Tag Archives: Monadnock Speedway

Patnode Scores ‘Firecracker 100’ Win At Monadnock

Winchester, NH. — Veteran Monadnock Speedway driver Todd Patnode, of Swanzey, NH, made home track experience pay off Saturday night July 7, taking the lead on lap-64 to win the annual ‘Firecracker 100’ race sanctioned by the Valenti Modified Racing Series. It was the first win of the season for the popular Granite State driver and his third career series win. Patnode’s last VMRS win was August 21, 2016.

Patnode joins Jim Boniface, Peter Daniels, Vinnie Annarummo, and David Pinkham, all with three series wins.

In front of a large crowd on hand for the tracks annual Independence Day fireworks presentation and it’s tradition of the Valenti Modified Racing Series being part of it, Patnode started 21st in a 25-car field and patiently ran near the back of the lineup with the likes of Les Hinckley, of Windsor Locks, CT, Mike Willis Jr, of Grantham, NH, Ron Silk of Norfolk, CT, and eventual second place finisher and series point leader Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, who rolled off in the 25th and final starting position.

Pole sitter Russ Hersey, of Swanzey, took command of the early lead for the first 46-laps. Woody Pitkat, of Bellingham, MA, grabbed the lead on a lap-47 restart when Hersey grabbed it back for two circuits.  Hersey and Pitkat flipped the lead back and forth while Patnode was fast approaching. Patnode took command on lap-64 in the Gomarlo’s Supermarket / Gary’s Power Equipment sponsored car and was never headed.

Nocella, who overcame an afternoon full of mechanical woes, largely credited his race team for getting him to a second place finish.  Hersey finished a solid third, another strong run for the Warren Mordenti /Central Mass Tree / Twin State Truck Repair team.

Another bright spot in the race was the drive from the 24th starting position to a fourth place finish by Sunapee, NH’s Brian Robie. Robie runs a selected series schedule and the Monadnock(VMRS) finish was his best yet.

Pitkat rounded out the top five.

Donnie Lashua, Hinckley, Kirk Alexander, rookie Jacob Perry, and Sammy Rameau rounded out the top-10.

15 of the 25 cars that started the race were on the lead lap. The race was completed just shy of 55 minutes.  Eight caution flags were needed.

Hersey, Joel Monahan, and Matt Mead won qualifying heats. Mead ran a strong race, a solid second for most of the first half.

Next Event: Lee USA Speedway

July 13, 2018

Twin 50-lap Features

Post Time: 7 00 PM

Race Summary

Monadnock Speedway

Winchester, NH.

July 7, 2018

Race # 6

Entrants: 25

Distance: 100-laps

Lap Leaders:  Hersey (1-46), Pitkat (47) Hersey (48-50), Pitkat (51-56)

Hersey (57-63) Patnode  (64-100)

Cautions Flags: Laps 3, 8, 40, 41, 46, 78, 78, 79

Margin of Victory: 0.238

Best Lap Time: 12.01

Best Speed: 70.307   Russ Hersey

Unofficial Order of Finish: (1) Patnode, (2) Nocella, (3) Hersey, (4) Robie, (5) Pitkat, (6) Lashua, (7) Hinckley, (8) Alexander, (9) Perry, (10) Rameau, (11) Savary, (12) Gallup, (13) Willis Jr (14) Monahan, (15) Robbie, (16) Sontag, (17) Gonyaw, (18) Smith, (19) Sherman, (20) Mead, (21) Silk, (22) Richardi, (23) Rock, (24) Bolton, (25) Seidell


Mike Ordway, Jr. and Clyde Booth Teaming up Again For 2018 ISMA Season

Matthew Wiernasz

 Photo Jim Feeney/ISMA

WINCHESTER, NH-  Mike Ordway, Jr. and Clyde Booth will be back once again for a full ISMA season when they kickoff with CARQUEST Genden Auto Parts 75 presented by T-Bird Mini Parts on Saturday, May 19.

Mike Ordway Jr. indicated that Monadnock’s opener would be a learning experience for all. ” I believe the main challenge will be learning which grooves these types of cars like as we will all have to do. Learning will come with the opening day challenges of any year with new racecars, redesigned racecars, and people just trying to get the bugs worked out  in general.”

North Carolina resident Clyde Booth, also welcomed a new track. “Well, I think it’s great. The main thing is it’s an added venue to our series and I think this area, whether it would be New Hampshire or Connecticut, is where people really understand the Supermodifieds. I just think it’s going to be good for the crowd and certainly good for us. It should be exciting for everyone.”

