“I am glad that we are starting up front after the luck that we have had. I just hope that it is a clean race,” said Dolan before the race started. “That we can run it without a lot of cautions and a clean night. That is all that I am looking for.”
That didn’t exactly happen.
First caution occurred on lap 12 when the Rob Goodenough spun in turn one, skated across the grass and into the field of cars while he tried to avoid Rusty Ball who had stopped in the middle of turn 2. Richard Savary had no place to go and went over the Tony Ricci car that was stopped to avoid the incident. Bruce Batchelder in the #77 car went off into the dirt in turn one and hit the fence. The car was so severely damaged it was towed from the track unable to return.
Andy Seuss had just pasted Jimmy Dolan to take the lead but went back to second place with the caution. On lap 13, Seuss was able to retake the lead while Dolan dropped back to second spot.
RICCI WINS IN FIRST TRIP TO STAR SPEEDWAY by Denise DuPont
Plenty of Action Takes Place When TV Mods Hit the Quarter Mile Oval
The True Value Modified Racing Series visited Star Speedway on Saturday night. It’s a welcome stop on the schedule – a small ¼ mile track with limited walls but plenty of banking and old New England hospitality. Once again, Matt Buckler [a Connecticut track announcer well known in the Modified community] and his gourmet tastes would have treasured the homemade French fries that were cut from fresh potatoes and cooked to perfection. As fans watched the races and crews worked on their cars, the fresh potato smell permeated the grandstand and pits.
After a June 24th rainout, this was the first TVMRS race of the season at Star and as it turned out, there was enough action to make for two races this time around. When all was said and done, Tony Ricci walked away with his second victory of the season.
There were three Heat races to start the night. During the first lap of Heat One, Les Hinckley spun in turn one losing his left rear tire. He went into the pits and did not return for his Heat race. On lap 4, Pete Jarvis in the #9NH spun in turn four bring out a second caution. Jimmy Dolan won the first heat, while Rob Goodenough and Andy Seuss scored victories in the calmer second and third heat races.
Eight cars went to the consi, four of which would advance to the feature. Surprisingly, that list included point leader Dwight Jarvis who passed up the guarantee of a provisional to try and better his starting position for the feature by running the consi.
“I did not want to take a provisional,” said Jarvis. “I want to save them for when I really need them. I took a chance and ran the consi.”
The two provisional spots were taken went to Les Hinckley who was fifth in points going into this race and sixteenth in points Johnny Bush. Meanwhile, the #43 car for Kirk Alexander and Chris Wenzel both did not show for the race. Both cars were damaged at Monadnock Speedway.
The 100-lap feature had eight cautions and a lot of damage.
Jimmy Dolan led the pack of twenty-four cars around the track. He was hoping to pace a clean and green race.
Andy Seuss (#70) and Les Hinckley (#06) go spinning after Hinckley tried to take the lead from Seuss. (Jim DuPont Photos)
For a while it appeared that we were on our way for a Guinness record. The race had 53 laps in the books and eight cautions.
Seuss continued to lead until lap seventy-six when he and Les Hinckley locked together and spun in turn four while fighting for the lead. Both cars were able to resume after being checked out.
Seuss summarized what happened from his perspective: “The 06 car and I got together. I think that he knew that my weak spot was getting into turn three. I had to slow up a bit. I think that Les drove it in a little too hard. There was contact. I hate it for Les Hinckley. I hate it for my
So after 23 laps in the book there were already four cautions and a lot of damaged cars.
Andy Seuss continued to lead until lap twenty-seven when Bucky Demers in the #10 took over the lead and Seuss fell back to fourth.
The cautions continued to plague the race. On lap 53, Bush and Abele cars tangled and spun in turn four to bring out the fifth caution. While the cars came around to restart racing, Sean Bodreau stopped in turn four and had to be towed to the pits which brought out the next caution.
Demers led until lap 53 when he spun in turn two during the restart lap. Seuss regained the lead as the cars came around and the field was starting to get momentum for a couple of laps until the yellow flag was thrown. Now we were at caution number eight. Goodenough had slowed down on the track which caused the cars to check up and spin.
whole team. Just another could have been for our team. I think I was not showing my whole hand at that time. I honestly knew I had to save it. He knew it and drove up a ton and we got together. The rear end it bent and the tire is flat. We will take it home and work on it for Seekonk and hopefully do better next week”
Hinckley had a slightly different view on what happened with 24 laps to go
“We had a mishap during the heat race that set us back. But then the car was unbelievable in the feature. We drove all the way to the front passing everyone on the outside. We tried to do that to the leader too. When we got to him, there were 40 laps to go and he may have thought there were only two laps to go and he put a rolling road block on me. He hooked my right rear and spun me around.”
So there were now 76 laps and nine cautions in the books.
Car #44 for rookie Ryan Preece took over the lead on the
restart on lap seventy-six and led for nineteen green laps.
Tony Ricci passed Preece for the led on lap ninety-five and
went onward to win the 100 lap race.
“We were not real good in practice and then we had to start
all the way from the back after the first caution on lap twelve. Throughout the race cars in front of me were beating and banging. I just kept my foot in it and made
Tony summarized his thoughts about the race and his win.
“I am happy. I was nervous. I had never driving on the track
before. I did not go around it until today and I wasn’t excited
after practice. I did not think that I was going to have
anything for the race. We got about half way into the race
and it was good. I tried to keep myself out of trouble and
work my way to the front. It was a long haul after going all
the way to last. I am learning that you have to just save
your stuff with these cars and these guys. I just tried to
save during the first part of the race to make sure that if
I was there at the end that I had something else for them.
I had to be patient with all the cautions, red flags and everything that was going on.”
Preece was satisfied with his runner-up finish.
“I am real happy about the finish and I am glad to be here. I will take what I can get,” said Preece, who was competing in his fourth TVMRS show. “I am real surprised with things. With my bad luck out of the way, the good luck is starting to come to us.”
Dwight Jarvis padded his point lead with a third-place finish, while Kuhn and Peter Jarvis rounded out the top five finishers.
The True Value Modifieds now head to Seekonk Speedway next Saturday night, August 19th.
Second caution occurred on lap 20 when David Pinkham, Tom Abele and Bush all spun in turn two. Cars barely got racing again when three cars spun in between turns three and four bringing out caution number three. Cars involved were the Bryan Shumway, Jack Bateman and Dale Evonsion - last week’s winner at Beech Ridge. As cars were getting ready to restart again and something broke on the front end of #69 car of Dolan in turn four. The car had to be towed.
Cars restarted racing for two more laps and were brought to a halt on the track when the red flag was thrown after the #21 car of Richard Savary went off the track into the woods in turn three. It appeared that something broke in the car. Savary was able to climb out of the car.
Tony Ricci (#4) passes Ryan Preece (#44) for the lead late at Star.
Ricci gets interviewed by TVMRS announcer John Spence after the race.