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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series



First VMRS
Repeat Winner of 2014
Polly Reid

It had been a long time coming. With a racing career spanning twenty-five years, a win at Lee USA Speedway was never a part of his resume, until tonight.

Richard Savory of Canton, MA passed Tom Carey, Jr of Wendell Depot, MA for the lead on lap 55, held off Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, CT then a strong run in the closing circuits by Justin Bonsignore of Islip, NY to take down the checkers in the Valenti Modified Racing Series Port City 100 at New Hampshires Center of Speed.

This track, Ive raced here a ton of times, the pro-fours then modifieds, this is the first time Ive ever won at Lee. Ive won at Star, Seekonk, all these tracks around here at least once in something. Here? I finished second four or five times in the pro fours and at least three times Ive finished second in the Valenti series, but Ive never won. I was telling Joey on the way up in the truck- for some reason, this track has always bit me- I love the track, Mr. McDonald is an awesome guy, but Ive never won. It was awesome, just like at Seekonk, I had to take a lap around the track with the checkered flag- its one of those things it was like, so this is what its like to win here. It was pretty cool.

Bonsignore crossed for second, Steve Masse third, Dwight Jarvis rebounding from an incident in a heat race was fourth and series defending champion Rowan Pennink fifth.

Savory becomes the first VMRS repeat winner of 2014, his first at Seekonk earlier in the month for car owner Robert Walendy while Bonsignore registered his fourth 2nd place finish of the VMRS season.

Long green runs was the order of the night with only two cautions slowing the action in the VMRS Port City 100. Carey led the 18 car field to green with Szegedy and Donnie Lashua making it a three car break from the pack. Szegedy in the Stuart Automotive modified used patience making several attempts to pass but was not successful- Carey in the Pete Kulessa modified continued to lead.

Meanwhile, Savory who started 11th on the grid settled into tenth, turned it up as the green flag laps ticked off the board. Sixth by lap twenty-five, ten circuits later, Savory was fourth, then passed Steve Masse for third just before lap forty and at the half way mark, it was Carey, Szegedy, Savory, Masse, Lashua, Pennink, Bonsignore, Matt Mead, Dwight Jarvis and Anthony Nocella the top ten.

One circuit past the half, Savory made his move low passing Szegedy for second and set his sights on becoming the new leader. The opportunity came a few laps later and heading into turn one, Savory dove low and coming out of turn two, became the new leader of the night on lap 55.

I got to third and I said Ill settle in and I did. Im watching those two guys, (Carey and Szegedy) and Todds trying so hard to get by the 42, hes running him up and down, up and down, I thought geesh, I might be able to get by both these guys. I went in one time, it didnt work, then I think the 85 realized he had to make his move so he drove harder and when he drove harder, he used his car up and the 42, he was just used up. It made it easier the second time to roll by them both.

The first caution of the night waved on lap 73 when Max Zachem spun out of turn four. Zachem able to continue, the yellow flag closed up the field and on the restart with Savory on the point, Szegedy, Masse, Bonsignore, Carey, Jarvis, Mead, Nocella, Chris Pasteryak and David Schneider the top ten.

Bonsignore made his move picking up two spots, now in second, becoming the new threat for the lead. With 25 to go, it was Savory, Bonsignore and Masse.

The second and final caution came on lap 83 when a battle heated up for sixth, contact sending Nocella up the track and around just out of turn two.

On the restart Savory, Bonsignore, Masse, Jarvis and Pasteryak led to the green and quickly the City Port 100 became a two-man show with Savory and Bonsignore breaking from the pack.

Coming around for the final lap, Savory admittedly became a little loose, Bonsignore could not check-up in time and contact got both Savory and Bonsignore out of shape - but the two were able to continue to the checkers Savory for the win, Bonsignore a solid second, Masse, Jarvis and Pennink fifth.

I accelerated on the white flag lap and the car came out sideways, and I thought, oh boy, here I go, Im going to spin out on the last lap all by myself. I had to lift to catch it. So Justin got a run, he said I saw you, when you got loose, it gave me a shot. But he also had enough respect to let me save it. He hit me, I got sideways, he could have finished me so easy, but he didnt. Then out of respect for him, I held the car down so he could go to the outside then we raced to the start finish line. I was done, if it was one more lap, I was done.

I just set my own pace in the beginning, said Justin Bonsignore who wheels the Art Barry owned modified. I could tell a couple of the guys were a little too aggressive- I just listened to what Kenny (Barry) told me, hes not here tonight but he told me to stay on the lead lap were his words of advice actually (laugh), set my own pace no one really passed us then as it stayed green I figured it was time to pick it up a little bit. That restart worked out perfect and we got to second. We were pressuring Richard and we had him beat on the next restart he had to do what he had to do to win the race. Im still new to the series, still learning the ins and outs- how some of these guys race. Another near win for Bonsignore, they know they will have their turn. We have four seconds and a seventh so were knocking on the door. Bonsignore was credited with leading one lap.

I came here to race the car not play follow the leader so I was going to try and get to the front, said Steve Masse of Bellingham, MA. I got to fourth place then after that I toned it back a little bit and tried to stay on the same straight away as the leaders. We probably had a third or fourth place car tonight. Im happy with third. Were looking forward to Monadnock, we had a good run there last time, definitely ran better than we usually run there.

Dwight Jarvis from Ascutney, VT was caught up in a tangle during the heat race resulting in front end damage. While the crew worked to get the car ready for the feature, other teams pitched in to help. The cars were lined up to go out for the show, Jarvis fired up and made it just in time, taking his starting position 16th on the grid. The night ended with Jarvis a serious contender for the podium but settled for a fourth place finish. This crew is super. I had extra help here tonight, Luke Hinckley (ACT) and his crew, Lukes brother in law Ricky- I was lucky to have help tonight.

The car was getting a little loose at the end there cause I had to start in the rear and I might have went a little early but I thought thats what I had to do to get up towards the front, explained Jarvis. I just cant thank these guys enough, Mike Wells the crew chief, hes been with me since he was like eight years old. Its him, me and Dave Kibby that work on it all the time- these other guys are extra who came to help tonight. Then I had help from Charlie Pasteryak, I really want to thank him for that, Kevin Stuart who owns the 85 car came over to help, you have a bunch of nice guys on this series.

Congratulations to Bonnie and Dwight Jarvis who celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary earlier in the week.

We were just a little too free the whole time, said defending series champion Rowan Pennink about his fifth place finish. We pitted and made it a little better but it wasnt enough- a little too late- we ended up with a top five out of it which wasnt bad for what we had.

Savory, Bonsignore, Masse, Jarvis and Pennink the top five- Chris Pasteryak, David Schneider, Tom Carey, Jr., Donnie Lashua and Max Zachem completed the top ten.

During the opening pace laps, the VMRS lined up and paced the field with the missing man formation in memory of fellow driver Jim Boniface. Boniface lost his battle against cancer this past week and services were held earlier in the day at Monadnock Speedway. The Boniface family was on the minds and in the hearts of those at Lee Speedway tonight.

The VMRS returns to Monadnock Speedway next Saturday night July 5th for the Firecracker 100, the second of three shows for the VMRS at the fast, high-banked quarter mile oval.

Source: Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: June 28, 2014

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