Category Archives: VMRS- Valenti Modified Racing Series

Nocella and McKennedy Take Oxford Plains Twin 50’s

Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford,ME.
With the popular twin 50’s on tap for the Valenti Modified Racing Series at the Oxford Plains Speedway Sat. 6/18, the strategy of holding back and saving equipment was thrown out the window,  especially with a $500.00 bonus to win both features.
   Anthony Nocella of Woburn, MA held nothing back and raced  for the lead as soon as flagman Tim Bennett dropped the green on the first 50 lapper. Nocella, fresh off his victory two weeks ago at the Seekonk Speedway, worked the Nocella Paving #92 on the outside picking off his victims until he was trailing race leader David Schneider of Northport,NY and second place Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford,MA. Nocella then crossed over to the inside passing McKennedy and Schneider taking over the lead on lap 35 and holding off a stellar field to win his second MRS victory of the 2016 season.
   In the second 50 Nocella thought he had a better mount but he became involved in a four car incident off turn two damaging his car relegating him to a 19th place finish.
   “The car was decent all day, real good in the first 50. I just went my own pace and on the last restart I just gave it all I had and got the lead and we were good enough to hold them off. Coming up through the pack I could use the inside and outside”. Nocella said. “For the second 50 I think the car was even better, but somebody came banging through and sent three or four of us spinning and I got damaged”.
   Past champion Jon McKennedy started his quest for victory from row three and by halfway found himself in the runner up position but did not have quite enough to pass the high flying Nocella. But in the second 50 it was a different story. Starting 16th the Exit Reality sponsored #29 only took 10 laps to put the hard charging field in his rear view mirror for his second victory with the MRS this year.
   “First race the car was a little loose, but it was really good the second 50, it was an absolute rocket ship. Starting 16th and I had the lead within 10 laps, we worked hard with it today, all my guys did a really good job. We changed springs and sway bar because I wasn’t happy with it and it keep getting better. It’s been a great start to the season, we got five wins in seven races in different series. Hopefully the wave will keep going” McKennedy said.
   About the twin 50s he said “Twin 50s is definitely the way to go at this track. You have to race hard for the first 50 then change the right rear tire and race hard for the second 50. I think the fans saw two exciting races tonight
   The feel good story of the night had to be 63 year old George Sherman of Framingham,MA. Sherman’s second row starting position looked promising until he got run into and spun on lap 9, but starting from the rear Sherman’s Station Road Auto Body #93 made a charge to the front picking off competitors until he found himself running second behind race leader McKennedy. Sherman closed the gap quickly on McKennedy but not quickly enough as the laps ran out. At the start/finish line officials, drivers, fans and his team swarmed the jubilant driver.
   Sherman said “In the first 50 we were way too loose so we put a new right rear tire  and tighten it up a bit and hoped for the best for the second 50. I started a little loose in the second 50 and  it just keep getting better for me. I couldn’t believe I was picking off cars lap after lap. At the beginning (lap 9) someone drove into the back of me trying to go three wide and spun me, so I had to come from the back. I put a little more rear brake into it and it made the nose work better. I was able to drive underneath them and drive by. And Harry (Kourafas) did a great job with the motor”, he added.
Track-Oxford Plains Speedway
Heat Winners-15CT., Chris Pasteryak   92, Anthony Nocella
First 50
Time of Event-20:57.532
Cautions-(2)-lap 25,30
Margin of Victory-0.174 sec.
Fastest Time- 99-Richard Savary- 15.353
Order of Finish
1-92 Anthony Nocella
2-29 Jon McKennedy
3-19 Dave Schneider
4-99 Richard Savary
5-52 Woody Pitkat
6-45 Dan Meservey Jr.
7-33 Rob Richardi Jr.
8-88 Russ Hersey
9-24 Todd Patnode
10-77 Matt Mead
11-117 Donnie Lashua
12-15CT Chris Pasteryak
13-38 Mike Willis Jr.
14-93 George Sherman
15-04 Brandon Dion
16-27 Kevin Iannarelli
17-5 ,Carl Medieros Jr.
18-16 Colbey Fournier
19-15NH TJ Bleau
20-52ME Bruce Haley
Second 50
Time of Event-22:20.528
Margin of Victory-3.424
Fastest Time-29,Jon McKennedy-15.589
Order of Finish
1-29 Jon McKennedy
2-93 George Sherman
3-15CT Chris Pasteryak
4-88 Russ Hersey
5-16 Colbey Fournier
6-38 Mike Willis Jr.
7-52 Woody Pitkat
8-77 Matt Mead
9-04 Brandon Dion
10-19 Dave Schneider
11-33 Rob Richardi Jr,
12-99 Richard Savary
13-50 Carl Medieros Jr.
14-4 ,Dan Meservey Jr.
15-27 Kevin Iannarelli
16-15NH TJ Bleau
17-52ME Bruce Haley
18-24 Todd Patnode
19-92 Anthony Nocella
20-117 Donnie Lashua
    Next Valenti Modified Racing Series Event— Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford,CT. June 24th
by Jim Snape
photos by Crystal Snape

