.Teams and Drivers,
Submit your FREE profile
 for 2010
   The Chrome Horn - News




Jon McKennedy Wins SBM 125
at Star Speedway

Denise DuPont / Polly Reid

The Tri-Track Open Modified Series completed the second of its three race at Star Speedway with so much excitement that fans were on their feet as laps wound down. The big payday came down to a six lap shootout. The three lead cars that had separated themselves from the pack but saw their advantage disappear when a caution came out on lap119. Les Hinckley knew the hard fought lead he had just earned was threatened, Rowan Pennink, dropping to third had another shot at the checkers while Jon McKennedy lining up second knew he was going to get one more opportunity to show how strong his car was.

On the final restart, McKennedy of Chelmsford, MA wasted no time powering on the outside of Hinckley to become the final leader of the night crossing the finish line for the checkers and the big cash payout.

“It feels great,” said McKennedy in victory lane. “The guys worked really hard today. I was complaining a lot, I wasn’t happy with the car- we changed springs, everything we could to make the car better. I told my spotter, Russ Hersey, about 20 laps in, we got a race car here and everything worked out.” McKennedy started the 125 green flag event ninth, moving up one spot by lap 25. With fifty circuits on the board, McKennedy had cracked the top five and at the half was still a solid fifth.

The majority of the field pitted on lap 69 including McKennedy who lined up deep in the field at fifteenth. “I thought I had a good enough car to do the whole race with the same tires and keep the balance but I just knew it would be really tough to hold off some of the cars that were putting on a new tire. So, I elected to pit, I restarted somewhere around the fifteenth position and within a few laps was running in the top five. The car was great and I knew if I stayed out of trouble, we were going to win.”

Two more cautions before the century mark, McKennedy kept his car out of trouble and lined up fifth on lap 98. This restart was the game changer for McKennedy who worked his way to third and as the laps ticked off, the top three, Pennink, Hinckley and McKennedy, broke from the field.

Hinckley made his move low for the lead on Pennink taking the top spot on lap 118 and McKennedy followed in Hinckley’s tracks for second.

The break McKennedy needed was the final caution with six to go. At the drop of the green, McKennedy’s car was solid as he passed Hinckley and never looked back. “I had a nice launch off the corner when I shifted the gear and was able to clear the leader by the time we got to the flag stand.”

“I want to thank all the fans for coming out, it’s a great night. I love racing here. To win this race is pretty special- to say I beat thirty of the best modifieds in the northeast is pretty cool. It wasn’t easy, those last 30 laps was probably some of the hardest I drove in a long time.”

“It’s a great group of guys involved,” said McKennedy about the Tri Track Series. “Jim Schafer, Long Island Maniac, Kevin Rice and The Racing Guys- I want to thank all of them, this wouldn’t be possible without them. It’s a great series- I’m looking forward to Seekonk.”

After sitting out race one of the Tri-Track Open Modified Series to tend to his son Allen’s needs, Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks, CT., decided at the last minute to compete in Saturday’s SBM 125 IV Modified Open feature race at Star Speedway. Hinckley was nineteenth in time trials, started his heat race fifth and wound up starting the 125 lap feature event nineteenth out of a field of twenty-four. “We did good in practice but did not qualify well. Then we just did not pick up any speed with the new tires. It kind of put us in a box because we had to do something new with our pit strategy. We pitted a little bit earlier than some other guys and strained the right rear at the end. If we had continued green for those last six laps we would have been pretty good but with every caution that we had, we wore the right rear more on the restarts. I knew that Jon had a new right rear and that he always runs good here, so congratulations to him.”

The #06 team has always run well at Star and they did not give up tweaking the car until it was dialed in enough to bring them to the front. Using the high groove to his advantage, Hinckley picked off the field one car at a time to the lead position. “Once we got the car straightened out, we passed a lot of cars on the outside and then we also passed quite a few on the inside. If you have a good car a lot of times you can gain positions quicker on the outside because guys are more willing to give the outside up and they protect the bottom more. On a lot of occasions I do not waste a lot of time trying to get underneath a guy. I just go to the outside and if it works there I get some cars. So the outside worked good for me. I passed a lot of cars thee. But the bottom of the race track is the preferred place so it is had to pass car there because drivers protect it. If you have a good handling race car, this is a two lane racetrack that is for sure.”

