Masse Rockets To $10K Tri Track Open Mod Win at the Speedbowl
WATERFORD, Conn. —
Steve Masse captured his first career NorthEast Race Cars and Parts Tri Track Open Modified Series checkered flag on Thursday at New London-Waterford Speedbowl, rocketing into victory lane behind the wheel of his No. 13 and collecting the big prize of $10,000.
The Bellingham, Massachusetts driver started in fifth position, but was a threat all night long. He pitted early and took a fresh tire, then drove through the entire field and eventually drove around race leader Richard Savary on a lap 88 restart in order to take down his first ever series win.
“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen there at the end,” Masse said. “The heat cycles killed (Richard) Savary’s tires and I was able to get around him. I got a good restart and was able to stay to the outside of him going into turn one — which is important here at Waterford. It all worked out in my favor.”
Masse had decided he was going to step away from the sport at the start of 2016 and spend time with family and friends, but things changed quickly when June came around. Masse felt that urge to go back onto the track and he elected to return to the Speedbowl on Thursday chasing the glory and the big bucks.
“This is only the third race of the year so it feels really good,” Masse said. “Earlier (this year) I just didn’t feel like racing and I didn’t feel like competing. The fire all of a sudden came back and here I am.”
Richard Savary and Mike Holdridge brought the field of 27 modifieds to the green flag Thursday and Savary took command early. Behind him, Masse made early ground from his fifth place starting spot to second and the two drove away from their challengers — brining Rowan Pennink along with them.
The first caution of the event flew on lap 35, when Tommy Barrett spun his No. 44 at the end of the frontstretch and quickly left the scene without damage. During the yellow, many drivers took advantage of the stoppage and went down pit road — including Masse and Pennink — who gave up top-three runs to make adjustments.
A second caution on lap 35 also slowed the action when Les Hinckley got into the outside wall in turn four, then another yellow flew on lap 49 when Andy Jankowiak spun in turn one. Geoff Gernhard spun on the backstretch on lap 52, drawing a fourth caution of the event while those on the track took advantage and came down pit road. Among those pitting under the caution included Jeff Rocco and Calvin Carroll.
At the lap 52 green, Savary had a tough challenge from Woody Pitkat, who worked the outside and took over the advantage at lap 53. Just as Pitkat got the lead, Dylan Kopec and Carl Mederios Jr. got together and crashed, allowing Pitkat to hold the bottom for the restart on lap 54. Pitkat held the advantage over Savary until lap 60, when Savary took back command with a bottom line move off turn two.
A pileup in turn one drew a caution on lap 61, then before long Eric Berndt spun from the top-10 down the frontstretch on lap 66. Cautions also stopped the race on lap 77 and then on lap 88 twice, but the crucial point of the race came on the restart on lap 88.
Savary, — who had been leading much of the race — was on the bottom for the restart but didn’t get the start he needed to hold the advantage. Masse cleared him from the outside and Savary was left chasing him in the final laps, trying everything he could to get back to the bumper.
“We took the strategy of staying out and not pitting at all because we started on the pole,” Savary said. “It was good racing. We weren’t going to give up the track position it was going to be too hard to come from the back. It just came down to a few yellows and Steve having a better tire than us.”
Sitting third at the conclusion of the 100 lap event was Pitkat, who said post-race that he thought he had something for the top-two if the car didn’t tighten up in the final laps.
Pitkat did lead a few laps in the second half of the race, but ultimately, third was the position of finish for the Stebbins Racing driver.
“I led for a little while there,” Pitkat said. “We just got a little bit tight there in the center in the last 40 laps and it just never went away. I tried to do whatever I could to get it to rotate through the center. I’m just happy for my guys. It’s a good momentum builder for us.”
Matt “Money” Hirschman finished fourth and Ted Christopher came on strong late to round out the top-five. Six through ten was Justin Bonsignore, Tommy Barrett, Eric Goodale, Dennis Perry and Rowan Pennink.
The NorthEast Race Cars Tri Track Open Modified Series returns to action right back at the Speedbowl on Oct. 23 as part of the Bemer’s Big Show weekend, the final race of the 2016 season. Lap sponsorships are available immediately and can be purchased by contacting the series on Facebook or by email.
