MODIFIED NON-QUALFIERS RACE: DEAL OR NO DEAL?

Carl Pasteryak led the field from the start to the finish and lapped the field as he cruised around the track and took the checker flag for the win in the non-qualifiers race for Tour-type Modifieds.

“We had a little mishap yesterday in qualifying,” said Pasteryak.  “We got mixed up with some tires. We got mixed up in the heat race. Then we made some wrong adjustments and then we made some right ones at he consi and hopefully we were going to get it right. I appreciate all the fans. Thank you very much for coming out. Thank you very much Charles for this race. We always look forward to coming here.” 
PLENTY OF RACERS SHARE NSS GLORY by Denise DuPont
Catching Up With All of the Shootout Winners
Some came from as far up North as New Hampshire, Connecticut or even Canada.  Some came from just down the road.  Some had fire-breathing high-dollar motors, while others might have been running four cylinders.  Some had their cars arrive in tractor-trailer rigs or fancy toterhomes, while others got their racecars to the track on the back of a tired open trailer.

But there was one thing that all of the racers at Concord Motorsport Park (NC) had in common for this weekend’s North-South Shootout.  They all came to race a Modified.

The weekend of speed consisted of feature after feature of Modified competition.  Here are the stories of who won what.

SK LIGHTS/CRATE MODIFIEDS

The 30-lap feature of the Crate/SK Lights was the first feature of Saturday’s North-South Shootout. The winner of the feature was Denny Bohn in the #659.  Bohn started the feature in first position, went into the pits did some
repairs, drove his car up through the field and then led the bulk of the race.

“We were running pretty strong,” said Bohn.  “We came up on the lap car and got out of the groove and slid up into the wall. I had bunch of toe out. I came back into the pits and we put the toe back in. We had a good race car this weekend.”

Bohn held off Shelly Perry in the #76, and Gary Young, Jr.’s #45.

Bouncing off the wall might have slowed Bohn down slightly, but it didn’t keep him from victory lane.
Bohn in victory lane.  (Howie Hodge Photo)
at Wall and won the championship. To come here and win is good.”

Perry had a tough time during the race being involved in cautions and spinning on her own. She drove a tough race and ended up finishing second after passing Young, on the last lap.   Perry usually drives an SK Light Modified at Stafford speedway and Mini Stock car at Thompson.  This week she came to Concord to participate in the Crate/SK Light Feature.  She enjoyed the trip.

“It was intense,” said Perry.  ”I have never been to a track so physically demanding. Just the G-forces that you feel are incredible. It was a lot of fun.”
VINTAGE MODIFIEDS

The 25-lap feature of the Vintage Modified cars followed the Crate-SK Lights race. The winner of the feature was Randy Smith, who started the feature in first position and led the bulk of the race.

“This is a great race and the team always enjoys coming here to race. This is my first year driving the car and it has been a great year.”

Jason York and Keith Maready rounded out the podium finishers.

VINTAGE SPORTSMEN

The 25-lap feature at the Shootout was the final race of the year for the Vintage Sportsman cars. These cars look like the classic cars that you may see at a local Tuesday night car hop. The winner of the feature was Gary Lloyd in the #6 who started the feature in second position and led the bulk of the race.

“It was a lot hard then what you would think,” said Lloyd of his win.

Corey Agree in the #83 and Sam Faucette in the #07 finished second and third.
Pasteryak (#75) races with Greg Butcher (#45).
(Jim DuPont Photo)
“I think that we were a little faster before we slapped the wall but we were just as good afterwards. It was good that we came up through the field and made the pass for the win. I don’t like to make a pass like that. I was underneath him and he came down on me and slowed up. My bumper was on his back bumper already and I just hit him. If I was going to intentionally going to take him out, I would have stuck my foot into it. I just bumped him and he went sailing in there and spun out. “

Bohn launched his career in a Crate SK car this year, but his car has a history to it.

“This car has been sitting since 1991. We took it out this year put the crate motor in it and ran at Wall. We did well
Young leads Perry during the SK feature.  (Jim DuPont Photo)
Randy Smith in victory lane.  ((Jim DuPont Photo)
position short and missed out on an opportunity to run in the North-South Shootout. She had time trialed 41st and was in an accident during her Modified heat race. Her crew worked feverishly to get her car repaired for her last appearance on the track and they did a great job since she was the only car that remained on the lead track other than Pasteryak at the end of the race.

”I was actually going for a qualifying spot the guy in front of me spun and I guess he did not hit his brakes so he went back up the race track and I caught him with my left front,” said Niederauer.  “There was nothing that I could have done. I was on a mission.”  

