Chris Pasteryak (5) leads Norm Wrenn down the front straitaway during the Valenti Modified feature at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday evening. Pasteryak won the 100 lap race.
OXFORD — Second-generation modified star Chris Pasteryak drove inside of early leader Norm Wrenn coming through Turn 3 on lap 28, survived a pair of restarts on lap 40 and hung on to win the 100-lap tilt for the Modified Racing Series on Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.
Kevin Iannarelli charged his way from sixth on the 24-car grid to claim second, while Les Hinkley gave the Rowan Penninck No. 25 entry a solid run to third. Pennink, along with series point lead Woody Pitkat and star Todd Szegedy were tied up at a NASCAR Tour show at Riverhead Raceway on Long Island.
Russ Hersey and Donnie Lashua completed the top five. Only two cautions slowed the pace.
“Back in 1999 or 2000, somewhere around there, Cassius Clark beat me on a restart with two laps to go,” an elated Pasteryak said in Victory Lane. “I didn’t know if we’d be strong enough to be near the front tonight, but the car was perfect. I mean, this is Oxford 250 weekend; just look at all the cars over in the pits and the great crowd tonight. This was a great night to be fast. I’m thrilled for this team.”
Pasteryak, of Jewett City, Conn., is a two-time series champion, the son of Charlie and nephew to Carl, two fixtures in Modified racing in New England. When you mention that last name, modified fans snap to attention, and rightfully so.
After leading the first eight circuits, Pasteryak watched as Wrenn powered his way past at lap nine to take command. As the field approached halfway, the top three cars had broken away from the field.
After those two mid-race cautions, the pace picked up as those who were saving tires early began to assert themselves.
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Dunkin Donuts Trophy Dash were Matt Swanson, Jon McKennedy, Dennis Perry, Norm Wrenn and second-place point man Todd Patnode. With Pitkat off racing in New York, it was a good points night for Patnode.
In earlier feature action, Josh Childs drove to victory in the 30-lap Street Stock battle. Zach Emerson gave chase throughout but settled for second, while Zach Bowie was third. Andrew Breton and recent winner David Whittier completed the top five.
Evan Armington was the man to beat in Oxford’s weekly Modified division. The third-generation pilot from Lovell took command of the feature at lap four and cruised home for top honors. Andy Shaw was rock-solid and wheeled the Sessions Racing No. 0 to second place, while point leader Ryan Robbins came home third. Scott Alexander and recent winner Matt Sanborn rounded out the top five.
The Northeast Mini Stock Tour (NEMST) feature was late getting started Saturday evening and results were not available. Toby Wells had been on fire among the four-cylinder warriors during qualifying and was expected to contend for the win. We’ll have more on that event on our social media pages later today.
Saturday night’s racing was an ideal and exciting buildup to what all those race fans are here for in the first place, Sunday’s 42nd annual AIM Recycling Oxford 250, presented by Kenny U-Pull. With over 80 entries representing turf from Dawsonville, Georgia (Spencer Davis) to Porter’s Lake, Nova Scotia (Cole Butcher), the battles for making the show are sure to be epic.
Qualifying activities for the Oxford 250 will get under way at 1:30 p.m. Look for in-depth coverage on these pages Monday, and extensive live coverage all day today at sunjournal.com.
Carl Medeiros Jr. of Westport, MA, wins the third heat of Valenti Modified racing at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday evening.
Joe Doucette, front left, and George Sherman, front right, lead early in their heat of Valenti Modified racing at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday evening. Doucette of Framingham, MA, won the heat race.
Toby Wells of Dublin, NH, moves on the outside of John Larsen of Peru during the North East Mini Stock heat race at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday evening. Wells won the heat and Larsen took third.
Dennis Perry of Pawcatuck, RI, leads through the final turn in the heat race of Valenti Modified racing at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday. Perry won the heat race.