Groveton, NH. -- 24-year-old Anthony Nocella continued his winning ways Saturday night, when he powered his Nocella Paving/Airgas Chevrolet modified to victory in the Valenti Modified Racing Series sanctioned 100-lap race at Speedway 51, in Groveton, NH.
The victory was Nocella’s second of the 2017 campaign and his eighth career win moving him into a tie with Tommy Barrett on the all-time series win list.
Nocella took command on lap-75 with Mike Douglas Jr, Jeffey Gallup, Mike Willis Jr, Rob Richardi Jr, and Sammy Rameau, all chasing the leader. A late race mishap on lap- 98 created a green-white-checker finish with the Woburn, Massachusetts, racer prevailing.
Nocella talked about his first time visit to the northern New Hampshire track while # 92 went through post race tech inspections.
“ It was a tough one our first time here. We were pretty decent all day and didn’t know how much this place would loosen up at night. It’s a tight little place. pretty quick..decided to ride there at the beginning keep it straight and try to keep the wheels on it,” said Nocella.
Nocella added, “ I was watching them up front racing hard and knew they were burning their stuff up. The last restart it got a little shaky but I pulled through it and got the win.
Several drivers impressed in there first run at the track often referred to as ‘Groveton.’ Feeding Hills, MA, second-generation driver Jeff Gallup took the top spot from early leader Richardi and opened up almost a half-lap lead until a caution flag put an end to that charge. Gallup nailed a second place finish, his series best.
“ First time visit here. Kind of neat to take the lead and pull away but I did use too much car at the beginning. I faded back to sixth and got a few restarts and was able to get back to second,” said a grinning Gallup post race.
Sammy Rameau took the podium spot, the best series finish for the Westminster, MA, driver who turned age 15 on Thursday.
“The car was good all day really. I practiced the car and then our crew chief Russ (Hersey) went out and we made some adjustments and it made the car so much better. It’s great for this team they work so hard. All my guys and sponsors. If it were not for them I wouldn’t be here right now,” said Rameau.
Early leader Richardi, of Taunton, MA, came back to finish fourth with Mike Willis Jr, of Grantham, NH, who ran strong all night, overcoming contact with another car late in the race, rounding out the top five.
Seven cars finished on the lead lap. Eight caution laps slowed the race for minor crashes and spinouts. The race was completed in 52 minutes
Heat winners were Richardi (1) and Gallup (2)
Next Event: New London-Waterford Speedbowl
June 24, 2017
Race # 3
June 17, 2017
Lap Leaders: Richardi (1-22) Gallup (23-74) Nocella (75-100)
Cautions: Laps- 1,1 39, 52, 69, 70, 98, 98
Unofficial Order Of Finish: (1) Nocella, (2) Gallup (3) Rameau
(4) Richardi (5) Willis (6) Douglas (7) Fournier (8) Sherman
(9) Dixon (10) Smith (11) Meservey (12) Lashua (13) Mead
(14) Cantara (15) Robbie (16) Bolton (17) Rock (18) Seidell
Valenti Modified Racing Series Press Release. Photo Credit: Crystal Snape