TOMMY BARRETT WINS TRI-TRACK
OPEN MODIFIED SERIES LAST RACE
Running For The Cash,
It Is A ‘Wreckers to Checkers Race’
Open Wheel Tri-Track Open Modified Series rounded off their 2014 season with
‘Open Wheel Wednesday’ at Seekonk Speedway on Wednesday July 23rd. With over
$50,000 in total prize money, top drivers from the northeast headed to
Seekonk for their chance to take home a piece of the bootie. In total, forty
five teams headed to the ‘Cement Place’ for their chance to take home the
$10,000 winner’s purse.
The race format defined twenty-five starting positions. There were twenty to
qualifying through heat races, two drivers from each of the two consi races
and then the winner of the B-Main race had their choice to race or take home
$1,000 in cash. Matt Galko of Meriden, CT was the B-Main feature winner and
selected to start the race.
Home track favorite, Todd Annarummo of Swansea, MA., started the race on the
pole with Tommy Barrett, Jr., of Willis, MA. on his outside. Annarummo held
onto the lead for most of the race but did not lead the most important lap,
the last one.
The two drivers were evenly matched and ran door-to-door most of the race.
About lap 85 Barrett decided it was time to make a move. Running on the
outside he dropped under Annarummo and there was some contact but both car
made it through. Now in second Annarummo surged back on the outside but a
caution on lap 87 stopped his momentum. The incident was brought out by a
spin involving Steve Masse, Anthony Nocella and Kyle James.
For the first time in the race, Barrett had the pole on a restart. When the
last green was thrown he charged forward with Annarummo going to the
outside. Waiting silently in third Matt Hirschman saw an opening and pulled
by Annarummo for second. Barrett and Hirschman raced hard until lap 97 when
Hirschman running on the outside suddenly slowed and took Annarummo
backwards with him. Jon McKennedy saw an opportunity and jumped from fifth
to second running there for the final three laps. McKennedy making that one
last dash for the cash chased Barrett across the finish line while Hirschman
and Annarummo pursued them. The two finished third and fourth respectively.
Richard Savary rounded up the top five.
Capturing the large purse added another notch in the young Barrett’s race
portfolio. Excitedly reflecting on the win, Barrett expressed his thoughts
on the race: “It was one of the biggest paying races of the year and winning
was huge Top guys from the series (Valenti Modified Racing Series) and the
tour (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) competed so we knew we had to beat some
of the top drivers. There was a lot of quality there in the forty-five cars
that showed up to compete. Just coming home on top really means a lot. Also
my grandfather passed away this past weekend and I wanted to get the win for
him and that meant a lot.”
“We have had actually had a really good year with the #9 car,” confessed
Barrett about his 2014 season in the family owned #9 modified. “Our first
race we won at Thompson with the MRS. We got a second at Stafford race and
we won at Seekonk Open Modified race. And earlier this year we had a good
car at Lee and at Star at the other Open Wheel Tri-Track Series races. So we
have had a strong year with the #9 car especially after last night. We are
now going to run Waterford with the MRS. So everything is good with the team
right now and hopefully we can just continue what we are doing and keep the
Rounding out the top ten on the event were: Ryan Preece, Vinnie Annarummo,
Rowan Pennink, Paul Newcomb, Jr. and Anthony Nocella.
We now all have to look forward to 2015 to see what the Open Wheel Tri-Track
Open Modified Series promoters will plan for their spin on modified racing
in the future.
Some Extra Race Notes From Seekonk
From your driver’s seat can you walk us through
some of the race action?
“Todd (Annarummo) started on the pole and I started second. For the first
two laps I tried to make a move and it was not working so I thought I would
ride behind him for a little bit. I took the lead from him early on and he
came back and got past me. We had a few restarts where I was on the outside.
When the race was finally getting down to the wire about lap 81, I said it
is time to go. I tried to get by him on the outside on the restart and we
actually ran side-by-side for about 5 laps. He bought me up the track a
little bit but nothing bad. I drove into turn three and finally I got the
break. He got loose a little bit and I crossed him up and came down. I think
he got on the brakes a little bit to stop me and I got into his left rear a
little bit but I still got under him. I completed the pass in turn one and I
took off from there.
With the race being a run for the money what
were your thoughts on the race?
“This race being a one-time race for the big purse you are not really
worried as much about wrecking the car. It is pretty much a ‘Wreckers to
Checkers race’. That was what is in your mind going into the race. With all
the best guys competing from series and tours that just makes it that much
better to be able to take home the $10,000.”
Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com