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DOUBLE DOWN: Barrett Takes Second Straight Oktoberfest Win

Posted By Tj Ingerson On October 14, 2013

Categories: Valenti Modified

Tommy Barrett, Jr., does a burnout down the frontstretch at Lee USA Speedway in celebration of his Oktoberfest Valenti Modified Racing Series win. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)PHOTO: Tommy Barrett, Jr., does a burnout down the frontstretch at Lee USA Speedway in celebration of his Oktoberfest Valenti Modified Racing Series win. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)

Pennink captures Valenti Modified Racing Series championship

--by T.J. Ingerson
VMM Editor

LEE, N.H. --
Tommy Barrett, Jr., utilized an aggressively patient strategy to score his second straight Oktoberfest Valenti Modified Racing Series win at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday.

The Millis, Mass., youngster started 12th in the 26 car field in the 100-lap event, but dropped back to conserve his tires on the abrasive three-eighths mile oval. After he fell outside the top-20 at the halfway point, Barrett took advantage of the first caution flag of the race on lap 55 to pit and make tire adjustments. He was then a man on a mission.

A caution flag just four laps later saw Barrett restart in the 14th spot, but he made quick gains and had entered the top-ten shortly after lap 65. By lap 70, however, Barrett was knocking on the door to the top-five, and then jumped into the third spot around Rowan Pennink on lap 75.

Barrett would find him locked in a five-way battle for the lead following a lap 83 restart, but powered his way around second place Richard Savary on lap 88 and then around leader Steve Masse on lap 91. Barrett then opened up his gap to second and scored his third win of the season.

“We saved tires in the beginning like we always do here,” Barrett said. “I just came on at the end.”

Four caution flags in the second half of the race allowed Barrett to put forth his tire strategy and make a heroic charge from the back.

“No, absolutely not,” Barrett said when asked if he could have made it to the front without the benefit of the cautions. “After about lap 10 or 15, we were banking on the pit stop around halfway. I was able to work my way up through the field with Les Hinckley. The right front was giving out a little bit and I couldn’t get under the cars too well. But once I got out in front, the car was real fast.”

Masse, of Bellingham, Mass., charged his way from a 26th place starting spot to take the lead following the first restart of the race on lap 55. Masse led the field until Barrett took the lead for keeps on lap 91, which forced Masse to settle for second.

“We ran out of tire,” Masse said. “The right-rear got buzzed off. (But) I got three wins this season, so I can’t complain.”

Reigning series champion Jon McKennedy pitted with 25 laps to go in the 100-lap event and had the quickest car on the track when the checkered flag flew, but ran out of time and finished third.

“We had a better car than where we finished,” McKennedy said. “We just ran out of time. We had a strategy to pit late and swap tires. We restarted about mid-pack and drove up to third.

“Overall, it was a good day, but I would have liked to have won. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

Savary, of Canton, Mass., finished fourth while Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks, Conn., completed the top-five finishers. Mike Willis, Jr., Louie Mechalides, and Mike Holdridge finished sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., finished ninth in the Laticrete Oktoberfest 100, which was good enough to allow him and his Gary and Kim Casella-owned Roscoe Racing team to capture the 2013 Valenti Modified Racing Series championship.

“I have to give a huge thank you to this team 25,” Pennink said. “They did an awesome job all season. With about 25 laps to go, we were falling back and we made the call to bring (the car) in, and we were able to get back up there to ninth.

“The guys did a really good job to get me back out there with a good car.”

Norm Wrenn completed the top-ten finishers.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series will conclude its tenth season on Saturday night, October 19 at Thompson Speedway with a 75-lap event during the annual World Series event.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Laticrete Oktoberfest 100
Valenti Modified Racing Series -- Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H.
Sunday, October 13, 2013

(# -- denotes rookie)

1. (12) Tommy Barrett, Jr., Millis, Mass.
2. (26) Steve Masse, Bellingham, Mass.
3. (3) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass.
4. (6) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass.
5. (17) Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, Conn.
6. (10) Mike Willis, Jr., Grantham, N.H.
7. (4) Louie Mechalides, Tyngsboro, Mass.
8. (7) Mike Holdridge, Madison, Conn.
9. (11) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
10. (25) Norm Wrenn, Nashua, N.H.
11. (8) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn.
12. (13) Jimmy Dolan, Bethel, Conn.
13. (19) Todd Owen, Somers, Conn.
14. (5) # Dylan Kopec, Palmer, Mass.
15. (9) Todd Patnode, Richmond, N.H.
16. (14) Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn.
17. (1) Matt Mead, Richmond, N.H.
18. (23) Dwight Jarvis, Ascutney, Vt.
19. (18) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Mass.
20. (16) Rob Goodenough, Swanzey, N.H.
21. (20) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H.
22. (2) Jeff Rocco, Meriden, Conn.
23. (21) Jacob Dore, Sanford, Maine
24. (15) Joe Doucette, Framingham, Mass.
25. (24) Jim Storace, Kingston, N.H.
26. (22) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y.