Three DQ’ed From Valenti Mod Series Race For Tire Tampering; Trio Includes Former Points Leader Tommy Barrett Jr.

The points battle between Tommy Barrett Jr. and Rowan Pennink has been raging of late on the Valenti Modified Racing Series.

Tommy Barrett Jr. celebrates a Valenti Modified Racing Series victory at Stafford Motor Speedway earlier this season (Photo: Stephanie Kimball/Stafford Speedway)

Tommy Barrett Jr. celebrates a Valenti Modified Racing Series victory at Stafford Motor Speedway earlier this season (Photo: Stephanie Kimball/Stafford Speedway)

Monday, despite there being no racing action on track, there was a major swing at the top of the standings.

Barrett, who was the points leader by two over Pennink following Saturday’s Valenti Modified Racing Series event at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway, has been shuffled out of the lead in dramatic fashion.

Barrett, of Millis, Mass., was declared disqualified on Monday by the Valenti Modified Racing Series from Saturday’s event at Seekonk Speedway for using illegally tampered tires during the event.

Also disqualified from the event for the same tire issue were Steve Masse of Bellingham, Mass. and Richard Savary of Canton, Mass.

Masse, a two-time series winner this year, was second Saturday at Seekonk, in the event that was won by Todd Annarummo. Savary was third and Barrett, a two-time winner on the series this year, was fourth.

First year series director Scott Tapley confiscated tires from all three teams after the event after a portable testing device used at the track before and after the race showed evidence that the three teams had used chemicals to treat their tires. The testing device used Saturday detects the presence of flammable materials incorporated into the tire compound. Tire treatments can improve the extended durability of a tire.

“We did four testing procedures at the race track,” Tapley said. “Pre-race we checked every car with the sniffer [testing device],” Tapley said. “The same nine tires that went off with sniffer were the same nine that went off post-race. Then we dismounted them and visually and physically inspected them and found them to be visually and physically different than tires that were dismounted and did not register on the sniffer.

“We tested the entire field pre-race, all 24 cars. We tested seven cars post-race on the racetrack in front of everyone. The ones that went off pre-race are the same ones that went off post-race. The ones that were clean pre-race are the same ones that were clean post-race. And again, when we dismount them and we look at them and, understand that there was visual evidence of something and that was shown to members of the teams.”

“And in conversations with these teams, there were things said that led me to believe that this was also true in the conversations. That also is another part of the decision process.”

Said Masse: “We didn’t tamper with the tires whatsoever. We put them on the rims, put them on the racecar and went racing. After the race was said and done the gauge, that to me looked like it was about 20 years old, read positive on just about anything it was tested on. We were walking around the pits and it was just beeping on anything. I don’t know how they can just disqualify when your meter was going off just walking around and you haven’t even got the lab results back. They said they were going to send out the tires, they just bypassed that I guess. They don’t need any real results, they just use a gauge that could possibly pick up oil or anything that was on the tires from the racetrack. It’s a complete joke. The Modified Racing Series is out to get Tommy Barrett out of a championship and they’re dragging me down with them.

“I’m waiting for real results for a lab and if that doesn’t get done there’s going to be a lawsuit. It’s a complete joke. It’s [bull].”

Attempts to reach Barrett and Savary Monday were unsuccessful.

All three drivers were removed from the Seekonk results and none will earn any points or purse for the race. It means Lou Mechalides of Tyngsboro, Mass. will be moved to second place in the Seekonk results and Max Zachem of Preston to third. Pennink is recorded with a fourth place finish.

That penalty dramatically changes the complexion of the top-three in the standings after 10 of 17 events this year. The penalty drops Barrett from two points ahead of Pennink to third place in the standings, 51 behind Pennink, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

Mechalides goes from fourth place in the standings to second place, 39 points behind Pennink. Savary falls from third to fourth in the standings with the penalty.

The series returns to action Thursday at Thompson International Speedway. Masse said he most likely is done with the series.

“I’ve raced against the officials before, it’s just not fun,” Masse said. “I show up and lose money every week. I put on a show and finish second for $1,200 and they take it away from me like that.”

