VALENTI MODIFIED RACING SERIES
WIN AT THOMPSON
though he had what he described as an, “ill-handling car,” Rowan Pennink of
Huntington Valley, Pa., was able to withstand several challenges from
Richard Savary to go on and win the 75-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series on
Sunday night at Thompson International Speedway.
It was the fifth win over-all and second on the series at Thompson for
Pennink who became the race’s third and final leader when he passed Ted
Christopher in turns three and four on the 30th lap.
Christopher, who led from lap 16 when he passed Todd Owen, driving for
series organizer Jack Bateman, dropped out shortly thereafter.
“I simply couldn’t get my car to turn,” Pennink said. “That allowed Richard
(Savary) to get under me in the turns. It’s tough to do that here (get up
and under someone from the bottom). He was able to get up alongside of me.
He was trying to move me out of the way, but I wasn’t going to let him do
Savary, who had to pit for sheet-metal damage, after being involved in a lap
22 incident which involved or sidelined 12 cars, closed the gap on Pennink
late in the race. He reached Pennink’s rear bumper with four circuits
“I could see that he was skating up the track,” said Savary, competing in
his first MRS race of the season. “It was helping me and allowing me to get
runs on him. “I was able to save the car early in the race, but, once I was
caught up in the accident, I had to push it.”
Savary, who finished second ahead of Geoff Gernhard, was never able to make
the crucial pass.
“I thought I had a faster car than he (Pennink) did,” said Savary, of
Canton, Mass. “If I was ahead of him, I probably would’ve been able to drive
away. That opportunity never developed.”
Gernhard, a Salem, Ct., racer, started last and came in third. He was making
his first MRS start since 2010.
“There isn’t any doubt about the fact that we were lucky today and I was
able to drive through a few wrecks,” Gernhard said. “You need a little luck
in this racing business.”
“But we had a good car and I was able to save my tires. This is my best
finish and I hope that I’ll be able to run more races this year.”
Rounding out the top five were series points leader and winner of the first
two races this season, Jon McKennedy (Chelmsford, Mass.) and series veteran
Mike Holdridge of Madison, CT.
Sixth through tenth were Charlie Pasteryak (Lisbon, CT.), Ryan Preece
(Meriden, CT.), Doug Coby (Milford, CT), Mark Bakaj (Lebanon, CT.), and
Louie Mechalides (Raynham, Mass.).
The race was slowed by 10 cautions and took one hour, 48 minutes to
The fourth of 15 scheduled events will take place on Saturday, June 9, at
the Seekonk, Mass., Speedway.
Complete order of finish: Thompson 75 (3rd of 15 races): 1. Rowen Pennink;
2. Richard Savary; 3. Geoff Gernhard; 4. Jon McKennedy; 5. Mike Holdridge;
6. Charlie Pasteryak; 7. Ryan Preece; 8. Doug Coby; 9. Mark Bakaj; 10. Louie
Mechalides; 11. Leo Oliviera, Raynham, Mass.; 12. Max Zachem, Preston, CT.;
13. Joe Doucette, Framingham, Mass.; 14. Roy Seidell, Easthampton, Mass.;
15. Matt Mead, Richmond, N.H.; 16. Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H.; 17. Tom
Barrett, Millis, Mass.; 18. Tim Jordan, Plainfield. CT; 19. Steve Reed; 20.
Norm Wrenn, Nashua, N.H.; 21. Dave Etheridge, Portland, CT.; 22. Melissa
Fifield, Wakefield, N.H.; 23. Todd Owen, Somers, CT.; 24. Ted Christopher,
Plainville, CT.; 25. Rich Ferrieira, Raynham, Mass.; 26. Les Hinckley,
Windsor Locks, CT.; 27. Chris Pasteryak, Jewett City, CT.; 28. Steve Masse,
Bellingham, Mass.; 29. Jeff Malave, Manchester, CT.; 30. Rob Goodenough,
Swanzey, N.H.; 31. Larry Barnett, Moosup, CT.; 32. Anthony Nocella, Woburn,
Mass.; 33. Jim Boniface, Winchester, N.H.; 34. Joey Cipriano, Waterbury,
CT.; 35. Todd Annarummo, Swansea, Mass.
Top Ten in Points: 1. McKennedy, 142; 2. Pennink, 132; 3. Holdridge, 110; 4.
Coby, 106; 5. Wrenn, 100; 6. Mechalides, 86; 7. Hinckley, 80; 8. Charlie
Pasteryak, 76; 9. Zachem, 70; 10. Doucette, 68.M.
Source: Peter Vander Veer / Valenti Modified Racing Series