Tag Archives: VMRS

VMRS Gets Back At It – At Waterford’s Wings And Wheels Saturday

Canaan, NH. — After a 3-week summer break, the Valenti Modified Racing Series returns to action, Saturday, August 12, at New London-Waterford Speedbowl as part of the Connecticut tracks annual ‘Wings & Wheels” presentation of open-wheel racing. The race is the first of two events in the month of August. The second is August 19 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, ME.

Woburn, MA, point leader Anthony Nocella’s lead has been trimmed to 58-points with Jeffrey Gallup, Feeding Hills, MA, still holding on to second in he standings.

Canaan, NH’s veteran Donnie Lashua, and Mike Willis Jr. of Grantham, NH, are separated by one-point. Willis will be debuting a brand new Troyer Chassis modified at Saturday’s event. Willis finished fourth in last years race.

Matt Mead, of Richmond, NH, Colbey Fournier, of Berkley, MA, and Rob Richardi Jr, of Taunton, MA, are close in points in a battle for fifth.

Familiar faces with VMRS history have indicated their intent to compete.

Chris Pasteryak, of Jewett City, CT, a two-time series champion, will make his first series start this season. Pasteryak has two VMRS wins at New London-Waterford.

Former series regular Max Zachem, of Preston, CT, returns driving the Ceravolo Race Team # 16 car with 4-time VMRS winner Ted Christopher, of Plainville, CT, also slated to compete.

Dennis Perry, Anthony Flannery, Dave Etheridge, and Geoff Gernhard are expected.

Qualifying begins at approximately 5:15 PM. VMRS heat races and the

100-lap feature is third in the running order, subject to change if needed.

Valenti Modified Racing Series Swings Back To Lee Friday

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.

Hersey Scores Claremont Win

Claremont Speedway, Claremont NH 7.7.2017

    Sometimes they say it’s better to be lucky than good. In Russ Hersey’s  case sometimes its good to be both. The Swanzey NH pilot started with an ill running race car early in the day and after the crew did their magic, Hersey turned it into a Valenti Modified Racing Series victory at the 1/3 mile speedway.
   An electrical problem that plagued the team relegated Hersey to a last place starting position after missing his qualifying round. Even after repairs were made and Hersey was granted hot laps, more adjustments were needed and Hersey was on his way to his first VMRS win of 2017. Racing his way into third place by lap 36 Hersey trailed race leader young Dylan Rock of Enfield NH and younger Sammy Rameau of Westminster MA. Rock and Rameau waged war for the lead for thirty laps until Rameau dove hard into the third turn and tapped Rock’s rear bumper. That’s all it took for Rock to spin from the lead. Under yellow Rock had to restart in the rear and Rameau was put back for causing the altercation. Now Hersey became the new race leader and had nothing but clean air in front of him.
   “I cant thank the guys enough, it’s been a hell of a week, they put in a lot of hours and we really weren’t that good early. We chased a wiring issue that kept us out of the heat race and didn’t get much practice. Just to get the twelve laps in to get the tires on equal footing with everyone else I could tell the car was not to my liking. When we came in and made a few adjustments it really started to rock and roll and I tried to be easy on the gas and made big circles. It seemed like the easier I went the bigger lead I got. The car was great.” Hersey added, “I have a ton of laps here and some wins so it was like the home track advantage, plus everybody gave me plenty of room. I couldn’t be any happier for the.first time out of the box, so now I hope we can carry some momentum forward.”
   Hersey wasn’t the only one starting deep in the field. Dana Smith of Sunapee NH missed his schedule weigh in at the scales because of a steering issue and had to start dead last on the grid, which turned out to be to his liking. Smith did an impressive job working his way to the front finding himself in 4th place by the halfway mark, then with three laps to go he caught and passed a fading Anthony Nocella of Woburn MA. By that time Hersey had checked out on the field and was leading by a 1/4 lap. Smith was jubilant with runner up position.
   “I had a lot of fun . I had to start from the back because we found something wrong with the steering and while working on it I missed my time to go across the scales and it was more important to get the car right. Actually it was fun starting from the back, we got to pass some cars. I was trying to follow Russ (Hersey) and (Anthony) Nocella up through, I figured they’re good people to follow, they know how to save their tires. I got hung up on the outside and loss sight of them so I had to make up a bunch of ground. By the time I got back to them I used up my right rear tire. Everybody ran me real clean, whenever I stuck my nose in they gave me plenty of room. It was great.”
   It seemed to be a hard days work for all the top runners and Nocella was no different. In his heat race as he started to heat his tires he broke a pinion shaft in the rear of his racer and after a loaner rear end from Mike Willis and some quick work by the Nocella and Willis crews, Nocella joined the feature at the back of the pack and in Nocella fashion drove his way forward working his way to race leader Hersey’s rear bumper by lap 60. But with a handful of laps left Nocella lost a cylinder and faded back to third place where he finished the 100 lap grind.
   Heat winners were #83 Mike Willis Jr.and #25 Brian Robie
Track–Claremont Speedway, Claremont,N.H. 1/3/ mile
Cautions–(4)–Laps 29/38/60/73
Lap Leaders–(3)–#83–laps 1–7, #47–8–38, #88–39–100
Unofficial Finish
1—88-Russ Hersey
2—14-Dana Smith
3—92-Anthony Nocella
4—83-Mike Willis Jr.
5—6-Sammy Rameau
6—17-Donnie Lashua
7—20-Tony Ricci
8—77-Matt Mead
9—25-Brian Robie
10–4-Jeff Gallup
11–50-Carl Medeiros
12–12-Rob Richardi
13–47-Dylan Rock
14–16-Colbey Fournier
15–23-Mike Douglas
Next VMRS event- Lee USA Speedway, Lee,N.H. July 21,2017
by James Snape
photos by Crystal Snape