Story By: DALE WOLBRINK / TRI-TRACK OPEN MODIFIED SERIES – SEEKONK, MA – Like any good Halloween haul, there was a mixed bag following the second annual Haunted Hundred for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) at Seekonk Speedway on Saturday.
Chase Dowling of Roxbury, CT, received the biggest treat with the victory in the Modified main event while Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman and Matt Swanson tasted disappointment. Ronnie Williams of Ellington, CT, was the big winner scoring the 2019 Series championship.
In companion races Derek Gluchacki of N. Dartmouth, MA, took down his first career late Model win at Seekonk Speedway in spectacular fashion. Mike Hopkins, of Herman, ME, was victorious in Pro All Star Series (PASS) North competition with DJ Shaw of Center Conway, NH, winning his second straight Series championship.
Coming from fourth to the lead exiting the last corner on a wild final lap, Chase Dowling secured his second straight TTOMS victory. Despite damage to his ride and a dismal finish, Williams was able to secure the championship. The controversial finish that involved leaders Ron Silk and Matt Hirschman and collected Matt Swanson could not overshadow the victory celebrations.
Woody Pitkat and Matt Galko led the 29-car field to green for the Haunted Hundred. Pitkat edged out to the early lead with Chris Pasteryak taking over second. The lead trio of Pitkat, Pasteryak and Galko immediately ran out to a three-car breakaway over fourth running Les Hinckley. Hirschman ran in fifth, just two spots ahead of point leader Williams. Silk began his methodical march toward the front; quickly making his way into the top ten.
Williams got alongside Hirschman on lap 15; to no avail as Hirschman was able to use the outside groove to his advantage to retain the position. On lap 19, Hirschman was able to get by Hinckley for fourth. The top three was enjoying a sizeable but now shrinking advantage over Hirschman.
Kirk Alexander spun on the backstretch on lap 20 to bring out the event’s first caution. Andy Jankowiak was also collected. Both were able to continue. Under the caution, leader Pitkat stalled in turn four. He could not re-fire and was pushed to the pit area. A handful of cars including Keith Rocco and Richard Savary headed pit side for service; relinquishing top-ten positions in the running order.
Pasteryak inherited the lead for the restart following Pitkat’s misfortunate. He got a great restart to easily retain the lead. Hirschman got a run on Galko on the inside to take second. Williams was able to get around Hinckley on lap 25 and Galko a lap later. Pasteryak continued to lead the championship contending duo.
Swanson had been meticulously working his way through the field and into contention before lap 30. Swanson drove by Hinckley on lap 31 and into the top-four. He immediately went to work on Williams. Silk and Dowling were making their presence known as well.
Pasteryak continued to carry a slight advantage over Hirschman in second. Williams, Swanson, Hinckley, Silk, Dowling and Cam McDermott ran nose to tail. The second caution of the event flew on lap 44 when Joey Mucciacciaro came to a halt in turn four. Under the caution, several cars headed to pit road including leader Pasteryak, Silk, Dowling and others. Also under the caution, Seekonk regular Rob Murphy, who was having a strong performance, saw his solid run end on lap 44; requiring a push into the pit area. Pitkat returned to the field many laps down.
The restart saw Hirschman and Williams side-by-side on the front row. Hirschman was able to take the lead with Williams jumping in line behind. Swanson and Hinckley ran third and fourth. By virtue of pit strategy, Russ Hersey, who started scratch on the field, now ran inside the top-five.
Third caution flew on lap 48 when the machine of Derek Robbie came to a stop on the racetrack. Just two laps shy of halfway, the field went back to green with Hirschman and Williams once again showing the way.
A skirmish deep in the field shuffled the running order at lap 53 but kept the track green. The caution would fly; however, a pair of laps later as Joey Cipriano came to rest trying to exit the speedway. Cipriano, making his TTOMS debut, was also having a solid run before being sidelined. Under the caution, Hinckley relinquished his top-five position to head to pit road for service.
The lap 55 restart was much of the same for Hirschman and Williams. Hersey was able to make the top groove work for a few laps getting alongside Swanson. He eventually had to settle back in line in the fourth spot. Hirschman continued to lead Williams, Swanson, Hersey, Savary and Silk.
On lap 64, Silk got by Savary and into the top-five for the first time all day. Any further progress was slowed when the fifth caution of the event flew for a single-car spin by Calvin Carol.
Hirschman was once again up for the challenge on the ensuing restart. Swanson got inside Williams to take over second. Silk took fourth from Hersey. Tommy Barrett had worked his way into sixth position. Rocco and Dowling were working their way back into contention following their earlier pitstops. Both got by Savary and now ran eighth and ninth, respectively. Pasteryak was back inside the top-ten with 20 laps to go.
Hirschman had several car lengths over Swanson with Williams getting heaving pressure from Silk for third. Hersey ran comfortably in fifth. The sixth caution of the event flew for a spin by earlier leader Pasteryak on lap 85.
