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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series


Chris Pasteryak is Living Life to the Fullest with First VMRS Victory at the “Dog”

Thirteen years ago a new breed of modified racing series was formed and it kicked off its inaugural race season at Monadnock Speedway, a high banked ¼ mile track in Winchester, NH. Kirk Alexander a local track favorite won the series opener and helped set the foundations for the Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS).

Year number thirteen was just as exciting as the first year for the series. There were twenty-two cars competing in close quarters just as it was back on night one. And just like the beginning, drivers gave it their all as fans stood on their feet to absorb every exciting moment.
At race end Chris Pasteryak from Jewitt City, CT captured his first ever Monadnock VMRS win after holding off some of the best local talent with more laps on the track then Pasteryak could ever imagine.

Pasteryak came to Monadnock with a new car and his original number (15CT) to conquer the “Dog” and the first 2016 VMRS victory. He start the race sixth after finishing his heat race second behind David Schneider. Pasteryak wasted no time breaking into the top five and letting the field know he was a force to be reckoned with for the win.

“I finally got an MRS race at Monadnock! Jon McKennedy probably had the car to beat here tonight. When we were racing for the lead I did not give him any extra room because I knew he would pass me easily. Because of that he probably spun out trying to be nice to me. There was only 18 laps to go and I was trying to hold onto the lead. So that is racing I guess. But when it was all said and done, he probably had a better car than I did tonight.”

On lap 50 when the cars came to the line, Pasteryak wasted no time passing Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT. for the lead. Pitkat had been dominant for twenty-five circuits and Pasteryak knew if he was going to sneak past him now was the time. Pasteryak went forward to lead the field every laps until the checkered flags flew holding off hard charges from the field.

Pasteryak has now captured eleven wins with the series which will move him into the elite top four of VMRS winners. “It does not get much better. We had fast time at Hickory and then came here and got the win. We ran strong all night and that is really the important thing. I think that we have a piece for 200 laps coming up next month.” Modifieds will return to Monadnock Speedway on Saturday, May 21st for the inaugural “Winchester 200” for the Modified Touring Series (MTS). With a purse of $15,000 to win the new 2016 event will certainly draw modified competitors for their chance to take home the cash. The event is being advertised as the highest paying purse in Modified Racing to date with the total purse being $72,825.00.

Kirk Alexander of West Swanzey, NH, came into the season opener hoping to add to his record wins on the series. He gave it a valiant effort but was one spot shot at the end of the race finishing second. He started the race ninth and was satisfied racing there with the field until he knew it was time to turn his race up a notch. Alexander admitted that he held back a little waiting for the right moment to take action. “I just wanted to feel the car out. We changed some things. I believe we could have passed those cars at any time but we wanted to work our way up and tried to be easy on the tires. And the strategy paid off, we had a chance to win tonight”.

Midway, Alexander knew the time was right and he started picking off cars in front of him until he was contending with the top three. He remained there until the end waiting for the right slot and move for victory. But Pasteryak save his one last surge for the end and Alexander just could not catch him.

“We came up one short. When we got in front of Chris and I got into Woody and Chris gave me a little shot. “ Alexander knew it was just hard racing in close quarters so he slowed a little and let the action play out. “I slowed up because I did not want to drive into Woody. It was awesome racing with Chris. I tried to give him as much room as I could but at the end before the last restart I had a piece for him. You could see his car was tight in and loose off so I tried to get by him but he was one notch stronger. It was great night of racing”

Russ Hersey, a local racer from Swansey, NH, crossed the finish line third after racing conservatively through the first half of the race. After the half-way mark he began dicing it up with the leaders to challenge for the number one position. “At the end racing with Chris (Pasteryak) and Kirk (Alexander) I had a great piece down the bottom but I could not step on the throttle,” confessed Hersey. “So I was having to baby it a little bit. I got up aside Kirk and I tried to make a good shot down the back stretch and it twisted up. Kirk had a good run which is good because his team has been searching for something to run with and Chris is always great to run with. I am thrilled and the car is in one piece so we have something to work with. Next time we come we will try a little bit better.”

