Hinckley Slides to the Checkered Flag in Lee TV Mod Event by Denise DuPont
Slipping, Sliding and the Number 13th are Lucky Combination for Hinckley
The True Value Modified Racing Series returned to Lee USA Speedway (NH) for their second race this season at on Friday, July 13th. There were 25 cars in the pits for qualifying races and this time, all cars started the race. 18 of those cars qualified through the heat races, the rest of the cars qualified in a consi race.
The #06 bunch in victory lane at Lee. (Jim DuPont Photo)
When all was said and done on the night, Les Hinckley captured his third series victory this year after holding hard charging Kirk Alexander in second for close to 50 laps. Alexander had tried several times to get the lead from Hinckley but with all the caution laps it was hard to get a good run with the car.
“We had a little bit faster car but it is tough to pass here,” said Alexander, who started at the tail end of the field per TVMRS rules because he was the tour’s most recent winner. “We ran out of tires and did not have enough left for the top and bottom. We got under him one time and made a run for it, but he was just a little bit better off the turns. It was a good run coming from the back. We had to pass 24 cars to get to Les.”
Hinckley’s last win was for the season was at Canaan Motorsports Park on June 2nd. For quite a few laps he had to do all that he could to hold off hard charging Alexander, but in the end Alexander’s car just did not have enough to pass Hinckley for the lead.
“That was a hard fought race,” said Hinckley. “Kirk kept the pressure on me once he got to second.”
At the last TVMRS race at Monadnock, Alexander had the car to beat while Hinckley finished eight after a night of incidents and a way too free car.
The winners of the heat races were Bryan Shumway, Mike Douglas, Jr. and Les Hinckley. Richard Savary, back for the first time this season with the TVMRS, won the 15-lap consi race.
Bryan Shumway (#5) and Mike Douglas, Jr. (#23) shared the front row. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Shumway started on the pole for the feature, with Douglas at his side. Shumway led the race for the first 28 laps. Hinckley, who had jumped into second spot immediately, attached himself to Shumway’s bumper. After the first caution on lap 18, Hinckley took advantage of the double file restart to take the lead from Shumway.
“The car just kind of went away,” said Shumway. “We just missed the setup again a little bit here. For sixty-five laps the cars was great, we ran in the top five and then went away at the end.”
There was no denying that Hinckley’s bright yellow CMR sponsored car was the fastest on the track – and that its driver was having a great time.
“I love racing against Kirk and all the guys in the top five,” said Hinckley. “We have top notch drivers with top notch equipment. It is a lot of fun.”
Jon McKennedy, a previous regular at Lee Speedway had an excellent night at Lee. He started the race in the 11th position and finished the race rounding off the top five cars.
”I raced at Lee the whole 2004 race season in a 350 Super,” said McKennedy. “And I ran here a couple of years ago in a big block super in the ISMA race. This track has always been good to me. I think the last few races here we have been in the top five. This track is tough. You get way too loose at the end of the race and the big thing is keeping the tires under you. ”
Les Hinckley (#06) holds off the #43 of Kirk Alexander. (Jamie Williams Photos)
“The race was a good race, but I think that the officials need to get their stuff together a little bit,” said Jarvis. “That is what messed me up at the end. I was told that we were going the next yellow was going to be the checkered. Then when we got to the yellow they said it was going to be green, white, checkered. Then the next thing it was four laps. When you are driving a race car, you cannot not have your mind changed all the time with decisions. You are concentrating on racing. You have to make a position and stick to it. I do not know if there are too many chiefs and not enough Indians or what. They need to make a decision and stick to it. Everything happens pretty quickly out there on the race track. ”
Summarizing he thoughts on the caution filled race, Jarvis, the defending TVMRS Champion said, “Everybody was a little anxious tonight and this track is a hard, loose and slippery track. Maybe everyone did not have their car under control like they should be. Maybe everyone wanted to go to Thompson qualified. ”
Hinckley maintained a very strong lead throughout the race continuing to lead after each caution, restart and challenge.
