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   The Chrome Horn -  Modified Touring Series


Preece Lightning Strikes in Another Modified Series!

The Modified Touring Series (MTS) started the 2017 race season with a chill breaking first race at Monadnock Speedway. Twenty modifieds showed up to compete in the series first race. But only nineteen modifieds took the green flag. Carl Medeiros, Jr. in the family owned #59 modified qualified eighth but did not make it out for the race.

The series race events included: Pre-Heat qualifying where each car ran five laps. The first three laps were warm up and the next two were timing for heat qualifying position. Fastest in the pre-qualifying session started up front in the heats. Competitors then prepared for heat races. There were three heat races where drivers raced hard to establish their potential starting position. Jon McKennedy, Dylan Kopec, and Ryan Preece, secured heat wins. The final pre-race activity was a draw for the top ten qualifiers for their starting position. Through the luck of the draw Richard Savary had the pole with Jon McKennedy on his side.

When the green flag flew, Savary jumped to the lead where he remained for the first 13 laps. Then Ryan Preece passed under him to take over the top position after a fifth place race start. From there Preece led the caution free race holding off Jon McKennedy for his first MTS win. With the race running green to checker without a caution, the drivers’ main strategy was to make it to the front if you could while staying safe as you passed lapped traffic. The hard charger of the race was Chris Pasteryak who climbed from tenth to fourth by race end. Preece did not have as far to go, but as the leader his hardest role was to hold off the persistent charges of McKennedy. “We are really surprised that the race went from white to green to checkered.” Stated Preece after the race. “We were definitely not expecting that.”

With Preece strong in qualifying, winning his heat race and making it to the front before there were fifteen laps in the books, he proved he had the car to beat. “We had a really good race car. Jon McKennedy was really fast. Right around lap 30, I knew that I really had to pace myself because he is definitely someone that comes on in the end.” Confessed Preece. “The last 20 laps I was just trying not to get that right rear hot. I got it hot pretty early and I tried to roll it back and cool it down to keep that little bit of grip that we had in it. I got a little carried away across the start-finish line which shows everybody that we are driving pretty hard out there.“

On lap 28,McKennedy passed Savary for second and soon was on Preece’s rear bumper. “I thought that Jon (McKennedy) was going to be coming at me pretty strong. I was able to find a groove to run between those lapped cars that really helped give me some side bite in three and four and that seemed to help a little bit.” So as Preece looked in his rear view mirror and listened to his spotter was he preparing for potential challenges from anyone? “The only real person I was worried about at the end was Jon (McKennedy) because I know that he is a real smart individual when it comes to setting up his race cars and what he wants. And I know he is always there at the end and he always has a fast race car at the end. That was definitely somebody that I thought threatened by. Right about fifteen to twenty to go we got away a little bit enough to pull away. I then was riding around not forcing the issue. I was hanging on but I felt that I had a really good race car.” In the end, Preece captured the $3,000 purse for the #6 race team and the glory of winning the first MTS 2017 Season race.

Crossing the finish line second was Jon McKennedy. He showed the strength of his modified by topping the chart in qualifying, winning his heat race and starting on the front row. The #29 Exit Realty sponsored family owned modified was definitely one of the best appearing cars on the track and it was prepared to race for the win. Losing the win by only one position is nothing to be ashamed of as McKennedy once again showed his he will be a 2017 race contender. “The car ran pretty good.” Stated McKennedy after the race. “I knew going into the night that Ryan would be tough to beat. And that spec engine is just a tough deal. It sparks higher and burns twice as much fuel. I knew as that race went on it would be tough to hang with him and ultimately that was what happened.”

Another race, another division and McKennedy once again ran a strong top five.” t was a decent run, we ended up second. I really wish that we had a caution to regroup the field and got some strategy involved. It is what it is and second place is good. Lapped traffic was pretty good out there so it was not a race factor. A few times I got up to Ryan’s bumper and I peeked under him but ultimately he was the car to beat. The first 60 to 70 laps it was good and if not better the last 30 or 40 laps. He could gradually pull away about a car length per lap. We will move on to the next race and see what happens.” So when a race goes green to checker without a caution, teams have to change their plans and hope for their best run.

Rowan Pennink was involved in an incident during heat race competition and had to rely on his team to help him recover and do his best in the race. And that they did. “We had a pretty good car. It was crashed up a little bit in the heat race. But the guys did a good job getting it back together. They were able to get it where it needed to be to get us to a top five run.” Pennink said after his podium finish. “I tried to save the car a little bit during the middle of the race. But Ryan and Jon both had great cars and I just did not have enough for them tonight. I ended up third. I did not quite have enough for a top two but overall it was a good night.”

Chris Pasteryak finished fourth and Richard Savary fifth. Woody Pitkat, Les Hinckley, Tommy Barrett, Eric Goodale and Kirk Alexander rounded up the top ten finishers.

So after a very chilly night of racing, teams and fans headed home and will prepare for the next race and the challenges that it brings.

Notes From Monadnock Speedway O’Reilly auto Spring Dash 125

Thoughts on American Racer Tires?

Ryan Preece

“So, I was impressed with the tire. Now I have to transition what I learned here with this tire to the modified tour. I need to learn to get my car better on the Hoosier I guess after seeing this car here so good on American Racer.”

Jon McKennedy
“The tires seem to be really good. They do not seem to quite have the traction that the Hoosier does. But they repeat very well and they last a lot longer. I think overall that they are a pretty good tire.”

What are your thoughts on the 125 lap race format?

Jon McKennedy

“I think that the 125 lap format is nice. Tonight we did not get to see much of the format in play in here because the race went from green to checker. I think that they can come up with a better idea on how that should work. “

Rowan Pennink
“The 125 race format was good. I do not think that we need to do heat races and time trials for qualifying. I think that one or the other would be good and then let’s go racing. It makes for a long day but it was overall a good night.”
Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: April 23, 2017

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