Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk,Mass.
Driving the wheels off his Victory Lane Bar and Grill sponsored #9, Tommy Barrett Jr. of Millis MA outdistanced a potent field of modifieds on the new Modified Touring Series Saturday night (6/10).
After drawing the outside pole position for the start of the 125 lap marathon and with only 8 laps in the record books, Barrett slid by the inside of pole sitter Todd Annarummo of Swansea MA. Keith Rocco of Berlin CT followed Barrett for second on the same lap but lost it back to Annarummo on lap 30.
While Barrett was putting on a driving clinic at the point, behind him there was always two and sometimes three wide racing for position.
Seven cautions calmed the action down briefly but on each restart Barrett took command; he never pitted and sped to his first MTS victory.
A jubilant Barrett said. “It feels great, I can’t be happier enough to be back in victory lane, especially with my 4 month old son here for his first race ever. To get that win for him is special. The car was great, I caught Todd early and it was clear sailing from there, just had to hold them off on a couple of restarts. We were talking about pitting for a tire about lap 50, but I just didnt have to push the car as hard as I needed to, I was saving a little for the end if I needed to. At about lap 80 I decided to just go for it and it was the right call. My spotter kept telling me they’re beating and banging on each other behind you, and that’s just what you want to hear as the lead driver. I can’t thank my guys enough for the way they set this car up, it made my job easy.”
Woody Pitkat of Sturbridge MA lurked in the top six early on until pitting on lap 56 for adjustments, then made his march to the front. At lap 97 Pitkat raced by Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford MA taking over 4th place, then three laps later made an aggressive move on Dylan Kopec of Palmer MA to put himself into third. With the laps winding down he caught and overpowered Eric Goodale of Riverhead NY for second, but couldn’t make up the distance between himself and Barrett.
“We had a pretty good car when we unloaded, made a few adjustments after the heat. During the feature we pitted for more adjustments and a new tire, and after that we were just a little too snug, but we had a really good car coming up through and it was fun to have a car where you could make a few moves. I got into a couple of guys, I feel bad about that. Dylan was having a great run, I got into him and moved him out of the way. Short track racing is like that, you bounce off them, they bounce you , everbody is running just as hard as they can. It was just a great night for us, we needed it. Its great momentum for when we come back.”
Fresh off his Stafford victory a week ago, McKennedy started from the third row and seemed to be mired in the top 5 positions until, like Pitkat, he pitted on lap 56. On the restart the charge was on for McKennedy and he methodically moved forward, picking off competitors one by one finally passing Goodale with an outside move to settle into third place behind Barrett and Pitkat on lap 121.
“We had a pretty good car and elected to pit just after half way and put a right rear on it. Once we put a tire on it we had good drive after that but then got way too tight into the middle. I’m a little disappointed but still it was a good run with good hard fought battles. The restarts were tough, every restart I was on the outside and it would take five or six laps to get going. Overall it was a descent run, just came up a little bit short. We’ll just go on to the next race and go from there.”
Rounding out the top five were Rowan Pennink and Eric Goodale.
Heat winners were Eric Goodale, Jon McKennedy, Woody Pitkat
Hard charger of the event was Jeff Gallup who picked up seven positions to finish 11th.
Track-Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk,Ma. 1/3 mile
Event- MTS 125
Margin of Victory-2.913 sec.
Best Lap Time-12.629
Best Lap By- #9-Tommy Barrett Jr.
1—9-Tommy Barrett Jr.
12–50- Carl Mederios Jr.
Next Event– Riverhead Raceway, Riverhead NY June 17th
Story by Jim Snape
Photos by Crystal Snape