Ronnie Williams Grabs First Valenti Mod Series Win At Monadnock Speedway

Ronnie Williams celebrates his first career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory Saturday at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Ronnie Williams made his first career start at Monadnock Speedway one to remember Saturday night. 

Williams scored his first career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory Saturday at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. 

Williams, of Tolland, was making the start at Monadnock for former championship winning car owner Gary Casella. 

“We were not really all that good in qualifying, but I was not that concerned about it,” Williams said. “These guys have won here quite a few times so they can put a car in victory lane. I have had a second and third [racing for Casella].  Now I have finally put [his] car in victory lane – at a place that I have never been to. The place is fast and pretty cool to run.” 

Kirk Alexander of West Swanzey, N.H. was second and Cameron Sontag of Sterling, Mass. third. 

Williams started 13thin the field and worked hi way up to the top five by the second half of the 100-lap feature. 

He went by T.J. Bleau for the lead on lap 75 and never trailed again. 

“We just road around and saved our stuff,” Williams said. “The race is 100 laps so you are not looking to win the race at lap 50. So we rode around and got what we got and took it at the end.”

Said Alexander” “I knew that [Casella] would bring an awesome car tonight. Ronnie is a great driver. … This is the first race with me in this car. She needed to be a little bit tighter. We held on and got to the front. Then we dropped back to save the equipment but it seemed like those guys really wanted to go. It got pretty rough for a while. We had a great time and maybe next time we will be a little bit better.”

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  1. The 25, good car. Pennink won with it, then Dowling and now Williams.
    Were there any conflicts? Don’t think so. 18 cars…….not good is it?
    Is it a traditional series where points matter or is it struggling under the weight of the current trend that in my view is opens? The field turnover is broad with local teams populating local races like opens not seeming to care much about points.
    Three races at Thompson and Stafford. One at the question mark Speedbowl. Otherwise it’s geographic center is now in Northern New England with 10 races. The field decidedly with a very northern flavor at Monadnock.
    OK I’ll say it. I think the VMRS is on the outside looking in as far as current trends go.
    Tell you something else. If they want to keep their race at Stafford next year they’re going to have to include mid race tire changes or we’ll be looking at 4 Stafford Opens.

  2. Bill Realist says

    Gallup the 4 has a fast car this year and he’s a complete unhinged lunatic with it. I doubt there was one car out there he didn’t have some sort of run in with. Thank Bleau took a wicked drivers door shot right in front of me as a result of some kind of problem between the 4 and Willis. There wasn’t any respect out there at all. Nobody had anything at all for Williams he was just taking it easy out there.

  3. Doug the MRS purse is no match for any of the opens. 16 races is a long Season so not many teams will run them all with more options are available.

  4. Fast Eddie says

    I think there is a legit Gallup vs. Willis feud going on, although I’m not sure why. Gallup passed Willis late at Lee for a win after Willis led most of it. A little side bar bumping but nothing major. There was a wreck involving #4 at Claremont, but I don’t know if #83 was involved. Last night Gallup’s driving was extremely aggressive, more then I’ve ever seen by him; he usually drives pretty clean. He dumped a few cars during the race with no “rough driving” calls. When he dumped Willis, the 83 retaliated, waited for him to come back around, dumped the 4 and caused a 4 car wreck on lap 99. Crazy!!

  5. Not VRMS related but nice run last night at Oxford Plains for CT Ray Christian grabbing the SLM win, a week after a 3rd place finish in the PASS 150.

  6. Impartial says

    To bad but series is loosing steam very quickly. No less then couple years ago monadnock was a huge draw for this series. Partly because of inconsistent motor rules and low purses with the recent surge in high paying open type shows lots of cars choosing to stay home. When a sportsman mod leads a lot of the race and finishes fith, the 6, not a strong field. Cars like Patnode, Hersey, Savory, Nocella, Pitkat, Hinkley all staying home choosing other series. The first two were both there but left there cars home. To bad this was most fun modified racing to watch in recent years.

  7. Doug this series might have a northern feel because it is a northern series. It got started after Claremont and monadnock had dropped mods back 15/20 years ago to give those drivers a place to race. At one time Connecticut wasn’t the only hot bed for mods. Beech Ridge in Maine, Claremont, monadnock in New Hampshire and riverside in mass. were big into mods until the cost and the deaths of the late 80’s into the 90’s.

  8. Fast Eddie says

    Not race related, but track related: I talked to a dozen+ people while there, and no one likes the new grandstands (me neither!). The previous two main stands were much taller overall and had a lot more room. The bottom row of the stands is now at ground level in all of them. For people that hang in the upper rows the racing view now has a lot more chain link fence in it.

  9. Todd Carey says

    Agree Eddie. You cant even see parts of the track in some spots.

  10. Thanks for the history lesson Sonny!
    I guess I was eluding to more recent history. Last year the VMRS had a terrific show at Stafford September 1 from the name perspective. Great cross section from Long Island with Goodale to New Hampshire. The race wasn’t so good because they didn’t build in a tire change. The field however was outstanding.
    Compared to what we are seeing so far………not good.
    Maybe the answer is to go back to it’s roots and go full Northern Exposure. Or don’t fight your competition join them and become an open series. Or don’t do anything and hope the cycle changes.
    Tell you one thing. Stafford has the right idea with their Open tire change. Fewer cars but better race. VMRS should consider doing the same thing this year.

  11. Fast Eddie says

    I think some of the VMRS teams are focusing more on what this year is now 12 open events, chasing the larger purses. Can’t blame them for deciding to “follow the money”. 5CT, 7, 14, 16, 19, 50, 92, & 99 immediately come to mind as normally being at Monadnock were MIA. Not quite as good watching 18 cars when there is usually 24-26, but good racing nevertheless. .

  12. Geoff Nooney says

    All contact with 4 car explained, the 6 got spun off his bumper because of an accordion effect in turn 1&2 (things happen fast at a track like that). He chopped in front of Robie on entrance to 3 because spotter error and Robie didnt have the lane yet. Orange 62 slid up into him into 3 one time due to locking the front brake. And Willis was blocking entire night, he would drive out of 4 and drive straight to the bottom of 1, did it to several cars. Gallup set him up for the pass and Willis tried it on him only to put himself in the wall, and YES he retaliated against his own mistake and caused injury to a driver and destroyed two race cars, one needing front clip atleast and the other is junk. Get your facts straight please sir.

  13. Fast Eddie says

    Mr. Nooney, thanks for the clarification. However, from the stands the last move looked to be right out of the “TC ironhead” playbook, an “8 wheels better than 4” move in turn 4, stuffing a 6′ wide car into a 4′ wide hole. Don’t get me wrong, TC was one of the best, but he had his moments of “all hands & feet minus brain” with some of his “banzai” moves from time to time. And I do like and root for Jeff Gallup, I was glad to see him win at Lee. Just a fan’s possibly incorrect observation…

  14. Bill Realist says

    I saw what I saw with the 4. Round 2 at Claremont Friday night. Who’s in the 25 Friday night anyone know?

  15. Geoff Nooney says

    As they say “on to the next one” overall i was excited to see a race that nobody ran away with and people raced the entire race mostly.

  16. The VMRS is a victim of it’s own success. A short time ago the series offered racers a venue other than the NWMT. They had success doing this, and when tracks and promoters saw this they decided to jump in. Higher purses, less travel, and in some cases track familiarity led to low car counts in the VRMS events.the question is, can these other series and events survive, or will teams return to the VMRS?

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