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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series



Pasteryak wins third 2011 VMRS Race, First at Stafford Motor Speedway

Denise DuPont

The Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS) returned to Stafford Motor Speedway for an intense 80 laps of racing on Friday September 10th. As the race season unwinds the point chase becomes a center of focus for some while others try to make history with their first win. The last few races have seen both changes in the point lead along with first time VMRS victories for teams.

Chris Pasteryak came to the race with thoughts on points and a win but what actually occurred never crossed his mind. Pasteryak came to victory lane with a win, took over the lead in points and also had a first ever win at the track for his family in a modified. The racing Pasteryak family has tried for thirty-five years to conquer the Stafford oval. They came close but it never happened. This win meant a lot to the family and was the real icing on the cake. “My family has been coming here since 1976 and this is the first time that we have had modified in victory lane. So it was a pretty cool night.”

Pasteryak led 79 out of the 80 laps. Leading could have become unnerving to him as the laps click off and cautions started happening when cars and tires started to wear,. ‘What ifs’ also could have started going through his mind as the race came closer to the end and the yellow flags were thrown. One could start to think – Will I be as good as my last restart? Are the guys behind me getting better than me? But Pasteryak stayed focused on what he had to do – win. Staying on track with his objective brought him to the VMRS victory lane for the third time this year. “On restarts it took three or four laps for my car to really get going. I could get a real good run off of turn two but off of turn three and turn four it (the car) was real tight. That was why when Tom Bolles spun I went, “Oh, no, we are loose racing and to loose it when there only three to go.” With caution after caution it is frustrating. It really is but you cannot let it eat at you too bad because then you are no paying attention to what you are doing.”

But in the end it was a win and a victory for the whole family and a time for celebration. “I am not going to complain about it too much though, we won. We have been coming here for so long. We had a real good car here in the spring. We were running good here and a spark plug wire fail off. It never happened to me before in my life and it happened here. Who knows if you lined them up and run them again it might turn out different, but we have a win tonight.”

Rowan Pennink came from the rear of the field after he was black flagged during qualifying. The #25 car was leaking fluid. In a rush to prepare for their heat race, the crew forgot to cap the gas tank. It was a disappointing event but the team regrouped to come back and finish the race second. “The car was going to win the heat easily. We would have started there right down front. The car was plenty good to come from the back through, but it did not make much difference.”

On race restarts as Pasteryak struggled to come up to speed, it looked like Pennink was going to take advantage of the opportunity to pass for the win. But his car was just too short of what it needed to complete the task. “I tried a couple of times to get a run on him getting into turn three but I did not quite have enough for him,” said Pennink after the race. “The car just did not have enough. It was little bit tight right at the center If I sent it in there any further I would have gotten into him. We made up a lot of ground tonight. We had a good car all day today. We had to start out back.”

Right off the trailer and during practice the #25 car was good and potentially the one that everyone was going to challenge for the win. If there had not been a leaking issue, Pennink could have been up front sooner and contending with Pasteryak for the lead a lot sooner. “The car was really good right off the bat. It got a little tight in that long run. I actually needed that last caution there. It helped me a bunch. We passed so many cars going so hard the whole race that it is tough on the tires. I got a little tight at the end. I just did not quite have enough for Chris. We will get him next time.”

Doug Coby started the race fourth, set his sights right on the lead. Coby’s car was strong but the tires went away and he had to settle for a podium finish. “This track is a position track. I had to go early to try to get track position. In the end we had our track position and we finished just about were our track position was third.”

After moving into third, Coby struggled to stay with Pasteryak and Pennink as his tires went away. “The tires went away a little bit. Then tires got weird on all of us. I could see Chris was tight and loose and then Rowan got that way. Chris pulled away by about eight car lengths on the restart. I tried to do what I could and I just could not stay with him. The tires were kind of gone so I washed up a little bit. Then I would get up behind him and we would both wiggle and something like that. We had a second or first place car and we finished right about there so I cannot complain.”

