THOMPSON – When it was announced in August that a Valenti Modified Racing Series event would be added to the World Series of Speedway Racing weekend at Thompson International Speedway, few were happier to hear the news than driver Rowan Pennink.
Pennink’s Gary Casella owned team has proved themselves the dominant force in Valenti Modified Racing Series events at Thompson over the past few years and that was the case once again Saturday.
Pennink, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., held off Jon McKennedy on four restarts over the final 16 laps to win the 75-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature Saturday at Thompson.
It was the second consecutive series victory for Pennink, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. and his second series victory of the 2012 at Thompson.
“The way that [No. 25] car runs here, I’ll never complain when they add races at Thompson for [Valenti Modified Racing Series],” Pennink said. “I was excited when they added the race and it was awesome to be able to come here and get the win.
“That thing rolls here. It’s been a long time since we came here and struggled. That thing is always fast here. Gary’s got a really good setup for it. … It’s crazy how good it is.”
McKennedy, of Chelmsford, Mass., held on for second and Steve Masse of Bellingham, Mass. was third.
Pennink started 18th. He went by Chris Pasteryak for the lead on lap 41 and never trailed again.
“We just picked cars off as we could there and tried to pick the right lanes and work our way up to the front at a reasonable pace,” Pennink said. “We got it done.”
It was the first opportunity for Pennink to celebrate with the masses that roll out of the bleachers and into victory lane after each feature on the Saturday night of World Series Weekend at Thompson.
“I’m always down there in the stands hootin’ and hollerin’” Pennink said. “To be on the other side of it is pretty awesome.”
Pennink came into the event 37 points behind standings leader McKennedy though couldn’t make up much ground going into the final race of the season next week at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H.
“It was going to be tough to win the championship any way,” Pennink said. “I’m racing for wins at this point.”
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