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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series




Twenty-Nine Minutes to Win It
by Denise DuPont

On Friday, Jane 8th, the Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS) went to eastern New Hampshire to the 3/8 mile high-banked oval of Lee USA Speedway. The series competed in fast pace racing action as they managed to dodge heavy rain showers plaguing the area all around the track. With only one caution, the teams may have made a new record for themselves completing the race in twenty-nine minutes.

2008 Champion Chris Pasteryak started the race in seventh and passed for the lead on lap 53. He maintained in his lead as the laps clicked off and was the first to cross the finish line when the checkers flew. This was Pasteryak’s second win for the 2011 race season.

“Good thing that it (the race) was not too much longer because I think that we had something going on with the motor,” said Pasteryak from victory lane. “The thing was only running on seven cylinders. It definitely got a little bit worse as the race went along. Hopefully we find something simple before Canaan. But tonight I really think that it helped us rather than hurt us.”

Pasteryak has broken his wrist and has had many challenges in the past at Lee USA Speedway. A win and running up front was a nice change for his track experience. “That was the most fun that I ever had at Lee. Normally I do not run up front here.”

He made several attempts to pass for second as the race approached the half way mark. He got down on the bottom of the track and made what appeared to be the moves needed to pass but second place runner Louie Mechalides held on strong. Each time he failed, Pasteryak would settle back in third while he regrouped. Finally giving it his all, Pasteryak managed not only to take second but also the lead spot on lap 53. “That was as fast as the car could go at that point. That was why I could not quite finish the deal, but as it was it worked out alright. Hopefully it was a decent show for the fans and it (the race) did not take too long. Wow, of all nights for the series not to have a Victory Lane. But we got the show in any ways and that is what is important.”

Dwight Jarvis has been getting better at each race this year and is looking forward to his first win. But at Lee it was not his time to be number one. His second place finish though will hopefully bring him closer to his 2011 goal to be in victory lane. “We have been getting better and better here. The car was real good tonight. We did a lot of work on it in between the heat and the main race. They had it (the car) real good and if we had a yellow I night have had something for Chris. Getting around a lap car I got into the backstretch wall and it kind of freed it up at the end.”

Defending track champion Jon McKennedy started the race in the rear of the field after his win last week at Monadnock Speedway. With the fast paced race at Lee and only one caution, the race was certainly a challenging one for McKennedy who was looking to make it two in a row. “The race kind of stunk. It was a short race. With only one caution and starting nineteenth we lost it in a couple of ways. Racing here it is tough. You just have to ride around to save the tires. We got back up to third but we wished we had another caution up towards the end. But it was not meant to be.”

So to ensure he would have a chance to run for the win, McKennedy’s saved his tires for the end. He has a lot of laps at Lee which makes him aware that in the end there you need rubber to win. “The track is just worn out. There is no grip and the asphalt here is probably the worst of all the asphalts that we race on at all the other tracks. So it is hard to start deep in the field and maintain your tires and try to pass cars. It is really abrasive on tires. The first twenty laps I had to ride around way in the back so it would have been really nice to have seen another caution.” Without the caution that he wanted McKennedy settled for a podium finish as his mind was already racing ahead for what he needed to do for a win next week.

Les Hinckley came to Lee with a car to win. His hopes were shattered when he and Richard Savary made contact on lap 25 causing the #99 car of Savary to spin. Even though he may not have agreed with the official’s call to send him to the rear, Hinckley went back to the back of the field, regrouped and started his charge to the front all over again. It was frustrating but Hinckley does what a good racer does, he just raced. He was rewarded for his efforts with a solid fourth place finish. “The car was great. We drove from the back up to forth and the guys need to be commended fro that. It is just frustrating because we gave up all that track position with the caution that I got put to the back for which I do not agree with. I know what the rule is but in a situation like that I do not see how that is my fault. I have had numerous competitors come up to me and say the same thing. Especially with no cautions here it makes it difficult to get back to the front. I have to be happy with fourth, but it is just disappointing with how good the car was to give up all that track position.”

Because of the incident Hinckley work hard to get to the front with a head of steam behind him. He had a good car and rather than to block his charge, the other drivers let him by. “I was pretty aggravated in the car and you work hard here. The race was fast paced that is for sure. Without any cautions you kind of loose your sense of time. The pace was fast and for the most part from what I could see it was a pretty clean race. The guys (other drivers) gave me room when I needed it when we were coming up through. But in the beginning of the race there was a guy backing up the first fifteen laps that would not give you anything.”

The #2 team of Ken Barry came to the track with a brand new car and had their sights on a win. They did not capture a win but fished the race fifth. The team also used the race to shake out the car for next week’s big race. “We missed it just a little bit. But it is a brand new car and as far as racing, this was the first lap that it has ever seen at a race track. So that was pretty good. But we just did not get it quite tightened up enough but that was fine. We will take it, a fifth place the first time out.”

Barry was totally worn out when the race finished. Shaking out a new race car and competing in a fast tight race on the small oval was almost too much for the driver to handle all at once. “Twenty nine minutes that is pretty fast pace for a race particularly at this place, it is pretty demanding on the driver. The car around (the track) pretty good. I am kind of glad a nice fast race got in. Hopefully I can come back and do it again.”

So with a fifth place finish and a new car ready to run, Barry will take his notes and lessons learned to head to Canaan next weekend with a winning plan.

Next Weekend the VMRS teams head to Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, NH for the July 16th $12,000 to win “Ricky’s Race For Kids”.

Race Notes from Lee USA Speedway:

The fourth annual “Ricky’s Race For Kids”, will carry a purse of $36,350, the largest payoff in the eight year history of New England’s premier modified racing series. The race is scheduled for July 16 at Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, NH.

The driver’s thoughts on “Ricky’s Race For Kids”:

Chris Pasteryak
“I am a qualified starter and that is great.”

Dwight Jarvis
“We are really looking forward to that is one of my better tracks. Hopefully and maybe we will get one (win) up there.”

Jon McKennedy
“We should run good I have a win there and a third so it is a good track for me. I am looking forward to it.”

Les Hinckley
“I am excited. We have won a couple races there and I like the race track a lot. The money aspect of it always gears you up so I think that we have as good a shot as anybody.”

Ken Barry
“We are really excited. We worked our butt off the week, both the crew and my father trying to get this new car done so that we could shake it down tonight for that race. I have only run Canaan once. We were running third with ten to go and we lost a motor So I think that we have a shot as good as anybody to win it so hopefully we go up there improve by three or four spots there.”

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: July 11, 2011

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