Super Sub: Todd Owen Tops Valenti Mod Series At Sunoco World Series At Thompson

Todd Owen celebrates victory in the Valenti Modified Racing Series feature Saturday at the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson Speedway

THOMPSON – It was an exuberance in victory lane rarely displayed by Todd Owen.

For Owen it was the release that came with proving wrong the naysayers that have dogged in him recent years.

Owen made a one-race deal to drive for car owner Gary Cassella one race to certainly remember in winning the 50-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature Saturday at the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson Speedway.

“I don’t know how to say it without insulting anybody, but when you’re given the right equipment and given the car that has that capability off winning races, it was nice to go show that maybe I could actually do it,” Owen said. “It’s been a long road probably the last four or five years fighting my way in, fighting my back, clawing my way back to people thinking I could actually drive. So it’s kind of a good feeling that somebody gave me the opportunity to drive the car that should have won, and it did.”

Chase Dowling of Roxbury was second and Matt Swanson of Acton, Mass. third.

Woody Pitkat of Stafford used a 30th place finish to clinch his second series championship.

It was the second career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory for Owen. His first came on Sept. 7, 2008 at Thompson when he actually finish second on the track to David Pinkham but Pinkham was disqualified for spinning Ted Christopher in a late incident.

Owen ended up in the Casella owned ride after Dowling vacated the seat to drive for car owner Jimmy Paige in the event.

Dowling had been filling in with Casella since his former driver Rowan Pennink retired in late August.

But before the season began it was Owen who turned laps in the car for Owen in an open practice at Thompson when Pennink couldn’t make the session.

“And we were by far the fastest car here, by a lot,” Owen said.

Later in the year Owen helped the team in practice for an event at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. and was once again the fastest car.

“We joked about it all year,” Owen said of he Casella talking about him getting a shot in the ride.

“Probably a one race deal but we put it in the right spot and I’m glad to be here.”

Dowling took the lead from pole-sitter Keith Rocco on lap 16. Owen was up to second by lap 26.

On a lap 44 restart it was Owen powering by Dowling for the lead. From there Owen held off Dowling through one more restart and multiple challenges over the closing laps.

“That’s SK [Modified] racing at its best right there,” said Owen, who is a regular in the SK Modified divisions at Thompson, Stafford Motor Speedway and the New London-Waterford Speebdowl. “That’s the only thing that won that race for us. All the restarts at Stafford [Speedway] you just learn to be on top of your game and that’s what won it. Chase is good on restarts too. He must have just got a bad start because I just drove by him. I was kind of shocked myself.

“We were super tight after we got back going green, but with that motor from Pettit [Racing Engines] I just motored down the straightaways and he would have never drove back by me.”


  1. Ray Skoglund says

    Good read Shawn.
    Hope Owen can get a quality ride and continue racing in the series.
    Congratulations to Woody on the Championship

  2. What stands out that may be a surprise is Owen’s defensiveness on how others view his driving skills. Never would have thought that. Thought he was into his own equipment and what he builds for others perfectly dedicated and confident in that roll.
    Appears he does seek quality rides in other series. Go figure.

  3. What car does Owen build other than his own that is winning? The 25 is a Troyer. Of course he is looking for a quality ride, what driver would not be. Do you really think it matters what chassis he drives as long as it is a quality ride and he can win with it?

  4. I don’t believe I made chassis’ a point of Owens interest in entertaining other rides. I simply didn’t think other rides were a priority for him having his hands full as it is.
    If you read what I said again you’ll realize implicit in my comment is the admission that I was wrong in judging his interest in other rides. That is actually not a big deal since sadly being wrong for me is more the norm then the exception.

  5. I think he was referring to the time he was in Batemans car .

  6. “What car does Owen build other than his own that is winning? ”

    I’m pretty sure Todd Owen builds Brian Narducci’s SKL.

  7. Technically I don’t know if Narducci’s chassis is Chassis Pro built. But it is now in the Owen stable of cars. He’s the guy that has made all the changes, fixed the damage and sets the car up. Obviously it has won big time.
    What I’d like to know is who is responsible for the VMRS car the kid drove to a rookie 7th place finish at Thompson. If that’s a Chassis Pro creation it’s impressive.

  8. Hillary 2028 says

    That was a hard hit for Masse. Car looked destroyed. He blamed Rocco for brake checking him. Also said Rocco did the same thing to him at Stafford.

  9. Along with his Stafford , Waterford and Thompson cars, he builds and maintains cars for David Arute at Stafford.

  10. I don’t think Todd Owen gets enough credit for all the racing he does. I believe he was racing in a pro stock Friday as well as the modifieds this weekend. Probably one of the busiest drivers over the weekend with a race everyday and he went 2 for 3. He is the only driver running all 3 weekly tracks and is very successful. Teddy Christopher and Keith Rocco have also run all 3 tracks with much more fanfare.

    It was really nice to see Todd Owen get a win on the MRS. Most people knew the Bateman car was not the most competitive ride. I have no doubt Owen could compete for a title on the MRS if he chose to follow the series but to do so he would have to give up his Nascar weekly series aspirations. In my opinion, a Nascar State title or even a Stafford track championship is more prestigious than a MRS title.

  11. I think Todd will be the first to tell you that Butch Shea is the main man behind Chassis Pro

  12. Racedayct did a nice piece on Owen, Shea and Chassis Pro that make’s it pretty clear the Butch Shea is an integral contributor but certainly not the main man.

    “On the track Owen looks to build on the success of 2017 at all three tracks again in 2018. Off the track the veteran of Modified racing just keeps building, period.
    With the help of close friend and car builder Butch Shea, Owen’s reputation as a guy who can drive a car fast has been augmented with reputation as a guy that can build a fast car.
    Owen’s shop in Somers houses two other SK Modified teams and an SK Light Modified team and born there in the last two years has been a fleet of Modifieds that Owen and Shea have built together.”

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