Hinckley Wins at Monadnock Yet Again by Denise DuPont
Springtime Race is a Good One for TVMRS Regular
On Saturday night, the True Value Modified Racing Series came to Winchester, NH for the April 14th postponed race at Monadnock Speedway. There were 39 cars in the pits for qualifying races, but only 26 of those cars would start the race. 18 cars qualified through the heat races, six cars qualified from a B-Main race and two cars took provisional spots.
Les Hinckley (L) and Dwight Jarvis (R) have a word after the race. (Jim DuPont Photo)
With so many cars in attendance, a decision was made to have drivers compete in a 20 lap B-Main race rather then the two 15 lap consi races that are normally held. All teams that competed and did not make the event were given tow money to help defray expenses.
Two provisional positions were taken by Jimmy Kuhn (72) and Dale Evonsion (3). Kuhn was involved in an incident during the second heat race and his crew worked feverously to get his car ready for the main race. Evonsion was unable to make the race through qualifying activity and opted to take a provisional.
In the third heat race, Jack Bateman and Johnny Bush tangled and Bateman hit the fourth turn
Les Hinckley, a former Monadnock Pro stock champion, won the Bonds Auto Part feature with a green, white checker finish after the caution flag flew on lap 99.
“I thought that we were in big trouble when Dwight [Jarvis] was on me,” said Hinckley. “Dwight had that fresh right rear and with the clutch slipping as bad as it was, I thought we were done. I changed my starting spot a little bit just to try to shake things up. I had to keep such a fast pace to keep the momentum up in the car that I could not really bog the field down and lurch up the corner because the clutch was slipping so bad. So, I was really so vulnerable. There was just a lot of anxiety.”
The race was Les’s to defend from lap six.
“For the last couple of laps, with Dwight and Kirk on my bumper, was pretty nerve racking. I was glad that the laps were single file. If they were double file we would have been in a lot of trouble.”
As a true leader, Hinckley defended his lead every lap until the win was his on lap 101.
“It was eventful. It may not have looked like it but the clutch was slipping from lap twenty-five on. The car was pretty bad on the restarts. We had quite a few of them in a row.”
This is the second win for Hinckley at the Monadnock opening race in the four year history of the racing series. The other two wins belong to previous two time champion Kirk Alexander.
Peter Jarvis started on the pole with Lou Mechalides at his side. Hinckley, in his bright yellow car, started in third behind Jarvis. The three cars jockeyed for position and Peter led for five laps. On lap six as the lead cars passed the start finish line, Hinckley took over the lead and dominated the majority of the race.
Hinckley flies the checkered flag from his #06. (Rick Ibsen Photo)
“Peter ran me pretty hard,” said Hinckley. “I was struggling to keep with him there until the car got its momentum up.”
Peter Jarvis had a strong car and maintained second position for seventy laps until his car started to fad.
“The tires started to fade,” said Jarvis. “We ran hard all night long. We are happy to come out of here with the caliber of cars that they had here, we are happy to come out of here with what we did. We need a good run every now and then. The car was strong tonight. We worked hard on it. We had one warm-up and then we tore the car apart. We then went out and won the heat race with it. The ball was in our favor, I guess.”
Peter Jarvis ended up finishing the race in sixth position.
There was no denying that Les Hinckley was the car to challenge. Once Hinckley got to the front of the pack the race was his to defend.
With the fresh rubber, Dwight Jarvis was able to come to the front and at the end on the race fight Les Hinckley for the win on Lap 99. Home town crowds cheered the previous track champion as he came up through the pack knowing that he knew the track like the back of his hand. “The car was an excellent car tonight. It was going better before we put the old tire on. It was still going good. We are happy.” In the end, there was just not enough time.
“I told Les if there was not a caution. I would have beat him. But that is what all drivers say.”
Dwight Jarvis had to settle for a second place finish.
Kirk Alexander started the race in lucky number thirteen spot and made it up through the pack to fight for the lead with around 20 laps to go. Around lap 85, Alexander looked as though he had pulled his car to the lead.
“I thought I lost the race when I saw Kirk underneath me,” Alexander. “That ended up working out. He raced me clean. We gave each other just a lane and that was it. We did not move each other around. So I thought that I lost the race at that point, but the car built its momentum up at the top of the race track and I was able to keep him pinned up on the bottom and hold him off.”
Dwight Jarvis (#28) and Kirk Alexander (#43) do some racing. (Jim DuPont Photo)
“This race goes out to my Uncle Ernie that use to race modifieds in the 60’s and 70’s. He used to race a modified at Plainville, Stafford and Riverside and won a lot of races. He passed away this winter. I do not think that he knew how much of a mentor he was to me. But I am sure that he does know now and this one is for him.
Dwight Jarvis started in tenth position and was soon in fourth spot and stayed in the spot until a tire went down on Lap 51 causing his car to spin in turn four with a right front flat. He pitted for a new tire which proved to be a strategic move later on in the race.
“The tire started going down,” said Jarvis. “I could tell that I had a tire going flat. Finally it just popped off the wheel and I spun.”
“We really had a better car then most people,” said Hinckley.
At the finish Les was glad to see fellow competitors Dwight Jarvis and Kirk Alexander behind him.
