Absurdity Reigns Over The Valenti Modified Racing Series

2014 VMRS LogoLast Saturday night, in the eyes of Valenti Modified Racing Series officials, Richard Savary was the victim at the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Me.

Thursday he was deemed the guilty party.

Try to make sense of it. Wait, don’t try because you’ll get lost trying to.

Call it the greatest show of drama in short track racing, though not for the competition on the track, but rather for the wonderment of just how differently each event will be officiated. For the theater of who will be handed the mystery penalties, days or weeks, after events.

In short order it seems the Valenti Modified Racing Series has gone from on the cusp of challenging the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour as the top division for touring Modified racing in the Northeast to an absolute playhouse of the absurd.

Earlier this season it was Keith Rocco being disqualified from a second place finish at Stafford Motor Speedway, though not finding out that fact until weeks later.

Then it was Todd Szegedy being disqualified from a victory at Claremont (N.H.) Speedway and having that news relayed to his Kevin Stuart owned team via a Facebook posting.

But those incidents don’t hold a candle to the ridiculousness of the last seven days in the land of the Jack Bateman owned and operated Valenti Modified Racing Series.

Last Saturday at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Woody Pitkat was racing for the lead with Savary on the final lap of the second segment of a twin 50-lap bill for the division.

On the backstretch on the final lap, Pitkat got under Savary for the lead. Contact between the two drivers sent Savary spinning in turn three. Todd Patnode drove by both cars to take the segment win. Pitkat crossed the finish line in second place on the track, which would have given him the overall over victory for the segmented event.

Instead Pitkat was penalized for the last lap incident and was scored 11th overall for the event. Anthony Nocella was awarded the overall victory for the event.

Done and over with right? Series officials deemed Pitkat did wrong with his last lap move for the lead and penalized him thusly based on their opinion of the incident.

So here’s where it all gets quite baffling. On Thursday series officials announced Savary was being docked 50 points in the standing, according to a series release, “for his part in a last lap crash at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway last Saturday.”

How does the victim become the guilty party five days later?

And more troubling, how do you strip a driver of a victory on the track and then essentially deem him the victim five days later?

It doesn’t make sense. Then again, it seems trying to make sense of anything lately with the decision making process of Valenti Modified Racing Series officials seems to be just a practice in frustration.

Attempts to reach Bateman this week were unsuccessful. Attempts to reach Bateman most of this season have been unsuccessful. It seems since Scott Tapley’s departure as the series director in June of 2014 drama off the track with series decisions has reigned, coinciding not surprisingly with a revolving door in the director’s position.

Who is the series director today? Good question? There isn’t currently one listed on the series website. Then again, one can’t even find race results from events this season on that same website. It’s as if series operators are going out of their way to keep as much information shrouded in mystery.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series headlines tomorrow’s Wings & Wheels event at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl with a 100-lap feature. Just remember though, when the race is over on the track, it’s probably just the start of the drama and absurdity that’s almost sure to follow.


  1. Ray Skoglund says

    Woody won that race!
    He got screwed!!

  2. Shawn these incidents don’t hold a candle to the going on at beech ridge the last few seasons. Two weeks ago the two leaders crossed the line on lap 35 of a 35 lap race. Race is over right? Wrong. The flag man supposedly forgot to throw the checkered instead he threw the yellow to the rest of the field who were a straight away behind. There was a car with a left rear flat still rolling on the top of turn 4. We all figured that was the reason for the caution that never should have been thrown in the first place. Nope a track official claimed the caution was for a car spun in turn 3. Needless to say a video surfaced a short time later showing no such thing.
    Tracks and series have seen a huge decline over the last ten years and they attribute it to money and the economy when in reality fans and drivers want to see racing not fabricated drama like what has been happening.

  3. Shawn lmfao

  4. Is Savary docked 50 points in addition to the points lost by being sent to the back of the lead lap cars in the finishing order? 50 point fines are for cheating. I ‘ve never seen a driver docked 50 points for bringing out a caution, regardless of fault.

  5. NH Mark,
    The only explanation for the penalty is what was in the release, which is in the story.

  6. Old Timer says

    What has happened to this series. It used to be the best thing going. Now it seems every race is filled with controversy. It used to be everybody complained about the WMT. Now it seems people complain about the VMRS and the tri track series just as much. So what is the solution?

  7. UPS, the official trophy delivery service of VMRS…

  8. Jack needs to hire a PR person to help him think through this stuff and how to communicate it. I don’t care if it’s a kid fresh outta college. Hire someone before this series gets too damaged to continue.

  9. Andy Boright says

    Your story is a bit absurd if you think the series viewed Savary as any type of victim. Pitkat wasn’t put to the rear of the 2nd segment because VMRS officials thought he turned Savary, they put him to the rear because he was involved in the accident, and according to the rule book all cars involved in contact are sent to the rear. It’s a dumb rule, but anyone who was at the race (I was, were you?) could see there was contact between the 42 & 99, it was also pretty clear the 99 chopped the 42 to prevent him from winning the segment, which makes the rule stupid.

    The only “victim” here is Pitkat, who lost the race due to a dumb rule, but if that rule really is in the rule book and the race director isn’t allowed any room to make a judgment call in that situation, then the VMRS officials were correct by their rule book, even though most people who were there saw the incident the same way.

    I’m I trying to stick up for the series? No, but then again it’s not like the series didn’t have controversy when Mr. Tapley was race director either. The fact is the series has had poor/inconsistent race direction right from it’s inaugural season, and still does to this day. Communication is poor at best, officials calls are inconsistent, and race fans don’t know from one week to the next who will be racing with the series.

    In short, it’s not a professionally run series, but then again neither is PASS or ACT. It’s just the crap race fans & racers are expected to put up with these days.

    If you want something absurd to point to, then look no further than Mr. Tapley’s claim this week that Thompson and Waterford have some of the highest car counts in the country.

    That is the definition of absurd.

  10. Yes Savary was docked 50 points in addition the points lost from being sent to the rear of the field.

  11. I think this series should just get rid of points altogether…. Still think it is the best touring series (best racing to watch for a fan) in New England. I don’t think fans care about points and it should be all about the fans – we r the ones that pay the purse

  12. I wouldn’t be bragging about Thompson’s car counts. I would be proud of Waterford’s this year though. 16 sk’s at Stafford last night, 8 legends 12 dare stocks. The other two divisions not too bad. People are saying 11 or so modifieds at Riverhead. So you could say the speedbowl is doing the best in this area of the country. I don’t know what other paved tracks get for car counts in their top division. But is it 20 or more on a weekly basis? Maybe it is

  13. So, what is Ben Dodge’s involvement with the VMRS going forward?

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