Hinckley Leads The Second Generation at Waterford By Denise Dupont
#06 Drivers Gets His First Victory of 2008 Season
It was only a matter of time before Les Hinckley would wheel the #06 TVMRS Modified into the winner's circle this year in the True Value Modified Racing Series and that happened at the Waterford Speedbowl. On Saturday, June 21st , the Chuck Montville sponsored team took the checkered flag before family and friends at Waterford's Town Fair 100 lap race.
“We were not all that good in practice,” said Hinckley.  “I had some butterflies in my stomach. It put a lot of pressure on the team and me in the race at a home race track with fans, family and friends.”

But in the end the anxiety was worth it all.

“Winning feels real good in your home state with a lot of friends and family here.”

The TVMRS' second race of the season at Waterford was Hinckley's tenth TVMRS career victory.

“It just feels real good after having run real good in the past here and to capitalize on the past and finally take one here. The adjustments that we made to it before the race were unbelievable. It all worked out well.”

Hinckley had his own cheering section during the race, well at least during the early laps of the race.

“It was my three year old son's first race tonight.” Hinckley said “It was too bad that he had to fall asleep but the race got lengthy and he got tired. But he was in victory lane and that is the most important thing.”

The 100-lap race took a long time to complete as it was marred by cautions and red flags. The first major incident occurred on lap 12 and resulted in an hour long red flag period. Cars tried to avoid the accident which caused the field to back up and some hit the backstretch wall. The impact heavily damaging safety barriers which required the track crew to weld patches as drivers sat waiting in their cars.

The next notable mishap happened as Hinckley was running side by side with veteran Dwight Jarvis on lap 70.  Jarvis made a move on the outside coming off the backstretch into turn three.
“I really don't know what happened there.” said Hinckley.  “I knew that Dwight was pretty fast. He was pretty fast in practice. I knew that he was going to be tough on the outside. He had me pinned down on the bottom and gave him the outside. We did not make any contact.”

Then Jarvis' #28 car wiggled a few times, began to spark and went up into the third turn fence.

“I do not know if he (Dwight) had a tire go down or if he just gave it everything he had up there. Or if it just maybe got out from under him and he got up into the fence or what. I saw him twitch a little bit up there and the next thing I know he was up in the fence and the caution came out.”

After the incident Jarvis' car was towed into the pits where the team made fast repairs and the #28 car was back on the track in a few laps. 

“That is too bad; Dwight is a good race car driver. I consider him a friend of mine. He is
a good guy and I hated to see that. I would have liked to have raced him for the win.”
Hinckley said about the accident.

The second place finisher was second generation driver, Chris Pasteryak. The Pasteryak
family has been around the race tracks over the years and has been respected by the
racing community for their racing demeanor. Hinckley is one of the racers that respects
the Pasteryak racing family.

“When you talk about modified racing the Pasteryak is a name comes up in all about
the conversations,” said Hinckley.  “Chris is a good clean hard race car driver. I knew
that he would race me clean and that I would race him back that way.”

Pasteryak had a great car when he first got going but then the car lost some steam.
Hinckley's spotter observed this action and communicated the news to him.

“I heard that Chris was pretty good on the restarts and we were a little tight on the restarts. But once we got to racing I could drive the race car away from him. I was riding around for a while setting a pretty decent pace with a comfortable lead. My car never went away.”

Pasteryak's car was good on each restart but then tightened.

“The car was great for about five laps and then it would get so tight that I could just about make the corner,” said Pasteryak. 

“After the restarts the car just got ungodly tight going into the corner. It would not rotate in the center. I could use all of the gas pedal that I wanted, but it would not go anywhere. It would just head to the fence,” said Pasteryak.  “And Les's car after five laps got better and better. Yes, I would go five laps and then it (the car) was like a light switch it just would turn stop turning and he (Les) would drive off into the sunset. He had the best car here tonight.”
Les Hinckley stands tall in victory lane at Waterford.  (Jim Dupont Photos)
Dwight Jarvis (#28) hits the outside wall and Mike Holdridge gets by the incident in his #0.

Pasteryak's car was not this way in the beginning though.

“There was a little scuffle early on in traffic there. I wonder if it got toed in a bit. If I could not get him clean I did not want to get him. I was not going to be able to do it so we will take a second and come back here in August and try it again.”

Did Chris feel that he had anything more tonight that he left in reserve? 

“No, especially after Les started to drive off into the sunset. I figured that I was in trouble. But I guess that we were just good enough for a second place. On the restarts we were really good but we did not have quite good enough to clear him.”

On the last green lap, Pasteryak was right there with the #06 car though.

“Nice job, Les. He drove a great race tonight. We will try to do the home town crowd again in August. We will see if we can't get one here. I thank the crowd for coming. I am sorry that it was a cruddy race. Give us a chance in August.”
Pasteryak's #15 Modified.
“After the restarts the car just got ungodly tight going into the corner. It would not rotate in the center. I could use all of the gas pedal that I wanted, but it would not go anywhere. It would just head to the fence,” said Pasteryak.  “And Les's car after five laps got better and better. Yes, I would go five laps and then it (the car) was like a light switch it just would turn stop turning and he (Les) would drive off into the sunset. He had the best car here tonight.”

Pasteryak's car was not this way in the beginning though.

“There was a little scuffle early on in traffic there. I wonder if it got toed in a bit. If I could not get him clean I did not want to get him. I was not going to be able to do it so we will take a second and come back here in August and try it again.”

