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Ken Barry Wins Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Race
by Denise DuPont

The Modified Racing Series continued their summer racing competition traveling to eastern Maine and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. The track is a one-third oval that is racy and provided a lot of challenges for drivers and teams alike. I think that Veteran Charlie Pasteryak summed it up the best after Heat Racing completed. “Wow that is a tough one. I will let you know how it is when I figure the track out.”

But talented Ken Barry who has been here years ago with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) had a plan. And he was more than ready to try it out when race time came around. He knew his car was good after practice so it was a matter of reigning in the driver (himself) and keeping in control the desire to jump to the front too fast. “We held the car back for a while. We had a plan. We had a pretty good car today and we new that after practice. It was just up to us to make the right calls come feature time and not screw it up.”

“I told the guys on the radio before the race,” said Barry in inspection. “If you see me out there getting too anxious, pull me in a little bit”. Because I got carried away at Oxford (Plains Speedway) and I ruined a good car. I burned it up.”

But holding back and containing the desire to go forward for the lead is tough. Particularly when you know you have to make the right decision when it is time to go. Barry held on and just after half way the time was right and there was no stopping him “About lap sixty I was kind of getting a little anxious. I knew who was coming and I figured if I could get by Jon (McKennedy) myself I was better off than having to fight with Dwight and those guys. That was when we tried to turn it up a little.”

“We were getting loose a little bit at the end,” Ken Barry said after the race. “I used a lot of the car up trying to get by Jon. I knew that they were coming and I was trying not to over drive the car and give them the opening to go. Then I saw that lapped traffic and I was kind of used that as my saving grace. I got up on the outside of them and said alright if they want to go through they have to go by me.”

Veteran Dwight Jarvis crossed the finish line second which was almost an instant replay of the last race. He made a hard charge at the end of the race but had to settle for a second place finish. Once again the lead position was just out of his reach.” It was a replay of last week,” said Jarvis from Victory Lane ceremonies. “I got held up some, the same as last week. If I could have broken out the car a little quicker I think that I could have had this one.”

“The car went real good tonight. The boys worked real hard on the car. One of these days we are going to get one. We are going to break out some. We had a fast race car but we did not win it.” And when Jarvis made his crafty moves at the end, it really looked like he had a real chance for the win. But he ran out of both time and room on the track.

A second place finish at a fast track where drivers all have their sights on the win is not shabby. At lot of drivers had trouble during the race and Jarvis was one of them who were able to regroup and recover to go forward. “I think that it was a real good race. We had a little trouble in the fifty lap mark getting the cautions off. Other than that we had some good long runs. That is what this series is about getting some good long runs.”

This was Mike Holdridge’s second race since he was able to buy a new motor and return back with the series to race. And race he has done. Since he has returned, he definitely has had a strong top five car. And being beat at the end of the race two times in a row but Dwight Jarvis is not something to be ashamed of.

It was really amazing during the race to watch how Holdridge was able to grab onto that outside groove and just hold the car there for either position or to pass. But in the end the ability to take advantage of the outside was not enough. When the lead cars came up to lapped traffic, the additional challenge was too much and a podium finish was Holdridge’s in the end. “It was good race. It was a lot of fun. The outside was the only place to be. And for me the outside groove was where I needed to be. At the end I was outside and I had one shot at it. Lapped traffic came along and I just went for it. Dwight got me again on the last lap. I guess the lapped traffic helped him out. So the lapped traffic just came up at the wrong time that is all.”

A third place finish, though a little disappointing, did not take away from the Holdridge’s racing spirit and determination. “I love the track. This is I think the second time I am here. I have a second and third here now. We are getting closer. A win is just knocking on our door. And let’s hope it keeps up that way. We are going to Waterford next and I like that place. I look at all the good things. It all comes down to the luck of the draw. A good starting spot and we will take it one race at a time.”

Second Generation driver Todd Annarummo came to Beech Ridge after a recent big win at Seekonk Speedway where he claimed the $10,000 purse at an Open Wheel Wednesday Modified race. His took off where he left off charging to the front with as much forward momentum as he could muster up. “I was just patient during the race and took what I could get when I could get it. I do not feel that I rode around in the back at all. I took as took as much as I could get when I could get it and we worked our way up through the field.”

Annarummo was all smiles in the after race pit party very happy with his fourth place finish. “I am happy. We started seventeenth and came up through the field. The starting position hurt us because we had a really good car. Especially with about twenty to go we were on the outside and I though that we really had a shot at going forward. Then about ten to go the car got free. I am happy I will take this fourth all day long.”

Les Hinckley on the other hand, was sure that he had the car to beat after being the fastest car during practice. But during his Heat Race, Lady Luck was not on his side. Luckily in the end though, he was able to shake of the misfortunes being dealt to him to go forward for a fifth place finish. “It is frustrating. We were fastest in practice all day and we drew well. Then the race track was not in good condition for the start of our heat race. We just got freight trained to the back, which put us in a bad spot to start the race. But stuff just happens.”

After several pit stops and being put to the rear for tapping the rear of another car during hard racing, Hinckley was persistent and went forward.. “It is just an indication of how fast the race car was today. And what it was capable of after it was bent up. It is frustrating but I am happy we recovered well. It is tough though to walk away happy when you know how good it (the car) was and how good it should have been. “

But sometime you learn you just have to take the hand that you are dealt and make the best of it. “Sometime s things play out and you end up in a bad situation and stuff happens,” Said Hinckley about the race. “Other times you have it clean and you look like a hero. It was a tough race and it worked out not too bad in the end. So we will take it and move on.”

The MRS teams headed home from Maine to prepare for next week and another small challenging track. Next Saturday teams will migrate to the Connecticut shoreline at the three-eighths mile track of Waterford Speedbowl. See you there next Saturday, August 14th.

Race Notes from Beech Ridge Motor Speedway:

Top five drivers thoughts on the track itself, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway:

Ken Barry
“I love Beech Ridge I have been here with the Whelen tour a couple of times with my father’s car. It is a tricky race track. It is not an easy track to drive it is technical. You have to do a lot with your feet and your hands. I like those kinds of race tracks. They are fun when the cars are right. When you have a car like this it is fun to drive here.”

Dwight Jarvis
“I like these Maine tracks. They are different and unique. They have their own special things that they do.”

Todd Annarummo
“This track is fun. It is similar to Oxford Plains (Speedway). It is a momentum track like Seekonk. You never get you foot to the floor and you never take more than a quarter off it. You just keep the momentum. It is fun it is a real racy track.”

Les Hinckley
“The race track was fine come race time. It is just that all day in practice nobody is up in the upper groove for the most part. Then all the cars are coming out of the pit area dragging dirt with them. And the cars come out into turn three and into four in the upper groove. We were the first race of the night. When we came out the bottom groove was black with rubber and the upper groove was brown with dirt. And that was where we started. By the time the first heat race got finished it was not too bad. The first car in the first heat race in that lane and it was just awful. Maybe before we started they could have run some cars out there to blow that groove. But it really put us in a bad spot. It was in really bad shape for that first heat race.”

Dwight Jarvis is the leader in Points for the MRS Coming out of this race. His thoughts:

“They said I was in the lead after tonight. I do not keep track of it. It feels good but we still have a long way to go. I would like to be on top again at the end of the year.”

Source: Denise DuPont /
Posted: August 8, 2010

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