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   The Chrome Horn - Modified Racing Series



by Denise DuPont

On Saturday, February 27th, the Modified Racing Series (MRS) officially announced that an agreement had been reached with Bob Valenti as the title sponsor for the series 2010 race season. An MRS meeting was held at the First Annual Racer’s Expo at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough, MA. Thanks to sponsors such as Viveiros Insurance and Hoosier Racing Tires, attendance was free for fans, drivers, mechanics and race teams alike.

   There were approximately 100 people present for the MRS meeting. Once again this year, series founder, Jack Bateman, facilitated the meeting with the series team members supporting him.

   Bateman revealed the series new logo and then welcomed the new title sponsor on board. Bob Valenti, business Vice President, is very enthusiastic about becoming part of the series as its title sponsor. Being in both the car business and having employees that race are factors that influenced his investment decision for the series. “Cars have been my life and our family. We have an excited about racing and felt it was a good series to get involved in. Jack (Bateman) is a good guy and runs a good series and we just thought that it might be great to be a part of that.”

  “I have a lot of employees that are involved in racing too,” said Valenti. “Dennis (Perry) races and I have other employees that follow it and about it so I figured it ties everybody right in to it. So we thought it would be a good opportunity for us.”
The family owned and operated Bob Valenti AutoMall business is based in Mystic, CT., and Westerly, R.I., and specializes in new and pre-owned vehicle sales and service. “We have one in Westerly, RI, a Toyota and Subaru. Then the main auto mall which is in Mystic is Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Volkswagen dealership. And we also have Volkswagen down in Old Saybrook, CT. So we have a few locations.”

   Once the Sponsorship official announcement was completed, the meeting continued with series business and announcements. Long time sponsor, John Holland, Sunoco New England Race Fuel representative, outlined the fuel plan for 2010 and Sunoco’s continued commitment to MRS. The new gas program will start with the third race of the season at Monadnock. With a formal gas program in place, Holland stated that he will work with teams on price and supply to make the plan work for all.

   Bateman finished off the meeting by provided a high level overview of series rule changes and announcements that covered some of the following areas:
- Helmets
- Roof Amendment
- Tire rules and the change to a 30 left and 45 right tire
- Qualifying and starting field procedures.
   Bateman, noted that the official rule book will be posted to the MRS website shortly.

   As February comes to an end, we are all counting the days until racing begins. The roar of 2010 spring thunder will start in New England as the MRS return to Waterford Speedbowl as part of the track’s Budweiser Blastoff Weekend.
So get ready to put those snow shovels away and get your race gear out.


  Getting involved as the MRS title sponsor is a major commitment to racing. But has Valenti himself attended a lot of the race events?
“No, I have not but I will from now on. I go to some of the Waterford Speedbowl races because we have sponsored them for the last ten years or better with a pace car. Now I will start going to these races. I know that my guys do. I know that Dennis does. And I am sure that I will get more involved that way.”

   With the economy down and car sales down, could this sponsorship be an opportunity with a win-win situation for both the series and the Valenti family?
   “I think so. We try to keep our name out there as many places as we can and I know that race fans are very loyal to their sponsors and all. We try to support them and I am sure that they in turn will try to support us as well.”

   This year Stafford Speedway, another Connecticut race track was added to the schedule for the Modified Racing Series. So how important to Valenti AutoMall was the plan for six Connecticut based MRS races this race season?
   “I guess it is important because it is Connecticut and our name is known around in Connecticut. But it is all of New England. So it is good to keep our name out there around New England. And Waterford Speedbowl is right local to us too.”

   How did the deal between MRS and Bob Valenti AutoMall come about?
 Valenti was quick to answer this: “Dennis (Perry) who races and has worked for me for twenty years kind of put it together with Mark.” Mark J. Hann, President and CEO of Victory MotorSports Marketing Services, LLC, is the newly named marketing specialist for the Modified Racing Series.

“Dennis had contacted me via e-mail back the first week of December and one thing led to another,” said Hann. “We had a few meetings and it all came about. They saw the opportunity coming on board in the series and it all came together.”

As the Business Development Manager of Bob Valenti AutoMall, Perry was key to bringing his employer and the series together. Coming from a family of racers, Perry was looking for a new marketing opportunity for the business. “The True Value Series was an excellent series. And I have been racing for years and years. When I found out that it (MRS Title Sponsorship) was available and I saw that they had signed Stafford (Speedway), I went to Rob and told him that I thought it was a phenomenal opportunity for our dealerships to get into.”

   "The old True Value was an excellent value. There is a lot of exciting racing and a lot of cars. It fits right in with what we have with our dealerships. We have a lot of exciting cars and we sell a great value. That is reflected in one of our slogans. “Money means Value”. So it is a phenomenal tie together. I think that you will see an excellent marketing relationship here.”

   Will Perry, a racer himself, bring a new race team to the MRS?
   “I am looking for a ride right now. I am working on it. Right now, my plan is Thompson, Stafford and Waterford. Just three shows. Hopefully more, but that is what I am working on for right now.”

Source: Denise DuPont / The
Posted: February 28, 2010

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