Chris Pasteryak Scores First TVMRS Win Before Hometown Waterford Crowd By Denise Dupont
Second-Generation Driver Comes Back Home To Win
Returning to his old stomping ground at Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday, August 16th, the second generation driver, Chris Pasteryak, won his first True Value Modified Racing Series race. Along with the TVMRS victory, he captured a starting spot for the Thompson Speedway Modified Mania show and $100 presentation from the Racing Against Cancer organization.
Pasteryak was ecstatic in victory lane sharing his joy with all.
“It does not get any better then this - Modified racing and a packed house,” said Pasteryak.
The largest crowd in 20 years was on hand to see local favorite win.
“I would like to thank everyone for coming. This is great. Keep supporting this place. This is all we have down here in Southern Connecticut. Thank you. This is as good as it gets.”
Pasteryak started the race in fifth and quickly moved up to second. He was right on Kirk Alexander’s rear bumper from lap 25 until he made his way by Alexander on lap 52. Once in front, there was no stopping him.
“The car was great. After watching the SK race and I was a little bit nervous that the outside was not going to be there. It seems like once the sun went all the way down the outside was there. That was how I got by (Jon) McKennedy. The thing was just hooked up and made me look like a good driver. Everybody here tonight helped me hook it up.”
Last time the TVMRS were at Waterford the race was caution-prone and the cars could not get a momentum going on the track. That was not a usual performance or show for the TVMRS. The series came back to Waterford Speedbowl, or “The Beast” as drivers call the 3/8 mile track oval track, hoping they could pull together a good show. And that they did.
“I am glad we put on a good show tonight. I was so nervous that we had to stop and fix the fence again. Thanks everyone for coming come back down, if you cannot come and check us (TVMRS) again, please come back and support the Bowl.”
Chris Pastryak and the #15 team have been knocking on victory lane’s doors all season long just waiting for the opportunity for a win, which made finally winning at the hometown track for the Lisbon, CT native even sweeter.
“We finally did it. It felt great until we had a caution with just three to go and then I felt nervous. The car was so close to perfect all night, I do not think that I could ever get it that perfect again.
“It (the car) was great as I said and it really made me look good. We have always been good here, but tonight we were really good.”
Chris did not give himself enough credit for the great job that he does out on the track. To the spectators though, he shows a lot of talent, sportsmanship and zest to compete. He is a clean driver on the track and a true fellow competitor.
Chris Pasteryak finally had a chance to spray victory champagne on his crew at Waterford. (Jim Dupont Photos)
Pasteryak makes his way through the field en route to his first TVMRS victory.
In 2007 Chris Pasteryak made the decision to switch from the NWMT to the TVMRS. To some it was a step down, but to Pasteryak he made the move to enjoy the sport of racing and to have fun. Is he still glad that he made the move? “Oh, Yes. I could not be happier. I knew that I probably would have a lot more fun here (with the TVMRS).”
In his first race with the TVMRS at Monadnock though, Pasteryak was no so kindly christened into the series as he droved his first heat race. “When I was at Monadock the first time I ripped the right front off in the heats, the left front off in the consi and then I did not make the race and I still had more fun then I did at a tour show.”
But the #15 team fixed the car after Monadnock and came back to give it a second try. Chris Pasteryak leads the TVMRS in points ahead of some of the best modified drivers in the series. “It feels grest being in the point lead, but talk to after Thompson me about it.” Leading in points without a win was just not right to Pasteryak. It was like
graduating from high school without that diploma. You need the proof. “I really think that we needed to win a race to a show that we were really legitimate lead contender. When we were leading in points without winning one, we were just lucky. Now I think that we are good and we are fast too.”
Chris Pasteryak leads the TVMRS in points ahead of some of the best modified drivers in the series.
“It feels grest being in the point lead, but talk to after Thompson me about it.” Leading in points without a win was just not right to Pasteryak. It was like graduating from high school without that diploma. You need the proof. “I really think that we needed to win a race to a show that we were really legitimate lead contender. When we were leading in points without winning one, we were just lucky. Now I think that we are good and we are fast too.”
Kirk Alexander won the first heat race and started the 100 lap race from the pole.
“The car was good tonight. We just missed a little bit and the car was too good too soon. ” Alexander continued to lead the race to half way when his battle to maintain the lead was lost the Chris Pasteryak. “When Chris passed on the restart, I knew he was good as always. For a while we were racing side by side and pulling away from the pack. I knew I had to try him and then drop back in behind him rather then going back into third.”
As usual, Alexander had a good car, but in the end it was the second best car.
“The car was free on those long runs. It came to me and towards the end with the short runs. We were able to battle but it (the car) was just not there at the end. Chris was checked out so we were just trying to protect second. So we are happy with this run. It was great.”
Alexander reflected on the race and his night’s performance.
“I knew he (Chris Pasteryak) were on the edge of breaking through for his first win. We struggled a little tonight but we got going good on the longer runs during the second half.” Alexander then summarized Pasteryak’s run. “Chris drove an awesome race. I made him work for it, but they are a great bunch of guys those guys are. I was It looks to be getting better and better. The guys did a great job tonight. Congratulations to Chris.”
At the end of the race, Kirk tried, but there was no stopping Pasteryak and his chance for his first win. “Chris was unreal. Chris was on a rail. He was going good and he won at his home track.”
Since the #15 team has joined the TVMRS racing they have been a good fit for the series.
“It is good for the Pasteryak team they are a bunch of good guys,” said second-place finishing Kirk Alexander. “I did not want to take anything away from Chris. We were going good, but he was going better. That is the way it is. You miss a little bit. You cannot be perfect every night.”
In the last half of the race there were a few cautions that impacted some of the racing strategies and runs. The Alexander’s #43 team was one of those teams affected.
“Our car was changing under caution. The tires were cooling down. The car would tighten up a little bit and then in the long run it was starting to get free. The longer we ran towards the end the better it started to get going. By the end we had a gap and then we didn’t have too far to go so I tried to stay with him but I couldn’t.”
After his first run with the True Value cars, Jeff Malave was both happy and surprised with his third place finish.
“I was very surprised,” said Malave. “Kirk is an awesome driver and his car was tight and he just did a great line.”
The TVMRS Next race will be at Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, NH August 23 with qualifying scheduled to start at 6 PM.
Kenny Bouchard - a Legendary Modified driver returns to Monadnock
After competing with the TVMRS in his old modified stomping ground what were Kenny Bouchard's reactions?
“All and all it was a pretty good time. It was fun. I would like to thank Alexander's crew for letting me drive the other car. They did a great job as a crew.”
And Bouchard's thoughts on the series?
“The True Value Series are great people. They are nice to you. They treat you like they want you here. We had a lot of fun. Hopefully they will give me another chance to drive a car again. I would be more than happy to come back.”
When he is not running with the TVMRS what is Kenny Bouchard up to?
“We run our Tour car whenever we can. It is just hard to find enough money. You just need to find a good sponsor. So if there is anybody out there that would like to sponsor a nice driver call me up.”
How does Bouchard compare the TVMRS to the NWMT?
“The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has a lot more pressure. Everything has to be done in a hurry. It is always hurry up ands hurry up. This series here is a lot more fun. The series also tries to keep the costs down for the car owner which makes it a lot easier.”
So what will Kenny Bouchard do next?
“We are going to get our Tour car ready and run at the next Thompson show. We also have the “Drive to Racing Victory” at Thompson Speedway coming up the weekend of July20th and hopefully we will make a little money so we can race some more.”