Huntington Valley, PA, modified racer, Rowan Pennink knows about comebacks. Been there, done that. Forced to restart races from the back of the field and drive his way to the front, Pennink did it again Friday night May 21, when he overcame a cut tire on lap 2 and came back to win the 100 lap “East-West Showdown” at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Malta, New York.
The race was co-sanctioned by the Modified Racing Series, sponsored by the BobValentiAutomall.com and the Race of Champions DART Asphalt Series.
Pole sitter Pete Brittain, Oakhurst, New Jersey, led the first forty-seven-laps before yielding the top spot to fellow RoC competitor Earl Paules, Palmerton, PA. Paules then set a torrid pace until lap seventy-six when Pennink made a charge to the front and claimed the top spot. Pennink went on to score his second Modified Racing Series win. The victory was the third for car owner, Gary Cassela of Saugas, MA.
The race was marred by 15 caution periods including a crash that saw 2009 Koszela Speed Rookie of the Year, Jacob Dore, Sanford, Maine, come together with second place car, Brittain, while battling for the position. Dore sailed up over the front of Brittain's car. Neither driver was injured.
Like Pennink, Sean Bodreau, Claremont, NH., who started 27th in the 28 car lineup, overcame an early race mishap to finish a strong third ahead of Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT, Rob Goodenough, Swanzey, NH, Daren Scherer, Binghamton, NY, Norman Wrenn, Nashua, NH, Mike Holdridge, Madison, CT, and Kenny Barry, Preston, CT.
Qualifying races were won by Todd Annarummo, Swansea, MA., and Paules.
The Modified Racing Series now moves on to a holiday double-header weekend at Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, NY May 29th and Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Barre, VT May 30th
Race Summary: Race #2
Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Malta, NY
Distance: 100 laps
Time of Race: 1: 15:04.651
Margin of Victory: 0.479
Best Lap Time: 14.468 Pennink
Lap Leaders: Brittain (1-47) Paules (48-76) Pennink (77-100)
Cautions: (15) (Laps-2,3,3,3,33,41,41,42,45,61,63,70,80,85,96)
Order of Finish - (1) Pennink (2) Paules (3) Bodreau (4) Hinckley (5) Goodenough (6) Sherer (7) Wrenn (8) Holdridge (9) Smith (10) Barry (11) Spiers (12) Brittain (13) Dore (14) Hirschman, (15) J.Jarvis (16) Speeney (17) Zachem (18) D.Jarvis (19) White (20) Goodale (21) Storace (22) McKennedy (23) Kluth (24) Perry (25) Annarummo (26) Ordway (27) Doucette (28)