Tag Archives: Valenti Modified Racing Series

Pitkat & Nocella Share Lee VMRS Wins

Lee, NH. – Two former champions came out on top Sunday as the Valenti Modified Racing Series and  Lee USA Speedway presented  twin 50-lap Cone races and a full field of modifieds all part of the racetracks 35th annual Oktoberfest.

Woody Pitkat, of Bellingham, MA, and Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, were the victors.

Pitkat, piloting the Stan Mertz # 6, started fourth in a field of 30-cars, survived a red flag and four caution flags to go on to win the first 50-lap segment for his fifth series win and his first of the 2019 season.

Pitkat won the rain shortened race last Oktober. 

Pitkat was chased to the finish by hard charging Tommy Barrett, of Millis, MA, driving the NH based John Corliss entry, Les Hinckley, of Windsor Locks, CT, finished third, with Ronnie Williams, of Ellington, CT, and Brian Robie, of Sunapee, NH, rounded out the top five.

Matt Galko, Max Zachem, Rob Richardi, Carl Medeiros Jr, and Ben Byrne finished sixth through tenth.

The race was stopped on lap two when Cameron Sontag, of Sterling, MA, and C.J. Bolton of Weare, NH, came together with Sontag getting airborne and coming down on top of Bolton. Neither driver was injured but both cars were significantly damaged.

20-cars finished on the lead lap.

Race Summary

Lee USA Speedway

Sunday October 6, 2019

Distance: 50 Laps

Entrants: 26

Caution Flags: Lap 1, 2 (Red) 14, 28, 31,38,43,44

Best Lap Time: 14.979    Best Speed 90.126 (Les Hinckley III)

In race two, Nocella wheeled the Nocella # 92 to his 15th career series win and his second cone win this season. He shared the honors with Jeffrey Gallup in May

Things were a little calmer in the second go with Williams, Barrett, Hinckley and Pitkat the class of the field covering the top five positions at the checker.

Sixth through tenth were Robie, Zachem, Beech Ridge winner Tony Ricci, Jon Kievman, and Josh Cantara.

15-cars of the 26 that took the green were on the lead lap.

Race Summary: 

Caution Flags Laps 7, 25, 46, and 47

Best Lap Time: 15.182      Best Speed:  88.921 (Donnie Lashua)

The Thirty Two Signs “King Kone” award was presented to Pitkat for scoring the most points after the two races. 

The Hard Charger Awards, posted by a local fan from the Lee area, went to Tommy Barrett and Brian Robie. Each received $400 from the anonymous fan. The series thanks both for their contributions.

Capri Tools, of Pomona, CA, came on board to sponsor prizes to the teams with the highest point totals at Lee and the top three finishers at Thompson CT this weekend. Thank you for your support

Chase Dowling Scores Valenti Modified Racing Series Victory in Lincoln Tech VMRS 80 At Stafford Speedway

Tom Morris/Myracenews photos

(Stafford Springs, CT)—The Valenti Modified Racing Series returned to Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, August 30th for the Lincoln Tech VMRS 80.  Chase Dowling took the lead on lap-24 of the 80-lap event and he led the rest of the way, holding off Keith Rocco on several late restarts to win the Lincoln Tech 80.

The race took the green flag with Cam McDermott going outside polesitter Brad VanHouten to take the early race lead.  Chase Dowling was quickly took second with Ronnie Williams coming up to third.  Keith Rocco was fourth with Matt Galko up to fifth as VanHouten was side by side with Les Hinckley, Jr. for sixth place on lap-5. 

With 20 laps complete, the order remained the same up front with McDermott leading Dowling, Williams, Rocco, and Hinckley.  Anthony Flannery was up to sixth with Matt Galko seventh, Anthony Nocella eighth, Donnie Lashua ninth and Dave Etheridge tenth.

Dowling made a power move to the outside of McDermott going into turn 3 on lap-24 to move into the lead.  Williams followed him into second and it appeared that McDermott’s car began to drop off the pace and he pulled on pit road on lap-26.  Rocco was now third behind Dowling and Williams with Galko fourth and Flannery fifth. 

With 45 laps complete Dowling was still in command with Williams, Rocco, Galko, Flannery, and Lashua lined up behind him.  Etheridge was now seventh followed by Nocella, Hinckley, and Mike Willis, Jr. to make up the top-10.

Dowling was still comfortably in the lead with 10 laps to go with Williams, Rocco, Galko, and Flannery all still giving chase.  Lashua, Etheridge, Nocella, Willis, and Dan Meservey, Jr. made up the top-10.  The complexion of the race changed drastically when the caution came out with 75 laps complete for George Sherman, who came to a stop in the turn 4 grass to set up a 5-lap sprint to the finish.

DiMatteo and VanHouten both spun on the backstretch to bring the caution back out on the restart.  The next restart saw spins in turn 4 by Etheridge and Meservey.  Dowling took the lead on the third restart with Williams in second.  Williams dropped off the pace with a flat right front tire and was limping back to pit road when the caution came back out with 76 laps complete.  Williams’s misfortune put Rocco alongside Dowling for the next restart with Flannery and Owen making up the second row.

