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July 02. 2014 9:32PM

Savary goes for two straight at Monadnock

THE Valenti Modified Series heads to Monadnock Saturday for its annual Fourth of July weekend event. Barring some shenanigans from Tropical Storm Arthur or whatever, a good time will be had by everyone who doesn’t need a wrecker to get back to the pits.Richard Savary of Canton, Mass., driver of the Alloy Wheel Repair No. 99, will arrive looking for his second win in a row having changed up his strategy a bit to win last Friday’s Port City 100 at Lee.

“We weren’t going very well in practice, but I started 11th in the feature and even though, like just about everybody else, I was thinking about pacing myself, I went for it when I wound up near the front early on.”

“Lee’s tough on tires,” Savary continued. “Everybody was waiting and I thought I’ll try for the lead and see if they can catch me. I’ve seen guys (think George Kent) get away with it. I caught the yellows right. Even though I was used up, nobody got by me.”

There were but 18 Modifieds at Lee last Friday. Combined with some of the turmoil surrounding the departure earlier this month of Scott Tapley as series director and the subsequent snafus involving the series’ web site, tongues have been wagging about the tour’s health. For his part, VMS founder and president Jack Bateman maintains that, “Scott and I are on decent terms.”

The New England short track stock car racing scene, as a whole, is not thriving. At some venues, car counts, especially in the support divisions, are, to be kind, thin. Everybody has theories, but I’d say it’s a combination of the overall economic climate with cost of travel as but one factor, partly a cultural issue regarding entertainment choices — especially for the 15-25 crowd, plus — try to find anyone who would claim that the marketing efforts of area promoters collectively are particularly noteworthy.

Regarding the Valenti Modifieds specifically, Monadnock has been a key venue for the series from the outset. The Modified races there are usually worth the trip in spades. The VMS schedule has hung together rather well because the car count gets bolstered by different locally based teams as the series moves from Monadnock to the Connecticut tracks and Seekonk, Mass.

Bateman noted about Lee — “when I saw who didn’t make that race, I knew in each instance why they weren’t there,” adding that, “Lee doesn’t have a weekly Modified division so there weren’t other local cars to pick up the slack.”

Bateman also said that the September 6 VMS event at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y., is being resurrected. The race will not be a combination event with the Race of Champions Tour of New York State as originally scheduled, but rather will be a stand-alone event likely paying $3,500 to win and $600 to take the green. Some Airborne divisions and the NEMA Midgets will reportedly also be on the card.

Bear Ridge had its holiday fireworks last weekend. Chris Donnelly of Orford won the three-segment DIRTcar Bond Auto Sportsman Modified 100. This Saturday is David’s House Benefit Night and the Sprint Cars of New England are in town.

White Mountain plans a Late Model 100. Twin State races this weekend on Sunday. Legion Speedway switches from its usual Sunday matinee to Friday night — post time 5 p.m.

At Lee, where Nick Maniatis of Hooksett and Ricky Porter of Epping are tied for the Prime Storage and Warehouse Late Model Sportsman point lead, Brentwood’s Jimmy Russell will try to play catch-up by picking up his third win.Jay Sands/Outlaw Sportsman, Chad Wendell/Rookie Stocks and Billy Osborne/Roadrunners were winners at Hudson.Jeremy Davis of Tamworth won the Granite State Pro All-Star Series 100 at Star Speedway. Dillon Moltz of Waterford, Conn., earned runner-up honors by coming back up through the field after getting spun out.

Last Thursday, Scott Dragon wired the field from the outside pole to win the Late Model feature at Thunder Road for his first win at the road in over a decade.

Multi-time ACT champion Brian Hoar hauled out to Columbus Speedway in Ohio for his first try in the ARCA/CRA Super Late Model Series racing only to get rained out. Racing is a tough business. Like the man says — speed costs money — how fast do you want to go?

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Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at tomherzig@hotmail.com.


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