the race and a battle for second in the first five laps
became a battle for the lead after early leader Joshua Wood lost control coming out of turn four. Gleason inherited the
lead with Barnett close behind.
Gleason would go on to claim victory and talked about his run to the win in victory lane.
“It was a long day and it’s just really really hot out,” he said. “When you’ve got Larry (Barnett) behind you then you know
you’re in good hands. He and I have raced for almost ten years and we rarely trade paint so I know that he’s a good old
school racer like myself.”
Barnett held on for a second place finish while Scott Sundeen and Corey Hutchins finished third and fourth. Wood
recovered from his early spin for a fifth place finish.
The final event of the night featured the Monster Mini Stocks with an experienced veteran taking the win while the runner-
up saw the best finish of his career in the series. Eric Bourgeois found himself back in victory lane after early leader Jeff
Moffat, Sr. suffered mechanical issues causing him to retire from the race. The big story of the event was the career-best
run for Nick Matera who finished second. The run was so impressive Bourgeois gave him credit for a good race after
pulling into victory lane.
“Nick’s come a long way. I looked in the mirror the last couple laps and I’m going ‘oh man don’t miss your marks’. I
missed it a couple times and he was right there,” said Bourgeois who explained his main strategy was always to lead
early and hold his position as long as he could. “I absolutely had no choice (but to take the lead early on). I know there
were a lot of good competitors behind me – This class is really close.”
Next up for Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park is the Budweiser ‘King of Beers’ 150 & Limited Triple Crown Race No.
3 as the Whelen Modified Tour makes its return to the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, August 12th.
SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 FEATURE SEGMENT 1 (TOP-10): 1. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 2 Eric Berndt (Cromwell, CT); 3.
Woody Pitkat (Sturbridge, MA); 4. Adam Norton (Ludlow, MA); 5. Ryan Morgan (Mystic, CT); 6. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 7.
Nick Ladyga (Voluntown, CT); 8. Cam McDermott (Scituate, RI); 9. Kerry Malone (Needham, MA); 10. Jason Sundeen
SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 FEATURE SEGMENT 2 (TOP-10): 1. Eric Berndt (Cromwell, CT); 2. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 3.
Woody Pitkat (Sturbridge, MA); 4. Kerry Malone (Needham, MA); 5. Ryan Morgan (Mystic, CT); 6. Andrew Charron (E.
Greenwich, RI); 7. Cam McDermott (Scituate, RI); 8. Jason Sundeen (Douglas, MA); 9. Adam Norton(Ludlow, MA); 10. Nicki
Ouellette (East Granby, CT)
SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 FEATURE SEGMENT 3 (TOP-10): 1. Eric Berndt (Cromwell, CT); 2. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 3.
Woody Pitkat (Sturbridge, MA); 4. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 5. Cam McDermott (Scituate, RI); 6. Kerry Malone (Needham,
MA); 7. Adam Norton (Ludlow, MA); 8. Jason Sundeen (Douglas, MA); 9. Ryan Morgan (Mystic, CT); 10. Andrew Charron (E.
SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 FEATURE FINAL RESULTS (TOP-10): 1. Eric Berndt (Cromwell, CT); 2. Woody Pitkat (Sturbridge,
MA); 3. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 4. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 5 Kerry Malone (Needham, MA); 6. Ryan Morgan (Mystic,
CT); 7. Cam McDermott (Scituate, RI); 8. Adam Norton (Ludlow, MA); 9. Jason Sundeen(Douglas, MA); 10. Andrew Charron
(E. Greenwich, RI)
MONSTER MINI STOCK FEATURE FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Eric Bourgeois (East Haddam, CT); 2. Nick Matera (Warwick, RI); 3.
Mike Veins (Seekonk, MA); 4. Dave Trudeau (Mansfield, CT); 5. Joe Baxter (Pascoag, RI); 6. Louis Bellisle (Lisbon, CT); 7.
