Seekonk, Mass (June 26, 2019): It was quite a week for Ellington, CT, driver Ronnie Williams. Riding high after a big win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, Williams rolled into Seekonk Speedway with momentum and a strong Roscoe Racing team on his side. A short-pit strategy during the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) Open Wheel Wednesday and a potent race car paid off in a big way for Williams.
Tommy Barrett, Jr. of Millis, MA and Matt Swanson of Acton, MA, also scored podium finishes.
Williams short-pitted on lap 43 while other contenders pitted after halfway, thus avoiding some tense moments in the closing stages to make a late race pass for the win and the $10,000.
Race favorite Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, had to settle for a fourth-place finish. Todd Patnode of Swanzey, NH, quietly came home in fifth over early race leader Woody Pitkat of Bellingham, MA. TTOMS newcomer Austin Kochenash of Danielsville, PA, had a strong run all night to come home seventh. Calvin Carroll, of Andover, NJ, Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT, and Jon Keivman of Deerfield Beach, FL, completed the top-ten.
After a redraw following qualifying, Pitkat led the 27-car field into 100 green flag laps of racing. After a quick side-by-side battle with Kochenash for the top spot, Pitkat edged ahead for the lead. Anthony Sesely of Matwah, NJ, jumped into the fray getting alongside Kochenash while Matt Swanson and Silk were locked in a great battle for fourth.
Swanson began to fade slightly on the outside groove losing spots to Patnode and Mike Holdridge of Madison, CT. By lap 12, Silk had moved into second taking chase of Pitkat. Silk was the new leader at lap 16. Just outside of the top ten was Hirschman, Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, NY, Keith Rocco of Berlin, CT, and Williams.
Silk continued to lead a freight train that included Pitkat, Sesely, Kochenash and Patnode. Stafford SK rivals Williams and Rocco were locked in a battle for ninth position. Leader Silk never missed a beat as he entered lapped traffic at lap 30. Holdridge continued to have a strong run in sixth position.
Silk and Pitkat had started to get some distance over third-running Sesely when the caution flew on lap 31 for a single car spin by Geoff Rollins of Groton, MA. Kochenash gave up the fourth spot to head pit side for early service; as did Carroll, Hossfeld, Brian Robie of Sunapee, NH, and Kirk Alexander of W. Swanzey, NH.
Back under green once again it was all Silk. Patnode and Swanson looked for running room in the high groove. With the bottom proving to be the preferred line each lost ground to Holdridge and Hirschman.
On lap 37, Hirschman moved past Holdridge and into fourth. Rocco continued to move to the front; breaking into the top -five on lap 38. The second caution of the event flew on lap 43 for a single-car spin by Carl Medeiros, Jr. of Westport, MA. Under the caution Rob Murphy of Rochester, MA, Williams, Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks, CT, Anthony Nocella of Woburn, MA, Dana DiMatteo, of Farmington, CT and Patnode pitted under the caution period.
After only a single lap of green flag racing with Silk again at the point, the caution flew again for a solo spinner. The lap 44 restart looked much the same for leader Silk. Hirschman was looking to the outside of Sesely for third with Swanson in tow. Hirschman was able to complete the pass on the outside on lap 47. Hossfeld and Kochenash, who pitted early, were making their way back into contention.
At halfway, Silk continued to show the way over Pitkat, Hirschman, Sesely, Swanson, Rocco, Russ Hersey of Swanzey, NH, Holdridge, Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, NY, and Hossfeld inside the top-ten. The running order and the entire complexion of the race would change shortly after with the event’s fourth caution on lap 55 for an incident involving Alexander and DiMatteo.
Under the caution most of the frontrunners headed to the pits including Silk, Pitkat, Hirschman, Sesely, Rocco, Hersey and others. The ensuing restart pitted Swanson against Rob Murphy with Jankowiak and Kochenash in the front two rows.
Swanson was the new leader on lap 55. Kochenash was dogged in his pursuit of Murphy for second. Williams and Barrett headed several rows of side-by-side racing deeper in the pack. Earlier front-runners were not making headway back toward the front. Mired in traffic, at lap 65, Silk, Sesely, Hirschman and Rocco were outside of the top-ten in the running order.
While Swanson could not shake Murphy, Williams broke into the top-five before the completion of lap 70. With 25 laps remaining Swanson led Murphy, Kochenash, Jankowiak, Williams, Barrett, Holdridge, Carroll, Robie and Patnode.