Clyde, a longtime car owner and builder, went on to talk about the good owner/driver relationship between him and Ordway, Jr. and the crew. Mike Ordway, Sr., who still is a part of the current crew, drove for Booth for many years starting back in 1987.  Ordway, Jr. started driving for Booth back in 2016 and won a race for him in his first year with the team. Last year the season was short when they had a bad wreck at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl and took them out for the rest of the season.

Ordway, Jr., who now lives in Maine, does have track time at the New Hampshire quarter-mile oval as he raced in the modifieds a while ago. He did spend a lot of time watching the modified division as Monadnock is one of his favorite tracks to attend to as a spectator.

He spoke of the $1000 bonuses available for the Monadnock race. Bentley’s Saloon will be sponsoring the fastest qualifier in where they will receive $1,000. It is possible that the track record will be broken. And, Shea Concrete will sponsor the halfway bonus where the halfway leader will get $1,000.

“ These racecars are known to be some of the fastest short track cars in the world. I’m excited to that we are going to be able to display the speed to the new fans in single-car time trials. The $1,000 will make it a little more interesting as well is the halfway bonus of $1,000,” said Ordway Jr.

Booth also stated that the $1000 was a great thing. “I think in time trials you want to be able to say you set fast time so the fact that there is really icing on the cake with a $1,000 it’s really good. I think it gives some drivers some incentives than others. Now as an owner, I like the $1,000 dollars because I am paying the bills.

” Even though it’s a short race, these cars are tough on tires. Whatever we time trial with and race the heat on, we have to run those tires the whole day. We can’t put new tires on after time trials, new tires on after the heat or anything like that. So  when you get in the race, if you are starting 15th or back in that area somewhere. You have to save your stuff and you can’t abuse your tires so it’s really is interesting for the halfway part of the race because some guys might save their car and wait until the end and others don’t.” Clyde continued.

A lot of teams will have their eyes on Jon McKennedy as he could be the man to beat at Monadnock. Ordway, Jr. believes there will be a lot of passing on the New Hampshire quarter-mile oval as he and Jon McKennedy talked about it.

” Jon’s a great friend of mine and I definitely think he is going to be the guy to beat going into the weekend. As I said, I’ve had a few laps there and have been there many times. I have been watching a lot of videos of the modifieds there over the winter as well. Russ Hersey is also a good friend of mine so I may get some help from him as well.  Other than that we will just play it like any other race on the schedule, unload and see what we have, and adjust accordingly.

” These cars are very aero-sensitive now with all the wings at the larger more high-speed tracks, however, I think Monadnock will have the best of both. It will be very fast for the size of the track however it should be slow enough to take a lot of the aero out of the equation. Hoosier Tire has always provided us with great tires and they have been working with ISMA, even more the last year or so and have come out with a new tire for this year which I think will just add to the passing and great racing we should see there,” Ordway Jr. commented.

Ordway, Jr. knows it’s very important to get a good finish at a new venue where the series has never been which can carry momentum for the rest of the season.

” No matter what the finish, I think we all need to thank the management and staff at Monadnock for giving us the opportunity to come there. As I said growing up in New Hampshire and now living in Maine, Monadnock has always been one of my favorite places to attend races, As hard as short track racing is now for team owners as well as promoters it is great that they are giving us the chance to come and showcase what our series can provide. I think it’s a great opportunity for all.” Ordway, Jr. said.

The Monadnock Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions will be apart of the program beginning at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for reserved seating will be $25 in advance and $30 at the gate. Tickets for general admission for adults will be $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Seniors will be $15 and Kids 12 and under will be $5 at the gate. The rain date will be on Sunday, May 20 at 2:00 p.m.

Monadnock Speedway is located at 840 Keene Road In Winchester, NH. Please visit Monadnockspeedway.com.

Stephens Heading To ISMA Season Opener At Monadnock

Matthew Wiernasz

WINCHESTER, NH- Ohio’s Trent Stephens will be heading to the CARQUEST Genden Auto Parts 75 Presented by T-Bird Mini Marts ISMA Season Opener on Saturday, May 19. Stephens is planning to run the full season this year as he has been doing.

Stephens, driving the Steve Stout number 19 car, finished fourth in the competitive ISMA point standings in 2017, and he is looking forward to the new venue at the 2018 opener.

” I love going to new tracks. I always like the challenge of a new track. I adapt quicker to new tracks than some people. I am hoping that it’s a benefit for me. I know there’s some guys that have some laps around there in other stuff.” Stephens commented.

Timmy Jedrzejek and Mike Lichty have watched online videos on Monadnock’s rather different track setup. Lichty feels there is going to be some side by side racing. Stephens also jumped online as soon as the race was announced on the schedule to watch some races there, taking in an in-car video of a NEMA race and watching some modified videos.

