Tag Archives: VMRS

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


Silk Scores First Valenti Modified Racing Series Win At Loudon

Loudon, NH. – Veteran modified racer Ron Silk, of Norwalk, CT, made it count Sunday afternoon when he garnered the Valenti Modified Racing Series 50-lap feature race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH.

The event was part of the 2nd annual ‘New England Short Track Showdown’.

Silk bested Richard Savary, of Canton, MA, and Les Hinckley, of Windsor Locks, CT. in a hotly contested finish.

Northport, New York’s David Schneider rallied to finish fourth with series point-leader and reigning champion Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, rounding out the top five.

The win was Silk’s first with the VMRS and it ended a two-year drought for car owner Kevin Stuart. Stuart, of Lowell, Mass, acknowledged his race teams last win was two years ago. Then team driver Todd Szegedy took down the honors July 8, 2016 at Claremont, NH.

The winners share for the 50 lap Showdown was a cool $5,000.

Silk started outside front row and was quickly joined by Nocella and Woody Pitkat, of Stafford Springs, CT, as the class of the field. The three swapped the lead position several times throughout the 50-lap sprint.

Three caution flags created very competitive restarts with several drivers making up ground and making things interesting over the final 12-laps. Jon McKennedy was making one of his late race charges when he developed brake issues and fell off the pace. Nocella was the victim of contact that forced him up the track losing positions. He overcame it for the top-five finish.  Pitkat was troubled by a kill switch issue to knock him from winning his second consecutive series race at NHMS.

The victorious Silk spoke post race with race promoter Bob Guptill. “ It’s awesome. Got off to a little bit of a rough start not of our own doing but this feels great. I love racing at this race track and I thank all you guys for putting this on.”  Silk concluded, “ all the guys who work on the car they work real hard and it feels good to be back. Thanks to Stuart Automotive, New England Framing, Henry’s Diesel, Pettit Engines and Performance Plus.

Richard Savary post race stated, “ It feels good to be out here on the podium with these guys. I didn’t have a very good heat race I blocked myself in and had to start far back in the field to get to the front to run with these guys. It’s pretty cool.”

Hinckley was making his first ever start at the Magic-Mile. Despite 19-series wins, he admitted that NHMS is a different deal. “ I had no clue and you’re at a disadvantage to start with. When you’re going so fast you’re so critical of what the cars doing -what the airs doing to it -whether it’s tight or loose. They ultimately gave me what I wanted.  I think it was opposite of what they wanted but it worked out,” Hinckley said. “It was a lot of fun to experience it and I can’t thank Art Barry enough.”

Sixth through tenth were Donnie Lashua, Mike Willis Jr, Anthony Flannery, Derek Robbie, and Jonny Kay.

20 of the 24 cars that started the race finished on the lead lap.

Heat winners were Nocella and Silk.

Next Event:

Saturday July 7, 2018.

Monadnock Speedway

Winchester, NH.


Race Summary:

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Loudon, NH.

Race # 5

June 24, 2018

Entrants: 26

Distance: 50-laps

Cautions Flags: 3

Margin of Victory: 1.043

Average Speed: 71.446

Best Lap Time: 29.808

Best Speed: 127.778


Unofficial Order of Finish:

(1) Silk, (2) Savary, (3) Hinckley, (4) Schneider, (5) Nocella, (6) Lashua, (7) Willis Jr, (8) Flannery, (9) Robbie, (10) Kay, (11) Rameau, (12) Etheridge, (13) Richardi, (14) Sontag ( 15) Rock (16) Dolan, (17) Shaw (18) McKennedy, (19) Doucette, (20) Bolton, (21) Pitkat, (22) Perry, 23 Dauzat, (24) Gallup

Pitkat Ready To Defend His VMRS VictoryTitle At NHMS Sunday

Canaan, NH. – Woody Pitkat, of Stafford Springs, CT, is ready for this weekend’s ‘New England Short Track Showdown’ when the Valenti Modified Racing Series competes in a 50-lap shootout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. The race will be contested this Sunday, June 24, with Saturday set aside for a day of practice. Also on the docket are the Granite State Pro Series, Street Stock Showdown, and North East Mini Stock Tour.

Pitkat, winner of the inaugural race last season, looks forward to the event for good reason.

“Obviously very exited to go back there. I feel I have figured that place out the last handful of years. It’s a place I love going to. It’s our Daytona for the Modifieds with the drafting and passing we do,” said the 2015 VMRS champion and 4-time series winner.”

I’m very exited to be going there with our new Troyer chassis that we changed to a couple of races in. I have some very good notes from up there (Loudon) when I drove for Buzz Chew- won a couple of races and really looking forward to the weekend with that Troyer car. I think we’ll be even better than last year.”

The 2017 race featured 17 lead changes and Pitkat leading the field 9-different times. Can Sunday’s race be as competitive?

“Absolutely now that you have some people that have had an opportunity to race there. Drivers that have had seat time. Now that Jonathan McKennedy is going to be there — the 25-car has been the car to beat all year, they’ll be in contention, Anthony Nocella and Richard (Savary) and the rookies and young drivers have done a phenomenal job this year already.”

Pitkat is quick to point out, in his opinion, the rules package is right where it needs to be for this event.

“ I think Jack (Bateman) has done a good job getting all the engine packages together to create a level playing field, the gear ratio is where everybody needs to be and that’s what creates a lot of passing and a good show.”

Last year Pitkat took it upon himself to help some of the newcomers that had never driven the so-called ‘Magic Mile’. If someone came knocking on the door asking Woody would you help me out?

“Absolutely, I was thinking about that today said the driver of the Mayhew Tools/ Stebbins Racing # 52.  Definitely- if anyone wants to ask questions or wants me to go out on the track with them and do some drafting – to see how it is- that is going to give them more confidence and give me as a driver more confidence knowing that I can race with these guys. I don’t want them to go up there and second-guess what they are doing. I have no problem with helping anyone.” Pitkat concluded.”

Reigning Champion Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, has a 21-point lead over former series champion Rowan Pennink (159) with Pitkat (150) currently third in the standings. Mike Willis sits fourth (148) and Sammy Rameau fifth (130).

Pre-race ceremonies are scheduled for 12 noon with qualifying heat races beginning at 12:30 PM