Jon McKennedy Wins In Valenti Modified Racing Series At Stafford Speedway

Jon McKennedy celebrates victory Friday in the Valenti Modified Racing Series event at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Stafford Speedway/Driscoll MotorSports Photography)

Jon McKennedy celebrates victory Friday in the Valenti Modified Racing Series event at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Stafford Speedway/Driscoll MotorSports Photography)

STAFFORD – On June 24 at Stafford Motor Speedway Jon McKennedy felt like he let one get away.

Friday the Chelmsford, Mass. driver got his redemption.

McKennedy used a fast car and some timely luck at the end to score victory in the 80-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

In the last series event at Stafford on June 24 McKennedy took the lead from Ted Christopher on lap 77 of the 80 lap event, but Christopher used a diving move a lap later to move McKennedy up and regain the lead and score the victory.

Friday McKennedy took over the lead when leader Woody Pitkat went to the pits with a flat under caution on lap 79. McKennedy then held of Rowan Pennink on two green-white-checkered restarts to win grab the win.

“It was a good run,” McKennedy said. “The car ran pretty well the whole race. We had a little bit of a help situation. [Pitkat] got the flat there at the end. It was probably his race. We were gaining on him, I got within a couple car lengths but at that point there was only a lap or two left. But we were able to capitalize on his misfortune.”

Pennink, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. was second and Jeffrey Gallup of Agawam, Mass. third.

“To get the win is great,” McKennedy said. “This is our eighth this year. A few months ago I felt like we should have won. Kind of lost it there [late] to one of the best around here. So it’s nice to come back and get a win.”

On lap five Pitkat moved past Pennink to take over the lead. On lap nine it was Christopher moving past Pitkat to take over the top spot.

On lap 28 it was Pitkat moving by Christopher to grab the lead again. Following a lap 33 restart it was Pennink moving back to second by Christopher.

Pitkat narrowly averted disaster when he nearly got into the spinning lapped car of Jimmy Dolan on lap 50. On the ensuing restart Pitkat was easily able to keep Pennink in check in second and quickly began checking out from the field.

On lap 60 Christopher moved past Pennink to regain the runner-up spot, with the caution flying a lap later to erase Pitkat’s big lead. On the next restart Pennink got by Christopher to move back to second, but the caution came right back out again on lap 63.

McKennedy moved to third past Pennink on lap 67 and the made the move to second by Christopher on lap 72.

From there McKennedy set out to catch the distant Pitkat out front. It looked like Pitkat had the race won, but just after taking the white flag Pitkat made contact with the lapped car of Colby Fournier going into turn one, just as Richard Savary ended up in the turn four wall after contact with Christopher in a battle for third.

The race restarted with McKennedy leading Pennink for a green-white-checkered finish. McKennedy held off the outside charge of Pennink on the restart, but after taking the white flag a wreck at the rear of the field set up the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.


  1. What happened to roc

  2. Raceworks is hot

  3. Rocco blew a motor at the Waterford tri track practice. Could be why he wasn’t in the race.

  4. Recent blown motor and desire to focus on weekly national championship?

  5. To be accurate, Dolan spun from contact with Pitkat. Due to radio problems, he couldn’the hear his spotter, me. Jimmy & I both feel very bad about that. But, to be honest, he wouldn’the have spun w/o the contact.

  6. Does anybody know why TC left the track? From what the announcers said, he was black flagged for rough riding. Did the VMRS officials actually park him? Usually when you get black flagged you start at the back. Last week the Stafford officials parked the orange 31 for running the 82 into the wall during a yellow. I did not see what the 82 did to the 31 to make him mad. Anyone know? Just curious.
    I thought both the SK race and the VMRS race were excellent. Lots of good racing action. Woody did get screwed by some lapped car. He should have won. Kidrock drove his ass off to beat TC. Nice going. Just my opinion.

  7. Joe White: “Does anybody know why TC left the track? From what the announcers said, he was black flagged for rough riding. Did the VMRS officials actually park him? ”

    This is just a guess on my part, but the 00 team was probably just disgusted with the call, or felt like it was pointless to restart at the back, given the number of laps left. TC nn was not parked, as far as I know.

    Savary (the 99) has developed a reputation as something of a loose cannon. You can hear it in the way other drivers refer to him on their radios. And I’ve been in the stands at a few races this year and last where I’ve seen Savary make questionable moves.

    TC just isn’t the bull you can poke and not expect to get gored in return.

    In contrast, you had the SK race, where TC and Rocco put on a heck of a show and brought both cars home intact.

  8. I did not mean to imply that I thought TC ran into the 99 on purpose. TC was on old worn out tires and sent it into 3 too hard. His entire car slid sideways into the 99. Maybe he should have known that his car would not stick that move on old tires, I don’t know, but on purpose, come on, even TC isn’t that good.
    Did anyone see the end of the camping world truck series race. The 8 put the 00 into the wall and then rode him all the way to the start finish line. Disgraceful. Last truck race I will ever watch. NASCAR did nothing about it. Must be the guys have at it comment. If I were the 00, the 8 would never finish another race. Just my opinion.

  9. To Joe: Oh, I’m pretty darn sure TC walled the 99. lol He definitely has the skills.

    The end of the Truck race *was* absolutely disgraceful. What’s the point of racing if you can just take out the car in front of you? It’s sleazy. It becomes nothing more than a video game.

    When I saw it happen, I felt like NASCAR should take the win away from Nemechek. (Like Rudd lost the win at Sonoma when he dumped Davey Allison.) But the more I thought about… I don’t think there’s a need. Nemechek is in the Chase; Custer is not. Nemechek has a heck of a lot more to lose.

    And even if Custer only gets to take out Nemechek once, I kinda hope other drivers make life miserable for him. This is where self-policing by the drivers should come in. Custer vs Nemechek is going to be Kenseth vs Logano all over again.

  10. Captain Obvious says

    I guess there were no mirrors in the car? Might want to think about installing one. They help you avoid being spun when you make contact with a leader.

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