Todd Patnode Rolls To Valenti Modified Series Win At Monadnock Speedway Saturday

Todd Patnode celebrates victory in the Valenti Modified Racing Series Saturday at Monandock Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

By Polly Reid & Denise DuPont

WINCHESTER, N.H. – Todd Patnode rolled to his second Valenti Modified Racing Series victory of the season Saturday at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H.

Starting sixteenth, Todd Patnode used patience and experience to decide when to make his move which put him in position to pass for the lead with twenty-six to go, securing the win in the VMRS Fenton Family Dealership 100 presented by Mayhew Tools at Monadnock Speedway.

“In the beginning I had planned to pace myself but the pace was slow enough I started to go,” Patnode said.

The 100 lap green flag event was dominated by pole sitter Richard Savary who led the field from the drop of the green.

Brian Robie was second and Sammy Rameau third, Chase Dowling and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top-five respectively.

The quarter mile, high-banked speedway hosted a starting starting field of 26 Modifieds and with only one caution in the first half, the circuits clicked off quickly.

By the second yellow on lap 54, Patnode was just out of the top five running sixth. Less than ten laps later, Patnode was third, the leader within his sights.

Patnode made his move passing Savary on lap seventy-three, survived three more cautions including a final yellow with two to go, the Richmond, N.H. driver kept a hard charging Robie in his rear view mirror to claim the convincing win.

It was Patnode’s fourth career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory.

“The car was a little tight center off, our stagger or something closed up but we still had good drive up off,” Patnode said. “I was waiting for Kirk (Alexander) to get by Richard (Savary) I saw Richard was pushing so bad but after three or four laps, we went to the outside. I knew we would take Richard off of two because he was so tight. I have been watching him, when we were in fifth place I could see him through the corner and knew he was just pushing up the track too much.”

A caution on lap 98 closed the field for the final time giving Robie and others one last shot at Patnode.

“I knew with two to go I was pretty much out of rear tire,” Robie said. “The car was very loose and Todd, he has 30 years of experience on me, millions of laps on the track, racing against him, I mean it’s tough, you pretty much know you’re racing for second. I was surprised I was able to be right on his bumper up to that caution.”

Said Patnode, of the late caution: “As the leader you never like that. But I knew we had a good enough bite and drive up off on the restarts, I figured I’d get them side by side right off the restart, that always buys you a few laps.”

Patnode’s experience at his home track paid off, the Lisa Patnode owned modified stayed on point for the victory.

“I’ve got to thank the crew,” Patnode said. “They put in a lot of hours. This car has been really good here, we’re fortunate.”

Said Robie of his podium finish: “This is great. It’s amazing. Of course when you race with Todd at Monadnock you might as well race for second, this is like a win in my book.”

Robie who took the green flag seventh, still feels new to the VMRS but has plenty of laps around the fast high banked speedway in the Sportsman Modified division.

“I am new to this Tour thing, this is probably my seventh or so (VMRS) race. I’m still getting used to the adjustments to make before the race to get my car tightened up at the beginning so it will be good at the end. Even tonight it started a little too close to neutral for me but I was able to conserve tires through the first 60 or 70 laps. I still had good tires on it, I had 30 or so real decent laps where the car was really great. I held off as long as I could but to me it’s like a guessing game I don’t know if I’m going to end up in the front or the back at the end of the race. I was up to third earlier than I drifted back to ninth thinking I was wondering how this was going to go. It seems like everyone else started running out of tires and my car was still good. I was able to get behind Todd and follow him up through there so really by the end I was still on the free side, I should’ve tightened up my car a little bit more but overall it wasn’t bad at all.”

Said Patnode: “Both [Robie] and [Rameau] get faster every time they come here.”

A scary moment on lap 53 just after a restart, an immediate red flag was called on the field- flagman Herb ‘Chan’ Stevens had been struck by debris and was unable to continue. Transported to a local hospital, Stevens was treated and eventually released. An update from track owner Larry Cirillo, Chan is thankfully resting at home. A flagman at Monadnock Speedway years, we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.

