MODIFIED RACING SERIES
MAKES FIRST APPEARANCE AT SPEED 51
since the announcement the Valenti Modified Racing
Series was heading to the Great North Woods of New
Hampshire in 2016, many have embraced the thought of
visiting a popular racetrack they had never seen,
never raced on, or only heard or read about. This
weekend the opportunity to race at Speedway 51 in
Groveton, New Hampshire becomes a reality.
The ground-pounding modifieds, never before seen by
many northern New Englanders, will be going the
distance of 100-laps as part of the season opening
event Saturday, May 28, presented by NAPA.
Reigning VMRS champion, Woody Pitkat, of Sturbridge,
Mass, fresh off a strong runner up finish at
Stafford (CT) Speedway last Friday, recalls going to
the then Riverside Speedway as a child.
“I’ve been up there when I was probably 10 or
12-years old. My great grandmother had a house up
there and we went to the races once or twice,
Pitkat furthered, “That’s one of the things I like
about this series like last year for me going to
Claremont and Beech Ridge and a neat challenge like
this will be. I like getting on the Internet and try
to learn as much as you can about the tracks. Walk
the track when you get there. A lot of people have
said it’s a real nice place. Looking forward to it.”
In addition to Pitkat, other champions who will make
the trip Saturday include three-time series
Champion, Jon McKennedy, of East Chelmsford, MA, a
15-time series winner. Two-time Champion Chris
Pasteryak, of Jewett City, CT, an 11-time series
winner who won the series opener at Monadnock
Speedway in April.
Grantham, New Hampshire’s Mike Willis. Jr, another
strong finisher at Stafford, is expected, as is Todd
Patnode, of Swanzey, NH. Russ Hersey, of Swanzey,
Matt Mead, of Richmond, NH. and Dana Smith, of
18-year old Brandon Dion, of Taunton, Colbey
Fournier, of Berkley, George Sherman, of Framingham,
Carl Medeiros of Westport, Roy Seidell, of
Easthampton, and Rob Richardi, of Easton, lead the
Mike Holdridge, a two-time series winner from
Madison, CT, looks forward to the challenge of
competing at a new venue.
That has been the general consensus among those
making the trek.
A new challenge, curiosity, and knowing that a
legendary race track has been brought back to life –
by a racer.
Built in 1964, the quarter mile oval has gone
through a major revamping by new owner Joey Laquerre,
a New England Hall-of-Fame member and Thunder Road
racing legend. The last two years Laquerre has made
major improvements to the facility.
Series founder Jack Bateman visited the track this
week. “Very impressed with the facility. Joey and
his staff have done a wonderful job. They just paved
the pit area. I think our fans who make the trip and
our competitors will be pleasantly surprised.”
Qualifying races start at 5:30 PM on Saturday
Speedway 51 is located on Brown Road in Groveton,
John Spence / Valenti Modified Racing Series
May 25, 2016