Norm Wrenn led just one lap, but that was enough to score his first ever win in the Valenti Modified Racing Series. It took a last-corner move, but Wrenn got it done in the 100-lap event at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, Massachusetts.
Wrenn really only led about 700 feet as he didn’t get the lead until the center of turns three and four after Rowan Pennink was pushed up the track by Justin Bonsignore.
He’d been right around the front of the field all night long, hanging out in the top five much of the night. Even when he got to the front of the field it didn’t look like Wrenn had a car capable of going up and passing the leader. But in the end that didn’t matter when everything unfolded in the final corner.
“I was actually hoping they were gonna start banging,” said Wrenn. “As soon as they started I looked to the inside and put the pedal to the metal and just went.”
Richard Savary led much of the late going, but he had Bonsignore right on his back bumper for the last 10 laps. Bonsignore tried the high side for seven straight laps but wasn’t able to get it done. He finally had enough on the outside and dove underneath Savary on the exit of turn two with three laps to go.
Bonsignore cleared Savary coming to the white flag. Savary drove it deep into the corner and got into the back of Bonsignore’s red no. 21. Bonsignore got sideways and just as he was about to have it saved he took another shot from Savary on the exit of turn two.
As Bonsignore tried to save his car a second time Pennink dove to the bottom of both of them and took the lead going into turn three. This time it was Bonsignore driving it deep into the corner and he slammed the back of Pennink, pushing Pennink high. Bonsignore went to cut underneath Pennink but Wrenn had already filled the gap.
They came to the checkered flag with Wrenn on the bottom, Pennink on the outside and Bonsignore just behind in the middle in a thrilling finish.
“I finally cross him up and make him look foolish and he just has to launch us down into one and cost both of us a first and a second,” said Bonsignore. “He’s got ‘Right Turn Richard’ as a nickname for a reason.”
Savary’s take off the incident was a little bit different.
“He overshot one on his own,” said Savary. “I never touched him going into one. That was all by himself. He got himself crossed up going into one. Then coming off of two because he was correcting being sideways I did catch him.”
Wrenn is a multi-time winner in Pro-4 Modifieds, but never in a full tour-type Modified. He said after that this win means a lot to him because he has now proved to himself that he can get it done.
Pennink may not have won the race, but he probably had the fastest car in the 20-car field. He got spun early in the going and pitted twice, but was able to rebound and get back to the top five to be able to battle it out when things got crazy in the late stages.
“I scooted underneath them and thought we were going to have a shot at the win and I got ran into the back and shoved up into the stuff,” said Pennink. “It was a s—show of a night. Savary was driving like an idiot from the drop of the green.”
Bonsignore, meanwhile, will head to Monadnock Speedway (NH) still looking for that first win. He is the owner of five second-place finishes this season, and he added another podium finish with his third-place run tonight.
“It’s frustrating,” said Bonsignore. “I just want to win a race.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Regional Editor (Long Island, NJ, CT) – Twitter: @RobBlount
1. Norm Wrenn
2. Rowan Pennink
3. Justin Bonsignore
4. Richard Savary
5. Rob Goodenough
6. Max Zachem
7. Carl Medieros Jr.
8. Rob Richardi Jr.
9. Dylan Kopec
10. Mike Willis Jr.
11. Dan Meservey Jr.
12. Tom Abele Jr.
13. Chris Bakaj
14. Todd Annarumo
15. Chris Pasteryak
16. Ryan Vanasse
17. Donnie Lashua
18. Colbey Fournier
19. Dick Houlihan
20. Greg Hurley