Category Archives: VMRS- Valenti Modified Racing Series

Christopher Pulls Off Thriller At Stafford

 When the Valenti Modified Racing Series makes their appearance at the Stafford Motor Speedway exciting things can happen and this Fri 6/24, exciting things did happen.
   The 6th annual VMRS 80 was on tap and when starter Tim Bennett waved the checkereds, Ted Christopher was holding the winners hardware in victory lane. But it certainly was no easy task for T.C. and the Brady #00.
   From his second row starting spot Christopher quickly took command for the first 15 laps until Dave Etheridge sliced his way through the field from his mid pack starting position to take the lead until a caution slowed the action 2 laps later. Christopher used the outside to again regain the lead but Keith Rocco saw an opening and powered past T.C. only to lead for one lap.
   Now it was Woody Pitkat’s turn to blast into the number one spot. Again Etheridge and Pitkat exchanged the lead over the next 30 laps while Christopher sat back and watched the action in front of him until with 20 laps left, it was go time.
   When Christopher turned up the boost so did Jon McKennedy and the two sprinted out to a short lead over the rest of the field.
With three to go McKennedy slid by Christopher on the inside leading for the first time. But the action wasn’t done yet. As the two approached a lapped car in turn one, both drivers wanted the second groove. Christopher and McKennedy made contact forcing McKennedy into the third groove, that let Christopher jet away with the lead and cross the finish line 0.191 seconds ahead of McKennedy.
   Etheridge had an outstanding run finishing third. Keith Rocco and Chris Pasteryak rounded out the top five
   About the bump and run Christopher commented, ” I had a good run but more importantly I was underneath him, we got together and that sort of ran him up and gave me the distance to get away from him. We weren’t rolling the center too well but had great drive off the turns. It’s fun. I use lap car picks for many years and have more experience than he does. I’m glad to win for Joe, it was just a good night.” Christopher added “That last  move was rough but not too rough, its just racing, right? It was a pretty cool race because so many guys were in it, but you gotta conserve your tires. But I drove as hard as I could the last. 20 laps.”
   McKennedy, a past VMRS champion, when asked about his run said “A few laps to go I got the lead going into 3, then going into 1 we caught a lapped car and as I went around him I got bonzied 3 wide and pushed into the third groove. I knew it was coming but what could I do?  The car was great, I felt it was our race but it wasn’t meant to be I guess. Like I said, I knew something was coming and eight wheels is better than four sometimes.”
   Dave Etheridge runs only selected races, but when he does, he’s always fast. Starting 8th he quickly raced into second place by lap 10 and led for a handful of laps throughout the event to finish on the podium in 3rd place. “Real fast car in the beginning, I know those guys were riding and saving tires but I don’t race like that. I’m going to run as hard as I can. I just wanted to to outrun those guys and not play tire games. Once I got out front I just paced myself and I knew they would be coming sooner or later.”
Date- 6/24/2016
Track- Stafford Motor Speedway-0.500
Race- 6th annual VMRS 80
Margin of Victory-0.191
Best Lap Time-18.810
Best Speed- 95.694
Best Lap By-29-Jon McKennedy
Time of Race-47:39.108
Cautions-(5)-Laps 18,57,58,59,63
Heat Winners-68,Keith Rocco- 15CT,Chris Pasteryak- 00, Ted Christopher
Unofficial Finish
1-00-Ted Christopher
2-29-Jon McKennedy
3-34-Dave Etheridge
4-68-Keith Rocco
5-15ct-Chris Pasteryak
6-38-Mike Willis Jr.
7-33-Rob Richardi
8-45-Dan Meservey Jr.
9-04-Brandon Dion
10-77-Mathew Mead
11-93-George Sherman
12-11-Geoff Gernhard
13-22-Roy Seidell Jr.
14-50-Carl Medieros Jr.
15-52 Woody Pitkat
16-25-Rowan Pennink
17-92-Anthony Nocella
18-8-Kyle James
19-16-Colbey Fournier
Next Race: Monadnock Speedway, Winchester,N.H.-July 2
by Jim Snape
photos by Crystal Snape

Valenti Modified Racing Series 6th Annual 80-Lap Race Friday

Canaan, NH. – A tightened points race, the series reigning champion looking for that first win, Ted Christopher making his first VMRS start this season, the winner of the May race, Rowan Pennink, will try to go back-to-back, and Jon McKennedy, on a hot-streak since he started his season competing in southern events in March, has announced he plans to compete

It all adds up to what could be a great night of modified stock car racing when the Valenti Modified Racing Series returns to the Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford CT, for the second of three events there this season.

McKennedy’s win at Oxford, Maine, last weekend, brought him to within 8-points of leader Woody Pitkat, the 2015 champion, going into the sixth race of the season. McKennedy The East Chelmsford, MA, driver has two wins this season and 17 total series wins. Pitkat, with a new ride this year, would like to nail his first this year at his home track.

11-time series winner Chris Pasteryak, of Jewett City, CT, is entered Friday and Keith Rocco, of Wallingford, CT, a six –time series winner, is expected.

Stafford veteran Dave Etheridge, of Portland, CT, will enter the Friday night race.

Framingham, MA veteran George Sherman, coming off a popular runner-up finish at Oxford will compete.

Colbey Fournier, of Berkley, MA, a top-five finisher at Oxford, Mike Willis Jr, of Grantham, NH, Dave Schneider, of Northport, NY, and Steve Masse, of Bellingham, MA, have indicated they intend to enter the Stafford show. Masse stated, “we’ll see,” as he has a few things to finish up on his # 13 car to hopefully make his first start of the season.

Qualifying begins at 6:15 PM .

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