VALENTI MODIFIED RACING SERIES WIN AT CLAREMONT
New Hampshire racer Russ Hersey, of Swanzey,
accomplished what he set out to do 14-years ago – to
win a Valenti Modified Racing Series race and it
finally happened Friday night, July 7, at historic
Claremont Speedway, Claremont, NH.
The win is also the first VMRS victory for car owner
Warren Mordenti, who with his late father “Billy”
has fielded modified race cars since the series
inception in 2003.
Hersey started 15th in a 15-car field and didn’t
make a run to the front in the early going. Pole
sitter Mike Willis Jr. of Grantham, NH, led the
first seven laps until Dylan Rock, of Enfield, NH,
snuck by and led the field for the next 30-laps.
Rock, age-17, was knocked from the lead when Sammy
Rameau, age-15, of Westminster, MA, battling for the
top spot, made contact with the leader. Both cars
were relegated to the rear of the field. On the
ensuing restart Hersey took command and led the race
to the finish.
For the driver of car # 88, the journey to victory
lane was not easy. “ We worked all week on the car
kind of a last minute deal to come up here. Warren
is from the area and he really wanted to come so we
dedicated the week to getting the car ready”, said
The Mordenti team worked throughout the day Friday
arriving late missing the first two practice
sessions. They made it into the third practice only
to discover a problem. “The motor was skipping –
turned out to be a couple of wires. Went back out
and it was tight. Made some adjustments and it came
to life in the feature, “ said Hersey.
Hersey concluded, “ The win means a lot to this
team. Warren lost his Dad over a year ago. I drove
for Bill. It is so special to give Warren a win like
this. All wins are special but when you have a guy
that scrapes and scraps and we stayed out (did not
race) all the way to July because of finances and we
got into a spot where we were comfortable we said --
its time to go racing. To give him a win is very
Dana Smith, of Sunapee, NH, ran a steady race and
finished a solid second.
Anthony Nocella, Woburn, MA, finished third but not
without the help of the Willis # 83 team. Nocella
suffered rear end problems (broken pinion shaft) and
did not compete in his heat race. Driver Mike Willis
sprinted home to Grantham, NH, to retrieve the part
necessary for the series point leader and three-time
winner this season, to compete. End result:
gratitude and a podium finish.
Willis finished fourth with Sammy Rameau racing back
to a top five finish. Donnie Lashua, Tony Ricci,
Matthew Mead, local Brian Robie, and Jeff Gallup
rounded out the top ten. Ricci returned to racing
after several years’ absence. He drove the Czarnecki
Bros. # 20 car.
11-cars finished on the lead lap.
Heat Race Winners: Willis (1) Robie (2)
Next Event: Lee USA Speedway
Friday July 21, 2017
Race # 6
July 7, 2017
Cautions: (4) Laps- 29, 38, 60, and 73
Unofficial Order Of Finish: (1) Hersey (2)
Smith (3) Nocella (4) Willis (5) Rameau (6) Lashua
(8) Mead (9) Robbie (10) Gallup (11) Medeiros, (12)
Richardi (13) Rock (14) Fournier (15) Douglas
John Spence Sr. / Valenti Modified Racing Series
July 8, 2017