For more information, fans are encouraged to visit www.tritrackopenmodifiedseries.com.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: NorthEast Race Cars Tri Track Open Modified Series; August 25, 2016:
Steve Masse, Richard Savary, Woody Pitkat, Matt Hirschman, Ted Christopher, Justin Bonsignore, Tommy Barrett, Eric Goodale, Dennis Perry, Rowan Pennink, Ron Silk, Andy Jankowiak, Dwight Jarvis, Shawn Thibeault, Mike Holdridge, Dylan Kopec, Geoffrey Genhard, Chris Pasteryak, Jeff Rocco, Calvin Carroll, Roger Coss, Jeff Gallup, Eric Berndt, Todd Annarummo, Troy Talman, Carl Mederios Jr., Les Hinckley
EPPING, NH- Matt Hirschman took a liking to NH’s Star Speedway the first time he raced there, and on Saturday night he won his third major event SBM 125 Modified Open in five races, this time worth $10,400 plus contingencies as the Northeast Race Cars & Parts Tri-Track Open Modified Series visited the quarter-mile oval in southern New Hampshire.
Hirschman, who hauled in from Northampton, PA., to race, pitted
on lap 54 for a new right rear tire and worked his way to the front of the 27-car field, passing Jon McKennedy (Chelmsford, MA.) on lap 100 for the lead. He then held off a late charge from Les Hinckley (Windsor Locks, CT.), including a restart with two laps remaining to claim the top prize in front of an enthusiastic and near capacity crowd.
“This was an example of what kind of show that the Modifieds can put on when you have drivers that race that way and show each other respect,” Hirschman stated. “It comes at a time where I really needed a win. A BIG win.
“I hated that this race didn’t happen last year. I’m glad that it’s back and with a great crowd tonight, and another solid car count I would think we will be back again.”
McKennedy led the first 100 laps after drawing the pole in a top ten redraw, collecting a significant portion of the bonus money paid out in the process. But he elected to not pit for a tire, and in the end it cost him. Les Hinckley passed McKennedy on lap 115 for second place, earning the Woody’s Auto Hard Charger Award” and his third consecutive second place finish in the SBM.
Richard Savary, while attempting to pass McKennedy for a podium third place finish on lap 124, made contact and McKennedy spun, with Savary being sent to the rear. This opened the door for Maine driver Josh Cantara to take third from Ron Silk on the ensuing restart, where Hirschman outraced Hinckley to the line for the big win.
Silk and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five finishers of a race run off in rapid fashion, with no major incidents and few caution periods. The next Northeast Race Cars & Parts Tri-Track Open Modified Series event takes place at Ct’s New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Thursday, August 25 for another event paying the winner $10,000 as part of a purse again expected to exceed $60,000.
Official Tri-Track SBM 125 V Finish: (Final payoff totals including bonuses TBA) 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN, 2. Les Hinckley, 3. Josh Cantara, 4. Ron Silk, 5. Justin Bonsignore, 6. Andy Jankowiak, 7. Rowan Pennink, 8. Max Zachem, 9. Tommy Barrett, 10. Jon Kievman, 11. Kirk Alexander, 12. Chris Pasteryak, 13. Anthony Nocella, 14. Rob Richardi Jr., 15. Jon McKennedy, 16. Mike Holdridge, 17. Russ Hersey, 18. Troy Talman, 19. Richard Savary, 20. Joe Doucette, 21. Andy Seuss, 22. Eric Berndt, 23. Carl Medieros Jr., 24. Jeff Gallup, 25. Mike Douglas Jr., 26. Dwight Jarvis, 27. Kurt Vigeant.
B-Main: 1. Jeff Gallup (moved on to A-Main), 2. Sal Accardi Jr., ($800) 3. Mike Benevides ($750), 4. George Sherman (($700), 5. Brandee Tree ($650), 6. Karl Fredrickson ($600). DNS: Woody Pitkat ($550), Calvin Carroll ($500).
Doug Coby now has three $10,000 checks signed by Action Track of the East in his career.
Coming into Wednesday June 29, Coby had scored the victory at the annual Open Wheel Wednesday modified event in 2011 and 2013.
Coby grabbed his third trophy from Seekonk Speedway by winning round one of 2016 for the NorthEast Race Cars and Parts Tri Track Open Modified Series Wednesday evening, behind the wheel of his No. 2 Dunleavy Truck and Trailer Repair, LFR Chassis mount.
“I wasn’t even planning on getting out front, I was going to just ride fifth for a lot of the race then those guys gave me the room,” Coby said following his victory.
