Les Hinckley Wins TVMRS Race at Seekonk by Denise DuPont
On the Night that Driver #66 Was Remembered, #06 Wins
The TVMRS returned to Seekonk, MA for the second time this year on Saturday, August 18th. This was the series twelfth race in 2007. There were thirty-two cars in the pits for qualifying and the feature race. Eighteen cars qualified through the heat races and six cars qualified through a consi race.

Before the racing activity began for the night, the TVMRS drivers came through the tunnel in turn four onto the track. There was a long moment of silence in honor of John Blewett, III who lost his life while racing at Thompson Speedway in the Whelen Modified Tour on Thursday August 16th. The #66 of John was displayed on the scoreboard in position number one during the tribute and remained displayed during the national anthem and other pre-race activities.

Les Hinckley was all smiles in Seekonk victory lane.  (Jim DuPont Photos)
The race was started with the missing man formation during the parade laps. The pole spot was left open in honor of John Blewett, III. Also during lap #66, all of the people in the grandstands rose to their feet.  Men took their hats off and everyone placed their hands over their hearts and bowed their heads in honor of John.  John had competed at Seekonk during the Open Competition Races and when the Whelen Mod Tour raced at the track.

Once the green flag waved, it was Les Hinckley who was the driver on a mission and came across the start-finish line first to win the 100-lap TVMRS race.  In 2004, Hinckley won the first D. Anthony Venditti Festival of Racing event, but the ‘Cement Palace’ has not been as kind to him since then.

“It has been a long time since I have run well here at Seekonk,” said Hinckley.  “I won that first D.A.V. race and really have not done good since then, so I am happy to be back in Victory Lane. It feels good to have a good run here.  Even though we are racing for the points we are having a good time doing it.”

Les first took the time to dedicate his win to the fellow driver who lost his life racing this week.

“First and foremost this race is for Johnny. I did not know Johnny very well. I knew of him and a little bit about him. Our lives are very similar to one another. For someone that I did not know it hurts as though he were my own brother. Mine and my whole team’s thoughts are with Johnny and Jimmy and the whole family. This is a tough win because he is in our thoughts.”

There were two cautions of the night.  The first occurred at lap 56 when Sean Bodreau spun on his own in turn four.  The second one occurred on lap 84 when Mike Douglas and Richard Savary pun on the front stretch. This caution was the break that Les Hinckley was looking for to be able to pass the leader.

When the cars restarted, Hinckley was able to get around Annarummo, who had led the race from lap one.

Before the race, drivers and officials honored the late John Blewett, III.
“We had to get up beside him. I could get to him getting in and then I would go into it so hard that it would beat him at the center off. I knew that I needed a restart and to keep him pinned down to the bottom. It looked like he was a little tight. If I kept him pinned down on the bottom when he was rotating up through, it looked like he was getting a little loose.”

Annarummo has a lot of laps at Seekonk Speedway and is a master of the track and racing groove, so Hinckley though long and hard on a strategy to get past him.

“Of all people to have to beat here, he won the last race and has so many laps here, that it is gratifying. Congratulations to him and I need to thank him for racing so clean when I was beside him. Plenty of times that he gave me that lane so I want to thank him for that.”

Vinnie “Who” may not have made it two TVMRS wins in a row at Seekonk but he did have a solid second-place finish. Back in June, Annarummo was the man, but at this race, Hinckley got him on the outside to pass for the win at Seekonk.
“Les is a good driver with a fast race car. The only thing that hurts is that I never won on my wife’s birthday and my wife’s birthday is tomorrow. And she will not let me forget it!

“I really feel that if the yellow did not come out that Les would have had a tough time getting around me. With the yellow it made it easy because I was just too loose.”

Seekonk Speedway’s August 18th race was the last 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 (Jon McKennedy) and Seekonk.

The True Value Modified Racing Series will race next at Seekonk Speedway in Monadnock, NH on Saturday, August 25h. Starting time is 6:00 PM. This race will be a North South Shoot-Out Qualifier.