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  1. Just goes to show you that cheating never wins.

  2. That was the fastest 10 days to the independent lab ever.

  3. Karen Lovejoy says

    Are you serious? No lab tests? Just ruin the reputations of 3 long time, hard working racers who have countless times raced with NO DQs? What is Mr. Tapley’s private agenda here???? Was Tommy getting too close to winning the championship? Does Mr. Tapley have someone else in mind to win it? There’s cheating going on, alright, and it’s from the top. I hope these drivers get attorneys if those tires aren’t lab tested as Mr. Tapley already stated they would be. Shame on you Mr. Tapely.

  4. Todd tires should be sent with them he did it when he race pro stock with his father

  5. Karen, you are obviously not a woman of science. You have a device used to track levels (pH for example, to keep it nice and simple;, remember those little tabs that turn color that we all used in 5th grade science?). The device yields results that fall on a spectrum and are interpreted, as they are in labs – and even race tracks! – all over the country. That’s all there is to it. I don’t see how this becomes a conspiracy theory? Seems the shame is your childhood science teachers…

  6. Why were the nine tires that caused the sniffer to show there was a problem allowed on the track?

  7. It’s about time the MRS grew a set of balls. They have been cheeting for quite a while and its not just tires….. and hopefully they can catch the other ones too.. Who wants a bunch of cheeters to win a championship anyways??

  8. They have been cheeting for a long time along with a few other top runners, everyone knows it. they should lose all there points up to now or sat down a race, sucks that everyone behind them in points gets screwed, the should lose all.

  9. Tapley is the puppet man…..there’s a much bigger picture here!! Knowing that someone blew their motor with oil all over the track with tons of speedy dry…..First time using their new toy you’d think they would back up their results with lab testing.

  10. Let me get this straight. So the race director is saying that they knew they were soaked tires before te race and still let them out their???? Was it their plan all along to dq them after the race??? What about the cars that didn’t qualify who packed it up and would of lives to race Saturday night??? If I’m understanding this correctly something sounds way wrong with this

  11. Karen Lovejoy says

    [comment deleted for language]

  12. Folks,
    I know we go over this each time there’s a heated issue here, but let’s please keep the comments clean. You don’t have to use the language to make a point or to emphasize elementary school type name calling.

  13. Shawn we are all adults here and sometime words fly out there

  14. I get that. I’ve also been witness to online forums where it’s been allowed. Turns ugly real quick. It’s not that difficult to leave a comment without filling it with swear words to make a point.

  15. I just hope everyone is treated fair because they do not like tommy for some reason

  16. Funny Tommy Barrett’s picture is on this topic??????

  17. Karen Lovejoy says

    OKAY Let’s try this again. I could give a rat’s behind about the science, A lab analysis was promised. Let’s see it happen.

  18. Scott Tapley says

    The sniffer did not DQ anyone, it provided reasonable suspicion to have the tires dismounted post race and further inspected and compared to tires that did not register a reading on the sniffer.

    Sniffers are used all over the country to determine tire agents and are used as the sole testing device with no inspection process following.

    Many tracks use a police dog to sniff for tire agents and place dqs based solely on that dog.

    This is not fun and would certainly be easier to just look the other way of these tests and inspections that we did and just go on like nothing happened…but that’s not fair to the 21 other cars that had no indications of a tire agent.

    If the sole purpose is to eliminate the cars from the points then I would retroactively remove points. Clearly I’m not good at that conspiracy.

    I’ve got a lot of other things in my life that are more important than creating conspiracies and inacting a less interesting point race.

    In a world where we have to all be pc, it seems as though the only people left to tear down and spit on with no regard for facts or the human being on the other end are sports officials.

    I’m Scott Tapley, the man who gives everything he has to this series to make it the best it can be. I’m also a human being that’s crushed to read false info about myself from people I’ve never spoken to or seen in our tech areas. Unfortunately, the only one who know just how much handing out penalties hurts me as a person is my little 4 year old girl who saw how much this sucks for me and told me it will be alright.

