VMRSOxford, ME. – Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, PA, passed race leader Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, on lap 76, and went on to score his second win of the season Saturday night, July 20, at Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, ME. The Valenti Modified Racing Series sanctioned race was part of the 40th annual TD Bank 250 weekend.

Pennink becomes the sixth different VMRS winner at Oxford and he joins Tommy Barrett, of Millis, MA, with two wins.

Pennink started 16th in a field of 21 cars, calculated his strategy with spotter Brian Crowley perfectly to position himself for a race-leading pass on the 76th circuit.

Two laps later Pennink had his hands full as Richard Savary, of Canton, MA, chased after the leader right to the finish. In lapped traffic, Savary twice pulled alongside Pennink.

Pennink post race felt his team put him in a good position for his first Oxford victory. “Richard Savary had a good car. I guess they came in and swapped tires and we stayed out there for the long haul. Brian (Crowley) and the guys did a great job keeping me composed. I was told get to the front these guys (drivers who changed tires) are coming. We made our charge and got it done.”

Savary, who has competed with the series in years past, has been a regular this year and has run well. Being in contention for his first VMRS win pleased the Canton, MA, veteran.

“Very happy with a solid finish,” explained Savary. “I think we had a car good enough to win the race. I was a little disappointed in myself for not getting the job done. I want to thank all my guys including Joey Kourafas who has won many races here (Oxford). He’s turning the bolts.”

Kourafas has been a welcomed addition to the Savary team. “I’ve only seen the track once in the eighties,” Savary offered “Of course it’s been paved since but he (Kourafas) walked me out onto the track and showed me some stuff. After each practice he had me try different things on the track. He’s been helping me all year and it’s shown. He’s calmed me down. He has me being consistent.”

Savary says he’s going race-to-race and not concerned about points. Racing at Oxford for the first time, having a watchful eye from a former Oxford 250 winner in Kourafas, bouncing back from a rough outing at Canaan, and a solid finish is more important to him and his team.

Third place finisher Barrett was running 18th where he started at the halfway mark. On a lap 58 yellow flag, Barrett amongst others pitted, swapped tires around, and went to work when the race resumed. Barrett made his way to the front settling into third where he finished.

“Very disappointing,” said Barrett. “The car was kind of out to lunch tonight. We rode around to save tires the first half of the race. We got the caution we wanted and pitted and then started going to the front. The car was a little tight after the pit stop and as I went along it got tighter and tighter. I had nothing for those guys. Congrats to Rowan,”

Max Zachem, of Preston, CT, finished fourth with Nocella, fifth.

Sixth through tenth were, Louie Mechalides, Chris Pasteryak, Joey Jarvis, Rob Goodenough, and Norm Wrenn.

Six different drivers led the race including Wrenn, Pasteryak, Jarvis, Mechalides, Nocella, and Pennink. Only four caution flags were displayed for minor spins leading to a 42-minute event. The margin of victory was 0.165. Nocella posted the best lap speed of 86.923.

22 teams entered the event. Etienne Cliché’ of Vallee Jonction, PQ, blew an engine in practice, the only driver to not compete.

It will be a short week for teams to get ready for the next stop on the 10th Anniversary Tour. The series visits Thompson (CT) Speedway, Thursday July 25, for a 75-lap shootout.

Race No. 7 of 17- Oxford Plains Speedway
Entrants: 22 (21 starters)
Distance: 100 laps
Time of Race: 42:42:130
Best Lap Time: 15.531 (92-Nocella)
Lead Changes: 7 (among 6 drivers)
Lap Leaders: Wrenn 1, Pasteryak 2, Wrenn 3-13, J. Jarvis 14-52,
Mechalides 53-58, Nocella 59-75, Pennink 76-100
Cautions: 4 cautions, on laps- 1, 27, 32, 58
Heat Winners: Zachem, Holdridge, Pinkham

Unofficial Finish – 1. Pennink, 2. Savary, 3. Barrett, 4. Zachem, 5. Nocella, 6. Mechalides, 7. Pasteryak, 8. Jarvis, 9. Goodenough 10. Wrenn, 11. Kopec, 12. Meservey, 13, Charette, 14. Owen, 15. Mead, 16. Ricci, 17. Holdridge, 18. Doucette, 19. Pinkham, 20. Fifield, 21. Hurley.