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   The Chrome Horn - Modified Racing Series



Pasteryak returns to Hometrack and Takes Win
by Denise DuPont

The Valenti Modified Racing Series opened up their 2011 season at Waterford Speedbowl with twenty-seven VMRS teams ready to drive spring in with their ground pounding machines.

In the end, Chris Pasteryak brought the family’s #5CT modified to victory lane turning around last year’s fourteenth place finish, a result of a hard crash into front stretch wall. “Last year the car was junk and this year we are in victory lane. What a difference a year makes. It was a heck of a lot of fun racing with Doug.”

“That was the most fun that I have had racing in a while, “said Pasteryak as he reflected on the race. “You can trust Doug he is a good clean driver. It felt like a cat and mouse game. He would get you to the outside and see how hard you could go. He tried it for a couple of laps, backed off and then he’s see how much I had. Neither of us were messing with each other. It was almost like we were sizing each other up.”

After Coby passed him and had a commanding lead, Pasteryak ran through his strategy in his head. “Then I thought, I should not let him go. I should have raced him harder and made him work harder. Because that is all I got and I cannot catch him. Then all of a sudden his car got real loose and mine stayed.”

When Coby hesitated on lap 86, Pasteryak saw the opportunity and took advantage of the situation to charge to the lead. With his last victory at Seekonk (MA) Speedway in August 2009, the talented second generation racer drove hard to end his dry spell. “The last five laps he started driving away from me a little bit. Then he went into turn one and got really, really loose and the door just kind of opened up. I really did not want to loose the lead at all. I was trying pretty hard to keep it. I do not know if someone was leaking or not. He went down and he almost spun out. He did a heck of a job to save it. He made it look easy I guess but it was hard work.”

Pasteryak had a smile from ear to ear as he spoke about the race. It turned out there was more to this victory than the win. “I admit it kind of felt good. He put a heck of a move coming out of two a couple of years ago. Then he proceeded to post the video clip on his website this week. So it kind of felt good to get him back a little bit.”

Doug Coby on the other hand came into the opening race with plans to make it three out of three. Just when he thought he had the win within his grasp, it appears that Pasteryak’s series experience along with a good car were the right combination to beat Coby. “He (Chris Pasteryak) had a great car and that is what happens. He was better in the beginning and in the end he was a little better than I was. I am happy to be in one piece. We will be back at Stafford that is our next MRS race.”

Coby reflected on lap 86 pass. “I do not want to say that I drove it (the car) in too hard, it just got loose. I was like let me try and save it and keep him behind me. Then when I squeezed back on the gas it (car) did not come off the corner how I expected and he was already under me. So I just really let him go down the backstretch. I thought I would at least tuck in behind him and rattle his bumper or something but he pulled away. He just had a better car at the end. That is it.”

The two leaders had a fun time racing each other with the thought of the win in the back of their mind. As the laps ticked off, the leaders competed side by side or nose to bumper very evenly matched. “Even when Chris and I were side by side, do not think that ether of us were really pushing it,” said Coby about the race. “I was seeing where my car would go and what it liked and what it didn’t. When I realized that he had a little better car then me, I thought that I better get by him now. I knew at lap 95 I would not be able to because he saved his stuff,”

As Coby raced Pasteryak he observed and sized up his main competition. Knowing that his car may not be the best, Coby did what he could to develop a strategy to overcome any gaps. “I saw the way his car was reacting it was going to be better than mine. So I said let me try and get up front and maybe it will go from green to checker from here. And maybe I can roll away a little bit and it was actually working in my favor for a while. After that last caution (Lap 63) all of our cars changed a little bit. I noticed a lot more rubber all over the race track. I noticed that my left front had rubber pieces spitting off it every where. It definitely changed things a little bit. It did not help me.” In the end Coby had to settle for second as he crossed the finished line behind Pasteryak.

2010 Rookie Todd Annarummo started seventh, drove forward and crossed the finish line with a podium finish. “We had brand new car today with its first time on the track this week. So with a brand new car I wanted to roll it on the back of the trailer at the end of the day after the 100 laps. I will take the third place finish.”

Annarummo conserved his tires after making it up to third and then sat back and watched the leaders waiting for one wrong move. The move did come but when it came there was not enough tires left on the #12 car for hard racing. “Until lap 75 I was coasting and just riding around. I saw the leaders getting real racy and I figured that I was in the best position at that point. Then after that last caution I figured it was time to go racing and my left front tire would not stay on the track. All I could do was wait and pick up the pieces if they got into it because I did not have anything for them. So I am not sure what happened to the tire but with the amount of laps that both of those guys have here, I am happy to come out with a third.”

In the end, Chris Pasteryak summarized the Budweiser Blast the best: “Today was kind of a strange race. There was a big pile up and we had a massively long green flag, then the next thing that you now it was over”

The next MRS event is scheduled for Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH. on April 30th.p

Waterford Speedbowl Race Notes:

Thoughts on the series returning back to the softer compound tires used by the series in 2008 and 2009:

Chris Pasteryak
“They look good. They still felt pretty good. It is kind of typical with these softer tires you have to baby them a little bit and you have to think about it. And when somebody takes the lead, it is not a guarantee that they are going to drive away. They might come back. It is the same compound we drove in 2008 and 2009. Last year it was a harder tire. They brought it back to that compound to try to bring back a little bit if the guy is driving away, he might actually burn it up. He is not going to keep driving away. That was the plan. I do not know if it really worked or not.”

