OXFORD FIELD FOR NINTH VMRS WIN
Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, PA, passed race leader
Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, on lap 76, and went
on to score his second win of the season Saturday
night, July 20, at Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford,
ME. The Valenti Modified Racing Series sanctioned
race was part of the 40th annual TD Bank 250
Pennink becomes the sixth different VMRS winner at
Oxford and he joins Tommy Barrett, of Millis, MA,
with two wins.
Pennink started 16th in a field of 21 cars,
calculated his strategy with spotter Brian Crowley
perfectly to position himself for a race-leading
pass on the 76th circuit.
Two laps later Pennink had his hands full as Richard
Savary, of Canton, MA, chased after the leader right
to the finish. In lapped traffic, Savary twice
pulled alongside Pennink.
Pennink post race felt his team put him in a good
position for his first Oxford victory. “Richard
Savary had a good car. I guess they came in and
swapped tires and we stayed out there for the long
haul. Brian (Crowley) and the guys did a great job
keeping me composed. I was told get to the front
these guys (drivers who changed tires) are coming.
We made our charge and got it done.”
Savary, who has competed with the series in years
past, has been a regular this year and has run well.
Being in contention for his first VMRS win pleased
the Canton, MA, veteran.
“Very happy with a solid finish,” explained Savary.
“I think we had a car good enough to win the race. I
was a little disappointed in myself for not getting
the job done. I want to thank all my guys including
Joey Kourafas who has won many races here (Oxford).
He’s turning the bolts.”
Kourafas has been a welcomed addition to the Savary
team. “I’ve only seen the track once in the
eighties,” Savary offered “Of course it’s been paved
since but he (Kourafas) walked me out onto the track
and showed me some stuff. After each practice he had
me try different things on the track. He’s been
helping me all year and it’s shown. He’s calmed me
down. He has me being consistent.”
Savary says he’s going race-to-race and not
concerned about points. Racing at Oxford for the
first time, having a watchful eye from a former
Oxford 250 winner in Kourafas, bouncing back from a
rough outing at Canaan, and a solid finish is more
important to him and his team.
Third place finisher Barrett was running 18th where
he started at the halfway mark. On a lap 58 yellow
flag, Barrett amongst others pitted, swapped tires
around, and went to work when the race resumed.
Barrett made his way to the front settling into
third where he finished.
“Very disappointing,” said Barrett. “The car was
kind of out to lunch tonight. We rode around to save
tires the first half of the race. We got the caution
we wanted and pitted and then started going to the
front. The car was a little tight after the pit stop
and as I went along it got tighter and tighter. I
had nothing for those guys. Congrats to Rowan,”
Max Zachem, of Preston, CT, finished fourth with
Sixth through tenth were, Louie Mechalides, Chris
Pasteryak, Joey Jarvis, Rob Goodenough, and Norm
Six different drivers led the race including Wrenn,
Pasteryak, Jarvis, Mechalides, Nocella, and Pennink.
Only four caution flags were displayed for minor
spins leading to a 42-minute event. The margin of
victory was 0.165. Nocella posted the best lap speed
22 teams entered the event. Etienne Cliché’ of
Vallee Jonction, PQ, blew an engine in practice, the
only driver to not compete.
It will be a short week for teams to get ready for
the next stop on the 10th Anniversary Tour. The
series visits Thompson (CT) Speedway, Thursday July
25, for a 75-lap shootout.
Race No. 7 of 17- Oxford
Entrants: 22 (21 starters)
Distance: 100 laps
Time of Race: 42:42:130
Best Lap Time: 15.531 (92-Nocella)
Lead Changes: 7 (among 6 drivers)
Lap Leaders: Wrenn 1, Pasteryak 2, Wrenn
3-13, J. Jarvis 14-52, Mechalides 53-58, Nocella
59-75, Pennink 76-100
Cautions: 4 cautions, on laps- 1, 27, 32, 58
Heat Winners: Zachem, Holdridge, Pinkham
Unofficial Finish – 1. Pennink, 2. Savary, 3.
Barrett, 4. Zachem, 5. Nocella, 6. Mechalides, 7.
Pasteryak, 8. Jarvis, 9. Goodenough 10. Wrenn, 11.
Kopec, 12. Meservey, 13, Charette, 14. Owen, 15.
Mead, 16. Ricci, 17. Holdridge, 18. Doucette, 19.
Pinkham, 20. Fifield, 21. Hurley.
Source: John Spence / Valenti Modified Racing Series