Donnie Lashua crossed the finish line fourth followed by Jon McKennedy in fifth. Lashua hung out in the top five all night after starting the race in that slot. McKennedy in the meanwhile came from the rear of the field after a last race caution spun him like a top on the front stretch.

On lap 81, the hard charger of the race, Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, MA, decided he had the car to beat Pasteryak and tried a move under him coming out of turn four. McKennedy had the car to beat the field but something happened after the turn four braking that forced him to take evasive action rather than to wreck the leader. He spun off on the bottom of the front stretch and the field was able to get by without incident. It was a professional race move on McKennedy’s part, but was a tough one to do when the win is within your reach. “There was a little bit too much rear brake inside the wheel hub,” explained McKennedy after the race. “I had to spin or the only other option at the time was to drive right over Chris (Pasteryak).”

“Chris had a good three to four car length on me and I was able to get up to his rear bumper. I saw an opening underneath him and when I saw the wheel hopping around in the corner, I knew I lost it. I should have just waited a few more laps where I just could have pulled up next to him and I would have been fine. We restarted in the back and came up to fifth so the end was disappointed. I feel like I gave a series race away.”

So with the first race of the season in the books, the VMRS teams will head back to the shop and prepare their strategies and equipment for Friday night racing under the lights at Stafford Motor Speedway on May 20th. See you there!

Notes from Monadnock Speedway:

Why is Chris Pasteryak now behind the wheel of a VMRS modified numbered the #15CT?

Chris Pasteryak
Years ago Chris Pasteryak made the decision to run a more local series versus the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He started his racing career running in the #15CT and when the time was right moved behind the wheel of his dad, Charlie Pasteryak, famous blue #5. This year with a new race season and car to wheel, Pasteryak has decided to return to his roots and sports the #15CT on his modified. “Because that is what I started with in the MRS. For some reason it was the #52 when I raced for Wayne (Darling) and I did not want to switch numbers around on him all year.” The team just covered up the two on the #52 and made it work. “Then I could not us the #15 because Bobby Drown had it running the series. Then he gave it up so we had it back. But I already had been the #5 for a year or two so I kept the #5 on my car.”
“This I just decided, sometimes it is easier when I drive the blue car cover one with duct tape then it is to take it off. Then someone would have to come and re-put a decal on or tape over it. Plus it is where I started. So we are back to where we started. My dad is the #5 and I am the #15 again. So everything is kind of back to where we began.”

Are you still having fun competing in the series?

Chris Pasteryak
“We are definitely having fun running the series. It will be a little bit of a stuttered start though because the next race here is the 200 lap race. So my dad is going to run the race at Stafford and I will help him out. Then we will come here the night after for the 200 lapper. And after that we will pretty much hit them all as the session goes on. Then we get to September to the “Race of Champions” at Oswego, which means we will not go to Beech Ridge but we will be racing pretty much every weekend.”

What was going through Pasteryak’s mind as the closing laps came nearer?

Chris Pasteryak
“Here we are with ten to go at Monadnock. I have spun out here and was beat by Dwight Jarvis on the restart and now I had Kirk Alexander racing behind me. We were just a tick better than Kirk. If he got in front of me I do not think that I could have passed him. But that is not the way that it worked out.”

Having fun back competing in the series, what is new?

Kirk Alexander
“I changed some things this winter along with changing my attitude. Coming back this season I have a good bunch of guys especially the guys in the past that have helped me the last couple of years. I want to thank them and my great sponsors because they make this all happen. It is really exciting to be competitive again!”
“This is all new to me again. I thought that it was an awesome race. It was great having a competitive car being upfront running competitively and having a shot to win the race. We started ninth and work our way up passing some decent cars. And the car did not fall off as it always has. I knew we did some different things and I am really happy with it. We still have to tweak it a little bit, but all and all it was a great night.”
“It is a short life and live it while you can because you never know when it will be over.” We the wise words that Alexander expressed reflecting the loss in his life and his new attitude to go forward with racing and family. Alexander wed his longtime girlfriend over the off season as he prepared his life’s journey forward.

Does home field advantage play a large role in racing at Monadnock Speedway?

Russ Hersey
“It sure does, you know where you can get aggressive and where you can’t.”
Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
: May 1, 2016

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