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'Part 3 - 2010 MRS' by Richie Grodski

The Modified Racing Series found a new sponsor for the 2010 season and became
the "Modified Racing Series sponsored by Bob Valenti Automall.com". The 2009 15
race schedule grew to 20 events in 2010, although one was a combo event with the
RoC Modifieds and the other had a rain out bringing the total to 18. A total of 72 racers
ran laps in the popular modified touring series. Only 3 drivers qualified and ran all of the series races; Jon McKennedy, Les Hinckley and Jacob Dore and to be at the top,
making all races is important in any series. There were 2 NASCAR Whelen drivers,
Rowan Pennink (6th) and Eric Goodale (16th) competing in the series. Pennink (2 wins)
was only 121 from 1st place, but he had missed 2 races in the series or he would have
had a Top 5 overall  and Goodale only raced 8 races but did get 1 win for the year.
There were 12 different winners in 2010, which shows how competitive this series has become. For those who have not made it to a MRS event, make do in 2011. Qualifying heats and a consi make the feature field line-up and this makes for quite a day of racing.

2009's champ, Jon McKennedy, did a repeat in 2010. 4 wins, 1-2nd and 3-3rd's put
Jon on top in the series. With only 3 bad races for the year, McKennedy was always
capable of winning no matter what track he was racing at. The 23 year old veteran,
yes veteran, has run Tiger Sprints, Mini Sprints, 350 Super Modifieds, ISMA Super Modifieds, Whelen Tour Modifieds and MRS Modifieds in his short career. With the
varied rides he has had over the last few years, this has made Jon a contender in
whatever class he runs. After bad finishes at Airborne and Thunder Road at the
beginning of the season, Jon went on a tear racking up points with only 1 bad
finish for the rest of the season. Jon finished out 2010 with a comfortable 63 point
lead over 2nd place. I can't see Jon being out of the Top 3 in any series or class
he decides to run. The kid just has talent.

Dwight Jarvis, although not running in 2 races, still managed to pull a 2nd in the
final points in 2010. The clever veteran grabbed 1 win, 3-2nd's and 2-3rd's on his way
to the top. Honestly, if Dwight made all the shows in 2010, he could have been the
series' champion. Jarvis only had one bad finish all year and was usually in the thick
of things at every race. Dwight probably has run more laps and races then anyone else
in the series, even back racing a few Whelen Tour races (15) when NASCAR started
their touring series in 1985 (stats through 1995). The man sure knows how to get
around a race track. There's not much more to say about this well tuned racer. He's
done it all and sure looks like he will continue to be on top of his game. I believe
Dwight still has a championship or 2 left in him with the Modified Racing Series
and we will see what 2011 brings to the #28 team.

Les Hinckley garnered 2 wins and 1-2nd place finish in 2010. Les ran the whole
schedule but just couldn't grab enough points to win the championship (only 72 points
out). The #06 could be fast anywhere but a few non lucky nights took some precious
points away from his championship run. Great runs at Airborne, Thompson,
Seekonk, Twin State and Beech Ridge were marred by bad finishes at Canaan,
Monadnock and 2 Waterford's. Les is a great driver, 2010 was just not his year.
Hinckley has always been a championship contender in the Modified Racing Series
and I can't see that changing in the near future. In fact I can see Les stepping it up
next year and bettering his season ending point finish. Consistency is the name
of the game here. Cleaning up those bad finishes will be a key to the #06
in 2011.

Steven Masse had an overall average year in 2010. Masse grabbed 3 wins, 1-2nd
and 2-3rd's on route to his 4th place point finish. Despite missing 1 race, Masse
actually had an up/down racing season. Only McKennedy had 1 more win then the #13 team. Masse was another driver who had enough to be a winner anywhere he raced,
but poor finishes at Stafford, Beech Ridge, Airborne, Seekonk and Monadnock all but
took away that shot at the championship, or 2nd or 3rd place for that matter. Just a bit
of Lady Luck would have thrown Masse into the Top 3. When he shined, he shined
brightly. With great runs at Twin State, Waterford and Seekonk, besides his 3 wins at Thunder Road, Waterford and the season finale at Lee USA, Masse showed he has
the ability to turn up the wick. Steven has a great future ahead and I would count
on the #13 team in victory lane again a few times in 2011.

5th place Ken Barry had a good season in his first full Modified Racing Series
schedule. Although Ken missed 1 race in the 2010 season, he grabbed 1 win, 1-2nd
and 1-3rd place finish in his 2010 run in the series. Barry had run many NASCAR
Whelen Tour races prior to moving over to the Modified Racing Series. This is
always a plus when running other modified touring series'. Great runs at 1 Lee
USA race and also at Thunder Road showed Barry can run with the best. The #2
team is another team needing consistency. Missing 1 race and bad finishes at
Monadnock, Waterford and 1 Lee USA kept Ken out of the Top 3 in points.
If Ken decides to run the full 2011 Modified Racing Series, better finishes will
be had. It kinda looked like a learning year for this series for the #2 team
and I think they will be in the Top 5 again next year.

Rounding out the Top 10 were:
Rowan Pennink - 2 wins in 2010 and if he runs the full series, could be a champion
Todd Annarummo - 1 win and if he can get consistent, Top 5's will come
Max Zachem - great potential, one to watch in 2011
Rob Goodenough - just not enough after a stellar 2009 run
Jacob Dore - ran every race and just needs some luck

Next week will be 'Part 4 - 2010 RoC'.
Have a great week.


Source: Richie Grodski/TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: December 15, 2010

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