Did Chris feel that he had anything more tonight that he left in reserve? 

“No, especially after Les started to drive off into the sunset. I figured that I was in
trouble. But I guess that we were just good enough for a second place. On the restarts
we were really good but we did not have quite good enough to clear him.”

On the last green lap, Pasteryak was right there with the #06 car though.

“Nice job, Les. He drove a great race tonight. We will try to do the home town crowd
again in August. We will see if we can't get one here. I thank the crowd for coming. I
am sorry that it was a cruddy race. Give us a chance in August.”

Mike Holdridge, the third place finisher, had his best finish of the year. He won the first
heat race and started the race on the pole. He then maintained a top five spot.

“That was a fun race,” said Holdridge.  “It was good race for me, but probably not so
much for the fans because of all the caution time. But it is what it is.”

Holdridge is also a second generation driver and learned early to pace himself when he races.

“I drove the car has hard as I could out there without over driving it. I would rather finish fourth or fifth rather than to come home with a straight race car rather than to possible get third and wreck.“

There were a lot of cautions and red flags. Series officials made the decision to line the cars up single file after the last caution. “It was a long race and it builds up all the rubber on the tires. It was a smart move to go to single file no sense in balling them all up for nothing.”

“There were absolutely too many cautions,” said Holdridge.  “They helped Chris. They helped Kirk behind me. I was a little bit concerned about him. He is always fast. But he did not put his car where he did not belong.”

It is tough to have you best race of the season, sit through a lot of cautions and then look in the review mirror and who is there but Kirk Alexander.

“I appreciate it and we both get to go in one piece home and try again next week.  We definitely were running fast.  My spotter was calling off my times and I was happy with my times so that means that Les was really running because I could not touch him. Third was about it.“

Holdridge did win the pole and started first but he was not in first spot at the end which of course is every racers dream.

“I won the heat race tonight but that is not the one that I want. But it is a lot of fun and this is a fantastic division. All of the guys are great to race with. This one was probably a bad one as far as the cautions but for the most part it is real clean races.”

Hinckley crossed the finish line on lap 100 followed by Chris Pasteryak, Mike Holdridge, Kirk Alexander, Vinnie Annarummo, Jack Bateman, David Pinkham, Eddy Spiers, Rob Goodenough and Dwight Jarvis to round out the top ten.

It was the first time the top three finishing positions were swept by Connecticut drivers at a Connecticut race track by three second generation drivers. Les Hinckley II, Charlie Pasteryak and Dale Holdridge are the proud racing dads of the top three finishers at Waterford.

Waterford Race Thoughts:

Chris Pasteryak

How do the TVMRS races normally run versus what happened at Waterford? 

“Normally we run a quarter mile track with four or five cautions and everything goes smooth. At this Speedbowl here this kind of thing happens down here. I think that a lot of people do not realize how fast and how quick things happen at this little track. What happens is somebody gets sideways and before you know it when you are not use to it, you are on top of them. “

What did Chris hear caused the first big wreck on lap 12 in the backstretch?

“Jack [Bateman] hit the kill switch instead of the radio button a couple of times going off of two and that caused the first major pileup. I mean that is a shame. It could happen to any body. It is shame that it happened to everybody else. I really would love to come here and put on just a really great show for once.” 

For several laps Ted Christopher was in front of Chris Pasteryak. Chris knew that the modified veteran would be a challenge….

“I really wanted to clear Teddy because obviously Teddy is Teddy. He was in front of me at that point and anytime you can get him behind you early it just makes life easier the rest of the way. He is old school. He is tough to get around and he had a pretty good car. After I got by him you kind of take what you could get on the restarts. You would not fall into line but just rather kind of in yourself rather than to try to make stuff happen. Because 100 green flag laps can be a long night as it was tonight. The tire that we are on does not really like heat cycles. So every caution if you look at a stop watch most of the time they get slower and slower. So you do the best you can running your own race and do the best you can while at the same time getting in front of the guys you need to get in front of.”

What did Chris see what happened to Dwight Jarvis as he and the third turn fence met?

“It is a classic guy on the outside bouncing off the wall. You see it all the time running weekly here at Waterford. You see the guy that is out there and he is too high and he is still on the gas. You see the sparks, their right front go down and then you see a lot of sparks and then a hard left turn into the wall.”

Mike Holdridge

Previously Mike Holdridge ran an SK Mod. What type of motor is he using this year?

“My motor is a little bit more that the SK motor. It has dart heads. We were allowed to change over to the Dart Head rule. So we are probably only short maybe 10, 15 or maybe 20 horsepower. Here it is not a huge thing. It is not as important as handling. I was good in the long run. If we stayed going green I think that I might have gotten second. That would have probably been the end of it.

What advantage did the #0 team have at the Waterford race?

“I just had a little bit of a better handle on how to set up the car for here. I raced SKs, I raced Late Models and Strictlys here. None of these guys are dumb, that is for sure they know what they are doing. So to be able to be competitive with them I am happy and to finish in the top five I am real happy. One of these days I am going to win one.”

When Dwight Jarvis met the third turn fence, Holdridge was behind him. What did he see?

“I did not see what happened to Dwight I was just concentrating trying to hold my position. They both were running fast. This track gets tight in spots. They are both real good drivers so I find it hard to believe that either one of them screwed up.”







Hinckley's winning #06 Modified.