Pitkat Doubles At Stafford With VMRS Win
Stafford, CT. – Hometown driver Woody Pitkat laid the foundation for a possible season sweep Friday
night, when he captured the 80-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series event at Stafford Motor Speedway,
The win was Pitkat’s second career VMRS victory. both at Stafford, setting the stage for a possible
‘hat trick’ when the series returns to the famed half-mile oval Friday, September 4.
Pitkat, driving the KBR Motorsports / Patterson Farms # 42, started fifth in a 26-car field, took the
lead on lap-43 from Steven Masse, of Bellingham, MA, regained the top position following a caution
flag restart on lap 62, and was never headed.
Todd Szegedy, of Ridgefield, Ct, finished runner-up, with Chris Pasteryak, of Jewett City, CT finishing
third. Masse settled for fourth, with Richard Savary, of Canton MA rounding out the top five.
Sixth through tenth were, Carl Medeiros Jr, who turned in a solid run as did Mike Willis Jr, last years
top rookie, Todd Patnode, Dennis Perry, and Dan Meservey Jr. rounded out the top 10.
Next stop for the series will be the annual ‘Firecracker 100’ Fourth of July celebration at Monadnock
Speedway, Winchester, NH. Saturday, July 4.
Unofficial Order of Finish: (1) Woody Pitkat (2) Todd Szegedy (3) Chris Pasteryak (4) Steve
Masse (5) Richard Savary (6.) Carl Medeiros, Jr. (7) Mike Willis, Jr. (8)Todd Patnode (9) Dennis Perry
(10) Dan Meservey, Jr. (11) Norm Wrenn (12) Matt Mead (13) Jeff Rocco (14) Mike Keeler (15)
Brandon Dion (16) George Sherman (17) Colbey Fournier (18) Keith Rocco (19) Rowan Pennink (20)
Canaan, NH. -- Last month, the Valenti Modified Racing Series rolled into Stafford Motor Speedway,
Stafford, CT, for the first of three events this season, and if that first race was any indication, fans of
the open-wheel modifieds could be in for another treat Friday night, June 26, when the series visits
Stafford. The question, could it be as good as that first one?
The most competitive VMRS race run at Stafford could be a tough act to follow.
13 lead swaps, 11 of them in the first 50-laps between Keith Rocco and
Ryan Preece highlighted the race and the players in that one are expected
entries in Friday night’s event.
Woody Pitkat, of Stafford, winner of the May event, Todd Szegedy, of Ridgefield, CT, Ted Christopher,
of Plainville, CT, and Todd Patnode of Richmond, NH, are all expected entries. Szegedy won the 80-
lap race last June.
Chris Pasteryak, fresh off his first win of the year last week at Lee, NH, hopes to find his way back to
Stafford’s winners circle a second time.
Steve Masse, of Bellingham, MA, is also targeting a second Stafford win.
Richard Savary, of Canton, MA, currently fourth in the point standings,
is entered. Kirk Alexander, of West Swanzey, NH, is ranked fifth heading to
Rowan Pennink, David Schneider, and Donnie Lashua, currently in the top-10 in points are expected
Dylan Kopec, of Palmer, MA, Mike Willis Jr, of Grantham, NH, and Matt Mead, of Richmond, NH. are
Grandstand and Ticket Booths open at 4:15 PM.
Qualifying heats for VMRS competitors begins at 6:15 PM
Doug Coby claims another win at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in the Mr. Rooter 125
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) returned to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on
June 10th with Ryan Preece riding a two race winning streak and four straight top five finishes into
the fifth race of the season, the Mr. Rooter Plumbing 125.
With a packed crowd on hand Preece hoped to match an accomplishment he completed in 2013 as
the most recent driver to win three consecutive events on the Whelen Modified Tour, however it was
not meant to be as the points leader was overshadowed by a dominant performance by defending
series champion Doug Coby, who has owned the Big T as of late with a win in the Icebreaker earlier
this year, and who claimed another victory leading all 125 laps of the event. It was Coby’s twelfth
career victory in the series and represented a maximum points day for the driver who sat third in the
points coming into the night. Coby remains in third, only a single point behind Pitkat for second.
Other winners from the night included Rick Gentes in the Late Models, Ryan Waterman in the
XtraMart Limited Sportsman, Eric Bourgeois in the Mini Stocks and Scott Quinn in the Vintage
Outlaws. Ryan Preece would claim victory in the Sunoco Modified Series.
Coby lead nonstop for much of the NWMT race after starting on the outside pole, with pole sitter
Woody Pitkat, who was second in final practice, never more than a few car lengths away for the first
half of the event. A lap eighty-five caution brought the drivers in to pit, with Coby retaining the lead.
Coby went on to lead the rest of the race in dominating fashion with Justin Bonsignore, Todd
Szegedy, Keith Rocco and Pitkat filling out the top ten. Preece finished seventh.
Following his win Coby said it was a fun race but while the win looked easy, it certainly had its
challenges. “This car is just unreal,” he said. “We won the Icebreaker (with this chassis) and to come
out and win again it certainly wasn’t as easy as the Icebreaker. It’s so loose out there. Everybody
was sliding around and we were just a little better than everybody.”
