“I was very happy,” said Bateman. “The car was rock solid and I probably couldn’t have driven it if it wasn’t that good. I didn’t have to correct it because it handled well.”
Having 12 caution periods hurt.
“They hurt us because under green, I could relax a little bit. With the stagger and stuff, the car almost turns itself. Under yellow, I’d have to fight the thing to keep it straight. It seems that the more green we went, the better that we got.”
After the race, Bateman was asked if he could imagine any places where it would be worse to lose power steering than Monadnock. He thought about his answer and shook his head.
“Not too many places,” said the racing veteran of over 30 years.
KUHN TURNS MONADNOCK FORTUNES AROUND
In 2005, Monadnock was not a place that was kind of Jimmy Kuhn, Jr. and the #72 team.
This year, they’ve started out there with a sixth-place finish in the season opener and a runner-up finish in Saturday night’s race. Even thought it wasn’t a victory, it still put a big smile on Kuhn’s face.
TRUE VALUE MODS LEFTOVERS: MONADNOCK by Mike Twist
No Power Steering, Superbeast Gets Beat Up, Boats, a "Skoach" and More
BATEMAN GETS WORKOUT TO FINISH FOURTH
Imagine losing the power steering on your street car while taking a sharp freeway off ramp. Now imagine having the same thing happen in a Modified during a race of 100 green flags laps on a tight, quarter-mile paved oval.
The first scenario could lead to a crumpled car, the second would probably results in a DNF.
Not for Jack Bateman though. The driver of the #17 Modified didn’t just finish the True Value Modified Racing Series event at Monadnock, he finished fourth after leading early in the race.
“We were doing pretty good until around lap 30 when we lost the power steering,” said Bateman. It was kind of a chore after that.”
Jimmy Kuhn sits ready to log some laps with his Modified. (51 Photo)
“That was a busy, busy, busy night,” said Dachenhausen after the race. “The car was good. It was a little bit tight on me all night long. We were just fighting it because it was tight all day.”
After three races, the Connecticut driver sits second in the standings with three strong runs behind him to start the year. He’s excited about that fact.
“We’re ecstatic. It doesn’t get much better than this. We came into the night tied for the point lead and we’re probably second now. It’s a long season and we’re just going to take every week at a time and go on from there. We’re happy.”
Bateman's #17. (Jim DuPont Photo)
HERE A SKOACH, THERE A SKOACH
Andy Seuss managed to think outside the box when it came to finding words to use in his post-race interview.
“We missed the set-up just a skoach,” said Seuss.
Skoach? What’s a skoach? Apparently, it is a synonym for a tiny bit.
“Maybe that will be my signature word," said Seuss. “I was told that one of the NHRA drag racers always uses the word flabbergasted. That’s his word. Maybe skoach will be mine.”
“We’re usually not all that good here,” said Kuhn. “Every time we come back we try something different just to see if we can get better. I still wasn’t right tonight, but it was a lot better than we’ve been. Now we have something to work with and tune off of.”
After three races, Kuhn sits third in the TVMRS standings.
“We’ve run three races and we’ve gotten two sixths and a second. I can’t complain about that at all.”
Now Kuhn returns to his home track of Seekonk Speedway for this weekend’s event.
“I’m definitely looking forward to that. We’re going to go in there with the same deal – a whole new set-up for there. We’re trying stuff everywhere we go to try and get better. Obviously, Kirk can go out and win everywhere he goes so we’ve set out this year to try anything and everything to get better. We’re going to keep trying stuff until it makes us
Kirk Alexander goes a little bit out of the preferred line with his #43. (Jim DuPont Photo)
faster. If we keep settling with the same stuff that we’ve been doing, we’re going to keep doing the same stuff we’re doing. So we’re just going to keep trying and throwing stuff at it. That’s all you can do.”
SUPERBEAST TAKES A BEATING
It wasn’t a good night at Monadnock for two-time defending TVMRS champion Kirk Alexander. Alexander started on the last row, advanced towards the front, but got caught up in trouble and finished ninth with a battered racecar – one that the team nicknamed “Superbeast”.
Sometimes things get a little bit crazy around Memorial Day weekend. After all, that is a busy time in the boat business. People want their new boats on the water and their old units serviced and out of storage. It’s normally the busiest time of the year.
Add to that the fact that a recent flood in New Hampshire set Rockingham Boat back nearly a week when it came to their work and you’d have a crazy time under the best of circumstances.
But even with all of the work needed for the family business, there was still a racecar that needed to hit the track and somehow the Seuss clan of family and close friends managed to get their Modified on track at Monadnock Speedway Saturday night. Their result was
Ed Dachenhausen in his office. (51 Photo)
“It was pretty rough. We got bent up a couple of times. The left front took a beating. It was toed out pretty bad so we came in the fix it and that took a few stops. I would have had a decent finish, but I got turned by the #79 [David Roys] at the end. That happens when you’re in traffic and back with the rough bunch.”
