The Valenti Modified Racing Series returned to Lee USA Speedway on Friday night with two 50-lap feature races, making for an action-packed night full of racing in New Hampshire.
In addition to the series’ return back to Lee, the track also hosted 4 of their weekly divisions.
The Late Model Sportsmen division was the first on the agenda with their 35-lap feature.
Zach Nicholson and Kris Miller started on the front row in the feature, with Kris Miller taking the early lead. Zach Nicholson and the #91 of Bobby Melvin, Jr. both took spins on lap 2 in turn 2, leading to an early-race caution.
The #07 of George Helliwell pulled into the lead on the restart, but Bryan Kruczek was all over him by lap 5. Kruczek made his way to Helliwell’s outside on lap 6, clearing him for the lead the following lap. By lap 25, Kruczek had pulled away by nearly an entire straightaway over the rest of the leaders.
Frankie Eldredge was on the move in the late stage of the race, finding his way around Bill Helliwell for third on lap 26.
The #02 of Dylan Bilodeau had a rough night, retiring to the pits early on lap 27.
Bryan Kruczek, who is no stranger to Victory Lane at Lee, pulled into another feature victory. George Helliwell, Frankie Eldredge, James Russell and Bill Helliwell followed, rounding out the top five.
The #07 of Travis Hollins took off with the early lead in the 25-lap Street Stocks feature. Patrick Tanguay made his way to Hollins’ inside on lap 2, but both drivers lost ground as Pete Evans powered into the lead.
Alby Ovitt was on the move early, capturing the runner-up spot on lap 6.
Patrick Tanguay experienced mechanical issues on lap 8, retiring his car for the night.
Alby Ovitt made his way to the inside of Pete Evans on lap 9, challenging him for the top spot. Ovitt was able to clear him the following lap, pulling away from the field.
The #00 of A.J. Panessiti came to a slow on lap 13. His car stopped in the pit entry, making for a mid-race caution as his car was pushed to the pits, out of harm’s way.
Alby Ovitt pulled away again on the restart, showing strength in his #35 machine.
The #93 of Boe Green retired to the pits on lap 20, followed by Travis Hollins blowing up on lap 23 in turn 4.
With only two competitors remaining on the track, the race was called and Alby Ovitt was awarded with the victory. Pete Evans followed, with Travis Hollins being pushed to Victory Lane to accept his third place trophy.
The first Valenti Modified 50-lapper was next, with Sammy Rameau taking the lead on lap 2.
Tony Ricci took a hard spin on lap 15 in turn 4, collecting the #92 of Anthony Nocella. This brought out the first caution of the feature and also resulted in Nocella losing a tire and suffering some front end damage, which ended his chances of a top-5 finish in the first feature.
Sammy Rameau chose the inside line for the restart, with the #76 of Jacob Perry moving into the runner-up spot after electing to use the outside line. Rameau pulled away on the restart, but trouble was brewing behind the leaders.
The #22 of Roy Seidell took a spin on lap 34 in turn 1, leading to a late-race caution.
The #88 of Russ Hersey fell out of the groove on lap 43, miraculously avoiding any contact on the track as the field remained green.
Sammy Rameau took home the victory, making it his first feature win in the Valenti Modified Series at just 16 years old.
Brian Robie, Todd Patnode, Tony Ricci and Andy Shaw followed, rounding out the top five.
The #36 of Randy Washburn took off with the early lead in the 25-lap Ironmen feature.
The #49 of Zackary Washburn then came to a slow on lap 2 in turn 1, leading to an early-race caution.
The #9 of Brandon Mailhot pulled to the inside of Randy Washburn on lap 7, taking over the top spot as Washburn fell back through the field, losing a handful of spots.
Brian Destefano cleared Jamie Holland for the runner-up spot on lap 14, setting his sights on Mailhot at the front of the field. By lap 20, there was a 5-car breakaway at the front of the field.
The leaders went 3-wide with a lap car on lap 21, powering Brian Destefano into the lead.
Destefano took home the feature victory, followed by Brandon Mailhot, Christin Destefano, Adam Knowles and Jamie Holland.
Jaden Curtis and Jess Michaud started on the front row for the 20-lap Pure Stocks feature, but the #82 of Jacob Michaud pulling away with the early lead. By lap 8, there was a 3-car breakaway at the front of the field.
The #6 of Tyler Mailhot made his way to the inside of Michaud on lap 9, challenging him for the top spot. He pulled ahead on lap 11, but Michaud got him loose the following lap in turn 2. Mailhot managed to stay in the lead and later pulled away with the feature victory.
Jacob Michaud, Rob Carleton, Jess Michaud and Jaden Curtis followed, rounding out the top five.
Anthony Nocella returned to the track for the final feature of the night, the second Valenti Modified Racing Series 50-lapper.
The #45 of Dan Meservey pulled away with the early lead, but the #12 of Rob Richardi, Jr. took a spin on lap 2 in turn 2, leading to an early-race caution.
Meservey pulled back into the lead on the restart, but there was a pile-up on the front stretch on lap 4. Drivers involved included Donnie Lashua, Ryan Doucette, Andy Shaw and Cameron Sontag, among others.
Anthony Nocella restarted in the top 10 after starting the race from the rear. Woody Pitkat was also on the move, powering into the top five on the restart. The #83 of Michael Willis, Jr. crept his way toward the front too, settling into the runner-up spot on lap 12.
Dylan Rock, Andy Shaw and CJ Bolton made contact on lap 22 in turn 4, leading to a mid-race caution.
Anthony Nocella was on the move on the restart, making his way into the top 4 and later into the top 3 on lap 24. He captured the runner-up spot on lap 31, challenging for the lead that lap. Nocella captured the lead the following lap, pulling away from the field.
The #24 of Todd Patnode was on the move late in the race, climbing up to the third spot on lap 48 and later into the runner-up spot.
Anthony Nocella pulled off a miraculous victory, climbing to the top of the leader board in the second 50-lapper after his troubles in the first feature.
Todd Patnode, Dan Meservey, Russ Hersey and Michael Willis, Jr. followed, rounding out the top five.
Fans were able to see both a first-time winner and a comeback winner in Victory Lane at Lee USA Speedway on Friday night.
The excitement continues this upcoming Friday, July 20th, with the season’s second Autograph Night.
Get out there and support your local short track.
We hope to see you there!
Thank you again to Drown Excavation and Four Season Synthetic for their endless support for Chasing the Checkered. Contact Drown Excavation for all of your demolition and excavation needs and Four Season Synthetic for all of your oil, lube and filter needs!