  19. Scott I been a race fan for 45 yrs why is it you let them race after the buzzer went before they raced

  20. Jon…. the test beforehand is not entirely conclusive. If you read articles on soaking and detection you will have a better understanding. Various compounds(oil on the ground, gasoline, etc.) can create false positives. It’s the test after they are hot and used that carries the most weight. sooo….. you test beforehand to give you a listing of teams to check afterward. Any positives afterward are the ones you confiscate and test further.
    For all the people still mentioning the oil on the track, you are missing the whole statement about the tires being dismounted and looked at internally. That it where it became conclusive. Oil won’t soak into the tire and give you a false positive from the inside.
    Remember also, that soaking the tires is a relative term. There are compounds out there that come in aerosol cans that resemble “fix-a-flat”. You hook it up, push the button and put it inside the tire. During the race the tire gets treated from the inside out.

  21. I agree with you, Karen. Let’s see the analysis. And let any apologies fall where they may. I expect you to follow that same suit should any future results be against what you so clearly don’t agree with based on what I can only tell as opinion. You cry foul about ruining reputations, and yet there you are, doing the same. You can disagree with the outcome without being a hypocrite.

  22. Karen Lovejoy says

    Respectfully, Mr. Tapely…why don’t you just do the lab analysis and then all doubts will be removed. To cancel the lab analysis is suspicious. In all fairness to the accused drivers are also going through a tough time taking alot of trash talk here. You are not the only person affected here. Why did you cancel a lab analysis that would’ve ended this debacle?

  23. Just when everyone thought the traveling Modified Racing Circus couldn’t pull another moronic stunt, they pull this out of their hat. After making an abrupt points change mid season that simply turned heat race starting lineups (and championship) into a glorified bingo game. They now allowed cars whose tires were suspicious to run the feature only then to DQ them 48 hours afterwards (Not 10 days with lab proof) but instead with whatever proof a sensor that beeps at anything its pointed at long enough holds. Talk about terrible organization and officiating? And on top of all this mainstream news the fact that 3-4 races this year scales weren’t even used during pre or post tech. And if they were not every competitor went over simply due to the club’s lack of proficiency. And they are more concerned about pointless things such as measuring fuel tank frame height, and rear deck lid height such as they did at Waterford? Seriously? The VMRS is Jack’s joke of a little circus. Tapley is the ring leader and currently he is doing a hell of a job driving it farther into the ground than Jack ever could have alone. The VMRS is not a series, it’s a club. Always has been, always will be. End of story.

  24. Bryon Callen says

    Well said Scott

  25. well said Trevor…AMEN!

  26. Scott for even mentioning your 4 year old daughter….you should be DQ’d

  27. So when they didn’t pass the smell or your eye test, you do not feel the need for any more test? Will you allow the competitors to have an independ lab test? Seems that there should more concrete evidence when you are hurting sponsors crews and drivers reputations.

  28. So does that mean Modified Racing Series pockets $1350 by disqualifying 3 drivers??

  29. This isn’t the first time this Series has pull off some back room stuff. Remember when the MRS ran the $10,000 to win Seekonk open. A lot of teams went home that night and never came back to the open. Let me remind you. The MRS official fixed the draw for the MRS teams to start up front in the heat races. That official has been fired since then and The MRS no longer runs the open show.

  30. Karen Lovejoy says

    Mr. Timely…will there be a lab test or not?

  31. 4 legal and tested tires for sale from Seekonk VMRS 8-17-13 race for anyone wanting control tires for your independant study’s. $500/tire.

  32. top spotter.. says

    its about time the m.r.s does something….its crap that teams go home because these guys have to soak tires to run up front ,,the mod tour should start taking after the m.r.s after the race at Thompson Thursday ..theres no doubt in my mind some teams soak tires and some teams have traction control….you go tap….the new inforcer in town..