Next up, the VMRS heads to Stafford Motor Speedway Friday August 31st.

Monadnock Notes

Fresh off a ninth place finish at Waterford Speedbowl, young Sammy Rameau of Westminster, Mass. came to Monadnock Speedway to continue his run with the Valenti Modified Racing Series.

Last week, his Waterford Speedbowl performance allowed Rameau to quietly slide into second place in the series standings.

Rameau completed his qualifying heat race fifth and went forward to start the Fenton Family Dealership 100 race at Monadnock thirteenth. By mid-race Rameau was holding his own running eighth. He continued his forward charge and when the field took the green flag on lap 62 he was in the top five.  Running with the lead pack, Rameau captured a podium finish at race end.

“Third is not always the best but it is good when you are point racing like this. You pick up a bunch of points on the point leader.” Rameau said. “It was a good run, but I do not think that I saved it enough. I probably could gotten a couple of more spots better, maybe one. But it is hard when you are running up front. I do not know if anyone had anything for Todd.”

Recently turning sixteen, Rameau has started to impress and attract more attention as he develops his own modified style and just keeps getting better. He won first tour type race July 14th at Lee USA Speedway taking the checkers in the first in a Double 50 race. Finishing his best race ever at Monadnock just continues the trend.

“It is just unreal.” Rameau said. “It is a team effort every week, it is not only me, and I just could not do it without all these guys that come out and support me every week. I have to thank all my sponsors, my great crew and everyone who comes here every week to support me. I cannot thank all of them enough.

“We had a good run and we got caught in good track position. The car was just amazing. But I think that I did not save enough tire. I also think I went too early. I do not think that anyone had anything for Todd Patnode. He was pretty good. It is always fun to run up front with these guys, Todd and Brian (Robie) always run good clean races. It is always good battling up front with guys that you know run good clean races. You know you can depend on them and they can depend on me to run good and we will not wreck.”

Previously finishing in the top ten at Monadnock, this was Rameau’s first ever top three finish. ”I finally got a good finish here at Monadnock. I always struggle here. Good finish, good night so we will go on to Stafford, and give it just as much effort as this one.”

Rameau heads to Stafford Speedway short on experience at the half-mile oval.

“I do not have a lot of experience here,” Rameau said. “I have only raced four races. I have the same experience here as I have at Stafford. So we will go in there with the same amount of luck and the same amount of effort. And hopefully we will come out two spots ahead of this finish. It was a good night and we will go on to Stafford and see what happens there.”

Race Summary:
Monadnock Speedway
Winchester, NH
August 25, 2018
Entrants: 27
Race Distance 100- Laps
Time of Race 52:23.999
Margin of Victory: 0.285
Best Lap Time: 13.040
Best Speed: 69.018 Todd Patnode
Lead Changes (1)
Caution: 9
Lap Leaders: Savary (1-72) Patnode (73-100)
DNS – Roy Seidell (Blown Engine)

Next event: Stafford Motor Speedway
August 31, 2018

Unofficial Order Of Finish: (1) Patnode, (2) (Robie, (3) Rameau, (4) Dowling (5) Pitkat, (6) Mead, (7) Hersey, (8) Willis Jr, (9) Monahan, (10) Izzo, (11) Nocella, (12) Gallup, (13) Fournier, (14) Savary, (15) Robbie, (16) Sherman, (17) Shaw, (18) Perry, (19) Doucette, (20) Sontag, (21) Bleau, (22) Malave, (23) Alexander, (24) Lashua, (25) Bolton, (26) Rock


  1. im runni g a team at stafford.
    we have hendricks and ford as oyr sponsor
    drivers are bill jones
    tom jones
    paul jones
    greg jones
    numbers are 1234
    gotra go have a bwar

  2. Come to Stafford Todd. You’re on our radar big time.

  3. Fast Eddie says

    Two out of three VMRS wins and the SBM 125 at Star; Nice summer for Mr. Patnode and crew! Congrats! Also glad to hear the starter was o.k. after catching some racecar shrapnel. Despite only one lead change, I thought it was a good race. There was lots of passing throughout the field.

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