Jon McKennedy Scores Win In Inaugural Modified Touring Series Event At Stafford

Jon McKennedy celebrates victory in the Modified Tour Series feature Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

STAFFORD – Last September Jon McKennedy scored victory at Stafford Motor Speedway with the Valenti Modified Racing Series on the way to the 2016 series title.

Friday McKennedy returned to Stafford with a new series and the same result.

McKennedy, of Chelmsford, Mass., used a late pass of Ryan Preece for the lead and went on to win the inaugural Modified Touring Series 125 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

“We had a great car tonight,” McKennedy said. “We came from the back twice. I probably passed about 40 race cars. Ryan was tough there at the end. For 30 laps we were basically nose-to-tail. I could see him starting to get free and it was tricky. I was trying to make the time just right off of [turn] two to get the big run into [turn] three and it all worked out. Just nice hard clean pass.”

Preece, of Berlin, was second and Chris Pasteryak of Lisbon third.

McKennedy began stalking all over Preece’s bumper by lap 109. On lap 110 he took a peek under Preece into turn one Preece defended the move. McKennedy tried again a lap later with the same result.

From there McKennedy rethought the strategy before attacking again. On lap 121 McKennedy got the run off turn two to get under Preece into turn three and come off of turn four with a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.

“It was tough really, those last 30 or 40 laps, I felt like me and Ryan were very equal,” McKennedy said. “We stayed two car lengths apart. I’d gain on him a little bit and then he’d pull back away. I was like ‘Man, this is all I’ve got.’ Then I started changing my apex a little bit and I was slowly gaining on him. At the same time I could see him getting a little loose. A few times I had some good runs on him and he was able to close the door and I said ‘Boy I’ve got to do something a little different to get the timing right.’ That last one I got up to his door and that time he couldn’t pinch me off. It was a good hard clean pass into [turn] three and we were able to hold him off those last few laps.”

Said Preece: “I’m really happy with this race car. Something seemed to break, I don’t know, at lap 80 or so, and I just started cranking rear brake into it. But I’m curious how that happened. Definitely happy. We had a really good race car. Jon did too. It was a fight on forward drive there at the end. I’m just going to have to go through the car and see what happened.”

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Comments

  1. I believe there are too many touring series now 20 cars, admission too high = not many fans in the stands.

  2. knucklesmahoney says:

    I agree 100%. The people who started this series thought they were doing a good thing, but had no fore sight. 20 cars at stafford, what a joke. Either the MRS or MTS is going to have to fold if either one of them is going to survive. Low car counts will lead to low amount of fans. Then tracks saying forget it. If they had legit complaints about the MRS, they should have tried to fix it, instead of creating another series, and splitting the car counts. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Now a series champion will mean nothing. And WTF was up with the mandatory caution at lap 40, that was totally ridiculous, and an indication of someone who doesn’t know how to run a racing series.
    Mckennedy’s car has an unbelievable motor, it was unreal watching that thing pull on people going down the back stretch. Kenny Berry should give on being a crew chief, he did absolutely nothing with Matt Swanson, and is making Hinckley look like an amateur out there. No motor, and no handling. If i was Les I would pissed off to say the least.

  3. Disagree Steve whatever

  4. Racer 28 says:

    I thought the race was boring with few lead changes and the fuel stop was very confusing and took way too long. The end was good with Ryan leading most of the race, but the rest was very boring.

  5. Mod fever says:

    Your right steve. Get rid of the MRS. This seems like a better series and has the potential to be a Tri Track competitor if the payout to the winner goes up.

    I want to see big $ races here and there with this series.

  6. MRS is kicking MTS butt! More cars better races, and better schedule. 125 laps is too long and that 5th tire really ruins the purse advantage over the MRS. It’s pretty bad when the Sk lights and Sk’s had full fields and the main event has 2 heat races.

  7. And I saved $50 thank you .

  8. Congratulations to Raceworks on another Win! They are the hottest chassis this year

  9. humphry says:

    I could be wrong however, I believe Matt Swanson finished in the top 10 in points on the WMT as a rookie last year and he’s in the top 10 in points this year, not to shabby for a kid in his first two seasons in the WMT.

    As far as Ken Barry goes, his cars have shown they can run with and beat the competition on the WMT, MRS, SK & SKL never mind numerous championships and countless wins. That tells me he clearly knows what he is doing. You can’t win them all but he has certainly won his share and will continue to do so.

