Leftovers: True Value Modifieds at Monadnock by Denise DuPont
Tales From the High Banks
WINNING ISN’T EASY
Kirk Alexander has appeared to be unbeatable at Monadnock Speedway (NH), as his record of two victories in a row would seem to indicate. But winning isn’t as easy as it looks according to the two-time TVMRS Champion.
Alexander enjoys his victory. (Rick Ibsen Photo)
“It was some good racing. It is tough, it is not easy, I can tell you that,” Said Alexander after Monadnock. “When your car is just a little bit off it is a handful all night.
“I knew that the car was not as good as it could have been. So we kind of settled in and worked it. We picked them off when we could. We needed a long run to get her going. The car would just come to me in a long run so I could drive it to the outside and get a few here and there but the cautions were killing me. At the end of the race that was tough.
“At that last run there, I looked up and saw that there was seventy-one on the board that I had twenty-nine laps left. I said if we could run half of this then I have a shot at it. I had to get back by Peter because he drove by us when we drove to hard into it going into three and pushed the car up. But all and all it was great. I cannot complain. I just had to drive it!
“It was an exciting race. It was not like somebody just jumped to the front and led the whole race. Rob [Goodenough] had a great car but I could see that he was getting loose. It was just a matter of time I said. If we get long runs he will get worst and our car would get better.”
Still fresh in Alexander’s mind is the recent TVMRS event at Seekonk, where the 100-lap feature was run in well under an hour with only one caution period during the entire race.
“My hat is off to these guys for the race at Seekonk two weeks ago. We had only one caution and it was not even one of our regulars. We run good and we respect each other. It is an all around great series.”
With Monadnock in his mirror, Alexander and his #43 team now have some work ahead of them for the rest of the schedule.
“We will be at Lee Speedway next week. It is going to be a tight week. We are going to head to Oxford a few days later. It is going to be tough. My whole crew is behind me and they work tough. This whole car behind me was destroyed at Seekonk with the body ripped off it. We came together and got this done. Thanks to all the sponsors and people behind this. This is all for them.”
GOODENOUGH IS A CLOSE SECOND AT MONADNOCK
Rob Goodenough was quick all race long at Monadnock and finished right in Alexander’s tire tracks after the 100-lap event.
Goodenough's #6 Modified (Jim DuPont Photo)
“We were just having trouble on those restarts. I thought that it would just lighten the tires up. So I tried starting in high gear. That did not work so I went back to shifting it again. Then I finally figured out what was going on. Pretty much the last fifteen laps I was only about half throttle. I was just working to were I could all the RPMs out of it. It was just another unfortunate break that we have been getting all year. It is just a happening that we just cannot seem to get to avoid. The guys were doing everything that then could all week to give me the best that they can. Our break will come. One of these nights it will come. I am really happy for this second after everything that we have been through this year. I am tickled to death. It is just as good as a win.”
Being up front is something that Goodenough could get used to.
“Being up front was a real good place to be tonight. I actually liked the cautions a little bit because I was getting really, really loose. I thought that the tires would cool down and I thought that would help. It did help for a few laps and it did get a little bit better. Unfortunately we came up about fifteen to twenty laps too short. It was still a great night for the overall.”
DAUCHENHAUSEN COMES CLOSE TO TURNING THE CORNER
Ed Dachenhausen has had plenty of bad luck lately and that looked to about ready to change at Monadnock, but then trouble struck again and he was left with a 23rd-place finish.
“There was a possibility that we finally got our mark but then that disappeared,” said Dachenhausen. “We broke tonight. We came in during the second caution, we came in and made an adjustment. Then there was a wreck right away during the restart and our rear end broke.”
PODIUM A GOOD PLACE FOR JARVIS
Dwight Jarvis was satisfied with his third-place finish at Monadnock.
“I am pleased with the strong run and finish in this new car. I did not think that we had it left in it until we got towards the end and I started running high. The car came to life on the high side. I just ran out of laps though.
“Rob [Goodenough] had a real good run. A bunch of real clean guys, that goes for the regular guys.”
“I was very happy with tonight’s finish,” said Goodenough. “We have had a tough time here this year. It always seems that something happens we are either in the wrong place or something breaks. We just have had no luck here at this track this year. Tonight is a very great night for the whole team. It gives us a whole boost to get up and get going again. We have been waiting for this night wish we could have hung on to one more spot there.”
Goodenough’s car wasn’t perfect during the race either.
“Unfortunately, I lost the clutch and could not give it the full throttle down the straight away the last twenty laps. It was kind of hanging on at the end. It was a bad break again. Things just keep breaking on us. But we hung on to a second tonight. I have to thank all these guys for everything they have done again. They have put their whole hearts into this car and team. They have given me a good car every week and it is just unfortunate.
BODREAU GOES WRONG WAY THROUGH THE FIELD
Sean Bodreau started third at Monadnock, but slid back to finish 18th.
“We just did not tighten up the car enough for the feature,”said Bodreau. “It was actually probably too good during the beginning of the race. I felt it start to get a little bit loose about half way and then the last twenty laps I was really hanging on to it. We were up there really dicing it up with the leaders. You got to be on your toes I got in to it a little bit too hard coming off of turn two and spun it out all by myself. Nobody to blame but the driver. We will go to Lee with what we think is a good car now. The crew did a lot of work on it this week. It was really good most of the day. I believe that we have a baseline and we will go from here.
“It has been a while since we were running up front in this series. We struggled with this new car since we got it. I think that we are finally getting it to where we like it.
