The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its second of three visits during the 2014 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 4th Annual Lincoln Tech 80. Taking the checkered flag was Keith Rocco, who joined Tommy Barrett, Jr. as the only VMRS drivers to win more than one race at Stafford.
At the drop of the green flag, Rowan Pennink took the lead from the outside pole with Keith Rocco, Todd Szegedy, and Ted Christopher all getting by polesitter Jeff Rocco. Rocco made a move to the inside of Pennink in turns 3+4 to take over the race lead on lap-5. Woody Pitkat was now applying pressure to Jeff Rocco’s bumper in a fight for fifth place. Pitkat was able to make the pass on lap-8.
On lap-12, Richard Savary, the only driver with multiple VMRS feature wins in 2014, dropped off the pace and looked like he was going to limp his way back to the pits, but just as he got lapped, his car came back under power and he rejoined the race a lap down. The caution came out one lap later for Carl Medieros, Jr., who spun in turn 4. The caution allowed Savary to get back on the lead lap with a free pass.
Rocco took the lead back under green with Christopher moving into second. Tommy Barrett, Jr. moved up to third, with Pennink sliding back to fourth just in front of Pitkat, who continued to round out the top-5. The top-5 cars settled into a groove and began to click laps off the scoreboard as the leaders held station as Rocco and Christopher had pulled away from Barrett and Pennink, who had a bit of a margin back to Pitkat in fifth. The top-5 runners remained the same when the caution flew with 51-laps complete for a spin on the backstretch by Dan Meservey, Jr.
The restart saw fast and furious action at the front of the pack as Barrett went from third to the lead. Christopher was side by side with Rocco for second, but he quickly took the position and he then made a move to the inside of Barrett on lap-51 to move into the race lead. The caution came back out with 52 laps complete for a spin by Tom Abele, Jr. in turn 4.
Mayhem broke out on the restart as Savary had a flat right front tire, Mike Willis spun into the frontstretch wall, and Tom Abele, Jr. spun through the frontstretch infield grass.
Barrett took the lead on the restart with Christopher holding second. Carey got around Rocco to take over third with Chris Pasteryak breaking into the top-5 for the first time of the race. The caution came back out with 55 laps complete for debris on the track.
Back under green, Barrett and Christopher raced side by side for the lead and as they ran through turn 2, Christopher’s car took an abrupt turn to the right and into the wall to bring the caution right back out.
Barrett and Pitkat were now side by side for the lead back under green. Pitkat looked like he had a run coming off turn 2 on the outside of Barrett, but Barrett came back strong in turns 3+4 and held the lead by a nose at the line. Rocco got around Pitkat on lap-58 to move into second while Justin Bonsignore was now fourth and Pasteryak was fifth. The caution came back out with 59 laps complete as Norm Wrenn spun in turn 1, Medieros came to a stop in turn 1, and Savary had a flat tire and was showering sparks as he made his way back to pit road.
Barrett took the lead on the restart, but it was a short lived lead as Rocco made a power move to the inside of Barrett as the cars hit turn 3 and he moved back into the lead. Bonsignore moved up to third behind Barrett while Pitkat was fourth and Todd Szegedy made his first appearance of the race in the top-5 as he took fifth from Pasteryak.
Rocco had to navigate several lapped cars in the closing laps, but Barrett wasn’t able to get close enough as Rocco joined Barrett as the only multiple VMRS feature winners at Stafford. Bonsignore finished third, with Pitkat and Szegedy rounding out the top-5.
– Stafford Motor Speedway press release. Photo credit: Speed51.com
LINCOLN TECH VMRS 80 (80)
1) Keith Rocco, Berlin
2) Tommy Barrett, Jr., Millis, MA
3) Justin Bonsginore, Islip, NY
4) Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs
5) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield
6) Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon
7) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA
8) Max Zachem, Preston
9) Eric Goodale, Wading River, NY
10) Norm Wrenn, Nashua, NH
11) Dylan Kopec, Palmer, MA
12) Dan Meservey, Jr., Brewster, MA
13) Donnie Lashua, Caanan, NH
14) Mike Willis, Jr., Grantham, NH
15) Chris Bakaj, Colchester
16) Dave Etheridge, Portland
17) Carl Medieros, Jr., Westport, MA
18) Richard Savary, Canton, MA
19) Ted Christopher, Plainville
20) Tom Abele, Baltic Matt Mead, Richmond, NH
21) Ryan Preece, Berlin
22) Jeff Rocco, Meriden
23) Roy Seidell, Jr., Easthampton, MA