Category Archives: VMRS- Valenti Modified Racing Series

Valenti Modified Racing Series Makes First Appearance at Speedway 51

Canaan, NH.  – Ever since the announcement the Valenti Modified Racing Series was heading to the Great North Woods of New Hampshire in 2016, many have embraced the thought of visiting a popular racetrack they had never seen, never raced on, or only heard or read about. This weekend the opportunity to race at Speedway 51 in Groveton, New Hampshire becomes a reality.

The ground-pounding modifieds, never before seen by many northern New Englanders, will be going the distance of 100-laps as part of the season opening event Saturday, May 28, presented by NAPA.

Reigning VMRS champion, Woody Pitkat, of Sturbridge, Mass, fresh off a strong runner up finish at Stafford (CT) Speedway last Friday, recalls going to the then Riverside Speedway as a child.

“I’ve been up there when I was probably 10 or 12-years old. My great grandmother had a house up there and we went to the races once or twice, explained Pitkat.”

Pitkat furthered, “That’s one of the things I like about this series like last year for me going to Claremont and Beech Ridge and a neat challenge like this will be. I like getting on the Internet and try to learn as much as you can about the tracks. Walk the track when you get there. A lot of people have said it’s a real nice place. Looking forward to it.”

In addition to Pitkat, other champions who will make the trip Saturday include three-time series Champion, Jon McKennedy, of East Chelmsford, MA, a 15-time series winner. Two-time Champion Chris Pasteryak, of Jewett City, CT, an 11-time series winner who won the series opener at Monadnock Speedway in April.

Grantham, New Hampshire’s Mike Willis. Jr, another strong finisher at Stafford, is expected, as is Todd Patnode, of Swanzey, NH. Russ Hersey, of Swanzey, Matt Mead, of Richmond, NH. and Dana Smith, of Sunapee, NH.

18-year old Brandon Dion, of Taunton, Colbey Fournier, of Berkley, George Sherman, of Framingham, Carl Medeiros of Westport, Roy Seidell, of Easthampton, and Rob Richardi, of Easton, lead the Massachusetts contingent.

Mike Holdridge, a two-time series winner from Madison, CT, looks forward to the challenge of competing at a new venue.

That has been the general consensus among those making the trek.

A new challenge, curiosity, and knowing that a legendary race track has been brought back to life – by a racer.

Built in 1964, the quarter mile oval has gone through a major revamping by new owner Joey Laquerre, a New England Hall-of-Fame member and Thunder Road racing legend. The last two years Laquerre has made major improvements to the facility.

Series founder Jack Bateman visited the track this week. “Very impressed with the facility. Joey and his staff have done a wonderful job. They just paved the pit area. I think our fans who make the trip and our competitors will be pleasantly surprised.”

Qualifying races start at 5:30 PM on Saturday

Speedway 51 is located on Brown Road in Groveton, NH.

Pennink Rolls To First VMRS Stafford Victory

Stafford Springs, CT — Rowan Pennink’s victory at Stafford Motor Speedway Friday night was extra special. The Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, driver notched first tour-type modified win at the famed Connecticut oval, his first win since April of 2014, and he delivered on car owners Gary and Kim Casella’s anniversary.

It was the 11th career series win for the 2013 series champion.

Pennink jumped into the lead from his pole-starting position until reigning champion Woody Pitkat, of Sturbridge, MA, slipped by and led field through lap 60 when the race was slowed for the only caution period.

When the race resumed, Pennink motored into the lead and was never headed.

Pennink spoke post race about the strong run for the Saugus Massachusetts based team.

“It’s awesome to get back to victory lane with the # 25 car especially here at Stafford. We’ve had a lot of good runs here and never been able to close the deal off. Tonight we had the car to do it and we got it done. Glad to finally get a Stafford win (tour-type car) under my belt.”

Pitkat, Keith Rocco, of Wallingford, CT, Dave Etheridge, of Portland, CT, and Mike Willis Jr, rounded out the top-five.

Carl Medeiros Jr, Charlie Pasteryak, Todd Annarummo, Geoff Gernhard, and Dan Meservery Jr, finished sixth through tenth.

Heat Race Winners: (1) Pennink (2) Pitkat (3) Nocella

Race Summary

Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs CT.

May 20, 2015

Entrants (24)

Caution Flags: (1)

Time of Race: 31:59:035

Best Lap Time: 18.656  Rocco

Best Speed: Rocco : 96.484

Margin of Victory: 0.827

Lap Leaders: Pennink (1-4) Pitkat (5-60) Pennink (61-80)

Next Event : Speedway 51, Groveton, NH.

May 28, 2016

Unofficial Order of Finish (1) Pennink, (2) Pitkat, (3)Rocco, (4) Etheridge, (5) Willis, (6) Medeiros, (7) Pasteryak, (8) Annarummo, (9) Gernhard, (10) Meservey, (11) Talman, (12) Schneider, (13) Nocella, (14) James, (15) Bakaj, (16) Fournier, (17) Mead, (18) Richardi, (19 Lashua, (20) Doucette, (21) Kuhn, (22) Smith, (23) Seidell

Getting To Know VMRS Driver Branden Dion

IMG_0974Here is another young hotshoe who started out wrenching and cheering for his dad at local speedways, like so many other father-son teams. Now it’s dads’ turn to help guide his son on his quest for victory.
Name— Branden Dion
Age—18
Occupation–Student at Bristol Plymouth Regional High School
Car #—04, When I first raced a mini cup at Seekonk Speedway I wanted my number to be 4 like my father who was racing a Pro Stock at the time, but 4 was taken so I took 04 and it just stuck
Current Division—Valenti Modified Racing Series.
Car Owner—Scott Dion
Chassis—2009 Troyer
Crew Chief—Scott Dion
Crew— Maureen & Scott Dion—David Smith-(Smitty)—Zach Oliveira—Trent White
Sponsors—C.Carney Environmental, Raynham,MA.—-Douglas A. King Builders, Easton,MA.—Triple D Racing, Taunton,MA.
                     But always willing to welcome anyone who wants to jump on board.
Favorite Food—BBQ Chicken Pizza
Favorite Type Music—Classic Rock
Favorite Sport Other Than Racing—Don’t have one
Favorite Track—Seekonk Speedway
Years Racing—This is my 13th year. I’ve been around racing my whole life. Ever since I could walk I was at Seekonk Speedway every Saturday night supporting my dad. Once I turned 5, I got into Go Karts at the Stafford Motor Speedway. I raced karts until I was 10, then got into a mini cup car at Seekonk. The following year ran a Seekonk Sport Truck, I won two races that year. The next year I hopped into a late model at Seekonk and ran an SK Lite at Stafford and Thompson speedways. Half way through the year I moved into the MRS and that is who I’m racing with this year.
Any Goals—My goal in racing since day one is to have as much fun as possible, but to do as good as possible and stay consistent.
What other driver/owner/person has inspired you.— A driver that has been an inspiration to me is my father, Scott Dion. Watching what he has gone through, the challenges he faced and how he has overcome them is pretty awesome.
Best Advice Ever Got—Race aggressive, but clean and respect everyone.
Dad must have done something right because this young driver has shown he can run with the best of them and his smooth, consistent style can only lead to many victories in the future.
by Jim Snape
photos by Crystal Snape