It's Alexander Again at Monadnock By Denise Dupont
Holds Off Jarvis in Battle of Former TVMRS Champions
Kirk Alexander brought his familiar black #43 car (The Beast) back to victory lane at his home track during Monadnock Speedway's Fenton Family Dealership 100 lap race. Alexander's return to Monadnock resulted in his second True Value Modified Racing Series win there this year. Earlier this year, he won the July 5th, Firecracker 100 race at Monadnock.
Before the feature event, three local drivers, Kirk Alexander, Dwight Jarvis and Rob Goodenough, lined up to sign autographs for fans. Then at the race end, the same three drivers came across the finish line in the exact same sequence as they had greeted fans in autograph alley! Did the fans predict the finish of the race Saturday night at Monadnock? Was it coincidence or fate?
Alexander started the race in sixth and made his way to the lead by lap 10. “The Beast” then dominated the next 90 laps showing that it, the #43 car, really knows its way around Monadnock.
“Oh man, what a race. When we get clicking together we just cannot do anything wrong with it. It was a great night,” said Alexander.
Dwight Jarvis was glued to Alexander's back bumper the entire night. As the laps clicked off Jarvis's car seemed to get stronger and closer as impossible as it seemed.
“He (Dwight Jarvis) was right there and he was working me all over, but we held on for the win. We got a little free at the end. I knew that if we were tight at the beginning that it was going to be a battle at the end.”
Dwight Jarvis had to settle for second though after winning the first heat race and starting the 100-lap feature from the pole. He gave up the lead to Alexander shortly into the race but stayed right there behind him in his tracks.
“The car was awesome tonight,” said Jarvis. “I made my mind up early that I was going to save it to the end and really put the pressure on him (Kirk Alexander).”
When the race had only 10 laps to go, Jarvis made a run for the lead. He was under Alexander and could have pushed the issue but instead made a more prudent move and backed off.
“Anybody else probably would have left it (their car) underneath him. I was halfway up on him but I backed out.
“I probably should have left it in there. You had to think about it, I do not want to wreck somebody I want to get by them clean.”
This type of sportsmanship and attitude is part of what makes up the True Value Series. Drivers drive hard and clean and in the end try to look out for one another. In the end Jarvis may have waited too long to make his bid for the lead. Yes, Alexander's car was getting loose, but he was too thirsty to let it get in his way of a win.
“At the end I was really putting the pressure on him,” said Jarvis. “I could see that he was getting loose. I should have tried him a little earlier then I did. The last time I was down there and tried him real early and then I did not have anything at the end. This time I probably tried him a little too late.”
Kirk Alexander started the night at Monadnock signing autographs (top). He ended it in victory lane (bottom). (Jim Dupont Photos)
Kirk Alexander (#43) battles with Dwight Jarvis (#28) for the lead. (Rick Ibsen Photo)
When it comes to making a race exciting, Rob Goodenough is right there ready of the challenge and this race was no different. During warm up practice his car had major rear end damage and was towed to the pits. As Goodenough's crew worked feverishly to take apart and repair the car, TVMRS officials reviewed rules to determine where he would start if he did not qualify through a heat race.
After the car had left oil all over the track and was towed into the pits, the #6 team did not give up. After assessing the cars damage the #6 crew went to work to get the car ready for racing. When the first heat race was lining up there were no rules to review because Goodenough's car was in place ready to run. . “They (his crew) came up to me before the race and said I really wish we could tell you what you have tonight. Just do what you can and keep it in one piece.”
Accepting his third place trophy, Goodenough was all smiles.
“For my crew to do what they did was just incredible,” said Goodenough. “I know what these guys can do and when we get into a pinch like that. I do not know where they pull it from, but these guys do just some phenomenal stuff. They are just an awesome crew.”
Mr. Consistency, Mike Holdridge, came from eleventh place up to fourth as fast and consistent as he could. He did a lot of side by side racing and passing to get there and it was worth it in the end.
“It was good tonight,” said Holdridge. “It was a little bit loose at the end as usual. The tires wear out and I did not tighten up the car just enough. It was close but not quite there yet. We will come back and try it again the next time.”
But his move to the front was not as smooth or incident free as he would have liked to have seen it.
“I got hit in the back and pushed into Eddie Dachenhausen again. It happened to me in the same spot last time I got into him.”
As history repeated itself, the Holdridge car was again damaged and a challenge to drive.
“It is just one of those things. I got hit so hard that it knocked the car out of gear. I had to drive the rest of the race holding it (the car) in gear. So there is something wrong with the transmission and I am actually lucky to have finished where I did.”
Rounding off the top five finishers was TVMRS founder, Jack Bateman. He had a strong car that he was able to use to recover and come from the back after an early on race mishap.
“The car was pretty good,” said Bateman. “We got bumped around really early and ended up getting shuffled to the back. Once we got the back and got the car settled down, the car went pretty decent. We were able to move up pretty good. We had a good time, a lot of fun.”
