ROWAN PENNINK ENDURES
TO WIN FIRST 2012 VMRS
A Wild Day of Racing
and Only the Strong Survived
Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS) returned to Thompson International
Speedway on Sunday May 20th with a field of thirty-five modified teams.
Starting a field over the normal twenty-six positions may have been a
challenge, the VMRS spring event may have pushed the limit a little too far.
There were ten cautions and only eight cars on the lead lap at the end of
Ted Christopher started on the pole but quickly settled into second pacing
himself for 75 intense laps of racing. Rowan Pennink on the other hand
started ninth in the stout field of competitors and took advantage of
cautions and restarts to rocket his way to the front. With the race just shy
of the half way mark, Pennink passed Christopher for the lead and then went
forward to win the race.
The win was not an easy task for Pennink as he was forced to defend the lead
while holding off the hard charges of competitor Richard Savary. “I want to
thank Richard Savary for running me clean. He could have moved me out of the
way there. I want to thank him for running a good race. He was fast and he
almost got us there with us being a little tight at the end, but we were
able to hang on. We just did not need those cautions at the end but we made
it through them and won the race.”
The Roscoe Racing/Monks Hand Cleaner team prepared their #25 modified to run
the 75 lap race without pitting and Pennink drove to conservative both gas
and tires. The team’s strategy was not only keeping the car out there but to
bring it across the finish line first.
(Casella’s #25) car was awesome,” said Pennink in victory lane. “It always
is here at Thompson. With these tires and running long distance races
without changing you have to conserve a little bit. But the #25 car was
awesome all day. I actually got a little tight at the end where normally it
would be that you get loose. But today that was not the case where I could
hold on to it at the end for the win.”
Even though Pennink had the top spot as the laps clicked off, each caution
meant another restart and new challenges for the lead. “At one point the
spotter told me that I had almost a straight away lead, so I was just
cruising around out there. “ Then the caution flags flew and cars were
grouped together again.
“It always seems like when we are up front here at Thompson, the cautions
just keep coming and coming. But we were able to fight through it. The car
was tight at the end and Richard (Savary) was able to make a couple of good
runs out of me, but we were able to hang on. “
The VMRS teams will regroup and head to Seekonk Speedway on Saturday, June
Race Notes from Thompson Speedway:
Was winning the VMRS race redemption for the
bitter sweet loss of the Thompson Ice Breaker race?
“Yes definitely, I love this place and I love racing here. We always run
good here. To loose that one (win) at the Ice Breaker was a heart breaker,
but it feels good to come back the next time after that race and win here
again. It feels good. Hopefully it shows everyone who should have been in
Victory Lane at the Ice Breaker.”
You always run well at Thompson Speedway. What
is the key to your success?
“This is a high banked, real fast track when you run on the top. I guess it
is just my style of racing running here. I know a lot of people in this
series are not use to running the high speeds into the corners so a lot of
people from the MRS series seem to struggle a little bit. There were a lot
of good people here like Preece (Ryan) and Teddy (Christopher) running here.
And a lot of good cars here but we were able to do the job and get the win.”
During the last ten laps as Richard Savary
worked to get under you what went through your mind?
“It is real tough to get under someone at the bottom here with the momentum
on the outside. Unless he got up under me and moved me out of the way he was
not going to make the full move underneath me like that. He had a good car
and put the pressure on me at the end. I am just glad that he raced me
clean. I know that it is tough when you want to win the race but he did the
right thing and ran me clean all night.” “I prefer the top because it
has so much momentum. But it is tough because you always run the risk that
the person on the bottom could run you up when you get down into one. But
you cannot take the top because you are afraid of that.”
When Ted decide to take the top groove on the
race restart, as you sat next to him what were your thoughts?
“I kind of knew he was going to take the top. I would never see why anyone
would never take the top. That was why I was surprised at the Ice Breaker
when Silk took the bottom. “
On to Seekonk next with the VMRS….
“Hopefully we can have a good run at Seekonk. We have had some good runs
before at Seekonk and we have had some not so good runs. So hopefully we
will have the car running good and we will have a good race.”
Any thoughts on the points chase this early in
“We will just go out and try to win every race that we can. And we will see
what happens from there. Hopefully we will have a good shot in the series
and we will see what we can do in the other series.”
Source: Denise DuPont/ TheChromeHorn.com