  10. Muddbus461 says:

    This series is still a joke,this is their flagship race at a flagship track and they could only draw 20?Definately will not attend any of this series races.Seekonk really messed up here.

  11. wmass01013 says:

    still think 4 touring series is too many for 1 division too many options for fans and teams and hurts def the bottom 3
    the payout for MTS not much too talk about 3k to win to 660 FOR LAST im still surprised they did get guys like goodale, preece, tc

  12. wmass01013 says:

    Still think 4 touring series for same division is way too much, too many options for fans and teams and it def hurts the bottom 3
    Payout for MTS really is nothing for 125 laps, 3k to win to 660 for last kinda surprised they did get guys like PREECE, GOODALE, TC, PENNICK, PITKAT, MASSE AND FEW OTHERS TO SIGN UP
    RIVERHEAD just has ISLIP 300 FOR 7K TO WIN AND ONLY GOT 20 CARS
    ADD Waterford SITUATION as all 4 series had races scheduled there and u def have a mess

  13. The MTS has good intentions. But it doesn’t seem to be working out well.

  14. humphry says:

    How is race works the hottest chassis this year? How many races have they won and where?

  15. NH Mark says:

    The sport is pricing out it’s working man fanbase with tour prices every other week. I hope Stafford isn’t planning on tour prices when ISMA arrives in a few weeks. Stafford’S weekly show is good enough not to need many outside tours. They certainly don’t need MTS or MRS. The WMT and a once a year visit from ISMA and they should call it good. A Tri Track event under the right format could be fun too I suppose. Those stands were empty on Friday night for the MTS event. Essentially it was 125 lap heat race with only 20 cars. Water under the bridge now. I’m already watching 10 day forecast for Thompson next week and it looks NICE.

  16. Humphry – WMT with standing, Raceworks cars have won three out of four events with three different drivers in the MRS and MTS in 2017. That make them the hottest chassis so far this year. For details
    1) Nocella at Stafford on June 19 with a brand new car
    2) Mike Douglas at Lee, won his 25 lap qualifier (by a large margin) and then held off Savary and Nocella in the feature
    3) McKennedy @ Stafford, Passing Preece with his WMT car close to the end of the race.
    Not a bad start I’d say

  17. humphry says:

    I don’t disagree racer, however when they start winning consistany in the WMT, SK & SKL then I would consider them hot.

  18. Humphry- While you may consider the WMT the elite of modified racing, I think it is a shadow of it’s former self since the Stefanik, Ruggeiro era has ended. I don’t like “doing what I had to” to win type racing. So because a raceworks car is not winning on the WMT doesn’t mean anything to me because I will not attend those races. If you would like a raceworks car dominating, how about Tony Membrino Jr. with 16 feature wins at Stafford,Waterford and Thompson and championships at the first two tracks in 2016 in an SK lite. I think raceworks may be the second oldest modified chassis builder next to Troyer. My opinion is that unfortunately Ed Flemke Jr. has never gotten the respect he has deserved as a race car builder. I feel this is due to jealousy on the part of the “elite” NASCAR racers. Raceworks has won on the WMT many times. Maybe someone with a “hot” LFR chassis that is riding around mid-pack should give Jr. a call and he could probably put him more towards the front.

  19. humphry says:

    I don’t consider the WMT the elite in modified racing. I am not saying the Jr does not deserve the respect as a race car fabricator. You just can’t say because they won 3 events in two touring series the are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Right now McKennedy and the team are hot but that can change in a heartbeat. And when it does then who do you point the finger at, driver chassis or engine builder?

  20. I did not say they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Obviously Flemke is not building the volume of cars that other chassis companies are. I think at his age he is getting near the end. My point is that he has been building cars for almost 40 years and builds a quality safe race car. Between McKennedy, Nocella and Membrino Raceworks cars have won around 30 races since the beginning of 2016. For the amount of raceworks cars in the starting field, they have a good winning percentage. I also noticed that it did not support your statement so you chose to ignore Membrino’s 16 wins and 2 track championships in SK lite.

  21. humphry says:

    Not ignoring Membrinos accomplishments which were stellar for a season however, it begs the question, were those wins solely the chassis? Or was it the driver, engine program, team or combination of all? You tell me. I think it was chemistry which makes it all and I am happy for them. Hopefully they can find that same success in the SK division.

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