Category Archives: VMRS- Valenti Modified Racing Series

Pitkat Ready To Defend His VMRS VictoryTitle At NHMS Sunday

Canaan, NH. – Woody Pitkat, of Stafford Springs, CT, is ready for this weekend’s ‘New England Short Track Showdown’ when the Valenti Modified Racing Series competes in a 50-lap shootout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. The race will be contested this Sunday, June 24, with Saturday set aside for a day of practice. Also on the docket are the Granite State Pro Series, Street Stock Showdown, and North East Mini Stock Tour.

Pitkat, winner of the inaugural race last season, looks forward to the event for good reason.

“Obviously very exited to go back there. I feel I have figured that place out the last handful of years. It’s a place I love going to. It’s our Daytona for the Modifieds with the drafting and passing we do,” said the 2015 VMRS champion and 4-time series winner.”

I’m very exited to be going there with our new Troyer chassis that we changed to a couple of races in. I have some very good notes from up there (Loudon) when I drove for Buzz Chew- won a couple of races and really looking forward to the weekend with that Troyer car. I think we’ll be even better than last year.”

The 2017 race featured 17 lead changes and Pitkat leading the field 9-different times. Can Sunday’s race be as competitive?

“Absolutely now that you have some people that have had an opportunity to race there. Drivers that have had seat time. Now that Jonathan McKennedy is going to be there — the 25-car has been the car to beat all year, they’ll be in contention, Anthony Nocella and Richard (Savary) and the rookies and young drivers have done a phenomenal job this year already.”

Pitkat is quick to point out, in his opinion, the rules package is right where it needs to be for this event.

“ I think Jack (Bateman) has done a good job getting all the engine packages together to create a level playing field, the gear ratio is where everybody needs to be and that’s what creates a lot of passing and a good show.”

Last year Pitkat took it upon himself to help some of the newcomers that had never driven the so-called ‘Magic Mile’. If someone came knocking on the door asking Woody would you help me out?

“Absolutely, I was thinking about that today said the driver of the Mayhew Tools/ Stebbins Racing # 52.  Definitely- if anyone wants to ask questions or wants me to go out on the track with them and do some drafting – to see how it is- that is going to give them more confidence and give me as a driver more confidence knowing that I can race with these guys. I don’t want them to go up there and second-guess what they are doing. I have no problem with helping anyone.” Pitkat concluded.”

Reigning Champion Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, has a 21-point lead over former series champion Rowan Pennink (159) with Pitkat (150) currently third in the standings. Mike Willis sits fourth (148) and Sammy Rameau fifth (130).

Pre-race ceremonies are scheduled for 12 noon with qualifying heat races beginning at 12:30 PM

Pennink Swaps Tires Then Charges To Stafford Victory Lane

Stafford Springs CT – Rowan Pennink, of New Egypt New Jersey, started 18th in a field of 26 cars, chose to hang back early on, swapped right side tires during a lap-42 caution period, then went on to win the 5th annual VMRS 80 Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, CT. Pennink passed race leader Woody Pitkat on lap-78.

The win was Pennink’s third of the season in four races with the Valenti Modified Racing Series, his 14th VMRS career victory, and his third series win at Stafford.

“Another awesome car right out of the trailer. Didn’t have to do a thing to it. We stuck to the game plan and ended up in victory lane. I couldn’t be prouder of my team,” Pennink said.

Pitkat led laps 44 through 77 and finished runner-up followed by Donnie Lashua, of Canaan, NH, for his best series finish. Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, and Mike Willis Jr, of Grantham, NH. rounded out the top five.

Dave Etheridge, of Portland, CT, Les Hinckley, of Windsor Locks, CT, Richard Savary, of Canton, MA, Keith Rocco of Berlin, CT,, and Jeffrey Gallup, of Feeding Hills. MA, finished sixth through tenth.

Qualifying race winners were Nocella, Willis, Jr, and Lashua. Rob Richardi Jr, of Taunton, MA, won the 12-lap consolation race.

Next Event:

Saturday – Sunday

June 23 (Practice)

June 24 (Race Events)

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Loudon, NH.


