.Teams and Drivers,
Submit your FREE profile
 for 2010
   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series




Local Racer Captures
Second VMRS Career Wins

Denise DuPont

The Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS) made their second 20130 visit to Seekonk Speedway Saturday, August 17th. The speedway currently holds the distinction of being the longest continually operated race track in the United States, opening its gates in 1946. And when the fans fill the grandstand and the engines start to roar, you know why Seekonk has been around so long. Then when the Modifieds engines generate echoes off of the cement grandstands, the true meaning of why modifieds are called ground pounders is well understood. Racing on the track is very fast, so if you blink you definitely will miss a lead change or two.

This year the VRMS crowned its seventh different August Seekonk Speedway race winner. And as the checkered flaps flew, it was none other than the home town favorite Todd Annarummo who captured his second series career victory. “It is always nice when you can win at your own track. This win was a big family affair and I could not do it without my dad and all my sponsors. I just wanted to get out front and run my race. It was going to take a lot to beat me and it was probably to have been in the infield. Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday and this one is for her!”

“It was a good night and it was what we planned on.” said Annarummo from Victory Lane.” All I had to do was execute and get it done. I wanted lead to 100 laps and that was my goal. After a rough start in fourth place, I finally got a bottom restart. I restarted in seventh and I was up to second in like three laps. The car was just really, really good on the bottom. Steve Masse was going to pass me on the outside but he was not going to get under me. I was letting him race and go around me if he wanted. Steve and I have had our run-ins but we are pretty good friends and I know I can race him good. I like racing with him a lot.”

Seekonk’s 1/3rd mile oval track fast and leaders catch up to lapped traffic very early in the race. So the leader has to stay focused not only on the challenges from behind but also where he is going. When Annarummo came up to lapped traffic it was obvious that he had to do what he could to get through them while keep one eye on behind. But what went through his mind as he approached the rear of the field of cars? “Not again! Two races so far this year here lapped traffic cost me wins here. I was thinking not again and was very patient this time. I knew I had to deal with the cars behind me, but I had to deal with the cars in front of me first.”

Steve Masse started the race fourteenth and used lapped traffic to his advantage to take over second spot on lap 80. He then went forward to challenge Annarummo for the lead trying both the top and bottom of the track. Unable to get around Annarummo, Masse settled for a second place finish in the end. “Todd knows this place real well. I knew that if I could not get him on the outside, I was not going to be able to get him at all. We had something for him after the restarts and we were right there on his outside but I just could not make it happen. I will take second place to Todd here. This is his home track.”

Masse started out the 2013 race season with a win at Waterford and has been running very strong. The team has a positive attitude and a strategy that has helped them get through the many ups and downs dealt to them this year. “Ourstrategy for tonight was to: go fast, turn left and then pass as many cars as we could. I think that my car was a little bit better than Todd’s, so if I had gotten out in front of him…But he had track position on me and that is equally as important and that is why he won the race.”

Richard Savary had his sights on a win at Seekonk. But his car has issues and with that added disadvantage, he was unable to attain his goal, but rather settled for a third place finish. “It was a good race. I had a problem with the clutch slipping right from the second restart. So because of that I had to just watch these guys race in front of me. Hopefully we will do much better the next time. “

The #9 team of Tommy Barrett started the season looking like they may have the magic combination to unlock a win at every race. The end result may not be a win for every race, but Barrett does have two wins to his credit this year and several top five finishes. Running second in points the team has strived to do what they can to go for the 2013 VMRS Championship. “Obviously it was not what I wanted,” said Barrett after the race. “I wanted to get in the podium – number one. We changed the setup a lot because the last time that we were here the car was just awful. So we switched it and all we can do is try to get it better.”

So finishing fourth may not have been what the team wanted but it kept them in contention for the point chase. “I do not think that our finish tonight really hurt us. I started second and I rode around in the top three then the top four and the car just got tighter and tighter so I pitted after that first caution. I came back out and the car was still tight, tight, tight… I pitted again and they made a stagger adjustment and the car was a little better, so now we know what we want. I will take a fourth place finish. We beat Rowan and we both finished first in our heat I caught up with him a little bit in our point standings and that is kind of what matters right now. We now need to keep getting those top five, and consistent finishes. “

Veteran racer Louie Mechalides has had his share of wins here at Seekonk and he knows right from the start of the race what he needs to deliver the win. He knew his car was just not where it needed to be for the top spot, but he knew what he had to do to stay with the leaders and point chasers. ”The car was good all day. Everybody raced hard and fifth is where we ended up and that is about all we had a fifth place car. This track is a really good with two groove racing and finishing fifth was what we had for a race car at the end.

The #79 of Max Zachem has qualified well, started out front, run with the leaders but in the end has been short of the elusive 2013 VMRS win. The team continues to deal with the challenges and someday their win will come. But at Seekonk Zachem start sixteenth and made it up to sixth once slot shy of a top five. “I had a great car. I cannot thank my crew enough, all the guys from the MSIII race team. Todd Szegedy, Phil Moran and all my guys here. It has been a lot of hard work but we just need a little luck. We had a top five run going at Waterford and had it taken from us. We will take a six here the way our year has been. We will go on to Thompson and see what happens. “

The VMRS teams will return to racing on Thursday August 22nd for 75 laps of green racing as the Chase for the Tenth Year VMRS Championship continues at Thompson International Speedway.

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: August 18, 2013

©2013 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.