Preece, who finished seventh in the Mr. Rooter Plumbing 125, faired much better earlier in the night
during the Sunoco Modified Series feature where he claimed the checkered flag despite being
penalized for rough driving during an early race accident in turns one and two. Cam McDermott led
most of the early laps of the race, but much of the attention was on Preece and Keith Rocco who
beat and banged each other until Preece nearly sent Rocco into the wall. Preece was eventually sent
to the back of the field for rough racing during a lap nine caution which ended strong, and potentially
top five, runs by Shawn Thibeault and Ed Pulio. Preece made his way to fourth place in two laps on
the restart and eventually took the lead on lap eighteen.
A brief red flag on lap twenty-two bunched up the field but on the restart it was all Ryan Preece who
maintained the lead and never looked back. Preece had to endure one more caution before leading
the final seven laps on route to victory lane and extending his points lead in the series.
Preece said that it was a hard fought race and a good win but he did feel bad for contact that led to
his penalty and caused damage to Thibeault and Pulio’s cars. “I’m just really upset how I got into
Shawn Thibeault there. I feel bad for him and I’ll talk to him later,” said Preece. “Obviously that
dampens the win right there, but (my team) gave me a great car. It’s really fun driving with them.
They have great attitudes.”
Woody Pitkat finished a strong second while Rocco managed a third place finish and McDermott had
to settle for a fourth place finish despite his early run at the front.
The twenty-five lap Late Model feature included a massive wreck with less than ten laps to go that
created a chaotic finish when early leader Jeff Rocco, who showed some muscle stretching out a
two-and-a-half car length lead in the opening laps, was collected on a restart following a late race
Coming back to the green with the lead Rocco was turned and received the bulk of the damage from
a multi-car incident, taking him out of the race prematurely. His brother, Keith Rocco, created a bit
of his own drama when the cars came to the line for the restart, taking the battle for first and
second nearly three-wide. Keith Rocco would settle for a 4th place finish while Late Model all-time
win leader Rick Gentes added to his win total beating Brian Tagg to the line by .362 seconds. Larry
Gelinas went on to finish third.
Following his victory a humbled Gentes credited his team for a job well done, “We didn’t have the
fastest car, but we stayed patient. It was good enough to get it done. I’ve got to thank my guys for
working on this (car). We spent all day Sunday working on it. They did a good job”
The action continued into the XtraMart Limited Sportsman Series with a neck and neck battle
between eventual winner Ryan Waterman and runner-up Corey Hutchins for much of the twenty-lap
event. Waterman initially took the lead with sixteen laps to go passing early frontrunner Frank L’
Etoile, Jr. Hutchins followed suit staying on Waterman’s back bumper until eventually taking the lead
with seven laps to go.
Waterman took the lead back, using the lapped car of Tyler Cinamelia as a pick, and went on to lead
the final laps of the race. Following the win he said it was a challenging and hard fought victory. “I
tried to keep my head calm for once and I wanted to race (Hutchins) good. I think I did. We had some
fun. His car just went away from him,” said Waterman. He added that the car was consistent the
entire race and allowed him to be competitive thanks to the work his crew, including his father, did
to prepare it for the event.
The Mini Stock feature proved to be a more tame event with twenty laps of nonstop green racing,
despite two spins, leading to a runaway victory by Eric Bourgeois. Dave Trudeau did make for a little
drama, steadily moving his way through the field before taking second on lap ten. His efforts weren’t
enough to erase a deficit of more than a straightaway between himself and Bourgeois who led all
twenty laps for a runaway victory.
Bourgeois, whose winning car during Icebreaker weekend at the Big T earlier this year was
disqualified after failing inspection due to what he called a mix-up in the head gaskets used by the
team, said his team had a lot to prove in their return to Thompson. “We came here tonight with
something to prove from the last race, that we’re not cheaters and we’re here to win,” he said.
The Vintage Outlaws started off the night providing some great racing of their own as much of the
event was dominated by a competitive battle between Paul LaPlante of North Attleboro, MA and
Scott Quinn of North Smithfield, Rhode Island. Quinn would go on to win the race after a power move
coming across the line for the white flag left him with the lead for the final lap. The two raced
bumper to bumper for the majority of the fifteen-lap event.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Doug Coby, Milford, CT; 2. Justin Bonsignore,
Holtsville, NY; 3. Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, CT; 4. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 5. Woody Pitkat,
Stafford, CT; 6. Bobby Santos, Franklin, MA; 7. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 8. Eric Goodale, Riverhead,
NY; 9. Timmy Solomito, Islip, NY; 10. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT.
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 2. Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT;
3. Woody Pitkat, Sturbridge, MA; 4. Bert Marvin, Colchester, CT; 5. Kerry Malone, Needham, MA; 6.
Brandon Dion, Taunton, MA; 7. Adam Norton, Ludlow, MA; 8. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 9. Jason
Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 10. Nick Ladyga, Voluntown, CT.
Pasteryak and Twin 50’s Both Winners At Lee
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
The Valenti Modified Racing Series closes out the month of June with a return to Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway, Friday, June
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
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 advantage.
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