Keeping up at Monadnock meant starting fourth and taking the lead on lap on 45 when he motored by Ed Dachenhausen on the outside going down the backstretch.
Meanwhile, Dachenhausen became one of the participants in a four way battle for second between himself, Hinckley, Seuss and Jarvis. There was some contact among the bunch, but nothing crossed the line into being overly aggressive.
ALEXANDER STARTS OFF '06 BY WINNING AGAIN by Justin St. Louis and Mike Twist
Monadnock Triumph Didn't Come Easy Though - Seuss and Jarvis Made Sure of That
Last season, Kirk Alexander was in a different zip code most of the time when the 100 green flags that make a True Value Modified Racing Series event were up. The 2004 and 2005 champion won 12 races in 2005 and usually did that in convincing fashion.
The box score at Monadnock Speedway (NH) for this year’s TVMRS opener once again shows that Alexander won. But it wasn’t a cakewalk this time. Second and third place finishers Andy Seuss and Dwight Jarvis appeared to be equal to Alexander at the end. Front row starters Sean Bodreau and Les Hinckley had good cars, but when Bodreau lost power on the second lap and Hinckley lost a clutch before the checkered flag, that took away their chances at knocking off Alexander.
Alexander knows that the pack has been gaining on him and he didn’t rest on his laurels during the off-season.
“We’ve been working on things,” said Alexander. “The car was fast, but we changed the motor program and did a few other things just to keep up.”
Sean Bodreau (#1) and Les Hinkley (#06) didn't get the chance to dice it up at the end after running into problems early on. (Jim DuPont Photo)
“It was getting a little physical and I almost wore out my stuff just trying to get third,” said Seuss.
“We tried to have a good race,” said Jarvis. “Ed’s a clean driver and I wanted to pass him clean. We did and the car was running very good.”
Then it appeared that Seuss might actually be catching Alexander as the laps clicked down.
“I’d say by the lap times, I might have been a little bit ahead of him, but who knows? He sandbags,” joked Seuss. “Maybe he just didn’t want to make me look as
Kirk Alexander crosses under the checkered at Monadnock. (Jamie Williams Photo)
bad tonight. He’s really good and I’m just happy to be in the company of him and Dwight Jarvis. They are both just awesome Modified drivers. We didn’t get them today, but we’re not giving up.”
Alexander laughed off the sandbagging remarks.
“BS,” said Alexander. “Once we got to have a 30 lap run, my car would pull away. It’s 100 lap race and not a 30 lapper. I could see the other guys and when they started to wiggle a little bit, I said that’s it…they’re pushing their car to the max.”
Alexander also offered a reason why the final laps were a real challenge for him just to complete.
“The throttle was hanging a little bit,” said Alexander. “That made me kind of nervous. With the throttle open, it would hang up, so I had to go three-quarter throttle. It made me kind of nervous. It was pretty dangerous.”
Meanwhile, Jarvis was having problems of his own.
“It loosened up at the end. But that’s the way that it is with these long races. You work on trying to get it good for the whole race.”
Alexander gets interviewed after the race by TVMRS announcer John Spencer. (MattsRacingPhotos.com Photo)
The top five at the finish were Alexander, Seuss, Jarvis, Dachenhausen and Rob Goodenough.
Seuss wasn’t disappointed about finishing second. He was just happy to be climbing out of his after 100 laps instead of 50 or 60.
“We haven’t finished the opener since I started racing Modifieds, so we’re happy,” said Seuss. “We just wanted to finish. It didn’t matter if we were down a lap or not. We’re very, very happy.”
Alexander (#43) and Seuss (#70) race hard near the end. (Jim DuPont Photo)
And Alexander knows that Seuss is a formidable competitor.
“The kid’s going pretty good,” said Alexander.
After race one, it looks like Alexander might have some company when running up front this season.
“We’ve got all kinds of stuff for him this year,” said Jarvis.
Alexander also has some plans of his own
“I’m going to do some [NASCAR] Whelen [Modified Tour] races with the Czarnecki Brothers,” said Alexander. “I’ll be racing at the Spring Sizzler. The only True Value race
that I’ll miss is Canaan because we’re going to Martinsville. I’ve never been there, that will be fun.”
We’ll have more from Monadnock with our TVMRS Leftovers coming up. The next race for the New England-based Mod Tour will be at Canaan Fair Speedway on May 6th.