We will see if we can make some gains at Lee and finish the whole race in a top five hopefully.”
PASTERYAK NEEDS TO TIGHTEN UP
Chris Pasteryak fought a very loose racecar at Monadnock, one that left him with a finish of 11th.
“The car was loose in the heats and then still loose in the feature,” said Pasteryak. “I have to try something different here. Actually this is the first race that I ran here all year. I did not make the other two so it was not bad, a good learning experience. We kept four wheels on it and kept rolling and hung on.”
CLOSE, BUT NOT CIGAR, FOR LOUIE
Louie Mechalides had one of the quickest cars at the end of the Monadock race. He got up to the sixth spot at the end of 100 laps, but even a longer distance for the race wouldn’t have been good enough for him to take a shot at the victory.
“If there were a few more laps I would have had a car or two more, but not enough to win. That was about it. Those guys up front were running really, really good. We had a car that was good enough for about where we finished.
“The car was really good but I bumped the wheels during one of those wrecks on the front stretch. The car was just off a little bit. We were just happy to finish.”
TWO JARVISES IN TOP FOUR FINISHERS
Peter Jarvis, brother of defending TVMRS Champion Dwight Jarvis, continued his strong season at Monadnock by finishing fourth.
“It felt real good to run upfront. We got a little loose about half way though and then the car come to us and I pick my way back up through. We had fun. The team is coming together good. Everybody is working together and that is what it takes.
“The secret is to have a bunch of guys that work together good. It is a good friendly bunch. The whole tour is a good tour. It is good to follow it and good to race in it.”
A late race caution hurt Jarvis’ cause for a podium finish late in the event.
“I did not need the last caution, but it was a good hard race, that is what it is all about,” said Jarvis. “Last week the race ran in twenty-six minutes with one caution for one hundred laps. It is not that the guys are trying to get rough, but there are just circumstances that happen like us when we got loose that impacted the race this week.”
Kirk Alexander's #43 (Jim DuPont Photo)
McKENNEDY IS BACK
After sitting out for awhile due to a hard wreck in a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Stafford, Jon McKennedy is back on tour – doing double duty last weekend by racing at Monadnock on Saturday night and in the NASCAR Modified race at Twin State Speedway (NH) the following evening.
“It felt good to be back with the TVMRS,” said McKennedy. “We actually raced last week at the All Star Speedway event last week. We started last and finished second. As far as coming back to the True Value Series for the first time this year, I was happy. I was looking forward to it. We ran pretty good. I believe that we started eighteen and finished ninth.
“Overall it was decent. We were way too loose in the beginning which made it difficult. They sent me to the back for some reason that I have no clue why. The car in front of me spun and got loose and I tapped him and they felt as if I wrecked him so they made me go the back. So I had to pass everyone again.
“It just made it hard trying to go through the whole pack again. At that time I believe that I was running seventh and once they sent me to the back I had to pass everyone again and it killed the tires. Overall I am happy with a ninth finish.”
There are no lingering effects from McKennedy’s Stafford wreck.
“After the wreck at Stafford for a few days I felt out of it and then after that I felt fine.”
PATNODE ENDS UP IN THE TOP FIVE
Todd Patnode rounded out the top five finishers at Monandock.
“We had a pretty good car tonight. We are really excited about having the new car for next week. This car ran good tonight. We were just a twitch off. If we were just a little better we would have had something for them.”
Patnode is a rookie in the True Value Series, but he has a boatload of experience in different racecars at Monadnock.
“We definitely have an advantage having experience at the track.”
Patnode now finds himself sitting eighth in the TVMRS standings.
“I am just excited for the team that we will have a new car for them for next week. The new car is the final piece to bring the team together. We are finally all on the same page. It took a while for them to get use to how like the car and it took me a while to get use to working with new people. They are a great bunch of guys. I could not ask for a better bunch of guys to work with.”
SEUSS TRAVELS ACROSS COUNTRY TO RACE
Andy Seuss played a home and an away game this weekend. On Friday, he drove the #70 Rockingham Boat/Stewart’s Automotive Modified in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event at Caraway Speedway (NC). On Saturday, he was back in his home state of New Hampshire driving Gary Casella’s #25 Modified in the True Value Modified Racing Series event at Monadnock Speedway.
“Anytime you can travel the country driving racecars it’s a dream,” said Seuss of his
Neither race quite worked out for the young driver though. At Caraway, handling
problems kept him to a 19th-place finish.
“We never quite had it today,” said Seuss. “The Last time we were at Caraway we
qualified real good and started on the front row. We ran real well that night until the car
overheated. We were looking forward to coming back but the car was never quite right.
There has to be some sort of deeply rooted issue with it. Maybe a bad shock or
something like that? We just would go from loose to tight and it would change. It was
pretty evil. We were hoping for a caution but ended up going down a lap because of
that long green-flag run. So we decided just to park it rather than wreck it.”
On Saturday, Seuss ended up 20th at Monadnock after getting caught in a wreck.
Seuss spun and hit the wall just before the pit exit after being tapped by Jack Bateman
as the vied for the same position on the track.
”It was a good car overall,” said Seuss after the Monadnock race. “Gary’s cars are always very well prepared. It has been great working with him. I came in, made an adjustment and was coming back through the field. I am pretty confident that we would have had a top 10 tonight but I got bit. That is all I have to say about that. I just got bit with some bad luck.”
McKennedy's #73 (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Andy Seuss (Jim DuPont Photo)