Lee USA Speedway, Lee NH
Canaan, NH. – The last time the Valenti Modified Racing Series competed at New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway, it was for a rare Saturday afternoon event on Memorial Day weekend. First time that happened. When the checkered flag fell, Mike Douglas Jr. notched his first VMRS win.
The Douglas victory started a run of ‘firsts’ for the New Hampshire based series. It was also the first VMRS victory for Douglas’ father, long-time owner/driver Mike Douglas of Auburn, New Hampshire.
Since then, veteran racer Russ Hersey of Swanzey, NH, captured his first series win at Claremont and car owner Warren Mordenti, owner of the Hersey mount, did the same earlier this month.
2015 Series Champion, Woody Pitkat, of Sturbridge, MA, won his first VMRS race of the year in the series first ever race contested at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH.
Another opportunity presents itself Friday night, July 21, for a first time winner to surface when the VMRS kicks off the second-half of their 2017 season at ‘New Hampshire’s Center of Speed.” Twin 50-lap features are on tap.
Eight out of the top-ten drivers in the series point standings, are hoping to add their name to a long list of first time winners, at the 3/8th mile oval, owned by New England Hall of Fame Promotor/Owner Red MacDonald and wife Judy.
Point leader Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, Mass, winner of three races to date, takes a 73-point lead into Lee but it’s the competition behind him in the first half that has drawn attention.
11-points separate Mike Willis Jr, of Grantham, NH, and second generation driver, Jeff Gallup, of Feeding Hills, MA, (2nd) place, with the same amount (11) separating last years Rookie of the Year Colbey Fournier, of Berkley, MA, and 15-year old |Sammy Rameau, of Westminster, MA, for fourth.
A four-point gap separates Richmond, NH’s Matt Mead from Donnie Lashua, Canaan, NH, and Rob Richardi, Taunton, MA.
Lee (USA) has long been labeled a tough track to win on but it’s interesting to note the drivers that have found their way into the MRS records books with their first series win there.
The ‘late’ Jim Boniface won his first career series race at Lee in July 2004. A year later Jimmy Dolan scored his lone victory on Oktoberfest weekend.
Tony Ricci, who returned to competition at Claremont after several year’s absence, and will be in the field Friday night driving the Czarnecki Brothers # 20 car, first visited the Lee/MRS winner’s circle in 2006.
Louie Mechalides scored his first MRS win in 2007 at Lee, Eddie Dachenhausen did in 2008, and Jimmy Kuhn Jr. in 2009.
A field of 20-cars as of Tuesday, July 18, is expected to compete.
Friday’s program starts at 7:00 PM. Lee USA Speedway is located on
Route 125 Lee, NH.
Lee USA Speedway, Lee,N.H
“I know you gotta save tires but 50 laps goes by pretty quick here. I was just trying to get there before we ran totally out of tires. After winning the last one (Stafford Motor Speedway) we had to start 18th and that’s what it was. Some of these guys are all over the place after they burn off (tires) so we tried to keep it straight and get by them and stay out of wrecks. I tried to set a nice pace but still ran out of tires with 10 to go. Lapped traffic got in the way at the end and we had to drop back in line, we’re okay with a third” Nocella said.