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   The Chrome Horn -  Modified Touring Series


Tire and Pit Strategy Make the Difference
by Denise DuPont

The Exit Realty Modified Touring Series (MTS) made their second visit to Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday July 21st. This time there were no mandatory pit stop so strategies belonged solely to the teams. With 100 green laps of racing on their agenda the MTS drivers took the green flag and started their quest to be the one in the top position at the end. Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, MA inherited the lead on lap 30 and went forward to capture his second MTS series win at Stafford.

“This year has been amazing.” Stated McKennedy in Victory Lane. “This is a team sport and a lot of guys help me to get here. That includes the car builder Eddie Flemke at Race Works, Mike Petit of Petit Race Engines, my crew and everyone involved. They all give me a good car and it makes my job easier. Without them and my sponsors I could not do it. Anyone that wants to buy a house it is Exit Realty all the way!”

The first caution for the night occurred on lap 30 when Steve Masse of Bellingham, MA and TJ Bleau of Troy, NH appeared to make contact on the front stretch. Masse pitted with a left front flat. It was the end of Bleau’s night. Other teams took advantage of the caution to pit, take fresh rubber, make adjustments or get gas. Staying out and now the lead car was McKennedy. His car was dialed in and he was ready to go racing. “It was a tough decision. The first fifty laps I was really not driving as hard as I could. I was only at about seventy-five percent as hard as I could. I wanted to make sure I had some left at the end. Rowan (Pennink) was tough on me and I wanted to make sure I had something for those last 30 laps. He was basically on my bumper and I could not get away from him. But in the long run I was in the come away car of which I was much more comfortable.”

“All in all it worked out,” confessed McKennedy. “It was a tough race and it is great to be here at Stafford. It is an awesome track and I really enjoy running it.”

Woody Pitkat of Sturbridge, MA had a great run at his home track for a runner up finish. “I should be happy, but I am not happy with the way that the car was handling. I had a real good pit stop. My crew made some adjustments which made it (car) a little bit better. After that I had to come up through the field. It was a good race and I appreciate everyone running me clean. Jon and I ran side by side for a few laps there. That is what we are here for – put on a show for the fans. It was a good night, I had a good run and I have a good start for the ‘Chase for the Championship.“

Richad Savary of Canton, MA ended his night with a podium finish. “The car was much better tonight here. It did not run well in the heat, but in the feature it was good. We made a quick stop and put a tire on it. At the end we were coming forward and I wish we had made that move a little earlier. We started the chase off tonight and I got a top three which is a nice start.”

Rounding up the top five were Tommy Barrett for fourth and Mike Holdridge for fifth. Dylan Kopec, Calvin Carroll, Ryan Preece, Les Hinckley and Eric Goodale complete the top ten.
Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: July 22, 2017

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