FIRST CAREER WIN AT LEE
Repeat Winner of 2014
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
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
Hampshire’s ‘Center of Speed.’
“This track, I’ve raced here a ton of times, the pro-fours then modifieds,
this is the first time I’ve ever won at Lee. I’ve 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 I’ve finished
second in the Valenti series, but I’ve 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 I’ve never won. It was
awesome, just like at Seekonk, I had to take a lap around the track with the
checkered flag- it’s one of those things – it was like, so this is what it’s
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 I’ll settle in and I did. I’m watching those two
guys, (Carey and Szegedy) and Todd’s trying so hard to get by the 42, he’s
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 didn’t 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
“I accelerated on the white flag lap and the car came out sideways, and I
thought, oh boy, here I go, I’m 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 didn’t. 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, he’s
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. I’m 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 we’re
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. I’m happy with third. We’re looking forward to Monadnock,
we had a good run there last time, definitely ran better than we usually run
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, Luke’s 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 that’s what I
had to do to get up towards the front,” explained Jarvis. “I just can’t
thank these guys enough, Mike Wells the crew chief, he’s been with me since
he was like eight years old. It’s 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 wasn’t enough- a little too late- we ended up with a
top five out of it which wasn’t 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
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