On April 1, Valenti Modified Racing Series driver Jon McKennedy and team owner Art Barry sat in the press box at the Waterford Speedbowl after winning the season opening event for the division.
At that point Barry, of Preston, made it clear he wanted to run for a championship. McKennedy, who was making his first start ever for Barry, said he wasn’t sure he was ready to commit to a full-time run in the division.
Eventually Barry’s desires on that day won out and Sunday it led to a celebration at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H.
McKennedy, of Chelmsford, Mass., finished fourth in the Valenti Modified Racing Series Oktoberfest 100, clinching his third series championship as a driver and the first series championship for Barry as a car owner in the division.
Barry became the first team owner to win championships on both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the Valenti Modified Racing Series. Barry won Whelen Modified Tour titles in 2001 and 2002 with Mike Stefanik.
Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., finished third in the race and ended up second in the point standings for the season.
Seventeen year old series rookie Tommy Barrett Jr. of Millis, Mass. made a charge in the late stages of the event, took the lead on lap 86 and never trailed again on the way to his third victory of the season.
Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks was second.