Stafford Springs, CT -- The Exit Realty Modified Touring Series made its first ever visit to Stafford for the MTS 125. Taking the checkered flag was Jon McKennedy, who passed Ryan Preece with four laps to go to take the win.
Ted Christopher streaked into the lead on the outside of Keith Rocco to take the early lead. Kirk Alexander looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he quickly bolted from fourth up to second at the start with Dylan Kopec taking third with Rocco falling back to fourth and Eric Goodale in fifth. The caution came out with 2 laps complete for a wreck in turn 3 that involving Les Hinckley.
Christopher took the lead with Kopec and Alexander side by side for second. Alexander took second with Tommy Barrett, Jr. muscling his way by Rocco into third before he spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 4 laps complete. Sam Rameau also came to a stop against the backstretch wall just at the exit of turn 2.
Christopher took the lead again back under green with Rocco, Alexander, Kopec, and Goodale making up the top-5. The caution came back out with 6 laps complete as Pennink, Alexander, and Goodale touched coming down the frontstretch and all 3 cars spun through the infield.
Rocco got a monster run in the outside groove on the restart and he took the lead from Christopher. Not to be outdone, Preece also got a great restart and he went by Christopher and then Rocco to take the lead at the line. Dylan Kopec was fourth with Chris Pasteryak in fifth. Jon McKennedy was charging his way through the field after an issue in his qualifying heat relegated him to the rear of the field for the start and he was up to sixth place on lap-20 as the top-6 cars were running in a train with a second pack of cars consisting of Pennink, Barrett, Pitkat, Hinckley, Jeff Gallup, and Richard Savary were giving chase.
Positions in the lead pack were beginning to change as Pasteryak went around Christopher to take third and then he took second from Rocco on lap-26. McKennedy was now fourth behind Christopher with Kopec in fifth. Christopher was looking hard to the inside of Rocco in a bid for third place but he wasn’t able to make a pass. Christopher was finally able to make a pass on lap-30 and as he moved into third, McKennedy followed him through to move into fourth and drop Rocco back to fifth. At the front of the field, Pasteryak was keeping pace right with Preece, not allowing him to pull away at all.
There was a competition caution that came out with 40 laps complete for cars to come to pit road for fuel only. The cars returned to the track in the order in which they came to pit road.
Preece took the lead back under green with Pasteryak and Pennink behind him. Kopec was working the outside lane in an attempt to get around Pennink for third but he was unable to make a pass stick. Rocco got around Kopec to take over the fourth position on lap-47 and Woody Pitkat and McKennedy followed him through to drop Kopec from fourth back to seventh.
The running order remained the same unitl the caution came out with 76 laps complete for debris on the track. Under the caution, the majority of the lead cars came to pit road for a fresh tire, which put Hinckley out front for the restart with Carl Medieros, Jr. in second, Chris Pasteryak in third, Pennink in fourth, McKennedy in fifth, and Preece in sixth.
Hinckley led the first lap on the restart but Medieros went to the lead on lap-78 but his time was short lived at the front as Preece came back strong to his inside and took the lead on lap-79. Pasteryak also got around Medieros and took over second with Medieros falling back to third when the caution came out with 80 laps complete for a spin in turn 2 by Christopher.
Preece powered his way back into the lead on the restart with Pasteryak, McKennedy, Medieros, and Pennink making up the top-5. The caution came back out with 83 laps complete as Medieros got into the turn 2 wall as did Alexander and Pennink.
Preece took command again on the restart with McKennedy moving into second. Pasteryak was third with Savary fourth and Rocco in fifth. This was still the running order with 20 laps to go in the race. With 15 laps to go, McKennedy was all over Preece’s back bumper and he was searching high and low for a way to take over the race lead.
McKennedy’s persistence behind Preece finally paid dividends on lap-121 as he was able to make a move entering turn 3 to take over the race lead. Preece wasn’t able to get back to McKennedy as McKennedy took the checkered flag. Pasteryak finished third with Savary and Rocco rounding out the top five.
-Stafford Motor Speedway Press Release. Photo credit: Crystal Snape
EXIT REALTY MODIFIED TOURING SERIES (125)
1) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, MA
2) Ryan Preece, Berlin
3) Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon
4) Richard Savary, Holbrook, MA
5) Keith Rocco, Berlin
6) Woody Pitkat, Stafford
7) Mike Holdridge, Madison
8) Dylan Kopec, Palmer, MA
9) Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks
10) Ted Christopher, Plainville
11) Jeff Gallup, Feeding Hills, MA
12) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
13) Eric Goodale, Riverhead
14) T.J. Bleau, Troy, NH
15) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA
16) Carl Medieros, Jr., Westport, MA
17) Kirk Alexander, W. Swanzey, NH
18) Carlos Gray, East Hartford
19) Tommy Barrett, Jr., Millis MA
20) Sam Rameau, Westminster, MA