Annarummo Shows Them "Who" Is the Boss at Seekonk by Denise DuPont
Track Veteran Comes Out on Top of Three-Way True Value Mod Battle
Annarummo (#12), Seuss (#25) and Mechalides (#40) race for the lead amongst themselves.  (Jim DuPont Photo)
On Saturday, the True Value Modified Racing Series headed to Seekonk, Massachusetts for their first race there this season at Seekonk Speedway. The field was set by a system that saw 18 cars qualify through the heat races and the rest of the cars qualify through a 20-lap B-Main.
“Then I got together with the #4 [Tony Ricci] car a little bit and I spun and got the right rear even hotter. Then when I started going, I just had no rear grip at all. I must have just killed it when I spun. So that was the end of that. We just parked it because there was no sense in continuing. You cannot put another tire on. So I learned a lesson and hopefully it will make us a little wiser when we come back.”

Mike Stefanik's #60 goes into the spin cycle.  (Jim DuPont Photo)
race. Well let me tell you - that is hard. It is on your nerves the whole time when somebody is on your bumper, then on the side of you. We were lucky that we had a lot of long green racing. I got out in front and I could pace myself. At the end the guys were all over me. My car started loosening up on lap 80. And I said please stay enough so that I can keep it under me. I just drove it the best that I could. It helps with the thousands of laps that I have at this race track.”

Lou Mechalides definitely was the hard charger of the night. He started the race in last position after winning the previous TVMRS event at Lee USA Speedway, and he maneuvered his way from the back of the pack to second position as the checkered flag was thrown. Mechalides had a win and a controversial second at Seekonk for 2006.
Les started the race in seventh position. The winner of the last race at Canaan and second runner up at Lee, ended up with a twelfth place finish.

“We just tried to get out here in one piece, a typical Seekonk deal for us ”

There was one caution in this 100 lap race at lap sixty when Mike Stefanik in the Car #60 spun on the front stretch.

“The driver was probably a little too aggressive with the throttle,” said Stefanik.  “I kind of got the back tires a little too hot. The car was a little too free. I was just not patient enough I guess. I was coming up through the pack all right but we were a little free. My wife [and spotter] came on the radio and told me we were at lap 47. I thought that I better get going the race is almost half over. I tried to pick it up a little bit and maybe that was not a good thing at that time.”

Stefanik took advantage of a weekend off from The Whelen Modified Tour to join the Ed Marceau sponsored team at Seekonk have a fun night and to get a few laps on the track before the 3rd Annual $10,000 Open Wheel Modified Madness July 18th event.

“We will try to get the car a little tighter before the race and see if we can do a better job, that is all.”

Also present at the Seekonk TVMRS race for laps on the track were normal Whelen Modified competitors Ted Christopher and Rob Summers.  TC drove the renumbered “711” car that Bob Polverari is famous for previously competing in. TC did not have the finish that he would have like to have seen. He started the race in eight position and then worked he way up to the fifth spot by lap three. After lap twenty laps though, his car faded back and TC fished the race in thirteenth.

Summers was behind the wheel of the #13 car that he drove previously to victory lane at Waterford and All-Star Speedway. Summers had a good race starting way back in twenty-third position and making his way up to ninth by the end of the race.

“We got loose there and we came in and pitted and then there were just no cautions,” said Summers.  “The race went pretty much green the whole time. We ran out of time. We had a pretty decent car after we pitted. We ended up in ninth and the car is in one piece. Well, almost one piece. We will take it.  It was nice, a good clean race. For us it was not the best. We did learn a lot though for the Wednesday night $10,000 race. That is basically why we came here to use it for a test for that. We are looking forward to that race.”
Modified Tour drivers Ted Christopher (Top - Rick Ibsen Photo) and Rob Summers (Bottom - Jim DuPont Photo) both raced at Seekonk.
The winners of the heat races were Vinnie Annarummo, Andy Seuss and Jimmy Kuhn. Kirk Alexander won the B-main race. During the first heat race, Mike Douglas’ car began a mishap when it spun coming out of the third turn. Johnny Bush’s car went up Kirk Alexander right quarter panel when they both were trying to avoid the cars spun on the track. Bush’s car took a right into the wall after tangling with Alexander. Donny Lashua’s car also spun his car into the grass in the infield.

