MECHALIDES NABS SEEKONK
VALENTI MODIFIED SERIES WIN
is known as ‘Lightnin’ Louie Mechalides for good reason. ‘Lightnin’ quick
when he has too. The Tyngsboro, MA., veteran driver was pressured right to
the finish Saturday night, holding on to win the 100-lap Valenti Modified
Racing Series event at Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, MA.
The win was Mechalides’ sixth career VMRS victory. He first and last win at
Seekonk was six years ago.
Starting from the front row in a 24-car field, Mechalides was quickly
pursued by Les Hinckley, of Windsor Locks, CT. Hinckley pressured the race
leader for the first 68 laps, often pulling up alongside the lead car. Jon
McKennedy, the current point leader, passed Hinckley on lap 69 and held the
second position for two laps until Hinckley took it back on the 71st
circuit. Hinckley gave chase until lap 90 when McKennedy got by for good.
Wiring the field was not in Mechalides’ playbook.” I didn't want to lead all
100. I just wanted to lead the last 10. But there were a bunch of really
good guys stacked up and I didn't want to go that far back. Les was running
really hard there for awhile.
Mechalides credited long-time car owner-crew chief Billy Calicchio with
helping the Lowell, MA., based team earn the win.
"We worked on the car all week. We took the car apart. He (Callicchio)
helped us out with it and got everything going in the right direction. I was
watching the lap counter waiting for the car to start going away, but it
didn't. It kept going. It was really good. We have a really good piece to
work with now."
McKennedy, who started eighth, followed Mechalides closely to the finish, a
position he was happy with. "I was a little bit free. I was really good for
awhile. The first half I just elected to ride. The last 30 laps I was pretty
free. I think a lot of the guys were getting loose. It's tough trying to
pass when you're free. It's hard to run the line you want too. You need the
whole track to keep the car under you."
Tom Barrett, of Millis, MA., finished third, Hinckley fourth, and Rowan
Pennink, of Huntingdon Valley, PA., rounding out the top five.
Joey Jarvis, Ascutney, VT.,Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT., Mike Holdridge,
Madison, CT., Norman Wrenn, Nashua, NH., and Rob Goodenough, Swanzey, NH.,
rounded out the top ten.
Seven caution flags slowed the race that took 47 minutes to complete.
Todd Szegedy, of Bethel, CT., Pasteryak, and Holdridge won qualifying races,
with Dick Houlihan, of Bridgewater, MA., capturing the consolation race.
Did Not Qualify: Melissa Fifield, Vinnie Annarummo, Todd Annarummo,
Geoff Gernhard, Rich Ferreira.
Next Event: Stafford Springs Motor Speedway, Stafford, CT. June 22,
Race # 4 Seekonk MA Speedway
Distance: 100 laps
Time of Race: 47:43:165
Margin of Victory: 0.203
Best Lap Time: 12.229
Best Speed: 98.029 (Hinckley)
Lead Changes: 0
Lap Leaders: Mechalides (1-100)
Cautions: Lap 17,38,40,40, 47,49,80
Order of Finish: (1) Louie Mechalides (2) McKennedy (3) Barrett (4)
Hinckley (5) Pennink (6) J.Jarvis (7) Pasteryak (8) Holdridge (9 Wrenn (10)
Goodenough (11) Szegedy (12) Malave (13) Bakaj (14) D.Jarvis (15) Houlihan
(16) Schneider (17) Mead (18) Jordan (19) Owen (20) Oliveira (21) Doucette
(22) Zachem (23) Nocella (24) Barnett.
Top 10 Points; McKennedy (188) Pennink (172) Holdridge (144)
Mechalides (136) Wrenn (132) Hinckley (122) Barrett (108) Coby (106)
Pasteryak (87) Bakaj(85)
Source: John Spence Sr / Valenti Modified Racing Series