Robie Enjoys Evening of Firsts at Wiscasset

Saturday night marked an evening of firsts for Brian Robie.  In addition to it being the Sunapee, NH driver’s first visit to the Wiscasset Speedway in Wiscasset, Maine, he also managed to pull off not only his first win with the Modified Racing Series, but also his first career win in a  Tour-type Modified.  He did it in some style, too, taking down longtime race leader Matt Swanson and hard charger Kevin Iannarelli to grab the victory in the Vacationland 100.

REPLAY: Modified Racing Series at Wiscasset

“This is a great welcome, I’d say!” Robie exclaimed.  “This is unbelievable, this is our first Tour-type win.  It’s been a long time coming, we’ve had quite a few seconds, and I’ve finished second to that red car more times that I’d like to count.  Having Matt there, I knew it was going to be really tough, I had to have a perfect restart.  Fortunately, I got it, and we were able to pull away a little bit at the end.  Kevin came on really strong too.

 

Robie spent the majority of the race saving his equipment, working his way up into the top five before losing the handle on his No. 25NH.  However, when they came in to pit, the crew made the right adjustments, and Robie’s machine took off.

 

I thought I actually had given it up there, because we were up to fourth, but I was kind of biding my time and trying to save a little bit, and the car was already freeing up,” he said.  “We elected to pit out of fourth and make a minor adjustment, and it was just what it needed.  The late-race cautions didn’t really affect the car all that bad.  The middle caution there, where we pitted, I’d say that was the key to winning this one.

 

iRacing.com standout Kevin Iannarelli had raced around the Wiscasset Speedway in a NEMA Midget before, but Saturday was his first time at the Maine oval behind the wheel of a Tour-type Modified.  Despite the vastly different style of car, Iannarelli still managed to pull his way up to second place.

 

“[The Modifieds feel] quite a bit different [than the midgets], without the downforce of the wing it’s a different ride,” Iannarelli said.  “It’s pretty challenging, the track’s really rough and it made for an exciting race tonight.

 

“We freed up quite a bit at the early stage of the race and decided to pit.  The crew guys tightened it up pretty good, and we came through the field after that.”

 

Matt Swanson, who led a majority of the race, was hampered by a slight mechanical issue in the closing laps and ultimately had to settle for third place.

 

“There were a couple things that happened,” Swanson explained.  “We had a carburetor start to stumble up on us, and we were the only ones that didn’t pit in the top three.  There’s a lot of things that contribute to it.

 

“Nonetheless, Gary Casella brought one hell of a race car.  This car actually raced at Stafford Motor Speedway [Friday] night, and they did not go to bed last night so we could come up here.  Gary talked it over with me at about 12:30 [Friday] night and we got here just in time for the third round of practice.  To come out with a third place finish, obviously isn’t what we wanted, but we’ll take it.”

 

Anthony Bello ran well all evening, capping off his night with a strong fourth place finish.  Early race leader Andy Shaw also had a fast car, but had a couple of run-ins with other drivers and kept having to work his way up from the back of the field.  His recovery drive netted him a fifth-place finish.

 

The Modified Racing Series is back in action on Saturday, August 7th at Riverside Speedway and Adventure Park in Groveton, NH to make up the postponed Freedom 100.  After that, the series rolls into Maine and the Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, August 28th to join the bill for the 48th Annual Oxford 250 weekend.

 

Story by Ian Pettigrew, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent

Photo credit: Speed51.com photo

 

MRS Vacationland 100 – Full Results (Unofficial)

  1. Brian Robie
  2. Kevin Iannarelli
  3. Matt Swanson
  4. Anthony Bello
  5. Andy Shaw
  6. Stewart McCormack
  7. Jacob Perry
  8. Donnie Lashua
  9. David charron
  10. Kurt Vigeant
  11. George Sherman
  12. Chris Bolton
  13. Joe Doucette
  14. Josh Cantara
  15. Tyler Barry
  16. Gary Byington
  17. Derek Robie

 

Robie Enjoys Evening of Firsts at Wiscasset