Scott Michalski (S. Killingly, CT); 8. Steve Michalski (Brooklyn, CT); 9. Christopher Viens (Putnam, CT); 10. Ed Field (Deep
VINTAGE OUTLAWS (FULL FINISHING ORDER): 1. Scott Quinn, Smithfield, Rhode Island; 2. Daryl Dutch, Greeville, Rhode
Island; 3. Ben LeVangie, Plymouth, MA; 4. Bill Cummins, Clinton, MA; 5. Ron St. Germaine, Brookfield, MA; 6. Joe
Babineau, North Smithfield, RI; 7. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI
LATE MODELS (TOP-10): 1. Jeff Rocco (Wallingford, CT); 2. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 3. Rick Gentes (Burrillville, RI); 4.
Brian Tagg (Oxford, MA); 5. Jeff Smith (Old Lyme, CT); 6. Ernest LaRose (Moosup, CT); 7. William Wall (Shrewsbury, MA);
8. Larry Gelinas (Buxton, ME); 9. Glen Boss (Danielson, CT); 10. Buddy Charette
XTRAMART LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Jesse Gleason (Lisbon, CT); 2. Larry Barnett (Moosup,
CT); 3. Scott Sundeen (Sutton, MA); 4. Corey Hutchings (Salem, CT); 5. Joshua Wood (Palmer, MA); 6. Moose Douton
(Waterford, CT); 7. Diego Monahan; 8. Matt Lowinski-Loh (Milford, MA); 9. Brent Gleason (Lisbon, CT); 10. Frank LeTolle,
Jr. (Wethersfield, CT)
Todd Szegedy found a home in the offseason with Bob Garbarino's No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing. And Szegedy repaid them
by returning the car to Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon.
Szegedy's No. 4 Montanari Fuel Dodge held off the field in a four-lap sprint to win the Andy Blacksmith 100 presented by
Donate Life New England. It was the 19th career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win and fourth at New Hampshire for the
39-year-old from Ridgefield, Connecticut, but his first since September of 2013.
Szegedy gave Garbarino his seventh win at New Hampshire and first since 2009.
Starting fifth, Szegedy battled up front all day while leading 22 laps. He was able to fend off runner-up Donny Lia and third-
place Bobby Santos after a late-race caution set up the final dash as he beat Lia to the line by .041 seconds.
Patrick Emerling and Ron Silk rounded out the top five.
Ryan Preece finished sixth ahead of Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Keith Rocco and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender
Preece, who entered the event tied with Doug Coby atop the championship points standings, now leads Pitkat by four
points and Szegedy by 19.
Coby won the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day and led 12 laps in the first half of the race. However, he was
caught up in a multi-car incident following the second-half restart on Lap 55 and wound up finishing 30th. He dropped to
fourth in points, 25 behind Preece.
The Andy Blacksmith 100 presented by Donate Life New England will premiere on NBCSN on Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action Saturday, July 25, for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 at Monadnock
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Andy Blacksmith 100 pres. by Donate Life New England Results
At New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Lap length: 1.058 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (5) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Dodge, 100 laps, 82.926 mph.
2. (2) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100.
3. (21) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 100.
4. (7) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100.
5. (15) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
6. (3) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
7. (11) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
8. (14) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100.
9. (16) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
10. (12) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
11. (6) Ryan Newman, South Bend, Ind., Chevrolet, 100.
12. (8) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 100.
13. (22) Brendon Bock, Franklin Square, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100.
14. (27) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
15. (26) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100.
16. (25) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 100.
17. (30) Dave Salzarulo, Enfield, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
18. (34) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
19. (32) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100.
20. (31) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 99.
21. (33) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 98.
22. (10) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.
23. (35) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 97.
24. (13) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 93, accident.
25. (24) Troy Talman, Oxford, Mass., Chevrolet, 93, accident.
26. (17) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Mass., Chevrolet, 93, accident.
27. (18) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 93, accident.