The 100 lap TVMRS race at Seekonk completed in just under twenty-six minutes (the actual race time was 25:55.739). Vinnie Annarummo (commonly known throughout New England as Vinny Who?) started the race on the pole and continued to dominate the race for his first modified win.

The victory was a long-time coming for the veteran.

“I have fulfilled everything that I want to do and I could not retire until I won a modified race,” said Annarummo.  “Everybody thinks you start on the pole and it easy to win a

“We only had one caution and as I passed I did not know which cars were lapped cars and race cars. On the last restart I saw I was pretty close to the front and Vinnie was still leading.  So we just kept racing and the next thing I knew there were three of us close together at the end. It was real tight at the end. Half way through the race the car felt really good. It was still fast we passed cars and kept right on going.

Andy Seuss started the race in second and passed Vinnie Who to lead the race for five laps, but was unable to maintain his lead. At the end of the race Seuss had to settle for a third place finish in the Gary Casella owned #25 as he was passed with a few laps to go by Lou Mechalides.

“We were looking forward to a win,” said Seuss.  “It could have been anybody’s race down to those last few laps. At one point it was going to play into my favor but hats off
to those guys for some good hard racing. It was a lot of fun. I cannot thank Gary Casella enough for giving me this opportunity. He actually started my career in the modified and hopefully will further my career in modifieds.”

A lot of the teams missed the exact car setup for the track and with only one caution could not spend the time need to dial in the car for the race. But the teams all took notes to prepare for the next TVMRS event at Seekonk. Among those teams who just missed the setup were Les Hinckley – the winner of two TVMRS features so far in 2007.

“We just missed the setup on the car,” said Hinckley.  “We got it going good in practice and then we made our adjustments for the race and we went a little too far. That long green flag run did not help us. I would have liked to have had a caution much earlier and came in and adjusted it. We went to lap 60, came in and made it a ton better but I think that we had just beaten the tires up too much in the early part of the run. It got better for a little while. We made some spots up and then the last twelve laps or so it was just getting to be a hand full again.”
The True Value Modified Racing Series will race next at Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, NH
on Saturday, June 7th.

NOTE: The True Value Modified Racing Series qualifying race for Thompson’s 2007 Mod Mania race on September 8th that was previously to be part of Waterford’s September 1st TVMRS race has been now moved to the 3rd Annual $10,000 Open Wheel Modified Madness July 18th event at Seekonk.

Seekonk Speedway
Seekonk, MA.
Position/(Starting position)/Driver/ Car#/ Hometown

1. (1) Vinnie Annarummo, #12, Swansea, MA
2. (24) Louis Mechalides, #40, Tyngsboro, MA
3. (2) Andy Seuss, #25, Hampstead, NH
4. (11) Dwight Jarvis, #28, Ascutney, VT 
5. (6) Peter Jarvis, #9nh, Ascutney, VT
6. (4) Bill Goodrow, #38, Pembroke, MA
7. (15) Dave Berghman, #82, Rehoboth, MA
8. (3) Jimmy Kuhn, Jr., #72, West Bridgewater, MA
9. (23) Rob Summers, #13, Manchester, CT
10. (18) Kirk Alexander, #43,  West Swanzey,NH
11. (17) Dick Houlihan, #46, Bridgewater, MA
12. (7) Les Hinckley, #06, Windsor Locks, CT
13. (8) Ted Christopher, #11, Plainville, CT
14. (9) Rob Goodnough, #6, Swanzey, NH
15. (5) Mike Holdridge, #0,  Madison, CT
16. (12) Chris Pastryak, #15, Lisbon, CT
17. (13) Ed Dauchenhausen, #48, Danbury, CT
18. (22) Luke Royea, #17, New Hampton, NH
19. (20) Todd Patnode, #01, Swanzey, NH
20. (16) Tom Abele, Jr., #32, Norwich, CT
21. (21) Dale Evonsion, #35, E. Hartland, CT
22. (14) Anthony Ricci, #4, Westbrook, ME
23. (19) Mike Douglas, Jr., #23, Pembroke, MA
24. (10) Mike Stefanik, #60, Coventry, RI

Vinnie Who? has finally won a Modified race.   (Jim DuPont Photo)