Dowling took the lead on the restart with Rocco in second and Galko in third.  Rocco couldn’t get close enough to Dowling to make a move as Dowling took the checkered flag to win the Lincoln Tech 80.  Galko finished third behind Dowling and Rocco with Flannery and Hinckley rounding out the top-5.



1) Chase Dowling, Midland, NC

2) Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT

3) Matt Galko, Meriden

4) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton, CT

5) Les Hinckley, Jr., Windsor Locks

6) Todd Owen, Somers

7) Ronnie Williams, Ellington

8) Mike Willis, Jr., Grantham, NH

9) Donnie Lashua, Canaan, NH

10) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, MA

11) Andrew Molleur, Shelton, CT

12) Derek Robbie, Bellingham, MA

13) Dan Meservey, Jr., Brewster, MA

14) Brad VanHouten, Wading River, NY

15) CJ Bolton, Weare, NH

16) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington

17) Dave Etheridge, Portland, CT

18) Cameron Sontag, Sterling, MA

19) Sal Accardi, Jr., Deer Park, NY

20) George Sherman, Framingham, MA

21) Artie Pedersen, III, Center Moriches, NY

22) Cam McDermott, Canterbury

23) Kreig Heroth, Fort Plain, NY

Cory DiMatteo Set for VMRS Debut in Lincoln Tech 80 at Stafford Speedway

Tom Morris/Myracenews photos

(Stafford Springs, CT)—When the Valenti Modified Racing Series takes the green flag this Friday, August 30 at Stafford Speedway for the Lincoln Tech 80, Cory DiMatteo will be making his series debut behind the wheel of the John Fredericks owned #10.  DiMatteo will carry sponsorship from Sign Pro and Island Cove Yacht Sales for his VMRS debut.

“This will be my first time in a car with a lot of horsepower so I’m excited about the opportunity,” said DiMatteo.  “John’s shop is close to ours and one of my crew member’s father is good friends with John, so we were able to work out a deal.  The plan is to try to keep all 4 wheels on the car for 80 laps and hopefully we can get a top-5 finish.  I have to thank Sign Pro and Island Cove Yacht Sales for coming on board and supporting me in John’s car for the VMRS race.  Right now there aren’t any future plans so I’m focused on this race to get a good finish for John and for myself.”

Although DiMatteo is a former SK Light champion at Stafford and he is in his second season of SK Modified® competition at the Connecticut half-mile, he knows that he will face a balancing act of how hard to push the #10 car during the race while at the same time trying to conserve his tires for the closing laps.  In order to help prepare himself for the Lincoln Tech 80, DiMatteo has been reviewing old video to pick up some tips.

“I think the car is going to be fine, the hard part is going to be monitoring my pace throughout the race and saving the tires,” said DiMatteo.  “I watched Tommy Barrett for a lot of years so I’m going to try to do what he used to do when he won a bunch of MRS events and I’ve been watching the Sid’s View in-car camera deals that he did last year at Stafford.  I was watching Ronnie Silk and Woody Pitkat and listening to how they said the car felt at the start of the race and how it was at the halfway point of the race and that’s something that I want to mimic.  I remember watching Rowan Pennink when he was driving the 25 car and if you have better tires than everyone else with 10 laps to go, you’re going to be way faster.  Once the tires are gone, they’re gone and there’s no getting them back so it’s going to be all about finding where that line is with the tires and hopefully we can get lucky and have that figured out.  We’ll see how it goes.  Tire management is going to be the biggest lesson I’m going to learn and hopefully take that knowledge with me for future races.”

In addition to the Lincoln Tech 80, DiMatteo will be one of 10 Stafford regulars from the SK Modified® and SK Light divisions that will be pulling double duty.  DiMatteo isn’t worried at all about splitting time between his #6 SK Modified® and #10 VMRS cars.

“Last year I ran a legend car and SK at Waterford but this is going to be my first time driving two modifieds,” said DiMatteo.  “I like getting as many laps as I can.  If I could drive 5 cars in a night then I would.”

As the 2019 SK Modified® season draws closer to its conclusion, DiMatteo and the #6 team are closing in on nailing down their first SK Modified® feature win.  DiMatteo nearly won the July 19 SK Modified® feature, leading the first 36 laps before contact after a late race caution relegated him to a 14th place finish.  DiMatteo and the #6 team had notched three top-5 finishes in their previous 4 starts before an engine issue didn’t allow them to start the feature last Friday.  DiMatteo and his crew have the #6 ready to go for this Friday night’s Lincoln Tech 80 program.

“The SK is all ready to go and it’ll be back at the track Friday,” said DiMatteo.  “We’re still trying to get our first win.  The car has been really good, we just need to have the cards fall the right way for us.  The car has been a lot faster, especially in practice.  The drivability has been much better and much more comfortable for me the last 5 weeks than it’s been all year.  If we can keep putting ourselves in contention, anything can happen on a Friday night at Stafford.  If we can keep on doing what we’ve been doing the last couple weeks putting ourselves in the top-5 and racing for the lead, eventually we’ll get our first win.”

The Lincoln Tech 80 Valenti Modified Racing Series takes to the track this Friday, August 30 with qualifying beginning at 6:30pm.  Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will also be in action.  Tickets for this event are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.  Reserved seat tickets are $32.00 for all ages.  All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.  Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles. 

For more information, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.