Jon McKennedy Wins 100 Lap TVMRS at Canaan Fair Speedway by Denise DuPont
First True Value Modified Racing Series Win for the McKennedy Team
The True Value Modified Racing Series returned to Canaan Fair Speedway (NH) for the second time this year on Saturday, August 11th. This was the series’ 11th race in 2007. There were 24 cars in the pits for qualifying and the feature race. 18 cars qualified through the heat races and six cars qualified through a consi race.
Jon McKennedy (#73) and Les Hinckley (#06) battle for the victory at Canaan. (Jim DuPont Photos)
The winners of the heat race were Jack Bateman, Todd Patnode and Andy Seuss. Tony Ricci won the 15 lap Consi race. Last week’s race winner at Beech Ridge, Kirk Alexander, started the Canaan 100 lap race at the back of the pack in the twenty-third position. Mike Holdridge selected to go to the back of the pack behind Alexander.
Jon McKennedy, a former 350 Supermodified and ISMA driver from Chelmsford, MA came across the start finish line to win the 100 lap TVMRS race. This is his first ever race win in the True Value series.
”All day we had a really good car,” said McKennedy. “I thought that we had a shot at the win. I tried to save my tires as much as I could. I could see that Andy [Seuss] and [Chris] Pasteryak were starting to get loose. I tried to save as much as I could. It eventually came back to me and I still had plenty of rubber left so car was just getting better and better.”
McKennedy drove strong through a gaggle of lead cars during the fourth race caution on lap 61. Andy Seuss, who had been leading the race at the caution, had a bad restart and backed up a few spots.
McKennedy was injured in the Modified Tour Connecticut Classic 150 at Stafford on May 25th when his car spun as he got high up in the marbles on the track. His car hit the pit wall entrance flush hard on the driver’s side bringing his car to an abrupt stop. The crash side-lined McKennedy and his crew for awhile, but they did not give up. The team decided to go back to race in the True Value Series. In the last five races since he has returned to TVMRS competition McKennedy has finished the race in the top ten four times.
McKennedy in victory lane.
“For right now through the rest of the year we have to pick and choose races and just go from here,” said McKennedy.
During the last 40 laps of the race, Les Hinckley was in McKennedy’s mirror or on his side no matter what he did.
“He was the last guy that I wanted to see up there. He is one of the toughest competitors in the division. He runs really strong and at one time it was hard to hold him off and well we did it. Hats off to the crew and my sponsors.”
Second place finish went to Hinckley in the hard charging yellow CMR sponsored car.
“It was our normal Canaan madness,” said Hinckley. “We had a really good race car it just got beat to the front. Congratulations to Jon, his dad and whole team and family they work hard at it and they have had some tough luck this year. He did a great job,
down and we both went for a little ride in the woods. I hated that for both of us. But that is the way the day ended. We will get ‘em at Seekonk.”
Both cars went up and then down the hill on the side of the track into the grass and tree grown area. During the caution, the cars were towed to the pits and never return to the race.
“It was just hard racing on the restart,” said Pasteryak. “We caught both nerf bars and it cut his right rear down. And it took us both for a ride.”
Canaan Fair Speedway’s August 11th race was the fifth of the six qualifying races for Thompson Speedway’s 2007 Mod Mania race on September 8th. The six tracks with qualifying events are: Monadnock (Kirk Alexander), Lee (Less Hinckley), Oxford Plains (Dwight Jarvis), Beech Ridge (Mike Holdridge), Canaan and Seekonk.
Jon McKennedy obtained the fifth guaranteed starting spot at Thompson in September by winning the Canaan race.
“The fact that this is a qualifying race and that we won is really good.”
The True Value Modified Racing Series will race next at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, MA on Saturday, August 18th.
TRUE VALUE MODIFIED RACING SERIES
Canaan Fair Speedway - August 11th, 2007
FinishCar #DriverStarting Position
Failed to Qualify: All cars qualified
After qualifying Peter Jarvis (#9) had car issues and was unable to start the race.
Race Awards: Black Mountain Painting 1/2 Way Bonus: Andy Seuss
Koszela Speed 7th Place Award: Sean Bodreau
Sherwood Wheels 5th Place Award: Kirk Alexander
Sunoco Hard Charger Award: Kirk Alexander – Kirk Alexander – 23rd to 5th
There were 6 cautions.
Caution Flags: Laps 7; 45; 60; 61; 61; 75.
Lap Leaders: Todd Patnode (#01) 1-25 Andy Seuss (#70) 26-60, and Jon McKennedy (#73) 61-100.
Total Laps Led: Todd Patnode 25, Andy Seuss - 35, Jon McKennedy - 40.
3 lead changes involving 3 drivers.
Race Time: 1 hour.
Andy Seuss (#70) and Chris Pasteryak (#15) battled for the lead, but left the race on the hook.
“It was a great trip coming back here to Canaan,” said Goodenough. “We all had a good time here. My two kids made the trip and to have them in the pits with us to see everything that goes on in there was a whole different thing for them. I am really happy that the crew brought this car here. We started off with a car that I did not like the car at first and we changed it. I did not like it for the heat race so we pretty much put it back to. We got some notes to go off of the next time. We have been doing pretty well here. I am starting to like this place.”
At the June 2nd race at Canaan, Goodenough finished 23rd after his car died and stopped on the front stretch.
Ed Dauchenhausen had to settle for fourth, just one spot out of a podium finish. But still the team was all smiles and happy with a top five finish. It was not a win, but was yet another goal reached in their objective for a top five finish.
“It was another great run,” said Dauchenhausen. “I am as excited as hell. I am not going to tell you that we did not learn anything.”
Dauchenhausen kept his car in the top five of the pack after the caution on lap sixty-one that left two of the young race contenders out in the woods.
Andy Seuss started the race in third and jumped to the lead on lap 26after passing Todd Patnode for the lead. He led the cars around the track with Chris Pasteryak on his bumper almost every lap after he took over the lead.
“The car was going real good,” said Seuss. “We have been doing a lot of real hard work on it with a lot of sleepless nights in the garage. The crew has been awesome working on it. We finally have the car where it needs to be, Everything was going to plan so far. We won the heat race. We led a bunch of laps. I got caught in a restart and faded back a little bit, but I think that we still had a car to contend for the win.”
On a restart after a caution on lap 61, Seuss and Pasteryak tangled and both cars went over the berm just after turn two.
“On a restart the #15 car just barely got into my right front and came down the track a little bit. I would have liked a little more room. But the right front got cut
congratulations to him. When we reached him on the outside, he did to me what I have done to a whole bunch of guys here. He just left me the least amount of room that he could and still raced me clean. And that is what you have to do. My team and everybody did a good job. We will take the second and come back again the next time.’
Hinckley started the race in ninth and challenged for the lead from lap sixty-one to the very end of the race.
Third place podium went to Rob Goodenough who began the race mid-pack and paced himself slowly to the front.