You can only win your first race once, so when you do it you might as well do it big.
That is exactly the theory that Todd Annarummo subscribed to on Wednesday night at Seekonk Speedway (MA). Annarummo, essentially a rookie in the Modified Racing Series, won Seekonk's Modified Madness show on Open Wheel Wednesday t the track.
Everything about the victory was big. It came in front of a hometown crowd, it resulted in a $10,000 winner's check and the field was stocked with some of the biggest names in Modified racing.
Then again, Annarummo knows a few things about big names. He has one of the biggest names in Seekonk history . Todd's father, Vinnie Annarummo (commonly known as “Vinnie Who?” thanks to a nickname given to him from the late Richie Evans) is one of the most storied drivers in Seekonk history. Vinnie won the Modified Madness show as a driver back in 2007.
“My father did it three years ago, so we're the first father and son to do it,” said a proud son after the race.
But Todd wasn't the only proud person in victory lane, or the stands, after the conclusion of the 100-lap feature. Seekonk is his home track. It's where he learned to race…heck, it's where he learned what racing all about was back in his childhood. Along the way, Annarummo earned the respect and loyalty of fans at the track and they were all more than happy to share in his big victory on Wednesday night.
“We've got the fans, the sponsors and everybody here,” said Annarummo. “Just a Modified win would have been great, but to do it here tonight with all of the champions who were in the field and the purse that was involved. To get a $10,000 check is just awesome.”
Annarummo started on the front row and dogged leader Stephen Masse for much of the race. As the laps clicked down, Annarummo drove by to take the lead - and that was exactly according to plan.
“I was trying to wear him out.,” said Annarummo of Masse. “It was hard not to race him too hard, but I knew that I had to get to lap 100. I knew if I kept showing him my nose, he would keep going a little faster and I could back up. He was trying to wear him out. I told my spotter to let me know when there were 15 laps to go and he barely got that out of his mouth when I passed him.”
That strategy was something that Todd Annarummo cooked up himself.
“He [Vinnie Annarummo] doesn't get on the radio with me,” said Todd. “We sometimes have some different views on things. He would have wanted me to have led from the first lap on and I knew that I needed to be a little patient.”
The 23 drivers that Annarummo won against were a Motley Crew of some of the biggest names in Modified Racing. Competitors with victories in the Modified Racing Series, both NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours and on the Race of Champions Modified Tour were in the show. Guys with names like Stefanik, Christopher and Hirschman. But those stars had nothing for Todd Annarummo on this night.
“I have a lot of laps here. They have a lot of experience in these cars, but I have laps here,” said Annarummo, who has raced everything from Trucks to Pro Stocks at the track.
Beating such a storied starting grid was nothing but big too.
“They are the guys who walk by you in the pits and don't look at you or care about you. They don't think that they are going to have to race this kid. Well, I beat them, so maybe the next time, they will come over and talk to me.”
We will have more from the Seekonk Modified Madness show next week with our Speed51.com Leftovers from the race. Stay tuned.