PRO-FOUR MODIFIEDS

The Pro-Four cars raced for 30 laps with Adam Norton from New England taking the win after starting second in the race.
Charles Kepley, C&C Collectibles founder and NSS promoter, gave Pasteryak a chance to make a deal for an opportunity to run in the North South Shootout race.  He would just had to give up his $500 winnings from the non-qualifying race and he could run in the main event.

“How would you like to race in the North South Shootout?” Kepley asked.

Pasteryak responded, “I would love to!”

Marisa Niederauer from Long Island came in second in the non-qualifier race. But in the end, she was one
“This is awesome,” said Norton.  ” Halfway through the year we were looking forward to this when we found out that we were coming here. I wanted to win this so bad. It kind of caps off a good year picking up both the Pro-Four Championship and this race.”

Norton would love to see this become an annual event.

“I love this place,” said Norton.  “I have never been on a better track. This is absolutely the best. I have never been down here to race. This is the first time that I have ever come down south and I definitely will come back.”

The Pro-Fours started in Freeport, Long Island with Volkswagen Beetle cars.  Back then, the cars all had
pieces of canvas on their rear ends to catch any loose oil that may have spewed from the engine. The division ran the Volkswagens until newer and faster cars took over their race division.

The final top five cars were rounded out by Jeff Zuidema (1M), Jim Darlington (73), Matt Sagar (10) and Jason Heroux (20).

FOUR CYLINDER MODIFIEDS

The four-cylinder modified division was comprised of a mixture of street-stock type cars and trucks. The cars competed in a 30-lap feature. AJ Sanders led the pack around to start the race and dominated the first 20laps. On lap 21, he was passed by Greg Butcher in the #0. On lap 29, in the dog leg of the track the two lead cars of Greg Butcher and AJ Sanders spun. The two cars lost two spots during this caution after their spin.
Norton in victory lane.  (Jim DuPont Photo)
Lloyd's' #6  (Jim DuPont Photo)
The end of the race was a green, white checker finish. On the restart the Butcher hit Sanders car, sending him hard into the first turn wall. Because of the incident the officials black flagged Butcher. The second green, white checker finish started minus Butchers car and Sanders started in third position. Charlie Curry went across the finish line and took the checkered flag.

“I would like to thank Greg Boucher for letting me ride in this car,” said Curry.  “I would like to also thank Paul Smith for putting me in this car. I have not been in a race car for a year and a half. I never ran a lap around this place until yesterday. I did not have anything for him. The car was good for a lap or two. “

The final top five cars were Charlie Curry, AJ Sanders, Tony Black, John Davis and Dean Lowder.
SK MODIFIEDS

The SK Modified Feature was led around the field with Tom Rogers, Jr. from New York and Tom Farrell from New Jersey. The feature had 33 cars from the Northeast region that came South to compete. Last year’s champion Woody Pitkat started the feature half way through the field in fifteenth position.
Charles Kepley had each driver throw up a tennis ball into the grandstand for the fans and spectators. The fan who held the winning car’s tennis ball at the end of the race won $100. This added a little more mixture to the race and a reward for the fans that rooted the drivers on.

Bobby Santos III ran both an SK and Tour Modified cars.

“I really like this track and it is a lot of fun. Right now I am having fun being a short track racer for now.”

Santos drove the #81 car in the SK race.
Sherry Hogan from Ontario, Canada came south to run in the SK Modified division in the # 74 car. She was one of the three woman competitors that participated in the Fourth Annual North South Shootout. After dealing with a car plagued with engine issues, she time trialed 31st and made the SK feature race. This was a nice reward for her crew that worked hard all weekend on her car.

During the start of the race, the cars all got squirrelly as Tom Farrell hesitated on the race start. A few of the cars took the blunt of the damage, including Pete Brittain - whose car hit the first wall a ton. His was able to get out of his car on his own. Tommy Farrell pitted and his team feverously worked to fix what appeared to be a broken clutch pedal.

On lap 10th lap, Rowan Pennink sustained a damage nose as he hit the wall on the back dog leg of the track.   Eric Beers backed his car in reverse into the back pit road and was able to get his car serviced fast enough to return back to the race. On lap 12, there was a major wreck in turn two as eight cars turn and created a major parking lot pile up as the third caution was brought out. Jimmy Blewett was involved in the wreck turn one.  At the same time, in turn three, Tommy Fox was in an incident that damaged his car severely enough that it had to be placed on a flatbed. Woody Pitkat, who started 15th, was now up to sixth position after the first 12 laps.
On lap 42, Pennink spun in turn four after he is car was tapped on the back by Santos. Also caught up in the incident was Steven Reed who had been in the fourth position at the time. He pitted for a right rear tire. His car had been slowly backing up before the caution. After maneuvering his way through the traffic, Pitkat was now up to third position.

