Manchester, N.H. — Thanking sponsors Sunoco Race Fuels, Hoosier Race Tires, fellow racers Mike Willis, Jr and Sammy Rameau for courtesies extended this year, Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, Massachusetts, was officially crowned the 2017 Valenti Modified Racing Series Champion
Saturday night, December 2, at Manchester, New Hampshire’s Best Western Executive Inn.
The 25-year old driver, winner of five features races in 2017, becomes the eighth driver in 14-years to win a VMRS championship.
Nocella addressed the gathering stating,“ As a driver you always go into a season with one goal and that’s to win a championship but as I have learned it takes more than a driver to win a championship.”
Nocella furthered, “With that being said I’d like to thank my parents for supporting me — my dreams — and always pushing me to be the best. Thank you to my Father and Uncle for sponsorship funds that allow me to pursue my passion week in and week out and Airgas for coming on board this year as a sponsor. I thank all of my crew who worked very hard all season and Ed Flemke .Jr at Raceworks always coming to the tracks to help me out.”
Following the award presentations, Nocella spoke of the series and what it means to win the title.
“It means a lot. The 15th year is coming up. It’s a series with a lot of roots and great champions Jon McKennedy, and Rowan Pennink and others. Drivers that have done a lot in modified racing – it’s cool to get your name on the banner with them.”
Nocella added,” It’s a great series with great competition. It was great to compete with the guys that won races and championships and ultimately win the championship and we finally did. “
When asked what the plan is for 2018, the new champion was quick to say. “ We’ll be back. That’s our plan. We will run some other races but we like the schedule – we’ll be back.”
Nocella received Champion’s Jackets from Hoosier Tire East and N.E. Race Fuel (Sunoco) and the race team received the annual Mechanics Award.
Annual awards were presented to the following:
Jack’s Competition Engines Most Improved Driver: Sammy Rameau
Tough Luck award: George Sherman
Sportsmanship Award: Rob Rihcardi Jr
Rookie Of The Year: Jeffrey Gallup
Dedicated To Racing Award: Mike Willis Jr
Above and Beyond Award: Bob McIlveen