The Valenti Modified Racing Series visited Lee USA Speedway (NH) Sunday afternoon for not one, but two 50-lap feature events. Jeff Gallup scored his first-ever VMRS win in the first race, while 2017 series champion Anthony Nocella notched his first win of the 2019 season by winning the second race.
The first race of the day saw a brilliant duel for the lead between Gallup and Mike Willis, Jr. Willis led for a majority of the race, but Gallup was able to keep in touch and work around him as the leaders worked through traffic. In the closing laps, Gallup was able to hold off all challengers and take the victory ahead of Willis, Dylan Rock, Andy Shaw and Nocella.
“I couldn’t be any happier about that performance, the car was unbelievable,” Gallup said after the race. “It means a lot. It’s been four years in a Modified trying to get here and to be able to put the whole thing together. This whole crew is amazing. It’s been so many times here I’ve been leading at lap 50 of a 75-lap race and run out of tires or whatever. I’m glad we finally closed the deal.”
In the second race, former PASS Modified dominator Andy Shaw had the dominant car. However, Nocella was able to catch back up to him as the race ran on. Shaw was attempting to work through lapped traffic when he was blocked by the slower car of CJ Bolton, allowing Nocella to get by to take the lead and ultimately the victory.
The victory was Nocella’s first of the 2019 season and his 11th win overall in VMRS competition.
“We finally ran him down, but I don’t know if we had enough to get by him,” Nocella said. “We had enough to get to him, but then that one lapped car kind of ran him up and it was just enough to get by.
“He’s a great guy, runs you clean. I mean I could get to him, but I don’t know if I would have got him without that lapped car, without moving him, and we weren’t going to move him out of the way, you know? He’s a great guy, he runs us clean every time. We kind of got lucky there a little bit.”
Shaw crossed the finish line second, followed by Rock, Willis, and Cameron Sontag.
Race fans can watch a full on-demand broadcast of Sunday’s “May Madness” event at Lee USA Speedway by becoming a Speed51 Network premium subscriber.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series will race next on Saturday, June 8 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire.
-Story by: Ian Pettigrew, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent - Twitter: @ian_pettigrew
-Photo credit: Speed51