Category Archives: VMRS- Valenti Modified Racing Series

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)

Valenti Modified Series Gears Up For Seekonk

Canaan, NH. — With three different winners in the first three races of the new season, the Valenti Modified Racing Series rolls into Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, MA. this Saturday night for another green flag 100-lap feature event.

Reigning champion Woody Pitkat, of Sturbridge, MA, has a 22-point lead over Grantham, New Hampshire’s Mike Willis Jr, heading to the famed Massachusetts oval. Pitkat is a two-time race winner with the series. Willis is looking for his first career win at Seekonk.

Saturday’s entry list features a mix of veteran drivers with loads of Seekonk experience
and several series newcomers.

Two time series champion Chris Pasteryak, of Jewett City, CT.; will be at Seekonk, a track he has conquered in the past. Second-generation driver Todd Annarummo, of Swansea, MA, winner of two VMRS races at his ‘home’ track announced this week he’ll be in the field on Saturday.

Two-time Seekonk VMRS winner, Richard Savary, of Canton, MA. has indicated he plans to enter the Seekonk event. Savary always runs well at Seekonk.

Seekonk veteran, Dick Houlihan, of Bridgewater, MA, Todd Patnode, of Richmond, NH. fresh off a strong runner-up finish at Groveton, NH, last weekend, and Russ Hersey, of Swanzey, NH., who also ran well last week is expected.

Young drivers entering the program include, Dave Schneider, Nick Ladyga, Ryan Kuhn, Rob Richardi, Branden Dion, and Troy Talman.

Saturday’s race program starts at 6:00 pm. Seekonk Speedway is located on Rte 6.

Jon McKennedy Claims Speedway 51 Victory

By Jim Snape
Photos by Crystal Snape
Sometimes you have to travel far to find success. For Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, MA the three hour haul to Speedway 51 in Groveton,NH is just what the Exit Reality sponsored team needed as they came away with the victory in the first visit for the Valenti Modified Racing Series to the fast, tight quarter mile speedway.
   “It turned out we had a really good car here, we rode in the third and fourth spot saving it and with thirty to go I decided to go but it was really tough. the track is narrow and was hard to pass”. McKennedy said.
   Starting from the third row Mckennedy stayed within striking distance and eventually took the lead from hard charger Russ Hersey of Swanzey,NH on a lap 43 restart and five laps later gave up the number one position to Todd Patnode of Richmond,NH.
   McKennedy added, “A little before halfway I lost power steering and it was intermittent the whole race. To win with no power steering to be honest, I didn’t think I could finish the race, to steer one of these cars with thirty inches of front rubber is hard.”
Starting midpack Todd Patnode seemed to be in constant battles for position, eventually picking off the leaders and muscling the lead  from McKennedy on lap 47. His lead would only last 6 laps before Hersey took over the top spot. Patnode’s Swanzey Oil sponsored #24 was stout enough to finish in the runner up position following McKennedy across the stripe.
   “Were still trying to get a handle on this Troyer, we never ran a Troyer before and this is our third race with it” Patnode said. “That first caution (lap 20) gave us a chance to make some adjustments and we’re starting to understand it.” About the track he said, “It’s a fun track, I like it, at first I thought it was going to be tight for racing but once the tires wore down there was plenty of room out there. I hope the fans enjoyed the show, it was fun being a part of it . About lap 50 I backed off a little trying to save it but still had to race wheel to wheel with Russ (Hersey) for a long time and that’s always fun. But Jon (McKennedy) had us covered and congratulations to him.” He also added, “Hats off to my crew, we threw this team together at the last minute and bought the car three weeks before our first race, again thanks to those guys”.DSC_2393
   Veteran Mike Holdridge of Madison, CT is known for his cool, calculated approach to the modified battles and at Speedway 51 it was no different. Not being happy with his sleek, black #0 after practice and qualifier, the team made changes that ended up getting Mike a third place podium finish after the one hundred lap marathon.
   Holdridge said, “I conserved tires as long as I could, I feel lucky to get third. Jon had a perfect strategy and it worked for him. You have to save your stuff at tracks like this. I’m happy with third after the long tow, getting here late, lack of practice, and old age.” He added, “It’s a racey track but for me I liked the bottom, but after halfway it didn’t matter, most guys faded back and I still tried to conserved my stuff. This sure makes for a better ride home.”
   Defending VMRS champion Woody Pitkat of Sturbridge,MA started on the pole and lead from lap 2 to lap 22 but didn’t have the right combination to challenge for the victory and finished forth while Rob Richardi Jr. of Easton,MA. turned in his finest performance in a modified to finish fifth.
   Sixth through tenth were Colbey Fournier, Mike Willis Jr., Russ Hersey, George Sherman, Branden Dion
Heat winners 52-Woody Pitkat,    15CT.-Chris Pasteryak
Track—Speedway 51,      0.250 mile    Groveton,NH.
Race—VMRS NAPA Night 100
Time of Race—46:57.216
Cautions—(4)—laps 20—28—43—89
Margin of Victory—2.683
Best Lap Time—12.485
Best Lap By—88-Russ Hersey
Lap Leaders—(Lap 1, Willis Jr.)-(2-23, Pitkat) (24-43, Hersey)(44-47, McKennedy) (48-53, Patnode) (54-79, Hersey) (80-100 McKennedy)
1—29-Jon McKennedy
2—24- Todd Patnode
3—0-Mike Holdridge
4—52-Woody Pitkat
5—33-Rob Richardi Jr.
6—16-Colbey Fournier
7—38-Mike Willis Jr.
8—88-Russ Hersey
9—93-George Sherman
10-04-Brandon Dion
11-117-Donnie Lashua
12-22-Roy Seidell Jr.
13-17-Dylan Rock
14-15CT-Chris Pasteryak
15-50-Carl Medieros Jr.
16-77-Matthew Mead
17-14-Dana Smith
Next Race—June 4th—Seekonk Speedway-Seekonk,MA.