TO IMPRESSIVE THIRD WIN AT STAFFORD
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
didn’t 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 it’s still pretty
Berlin, CT, driver Ryan Preece finished runner-up
from his 11th starting position. “It’s awesome to
finally finish a race here with the MRS series but
we got some work too do. Second place is pretty
good. I’m 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 he’s 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 Barry’s racer to a strong fourth
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
Entrants: 36 (26 starters)
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