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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series



It was a perfect lead-in to the tracks annual fireworks presentation. The final 9-laps were explosive as drivers made their last run at a strong finish. Chris Pasteryak dove under David Schneider to fifth, Todd Patnode, dove under Steve Masse for a podium finish, but it was the battle for the win that was the grand finale.

Russ Hersey, of Swanzey, NH, dominated the annual Valenti Modified Racing Series ‘Firecracker 100’ at his home track taking the lead on lap-21 and holding it until a last lap showdown with Jon McKennedy, of E. Chelmsford, MA, before a large crowd at Monadnock Speedway Saturday night July 2.

McKennedy, a former ‘Firecracker 100’ winner, used the closing laps to size up the task of passing for the win as he chased Hersey. On lap 99, McKennedy went high into turn one, exited turn two on the bottom, drag raced Hersey down the back stretch, dove under the leader in turn three, again drag raced Hersey off turn four to win by a half-car length his third VMRS race of the season and pad his point lead in the series point standings.

The victory is McKennedy’s 18th career series win.

In victory lane Hersey made his way to McKennedy to talk about what had just happened. “Ya that was pretty cool. Russ and me are good friends. It came down to him and me. The restarts were a little tough he had me going in there pretty high and I knew the last few laps I had to size him up.”

With Series starter Tim Bennett waving the white flag, McKennedy explained his lap-99. “ I went into turn one there real high and I got a good arc across the corner had a real good head of steam on the back straight-away and was able to complete the pass into three. It wasn’t easy.”

Hersey was complimentary in his runner-up position and despite losing out on his first VMRS win, knows there will be another day.

“The car was hooked up pretty good tonight. I definitely didn’t need those last couple of cautions. We had a pretty good lead cruising around and with about 10 (laps) to go the right rear started giving up so I went into defense mode. I mean Jon’s won every thing from North Carolina to Groveton and I knew he was going to cross me over. There was just nothing I could do to prevent it. If there is anybody that I have to get beat by at the line it’s that kid right there. He’s an awesome racer.

Todd Patnode was pleased with his third place finish. He worked for it in the closing stages ” We are happy with the car we changed some things around. The clutch started slipping about halfway through so I started easing into the throttle so that hurt us a little.”

Steven Masse made his first VMRS start and wheeled the familiar #13 car a fourth place finish, with Chris Pasteryak, who spun on lap-28, rallying to finish a respectable fifth.

Geoff Gernhard, Matt Mead, Scott McMichaels, and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top ten.

26-cars started the 100-lap event. 9-cars were on the lead lap at the finish.
Seven yellow flags slowed the race.

Heat Race Winners: (1) Lashua (2) Patnode (3) Gernhard

Next Event: Claremont (NH) Speedway
July 8, 2016

Race No 7 – Monadnock Speedway -Winchester, NH.
July 2, 2016

Distance: 100-laps
Entrants: 26: (all cars started)
Lead Changes: 4 (Four drivers)
Cautions: (8)
Lap Leaders: Lashua (1-3), Patnode (4-11) Pitkat (12-20) Hersey (21-99) McKennedy (100)

Unofficial Order of Finish: (1) Jon McKennedy, (2) Russ Hersey, (3) Todd Patnode, (4) Steve Masse, (5) Chris Pasteryak, (6) Dave Schneider, (7) Geoff Gernhard, (8) Matt Snead, (9) Scott McMichaels, (10) Woody Pitkat, (11) Rob Richardi, (12) Jeff Pearl, (13) Branden Dion (14) Jeffrey Gallup (15) Dylan Rock, (16) Josh King, (17) Mike Willis, (18) Chris Bakaj, (19) Roy Seidell, (20) Brandee Tree, (21) Troy Talman, (22) Donnie Lashua, (23) Carl Medeiros Jr, (24) Colbey Fournier (25) TJ Bleau, (26) Kirk Alexander

Source: John Spence / Valenti Modified Racing Series
: July 3, 2016

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