Russ Hersey Scores First Valenti Modified Racing Series Win At Claremont Speedway

(Press Release from Valenti Modified Racing Series )

CLAREMONT, NH. – Long-time New Hampshire racer Russ Hersey, of Swanzey, accomplished what he set out to do almost 14-years ago. – to win a Valenti Modified Racing Series race and it finally happened Friday night, July 7, at historic Claremont Speedway, Claremont, NH.

The win is also the first VMRS victory for car owner Warren Mordenti, who with his late father “Billy” has fielded modified race cars since the series inception in 2003.

Hersey started 15th in a 15-car field and didn’t make a run to the front in the early going. Pole sitter Mike Willis Jr. of Grantham, NH, led the first seven laps until Dylan Rock, of Enfield, NH, snuck by and led the field for the next 30-laps.

Rock, age-17, was knocked from the lead when Sammy Rameau, age-15, of Westminster, MA, battling for the top spot, made contact with the leader. Both cars were relegated to the rear of the field. On the ensuing restart Hersey took command and led the race to the finish.

For the driver of car # 88, the journey to victory lane was not easy.

“We worked all week on the car kind of a last minute deal to come up here. Warren is from the area and he really wanted to come so we dedicated the week to getting the car ready”, said Hersey.

The Mordenti team worked throughout the day Friday arriving late missing the first two practice sessions. They made it into the third practice only to discover a problem.

“The motor was skipping – turned out to be a couple of wires. Went back out and it was tight. Made some adjustments and it came to life in the feature, “ said Hersey.

Hersey concluded, “The win means a lot to this team. Warren lost his Dad over a year ago. I drove for Bill. It is so special to give Warren a win like this. All wins are special but when you have a guy that scrapes and scraps and we stayed out (did not race) all the way to July because of finances and we got into a spot where we were comfortable we said — its time to go racing. To give him a win is very very special.”

Dana Smith, of Sunapee, NH, ran a steady race and finished a solid second.

Anthony Nocella, Woburn, MA, finished third but not without the help from the Willis # 83 team. Nocella suffered rear end problems (broken pinion shaft) and did not compete in his heat race. Driver Mike Willis sprinted home to Grantham, NH, to retrieve the part necessary for the series point leader and three-time winner this season, to compete. End result: gratitude and a podium finish.

Willis finished fourth with Rameau racing back to a top five finish. Donnie Lashua, Tony Ricci, Matthew Mead, local Brian Robie, and Jeff Gallup rounded out the top ten. Ricci returned to racing after several years’ absence. He drove the Czarnecki Bros. # 20 car. 11-cars finished on the lead lap.

Heat Race Winners: Willis (1) Robie (2)
Next Event: Lee USA Speedway
Lee, NH
Friday July 21, 2017
Race Summary:
Claremont Speedway
Claremont, NH
Race # 6
July 7, 2017
Entrants: 15
Distance: 100-laps
Cautions: (4) Laps- 29, 38, 60, and 73
Unofficial Order Of Finish: (1) Hersey (2) Smith (3) Nocella (4) Willis (5) Rameau (6) Lashua (7) Ricci (8) Mead (9) Robie (10) Gallup (11) Medeiros, (12) Richardi (13) Rock (14) Fournier (15) Douglas

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