Waterford, CT) – Retired race driver Jerry Marquis of Broad Brook, Connecticut., dusted off his racing helmet Saturday night and won the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature at Waterford, (CT) Speedbowl. The win came on a night when the track presented the fourth annual “Wings & Wheels” program in front of a large crowd of open-wheel race fans.
Marquis becomes the fourth consecutive first time winner and the 10th different winner this season.
“Only here to help these guys out,” said Marquis who ended a successful 34 year career in 2007. “Brian (Crowley) called and asked if I would consider it and here I am.”
Marquis was tabbed to drive for regular driver Rowan Pennink and car owner Gary Casella as Pennink was committed to race in New Hampshire. Marquis agreed to practice the car at Stafford, (CT) on Friday and be ready on Saturday at Waterford if needed.
With qualifying completed and Pennink enroute from Loudon, NH., Marquis was slated to start on the pole for the VMRS race.
When the field of 21 cars rolled from the paddock area, Marquis took his position in the front row to a rousing ovation.
At the drop of the green flag, Marquis was the driver to beat and no one could top the Roscoe Racing #25. The 56-year Marquis wired the field but received pressure throughout the race.
Local favorite Rob Janovic Jr, of Waterford, from the drop of the green flag, chased Marquis until Les Hinckley III, of Windsor Locks, CT., slipped by on lap 40. For the next 60 laps Hinckley chased Marquis and ran him hard on restarts but this was not the night for the current point-leader. Marquis prevailed for the full 100-laps.
Keith Rocco, of Wallingford, CT., started 21st and finished a solid third following his win the night before at Stafford Springs, CT. Pasteryak finished fourth with Max Zachem of Preston, CT., rounding out the top five.
Mike Holdridge, Louie Mechalides, Dave Etheridge, Tim Jordan, and Josh Sylvester finished sixth through tenth.
17 of the 21 cars that started the race finished the event, 16 on the lead lap.
Four caution flags slowed the race. It took 40 minutes 15 seconds to complete the 100-laps.
Interestingly, the winning car was damaged in a crash Friday night at Stafford. The crew worked all night stopping three hours for sleep before heading to Waterford from Saugus, MA.
“The best part of this is a good guy won, we (the crew) pulled it off, and I’d like to think it was good for the series,” said car owner Gary Casella. “That’s what really makes me happy.”
August 13,2011, 2011
Waterford Speedbowl (CT)
Distance: 100 laps
Time of Race: 40:15:294
Best Lap Time: 14.061 (Pasteryak)
Best Speed: 96.010 Pasteryak
Margin of Victory: 1.432
Lead Changes: 0
Lap Leaders: Marquis (1-100)
Cautions: Laps; 6, 8, 8, 54, 62
Unofficial Finish – (1) Marquis (2) Hinckley (3) Rocco (4) Pasteryak (5) Zachem (6) Hold ridge (7) Mechalides (8) Etheridge (9) Jordan (10) Sylvester (11) Janovic (12) Malave (13) Solomito (14) Wrenn (15) Owen (16) Doucette (17) McClay (18) Charette (19) Barrett (20) Bateman (21) Goodenough
Sources: John Spence, Sr./VMRS PR