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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series




Steve Masse, of Bellingham, MA, drove to victory Friday night, Aug 30, winning the Valenti Modified Racing Series sanctioned 4th Annual Shark Cycle 80 at Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, CT.

Masse leads all series competitors with three victories this season.
The 23-year-old driver is tied with Dwight Jarvis and Louie Mechalides with seven series wins.

Front row starters Ted Christopher, of Plainville, CT, and Keith Rocco, of Meriden, CT, at the drop of the green flag were the show. Seven lead swaps took place between the two drivers until Christopher made contact with Rocco on a lap 53 pass attempt.

With Rocco and Christopher (penalized) relegated to the rear of the field, Masse took the top spot for the balance of the 80 laps and was never challenged.

In victory lane Masse explained, I saw Keith and Teddy on the front row and I knew it was going to be a hard fought battle up there and once I got to fourth place I just drove it around. There was plenty of race left.

Masse, who blew an engine at Thompson, disclosed he didnt think the Stafford race was on the radar until Wednesday. We threw the backup motor in. Its got a couple of seasons on it but its still pretty good.

Berlin, CT, driver Ryan Preece finished runner-up from his 11th starting position. Its awesome to finally finish a race here with the MRS series but we got some work too do. Second place is pretty good. Im happy with it. Especially happy that Stevie won. Preece said.

Norm Wrenn, of Nashua, NH, has struggled throughout the season. Wrenn won his qualifying heat, started fourth in the 26-car field, never ran outside the top five, and finished in a solid third pressing Preece right to the finish.

Post race Wrenn said, I did not want to see that caution on lap 72 but we were good. I thought I had something for Ryan but hes a good driver. Its nice to run that close to someone and run clean.

Wrenn added, The last couple of weeks we ended up going home in a basket. Really discouraging with all the work the crew puts in. We really needed this third place finish.

With regular driver Jon McKennedy committed elsewhere, Ken Barry, of Preston, CT, opted to compete driving Art Barrys racer to a strong fourth place finish.

Dave Etheridge, of Portland, CT, turned in his best ever series performance rounding out the top five.

Sixth through tenth were, Zane Zeiner, Richard Savary, Rocco, Christopher, and Dan Meservey Jr.

Qualifying heat winners; Rocco, Christopher, Wrenn.
Consolation winners were, Mark Bakaj & Todd Owen

The race, slowed by eight caution flags, was completed in 1:00: 49.

A season high 36 cars entered the event. 17 of the 26-car field finished on the lead lap.

Race No.13 of 17 - Stafford Motor Speedway
Entrants: 36 (26 starters)
Distance: 80-laps
Time of Race: 1:00:49.605
Best Lap Time: 18.696
Lead Changes: 8 (among 3 drivers)
Lap Leaders: Christopher (1-6,19-22, 26-32, 46) Rocco (7-18, 23-25, 33-45, 68-52) Masse (53-80)
Cautions: 8 (22,32,36,41,51,51,52,72)

Unofficial Order of Finish: (1) Masse (2) Preece (3) Wrenn (4) Barry (5) Etheridge (6) Zeiner (7) Savary (8) Rocco (9) Christopher (10) Meservey (11) Chris Pasteryak (12) Charlie Pasteryak (13) Zachem (14) Mechalides (15) Malave (16) Drown (17) Mead (18) Goodale (19) Barrett (20) Bitondo (21) Holdridge (22) Goodenough (23) Pennink (24) Schneider (25) Owen (26) Bakaj

  Source: John Spence / Valenti Modified Racing Series
Posted: August 31, 2013

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