Thompson, CT. — Mike Stefanik of Coventry, RI., took the lead on the opening lap
and went on to win the 75-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series race Thursday night at Thompson Speedway, Thompson, CT. The win was Stefaniks’ second with the VMRS making him a guaranteed starter for the annual Ricky’s Race for Kids, July 16, at Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, NH. That race carries a purse in excess of $36,000, the highest in the eight-year history of the New England based modified racing series.
Stefanik was also the series fourth different winner this season.
Pole-sitter, Dave Etheridge, Portland, CT., Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT., and Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA., challenged Stefanik, driving for car-owner Ed Marceau, but the popular Stefanik was never headed.
Etheridge chased the race leader laps 1-30, Pasteryak laps 31 through 65, and Pennink the final 10 circuits but it was Stefanik’s night, a race he told fans he really wanted.
“I had to pace myself, It’s hard to lead all them laps. I knew Rowan had a fast car,
he started in the back. I seen him coming. I just turned it up and it’s all I had. I don’t know if he had anymore. That’s all we had at the end.”
Stefanik added, it’s been a struggle “I had a lot of fun. I needed this. Been kind of down with racing, been struggling, so I needed a victory. This is a nice little pick me up.”
Pasteryak finished third, Steven Masse, of Bellingham, MA., turned in a solid run with a
fourth place finish, with Les Hinckley III, of Windsor Locks, CT., rounding out the top five.
Sixth through tenth were, Jon McKennedy, Eric Goodale, Richard Savary, Rob Goodenough, and Mike Holdridge.
The 75-lap race was slowed by four quick caution flags and was completed in 37 minutes. Stefanik won by a 0.810 margin over Pennink.
19 cars of the 25 car-starting field finished on the lead lap. 22 cars completed the event.
Thursdays race was the first of four qualifying races leading up to the big race next month that will benefit David’s House, in Lebanon, NH., a home away from home for families with ill or injured children receiving treatment through children’s hospital at Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH.
The next guaranteed starter race will be contested Friday, June 24, at Stafford Springs Speedway, Stafford, CT. when the Valenti Modified Racing Series competes in the “Lincoln Tech 80.”
Race # 5
Thompson Speedway Thompson, CT.
Distance: 75 laps
Time of Race: 37:21;06
Margin of Victory: 0.810
Best Lap Time: 19.012 (Les Hinckley)
Best Speed: 118.346 (Hinckley
Lap Leaders: Stefanik (1-75)
Caution: (4) Laps 13,30,42,42
Order of Finish: (1) Stefanik (2) Pennink (3) Pasteryak (4) Masse
(5) Hinckley (6) McKennedy (7) Goodale (8) Savary (9) Goodenough
(10) Holdridge (11) Solomito (12) Jordan (13) Annarummo (14)
Doucette (15) Etheridge (16) Janovic (17) Gentes (18) Bateman
(19) Mechalides (20) B Perry (21) Sylvester (22) Wrenn (23) S Perry
(24) Reed (25) Zachem