Vermont Motorsport Magazine Sponor

Touring Series News

Masse Beats Barry, Rain To Win Modified Racing Series Finale

- Justin St. Louis on 25 Oct 2010

Steve Masse's No. 13 powers through Turn 1 at Lee USA Speedway; he won the Modified Racing Series finale Oktoberfest 100. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)PHOTO: Steve Masse's No. 13 powers through Turn 1 at Lee USA Speedway; he won the Modified Racing Series finale Oktoberfest 100. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)

LEE, N.H. --
It took a bit more than four hours to get there, but young Steve Masse held off Ken Barry in an exciting finish to win the Modified Racing Series season finale “Oktoberfest 100” at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday.

After starting third on the 24-car field, Bellingham, Mass., driver Masse took the lead from rookie Max Zachem on lap 7. With no on-track incidents or caution periods, Masse walked away from the field, leading Andy Seuss by more than a quarter-lap.

With the first 68 laps completed in just 19 minutes, Jimmy Kuhn’s spin brought out the only caution flag. Rain began to fall as cars circled the track during the caution, though, forcing officials to red-flag the event and dry the track.

After a nearly two-hour delay to dry the track in 40-degree weather, officials ran four other Oktoberfest divisional features to bring the track back to a suitable condition for the handling-sensitive Modifieds; the race resumed almost four hours after the initial green flag.

Masse was confident during the rain delay that his torrid pace would not affect his car during the final 32 laps and proved himself right by setting the same pace as the laps clicked away.

As Masse reached lapped traffic, however, Preston, Conn., driver Ken Barry sliced through the field after restarting fifth, reaching Masse’s rear bumper as the white flag flew on the final lap. Barry was unable to make a move for the win, though, leaving Masse to take his third victory of the season.

(L-R) Modified Racing Series runner-up Ken Barry, winner Steve Masse, third-place finisher Max Zachem. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)Zachem, also of Preston, Conn., posted his best career finish in third place ahead of Louie Mechalides and Seuss. Chris Pasteryak, Kirk Alexander, Rob Goodenough, Jon McKennedy, and Dwight Jarvis completed the unofficial top ten finishers; McKennedy, of East Chelmsford, Mass., clinched his second-straight Modified Racing Series championship with a victory at Twin State Speedway last week.

“I definitely saved it for 100 laps,” said Masse. “Toward the end it was falling off a little bit, but that’s the nature of the beast here at this track. I lost a little bit of forward drive, but it was awesome through the center [of the corner]. My crew gave me an awesome car to work with.”

Masse said that he would not have been upset if the race hadn’t resumed after the rain delay and he was awarded the victory, but he was happy to have finished the entire race and earned the win.

“I could have gone either way with that rain delay,” he said. “I wanted to finish the race like I did and win it the right way, and I did so I’m happy with it.”

Barry created plenty of excitement as he reeled Masse in over the final five laps, coming from a full straightaway behind to finish on Masse’s bumper.

“We were probably one of the few [teams] that wanted it to go back to green because we knew we had a really good car,” said Barry. “This place is really tough on tires so you have to really manage it. We couldn’t quite muster up enough off the corner to make any gain, so I just wasn’t even touching the brake pedal going in trying to catch up to him. When we got to lapped traffic it kind of messed my plan up a little because I was going to go to the outside of him on the last lap, but the lapped traffic ended up in there.”

“It’s one thing catch somebody and it’s another thing to get by them, especially in this division,” said Masse. “I don’t know if Ken had enough to get by me, but he obviously had enough to catch me. I had a lot of lapped cars [in my way] and it’s tough getting around lapped cars here. I think that’s where he closed up to me, I’m not sure, but I felt like I had a lot of car left at the end. When you try to go faster sometimes you go slower, so it could have been changing the way I was driving, I don’t know.”

Barry felt that had he had one more lap to challenge Masse, he could have won the race.

“Maybe,” said Barry. “You hate to say so, but if there was [another lap] we probably would have had him. We were pretty good on the outside.”

For Masse, the victory capped off a breakout season that also saw him win at Thunder Road and Waterford Speedbowl en route to a fourth-place standing in the championship.

“It’s been a big year,” said Masse. “I was predicting four wins in the off-season and we couldn’t quite get there, but we’re going down to the Turkey Derby [at Wall Stadium in New Jersey] next month so hopefully we’ll get the fourth win there.

“I want a championship next year, that’s what I want. I’m gonna get it next year. If I run the full season, I’m gonna get it.”

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Oktoberfest 100
Modified Racing Series -- Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H.
Sunday, October 24, 2010

# - denotes rookie

1. Steve Masse, Bellingham, Mass.
2. Ken Barry, Preston, Conn.
3. # Max Zachem, Preston, Conn.
4. Louie Mechalides, Tyngsboro, Mass.
5. Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H.
6. Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn.
7. Kirk Alexander, West Swanzey, N.H.
8. Rob Goodenough, West Swanzey, N.H.
9. Jon McKennedy, East Chelmsford, Mass. (2010 Champion)
10. Dwight Jarvis, Ascutney, Vt.
11. Mike Holdridge, Madison, Conn.
12. Victor Johnson, Troy, N.H.
13. Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
14. Les Hinckley, III, Windsor Locks, Conn.
15. Jimmy Kuhn, Jr., Bridgewater, Mass.
16. Kevin Iannarelli, Maynard, Mass.
17. # Norm Wrenn, Nashua, N.H.
18. Mark McClay, Unity, N.H.
19. Carl Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn.
20. Joe Doucette, Framingham, Mass.
21. # Todd Annarummo, Swansea, Mass.
22. Jacob Dore, Sanford, Me.
23. Mike Murphy, Groveland, Mass.
24. Jack Bateman, Canaan, N.H.

1. Steve Masse's No. 13 powers through Turn 1 at Lee USA Speedway; he won the Modified Racing Series finale Oktoberfest 100. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)
2. (L-R) Modified Racing Series runner-up Ken Barry, winner Steve Masse, third-place finisher Max Zachem. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)


Feb. 13/14, 2011
New Smyrna Speedway
New Smyrna Beach, FL

March 27, 2011
Waterford Speedbowl
Waterford, CT

April 30, 2011
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
Scarborough, ME

2011 Schedule TBA

Goss Dodge-ChryslerBruno's TowingBFR ChassisSubway of Barre, Montpelier, Northfield, Waterbury, West LebanonFast One Motorsports C&S ScreenprintingMansfield HeliflightBarre-Montpelier Times ArgusRPM Racing Engines

Follow Vermont MotorMag