” It looks like a racy track. It’s kind of cool that the two turns are different. It will be a balancing act between trying to get the car to work good in one turn and then figure out how to drive in the other turn.” Stephens said

Trent believes ISMA has been making changes to help with the racing. A lot of the ISMA teams got together with Hoosier to change the compound of the tire to give a little more grip. Stephens also believes there will be a lot of passing with Monadnock being a short track.

“You don’t realize how much you rely on the downforce, when you don’t get it at a short track. And you don’t realize how much you’ll slide around, without the downforce from the high speeds. More mistakes are made at short tracks. I think a couple of them had reference to the Star race last year. There’s a lot of passing just because everyone was sliding around at a little quarter mile. I like short tracks.” Stephens continued.

Stephens was once teammates with “Liquid” Lou Cicconi for a little bit and he learned a lot from Cicconi.  And Stephens believes it’s all about setup. And with Jon McKennedy having more experience at Monadnock in the modifieds, he could be the driver to beat when ISMA comes to the New Hampshire quarter-mile oval.

“I think if you get the setup right. If you can get a good balance of where either you’re really, really good in one turn and you’re average in the other or if you’re average in both turns, the setup will be key. I think we saw that a lot last year up until actually the last two races. We had a new winner every night. We only had one repeat winner.”

An Ohio compatriot Dave Shullick, Jr. took down the last two races of the year in the 2017 season winning at Star and Thompson after running part to of the year non-winged at Oswego. Stephens believes the field is close especially the top-10 cars.

“We show up to a track. We think we qualify awesome and end up like eighth but then when it comes to the race, we’re in the top five. It’s going to be another, I would imagine tough season because I think all the strong cars from last year are coming back with the same drivers. Everyone should be tough again.” Stephens Said

Heading into his fourth year of competition in ISMA Stephens believes the competition is tough because everyone is tough.

“I’ve raced other ISMA shows over the years but not a full season until 2015. It’s a little bit different ball game because there are longer races. Sometimes you have to kind of ride back for a while but you hope that if someone gets out there early, they burn their stuff up by the end, and you haven’t. It’s definitely a tough series to run because everybody has got his or her strengths. It’s hard to be really, really good everywhere,” said the 4-time MSA champion.

Stephens believes that a lot of people don’t expect the power that the ISMA Supermodifieds have in acceleration when these cars can go up to 7,600 RPM’s. To add to the excitement of the speed factor, Bentley’s Saloon will be sponsoring to see who can get the fast time in time trials (NTR) where the winner will get $1,000 dollars.

“It’s pretty awesome in all honesty. I enjoy qualifying. I think it’s its own little challenge. I would consider us a smaller budget team. An extra $1,000 dollars if we can crank out a good lap would be awesome for us because we’re coming all the way from Ohio. It’s probably a 13-14 hour drive with a trailer.  We always hope we have a good weekend in New England and we take the car home in one piece and don’t spend too much money. The $1,000 dollars will be great for whoever wins it.” Said Stephens.

Trent welcomed the other extra cash available as Shea Concrete is paying a $1,000 halfway bonus at the event on Saturday, May 19.

“Ed Shea has always been a huge supporter of ISMA and we appreciate everything he does for the Supermodifieds. Any extra money is always a great incentive for our teams. “ Stephens stated

Racing is known for being a family sport, and the Stephens family is no exception. Trent’s brother Talon races supers and was ISMA Rookie of the Year in 2016. Trent’s wife Jessica is involved with ISMA as one of the officers as the Secretary. Stephens has been involved in racing since he was seven years old racing in quarter midgets.

“It has always been a family thing for us. That was our thing every weekend. We would jump in the motorhome and go racing with the quarter midgets and now supers.  My brother still races. My parents are both involved; they go to every single one of his races and last year they came to every one of mine. We all travel in one big carpool lane I guess if you want to call it that. My parents come and as do my wife and daughter Paislee. I race against Jess’s brother Mike Ordway Jr. The Ordways come to the races too. It’s nice to see them because Jess moved from New Hampshire to out here and now her parents have moved to North Carolina. It’s definitely a family-oriented sport that’s for sure. Even though we all usually don’t always like each other on the race track, I think we all respect each other from that perspective.” Stephens Said

The Monadnock Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions will be apart of the program beginning at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for reserved seating will be $25 in advance and $30 at the gate. Tickets for general admission for adults will be $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Seniors will be $15 and Kids 12 and under will be $5 at the gate. The rain date will be on Sunday, May 20 at 2:00 p.m.

Monadnock Speedway is located at 840 Keene Road In Winchester, NH. Please visit Monadnockspeedway.com