Category Archives: VMRS- Valenti Modified Racing Series

Hersey Scores Claremont Win

Claremont Speedway, Claremont NH 7.7.2017

    Sometimes they say it’s better to be lucky than good. In Russ Hersey’s  case sometimes its good to be both. The Swanzey NH pilot started with an ill running race car early in the day and after the crew did their magic, Hersey turned it into a Valenti Modified Racing Series victory at the 1/3 mile speedway.
   An electrical problem that plagued the team relegated Hersey to a last place starting position after missing his qualifying round. Even after repairs were made and Hersey was granted hot laps, more adjustments were needed and Hersey was on his way to his first VMRS win of 2017. Racing his way into third place by lap 36 Hersey trailed race leader young Dylan Rock of Enfield NH and younger Sammy Rameau of Westminster MA. Rock and Rameau waged war for the lead for thirty laps until Rameau dove hard into the third turn and tapped Rock’s rear bumper. That’s all it took for Rock to spin from the lead. Under yellow Rock had to restart in the rear and Rameau was put back for causing the altercation. Now Hersey became the new race leader and had nothing but clean air in front of him.
   “I cant thank the guys enough, it’s been a hell of a week, they put in a lot of hours and we really weren’t that good early. We chased a wiring issue that kept us out of the heat race and didn’t get much practice. Just to get the twelve laps in to get the tires on equal footing with everyone else I could tell the car was not to my liking. When we came in and made a few adjustments it really started to rock and roll and I tried to be easy on the gas and made big circles. It seemed like the easier I went the bigger lead I got. The car was great.” Hersey added, “I have a ton of laps here and some wins so it was like the home track advantage, plus everybody gave me plenty of room. I couldn’t be any happier for the.first time out of the box, so now I hope we can carry some momentum forward.”
   Hersey wasn’t the only one starting deep in the field. Dana Smith of Sunapee NH missed his schedule weigh in at the scales because of a steering issue and had to start dead last on the grid, which turned out to be to his liking. Smith did an impressive job working his way to the front finding himself in 4th place by the halfway mark, then with three laps to go he caught and passed a fading Anthony Nocella of Woburn MA. By that time Hersey had checked out on the field and was leading by a 1/4 lap. Smith was jubilant with runner up position.
   “I had a lot of fun . I had to start from the back because we found something wrong with the steering and while working on it I missed my time to go across the scales and it was more important to get the car right. Actually it was fun starting from the back, we got to pass some cars. I was trying to follow Russ (Hersey) and (Anthony) Nocella up through, I figured they’re good people to follow, they know how to save their tires. I got hung up on the outside and loss sight of them so I had to make up a bunch of ground. By the time I got back to them I used up my right rear tire. Everybody ran me real clean, whenever I stuck my nose in they gave me plenty of room. It was great.”
   It seemed to be a hard days work for all the top runners and Nocella was no different. In his heat race as he started to heat his tires he broke a pinion shaft in the rear of his racer and after a loaner rear end from Mike Willis and some quick work by the Nocella and Willis crews, Nocella joined the feature at the back of the pack and in Nocella fashion drove his way forward working his way to race leader Hersey’s rear bumper by lap 60. But with a handful of laps left Nocella lost a cylinder and faded back to third place where he finished the 100 lap grind.
   Heat winners were #83 Mike Willis Jr.and #25 Brian Robie
Track–Claremont Speedway, Claremont,N.H. 1/3/ mile
Cautions–(4)–Laps 29/38/60/73
Lap Leaders–(3)–#83–laps 1–7, #47–8–38, #88–39–100
Unofficial Finish
1—88-Russ Hersey
2—14-Dana Smith
3—92-Anthony Nocella
4—83-Mike Willis Jr.
5—6-Sammy Rameau
6—17-Donnie Lashua
7—20-Tony Ricci
8—77-Matt Mead
9—25-Brian Robie
10–4-Jeff Gallup
11–50-Carl Medeiros
12–12-Rob Richardi
13–47-Dylan Rock
14–16-Colbey Fournier
15–23-Mike Douglas
Next VMRS event- Lee USA Speedway, Lee,N.H. July 21,2017
by James Snape
photos by Crystal Snape

VMRS Returns To Familiar Stomping Grounds Friday Night

The Valenti Modified Racing Series returns to it’s roots Friday night, July 7, to Claremont, New Hampshire, where a then new series was formulated in a school gymnasium and an upstart traveling modified tour was established during the winter of 2002.

