JON MCKENNEDY FINDS WINNING COMBINATION FOUR FOR NINE
McKennedy Continues His Forward
Momentum at Beech Ridge Speedway
by Denise DuPont
On Saturday, August 8th, the True Value Modified Racing Series (TVMRS)
headed to Maine for the second time this year. Racing teams headed northeast
this time to Beech Ridge Speedway for 100 laps of side by side racing. As
race day started fans filled the grandstands as teams and cars filled the
pits. Intermission time brought the track’s famous “Bunny Bus” with its
mascot Speedy, out to entertain children and family alike. When the bus
exited the pit’s it set the stage for the Series modified cars to follow the
bus out on the track.
For the fourth time this year Jon McKennedy brought the
“Power Mist” sponsored #73 car across the finish line first for a True Value
Modified Racing (TVMRS) Series win. McKennedy emerged from victory lane all
smiles and proud of the teams accomplishments.
“It has been a good season, said McKennedy. “All year it has been going good
so far, “Knock on Wood”. The car has been good right off the trailer. Today
it was a little bit off but we adjusted the car and got it much better. I
McKennedy started the race in eighteenth since he was the
winner of the last TVMRS race. But McKennedy did not hang around the back of
the pack very long as he made his way to the leaders. “As far as in the
race, the car was just awesome. The first sixty laps we were kind of just
riding around taking the positions easy without hurting the tire too much.
At the end we still had some tires left. The last twenty laps the thing
(car) was hooked up. That is really the deal.”
Maine’s home town and track favorite David Pinkham took the
checkered flags at the finish line second behind McKennedy. “The car might
have fallen off a little bit but McKennedy and hid dad do a real good job.
They have a real good car. The kid (Jon McKennedy) has a lot of talent and
they have really done their homework. I cannot take anything away from him
because he is a great competitor and I am very happy for him.”
Pinkham had one of the fastest cars on the track and his
family was there to celebrate his birthday and a potential win. Was Pinkham
disappointed with a runner up finish? “Not really because I still think that
we put on a good show. That is what we need to focus on. Put on a good show
to get the people coming back. It is not always about winning. I think that
we have a good group here. Our goal was to put on a good show and I think
that we did.”
Dwight Jarvis has managed to keep his smile overcoming the
challenges he has been dealt this year. But through it all, his
sportsmanship and dedication to the sport have continued to earn Jarvis a
place in the end with the leaders. Jarvis had the fastest car during the
race which earned him another stellar finish as he rounded up the top three.
“We are going good. If we did not get that 100 points stripped away
from us we would be second place in points but that is the way that it goes.
We will fight our way back from there.”
The drivers do notice the crowd and fans and how the track
racing is being perceived. Beech Ridge on Saturday night was packed with
fans as was the pits with race teams. “I like this track. Oxford, Beech
Ridge these are nice tracks up here. You get a good bunch of fans. I am just
glad that we can put on a good show for them.”
Veteran racer Carl Pasteryak proved that he still had what it
takes when it comes towards modified racing. He dominated the first heat
race and took home his first TVMRS pole of the season. On lap twenty-five
Pasteryak spun and had to start all over from the back of the pack.
Pasteryak used his skill and years of experience to find his way back to the
leaders and his efforts earned him a fourth place finish in the end. “I have
always liked running here. I have had some medium success here and this is
the most success that I have had here in quite some time. I did run some
Modified Tour races here. We came we ran good, but we were never this good.
Sometimes we did not qualify so it was kind of mixed emotions that we finish
The TVMRS founder and regular competitor, Jack Bateman,
rounded off the top five finishers in his familiar red #17 modified car.
Bateman is currently ninth in point standings and this finish brings them a
little closer to the top. ”I am pretty happy with the finish.”
But the Bateman team has had both its ups and downs this year
and not every race has been kind. “We struggle just like everybody else. I
guess that we just struggle a little better. We have always liked Beech
Ridge. We also have gone pretty well here. They are real nice people. We
have a great time when we come here and the fans are awesome. We had a good
This Saturday, August 15th, the TVMRS will be back in CT for
the “2nd Annual Wings 'n Wheels” event at Waterford Speedbowl. Again this
year, 210 laps of open wheel racing is planned as four divisions (ISMA,
NEMA, SK, TVMRS) converge on the fast 3/8 mile paved oval. Qualifying is
planned for 5:00 PM and racing is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM.
