Friday, August 31, 2012
Modified Racing Series Results from Stafford Motor Speedway
by Peter Vander Veer
STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. -- Seventeen year-old Tommy Barrett of Millis, Mass., not only beat the veterans on Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway in the Shark Cycles 80, he got by both top points contenders of the Modified Racing Series presented by Valenti, for his first touring event win.
Barrett passed current points leader Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon, Penn., with 10 laps remaining, then finished ahead of Pennink, Jon McKennedy (currently second in points) and Ted Christopher of Plainville in the first of two scheduled events at the Connecticut half-mile oval.
Barrett, a former SK Modified Lights competitor at Stafford, went from the back of the field to the lead in 70 laps.
He took advantage of six cautions, including one on lap 69 when Rich Pallai Jr. and Norm Wrenn made contact and spun on the frontstretch.
Barrett pulled even with Pennink on the re-start and passed him on the following lap.
Barrett had to start at the back of the 28-car field after pitting twice before the initial green came out.
“It was our plan to make a couple of last-minute adjustments to the car,” Barrett said. “I was able to save the tires for most of the race and it definitely helped me at the end.”
Barrett began racing at Stafford as a 15-year old in the Lights Division.
“I don’t think that it gave me any type of advantage tonight,” he said. “The types of cars are completely different.
“It was nice, though, to win my first tour race here because I consider Stafford to be my home track. It’s a great facility where the media treats you well and you always get lots of publicity.”
Pennink said that he car simply got too tight in the later stages of the race.
“All of those cautions really messed up the heat cycles in my tires,” he said.
By finishing one place ahead of McKennedy, Pennink increased his points lead to 18 (410-392) heading into this Saturday’s race at the Waterford Speedbowl.
“A third-place finish was good for us tonight,”said McKennedy, of Chelmsford, Mass. “It keeps us right in the points standings.”
Following Christopher to the line were Todd Owen (fifth), Doug Coby (sixth), Chris Pasteryak (seventh), Steven Reed (eighth), Louie Mechalides (ninth), and Rich Pallai (tenth).