Hirschman now had the hungry Swanson lined up to his outside for the restart with 15 laps remaining in the Haunted Hundred. Williams, Silk, Hersey, Rocco, Savary, Anthony Sesely and Hinckley completed the top-ten for the restart.
Hirschman got the advantage with Swanson slowing slightly to get behind the leader in hopes of making the cross-over move. The 27x of Derek Robbie slowed on the speedway to bring out the caution to thwart Swanson’s bid.
Swanson got a great restart to get up alongside Hirschman but once again had to settle back in line. Silk was a bit more successful in the outside groove; getting by Williams and into third. The eighth caution of the event saw Hersey go spinning on lap 87; ending his bid for a strong finish.
Silk now restarted third behind Hirschman. Hirschman resumed the lead and Silk got by Swanson to grab second. Silk was glued to the back bumper of Hirschman. He was beginning to apply pressure to Hirschman for the lead when the ninth caution flew on lap 90 for an incident that involved Sesely and Hinckley.
On the restart with 10 laps to go it was Hirschman, Silk, Swanson, Williams, Dowling, Barrett, Rocco, Savary, Jankowiak and Austin Kochenash inside the top ten. Silk was alongside Hirschman on the restart but could not muster a real challenge. Swanson took advantage of a third-place restart position to, in turn, challenge Silk for the runner up spot. Both Dowling and Rocco edged ahead of Williams.
Undaunted, Silk got back by Swanson and immediately ran down Hirschman. Exiting turn two on the white flag lap, Silk got underneath Hirschman to take the lead. After settling in line briefly, Hirschman dove low and into the grass in an effort to make the cross-over coming out of four toward the waving checkers. With sparks flying, the two made contact. Swanson was collected. Dowling and Rocco were able to miss the melee as Williams, who ended up across the line backwards, was also collected.
Hirschman was able to continue and drive under the checkers ahead of Dowling; however, TTOMS officials issued an immediate disqualification to Hirschman giving Dowling the win. Rocco came home second followed by an exuberant Jankowiak. Barrett and Galko completed the top five.
Swanson was able to salvage a sixth-place finish over Savary. An eventful day ended with Pasteryak posting an eighth-place finish over Dylan Izzo, who started deep in the field by provisional. Michael Gervais rounded out the top-ten when the dust settled on the Haunted Hundred.
Earlier in the day, modified heat race victories went to Robbie, Williams, Galko and Dowling. Consolation races went to Robie and Sesely.
The Tri-Track Open Modified Series community is keeping Mike Holdridge in their thoughts as the veteran campaigner was taken to the hospital following a scary incident in the consolation rounds.
In full-fendered action, Mike Hopkins won the companion Pro All Star Series 150. Seekonk Speedway’s own Ryan Kuhn finished second followed by Reid Lanphear. DJ Shaw was crowned the PASS Northeast champion. Visit ProAllStarSeries.com for a complete race report.
Rookie Derek Gluchacki displayed some veteran moves in taking down the victory in the $2,000 to win 50-lap Late Model event. It was a bold three-wide pass for the lead that got the teenager his first Late Model victory at his home track.
Rey Lovelace led the 26-car field to green for the start of the 50-lapper but quickly relinquished the top spot to Ryan Lineham. He continued to backslide giving way to Vinnie Arrenagado and Charlie Rose. Arrenagado immediately applied heavy pressure to Lineham. The two went door-to-door for several laps, before Arrenagado settled back in line.
Kuhn, doing double-duty on the day, had been shuffled back on the opening lap; falling as far back as tenth from his second starting position. He recovered quickly fighting his way back to fourth position before the first caution of the event flew on lap 13 for pole sitter Lovelace.
On the restart, Lineham was able to take the lead once again over Arrenagado. Kuhn continued his march to the front taking third from Rose. A three-car battle for fifth between Gluchacki, Mark Jenison and Ryan Morgan saw three-wide racing. Gluchacki came out of the fray with the position. A brewing battle between Gluchacki and Rose cooled when the second caution flew on lap 18 for a multi-car incident that involved Jerrame Lillie, Nick Uhrig and Mark Hudson.
Behind a side-by-side battle for the lead between Lineham and Arrenagado on the restart was a three- wide spar for third featuring Rose, Kuhn and none other than Gluchacki. Before things could get sorted out, the caution waved again on lap 18 for Uhrig and Lillie. After a failed attempt at a restart, Lineham was able to retain his lead once back under green. Arrenagado and Kuhn were locked into a heated battle for second; allowing Gluchacki to join the fray. Rose ran in fifth.
Gluchacki was making it difficult on Arrenagado, who was working over leader Lineham. The hungry young driver peeked inside a couple of times looking to make it three-wide for the lead. Less than a lap later Gluchacki was able to take second from Arrenagado. A single-car incident on lap 27 brought out the fourth caution.
