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Kirk Alexander Wins “Firecracker 100” MRS Race at Monadnock
by Denise DuPont

The Modified Racing Series (MRS) returned to Monadnock Speedway on Saturday, July 3rd with New Hampshire families and fans to celebrate the nation’s 234th birthday with a lot of ground pounding and fireworks.

Track favorite, Kirk Alexander, started the race sixth and did what he is know for; he drove his car hard and right to the front to capture the lead. He then held on to the top spot for the final 85 laps to dominate and win the Firecracker 100. “Our car was good all day. Even with old tires on this thing it just stuck. It was just awesome.”

The #43 A-Team has struggled this year with a car that they have not been able to zero in. It looks like the team has finally found the magic formula and there may be no stopping them now. “We found some problems with the car and we fixed them and this car is absolutely awesome to drive again. This thing is flawless. I mean it is just a ball to drive. We had a lot of car left at the end. We got up into the lapped traffic we took it easy. We got up to Rowan and Kenny and I did not have to go any further. So, I just pretty much stopped. I rode behind them.”

Alexander was so confident that his car was the best on the track that he was ready to go out and challenge second place finisher Jon McKennedy for a re-match. “Tell him to get the car off the stands and we will go out for another twenty. I will beat him again.”

There is no question that Alexander did have one of the best cars on the track, as it looked as though he just sat back with the car in overdrive and cruised. “I stopped at the last three laps, I had to, and I took it easy. I did not have to race anymore .No body could catch me. He (McKennedy) barely got back by Boniface. This thing (car) is just unreal. This car is back to how I remember it in ’05. This thing is absolutely awesome.

2009 MRS champion Jon McKennedy has continued his streak with better luck in what started out to be a challenging 2010 race season. McKennedy came into this race fifth in points after a strong third place finish at Thompson. “We definitely had a top five car and a car that could win,” said McKennedy from post-race inspection row and second place finish he snuck in under the wire.

Going into the race McKennedy knew he had a good car so it was just a matter of picking a winning strategy. He laid out his plan but in the end he was a little disappointed because his missed his mark. It was already lap 99 when McKennedy made a daring move to pass Jim Boniface for second. “I waited a little too late to make my move. I kept waiting because there is always a caution late in the race. Then the cautions did not come. I probably should have made my move earlier.”

Third place finisher, Jim Boniface, has just about as many laps on Monadnock Speedway as Kirk Alexander. His familiarity with the track and where you want to be to win played a major role in his race strategy. But McKennedy’s last lap pass left Boniface hanging out for a third place finish. “It was a heck of a move on his part (Jon McKennedy). I wish that I could have done it. That was good. He got me low going into three and it was a good clean pass. We did not touch or anything. He deserved it.”

Boniface definitely had a top five car and with his track experience he charged to the front to make a run for the lead. When the half-way signal was given Boniface was in second sitting behind Alexander and setting his sights on a great finish. “When I was running second behind him (Alexander) I was hoping that I could stay with him and have a good finish at the end. Maybe side by side or something across the start finish line.”

But in the end, Boniface who has mastered the weekly 50 lap race venue found himself a little short for a 100 lap race. “It did not work out. We really do not have it hooked down at the end of 100 laps. We do for 50 laps. The second fifty the tires just start to go away. We have to make some changes for that. It showed again tonight so this is something that we are going to have to deal with the next time that we run.”

Modified competitor, Chris Pasteryak, has recently made the decision to transition back to the MRS series. Pasteryak was the 2008 MRS champion and has found competition with the New England focused series a good fit and fun racing. “The pressure is off since we are out of the points. So we will take the rest of the year to figure it out and go get them next year. We are just going to race for the fun.”

Pasteryak struggled a little bit in the beginning to stay in the top five, but once he was there he was able to maintain himself there. “We miss it a little bit tonight. We were a little too free all night This is the first time that we haven’t had to push a front clip back over in a couple of so we will take it.”

Summarizing his first 2010 Monadnock race back with MRS series Chris Pasteryak was right there with the familiar Pasteryak confidence and smile. “Tonight was a lot of fun, it was uneventful, it was a good race and the car is in one piece.”

Veteran MRS racer Dwight Jarvis may have missed the mark on the car setup, but in the end his expertise yielded him a top five finish. “I think all and all it was a good race. We missed the setup a little bit and the car was a little loose at the end. So I was kind of hanging on at the end.”

Jarvis was ninth at half way as he paced himself on the track. He stayed in the top ten slowly making his way forward. In the end he questioned if his strategy may have been too laid back for the second half of the race. “I probably should have been a little more aggressive. I got held up by a couple of cars. I may have been a little bit too patient, guess that comes with age.”

So next Friday July 9th it will be onward to Lee USA Speedway for The Port City 100, see you there!

Monadnock Speedway MRS Race Notes:

Plans to run NWMT event at Monadnock Speedway on Saturday July 17th?

Kirk Alexander
“I am going to have to change a lot of stuff but I we will see.”

Jim Boniface
“We thought about it. We are waiting to hear from NASCAR if they are going to change the rules or allow us to make some changes to conform to their rules so we can run. So we are waiting and we will see what happens.”

Cautions are bad for the fans, but do cautions sometimes help the racer?

Jim Boniface
“Not having a lot of cautions probably did affect the car. It heated up the rear tires even more, that made it even worst. It was really hard to handle down there the last thirty laps.

Dwight Jarvis
“It might have but it is good for the fans when we do not have a lot of cautions. It shows that we can have a good, clean race.”

Racing in the Weekly Monadnock Modified Division

Kirk Alexander
“It has been a struggle. Last time we came back to a fifth. There are a lot of fast cars here. The last show, twenty-nine cars showed up. With that you have ten guys that can win a race here and they are all fast. It is tough here to win in fifty laps. You have to have a good starting spot. Jimmy (Boniface) won the last one. Chris Pasteryak won the second one. And I won the opener with the weekly series. Now that we have found some problems with this thing (#43 car) I am pretty sure we are good to go now. Todd Grandel is running really good. You have Vic Johnson that has stepped up his program this year. He is running really fast. The #04 of Dave Berube he is running pretty strong. Bryan Shumway he is pretty stout. You get all those guys and you have to work it through them because with the handicap you are starting back in twelfth or something it is tough to get up through there in fifty laps. And if you do you have earned it.

Dwight Jarvis
Have you participated in Weekly Racing at Monadnock at all?
“No I came down once last year and it was pretty rough. This series (MRS) is a good series to run on. It is held under control and they put a good show on down here. I am up to the age that running this thing eighteen to twenty shows a year is enough.”

“Everybody that races on this series gets along. If somebody has a problem, everybody is willing to help you with it. If you run weekly in a series somewhere at a track there just seems to be a lot of friction that just builds up.“

Source: Denise DuPont /
Posted: July 5, 2010

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