“Whether I’m going to win or not in the end, I wanted to be in the lead and be in control, I’ve always said that about these open shows. It’s easy for guys to roll up to your bumper here at Seekonk but when they go to pass you they just slide the rear end.”
Coby was slated to go off seventh based on where he finished in his qualifying heat race, but during the redraw on the track prior to the green, he drew a fourth behind the wheel of his No. 2.
He worked inside the top-five for much of the early portion of the race, riding fifth while drivers in front of him tangled for the lead. He started making his move on lap 30 when he slid by Jon McKennedy to fourth. Then, Coby made a move to the bottom, three-wide and quickly jumped to second.
He wheeled his No. 2 to the advantage over the rest of the field on a lap 40 restart and never looked back for the remaining of the event. He held off challenges from McKennedy, Justin Bonsignore and Ron Silk in the final stages and captured his first career win on the Tri Track Open Modified Series.
“This is huge LFR Chassis and all of my team,” Coby said. “It was up in the air what car I was going to come with. This is a great series, Dick Williams, James Schaefer and these guys put a lot of time and money into these shows.”
Silk, who started outside the top-10 behind the wheel of his No. 50, quickly worked this way through the field and was inside the top-five by the time the field hit the halfway point. He was all over the back bumper of Coby in the final laps, but couldn’t find the way around to the big payday.
“Doug did a good job of protecting the bottom like you have to do to win the race,” Silk said. “I could roll the top and get to his right rear, but I was just that much tight that I couldn’t hold him down and get by. It was good hard racing in the front all night and really clean.”
Rowan Pennink drove the Gary Casella owned No. 25 to a third place run and he was followed across the line by Les Hinckley, who piloted a Wayne Darling No. 52. Rounding out the top-five was Matt “Money” Hirschman.
The NorthEast Race Cars and Parts Tri Track Open Modified Series gets back on track at Star Speedway for the SBM coming up on July 30.
For more information, visit www.tritrackopenmodifiedseries.com
Tri Track 100 Feature Finish: Doug Coby, Ron Silk, Rowan Pennink, Les Hinckley, Matt Hirschman, Woody Pitkat, Richard Savary, Eric Berndt, Jon McKennedy, Dwight Jarvis, Dennis Perry, Chris Pasteryak, Keith Rocco, Andy Jankowiak, Todd Szegedy, Andy Seuss, Kirk Alexander, Todd Annarummo, Calvin Carroll, Branden Dion, Anthony Sesely, Dan Meservey Jr., Justin Bonsignore, Jeff Rocco, Carl Mederios Jr., Tommy Barrett
Tri Track B-Main Feature Finish: Carl Mederios Jr., Earl Paules, Mike Holdridge, Troy Talman, Roger Coss, Austin Kochenash, Mike Benevides, Jeff Gallup, Eddie LeClerc, Ken Bouchard, Mike Douglas Jr., Dick Houlihan
Tri Track Consi #2 Finish: Les Hinckley, Branden Dion, Andy Seuss, Earl Paules, Mike Douglas Jr., Jeff Gallup, Dick Houlihan, Troy Talman, Eddie LeClerc
Tri Track Consi #1 Finish: Matt Hirschman, Jeff Rocco, Dennis Perry, Roger Coss, Mike Benevides, Carl Mederios Jr., Mike Holdridge
Heat Race #1: Todd Annarummo, Keith Rocco, Chase Dowling, Woody Pitkat, Austin Kochenash, Eddie LeClerc, Mike Benevides
Heat Race #2: Ron Silk, Doug Coby, Andy Jankowiak, Tommy Barrett, Branden Dion, Dennis Perry, Earl Paules, Andy Seuss
Heat Race #3: Anthony Sesely, Richard Savary, Justin Bonsignore, Kirk Alexander, Jeff Rocco, Les Hinckley, Ken Bouchard, Mike Holdridge
Heat Race #4: Rowan Pennink, Chris Pasteryak, Calvin Carroll, Dwight Jarvis, Dick Houlihan, Matt Hirschman, Mike Douglas Jr., Jeff Gallup
Heat Race #5: Jon McKennedy, Todd Szegedy, Eric Berndt, Dan
Meservey, Roger Coss, Troy Talman, Carl Mederios, Ted Christopher
THE FOLLOWING WERE STARTING LINEUPS ON WEDNESDAY:
Tri Track 100 Feature Lineup