the rear of the feature per TVMRS rules as the previous race event winner.
On Sunday, as a bright harvest moon crested on the eastern horizon, Annarummo and Seuss brought the cars around the track to start the 100 lap TVMRS race. On lap one Seuss, who appeared to have the stronger of the two cars, jumped into the lead.
The #07 car of Todd Owen, a weekly SK Modified competitor at Stafford Speedway, had a difficult night on the track. His car spun in between turn one and two on lap 23 and then again on lap 33 bringing out the first two cautions.
FULL MOON LEADS TO WILD NIGHT AT SEEKONK by Denise DuPont
Mechalides Finishes First, But Berghman Wins TV Mod Race
Louie Mechalides took over the lead 73 laps into the True Value Modified Racing Series event Sunday evening at Seekonk Speedway. He cruised on to take the checkered flag in the race for an apparent victory.
Well, not quite. It turned out that things that happened in the full moon of the night weren’t quite what they appeared to be. In the final rundown, a black flag (or was it the full moon?), took the victory away from Mechalides. That was the final outcome after a race filled with wacky occurrences.
The True Value Modified Racing Series heat races were run on Saturday afternoon. Mechalides of Tyngsboro, MA., Andy Seuss of Hampstead, NH., (both previous TVMRS event winners at Seekonk), and Vinnie Annarummo from Swansea, MA, (a Seekonk champion) were heat race winners. Dave Berghman won the 15-lap consolation race. Lou Mechalides would have to start at
Andy Seuss' #70 was out front early at Seekonk.
The third caution of the evening was brought out on lap 39 when the #17 car of Jack Bateman spun in turn one. The restart brought out another caution as the leader Seuss spun in turn three bringing out caution four.
“I do not know what happened out there,” said Seuss. “Thankfully I did not get into the wall. I came in. The guys checked the car over and I was back out.”
Tony Ricci, Bruce Batchelder and Bobby Grigas were also caution victims. All three were all towed from the track. Grigas, with his front left wheel broken off, got the worst of the bunch and never returned to the race.
“They all checked up and when they were going bumper to tail they gathered me a little higher they caught the left front wheel,” said Grigas, who was making his return to
The full moon oversaw a crazy night at Seekonk on Sunday. (Jim DuPont Photos)
the driver’s seat after being injured in a practice crash at Canaan last month.
When Seuss spun on the restart, Kirk Alexander in the black beast passed him to take over the lead. Kirk had a strong car as he led the field of cars around the track.
Caution five occurred on lap 44 when Dale Evonsion spun after he and Jimmy Dolan got into one another. Evonsion suffered a flat tire. Both cars involved in the caution restarted from the back of the pack as Alexander led the pack again across the start finish line, even though his car seemed to be loosing a little momentum.
On lap 68, Elmer Wing in the #39 slowed and then came to a complete stop on the backstretch grass. Tony Ricci spun in turn two avoiding the slowed down and backed up cars during caution six of the night.
The field just got back to racing when Evonsion and Dolan, who were vying for the same spot, tangled again and spun in turn four to bring out the seventh and last caution.
Alexander continued his lead on the restart but his car obviously was not up to speed when he lost momentum on the next lap. Dave Berghman passed him for the top spot. Kirk’s car continued to slow and he lost position after position. The #43 car of Alexander went into the pits on lap 71 and never returned to race.
“The car just lost all the power and starting skipping,” said Alexander. “I just pulled her off. “
Mechalides and Dwight Jarvis followed behind Berghman to the front of the field.
Berghman and Mechalides continued to lead the pack counting off laps. They swapped the lead back and forth a few times until Lou finally took over the lead position with an outside move with 25 laps to go. Lou then dominated the number one position until the race end.
Evonsion's #35 exits the race with a trail of sparks.
The race was scored as the cars had raced to the end, but the final results reflected a new winner - Dave Berghman of Seekonk, MA was crowned the winner of the100 lap TVMRS race after officials penalized the first place finishing car of Lou Mechalides.
Their decision was based on Lou not honoring a lap-31 black flag. Officials had black flagged Lou when it appeared his car was dumping water on the track. Lou was black flagged for two more laps and then an unrelated caution occurred. Under the caution, the leak ceased. It appeared at the time, that Mechalides was allowed to continue maintain his position.
At the end, Berghman was awarded first, Lou Mechalides was penalized one spot to second, Dwight Jarvis, Jimmy Kuhn, Vinnie Annarummo, Andy Seuss, Jon McKennedy, Les Hinckley, Rob Goodenough, and Dale Evonsion would completed the top ten.
Mechalides was pretty unhappy about the post-race turn of events.
“I guess it was a good race,” said Mechalides. “I started last because I won here last time. I drove up past everybody. Guess I was leaking water on lap 40 and they penalized me one spot at the end of the race. I guess I finished second as of right now.
“The car never over heated. They said to disregard the black flag in the stands. They had announced it over the loud speakers. I do not know what they saw, dirt or dust? They said they were going to watch it to see if it was a problem. I think somebody on the track or a racer was complaining about it. No officials seemed to see it. They just checked the car all over and they can’t find anything. So I do not know.”
On the other hand, Berghman was happy to win his first TVMRS event, but due to the circumstances, his joy was somewhat subdued.
”You really do not want to win a race this way,” Berghman said. “Maybe we did just have a second place car. I do not know what all the specifics are.
“It was a decent race. The car was pretty awesome. About thirty laps to go the right rear gave out and Lou got by us on the outside. I thought we finished second. But here we are.” Dave said as he was in victory lane.
Berghman’s #82 is a recent addition to the TVMRS ranks.
“We went to the Thompson Modified Mania race and it was the first time the car was out in two years,” said Berghman. “The car was hurt pretty well, but here it is. We are not sure if we will be at Lee for the last race.”
The next and last TVMRS race of the season is scheduled at Lee Speedway, Octoberfest weekend, October 21st and 22nd.
Dwight Jarvis goes into the weekend with a twenty-six point advantage over Jimmy Kuhn.
The TVMRS banquet is scheduled for Saturday, December 2nd at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Chicopee, MA.
Mechalides (#40) crossed the finish line first, but it was David Berghman in the #82 who was awarded the victory.