Beech Ridge Speedway Race Notes:
Has the #73 team been doing their home work this year?
“I think that I have improved a lot as a driver this year,” said
McKennedy about his TVMRS success and point lead. “What I need in a modified
in these 100 lap races. What I need to make it run good in these 100 laps I
have figured it out. We also have almost two years of notes from all these
tracks and that makes a huge difference. There is no more guessing on setups
on what to do for the race. Now we have notes on the setup from last year
and the year before. So far this year it has been working out great.”
Is Jon McKennedy looking to move up for the TVMRS to another race
division right now?
“Where I am now, I am having fun. It is a great series. It is
affordable and we come with a few guys. It is good racing. As far as later
on, it is hard to say, now days it (moving to another division or series) is
tough. A lot of guys want money or big sponsorship. I am still young we will
see what happens. Maybe a ride will pop up in the future.”
David Pinkham has been competing with a very limited schedule on
the TVMRS this year after he started his run with the series successfully.
Is the economy all that is effect the team’s participation in racing?
“I have a tough time supporting the tour like I use to. The Maine
tracks and Lee had invited me to their speedways so that is what I did. I
came to support these guys and that is what I am doing right now.”
Will he run at any of the local tracks?
“I do not know. It is up to the car owner. So it should fall into
his hands really if we do any more racing after this. I do not know but my
next one may be the Claremont.”
After the race at Oxford Speedway the #28 team pulled their motor
and went off for a week of fun and relaxation. This week the team came back
refreshed and the #28 car continued their hard run on the track. The car
though returned to the track with an holder motor in the car. “The last time
we ran it was in 2001. You do not need a new motor up here, you just need
momentum to get around the track.”
The Pasteryak Racing Teams have competed in the as many modified
racing events as they can this year. Each week their crews, families and
friends are at a track with cars pristine and ready for racing. Carl took
spoke about the family’s racing this year.
“We have put together a little program for our racing company – my
brothers, my nephews and I. We have tried to do some things at places and
course the end result will be to get a little bit better everywhere. Chris
does not have to get much better he is doing pretty good. Sometimes his
driving style and mine are very similar. A lot of times he will not be as
good as he wants to be. Let’s say here or Monadnock or somewhere like that.
So we will try some things to see what we can do to get it better. We have
learned quite a lot doing that. He (Chris) has come up with some things
because he drives the car for Mr. Wayne Darling on the modified series. So
we have been able to put together some setups and some things to try and it
has worked out pretty good for us.”
This week at Beech Ridge there were twenty-six cars that showed up
to qualify for the main race event. After qualifying, the series sent two
from the field of cars home. On of the team that went home was a series
regular which traveled to compete from Beacon Falls, CT. That was a long way
to come and have your dream of a night of racing shattered. Starting a field
of twenty-four this year has led to the question of what can the tracks or
series do to help these drivers that do not qualify?
“We always ask the track owners about upping the purse so can start
more than twenty-four cars, said series founder Jack Bateman. “But it is up
to the racetrack. One of the teams that runs the series all the time and
another team. I went to both teams that did not make the race and gave them
$150 tonight for tow money. The #19 car said that they came here to have a
good time and had a good time. They did not want the tow money. We offered
it to him to take a little bit of the sting out of it. I think that they
would have much rather raced. But there is not anything we can do about”
Race Incident on Lap 79 while the race was under caution:
On lap 79 of the Beech Ridge race there was an incident that
involved the top three cars in the race. The event brought out a lot of
controversy on what caused it to happen and should the leaders get their
David Pinkham’s statement on what happened: “The car stalled. We
will call it that the car stalled.”
Dwight Jarvis’s statement on what happened: “He (David Pinkham) was
upset. He had put me up on the front stretch so I just given him a little
love tap over there and he jammed the brakes on. It was nothing.”
DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com