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Tom Herzig's Trackside: Wrenn snags his first Modified Series win

August 20. 2014 8:00PM

NORM WRENN of Nashua passed Rowan Pennink, Justin Bonsignore and Richard Savary on the final lap to break into the Valenti Modified Series win column at Seekonk Speedway Saturday night at the wheel of the Advanced Gas Distributors No. 53.

It was an emotional win for the open-wheel veteran now in his fourth season on the VMS circuit.

“We have won Pro Stock championships and three Pro-4 Modified championships,” Wrenn said. “This is an elite division and I have always wanted to run up front. To win is awesome. My crew has been with me since day one racing Street Stocks at Star Speedway in 1990. I’m getting old. I’m glad I could pull one off before I retire. I pointed it at the flag stand and stood on it.”

Contact at the front between Bonsignore and Savary opened the door for Wrenn. As reported by VMS publicist John Spence, when Wrenn was asked what he was thinking through the final turn, he answered, “Oh my God, I’m going to pull this off.”

“Savary launched us,” Bonsignore was quoted afterwards. “That was strike 3-4-5-6 with him this year and we’ve had enough. I’m not going to get pushed around no more, that’s for sure.”

The Modified Racing Series moves to Monadnock this Saturday for the Victor Johnson Memorial 100 sponsored by Swanzey Oil. Fourteen-year-old T. J. Bleau of Troy (Victor Johnson’s former hometown) became the youngest NASCAR Division 1 feature winner in history by taking the Sportsman Modified checkers Saturday.

Bleau wired the field in the Cheshire Fire Protection No. 15. Teenager Joel Monahan of Whately, Mass., also earned his first-ever win in the Mini Stock feature.

Prime Warehouse and Storage presents the Lance Davis Memorial Late Model Sportsman event Friday night at Lee USA. Last Friday, Ricky Porter of Epping retook the lead from Bryan Kruczek and won the LMS feature. The win gives Porter a six-point lead over Geoff Rollins.

Leslie Keyser of Northfield wired the field in the Supermodified main with rookie Kyle Sawyer second.Wayne Helliwell Jr. not only showed up as predicted for the Granite State Pro Stock Series race at Star Speedway — he won it. Matt Frahm and Bobby Baillargeon were second and third. Frahm is the Series’ new point leader — eight points up on Larry Gelinas.

The Granite State Pro Stocks are headed to Hudson Sunday for the Hudson Hugger 100, where hometowner Derek Griffith, fourth in points, will benefit from the services of crew chief Louie Mechalides and Louie’s sister (not wife; oops!) Dolly Mechalides.

The American Canadian Tour, with Joey Polewarczyk Jr. as its point leader, travels across the border to Riverside Speedway near Quebec City for the Can Am 200 Saturday. Polewarczyk Jr. has not won a race yet, but he’s finished second to Eddie MacDonald, Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Brian Hoar and he has seven top-fives in seven starts.

Aaron Fellows of Croydon, just returning after a hard crash a few weeks ago at Devil’s Bowl, set the fastest lap time during ACT’s test and tune session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in preparation for the sixth annual Bond Auto ACT Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 20. Former Twin State champion Guy Caron, current ACT No. 2 point-man Jimmy Hebert and Joey Pole were also at the top of the speed charts.

This Saturday at Star Speedway, the NEMA Midgets and the NEMA Lites are in town and, as an added bonus there’s been a “match race” set up that should be especially entertaining. The field will include ISMA hotshoes Chris Perley and Jon McKennedy, NEMA point leader Randy Cabral and his closest pursuer Avery Stoehr, Mike Ordway (in the Bill Stergois No. 11), Joey Payne, Russ Stoehr and Matt Swanson (in the Matt Seymour No. 9).

The Pro All-Star Series is at Speedway 95 in Bangor, Maine, Sunday. Multi-time PASS champion Johnny Clark of Hallowell, Maine, leads DJ Shaw of Center Conway, by seven points in that series. PASS President Tom Mayberry and former Canaan and Riverside promoter Dick Therrien have parted company midstream.

Therrien was hired in the off-season to roll up his sleeves at Oxford Plains Speedway. “I foresaw my role as a grassroots division builder, but it didn’t turn out that way and we agreed to disagree,” Therrien said.Jason Colbeth of Newbury, Vt., has a 49-point advantage over Josh Harrington in the Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes standings at Bear Ridge.

Further back, seven drivers are tightly bunched in one of the region’s most competitive classes. On the Bond Auto Parts Sportsman Modified front, Chris Donnelly of Orford is well on his way to successfully defending his 2013 title.Jon McKennedy, Ben Seitz and Eddie Witkum Jr. were 1-2-3 in ISMA Supermodified action at Sunset Speedway in Ontario Sunday. McKennedy remains ISMA’s point leader. Seitz was a winner Friday at Delaware Speedway.

Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshirse Union Leader. Email him at

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