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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series



Ted Christopher 97 Thompson Wins
And Counting

by Denise DuPont

The Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS) returned to Thompson International Speedway for a rain delayed 75 lap feature event. With clouds hovering over the track and a rain filled forecast, the decision was made to forgo heat races and start the feature event with current Owner Points standing. The decision was good for the series point leaders but for others it meant starting from the rear of a thirty-three car field with everyone driving to win.

Point leader Rowan Pennink started on the pole and maintained a strong lead for 68 laps. Then suddenly a black flag flew as water was leaking from the #25 car. Pennink was forced to pit to address the issue giving up the point. This gave the lead to Ted Christopher who was right there in the wings waiting for the opportunity to be number one. “When I was behind him (Rowan Pennink) I could never get the throttle up off. I was in the groove that I wanted to be but I could not get up high. I was staying with him and then all of a sudden I could not because I was so loose. I said to myself “Why and I so loose?” Then I saw him spraying the water so I knew that was why I was so loose. When he (Pennink) started to get the black flag I just started to run the bottom because I was so close to him that I was getting all the water. It was a good race though between the two of us. It was like the two of us last time here. “

With only 7 laps to go, Christopher held off the hard charging efforts of Tim Jordan and rookie Tommy Barrett to take his second win with the series and also his ninety-seventh win at Thompson. Did Christopher think there was any threat from guys on rear bumper? “From where I started I already passed those guys”, said Christopher.

Tim Jordan sat out the last two races so he returned to the Thompson race ready for a win. It has been a tough year for the family owned race team with a tight budget and mishaps at the track. Jordan and his father worked hard on the time off to get back racing and to get a win they so desperately are striving for. But in the end, the #47 race team found themselves one spot shy of a win. “I hate second. I just do not like it,” said Jordan about his race finish. “But it is a good place to start for having good runs for the rest for the year.

Jordan came to the race track to win and second place was good but not satisfying enough for him. Jordan was actually frustrated with his finish. “It is just racing. I hate coming in second to anyone, whether it is Ted Christopher or Jimmy Johnson. We come to the race track to win and it is frustrating. Teddy is just another driver to me. When you are in a race car you want to beat the guy in front of you. I respect him (Christopher) on and off the race track but when you are racing against people you do not think anything about them if you think anything about anyone while you are racing you do not belong racing.”

Young Tommy Barrett returned to the VMRS ranks after sitting out a two weeks suspension for rough riding on the track. The time off allowed Barrett to think about the official’s call and plan his future. Barrett definitely had a winning car as he drove up through the pack to third. Contact during the race left the #9 car three spots shy of the win he drove to get. “I came back racing trying to do the best I could. But unfortunately I had to come in and change the right front tire and the front end got a little beat up. If that did not happen I think that I could have won it.”

Starting on the outside pole, defending champion Jon McKennedy had the opportunity to grab another win. But the team needed more practice or a heat race to dial in the car and that just did not happen. The car was good for a fourth place finish but not there for the win the team really wanted. The team may have been disappointed with their finish but it was good enough to bring them to the top of the charts in the point lead for the series. “Obviously, I would have liked to have run better but from where we started was a really big positive. All through practice we struggled. We tried a bunch of stuff and we could not get it (car) anywhere. We were going to use the heat race as another practice but the heats got scratched and we ended up lining up by points. Which was good for us we had a front row spot, but at the same time we were not too sure what to expect because we change so much on the car. Overall the team did really good. We lost a lot at the end. We will try it again next time.”

Doug Coby has been on a good streak in whatever series he has competed in. He is a another driver that relies on practice and heat races to dial in the car but without their heat race the #20 team did the best they could to get the car race ready. Coby drove the car hard and raced to the front finishing fifth. A top five was another good finish for Coby who now is thirteenth in point after competing in four races with the VMRS. “We got banged up early and got bent up late when we were racing for position which hurt us on the last couple restarts. But the car was pretty good. We finished with a top five when more than half of the field did not finish the race. I am happy with it. We started in the back and came back through twice so it is one of those deals that I am happy to get out of here just in one piece.”

Next event for the VMRS is back at Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday, August 11.

Race Notes From Thompson

Why did second place finisher, Tim Jordan take two weeks off from VMRS?

Tim Jordan
“I took those two weeks off because of all the bad luck that we had. It is just my father and I racing here, so we do what we can with what we have. We were out of parts so my dad worked some overtime and I worked in the shop and we got everything good to go. We took two weeks off because we have to, not because we wanted to. “

Did the suspension change the way that you race at all?

Tommy Barrett
“Unfortunately, yes. Not to a way that I want to. I was a little bit more patient today. I was also a little more careful making sure that I was not getting into cars and trying not to be aggressive or anything. So I was a lot more cautious than I normally would be.”

What are you plans for the rest of the 2012 race season?

Tommy Barrett
“We just plan on finishing the rest of the season taking it race by race.”

Your thoughts after today’s VMRS race:

Doug Coby
“Anytime that you survive an MRS race here (Thompson Speedway), it is a good race. That is something that these guys have to work on. I do not know if they start too many cars or if it is just such a huge gap between the faster and slower cars. I do not know the reason for it.”

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: July 31, 2012

©2012 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.