Doug Coby
“These are the tires from two years ago so it is not like nobody has run before. It was last year when they switched tires and those tires lasted up the whole race. You could get going a lot harder on them and they would stay under you at a track like this. You could probably run them real hard. That is why Steve Masse stayed up front he whole time.”

Todd Annarummo
“I think that it is going to be beneficial for us. My dad won a bunch of races with them and at the Wednesday Open Show last year at Seekonk It was the tire that we raced there and I won that race. So we kind of have an upper hand knowing what to do and how to work with them.”

Rowan Pennink
“I like the tires that we ran last year better because you could race the whole race. If you start driving hard on these tires at the beginning of the race you are not going to have anything at the end. So with these tires you just drive around and someone might pass someone here or there. So you cannot race the whole time.”
“On the tires last year you could race the whole race and at the end you would still have tires. I am fine with either type of tire.”

Tommy Barrett
“The tires were different. I am not use to saving tires. So I was just trying to save tires until about thirty to forty to go. Then I started to go and I finished in pretty good shape.”

Qualifying procedure Change

The VMRS introduced a new method to calculate how driver qualified in Heat Races. Here is a summary of the new rules:
1. Heat races are lined up by draw.
2. Each driver will receive a plus-minus value based on their assigned starting position and
finish in their heat race.
3. Drivers that earn qualified positions in the heat will use their +plus or -minus value as
their handicap or the feature lineup.
4. Tiebreaker #1: Ties are broken by highest finish in the heat.
5. Tiebreaker #2: If drivers are still tied after tiebreaker #1, the tie will be broken
based on heat race order.

Chris Pasteryak
“I thought that the new procedure was great, I pulled a bad number passed some cars in the heat and I got to start second in the feature and won. Talk to me when I pull a really good number and I have to start fifteenth in the feature and I might say the exact opposite.”
“I thought that it worked good. You know what, the best cars seem to end up in the front no
matter what.”

Doug Coby
“It is nice to be rewarded for racing in a heat race. Everybody says that this series has heat races and it is so great. From my experience prior to this new way of doing it I did not think heat races were all that great,. I just thought it was just kind if a waste of laps on the tires and that nobody really raced. It is not like it was not a great show for the fans At least now, everybody knows if you start towards the middle or the back of your heat race you could start on the pole. If it is a track where it does matter where you start you can go hard in your heat race. These guys have a lot of short tracks coming up that have grip and some do not have grip. I tell you what if I were at Lee Speedway I would like to maybe start on the pole and set my own pace up front and not have to race anybody. I think that it will work for them. I think that it is a cool thing that they did.”

Todd Annarummo
“Running the whole series I think that it is a big plus, because the top six qualify in each heat. So if you start on the pole, you are in the show. At some of the tracks that we go to where we have forty of fifty cars and if you draw one you know you are going to start in the back in the show. Where if you do draw a bad number and start in the back and you do go to other tracks you might not get into the show. It was real tough. Not at least it rewards the racing. I think that it is a positive.”

Rowan Pennink
“I think that it works quite good. If you have a good car then you can pass cars and that will get you starting further up front no matter where you finish. I like it.”

2011 VMRS Rookie
The competition for the 2011 Rookie Award began at Waterford. Rookie Tim Jordan was  involved in an early accident and did not complete the race. While another rookie, Tommy  Barrett, traded his SK Light for an VMRS car and finished the race seventh.

Tommy Barrett
“It was a good run. On lap 15 we got piled up in a wreck. We got a right front flat. We went in and changed it then came out. About lap 60 we found the high line and it was fast.”
“We were just trying to keep the nose clean and not wreck it. Getting a top ten made it a lot better.”
“Moving from twentieth to seven we go the hard charger, the highest finishing rookie. I was happy to finish and run with Coby, Pasteryak and Pennink. It was great to finish running with those guys. I am happy with that.”

Did lapped traffic impact Coby’s run for the win?

Doug Coby
You never know with lapped traffic because those guys are racing for position there. I do not know what position that they were running in there. You never know who there spotter is and they are going to say here is the leader behind you. And he is lapping you on lap 98 or 99 so you better move over. They all moved and that was nice of most of them. Lapped traffic cannot do anything so I was just trying to stay as close as I could in case he did get bottled up I would have thrown it in and tried to do something. But I could not do anything.

Fourth place Finisher:

Rowan Pennink
“We had a real good car all weekend. We just had the spin mishap, big wreck there and had to come from the back there. I think that we would have been all right coming from the back, but we just did not catch the cautions that we needed. We ended up fourth. It is a brand new car and I did not test it or anything.”
“I am happy with a fourth. I think that we would have had a car to beat if we did not have to go to the back there.”

Fifth place Finisher:

Les Hinckley

“We went pretty far forward. We went from twenty-fourth to fifth. The it (Car) started to skip again. That was when we went backwards. Then it cleared up for a while and we came back forward. Then it started to skip again and that was pretty much where our progress stopped at that point. We got a couple cars after it was skipping. It did not seem to skip as bad when the race pace slowed down. It is still fighting something. It was not as quite as bad today as it was yesterday.”
“We have to work on it and fix the car. We do not need to fix more than what is wrong with the car. We need to get it to run right rather than to fix stuff that gets ripped off of it. Fifth place is a good run considering everything. Had the motor been right we would have had something for them. It is hard saying not knowing.”

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: April 6, 2011

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