Rogers, Jr. went from the green to checkered flag to take the SK Modified race in his Big Brothers/Big Sisters car.

“The weekend started out pretty rough,” said Rogers.  “During the second warm up a couple of cars checked up. My good buddy gave me a good boot from behind and I flat spotted all my tires. I got real close to the outside wall, but we thought that it was going to be a lot worst. Last year we broke a pushrod and I rode around on seven cylinders for forty laps and I finally kicked out the lifter. Last year was not all that bad, we just screwed up in time trials. This year we were right on. I am very happy for my crew, the car owners and all my sponsors of the car.”

This was one of the biggest win so far in his career right next to the 2004 Championship at Riverhead Speedway.

“It is always special when you race against the best from all tracks. I have a lot of big wins but this is up there at the top of my list for sure. You get to come down here on an even playing field and race against the best from each track. It is a good feeling.”
 
The top five finishers were Tom Rogers, Bobby Santos, III, Woody Pitkat, Earl Paules and Tommy Cravenho.

HOOSIER 100 TOUR-TYPE MODIFIED RACE

The 100-lap feature started in the chilly temperatures as the fans and crews were all bundled up. The cold front that was hitting the north extended all the way down the east Coast to add a freeze to the race and make this race the North-South Freeze-Out.
Since it was a North South Shootout, it was appropriate that the front row was led by Matt Hirschman from the North and Burt Myers from the South. Bobby Grigas, the True Value Modified Racing Series Rookie of the Year, started the race in third position. During hot laps Grigas pitted his car and his crew worked on the car to fix am apparent fuel leak. He was able to make it back to join the cars in hot laps. But on lap four Grigas was black flagged because his car was dumping fuel as he went around the track and he had to pit the fast #09 car

Grigas rejoined the race on lap16. His car had a problem with the fuel cell that his crew was able to cap off. On lap
17, Andy Seuss, Ronnie Silk and Bobby Santos, III were caught up in the first caution when Santos went in the air up over the Ronnie Silk’s car. Silk and Seuss drove their car to the pits while Santos’ car had to be towed to the pits. The race restarted with Matt Hirschman and John Blewett, III leading the field to the restart.

On lap 24, Nevin George came close to the front stretch wall and was caught up with Brendan Hire to bring out the second caution. George drove away while Hire was towed to the pits.  Several pitted during this caution since a mandatory pit stop had to be taken between lap 20 and 80. On the restart Todd Szegedy and Les Hinckley who started 20th and 21st, had moved up to fifth and sixth positions respectively.
On lap 36, James Civali, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Rookie of the Year, spun in turn three and hit the front stretch wall.  This put caution three into the books. Andy Seuss who had been in the pits since lap 17 retuned to the race during the third caution. On the restart, Anthony Sesely got loose and spun bringing out the next caution.

The double file restart had Chuck Hossfeld and Les Hinckley on the front row since a lot of the lead cars had pitted.

Burt Myers stopped on the front stretch and brought out caution number five on lap 46. Hinckley pitted and the new leaders were the young guns of Hossfeld and Hirschman.

Half way through the race Donny Lia spun near the start finish line. Lia tried to turn his car around and backed into Burt Myers. Myers car had to be towed from the scene.

“You are supposed to wait for the caution to get by before you try to make a turn,” said Myers.   We were going to
come in to make a tire adjustment, but we can’t now.” Myers said as he walked the dejected path to the pits.

Sesley and Hinckley spun in turn three as the sixth caution occurred for Lia’s spin.

Hossfeld gave up the lead to pit on lap 51.  The leaders of the pack at this point were now Matt Hirschman, Earl Paules, Rick Kluth, Ted Christopher and John Blewett, III.

With only thirty laps to go Ryan Preece and Gene Pack tangled in turn three after Preece had spun and brought the field to a stop with caution number seven. Eric Beers who was running one cylinder down and started th31st  was up to fifth position in the race on lap seventy. 

And another caution occurred on lap 76 when Billy Pauch, Jr. spun in turn two. Following his action Les Hinckley spun in the same area of turn two on lap 85, bringing out caution nine.

After nine cautions, at the end of the race there were still a field of 25 cars to take the checkered flag. Matt Hirschman who started the race from the pole took the win followed closely by the veterans Ted Christopher, Eric Beers, Earl Paules and John Blewett, III.




Curry in victory lane.  (Jim DuPont Photo)
Tommy Cravenho (#31) leads Bobby Santos at Concord.  (Howie Hodge Photo)
Rogers' #03  (Rich Ibsen Photo)
Bobby Grigas ran into early trouble with his #09.  (Jim DuPont Photo)
Matt Hirschman celebrates his victory.
(Jim DuPont Photo)