TRAVELS AND RACE SHOP DEDICATION
GAIN JONATHAN MCKENNEDY RECORD SEASON
from the Carolinas to Maine and against much of the
east’s asphalt Modified stars, Jonathan McKennedy
drove to a record 11 wins in 2016.
Driving his family’s #29 Modified, sponsored by EXIT
Realty and Christopher’s Towing, McKennedy grabbed 9
wins in Valenti Modified Race Series action;
allowing him to cruise to a dominant point’s title;
his 4th in eight seasons.
McKennedy also won 2 races in PASS Southern Modified
competition with one each coming at Ace Speedway and
the historic Hickory Motor Speedway.
Though the season was great for the East Chelmsford,
Mass racer, he’s come close to equaling its success
before. In 2009 he put together a season that should
have captured plenty of attention. Entering his very
first touring Series in a Modified, McKennedy
combined race wins with top-ten finishes to capture,
at the time, the True Value Modified Series
Championship. In 2010, showing it was no lucky
thing; he grabbed the title again.
In 2012, McKennedy jumped behind the wheel of NASCAR
Hall of Fame car owner Art Barry’s Modified. Now
called Valenti Modified Race Series, the name change
made no difference; the duo handily won the
McKennedy has now won 4 VMRS Championships and, at
present, sits 2nd on the all-time win list with 24
victories. (Kirk Alexander has 31). McKennedy also
won the 2014 Championship in Tri-Track Touring
Series competition where drivers from NASCAR, VMRS
and ROC (Race of Champions) regularly compete.
McKennedy stood proudly as Champion over fifty-three
other drivers, more than 18 being current or former
“Lots of work”, said McKennedy, “spending nearly
every night in the shop”. But it’s been very special
because of my guys and girls stepping-up too.
Everyone was all-in and helping any way they could.
“We began talking about options in early January,”
revealed McKennedy. I wanted, and still would like
to drive for a NASCAR Tour team or a program down
South. We had earlier sent out letters, my resume
and stats to teams and owners. Some responded with
phone calls, and I made some calls on my own. But
nothing came together.
“To be honest, it all began to mess with my head and
heart. So early January I talked with everyone and
we made our choices; to race where we could, the
money shows first, and then see what happens.”
McKinney's team raced in 25 events at sixteen
tracks. At season’s end, they had captured 11 wins
and twenty-two top 4 finishes. McKennedy is
“We ran the same RaceWorks Chassis in every event,”
said McKennedy. “Eddie Flemke worked with me and
provided great support - perfect feedback to each
issue or idea.
Obviously it went well and we realize eleven wins is
a nice accomplishment,” McKennedy mussed, “but as
racers (my team) we really wanted the twelfth; this
last one at Concord Motorsports Park. In my opinion,
the North-South Shoot-Out is our era’s equivalent of
Trenton or Pocono’s Race of Champions. Concord is a
unique layout and the competition is wicked.
“Teams from everywhere show-up with great drivers;
similar to what I’ve heard about at Trenton or
Pocono back in the day. It’s also prestigious
because it is the John Blewett III Memorial, and
more recently, everyone’s friend Charlie Kepley. I
hope no one loses sight of that man because he
started that whole deal. Like so many others, we
really want to win it.”
The season also showed McKennedy can still wheel a
900 HP ISMA Super Modified when he jumped in Jim
Bodnor’s #96 for Star Speedway’s Classic. McKennedy
roared to Pole Position and looked to be a contender
for the win until an engine explosion stopped him.
For 2017, McKennedy has begun what so many others
have also started, looking for added sponsors and
partners to join his team.
“I’m looking to advance my career as a driver in
NASCAR or any other Series. We have good supporters
of our current program, and could certainly bring
them along to another operation,” concluded
Richard (Rick) Raducha / Jon McKennedy
November 14, 2016