Lee, NH – The Valenti Modified Racing Series rolled into town for the first of two 2016 appearances at “New Hampshire’s Center of Speed” on Friday night, with Jon McKennedy of E. Chelmsford, MA and Chris Pasteryak of Preston, CT taking down the wins in the twin 50-lap feature events.
McKennedy took the checkers ahead of Todd Patnode, Richard Savary, Mike Willis, Jr., Anthony Nocella, Dave Schneider, Geoff Gernhard, Donnie Lashua, Todd Szegedy, and Rob Richardi, Jr. in the first 50, while Pasteryak beat McKennedy, Nocella, Jeff Gallup, Savary, Schneider, Matt Mead, Patnode, Richardi, and Russ Hersey in the nightcap.
In the regular weekly NASCAR Whelen All American Series feature events, second-year, second-generation Supermodified driver Mike Keddy of Raymond was the star of the night in the EKeys4cars Supermodifieds, taking down his first career feature win the 30-lap main event.
Keddy broke out from the pole to set the early pace, with Moe Lattime of Kingston in pursuit for the first five circuits. Two-time 2016 winner Mike Spurling of Rochester made his way past Lattime on lap six, quickly setting his sights on leader Keddy and looking to take over the top spot.
But Keddy was in command from flag to flag, taking his first career win with a 0.402 second margin of victory. Spurling held on to his third spot in the point standings with a solid runner-up effort, with Leslie Keyser of Northfield rounding out the podium in third. Lattime and Kyle Sawyer of Raymond closed out the top five.
Patrick Stewart of Georgetown, MA led the R & R Public Wholesalers Late Model Sportsman feature to the green flag, and he set the pace for the first two laps before losing the top spot to Ray Dinsmore of Waterboro, ME. Dinsmore was the man to beat until lap eight, when Bryan Kruczek of Newmarket moved in and made the pass for the lead.
Making his 2016 debut aboard the Brian House-owned A Family Cab-sponsored entry, Kruczek was clearly the class of the field the rest of the way, running off to lead them under the checkers with points leader Nate Leavitt of Buxton, ME 0.697 seconds behind.
Jimmy Russell of Exeter was next across the stripe, followed by Geoff Rollins of Groton, MA, George Helliwell of Pelham, rookie contender Kris Miller of Bedford, “Big Steve” Paquette of North Hampton, Jesse Bousquet of Pittsfield, Trevor Randlett of Holderness, and Richard Glauben of Salem.
The David’s Race Cars and Components Hobby Stocks went green with Jake Michaud of Lebanon, ME leading the way, with Epsom’s Jim Piaseczny quickly up to challenge for the lead. Piaseczny edged ahead for the first time on lap six, but Michaud was back out front a lap later.
Piaseczny held serve on lap eight, but two laps later, Berwick, ME veteran Boe Green moved past both and put a fender ahead to claim the lap leader bonus. By the halfway mark, three-time winner and points leader Dylan Bilodeau of Fremont was in the high line and looking for the lead, which he eventually got on lap 15.
Bilodeau was well on way to win number four when mechanical issues dropped him off the pace on lap 20, with Green picking up the lead as a result. With just five laps remaining, Green made the best of the opportunity, leading the field under the checkers to collect his second win of the season.
Piaseczny collected his best finish of the year in the runner-up slot, with Berwick’s Pete Evans third at the checkers. A post-race examination of Evans’ mount resulted in a disqualification, with Newmarket’s Eric Hoffman moving up to third in the official tally.
Fourth went to Berwick, ME’s Ryan Green, followed by Paul Palen of Pelham, Nottingham’s Zac Fraser, Jay Avery of Berwick, ME, Tyler Munroe of N. Andover, MA, Bilodeau, and Michaud.
The Tri-City Line-X Ironman feature event was once again one of the most entertaining of the program, with opening night winner Jesse Tellier of Derry, the 2015 Pure Stock champion, collecting his second win of the 2016 campaign in the Brian and Christin DeStefano entry.
Christin’s taking some time off for family leave, which left her Midnight Motorsports ride available to teammate Tellier, who wrecked his car after a bout with the Lee USA concrete in the most recent feature event. Jesse made the best of the opportunity, outrunning the field by better than 2 seconds to collect the win.
A half straightaway behind, points leader Ryan Pitkin of Lee was best of the rest in the runner-up slot, with Seabrook’s Adam Knowles, Milford’s Travis Hollins, and impressive 14-year old rookie Kaycie Kustra rounding out the top five finishers with her best run of the year.
Two-time feature winner James Witkum of Methuen, MA, defending champ Troy Washburn of Farmington, Zach Washburn of Rochester, Joe LaPorte of Londonderry and Mike Farrington of Northwood finished up the top ten.
Epping’s John Boomhower grabbed the win in the MLM Diagnostics Pure Stock main, taking the checkers over Tyler Mailhot and Danielle Evans.
Sources: Lee USA Speeday PR