If Bateman had avoided the accident, he believed that he would have been right there to contend with the front two cars as they jockeyed for the lead.
“I think that if we hadn't gone to the back. If we stayed up front, we might have had a little something to race with them (the leaders). After coming all the way up from the back, it (the car) was pretty well done by the time that I got to them.” So he will have to wait and try the next race.
The hard charger of the night was definitely Chris Pasteryak as he made his way from last place to sixth spot at the end of the race.
It was sweet to know that he won Waterford's TVMRS race at last week, but also daunting knowing that he had to start Monadnock's race at the end of the pack.
“Coming from the back of the pack was not bad. It was challenging. I had to do all I could to end up where I did. It is pretty fortunate that I ended up sixth and I am happy.”
As fans watched they were amazed to see Pasteryak pass cars lap after lap on the top of the track. “The car was really good on the outside groove. I think that something on the left front got a little messed up on when the M5 car of Bryan Shumway got messed up and we all got jammed up in turn three and four. The car was just not quite the same after that. We were really good up to that point and then it just lost a little something. I would not even know how to describe it.”
All and all, from twenty-second to sixth in a race is not bad. It is not a win but a good show of Pasteryak's determination and skill.
“It was a good night, I am happy with it. We will take it and go to Seekonk.”
The first two visits to “Mad Dog”, Pasteryak got bite bad by the dog but he came back with that Pasteryak smile.
“My first two times here at Monadnock we pretty ugly. It felt good tonight. I am really started to love this place. I cannot wait to come back next year.
Chris Pasteryak summed up the race for all of us: “Kirk had a good night and won the race. I do not think that it was that bad of a race to watch.”
Next TVMRS Event: Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, MA. , Saturday night, August 30, 2008 Heat races starting about 6:00 P.M.
Monadnock Race Notes:
Heart Breaking Incidents of the Race
Jon McKennedy had the disappointing mishaps of the night when his car broke on the
restart on lap 76. He was tracing in the front of the pack in contention for the lead when
his car went straight into the infield in turn one.
“During the restart, I hit the gas to go. Then something broke and it just let go of
everything in the rear end. Right now it looks like the trailing arm broke and then
everything in the rear end let go, the rear of the car is wiped out.”
After the car broke to add insult to injury, McKennedy's car was hit and pushed off of
the race groove. “We got hit after the fact when the rear end broke. It was not anyone's
McKennedy was fifth in his heat race and started ninth. When Rob Goodenough's car
broke on the track during practice laps, McKennedy was behind him and had no where
to go. After sliding on oil to an abrupt stop, McKennedy drove his car in the pits after
to be fixed. When the race started his car seemed to be back to normal as
McKennedy propelled to the front.
“It is unfortunate because we had a good car. We started ninth and got up to fourth
and fifth and started to cruise and then that happened. It is something totally out of
our control. We do not make the parts and we do not have control over it, so we move
on to next week.”
Les Hinckley was eighth in his heat race after banging and just tough racing during his
heat race. It may be that being bounced around during his heat race through the #06 car
off but Hinckley never recovered during the feature race.
On Lap 7, the #06 car spun on its own on the back stretch and the car went into the pits for repairs. But the gremlins that seem to be plaguing the car since the Wiscasset win reared their ugly heads again and Hinckley never was a main race contender.
Sponsorship and A Good Crew are Key to What Make a Race Team
Sponsorship is key to any race and the drivers and fans do appreciate the money, effort and time that go into putting together an event. Kirk Alexander took the time after his Monadnock win to thank his car and then the series sponsors.
“I would like to thank Fenton Family Dealerships for sponsoring tonight. It was a great night to watch the Mods and racing. I would also like to thank all my sponsors. Without these guys we couldn't do it.
Rob Goodenough also made sure he showed both his sponsor and crew that he appreciates them.
“I'll tell you that the car did an awesome job for all the work that went into it tonight down at the race track. For the crew to do all that I cannot thank them enough. I want to thank my crew and sponsors for standing behind me this year. Without them this would not happen. Russ Hershey, I need to thank for all the track work that he has done. Benny's Auto Body gave us some help tonight with some tires. I just cannot thank everybody enough for all the help that they have given me. I really do appreciate everything that they all have done.
“It felt really great for what these guys did tonight. I broke this thing (car) up pretty good in the second warm up. These guys had to do a lot of work to get this car back together. I just made it in time to actually make the heat. The car was actually really great in the heat. We finished fourth in the heat and then fine-tuned for the feature.
“To have a crew like that is just awesome to be able to come back from something like that. I looked under there and I knew it was pretty bad. I thought honestly that it was just the drive shaft when I looked under there at first. We got it (the car) in here in the pits and we started to look underneath and the transmission was shattered right in half. The oil lines were broken and everything was just a mess.”
Rob Goodenough's #6. (Rick Ibsen Photo)
The night was not kind to Jon McKennedy (Top - Rick Ibsen Photo) or Les Hinckley (Bottom - Jim Dupont Photo)