Nocella, McKennedy Share Top Honors At Oxford

Oxford, ME. — Two Massachusetts racers shared top honors Saturday night, June 18, when Anthony Nocella of Woburn, and Jon McKennedy, of East Chelmsford, each captured wins in the Valenti Modified Racing Series twin 50-lap feature races at Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, ME.

In the first 50-lap go, Chris Pasteryak, of Jewett City, CT, started on the pole and led the opening 9-laps when Dan Meservey Jr, of Chatham, MA.  took command until lap 19.

Northport, NY’s David Schneider then grabbed the lead and held it through the 34th circuit when suddenly Nocella, in the family owned #92, took over the lead and held on through lap- 50 to win his second consecutive race and 4th VMRS career win.

Post race Nocella stated, “ I’d like to thank all my guys. They gave me an awesome car again especially having to start a little deeper because we won the last time. The car was great early and we worked our way through. It went away a little at the end but it was good enough.”

On the inside pass of leader Schneider, “ I figured I had a shot when I cleared (Richard) Savary to the bottom there and Jon (McKennedy) was working the # 19 over (Schneider) pretty good. I didn’t know which lane to go in but I saw him getting a little tight there and when he washed up little trying to hold off Jon figured I’d take a shot and go for it.”

Only two caution flags slowed the race. 17 cars finished on the lead lap. The event was completed in 21-minutes.

In the second event, Carl Medeiros Jr, of Westport, MA, and Branden Dion, of Taunton, MA, were the early leaders but it was McKennedy, with Pasteryak giving chase, showing the way prior to the half way point with McKennedy holding on to the top spot to nab his second win this season and his 17th career VMRS victory. McKennedy pulls to within 2 wins to tie Les Hinckley (19 wins) for 2nd on the all time win list.

The highlight of the second race was the strong showing and runner-up finish by long-time veteran George Sherman of Framingham, MA. Sherman started the race fourth and ran steady through the event. In the closing stages he passed Pasteryak for second and his best ever finish with the VMRS.  Drivers, officials, family and friends, an emotional moment for many in victory lane, greeted Sherman.

“I’d like to thank my crew. they got the car working good for me. The car was getting better and better for me every lap. I was hoping to do good tonight but this is more than I expected.”

Sherman added, “I knew about halfway through the second race I had something for the front. It feels really good to have the car competitive. We’ve been struggling and hopefully it’s a turning point for us.

Sherman had long-time friend and racer Joe Doucette serving as spotter who one night back in 2011, after many years of trying, finally put his race car in victory lane at of all places. Oxford Plains. Both Sherman and Doucette came to the series from the Pro4 Modified division.