  33. Dr. Henry Lee says

    I wouldn’t assume that test results aren’t on their way…
    In the interim, you all should learn a little more about the science of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, especially if this goes to court as some suggest. It doesn’t take 10 days to run a GCMS analysis. In fact there are many labs that could positively identify the isotope signatures of the xylene and toluene compounds used in almost all magic tire potions versus a baseline in a few hours.
    Compared to standard rubber compounds the signal to noise ratio of the xylene, toluene, and benzene compounds will be very high making it a very simple single pass test to run with a slam dunk conclusion. And laughingly that holds for rubber compounds mixed with track oil and speedy dry too!
    While it is not quite DNA level evidence, best of luck beating a good GCMS analysis in court unless your attorney is Johnnie Cochran and Tapley sent the samples to the LAPD lab… Yes there are ways to beat GCMS analysis, but you are going to need an expert witness.

  34. Doug DiPisa says

    Where’s Miss Mona Lisa Vito when you need her . She’s an expert in general automotive knowledge.

  35. This could all be cleared up quickly. Just send 1 tire out from each team and have it tested. Oh wait, it cost 3500.00 dollars to have them tested, and more than likely MRS doesn’t want to spend that money. For the sake of your reputation, it may well be money well spent. And Scott, no one really cares what your 4 year old has to say, to try and throw sympathy into your argument is silly and telling. And do us all a favor and get rid of the MRS flagman. I have never seen a flagman with such anger issues that come out on the stand, it’s really embarassing for him and the series.

  36. Okay kids, how about this? Have any of these teams denied the claims being made against them? If so, how about they pay to have theirs tested by the MRS independent lab and if they are clean then MRS returns the money to the team? The car/team owner or representative would be mandatory at the testing as insurance that the testing done is accurate. MRS and Mr. Tapley have presented a much better race experience for fans than the other mod tour in our region. I do not have any affiliation with racing, other than as a fan in the stands. The flag man is a little more passionate and animated than others, but hey, maybe his job is also his therapy for whatever he does when he’s not at the track!

  37. Cheaters will always be cheaters, no lab test is needed to prove that , one way to fix this is to put new tires on at the start. Of the event dint let them put them on before

  38. Please keep this on the subject.. the flagman has nothing to do with someone allegedly soaking there tires. I know rich and he’s an awesome guy and an excellent flagman. He flagged more tracks in this area than most you people have been too. He’s passionate about what he does and it comes out on the stand. Just remember the decisions he makes are being told to him by a higher power. So when he sends someone to the back for rough driving. He was told to do so..

  39. Wow a article on drivers cheating and Ted Christopher wasn’t mentioned, everybody who gets caught cries foul (like Arod) get off Mr Tapley’s back he is a guy trying to do his job. No matter what he said here you people would not be happy. I wouldn’t want to cheat and win a race it would mean nothing at all but that’s just me maybe I was raised differently.

  40. That is why a lot of race cars are leaving seekonk because they play favors too much this series is going to be the same way

  41. Wow, so much animosity, so many experts on soaking tires, finger pointing at it’s best.
    What more can you ask for? Publicity up the wazoo for the VMRS.
    Keep it up, the series needs it.

  42. Tire sniffers are A Joke I’ ve seen treated tires pass before.Send the tires to the lab then hang them from the rafters if they fail

  43. Why does this have to be a conspiracy? I don’t know any of the parties involved, but if it were someone other than tommy Barrett would this even be a discussion? The 9 team and its supporters have pushed every button it can, for what reason I don’t know. Between trash talking the series over the pa at stafford or on radio shows. Or in the fact that they felt snubbed for not getting the rookie of the year when they didn’t even file the paperwork. Nor was he qualified to get it. So maybe they look harder at his car? Maybe they don’t? I have no idea. Maybe this was there week to test tires. Maybe someone borrowed a tire and found that crap all over it. Maybe someone saw something and told tech to check tires… Its anyones guess but I don’t think they would have dq’ed anyone without knowing the answer cause that would just be wreckless…

  44. the big guy says

    Ok it wasn’t just Tommy Barrett that was DQ’D. There where 2 other drivers listed in the article. Steve Masse and Richard Savary where also dq’d. As I am a crew member from a track he use to be race director at. He is a fair person the team I am part has been penalised by him during a race. But we have been on the other end where he went to bat for us. So the whole conspiracy theory crap people are talking is just that crap. GOOD JOB SCOTT KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK…

