JON MCKENNEDY MAKES IT THREE OUT OF EIGHT
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
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
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."
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
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."
"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
“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. “
"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."
DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com