“Of all the guys that you want behind you, when you are having some difficulty and you have something on the line, is Dwight and Kirk,” said Hinckley. “I was happy to have those guys behind me. You knew whatever happened there was going to be clean hard racing. They race you the way that you want to be raced. I have raced them enough to know that they were going to give me a break if I needed one. You knew it was going to come down to the end. As much as you do not like to see your competitors in your mirror on the other token I have a lot of respect for those guys. I knew it was going to be a clean race and that is all that you could ask for. It was a lot of fun. It is good to get this one off of our back. We had a tough time at Waterford.”
After thanking his sponsors and family Les dedicated his race win to his mentor.
Hinckley fought back passing Alexander on the outside to maintain his dominance in the race.
“I probably could have pulled off a win if I wanted to be dirty and push Les out of the way. But I have raced a lot with Les over the years and we have had a good time and I give him room. Maybe I gave him too much! Nobody wrecked. We had a good run. The car was a little tight on restarts, but he was even worst. It took my car three or four laps to get going, just like his. All and all it was a good night and I cannot complain. We got hung down on the bottom side under him and Dwight kind of filled the void on the outside. It was just good racing.“
Dwight had pitted for a fresh tire with less than twenty laps to go. When Kirk saw Dwight in his rear view mirror what were his thoughts? “He had one tire, the right rear. I knew that he had a new right rear and that he probably could get on the gas. I tried but
came in third again. It was good night I cannot complain. The car is in one piece not trash. I saw a lot of cars get junked tonight, so I am very happy with it.”
Jimmy Kuhn started the race from the back of the pack after taking a provisional spot. He drove a consistent race and his car dialed in better as the race went on. Kuhn managed to finish the night in the fifth spot. Not a bad finish for a guy who sat out the B-Main race as his crewed raced to get the car ready for the 100 lap race.
“The car was very good at the end of the race but we ran out of time,” said Kuhn. “We are very happy considering how the day started. They had 100 numbers in the can and we drew number 100. So that was not a good start to the day. We were passing a couple of cars coming up in the heat race and then we got caught up in a melee and got wrecked. So we had to fix the car and then burn up one of our provisionals. We then started out back. After all that finishing in a top five is not bad. Not a bad at all.”
Lou Mechalides started the race in second spot after winning heat race two.
“We struggled with the car all day,” said Mechalides. “I have not been here many times. At least not as many as those guys.”
After the start of the race he dropped to fourth position and maintained that spot for the race.
“We are just happy to finish fourth. By race time we had it going good. But we struggled with the car all day.
Hinckley and the rest of the True Value Modified Racing Series will return to Monadnock for their next race on Saturday, May 26th.
TRUE VALUE MODIFIED RACING SERIES MONADNOCK Results
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (3) Les Hinckley, car #06, Agawam,MA.
2. (10) Dwight Jarvis,car #28, Ascutney, VT.
3. (13) Kirk Alexander,car #43, West Swanzey, NH.
4. (2) Louie Mechalides, car #40, Tyngsboro, MA.
5. (23) Jimmy Kuhn, car #72. W. Bridgewater,MA.
6. (1) Peter Jarvis, car #9nh, Ascutney, VT.
7. (4) Ted Christopher, car #11, Plainville, CT.
8. (24) Dale Evonsion, car #35, East Hartland, CT.
9. (7) Gary Casella, car #25, Saugus,MA.
10. (20) Ken Vogel, Jr., car #97, Ronkonkama, NY.
11. (15) Todd Patnode, Car #01, Swanzey, NH
12. (11) Andy Seuss, car #07, Hampstead, NH.
13. (22) Karl Fredrickson, car #41, Fremont, N.H.
14. (6) Todd Owen, car #10x, Somers, CT
15. (26) Mike Holdridge, car #0, Madison, CT.
16. (21) Woody Pitkat, car #29, Stafford, CT,
17. (16) Bryan Shumway, car # 5, Belchertown, MA.
18. (18) David Roys, Jr., car #79, Coram, NY.
19. (17) Dan Douville, car #7, Bridgewater, NH.
20, (18) Chris Wenzel, car #83, Holyoke, MA.
21. (9) Dave Berube, car #04), Bristol, CT.
22. (8) Kevin Konopka, car #51, Meriden CT.
23. (19) Tom Abele, Jr, car #32, Norwich, CT.
24. (12) Jimmy Dolan, car #69, Bethel, CT
25. (14) Tony Ricci, car #4, Westbrook, ME
26. (25) Mike Douglas, Jr., car #23,
Failed to Qualify: ( 9) Sean Bodreau (#1), Luke Royer (#2), Rob Goodnough (#6), Vinnie Annaarunno (#12), Chris Pasteryak (#15), Jack Bateman (#17), Tony Anello (#24), Dale Evonsion (#35), Bill Goodrow (#38), Joe Doucette (#55), Roger Raymond (#62), Johnny Bush (#68), Jim Kuhn(#72), and Merisa Niederauder (74).
Time of Race: a little over 1 hr.
Average Speed: 70 mph
Pre-Race Awards: Hard charger, Most Improved…
Caution Flags: Laps 6; 13; 13 on restart; 38; 51; 56; 63; 83; 99.
Lap Leaders: Peter Jarvis 1-5, Les Hinckley 6-52 , Peter Jarvis 53-55, Les Hinckley 56-100.
Total Laps Led: Les Hinckley 93, Peter Jarvis 7. 2 lead changes involving only 2 drivers.
Peter Jarvis' #9NH. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Ted Christopher (#11) and Louie Mechalides (#40). (Jim DuPont Photo)