MASSE DIGS DEEP FOR THE
VMRS THOMPSON WORLD SERIES 75 WIN
To Earn VMRS Title
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.
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
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
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