(Stafford Springs, CT)—When the Valenti Modified Racing Series makes its first of three appearances of the 2014 season at Stafford Motor Speedway on June 20th for the Town Fair Tire VMRS 80, Rowan Pennink will be in search of his first Stafford victory. Pennink has run well at Stafford in the past with the #25 Monk’s Hand Cleaner machine, recording 4 top-5 finishes in 8 career VMRS starts at Stafford. Among those top-5 finishes is two second place finishes and a third place finish, but Pennink is still in search of his first Stafford victory. Pennink has already scored a win in 2014 at Monadnock and he is looking to make the Town Fair Tire 80 his second win of the 2014 season.
“We’ve had some strong runs so far and we’re right up there in the points again,” said Pennink. “We just have to keep on plugging away and hopefully we can get some more wins and see where we end up at the end of the season. We’ve definitely been close and we’ve always had fast cars at Stafford. We just need to do our homework and get the car to go a little better. It’s real close, we just need to find a little bit and I think we’ll be in contention for a win at Stafford this year for sure.”
The VMRS race format presents a unique challenge for drivers. They must qualify on the tires that they will race on and with no tire changes allowed this season, teams have to devise a strategy that will strike a balance between having the car not only be fast, but be consistent on a long run.
“We run 80 green flag laps, so the actual distance will probably be pretty close to the Whelen Modified Tour 125-lap race we just ran at Stafford,” said Pennink. “The VMRS races also allow for some different strategy. On the WMT, you can change tires or you can go the whole race without pitting like Doug [Coby] did. We can’t pit and change tires in the VMRS this season so you have to watch how you race in the first part of the race to make sure you have something left at the end of the race. With the WMT car, we might set it up a little looser, which is faster, while with the VMRS car we’ll probably go a little on the tighter side with the setup to help make the car good for a long run since we can’t change tires during the race.”
In addition to looking for his first VMRS win in the Town Fair Tire 80, Pennink will be looking to get his 2014 season back on track with his #99 SK Modified ride, which is owned by Bob Hitchcock and Kelly Iverson. Pennink has had a fast car all season long, but luck hasn’t been on his side and his best finish thusfar has been a 19th place finish. Pennink is confident it’s only a matter of time before he starts seeing good results with his SK Modified® ride.
“We definitely need to get the SK Modified® going, we just haven’t had any luck this season,” said Pennink. “The first race we finished 3rd and got disqualified, the second race we flipped, and with the race we were trying to finish for the past 3 weeks, we came from starting almost dead last up to 7th in the 8-laps we got in originally and then before we could resume the race, the transmission broke. Things haven’t been going our way, but the car is among the fastest every practice session and we just need to get some luck on our side. The team with Jimmy Fuller and Bob Hitchcock has been really good and I expect we’ll be running up front again.”
Tickets for the June 20th Town Fair Tire Valenti Modified Racing Series 80 are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $27.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for kids ages 6-14, and kids 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $30.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Speedway offers free parking with free overnight parking for self-contained RV’s available.
-Stafford Motor Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com Photo