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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series




Second Year of VMRS Racing
Brings New Chapter to Nocella’s Career

Denise DuPont

The Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS) made their final2013 visit to Seekonk Speedway Saturday, October 5th to a great D.A.V. Memorial crowd. And once again as the Modified driver’s started their cars, the engine’s thunder echoed off of the cement grandstands bringing the fans immediately too their feet to the ground pounder song.

D. Anthony Vendetti definitely designed his “Cement Palace” to enhance a race fan’s experience. The track is also built in a way that it is a momentum track. Drivers do not have to push the gas hard to find themselves suddenly caught up with the force of the track’s speed. With racing so fast that if you blink you will miss a lead change or two.

Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA., knows a thing or two about Seekonk Speedway after years of success there in NEMA midgets. Now in his sophomore year racing with the VRMS Nocella has taken his freshman learning experience up a notch to run with the leaders. “This year we are learning the car a little more and getting used to it. And also getting use to running better and up the front more and figuring out what pace that you can run without killing the tires. I think that that helped out a lot.”

The Nocella Race Team has also pulled together a stellar race plan for the2013 season which has proven that they are a force to be reckoned with. “It has been awesome. I think that this is the best car that I have ever had here. The car has been fast here but we threw some new stuff at it to see if it would work. The car was real good and we had a little bit of luck as we went along. It was close there at the end but we work hard for the win. I am proud of my crew, they worked real hard. It (Seekonk Speedway) is definitely a good track. It was a great race and a lot of fun.”

At the end of the race the top two cars pulled away from the field running their own race. Nocella had a fast car but Masse has a few more years of experience that he was using to his advantage to pass for the win. “I knew that Steve (Masse) was going to be tough so I tried to go as hard as I could especially during those last couple of restarts when my car was starting to go away. I looked to see if I could get a little gap on him, but he was definitely right there. During the last couple of laps I was just trying to keep it low to make him work a little harder out on the outside to get by. I thought it was a pretty good race. Everyone definitely ran pretty hard.”

As Nocella and Masse pulled away from the third place car, Masse tried everything he could to pass for the lead. In the end lapped traffic determined his fate and the final race outcome. “I gave the end of the race my all. The lapped cars kind of screwed up my plan though. I burned up about five laps there with about ten to go trying to get around a group of lapped cars. It is just hard to pass here when your cars are equal. It is such a momentum race track that it is hard to make a move when you have two equal race cars. I cannot really complain with second. I will take it.”

“He (Anthony Nocella) had a fast car and I just could not get the win tonight. I am glad that he did. I want to dedicate this race to my dad. He got me started in racing and he has been pretty sick this past year. I know that it is not a win but I want to dedicate the second place to him. It was a good race but there were way too many cautions for my liking. Other than that it was a good race.”

Les Hinckley who won the Inaugural VMRS DAV Memorial race in 2004 definitely showed on Saturday night why he has the place is MRS record book. He started the race seventh than made his way up into the top three before he made the decision to pit. A lap 69 caution came out and Hinckley knew he had to pit to make adjustments to the car or he may not be running with the leaders at the end. “We had a pretty good car. The re-draw put us back in seventh. The car just was not handling well and I knew I had to pit. The crew told me to hold off and when the caution came out they told me to come in. I had a really good car but Anthony and Steve’s cars were just a little better than mine. We are happy with the third place finish and with a car in one piece.”

Point leader Rowan Pennink began the DAV Memorial eighth. He was the defending 2012 race winner and the team’s goal was to make it two for two if they could but stay clean and finish the race. “We had a good race,” said Pennink after the race. “The car was a little tight at the beginning. We came in and the guys did a great job getting the car fixed up for me. There were a lot of cars in the pits and they were able to get the adjustments done real quick and I was the first one back out of the pits. When we got back out on the track the car was a lot better. We were still a little bit too tight on the long runs but the main thing was we were able to stay out of the wrecks and come home with a top five finish which was what we were looking for today.” Pennink finished the race fourth.

Staying on top of the chart for the 2013 VMRS Championship was Pennink’s goal at Seekonk.

“There were a lot of cautions and there were wrecks happening right in front of us it seemed like the whole race. We were fortunate enough not to be in any of them. It was a good race and I think that we had a shot to run for the win or at least a top three if we were a little bit freer. Bu all it all it was a solid finish and a good points day.”

Veteran racer Dwight Jarvis completed the race with a solid fifth place finish. Like Hinckley and Pennink, Jarvis pitted with about thirty to go. His race car had some right front damage and he knew he needed to pit to address the issue if he was going to be there at the end. ”Well, it was kind of rough out there.” Jarvis is one that tells it like it is and his words defined what a lot of racers were feeling. “But I had a good car. I bent the right front tire rod on it and the wheel. So I came in and went a lap down. Then I got the lap back. The crew did a heck of a job getting it back together and I got back through the field and finished fifth.

The VMRS teams will return to racing on Saturday and Sunday, October 12th and 13th for another 100 laps of green racing as the Chase for the Tenth Year VMRS Champion continues at Lee USA Speedway for Oktoberfest Weekend. If you cannot join us at the track, please join us follow the action on http://www.thechromehorn.com

Notes from Seekonk Speedway

Todd Annarummo on his hard wreck
Todd Annarummo defined what actually happened to end his night

: “It just stinks there is nobody to blame it is just racing. I have nobody to blame but myself, I missed the restart. If I had not missed that shift on the restart all of this may not have happened.”
“I missed the shift and put myself in that position is what happened. I missed an earlier shift on the restart and put myself back in second. When I was trying to pass back for the lead when I was trying to roll up by Chris (Pasteryak) I had my left front at his right rear and I touched him a little bit and when I touched him his car broke loose. I had the forward momentum when that happened and I climbed and hopped the wheel and the car just snapped and went into the wall. I never even lifted.”

What went through his mind as the incident unfolded?

Todd Annarummo

“The one memory that I have is thinking how bad is this going to hurt. And then before that thought went all the way through my mind it already had happened. And I thought “That was not too bad.” I then got on the radio and told everybody that I was OK and I went on. I feel fine now. We spend a lot on the safety gear – the seats, belt and the Hans Device. I am sure that I am going to be sore tomorrow. But I feel pretty good right now.”

Here is what the other driver’s running in the lead pack saw:

Anthony Nocella

I saw that hit. It was a hard hit. The car came right off the ground. I could see that they were going a little hard (Chris Pasteryak and Todd Annarummo) early in the race. They were kind of beating on each other really good. So I gave them a little bit of room and stayed close but back.”

Steve Masse
“I just saw his car hook about 90 degrees to the right at full speed. In my head I just said: “Ouch that has got to hurt!” I just saw him and it looks like he is in good spirits and that is good.”

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: October 6, 2013

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