WINCHESTER, N.H. (WWLP) – Monadnock Speedway is known for its July 4th weekend fireworks in the Saturday night sky. But first Valenti Modified Racing Series driver Richard Savary provided his own brand of fireworks with five laps to go pass for the Firecracker 100 win.
Savary’s stunner began from the 14th starting position in the 24-car field. He drove by fellow second generation driver Chris Pasteryak who led most of the race and settled for second. Justin Bonsignore took third, Rowan Pennink raced his way from 20th to fourth, and Russ Hersey rounded out the top five. In victory lane, Savary enjoyed his third win of the season, back to back with last week’s at the Lee USA Speedway also in New Hampshire. He told the fans, “The race really did go the way I needed it to. We needed some cautions where we started down back. Here the last race these guys all ran up front, they ran hard the whole race. So I felt it would be my best bet to wait, let them run really hard, and hope we had something towards the end.”
In his post race interview Pasteryak spoke of how this was the third consecutive year he led the Firecracker 100 without a win. “All the cautions probably helped Richard out. He was just a lot better than I was those last three or four laps.”, he explained.
This race was the 38th Modified Racing Series event at the Winchester, New Hampshire high banked quarter mile.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races this Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon as past of NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend. The following Saturday, July 19th, the mod tour returns to Monadnock. Justin Bonsignore told 22News the July 5th Modified Racing Series event helps him prepare for the Monadnock tour show, “The cars are pretty much the same. The tire will be a big difference. With a long 200 lapper when we come back, it kind of offers the same characteristics towards the end of the race.”
Why can passing be so tough at The Dog? According to Justin, “It just shows how close the competition is. Everybody is within tenths or hundredths of a second. It’s hard to make moves on each other. The track itself has plenty of passing places and opportunities. If your car’s a little bit better, if you can get up to the outside you can definitely make some headway. The restarts are the easiest place to do it. If your car’s working you can definitely make some headway.”
Riverside Park Speedway fans remember Chris Kopec racing in both the track’s modified and pro stock divisions. His 18 year old son Dylan has progressed from karts, to an SK Light Modified, now to the Valenti Modified Racing Series. The Palmer driver talked about the transition to a touring series, “Car wise it wasn’t really too much of a transition. Same car we used in the SK Light division just a bigger motor and a different tire compound. The transition alone going from different drivers to different tracks, took a little while to get used to. It’s definitely worth the move up. I get to try all these awesome new tracks, get to meet new drivers and compete against them, and just go out and get more track time.”
But does racing against better drivers help make Dylan Kopec a better driver? Kopec told 22News, “Racing in the SK LIghts, probably three quarters of the division was all rookies. Everybody was trying to learn. Now I’m going against people who raced modifieds for 15, 20 years. Just being around them I learn new tricks and I learn how to run them by how they ran me.”
NHMS is actually showcasing the mod squad twice on NASCAR. A special Friday NASCAR Whelen All-Star Shootout is scheduled for shortly after 2pm. The 40 lap feature will have a competition caution at lap 20 to invert the field with no pit stops allowed. Saturday’s NWMT Sunoco 100 lapper starts at 1pm followed by the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200.