Counting off the laps Hinckley knew the race was his as long as he did not have to defend the lead in a race end restart. Then it happened, one last caution with six laps to go and with a worn right rear he could not hold off his competition. Hinckley had to settle for second. “The last caution killed us. I told them on the radio: “I will do my best but the right rear has had enough.” We pitted early to get some track position and it just I was getting good on the restarts. I could see on the way around. The longer it was green the better it was? If we did not get that last caution I think we could have held Jon (McKennedy) off. But the caution came out and we pitted for fresh rubber and he got by me. It was a good night.”

Richard Savary of Canton, Ma has competed weekly at Star Speedway in a modified and he considers the track his home track. He started one position ahead of Hinckley in eighteenth and used his knowledge of the track to secure a solid third place finish. “We had a great pit stop and got out in front of some of the faster cars like we want to,” said Savary. “Then I got myself boxed in on my own on the bottom and all the fast cars went right by me. I had to wait until late in the race until it singled out before I made my move. On the outside the car was handling well as was Chris Pasteryak’s car. So we were both just chewing on the outside and it was fun. At the end a couple of guys rubbed wheels. And we capitalized on their rubbing wheels. And here we are. From starting eighteenth I am pretty happy.”

The race was 125 laps and teams knew they were going to have to pit and change at a minimum the right rear. The #99 team made a plan and stuck to it. “Our pitting strategy worked for us today. I am sure that all the guys were not happy with it. It was do you pit early or do you pit late. And it hurt some of the guys that waited too long. Like the leaders that stayed out and pitted late. They waited too long. Both Hirschman and Barrett pitted too late. We pitted with a whole group of cars, but we beat them out of the pits. My guys did a great job we were just in and out. I like the way they did the lineup this year it was much safer. Faster guys started up front in heat race. As I stated I put myself in a bad position and all those guys got by me.”

The SBM 125 was one of the best modified races that we have seen in a while. Drivers were out on the track competing, strategizing and running for the win. Savary summarized the night up from a driver’s eyes best: “I thought for the fans it was a pretty good race because it was a lot of side by side racing. I know from where I was it was very busy there was no riding. A lot of races lately have been nothing but riding until a certain point in the race. Tonight I do not think I had my guard down from lap 1 to lap 125. Outside of the yellows these guys were two by two lap after lap. You were racing the whole time and that was fun racing. And it always seemed like there was someone outside, someone on the inside or someone in front of you. Hats off to the guys because there was a lot of bumping and banging but you did not see a lot of wrecks.”

The Tri-Track Open Modified Series will complete round third with Seekonk Speedway’s Modified Madness on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. With a $10,000 winning purse on the line, be ready for more side by side hard core modified racing.

Race Notes From Star Speedway SBM 125 IV:

How would you say your race day was?

Les Hinckley

“I am worn out to be honest with you. It has been a long couple of months here with my son. It was good to come back to the race track and have some fun. It would have been nice to win. We came here last year after some trying times and we have not forgotten about that. This year we come back here with some weight on our shoulders again from all we have been dealing with my son. The past couple of weeks he has done much better and we feel that we have had a little bit of a load lifted from us. It is just fun to be back. I love this place (Star Speedway). It is a good little track. We race side by side with guys tucked up tight and it is a lot of fun. “

SBM 125 IV PAYOFF June 14, 2014 $46,301 (record purse)
    1. Jon McKennedy $6,175
  2. Les Hinckley $3,725
  3. Richard Savary $2,375
  4. Steve Masse $2,650
  5. Anthony Nocella $1,575
  6. Rowan Pennink $2,500
  7. Woody Pitkat $1,510
  8. Max Zachem $1,300
  9. Chris Pasteryak $1,750
10. Derek Ramstrom $1,400
11. Tommy Barrett $1,475
12. Mike Douglas Jr. $1,500
13. Matt Hirschman $4,141
14. Andy Seuss $1,500
15. TJ Potrzebowski $1,300
16. Kirk Alexander $1,000
17. Matt Galko $1,100
18. Jim Storace $1,000
19. Ryan Preece $1,000
20. Carl Medeiros Jr. $1,000
21. Todd Ceravolo $1,125
22. Todd Szegedy $1,150
23. Matt Swanson $1,100
24. Andy Jankowiak $1,650

DNS: Todd Annarummo ($200), Dennis Perry ($300), Chris Bolton ($200), Jamy Beegor ($100), Colbey Fournier ($100), Rick Labrecques ($100), Josh Cantara ($$100), Mark McClay ($100), Rob Richardi ($100).

Source: Denise DuPont / Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: June 15, 2014

©2014 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.   Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without written prior consent