28. (28) Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 81, accident.
29. (19) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 81, accident.
30. (1) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 55, accident.
31. (4) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 55, accident.
32. (20) Jeff Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 55, accident.
33. (9) Steve Masse, Bellingham, Mass., Chevrolet, 52, rear end.
34. (23) Joe Ryan Osborne, Holland, Pa., Pontiac, 12, ignition.
Time of Race: 1 hour 16 minutes 33 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.041 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: D.Coby (129.046 mph, 29.515 seconds)
Caution Flags: 5 for 16 laps.
Lead Changes: 29 among 7 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Christopher 1-5; D. Lia 6; T. Christopher 7-10; D. Coby 11; T. Christopher 12-16; R. Preece 17-20; T.
Szegedy 21; R. Preece 22-30; D. Lia 31; R. Preece 32; D. Lia 33-35; W. Pitkat 36; D. Lia 37; W. Pitkat 38-43; D. Coby 44-54;
T. Szegedy 55-64; R. Preece 65-67; D. Lia 68; R. Silk 69; R. Preece 70; R. Silk 71; R. Preece 72-74; R. Silk 75; R. Preece 76-
77; R. Silk 78-79; R. Preece 80; R. Silk 81-86; R. Preece 87; R. Silk 88-89; T. Szegedy 90-100.
Standings: 1. R. Preece, 291; 2. W. Pitkat, 287; 3. T. Szegedy, 272; 4. D. Coby, 266; 5. B. Santos, 255; 6. T. Solomito, 245;
7. P. Emerling, 241; 8. E. Goodale, 240; 9. T. Christopher, 220; 10. R. Pennink, 211.
Canaan, NH. -- Following post race inspections at Claremont Speedway, Claremont, NH, on July 10, 2015, the # 85 car, powered by an 18-degree engine,
was found to have a non-compliant carburetor pursuant to the 2015 Modified Racing Series rulebook. As a result, the # 85 car has been disqualified
from Friday’s event. Car # 5ct (Chris Pasteryak) is
declared the winner.
Claremont, NH. -- In a race that saw Kirk Alexander and Dwight Jarvis,
two of the series top drivers sidelined after contact on the opening lap, close to 90 minutes later Todd Szegedy, himself a victim of a spin and minor
contacts , was in victory lane at the conclusion of the Valenti Modified Racing Series ‘Claremont 100’ Friday night.
Szegedy, of Ridgefield, CT, passed race leader Chris Pasteryak of Jewett City, CT, on lap 92, to go on and win his second race of the season before a
large crowd at Claremont Speedway, Claremont, NH.
17-caution flags were needed for the crash filled event. Nine drivers of the original 23-car starting lineup finished on the lead lap. 13 cars finished the
Szegedy was candid when assessing the 100-lap grind. “The first time I spun that was all on me. This track is tough. You can make a real late entry
into the corner or you can make an early entry and where the groove is everybody kind of meets in the middle. I think that’s a lot of the problem
tonight. I don’t believe anybody intentionally set out to wreck anybody because we all want to come back to the next race.”
Szegedy furthered, “Kevin Stuart, Kenny, and the whole team do such a great job getting this car underneath me and I’m the lucky guy that gets to
drive it every week.”
Pasteryak settled for second after making several pit stops under yellow and working his way back to the front. “ We pitted a bunch of times and it
really wasn’t to bad. Went back out and went to the bottom and picked off a car - picked off a car. Thought we are sixth and still going forward. I ran
(Szegedy) as clean as I could. The way I would want someone to race me. He had a better car than me again.”
One driver who made a late week decision to enter the event was Mike Douglas Jr. The Auburn NH / Tampa FL driver finished third when the dust
settled. “It was one of those deals where you keep digging and digging – you don’t stop til stuff is falling off the car and you don’t move anymore.
Tonight we had a little bit of lady luck on our side. You need that.”