Alexander who managed to avoid the 13 incidents that brought out cautions. He drove his heart out to get to the front and was in a top five position in less than 40 laps. For close to half of the race, Kirk tried the top and then tried the bottom of the track but there was just not a part of the track that would allow him to drive past Hinckley.
Jimmy Kuhn, Jr. started the race second from last and had a great third place finish. Kuhn had to compete in the consi race to get into the race.
“It was a long way to the front from the back there,” said Kuhn. “This car we are doing different stuff with and it just does not qualify at all. It will not run good in the daytime for some reason. When the track cools down and has rubber on the track, that is when it does its best. ”
Lou Mechalides started back in the 15th position and had made it up to sixth spot when the checkered flag was thrown. After capturing the last win at Lee, Louie was trying for another win there, but came up short.
“Right at the very beginning the car started out loose,” said Mechalides. “So I knew that it was going to get real loose by the end of the race. We just rode around and it got looser and looser. We just tried to hold on to what we had. There were a lot of cautions but that did not matter. It was just hold on to position at that point.”
Racing in the TVMRS has been great this year for Peter Jarvis. He finished the race in fourth position making this his sixth top ten finish in eight races.
“We had a fine start and a good finish,” said Jarvis. “I worked hard again tonight. We missed the setup in the beginning. We came in during a couple of cautions and finally we put something together and finished good.”
There were 13 cautions in the race the second which took the founder of the series, Jack Bateman out of the race with a severely damaged race car. Bateman hit the front stretch wall hard on the driver’s side of the car on the restart on lap 18.
He was able to crawl out of his car and stop to look at the major damage in the back of his car on his way to the ambulance. Jack was checked and released.
The track was slippery and caused a lot of drivers to slip and slide their way around the track.
Andy Seuss continued his streak of bad luck on Friday the 13th. Seuss had started the race in 12th position and had made his way up into the top five when he had to pit with car issues.
”This was not the night that we were looking for,” said Seuss. “The hits just keep on coming this year. Overall, we got to treat tonight as a big test. We have been off this year and tonight we definitely found a lot.”
51's Denise DuPont interviews Hinckley after the race. (Jim DuPont Photo)
There was a hole in the car’s headers that were a plaguing problem for this race.
Lee USA Speedway’s July 13th race was the second qualifying race for Thompson’s 2007 Mod Mania race on the weekend of September 8th. This year, six tracks will have qualifying events: Monadnock (Alexander), Lee (Hinckley), Seekonk, Oxford Plains, Beech Ridge and Canaan. The winner of each of the qualifying races will have a guaranteed starting position for the Thompson Mod Mania event. Along with that they will receive 25 gallons of Sunoco fuel, a Sterling Silver Bronze Cup, a Sunoco Racing Championship jacket, $100 gift certificate to use anywhere at Thompson Speedway and a Photo Op. Tom Stroiney was on hand representing Thompson Speedway to gift the award to Lee’s race winner Les Hinckley.
The True Value Modified Racing Series will race next at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, ME. on Saturday, July 21st for the “Maine-Ly Action Sports 100”. Heat races start at 6:30 PM.
Wednesday, July 18th, many of the TVMRS competitors will go to Seekonk Speedway for an “Open Show/Non-Points” race.
TRUE VALUE MODIFIED RACING SERIES MONADNOCK July 7, 2007 Results
FinishCar #DriverStarting Position
Failed to Qualify: Tom Abele,Jr. (#32), Dale Evonsion (#35) and Buck Akley (#71).
Black Mountain Painting 1/2 Way Bonus: Rob Goodenough
Koszela Speed 7th Place Award: Jimmy Kuhne, Jr.
Sherwood Wheels 5th Place Award: Todd Patnode
Sunoco Hard Charger Award: Vinnie Annarummo – 26th to 12th
There were 9 cautions, one of which was for a bad restart.
Caution Flags: Laps 13; 64; 65; 65; 65; 66; 70; 71; 93.
Lap Leaders: Rob Goodenough (#6) 1-91, Kirk Alexander 92-100.
Total Laps Led: Rob Goodenough – 91 Kirk Alexander - 9.
2 lead changes involving only 2 drivers.
Lou Mechalides' #40 and Jon McKennedy's #73. (Jim DuPont Photo)