PHOTO: Mike Holdridge landed in Valenti Modified Racing Series for the first time at Beech Ridge on Saturday night. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)

–by T.J. Ingerson

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Two Maine races, two first time winners.

For the second event in a row, the Valenti Modified Racing Series produced another first-time winner in the Pine Tree State on Saturday night. After Joe Doucette took his first win at Oxford Plains Speedway two weeks ago, series veteran Mike Holdridge claimed his first victory at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.

Holdridge, of Madison, Conn., started fifth, dropped to tenth shortly after the start, then quietly worked his way back into the top five by lap 25. Lining up third on a lap 46 restart, Holdridge followed then-leader Rowan Pennink past second-place runner Dwight Jarvis. Holdridge was then glued to the back bumper of Pennink, using a cross over move in the middle of turns one and two, shooting to the inside of Pennink and taking the lead on lap 57. Holdridge was dominant from there and went unchallenged to the victory.

“It’s pretty exciting, we’ve waited a long time for this,” said Holdridge. “My whole team has worked very hard for this. I wish my kids were here. I want to get [post race technical inspection] done with so I can go have a beer.”

Holdridge knew he had a good car, but knew his success would be dependent on how well his tires would hold up.

“[The car] was good right from the beginning, but the tires can go away at any time here,” Holdridge explained. “You just have to make sure [the car] doesn’t go away on you and make sure you don’t burn the tires off. I just had to be patient. When I got by Rowan, I thought I was good. But you never know who was saving more to the end. But I’m happy I ended up where I did.”

Following Holdridge to the line was polesitter Les Hinckley, III. Hinckley, of Windsor Locks, Conn., surrendered second place on a lap 18 caution period to pit and make adjustments. Hinckley would pit twice more, finally restarting 11th on a lap 70 restart, and charged back through the field to finish second.

“We pitted three times and we contemplated a fourth time,” said Hinckley. “We just couldn’t give up the track position with 18 laps to go. We kept getting [the car] on either side of neutral. [The car] was bad at the end, but we were able to hang on, get some position in traffic, and [are] fortunate to finish second. Some nights you have a really good car and come away with nothing. Some nights the car is not as good as it should be and you come out really well.”

Ascutney, Vt.’s Dwight Jarvis charged from the 16th starting position to finish third. Tony Ricci, of Westbrook, Me., was able to get by Joey Jarvis in the closing laps to take fourth. Joey Jarvis, Dwight Jarvis’ nephew, also of Ascutney, settled for fifth.

Max Zachem, Louie Mechalides, Doucette, and Jacob Dore finished fifth through ninth respectively. Series point leader Chris Pasteryak had an up-and-down night, pitting out of third on a lap 41 caution and never was able to regain the track position, settling for tenth.

Unoffically, Pasteryak and Hinckley are tied for the points lead after Beech Ridge.

Pennink was charging through the field, surrendering the fourth position to pit at lap seven. Pennink may have been able to challenge Holdridge’s lead but instead tangled with then-second-place runner Stephen Masse on lap 87. Masse would retire and finish 15th, while Pennink completed the event and placed 14th.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series has a doubleheader weekend coming up; the tour travels to Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn., on Friday, August 12, for the completion of the Lincoln Tech 80. Rain halted the race on lap 32 back on June 24 and again washed out the completion of the event last weekend. On Saturday, August 13, the VMRS travels south to Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl for the fourth annual Wheels and Wings 100.

Valenti Modified Racing Series — Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Me.
Saturday, August 6, 2011


1. (5) Mike Holdridge, Madison, Conn.
2. (1) Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, Conn.
3. (16) Dwight Jarvis, Ascutney, Vt.
4. (6) Tony Ricci, Westbrook, Maine
5. (20) Joey Jarvis, Ascutney, Vt.
6. (13) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn.
7. (9) Louie Mechalides, Tyngsboro, Mass.
8. (18) Joe Doucette, Framingham, Mass.
9. (14) Jacob Dore, Sanford, Maine
10. (7) Chris Pasteryak, Jewett City, Conn.
11. (11) Adam Norton, Brookfield, Mass.
12. (17) Timmy Jordan, Plainfield, Conn.
13. (15) Sean Bodreau, Claremont, N.H.
14. (2) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
15. (19) Stephen Masse, Bellingham, Mass.
16. (12) Rob Goodenough, Swanzey, N.H.
17. (3) David Pinkham, Buxton, Maine
18. (8) Todd Annarummo, Swansea, Mass.
19. (4) Norm Wrenn, Nashua, N.H.
20. (10) David Oliver, Standish, Maine