Norm Wrenn stormed to a fourth place finish, with Todd Patnode rounding out the top five.
Sixth through tenth were; Russ Hersey, Jon McKennedy, Richard Savary, Steve Masse, and Mike Willis Jr.
Willis Jr, had an impressive showing leading the first 56-laps. McKennedy and Hersey also shared the lead with Pasteryak and Szegedy.
Hersey, Willis, and Dan Meservey Jr won qualifying heats.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series is off until July 24 when the series makes it’s first visit at Devils Bowl Speedway in Fair Haven Vermont.
Time of Race: 1:24:49
Margin of Victory: 0.816
Best Speed: 89.196
Best Lap Time: 13.440
Best Lap By: # 99 Richard Savary
Lap Leaders: Willis Jr. (1-56) McKennedy (57-83)
Hersey (84) Szegedy (85) Hersey (86) (Pasteryak (87-91)
Lead Changes (6)
Cautions: (17) Laps- (1,44,44,44,45,46,48,52,52,53,53,56,58,83,84,86,91)
Order Of Finish: (1) Todd Szegedy (2) Chris Pasteryak (3) Mike Douglas Jr. (4) Norm Wrenn (5) Todd Patnode (6) Russ Hersey (7) Jon McKennedy (8)
Richard Savary (9) Steve Masse (10) Willis Jr. (11) Meservey Jr (12) Medeiros Jr, (13) Sherman (14) Pitkat (15) Schneider (16) Perry (17) Lashua (18)
Mead (19) Ianarelli (20) Smith (21) Rock (22) Jarvis (23) Alexander (24) Doucette (DNS)
Chris Pasteryak’s 21 points garnered in the first half of the Valenti Modified Racing Series sanctioned ‘Stratham Tire 100,’ and 23 more points in the
second 50-lap segment, put the two-time series champion in victory lane Friday night at Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH.
The Jewett City, Connecticut driver, the fourth different competitor to win this season in four races, ended a four-year drought with the VMRS. Friday’
s race was his seventh series win and his second at the Lee track. Pasteryak’s last series win was in 2011.
Steven Masse, of Bellingham, MA, substituting for Rowan Pennink, amassed enough points to finish second followed by Jon McKennedy, of East
Chelmsford, MA, Woody Pitkat, of Stafford Springs, CT, and Richard Savary, of Canton, MA.
Sixth through tenth were; Mike Willis Jr, Dennis Perry, Norm Wrenn, Todd Patnode, and Donnie Lashua.
Most saw the Lee race as an experiment while others thought it might be the answer. VMRS officials and Lee owner Red MacDonald agreed this past
winter a change was needed to create interest in the two races staged at Lee, stop the so called ‘sandbagging’ seen the last two years, and develop a
race fans would talk about heading to the parking lot.
If Friday night’s race was any indication, those responsible may have found the answer.
Twin 50-laps races, an inverted line-up for the 2nd half segment, points garnered Friday going toward the series championship, and combined points
earned by drivers in each 50-lap race determined the outcome of the main event. All of it created an interesting night.
Competitors, fans, and track management warmly received the concept. “That was a pretty good race,” said track owner Red MacDonald long after the
checkered flag dropped on race winner Pasteryak. “I’d like to see them do that again. Maybe at Oktoberfest.”
The Valenti Modified Racing Series closes out the month of June with a return to Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway, Friday, June 26.
The month of July finds the series at Monadnock, July 4, a return to Claremont Speedway, July 10, and a first ever visit at Devil Bowls Speedway,
Fairhaven, VT, July 24.
