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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series




Barrett Chalks Up Three VMRS Wins
In first Full Year
Denise DuPont

The Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS) headed to Lee USA Speedway the weekend of October 20th to compete in the season ending Oktoberfest. The 2012 VMRS Championship was down to a close point chase, with only thirty-three points separating first and second place. Point leader Jon McKennedy and runner-up Rowan Pennink would both drive their finest but in the end only one would be the Champion.

The point chase was important but it did not over shadow the competition on the track for the race win. Tommy Barrett passed Jon McKennedy on lap 86 to take over the lead. Barrett then went forward to win the race taking the checkered flag for his third VMRS victory this year. “This was exactly what we needed. We pitted just before the race and went to the back. We had some bad luck the last few races. We made a plan and we stuck to it all weekend for the race and it just all worked out. “

The #9 race team started a trend this year that other race teams have tried and replicated similar success. The team switches front tires with the rears and has found the extra rubber needed to make it through the field to the front. At the beginning of the race Barrett did his normal pre-race pit stop but the team did not make a move to change the tires then. So rather than starting in fourth, Barrett started at the rear of the field ready to race to the front. “We stayed back to save tires. Then we came in during a caution. We swapped both the right and the left side tires and made a few adjustments to try to get to the front. Then I went back in and started picking cars off. I took it easy on the right rear and took it easy on my tires. The when it was about 40 laps to go they told me it was time to go.” And go Barrett did as he passed car after car, passing for the lead with 15 laps to go.

The #06 Chuck Montville Team also pitted and did a tire swap during the same caution as the #9 team of Barrett. After the caution Hinckley made his way up into the top five but in the end Hinckley was a bride’s maid again finishing the race in second for the second year in a row. “We had a good run. We rode around for the first quarter of the race. Then we did not know what the car had for the second quarter of the race. It was good but I thought that it would end up too free in the long run. So we decided to come in and pit to swap the tires. People running behind us went in and pitted after we has already gone by pit road. Chris was leading and I think I was fourth when I came down pit road. Everybody behind us had already pitted. ” Hinckley said after the race. “We beat everybody off pit road so it worked out well. I did not get the lead, but I got upfront to Jon the best I could.”

“Then Tommy Barrett was coming and there was not much I could do at that point. We got back up front, but we ended up one car short for the second year in a row. I guess the #9 car saved their tires more than I did. We would have liked one spot better but out of here with the car in one piece, we will take it.” After sitting on the sidelines for two months working and saving money to repair the #06 car after a hard crash at Thompson in July, this was a great finish for Hinckley and the #06 team. “Jon ran a smart race for the agenda he was on. There is not much more he could have done. If he did anything else he would have put himself in the middle. He could have gotten wrapped up in a wreck and that would not have been good. A good job for the #2 team they deserve it. We will take another try at it next year.”

Rowan Pennink came to Lee thirty-three points short in the chase for the 2012 series championship. Pennink drove a great race and the Roscoe Racing team supported him all the way. But in the end, Pennink had a podium finish and ended up the series runner–up in the championship competition. “For most of the race we just hung out there. Then everyone starting going at the end during the last third of the race. We picked off cars while we could and got us up there for a shot at the win. But at the end we just did not have enough. The #9 car was awful good today and #06 of Les was also good right behind them. “

After overcoming the season’s engine issues, the #25 team gave it their all but they ended up short in the championship run finishing second. “I want to thank the #25 team. They did an awesome job all year. We ran good every time that we ran this car.”

Series champion, Jon McKennedy started the race in the top five and hung out up there all race. McKennedy even lead a while and also managed to dodge a few incidences that collected up other cars. He drove a clean, safe race and in the end it paid off because his strategy earned him a fourth place finish and secured the 2012 VMRS Championship. ”Everything went as planned. I drove the forty laps going around and I saved as much tire the best that I could. I took the lead with about thirty to go. We were going to come in and swap the right tires but I knew if we stayed out we would have at least a fourth.”

Andy Seuss returned back to New Hampshire and to the track where both he and Jon McKennedy started their racing careers. Seuss started the race in eleventh spot and used his track experience to bring the family owned #70 car to the front. Seuss never had his turn to lead the race but finished with a solid top five finish. “We were real happy with the car today. It is real hard to come to this race with this series as competitive as it is and not have run with them all year. And to compete here with the guys that know the tires real well, we are happy with our finish. We got to challenge for the lead and I used up the tires a little too much in a three way battle. Overall we are real happy with the race. The car is in one piece so we will take it. That will be the last race in this car this year. “

So the 2012 race season ends for the VMRS drivers and teams. They will get together one more time this year for their banquet and to celebrate another year of racing.

Race Notes from Lee USA Oktoberfest:

What are your thoughts on winning three VMRS races?

Tommy Barrett
“Last year we had a lot of stuff wrong with the car and it was just frustrating. Over the winter we went through the car and fixed stuff. This year we got things going and we started to click a little bit better. I was hoping that I would have wins this year but I did not have any expectations. But now, I wish that we had more wins than we do but I am happy with three. And we had a great season.”

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: October 23, 2012

©2012 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.