Todd Szegedy Scores First Valenti Modified Racing Series Victory At Monadnock

WINCHESTER, N.H. – Three finishes outside of the top-10 in the first five races of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season haven’t been anything to put a smile on the face of Todd Szegedy.

Todd Szegedy

Though Szegedy is hoping some good times on a bullring Saturday in the Granite State away from the Whelen Modified Tour could be the medicine his team needs to get back on track for a super speedway return trip to New Hampshire next week.

Szegedy, of Ridgefield, passed Chris Pasteryak of Lisbon  on lap 93 and went on to win the Valenti Modified Racing Series Firecracker 100 Saturday at Monadnock Speedway.

It was Szegedy’s second career start in the series, driving for team owner Mike Smeriglio, who also owns his Whelen Modified Tour team.

The Whelen Modified Tour returns to action next Saturday in the Town Fire Tire 100 on the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway oval in Loudon.

“These guys work pretty hard,” Szegedy said. “We’ve had a rough first half of the year on the [NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour]. We’ve been running very good but have had a lot of bad luck. I hope that our luck has turned around. I hope that we go to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next and get a victory there.”

Dwight Jarvis of Ascutney, Vt. was second. Todd Patnode of Richmond, N.H, who started 21st in the 24-car field, was third.

Szegedy finished 11th in his Valenti Modified Racing Series debut on June 9 at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway.

Szegedy was up to second on a restart on lap 81, but Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks gave him all he could handle in a side-by-side battle for the position for six laps. Szegedy, riding the outside lane, finally cleared Hinckley on lap 87 and began hunting down Pasteryak at the front.

“The guys I’m racing against are just as tough as anybody else I’ve raced against,” Szegedy said. “They race you clean. They don’t use you up and I really appreciate that. I raced hard with Hinckley there for god knows how many laps. He could have ran me up and I expected him to do it and he didn’t.”

After clearing Hinckley Szegedy quickly found Pasteryak’s bumper. On lap 93 Pasteryak wiggled off of turn two and quickly slowed and Szegedy went flying by for the lead.

“I knew he was getting real free and I was trying to figure out how I was going to get around him,” Szegedy said. “I knew I was going to be pressured from the guys behind me. He got so free I thought he was spinning out. I just stayed in the throttle and went around him.”

Pasteryak, who ended up fifth, took the blame for giving up the lead.

“I screwed up,” Pasteryak said. “I stepped on the gas too hard trying to stay in the lead coming out of [turn] two and almost spun it out. I just shot myself in the foot. But it’s cool, normally I finish in the back here at Monadnock with the front bumper up in the air and the right front [tire] on the hood. I’m happy with how I ran. I don’t know that I gave it away, I was getting real loose. Todd probably still would have got me I was giving it all I had and almost spun it out and still ended up fifth. A lot of guys wish they had this finish.”

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