Unofficial Order Of Finish (1.) Pasteryak (2). Masse (3). McKennedy ( 4) Pitkat (5.) Savary (6). Willis (7) Perry (8) Wrenn (9) Patnode (10.) Lashua(11)
Schneider (12) Hersey (13) Kopec (14). Ianarelli (15) Doucette (16). Alexander (17) Szegedy (18) Mead (19) Dion (20) Medeiros (21) Leclerc (22)
Sherman (23). Kay
(Seekonk, Mass) – Canton, Massachusetts, veteran Richard Savary started third in a 25 car field Saturday night, and despite challenges from
modified aces Woody Pitkat, of Stafford, CT, and Todd Szegedy, of Ridgefield CT, hung on to win the Valenti Modified Racing Series sanctioned,
‘Seekonk 100,’ The win is Savary’s first this season.
Savary becomes the third different driver in three races to win in 2015.
Savary took command on lap 42 from early leader Dylan Kopec, of Palmer, Mass, and was never headed. Mike Willis Jr, of Grantham, NH, led the
opening 10-laps before Kopec took charge.
Szegedy settled for second followed by, Kirk Alexander, of W.Swanzey, NH, third, Rowan Pennink, of Huntingdon Valley, PA, fourth, and Anthony
Nocella, of Woburn, MA, fifth.
Woody Pitkat, Charlie Pasteryak, Norm Wrenn, Dennis Perry, and Donnie Lashua, rounded out the top ten.
The race was slowed by seven caution flags and was completed a little less than 52 minutes.
Qualifying heat winners: Savary, Kopec, Willis
All 25 teams that entered the event started the 100-lap race.
Next event: Lee USA Speedway Friday June 19,2015
June 6, 2015
Race # 3
Margin of Victory: 0.256
Lead Changes: 2
Unofficial Order Of Finish: (1) Savary (2) Szegedy (3) Alexander (4) Pennink (5) Nocella (6) Pitkat (7) Charlie Pasteryak (8) Wrenn (9) Perry (10)
Lashua (11) Fournier (12) Schneider (13) Pearl (14) Patnode (15) Kopec (16) Mead (17) Sherman (18) Chris Pasteryak (19) Dion (20) Medeiros (21)
Kyle James (22) Annarummo (23) Meservey (24) Willis (25) Ianarelli
Claremont, NH - Derek Griffith picked up his first career Granite State Pro Stock Series victory in dominating fashion as Claremont
Speedway opened up a new chapter.
Griffith, of Hudson, NH became a quick study in his first visit to the tricky quarter-mile oval. His first laps around the speedway were some of the
fastest he would turn all night, and the quickest of the 13 cars that arrived. He also led second round practice as well.
Two rounds of qualifying saw Jeremy Davis pick up the first round over Tom O’Sullivan and Cory Robert. Larry Gelinas and Bryon Baker rounded out
the top five.
Griffith picked up the Sunoco Checkers in the second round, besting Mike O’Sullivan, Barry Gray, Mike Parks and Guy Caron.
As the green dropped on the field, in what was the longest race in series history, Davis and Griffith battled side by side for the opening lap. Griffith
was able to get the better of Jeremy, and took off from the field. By lap 20, the pair had pulled away by over half a straightaway over Mike and
Tom O’Sullivan and Cory Robert.
The first caution dropped on lap 31, when Larry Gelinas spun in the second turn. This was the first of the two yellows that came out.
On the restart, Griffith missed a shift, giving Davis the lead. The pair raced single file while Griffith regained his rhythm, and at lap 40, the Hudson
native moved past, and into the lead once again.
By lap 50, Griffith and Davis once again pulled away, with Barry Gray, Josh King and Mike O’Sullivan the top five.
The final caution came out on lap 54, when Zig Geno and Cory Robert got together and spun in the second turn.
This restart was kinder to the leader, and Griffith took off and started to pull away from the pack once again. While it was kinder to the leaders,
several cars got together in the second turn, including both O’Sullivan brother and Mike Parks. While everyone kept moving, and no caution was
thrown, it jumbled up the field.
The final 71 laps ran without incident. Parks and Mike O’Sullivan started their march back through the field, moving their way into the top five by
the end of the race. Jeremy Davis saw his tires go away, dropping him out of the top five.