Now, 14-years later, and coming of a successful appearance on the series biggest stage ever, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the VMRS will roll into Claremont Speedway Friday afternoon, to prepare for a 100-lap event and a full program also featuring fireworks.

Point leader Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, Mass, takes a 70-point lead into Claremont over Jeffrey Gallup, of Feeding Hills, Mass. Mike Willis. Jr, of Grantham, NH, who calls Claremont his home track, is only one point behind Gallup (157), with 2016 Rookie-of the Year, Colbey Fournier, of Berkley, MA, fourth with (152) and Rob Richardi, of Taunton, MA, fifth (132).

Nocella has been to victory lane this season at Stafford, CT, Groveton, NH, and Waterford, CT.

Mike Douglas Jr, of Auburn, NH, winner of his first ever series race at Lee, NH, Memorial Day weekend, is entering the Claremont program.

Friday nights show is scheduled to start at 6:45 PM.  Pit gates will open at 3:00 PM.  Fireworks are also scheduled.  General admission is just $ 10 for ages 6 & Up.

Track operators advised earlier this week if weather is an issue, the entire program will be run on Saturday, July 8. Time to be announced.

Pitkat Tops VMRS Field At New Hampshire Motor Speedway Debut

Loudon, NH. – 17-lead changes, and a hard fought battle right down to the finish, highlighted Saturday afternoons 50-lap race for open-wheel Modifieds when the Valenti Modified Racing Series made it’s first ever start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon New Hampshire.

Woody Pitkat, of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, led the race 9-times before taking down his first VMRS win for 2017 and his fourth series victory. Pitkats’s last series win was October 15, 2016, at Thompson, Connecticut.

The race was part of The New England Short Track Showdown produced by race organizer Bob Guptill.

Pitkat edged Ted Christopher of Plainville, Connecticut by 0.017 at the Sunoco Checkered Flags

Pitkat was quick to point to his crew lead by car owner Dan Stebbins for making the win possible.  “It was an awesome day. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the crew. We had a terrible day yesterday (practice sessions) so to be able to win for these guys.. we chased an electrical issue all day (Friday) and only got three laps of practice.”

Pitkat continued, “ Mike Pettit came over to help us and the crews that were (parked) near us also helped us. It’s so cool to win at Loudon. To be able to pull into victory lane here is pretty awesome. To see all the guys smiling and to finally win for Mayhew (Tools) is just awesome.”

Pitkat was pleased to see the race go as good as it did especially for VMRS regulars Sammy Rameau & David Schneider. Pitkat instructed both drivers on the art of drafting at a planned practice session for all competitors last month.

“That’s what you want,” said the series 2015 series champion. You want a good competitive race and not someone coming in and winning by 20-car lengths. I’ll help anyone. It’s important to help those guys so they are not running around the back.”

“I gotta thank Jack (Bateman) for bringing the series here and Bob (Guptill) for doing everything he could to get us up here.”

Pitkat led the race 9-times, runner-up Ted Christopher five times, and Eric Goodale 3-times before crashing out of the event.

Steven Masse, of Bellingham, MA, a 9-time series winner ran a strong race competing with the leaders and finished third.

Zane Zeiner, of Bath PA, checkered fourth, with Geoff Gerhard of Bozrah, CT, rounding out the top five.

David Schneider, Anthony Nocella, Donnie Lashua, and Rob Richardi Jr. were sixth through tenth place finishers.

15-drivers finished on the lead lap.

Heat Race Winners:  Masse  (1) Christopher (2) Pitkat (3)

Next Event:  Claremont Speedway

Claremont, NH.

Friday July 7, 2017

Race Summary

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Loudon, NH

Race # 5

July 1, 2017

Entrants: 26

Distance: 50-laps

Margin of Victory: 0.017

Average Speed: 42.706

Best Lap Time: 30.016

Best Speed : 126.652  (Pitkat)

Cautions: Laps- 1, 12, 40, 42, and 46

Unofficial Order Of Finish: 

Pitkat (1) Christopher ( 2)  Masse (3) Zeiner (4) Gernhard (5) Schneider (6) Flannery (7) Nocella (8) Lashua (9) Richardi (10) Kay (11) Fournier (12) Meservey (13) Gallup (14) Mead (15)  Dolan (16) Goodale (17) Rocco (18) Rameau (19) Dauzat (20) Willis (21) Savary (22) Doucette ( 55) Shaw (24)  Seidell (25)