“You would be hard pressed to find a better race,” said one long-time race observer, “By far the best race in the history of the series and I’ve seen them all,” said another. Fan reactions to a hotly contested race Saturday night, April 30, at Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, (NH). The Valenti Modified Racing Series was in town for the “Spring Dash 100” and when the checkered flag was displayed, the crowd was buzzing and so was a tired and slightly weary winner, Les Hinckley III, of Windsor Locks, (CT).
Constant side-by-side racing often with five to seven car battles took place throughout the race with a couple of three-wide showdowns thrown in for good measure.
Defending Champion Jon McKennedy, E.Chelmsford, MA. and Steve Masse, of Bellingham, (MA), led the 24- car field to green with McKennedy leading the first 11 circuits. Three-time Champion Kirk Alexander, moved into the lead on lap 12 with heavy pursuit from McKennedy, Jim Boniface, of Winchester, Masse, and Louie Mechalides, of Tyngsboro, (MA).
Rob Goodenough, of Swanzey, (NH), Dwight Jarvis, of Ascutney, (VT), and Todd Patnode, Swanzey, all had at one time worked their way into a top five run.
At the half way mark, Alexander, McKennedy, Mechalides, Boniface, and Hinckley made up the top five.
Mechalides, like McKennedy, was looking for his first Monadnock win when he passed Alexander on lap 68. Alexander, McKennedy, and Hinckley pressured Mechalides setting the stage for the dramatic finish.
Hinckley, ailing from a stomach bug prior to race time, was running in a solid third on laps 86 through 96. The Connecticut veteran pulled up alongside McKennedy and powered by on lap 97 to second, and then by Mechalides on lap 98. to go on and win the highly competitive race. Mechalides, McKennedy, Alexander, and Goodenough followed
the winner across the line.
Hinckley said in victory lane, “Feeling pretty good right now. Don’t know if it was nerves or a stomach thing but this makes it better.” Hinckley added,“I really want to thank Chuck and Debbie (car owners). This is really good for this team. Always nice to come back here and win at Monadnock.”
Sixth through tenth were Jarvis, Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, (PA), Tim Jordan, Plainfield, (CT), Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, (CT), and Norm Wrenn, Nashua, (NH).
Hinckley’s victory was his 14th career win with the VMRS and his fourth at Monadnock. He now moves atop the point standings with (90) followed by Pasteryak (84) Pennink (80), Goodenough and Wrenn (70) and T. Annarummo (64)
31 race teams entered the race. 24 cars started the event with 16 drivers finishing, 12 on the lead lap.
Race Summary: Race # 2
Monadnock Speedway Winchester, N.H.
Distance: 100 laps
Time of Race: 57:31:02
Margin of Victory: 0.335
Best Lap Time: 12.618
Best Lap By: Kirk Alexander
Best Speed 71.327
Lap Leaders: McKennedy (1-11) Alexander (12-67) Mechalides (68-97) Hinckley (98-100)
Cautions: Lap 28, 37, 74, 74 (red flag) 80, 91, 93,
Next Event: Twin State Speedway, Claremont. N.H. May 28,2011
Following post race inspections, Alexander was disqualified for a technical rules infraction. The official order of finish released on Sunday, May 1, 2011
1. Les Hinckley
2. Louie Mechalides
3. Jon McKennedy
4. Rob Goodenough
5. Dwight Jarvis
6. Rowan Pennink
7. Tim Jordan
8. Chris Pasteryak
9. Norm Wrenn
10. Steve Masse
11. Russ Hersey
12. Eric Goodale
13. Kenny Barry
14. Todd Patnode
15. Todd Annarummo
16. Jacob Dore
17. Max Zachem
18. Jim Boniface
19. Rob Summers
20. Victor Johnson
21. Eddy Spiers
22. Sean Bodreau
23. Mike Holdridge