The Chrome Horn - True Value Modified Racing Series


McKennedy Has the Maine-Ly Action at Oxford Plains Speedway
by Denise DuPont

   The True Value Modified Racing Series (TVMRS) headed to Maine for the first time this year at the Oxford Plains Speedway for the Maine-Ly Action Sports 100 on Saturday, July 18, 2009. As race day started the rain stopped leaving behind it mud and puddles everywhere but it did not dampen the spirits of fans and race teams alike.
   It was a day of being first for the McKennedy race team. Jon McKennedy won the first heat race and started first (on the pole) in the TVMRS race. When the checked flags flew, McKennedy was the first to take the checkers. For a while it appeared that he was going to dominate it all, but then on lap seventeen McKennedy was pushed back to second as Rob Goodenough passed him for the lead. McKennedy fought to regain the lead but instead he continued to slip back to third as he was also passed by Andy Seuss on lap twenty. “I knew that I had a good car so I had to keep telling myself do not abuse the tires,” McKennedy said about his slip from first to third.
   When the race was half way over McKennedy and Seuss were battling for the top spot. The challenge for the lead went back and forth for over twenty-five laps between the two young drivers until in the end McKennedy was in victory lane for the third time this year. “I had a good race going there with Andy. He was fast at the beginning then I could see him start to fall off the pace a little bit. A few times I got a run underneath him but there was not enough to clear him. The car was too tight. But around about lap fifty she came around. Then the car was just unreal. It was just a great car to drive.”
   Dwight Jarvis finished the Maine-Ly Action sports race in second after working his way up from mid-pack. “The car was on rails. I like this track up here. It got a little loose at the end when I tried to protect the bottom. This car was awesome. I could drive it in a ton. I want to thank all the guys that helped me today. Some of my old crew and everything just worked out right. It was good to get all the young bucks back.”
   After an eighth place finish at Monadnock Speedway the Jarvis race team went to work to tweak the #28 car. “We did little changes to the car. We had a good setup where it only got a little free at the end.” But the changes gave Jarvis a bridesmaid spot only in the end. “We probably should have tightened it up a little bit. But it loosened itself up here and then tightened itself up. So we should have tightened it up a little bit. We are happy. With this car here we do have to tighten it up some so we could win one more.”
   David Pinkham rounded up the top three as the cars crossed the finish line. This is the second race this year that Pinkham has joined the ranks of the series. “I am back racing but not really to support the series (TVMRS). I am back to support the Maine tracks. Hopefully they will change some of their rules and put racing back into racing and make it fun again for every body.”
   Pinkham is back racing with the True Value series because he is concerned about the goal, status and future of the series. “We are here to race and we are here for entertainment. It is for the race fans. We have to start putting on shows again. Or the series will fade away.”
   Andy Seuss led the race after passing Goodenough and holding off McKennedy’s moves to regain the lead. But after making the bold moves to keep the lead, Seuss’s car started to fade and he fought to stay in the top five at the end of the race. “We were too free to start. We do not have a ton of experience at this track. We probably should have known that it would loosen up when the sun goes down and it did. We were tight all day and tightened it up more and it still was not tight enough. It was just too free early on I knew I had to get to the front if there was any chance to win. Cause if I went too far back I was not going to make the spots up. So we tried it. We had a good race there with Jon, Dwight and David. We finished fourth and that was all.”
   Ed Dachenhausen made the power move of the race when he bolted from eighth to fifth during a race re-start on lap ninety-seven. “I just needed laps under caution to cool the right rear tire. They (the lead cars on the restart) all decided to run the outside and they left the bottom wide open and that is where I can go, on the bottom. They kept staying up there and I kept staying on the bottom.”
   From the beginning of the season the 10x team has been struggling with the right car combination. At Oxford they did their homework and found their way towards the right combination for a lead car. In the end, Dachenhausen almost finished the race the same as the heat race, but the caution did help change the results. “Peter Jarvis and I raced in the Heat (Race) and he beat me by two inches and I got him back in the feature. I got him by two inches. I am happy. We were not happy last week. We had a bad week and made some bad decisions. We let some things get looked over. And we are back. We are making changes and we will pay more attention to things.”
   This Thursday, July 23, the TVMRS will move back to Thompson, CT to the Thompson International Speedway, for the Town Fair 75 make up race. Race time is planned for 6:00 PM

Oxford Plains Race Notes

Jon McKennedy
   What went on in McKennedy’s mind - “The first thirty or forty laps I was a little too tight and I knew the track would be hard on tires. So I had to keep telling myself to slow down and save the tires. A few times that I got underneath Andy but I was just not able to clear him. It seemed like every time I tried to clear him he came right around me. The eventually I could see him starting to slip and slide as his car gave up a little bit. Then we caught up to some lapped traffic and I was able to take the lead over. It was all ours from there. The car was flawless. I have to thank Eddie (Flemke) and Reggie (Ruggiero) they make a great car."
   "I feel really good. Going into the season I expected to win races. At the end of last year we proved that we were a winning team and that has carried on this year. Hopefully it continues."
   "I have always liked this track it is fun It is very technical. You have to hit your marks. It is one of the tracks that you have to be smooth It is very easy to over drive here. When we unloaded the car from the trailer today we were off and we made some adjustments before the heat. I knew if the car was going to going to race like that we had a very good chance to win."
   "We are going to go back to NHMS in September with our own car. I already have something planned for that so I am looking forward to that. Right now we will just look forward to the True Value stuff."

Dwight Jarvis
   Dave Pinkham ran on the back bumper of Dwight Jarvis for many laps. “Dave and I have always been great friends. He is fun to race with he is a clean driver. I would run aside him, behind him or in front of him any time."
   After incident with penalization - “You cannot keep thinking about that. We let it go and kept working on the car to make it better. We had a lot of people here tonight. Some of my old crew and everything just worked out right. We have been getting help from different people, particularly Brad LaFountaine a ton. I am real good friends with him and. So everything has been working good. "
   "The boys (the crew) like to come up here. They like to stay tonight and party. Bonnie and I are on vacation. We had it easy getting here today and left our camper in Naples, ME. at the campground. We left the camper and the boat. We will go back and let the boys have a good time. I will be taking next week off from racing. We will pull the motor and send it down to North Carolina."

David Pinkham
   "It matters how everybody did at Seekonk on Wednesday night if they had enough time to prepare or not. You put the races that close together and you only have one car and if you do not feel one hundred percent prepared to come to the track if have to make a decision whether it is worth the trip up here or not."
   Experience at Oxford Plains – “Yes I raced a full season here pro stocks and I have races the 250 years back when the pro stocks were doing it.”

Andy Seuss
   “In these True Value races the competitors are getting tougher and tougher since I have been gone. So I we are just happy to be running up front with them. “

Rob Goodenough
  "I think that we just missed the setup a little bit. I really did not really drive it all that hard in the beginning I think and then the thing (car) just got real free underneath. I do not know if we just did not have the setup quite right. I do not have a whole lot of laps around this track. We did a whole lot of guessing here. We made some changes earlier that I did not like and we changed it back. So we were pretty much back to the way that we brought the car. I think that we just missed a little bit on the setup. I think we ended up about eight and I am very happy with it. We took some notes to come back here next year with."

SourceDenise DuPont /
Posted: July 18, 2009


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