With less than 50 laps to go, Barry Gray started closing on the leader, and had closed the lead to about 5 car lengths, but that is as close as he
would get. As they worked through the lapped traffic, Griffith continued his dominance, and by the checkered flag, he has a one and a half second
Gray wound up second, with Parks, Mike O’Sullivan and Larry Gelinas rounding out the top five.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series returns to the high banks of Monadnock Speedway on Saturday, May 23. For more information on the Granite
State Pro Stock Series, visit www.gspss.net.
Ah yes, opening night. Time to re-acquaint yourself with the sights, sounds and smells of the race track. Everything from the teams and drivers,
the sounds of dozens of V8 engines, and the oh-so-pungent smell of leaded race fuel.
Ultimately, opening night at Lebanon Valley Speedway had partly cloudy skies, but chilly temperatures that dipped down into the low 40’s by the
time the night was over. In other words, it was a typical April night of racing. With the Super DIRTCar Series holding their season opener
Saturday night at Fulton Speedway, only appearance points were on the line for the Modifieds, but that didn’t take away from the action at all.
JR Heffner started from pole by virtue of winning his heat race with Kenny Tremont, Jr. right alongside. As the race got going, the two past
champions who had battled in their heat race pulled away from the rest of the field while Wayne Jelley and Kyle Sheldon fought over third.
After a few laps of trying to make the move, Tremont made the pass for the lead on Heffner in turn 4 on lap 9. Amidst the loud cheers from the
assembled crowd, Tremont began to pull away from the pack in the heavy traffic.
Jelley and Sheldon made short work of Andy Bachetti and proceeded to spend nearly the entire race nose-to-tail or side-by-side, their battle only
briefly interrupted by lapped traffic. Eventually, Jelley was able to get the upper hand.
The race ran caution-free, allowing Tremont to coast on his huge lead to his record-extending 121st career Modified victory at the Valley. It is his
first win on the high banks since August, 2013.
Tremont was very pleased with his victory afterwards.
“The way things have been going here, I’m happy to get another win,” Tremont said. “All my crew guys kept digging. Last year wasn’t so good, but
maybe this year will be.”
By virtue of finishing in the top-4, Tremont, Heffner, Jelley and Sheldon have qualified for a match race against Brett Hearn that will take place on
May 9th. The winner of the match race, sponsored by the upcoming series Dirt Track Outlaws, will receive $250. Also, the top-6 finishers will
start in the top-6 starting spots in the May 2nd Modified feature.
Modified Results: 1) 115- Kenny Tremont, Jr., 2) 74- JR Heffner, 3) 45J- Wayne Jelley, 4) 42- Kyle Sheldon, 5) 98- Eddie Marshall, 6) 34B- Andy
Bachetti, 7) 55-Mike King, 8) 98S- Kolby Schroder, 9) 17- Rob Pitcher, 10) 60- Brian Berger, 11) 47- Jeff Watson, 12) 25J- Chad Jeseo, 13) 87X- Paul
Gilardi, 14) 42P- Matt Pupello, 15) 34- Steve Hough, 16) 81- D.J. Faulkner, 17) 1X- Denny Soltis, 18) 11A- Kyle Armstrong, 19) 24S- Rich Salisbury,
20) 16- Kyle Hoffman, 21) 17R- Elmo Reckner, 22) 12- Tyler Chartrand, 23) 10- Lorne Browe, 24) 6- Ken McGuire, 25) 43- Keith Flach (at Fulton), 26)
20- Brett Hearn (at Fulton), 27) 115C- Art Collins,
Small Block Entires: 25- Frank Harper, 111- Demetrios Drellos, 1- Jason Herrington, 250- Alan Houghtaling, 83- Chad Pierce, 72- Ray Hall, Jr., 88JR-
Olden Dwyer, 13- Frank Hoard, III, 20- David Schilling
|OLD School Photos
|2014 Thompson track champ Ryan Preece
|2015 Icebreaker winner Doug Coby