  45. Tommy , Richard and Steve all are racing for a championship it is to bad that officials had to do that

  46. I’m sorry. If they cheated (and I know NOTHING about the details other than what has been written here) then I have no sympathy whatsoever for these teams. If they were cheating, does it not follow that that’s how they got to that spot in the first place? Officials do what they do to insure that there is a level playing field for all competitors. I have no idea who here supports what teams or anything else, I wasn’t at the race, and am not a follower of the VMRS, but I have been in racing for over 50 years. Cheating sucks, and the heck with those that do. I hope that all of the VMRS policies are consistently applied for all competitors, and that the cheaters are thrown out.

  47. So ur saying cheating to win a championship is the right way to do it, and will actually mean something. Thers pushing the envelope and then there’s blatant cheating. Man I must be in the minority. I can’t believe people are mad at the officials for a blantant disregaurd for the rules. If you broke a rule at work that was clearly stated in your handbook, you’d expect your supervisor to just say its okay here’s a raise for working outside the rules that EVERYONE else must follow. I’m sorry but that is such a**backwards thinking my head hurts.

  48. Tom I say unless the officials have something to hide send the tires out to a lab, after all they have the purse money they kept from the 3 competitors to pay for the test. Failure to do that proves they have something to hide and they are the one caught cheating!

  49. @Tom – Actually, the only thing that it proves is that they don’t want to send them out. Anything else is no more than an assumption on your part. And I doubt that they have the purse money, as the other competitors finishes were moved up based on the DQ, so at most, they would have the purse money from the last 3 paid feature positions. And yes, that is also an assumption on my part.

  50. They Have At Least The Purse Money From The Last 3 Positions. More Than Enough $ To Have Testing Done.

  51. Actually they do have the purse money of the last three spots. More than enough money to pay for tire testing. Also on the subject of purse money, the VMRS officials claim they sniff the tires before the race and supposedly new then they were cheating. If that were true they should have DQ, them then and let the other cars that showed up and tried to qualify, race. Instead they sent 3 Cars home that showed up to race. In my opinion they also cheated them out of racing. The whole thing has a fishy smell to it. I don’t know about you, but I have been around modified racing for 40 years and if you don’t pass tech you don’t race in the feature unless the problem is corrected before the feature and in the case of cheating they DQ, you right away.

  52. Perhaps they should tech the Legend cars also for tire tampering.
    . Heard someone is already under review for this and has already been DQ’d 3 other times at other tracks. Who want’s to be known as a cheater? Nice way to start a career.

  53. What’s the law suit status from these car owners I overheard whining at the Thompson race the following weekend? How silly they sound with their accounting for their disqualifications! If I were wrongly accused and punished I would certainly be making a lot of noise and would not continue to race with the organization. Glad the cheaters were caught.

  54. Doug DiPisa says

    Well, 2 of the so called 3 cheaters have won after their DQ’s. And word is that the series will not give the tires back.
    Which right there is another issue. The tires were paid for by the competitor, so they should get their merchandise back.

  55. One has nothing to do with the other. They cheated, tires confiscated, case closed. I pay to watch races where the competitors are as close to equal as they can be. I get nothing when they are cheating and get caught. No one is offering my money back, because I was cheated. So these guys won after having been DQ’d and you think that means something? Sorry, as far as I’m concerned they aren’t even there anymore. I won’t acknowledge them at any race, because I’m sick of cheaters.

  56. Didi. Hope in life you are never accused of something you may not have done and not even be allowed a second opinion never mind maybe your day in court. This is America where everyone is allowed there day in court. Not some foreign country that is run by dictators. Who are you to judge some one with out examining the evidence. The owners of these cars have offered to pay to send these tires to a lab for testing. The VMRS has refused. Hence the word dictators. Even NASCAR uses a lab to make the final ruling on tires being tampered with. Should have sent them to a lab and let the cards fall as they may.

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