Earlier this year Keith Rocco won the first VMRS at Stafford. When the series returned Rocco wanted to try to make it two for two. But the team missed the setup a little bit and it was enough to force him into a fifth place finish rather than the win he wanted. “We missed a little bit on the setup for on the long run that is all. Running on the series was good. Our last three finishes were all top five. You race with a different caliber of drivers. We just have to step up our game a little bit. I am real happy with what we got. Each race has been a good finish.”

The VMRS teams will have a month off to regroup and rest before they pack up and head to Seekonk Speedway for their two day event on October 8th and 9th.

We will have to see if Chris Pasteryak makes it two in a row or if Todd Annarummo wins at his home track win or if yet another competitor gets their first time ever win. See you there!

Race Notes from Stafford Motor Speedway

What does the Stafford win mean to the Pasteryak family?

Chris Pasteryak
“This is big, how many hundreds of thousands of dollars we probably spent here on Friday nights since 1976 when my uncle came here and this is the first time that we have won a race here. It is almost over whelming when you have been trying for so long. When you get it, it is like oh wow, from 1976 to 2011 that is a long time. This is the first modified win that the family has ever had at Stafford. 35 years – that is a lot of cars, a lot of different racing series, different tours and different kind of cars. I came here in an SK once.”

What do you think about the series rule – last ten laps single file?

Chris Pasteryak
“You never know at Stafford. You are only as good as your last restart. Plus you have Doug behind you then Rowan, Keith Rocco and Matt Hirschman and they are not asleep. And they are all good drivers. Honestly I would hate to lead the whole thing and then loose it at the end.”
“Leading I like it, if I was in second… There is a point when you come to that point that you are running in the position you are running and you did not luck into it. To line them all double file and give a guy who was a half a track back a shot at it. Sometimes you just have to get the race over with because it could turn ugly in a hurry. And the rule is a rule. If they change it, I will still come and run and we will line them up double file and we will go green, white checker and try it that way.”

Rowan Pennink
“I much would have rather done the double. I think that would have won us the race. Chris was not good enough to hold his car down on the bottom and still get a good run up off. I would have had it, I thought that I have seen them go five laps to go single file in the past. But it is what it is. We need to be a little bit better to get by him at the end. But that is racing.”

Doug Coby
“The single file restart was crap. Did anybody pass anybody on the single file restart or did we run in a train on the restart? We ran in a train so. I do not know why you go double file all the way and then single file at the end when it matters. Matt Buckler was not happy with that – “Double file makes you smile.” When we run single file on a restart I hold back when I am running third and hope that the two guys in front wreck. On a double file Chris would have had his hands full with Rowan and I might have been able to sneak under him because Chris was shoving up on the restarts. That was my plan. But it is the series rules and I am not going to fault them for their rues.”

So why didn’t Pennink make a dive for the lead?

Rowan Pennink
“I had a couple of good runs down in turn three there underneath him (Chris Pasteryak). Being a little tight in the center I did not want to send it in there and drive up over his nerf bar and wreck both of us. I did not quite have the run that I needed so I had to use what I got.”

Point race with only two races to go

Chris Pasteryak
It (the point lead) is not over yet. There are three races to go. (Actually now two since the Thompson race will not be made up.) And it (bad luck) could happen to me next week.

Does the #20 car have the motor that it needs to compete on the bigger tracks?
In the end Coby had a good race and gave it all he could. Stafford is a bigger track for the VMRS mods and you really need a good motor to run with the leaders. Coby felt that his motor was just not as good as he needed to hit his mark.

Doug Coby
“The race was good. We did what we had to do. We are trying to upgrade the motor program with this team. We are really good on short tracks, but with tracks like Thompson and Stafford it is very obviously because we turned the fastest lap in the race and we ran up front all day. But in the end we were a little short. These guys (Czarnicki brothers) really love to win and they really love to have the fastest car at the track when the car is handling good. And it was handling good tonight.”

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: September 19, 2011

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