Chris Pasteryak has the 3/8-mile Lee USA Speedway figured out thus far in 2015. Just over one month after scoring a big pay day in the Tri-Track Open Modified Series Bullring Bash at the New Hampshire oval, the Lisbon, Connecticut driver turned in an impressive performance to score the overall win in the Valenti Modified Racing Series Stratham Tire 100 on Friday Night.
“Same thing, we came back with the car right where it was for the Tri-Track race and it acted exactly the same,” Pasteryak told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s actually been really good everywhere, but we haven’t had the finishes to show for it. The car has been equally as good as it was down south. It just goes; I just can’t screw it up.
“It’s funny it goes like that here. Tommy Barrett had it really figured out where he was like way faster than everyone else. Rowan Pennink before that, Kirk Alexander, and now it’s my turn and I’m going to take it.”
In what was a first for the Valenti Modified Racing Series, Friday night’s event was composed of twin 50-lap features. Each feature awarded points towards the series championship standings, but the overall finish of the event was determined by each driver’s combined finish.
After finishing third in the first 50-lap feature, the field would be inverted for race number-two and Pasteryak would find himself starting from the 18th position. He quickly charged towards the front before diving to the inside of Mike Willis, Jr. on lap 43 to take over the top spot. From there, he pulled away from the field to record the win and an overall total of four (3+1) for the event.
“I like this format,” Pasteryak said after the race. “I got lucky, my line went and I was able to sneak by a few of the guys. The car was really good at the end, too. I like it, I like the shorter race. I think it’s more fun from the driver’s standpoint than just riding around.”
Steve Masse, who substituted for Rowan Pennink in the Gary Casella-owned No. 25 machine, made his way to the front from the fourth starting position and held off a hard-charging Jon McKennedy to claim the victory in race number-one.
Getting through traffic and making his way towards the front from the 20th starting position would be a challenge for Masse during the early stages of the second race. He would eventually begin his charge during the middle stages of the race, but came up short by just two positions. The Bellingham, Massachusetts driver would finish fourth in the second race and record an overall total of five (1+4), which would be good for second overall.
Despite coming up just short of the overall win, Masse enjoyed the format of the race compared to the normal 100-lap features.
“It was pretty cool with the invert and then you had to kind of race the people you were racing for the win back to the front,” said Masse. “It wasn’t too hard on the teams because we had probably 15 minutes to do what we had to do with the cars. I like it a lot. It was cool doing the 50-50 races here.”
Jon McKennedy looked impressive in the first of the two features on Friday night, but like Masse he struggled making his way through the field early on in the second 50-lap feature. The Chelmsford, Massachusetts native and former VMRS champion would be able to make his way to the seventh spot when the checkered flag waved. His finishes of second and seventh would earn him a total of nine and the final podium.
Woody Pitkat, who recorded a pair of sixth-place finishes, finished fourth and Richard Savary (8+5=13) rounded out the top-five.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series returns to action next Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT).
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: TJ Ingerson/Vermont Motorsports Magazine
VMRS Stratham Tire 100 Unofficial Results
Lee USA Speedway (NH) – June 19, 2015
|Fin.||No.||Driver||Race #1||Race #2||Total|
|6||38||Mike Willis, Jr.||14||2||16|
|20||50||Carl Medieros, Jr.||17||22||39|