Pasteryak, Russ Hersey, of Swanzey, NH, and Colby Fournier, of Berkley, MA, rounded out the top five. Fournier notched his best finish and was solid through the second main event.

Three yellows were displayed in the second event. 9 cars finished on the lead lap. The race was completed in 22-minutes.

Unofficial order of finish: (Race 1). (1) Nocella, (2) McKennedy, (3) Schneider (4) Savary (5) Pitkat, (6) Meservey (7) Richardi (8) Hersey (9) Patnode (10) Mead (11) Lashua (12) Pasteryak (13) Willis (14) Sherman (15) Dion (16) Ianarelli (17) Medeiros (18) Fournier (19) Bleau (20) Haley)

Unofficial order of finish: (Race 2) (1) McKennedy (2) Sherman (3) Pasteryak (4) Hersey (5) Fournier (6) Willis (7) Pitkat (8) Mead (9) Dion (10) Schneider (11) Richardi (12) Savary (13) Medeiros (14) Meservey (15) Ianarelli (16) Bleau (17) Haley (18) Patnode (19) Nocella (20) Lashua

Nocella Dominates Seekonk For Third VMRS Win

Seekonk, MA — Anthony Nocella passed early race leader Dan Meservey Jr. after a lap-38 caution flag, and went on to dominate the Valenti Modified Racing Series sanctioned 100-lap race at Seekonk Speedway, Saturday night, June 5.

The win was the third (VMRS) victory for the Woburn Massachusetts driver whose last win was August 15,2015. Nocella becomes the fourth different driver to win in four races this season.

By virtue of winning the first heat race, Meservey started on the pole and looked impressive early on until Nocella took command. The #92 Nocella Paving Chevrolet became the target with the series top guns giving chase.

Chris Pasteryak chased the race leaders until a lap 73 flat tire knocked him from contention. Then Richard Savary, Woody Pitkat, Chase Dowling and Dave Schneider gave chase.

In the late stages, Jon McKennedy hunted down the race leader after being involved in contact with another car on lap-61. McKennedy pitted, went to the rear of the field, and then electrified the crowd as he attempted to get back to the front. By lap-70 he was 11th, lap-80 fourth, and on lap-93 was challenging Savary leading to a side-by-side duel until McKennedy slipped by.

With a win in his heat race and starting the race inside second row, the night belonged to Nocella in convincing style.

“My guys gave me a great car. Normally I don’t like to start up front. Want to save the tires as best you can,” said Nocella.

Nocella spoke about being the driver in front and dealing with (8) caution flags bringing the field closer to the leader. “ You don’t want to slip a shift. we’ve had that happen before and do not want to spin the tires. Keep the car straight. Each restart I was able to keep the lead and keep it at a couple of car length advantage,” said Nocella “

My guys kept telling me who was coming up through and that Jon (McKennedy) had pitted. I knew he would be coming hard. Make him work for it if he was going to get to us.”

Nocella did not plan to enter the Seekonk race because of a commitment to a dirt midget series in the Midwest. “ A six night series, we flipped, and ended up coming home. I asked my guys if they wanted to go to Seekonk and we ended up coming here and it worked out good for us.”

McKennedy, Savary, Pitkat, and Schneider, rounded the top five with Dowling, Todd Patnode, Kyle, James, Russ Hersey, and Todd Annarummo, finishing sixth through tenth.

Heat race winners were Meservey, Carl Medeiros Jr, and Nocella. No consolation race. All 26 cars started the event.

Eight caution flags slowed the race that was completed just less than 55 minutes.

19-cars finished on the lead lap

Race Summary:

Seekonk Speedway

June 4, 2016

Entrants (26)

Caution Flags (8) Laps – 38, 41,45, 49,60,61,73,87

Time of Race: 54.52.618

Best Lap Time: Nocella 12.279

Margin of Victory:  1.360

Lap Leaders: Meservey (1-38) Nocella (39-100)