The fifth caution of the event lap at lap 77 when the #50 of Ronnie Silk spun in turn two. The early leader would take the opportunity under the caution period to pit. A great restart on lap 77 gave Swanson the lead free and clear quickly. Kochenash took over second with Murphy hung up on the outside. Williams moved into third.
William dove to the inside of Kochenash looking for second when the sixth caution flew on lap 80 for an uncharacteristic second spin by Silk with reports of a tire going down. The now 20-lap shootout was set with Swanson holding the top spot over Kochenash and a charging Williams.
With heavy pressure coming from Williams Kochenash bobbled on the restart; stacking up the field. Sparks were flying inside the top-five and resulted in an accordion effect spin by Hinckley; bringing out the seventh caution.
In the second attempt at the lap 80 restart, Swanson rocketed out to the lead. Williams took advantage of the bottom groove to get by Kochenash for second. Williams stalked Swanson for the top spot. Kochenash had a small gap in third followed by Murphy and Barrett.
The eighth caution flew when Robie came to rest on the front stretch on lap 85. With 15 laps remaining it was Swanson followed by Williams, Kochenash, Murphy, Barrett, Holdridge, Carroll, Patnode, Hirschman, and Rocco inside the top ten. Sesely, Jankowiak, Hersey, Silk, Pitkat, were next in line.
Swanson was able to gain a slight advantage over Williams on the restart. Over the next five laps, Williams applied heavy pressure to leader Swanson. Lap-after-lap, Williams looked low on Swanson. Barrett was able to get by Kochenash and into third. Williams had gotten alongside Swanson in a bid for the lead when a multi-car incident on the backstretch slowed the strong battle for the top spot on lap 90. Through the scuffle Hirschman had made this way into eighth.
The front two rows on the restart were Swanson and Williams, Barrett and Kochenash. Williams laid back on the restart and then immediately ducked low on Swanson in turn one. The two went wheel-to-wheel for a single lap before Williams took over the lead on lap 93. Barret was comfortably in third with Kochenash in fourth. Hirschman was coming after the restart; picking off cars. He was fifth when the tenth and final caution flew on lap 96 for a spin by Rolllins.
Williams was to set the pace for the restart with Barrett to his outside. Barrett stayed alongside Williams for a single lap before ducking behind and settling into second. Over the closing laps, Swanson had his hands full with Hirschman. Williams flew under the checkers for the win and the $10k payday followed by Barrett. Swanson held on for third over Hirschman. Patnode quietly came home in fifth over early leader Pitkat. Kochenash had a strong run all night to come home seventh. Carroll, Silk and Jon Keivman of Deerfield Beach, FL, completed the top-ten.
Heat Race wins went to Silk, Swanson and Hirschman. The consolation event went to DiMatteo.
Tri-Track Open Modified Series – OPEN WHEEL WEDNESDAY OFFICIAL RESULTS – June 26, 2019 – Seekonk Speedway (Laps Comp): 1. Ronnie Williams, Ellington, CT (100); 2. Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA (100); 3. Matt Swanson, Acton, MA (100); 4. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA (100); 5. Todd Patnode Swanzey, NH (100); 6. Woody Pitkat, Bellingham, MA (100); 7. Austin Kochenash, Danielsville, PA (100); 8. Calvin Carroll Andover, NJ(100); 9. Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT (100); 10. Jon Keivman, Deerfield Beach, FL (100); 11. Rob Murphy, Rochester, MA (100); 12. Anthony Sesely, Matwah, NJ (100); 13. Russ Hersey, Swanzey, NH (100); 14. Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT (100); 15. Mike Holdridge, Madison, CT (100); 16. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT (100); 17. Colbey Fournier, Berkley, MA (100); 18. Geoff Rollins, Groton, MA (100); 19. Andrew Charron, E. Greenwich, RI (100); 20. Andy Jankowiak, Tonawanda, NY (90); 21. Kurt Vigeant, Oxford, MA (90); 22. Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, NY (89); 23. Brian Robie, Sunapee, NH (85); 24. Anthony Nocella, Woburn, MA (60); 25. Kirk Alexander, W. Swanzey, NH (55); 26. Dana DiMatteo, Farmington, CT (54); 27. 50 Carl Medeiros, Westport, MA (43). DNQ: Matt Galko, Meriden, CT, Donny Hartzel, Hunlock Creek, NJ; Richard Savary, Canton, CT.
Ed Martin Photo