Anthony Nocella Scores Victory In Valenti Modified Racing Series Action At Monadnock Speedway

Anthony Nocella celebrates victory in the Valenti Modified Racing Series O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring Dash 100 Saturday at Monadnock Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

By Polly Reid & Shawn Courchesne

WINCHESTER, N.H. – The reigning champion ruled from his throne at the high banks of Monadnock Speedway Saturday night.

Anthony Nocella, the 2017 Valenti Modified Racing Series champion, won the Valenti Modified Racing Series O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring Dash 100 Saturday at Monandock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. Saturday.

It was the first victory of the season for Nocella, of Woburn, Mass., who used a late pass of Todd Patnode to grab the win.

“I’ve had some decent runs here and some real bad runs here,” Nocella said. “It always seems like you have to have tire left at the end here to go anywhere I’ve had that problem before and just burn them off too early. I just try to pace myself for a long time, it’s tough, Especially seeing them drive away. The car wasn’t perfect at the beginning I couldn’t get it to roll in the center it started coming in I started closing in on him and I said you know what I might have something for him.”

Patnode, of Richmond, N.H., was second and Richard Savary of Canton, Mass. third.

It was Nocella’s 12the career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory.

“We’ve struggled here,” Nocella said. “We’ve had some good runs and also being part of some of those wrecks. Lately we’ve been getting better, the car was strong today.”

Twenty-three cars made up the starting field for the second event of the Valenti Modified Racing Series season. Rowan Pennink won the season opener on April 7 at Thompson Speedway.

Patnode, who started second took the lead early from Mike Willis Jr., with Woody Pitkat moving to second after starting third.

Nocella, who started ninth, was up to second behind Patnode just past the halfway point.

Patnode was able to get the jump on Nocella on a lap 79 restart. Nut it was Nocella coming back after a side-by-side battle for the lead late, to move to the front and take over the lead for good.

“We just had a little incident and the toe got knocked in a little bit,” Patnode said. “We had a strong car, I mean he was better than we were at the end I think he was as loose up off as we were when he got that jump on that restart.”

Savary came from the 14th starting spot and was up to third by lap 65.

“This is a new chassis for us and we’re learning it,” Savary said. “It stayed pretty consistent throughout the race, I was able to pass some cars. By the time I got to the front those guys had a little more grip than I did, I’m real happy with it.”

Pitkat, who was solidly in the mix all race, was eventually penalized by officials for an unapproved tire change which took the Sturbridge, Mass. driver out of contention.

Nocella, who was third in the season opener at Thompson, left Monadnock in the series points lead.

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