Race Summary:

Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford, CT.

Race # 4

May 18, 2018

Entrants: 29

Distance: 80-laps

Cautions Flags: Laps – 23,24,35,42,71

Margin of Victory: 0.548

Average Speed: 51.158

Best Lap Time: 18.939

Best Speed: 95.042 – – Jeffrey Gallup  (Lap 4)

Unofficial Order Of Finish: (1) Pennink,  (2) Pitkat,(3) (Lashua), (4) Nocella, (5) Willis, (6) Etheridge, (7) Hinckley, (8) Savary, (9) Rocco, (10) Gallup, (11) Rameau, (12) Shaw, (13) Goodale. (14) Perry, (15) Sontag, (16) Bloxsom, (17) Robbie, (18) Richardi, (19) Seidell, (20) Dolan, (21) Silk, (22) Flannery, (23) Meservey, (24) Cipriano, (25) Montesanto, (26) Rock.

Nocella Nabs Spring Dash 100 At Monadnock

Winchester, NH. – Reigning Valenti Modified Racing Series Champion Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, took advantage of a lap-94 restart, to go on and win Saturday night’s ‘Spring Dash 100’ at Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, NH.

It was the 24-year old Nocella’s first career win at Monadnock, his first of the new season, and his 12th career win victory putting him in a three – way tie for fourth with Rowan Pennink, and Chris Pasteryak, on the series all-time win list.

Nocella started 9th in a 23-car field and hung back while a hotly contested race developed at the front of the field.  Grantham, NH’s Mike Willis Jr, thanks to winning his heat race, started first on the field, and set a quick pace right away leading the first 18-laps of the main event in his Spirit of Alaska sponsored modified.

On lap 19, local favorite Todd Patnode, of Swanzey, NH, put the Gommardo’s Supermarket sponsored car into the lead until Woody Pitkat, of Sturbridge, MA, in the Mayhew Tools modified, took charge on lap 27. Pitkat enjoyed the top position until Patnode grabbed it back on the 39th circuit.

Nocella made good use of a series of caution flags through the race to work his way to the front.

“I’ve had some decent runs here and some bad runs,” said Nocella in victory lane. “You gotta have tire left at the end to go anywhere. have had that problem before. The car wasn’t perfect at the beginning. I couldn’t get it to roll the center. At the end I thought I had something for him (Patnode).  On the lap-94 restart “ I thought I’m either going to spin out or win the thing.”

Patnode settled for a strong second, Richard Savary, Canton, MA, third, Westbrook, ME’s Tony Ricci, fourth, and Rookie of the Year candidate Cameron Sontag, of Sterling, MA, rounded out the top five.

Willis finished sixth, Matt Mead seventh, Jacob Perry, eighth, Dana Smith ninth, and Jeffrey Gallup tenth.

12 drivers finished on the lead lap. The race was slowed 10 times by caution flags for spinouts or contact made with another car.

Heat winners were (1) Willis Jr, (2) Patnode, (3) Pitkat

Late Sunday afternoon, series officials announced Pitkat was assessed a 1-lap penalty per the VMRS rulebook for unauthorized tire change during the race.

Next Event:

May 5, 2018

New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Waterford CT


Race # 2

Monadnock Speedway

Winchester, NH.

April 21, 2018

Entrants: 23

Distance: 100-laps

Cautions Flags: (9) Laps – 4,22,23,52,60,80,95,96

Margin of Victory: 0.618

Average Speed: 28.674

Best Lap Time: 12.822

Best Speed: 70.192- – Richard Savary

Unofficial Order of Finish: (1) Nocella, (2) Patnode, (3) Savary, (4) Ricci, (5) Sontag, (6) Willis Jr, (7) Mead, (8) Perry, (9) Smith, (10) Gallup,(11) Rameau, (12), Rock, (13), Robbie, (14) Doucette, (15) Pitkat, (16), Trayner(17) Rob Richardi Jr, (18), Monahan, (19) Lashua, (20), Hersey, (21) Pennink, (22) Bolton, (23) Seidell