On the restart, with Lineham still on the point and Arrenagado in second, Gluchacki, from third, dove underneath Lineham making it three-wide for the lead. He settled back in line before, trying the move once again on lap 29.
Arrenagado backed out letting Gluchacki and Lineham fight for the lead. Lineham lost the lead to Gluchacki on lap 30; bringing Arrenagado along for the ride. Rose and Kuhn continued to battle door to door for fourth. Kuhn took over the pot on lap 33. Stuck on the outside, Rose continued to slip back.
Up front Gluchacki began to stretch his advantage slightly over Arrenagado. Kuhn had reeled in Lineham. He got alongside Lineham on ap 38 and took the spot a lap later. Morgan had worked his way into the top five. Late in the race, Gerry DeGasparre had quietly moved into contention with less than 10 laps to go.
The fifth and final caution of the event flew on lap 44; setting up a late race dash to the checkers. Gluchacki and Arrenagado were wheel-to-wheel several laps. At the stripe, each time it was Arrenagado by mere feet. The heated battle for the lead allowed Kuhn to join the fight.
Arrenagado and Gluchacki made contact heading out of turn four on the final lap. The contact caused Arrenagado to get out of shape just enough to allow Gluchacki to edge ahead for the win coming under the checkered flag. Kuhn capped off a solid day with another podium finish. Morgan and DeGasparre Jr. rounded out the top five. Paul Lineham, Rose, Tommy Adams and Uhrig completed the top-ten in the Late Model main event.
Tri-Track Open Modified Series -Haunted Hundred -October 26, 2019, Seekonk Speedway. Official Finishing Order: 1. Chase Dowling, Roxbury, CT; 2. Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT; 3. Andy Jankowiak, Tonawanda, NY; 4. Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA; 5. Matt Galko, Meriden, CT; 6. Matt Swanson, Acton, MA; 7. Richard Savary, Canton, MA; 8. Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT; 9. Dylan Izzo, Monroe, CT; 10. Michael Gervais, Wolcott, CT; 11. Jon Kievman, Deerfield Beach, FL; 12. Calvin Carroll, Andover, NJ; 13. Kirk Alexander, W. Swanzey, NH; 14. Austin Kochenash, Danielsville, PA; 15. Cam McDermott, Canterbury, CT; 16. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 17. Anthony Sesely, Matawah, NJ; 18. Russ Hersey, Swanzey, NH; 19. Geoff Rollins, Groton, MA; 20. Ronnie Williams, Ellington, CT; 21. Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT; 22. Joey Cipriano, Waterbury, CT; 23. Brian Robie, Sunapee, NH; 24. Woody Pitkat, Bellingham, MA; 25. Derek Robbie, Bellingham, MA; 26. Dana DiMatteo, Farmington, CT; 27. Rob Murphy, Rochester, MA; 28. Joey Mucciaccaro, Wolcott, CT. DQ: Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA. DNQ: Andrew Charron, W. Greenwich, RI; Colbey Fournier, Berkley, MA; George Brunnhoelzl, III, Mooresville, NC; Carl Medeiros, Jr., Westport, MA; Ryan Doucette, Framingham, MA; Les Rose, Southbridge, MA; Andy Shaw, Center Conway, NH; Mike Holdridge, Madison, CT; George Sherman, Framingham, MA.
TTOM -October 26, 2019, Seekonk Speedway- Late Model. Official Finishing Order: 1. Derek Gluchacki, N. Dartmouth, MA; 2. Vincent Arrenagado, Warren, RI; 3. Ryan Kuhn, E. Bridgewater, MA; 4. Ryan Morgan, N. Franklin, CT; 5. Gerry DeGasparre Jr., Pawtucket, RI; 6. Paul Newcomb, Plymouth, MA; 7. Ryan Lineham, Coventry, RI; 8. Charlie Rose, Tiverton, RI; 9. Tommy Adams, E. Providence, RI; 10. Nick Uhrig, Warwick, RI; 11. Joshua Hedges, New Bedford, MA; 12. Mark Jenison, Warwick, RI; 13. Tyler Tomassi, W. Greenwich, RI; 14. Woody Pitkat, Bellingham, MA; 15. Mike Benevides, Westerly, RI; 16. Jason Larivee, Jr., W. Greenwich, RI; 17. Jeramme Lillie, W. Warwick, RI; 18. Mike Duarte, Dighton, MA; 19. Brendon Hammann, N. Smithfield, RI; 20. Dane Saritelli, E. Providence, RI; 21. Allan King, Jr., Hampton, CT; 22. Rey Lovelace, Coventry, RI; 23. Denny Stampfl , Norwood, MA; 24. Mark Hudson, Norton, MA. DNS: Dylan Cabral, Richmond, RI; Stephen Potter, Warwick, RI.