(Photo by Crystal Snape)
Oxford, ME. – After starting 10th in a 16-car field, Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, MA, took the lead on lap-63, received pressure from Jon McKennedy, of E.Chelmsford, MA, and Todd Patnode, of Swanzey, NH, for a period, then went on to score his third Valenti Modified Racing Series win of the season, Saturday night, August 27, at Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford Maine.
The win was Nocella’s second this year at the famed racetrack. He shared top honors with McKennedy in June in twin 50-lap segments driving a car formally owned and driven by McKennedy. Nocella ties Andy Seuss with 5-wins
each in the VMRS win column.
Rookie Colbey Fournier, Berkley,MA, held the early lead until Woody Pitkat, Sturbridge, MA, powered by on lap-16 and was the car to beat for the next 23 circuits.
Northport, NY, driver Dave Schneider passed Pitkat on lap-39, and held it until Nocella took command on lap-63. It was Nocella the rest of the way in front of a large ‘Oxford 250’ crowd on hand for Sundays 43rd annual event.
“It always seems like I have a pretty good car here. I like this style track. We just rode for a while and saved it for a run to the front. It was pretty much perfect the whole race,”
Nocella said in victory lane.
The strategy plan worked for the driver of the family owned Nocella Paving # 92, “We knew we wanted to be a little tight at the beginning. We went nice and easy to keep the right front underneath it and save as much of it as we could and still go forward. A couple of those yellows and
we got to the front,” Nocella said.
Point leader McKennedy finished runner-up. “It was a good points night. The last 25 laps it got real tight. I had nothing left. Second is still good.”
Patnode, off a win at Monadnock, ran strong and rounded out the top three. “We had a pretty good car. At the beginning I thought we had a good piece so we paced ourselves and it got extremely tight and I couldn’t turn. We came in under caution and it was too loose. I’m thankful we ran where we did.
The crew did a great job.”
Schneider settled for fourth with Canaan, NH, veteran
Donnie Lashua rounding out the top five.
Chris Pasteryak, Rob Richardi, Joe Doucette, Fournier, and George Sherman, finished sixth through tenth.
Heat Winners: (1) Fournier (2) Schneider
Next event: Stafford Springs Motor Speedway Sept 2, 2016
Saturday August 27, 2016
Oxford Plains Speedway
Time of Race: 39:45:491
Average Speed: 57.067
Best Lap Time: 15.688 (Fournier)
Best Speed: 86.053 (Fournier)
Margin of Victory: 1.048
Points- (Top Five) August 28, 2016
Order of Finish: (1) Nocella, (2) McKennedy, (3) Patnode, (4) Schneider, (5) Lashua, (6) Pasteryak, 7 (Richardi), (8) Doucette, (9) Fournier, (10) Sherman, (11) Pitkat, (12) Dion, (13) Dixon, (14) Willis, (15) Cantara, (16) Mead.