Alexander started in the back not because of being the most recent race winner [he wasn’t], but because he was penalized for not taking his car out to help dry the track during a rain delay in the last series event at Canaan Speedway. Alexander was fined, placed on probation and had to start at the rear of the field for the next event
based on his actions, or lack of action, there. His team pointed out that nowhere in the rulebook does it state that a racecar is required to be used as a track-drier.
“They tend to make rules as they go along,” said Alexander. “I guess if you don’t play along, they’ll do what they want to you.”
Now, Alexander is ready to put Monadnock behind him and go to Seekonk this Saturday night.
“I can’t wait to get back there. It’s a nice place, a clean facility, they treat you good, there’s a great parking area for us with plenty of room and we’ve run well there. It’s just an all-around good place to go.”
BUSY BOAT BIZ CAN’T KEEP SEUSSES FROM THE TRACK
The Seusses are a family that races, plays and works together. On most weekends from April through November, they can be found at a racetrack with the #70 Modified that is driven by 19-year-old up-and-comer Andy. On most weeks, they are all hard at work running the family business, Rockingham Boat in Hampstead, New Hampshire.
a fifth-place finish in True Value Modified Racing Series competition.
But just getting to the track was the hardest part.
“To get the car here today was a bit of a struggle,” said Andy Seuss. “I worked until midnight last night and my Dad went into the family business at six this morning. He didn’t even get to the track until five tonight.”
There wasn’t much preparation time in the shop this week either, even after a rainout last weekend at Lee USA Speedway (NH).
Andy Seuss (L) and his Dad Steve (R) work on their #70 Modified. (51 Photo)
Hinkley's wounded #06. (Jim DuPont Photo)
“We had a really good car,” said Hinkley. “I think that we had a car capable of winning this race. It’s easier said than done obviously, but we’ve got enough laps here to know what it takes to be capable of winning.”
“I still don’t have a straight answer on who, what or how that wreck got started. We got caught up in it and that’s part of racing.”
TVMRS rules mandate that the latest race winner start shotgun on the field for the next race, so that’s where Hinkley began the 100-lap race. By the 25-lap mark, he had passed 10 cars but on lap 32, his night was over.
“We were the previous race winner, so we had to start out back,” said Hinkley. “You run the risk of getting caught in other people’s trash when you run back there. It’s a tough deal to get handicapped like that, but you’ve got to take the bad with the good. We’ll put it back together, go to Seekonk and try it again next weekend.”
McKENNEDY SURVIVES FOR TOP 10 FINISH
Jon McKennedy was a party to the race’s only red flag when his car got locked together with the #25 of Gary Casella. Track workers and a couple of wreckers needed to get involved to separate the two machines which had joined bumpers on the apron of turn two.
“It was an unfortunate thing,” said McKennedy. “I saw him spinning and tried to go down to the infield to avoid him. He came down and clipped the right rear. It was one of those racing deals of having nowhere to go and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
But McKennedy still trucked on after the red flag period. In fact, the young driver managed to finish eighth in the race.
“For awhile, we had a really good car. Then we got caught in that wreck. We stayed on the lead lap, but had to start in the back there. I kind of beat up the tires a little bit to get back to the front and then the right rear started to come apart, so I couldn’t go any further forward.”
DACHENHAUSEN WORKS TO FINISH SIXTH
Ed Dachenhausen took the long road to a sixth-place finish. His bright pink #48 was up and down on the rundown through the race.
Seuss' #70. (Jim DuPont Photo)
“Last week at Lee, the race being on Sunday was a God-send,” said Seuss. “I worked 70 hours last week and got home Saturday night. Thankfully, I’ve got a great crew and they worked all through the week getting it ready for me. I can’t thank them enough. Then we got rained out and I was back Monday morning at work unloading boats.”
Seuss and his team were satisfied with a top five run at Monadnock, but ever the racer, he also thinks that a better result could have occurred with a little bit different set-up in the #70.
“The car was pretty good, we missed the set-up just a skoach and it was off just a little bit. I’m pretty sharp with the set-ups and I though that I put it to what we needed, but I worked off the wrong sheet. The car was identical to the set-up on the sheet, but it wasn’t what we wanted for here. I knew that it was for a different track, but I had thought that it was similar enough. I was wrong and it was tight, but overall we finished fifth and were ahead of some of the point guys.”
With his fifth place finish, Seuss moved up four positions in the TVMRS standings. He is currently ranked sixth with two top fives and one DNF in three starts this season.
Seuss is happy to be in the points mix and enjoys racing where he does.
“We’re happy to be running with who we are running with,” said Seuss. “The competitors are great, the officials do a great job and we’ve had some good races this year.”
HINKLEY GETS BOUNCED AROUND
Usually anytime that Les Hinkley and his #06 team roll into the pits at Monadnock, they are a threat to win the race. That was the case on Saturday night as well, but lady luck didn’t play along. Hinkley dropped out early because of contact and finished 23rd.