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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series




As the Valenti Modified Racing Series prepares to return to Stafford Motor Speedway on July 18 for the Lincoln Tech 80, Holbrook, MA native Richard Savary is riding a hot streak. Savary has won the last two VMRS races leading up to the Lincoln Tech 80 and he has three wins overall this season, giving him the distinction of being the only VMRS driver with more than one victory thus far in 2014.

“So far, so good,” said Savary. “We had a tough start to the year, we didn’t finish the first two races and that put us behind the 8-ball a little. Our mindset after that was let’s see if we can go win some races and have fun. I think the biggest thing for us was the team coming together. We added Joey Kourafas to the team last year and we won at Thompson last season, which was our first win. Joey regrouped with us over the winter and he’s been calling the shots this year. We’ve been fast at every race we’ve been to. We were fast last time out at Stafford, we just had a bad draw and we had to start in the back after qualifying through the consi and we ended up finishing 10th. That race ran really clean, there were only one or two yellows, so there was no chance to get back towards the front. But we did turn the fastest lap of the race on the last lap of the race so the car was fast but the finish didn’t show how good the car was running.”

Savary’s new crew chief on the #99 Alloy Wheel Repair team is a former driver with ties to Stafford Speedway. Kourafas won the very first Late Model Stock Car North feature event at the Inaugural Fall Final in 1973 at Stafford.

“Joey has been the biggest change for us,” said Savary. “It took me almost 2 years to convince him to come on with us. He was at the races and I asked him to come on just as a driver advisor and that’s how we got started. Last year we had a couple of changes in the team and we asked him if he wanted to become the crew chief and we had a string of top-5 finishes and a win at Thompson.”

Savary has enjoyed past success at Stafford. In 6 previous VMRS starts at Stafford, Savary has 2 top-5 and 5 top-10 finishes. Despite his success at Stafford, he says he is at a disadvantage racing there compared to some of the drivers who race in the SK Modified® division every week. But that won’t dampen his enthusiasm for returning to Stafford and having another top-5 finish.

“I’d say Stafford is one of, if not the most prestigious track that we run on with the VMRS Tour,” said Savary. “We had a podium at Stafford last year and to have a good run at Stafford means a lot. We’ve had some good runs and some good finishes at Stafford, but the two turns are different and you can pass cars differently in turns 3+4 than turns 1+2 and the track is its own beast so to speak. Guys like Teddy [Christopher], Keith [Rocco], Ryan Preece, Rowan Pennink, that race there every week have a huge advantage over guys who run there only a couple times a year. They know where to move the cars around, they know the lines, they know what to expect for a feel in the car, and they know the difference between running practice and the race. There’s a lot of variables and it’s so different to drive that a regular has a huge advantage and Stafford has some very good regular drivers. It’s not unexpected to see those guys all running up in or near the top-5. When we can get up and run with those guys in the top-5 at Stafford, I feel like we’re doing pretty well.”

Savary’s recent hot streak has also vaulted him back into the thick of the VMRS championship chase after his subpar finishes in the first two races of the season. But despite his recent good fortunes, Savary says he and his team are not focused at all on points and are just out to win races, which gives the team a different mindset on the race track.

“We’re not looking at points at all,” said Savary. “We chased points last season because of the $10,000 bonus to the champion and I felt like that took a bit away from our racing. Not that we wanted to get off to a bad start this year, but after we had problems in the first two races, it was like points aren’t an issue anymore and let’s go racing. From that point on, we’ve been pretty fast everywhere we’ve gone. I think that is an advantage for me because the first three or four guys in the standings are worrying about points and every finish is important while I’m not thinking about anything but winning the race. At Monadnock all the cars I passed in the top-3 or 4 at the end of the race were the top points guys. I feel good and if we can bring the same type of car back that we had the last time at Stafford and draw a little better number and have a better starting spot, we can be there at the end. There’s probably 4 or 5 of the regulars that I mentioned who have an advantage at Stafford so I’ll go out of my way to try to follow them in practice and watch their heat races to study what they’re doing. They’re winning races so why not try to see what they’re doing different and how they’re getting through the turns and then try to figure out what feels the best in our car.”

The July 18 Lincoln Tech VMRS 80 will be the second of three VMRS events to be held at Stafford during the 2014 season. The VMRS will return on August 29 for the 5th Annual VMRS 80. Tickets for each race are priced at $27.50 for adult general admission, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $30.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Speedway offers free parking with free overnight parking for self-contained RV’s available.

For more information about the 4th Lincoln Tech VMRS 80, please contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

  Source: Scott Running / Stafford Motor Speedway
Posted: July 10, 2014

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