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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series



Bonsignore Rallies
To Earn VMRS Title
Denise DuPont

The season finale for the Valenti Modified Racing Series Thompson World Series 75 came down to a restart with only a handful of laps on the board. Leading from the drop of the green, Steve Masse of Bellingham, MA had to hold off the determined challenges one more time from Woody Pitkat and Keith Rocco to bring it home. Digging deep, it was Masse at the checkers celebrating his first career win at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

There were six cautions in the 75 lap race. The severest caution on lap 65 turned to a red flag when driver of the #07, Brian Schofield, was transported by Life Star to UMASS for evaluation and overnight observation. Coming out of turn three. Schofield had spun his car into the outside wall to avoid the original accident vehicles stopped right in front him. Dan Meservey and Justin Bonsignore racing hard had come together coming out of turn three and rested on the outside barrier. Bonsignore was able to drive away while it was the end of the night for Meservey.

Pitkat from Sturbridge, MA crossed the finish line second and Berlin, Ct’s Rocco followed for a podium position. Richard Savary of Holbrook, MA was fourth and Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, PA rounded off the top five.

The family owned #13 VMRS modified is a small team without a lot of resources. Pre-race they worked late into the night to get the family owned modified ready for the World Series event. Masse completed his heat race second and through the luck of the draw pulled the pole. Starting on the outside Masse jumped to the lead and never looked back. “This was a statement race. We put this car together in a week. Bought the motor from Billy the Kid on Wednesday and put it in on Friday. Our motor needed to be updated to keep up with the steel head engines. We worked until 3 AM this morning and it all paid off. This is an unbelievable engine in this thing.”

Once he had the lead, Masse paced himself and conserved his car as best as he could. “I was just trying to stay five car lengths in front of the guy behind me. That way I did not overdrive it. Then once I got to five lengths, I would just back it down to keep the tires underneath me.” Explained Masse about his strategy. “I have been waiting to win at this place for a while now, so it is good to finally get the win here. I have to thank my sponsors.”

Pitkat won his heat race and started second. He fell back to as low as fourth and leveraged this position on the last restart to pass Savary. “I was just hanging out there in the end. I do not know if I just used it up too early or what. We may have started the race too good because the car did need to be a little tighter. I was just trying to ride behind Masse for a while to save my equipment for the end.” Pitkat then confessed, “When the red flag happened – I really wanted it to stay green. But in the end the red did help us since we started on the outside after it. Definitely the outside was key tonight with the weather the bottom was not good. On the bottom every time there was a restart the person in that line went back. Keith went from second to fourth. It definitely was an advantage to have us on the outside”.

Rocco was not as lucky after the last caution. On the outside of Masse he slid back to fourth. This was very disappointing blow to Rocco who was ready to jump into the lead for the win “The gears are what hurt us in today’s race. They are penalizing the steel head motors and what they do not realize is that most of the top guys have the steel headed motors. In the end you are not penalizing the car that is upfront but rather the talent and team behind it. They had a chance for the sportiest race of the year and the race was single file with no passing except during the restarts. That was horrible. And it is all because of that gear rule, which is ruining the series racing competitiveness.”

Justin Bonsignore of West Islip, NY in the Art Barry owned, SPAFCO Race Chassis modified recovered from the late race incident to cross the line fourteenth collecting a season long quest for the title- Bonsignore was officially crowned the 2014 VMRS Champion.

VMRS Mr, Rooter Plumbing Rookie of the Year, Mike Willis, Jr held on for a top ten (ninth) finish. “We have had a really successful year,” said Willis. “I am glad that we made all the races. I have not taken a provisional. This race season I was able to qualify with all these guys and it was a tough field to race in every week.”

The VMRS teams will now have the winter to go through their cars and prepare for the series twelfth year of competition. Thank you for joining TheChromeHorn.com and its coverage of VMRS modified racing in 2014.

We are already looking forward to seeing you at the track or online in 2015.

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: October 21, 2014

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