NEW VALENTI Modified Series point leader Tommy Barrett Jr. of Millis, Mass., and his closest rival, Louie Mechalides of Tyngsboro, Mass., square off at Lee USA tomorrow in the Laticrete Port City 100. Barrett Jr. is coming off a win at Stafford in which he was able to nurse the Victory Lane Bar & Grill No. 9 home despite a broken rocker arm.
Lee makes for an interesting next stop for Barrett Jr., who recently graduated from Millis High School and plans to attend Eastern Connecticut State in the fall. After last year’s Laticrete 100, Barrett Jr. got sat down for a race after colliding with race leader Jon McKennedy. A few laps later, new leader Rowan Pennick met the same fate at the hands of Joe Doucette. Les Hinckley eventually won.
Barrett Jr. was back in action at Lee on Oktoberfest weekend and drove to what must have been a most satisfying win. He was in contention for much of the recent SBM 125 at Star, but he got sidelined by a slow leaking radiator.
“We were fortunate to come away with a win at Stafford,” car owner Tommy Barrett Sr. said. “I’d been warned that I should replace the rocker arms.”
The Barretts own and operate the Victory Lane Bar & Grille in Millis. They were hoping the Bruins could survive Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals instead of getting pounced on like a bunny rabbit at the end by the Chicago Blackhawks. “Business has been great,” Barrett Sr. said, “a Game 7 would have helped.”
Another local racer on a roll — Joey Polewarczyk Jr. of Hudson — was also left to lament the Bruins. “I started having flashbacks of the Patriots/Giants Super Bowl game,” Joey Pole said.
Polewarczyk Jr. will race at Star Speedway in an ACT Late Model for the first time next Saturday. He’s raced once at at the Epping bull ring — in a PASS Super Late Model. He’s won back-to-back American Canadian Tour events, at Canaan Asphalt and Riverside, and he has moved into third in the standings, trailing only Wayne Helliwell and Jimmy Hebert.
“I started 12th and was 6th when the (Riverside) race was stopped by rain,” Polewarczyk Jr. said. “Sunday, I got up to 4th and had a chance to ride around a little while Randy Potter and Helliwell raced each other hard. They were wheeling off the corners. Potter slipped up the track and I got underneath him, which put me in a good spot to go after Wayne.”
Joey Pole is going to wed Brittany Theriault in August. His future brother-in-law, Austin Theriault, a development driver for Brad Keselowski Racing, recently won a Southern PASS Tour event at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, N.C.
Theriault is headed to the Oxford 250 in July. Last year, he came up through the field after a late tire change and was third when Joey Pole took the checkers.
“It would be nice to go back and try for another win there,” Polewarczyk Jr. said, “but it’s a 12-tire PASS race this year. We’re not set up for that, plus they run expensive shocks and use soft springs and bump stops, which we’re still figuring out.”
Polewarczyk Jr. will stick with ACT instead and compete in the ACT International 500 ($140,000 plus purse) at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y. July 20-21.
“I won the Fall Foliage 200 there,” Polewarczyk Jr. said. “This race will be run in three segments. You don’t have to win a segment to win the race, but you better be able to get near the front. I think it will be a historic race. I wish Austin well in the 250.”
Hudson Speedway moves to its summer schedule — 6 p.m. start — this Sunday. From the “even-Outlaws-have-some-rules” department, Kevin Kephart of Rutland, Mass., won the Outlaw main after Jay Sands weighed in too light. Todd Warren of Sterling, Mass., was second. Dean Wendell of Derry finished third. Chad Wendell drove to his second straight Rookie Stock win. Youngster Jarrod Soucy of Marlboro, Mass., got his third Roadrunner win, besting Billy Osborne. Jen Lord of Lowell, Mass., got up for third.
Lebanon’s Randy Howe scored his third Modified win at Canaan Dirt Friday — this time in a car borrowed from Tom Forward. Canaan Asphalt, fearing limited parking for big haulers after days of rain, agreed to postpone the PASS Super Late Model portion of Saturday’s Fireworks event.
The ISMA Supermodifieds are in action tomorrow night at Stafford Speedway.
Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.