By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
EPPING, N.H. -- Jon McKennedy charged by Chris Pasteryak on a restart with 35 laps to go and never looked back en route to his second career Tri Track Open Modified Series presented by All Phases Renovations win on Saturday at Star Speedway.
The Chelmsford, Massachusetts, driver broke a streak of bad luck to open his 2021 racing season with the checkered flag. McKennedy was involved in a wreck in April at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and destroyed a brand new car. The team immediately placed an order for a new ride, and they debuted it in Victory Lane with one of the most competitive fields Tri Track has seen at Star in many years.
The race was the second of six on the Tri Track calendar for this season -- named the Prelude To SBM X -- setting the stage for a big 10th annual spectacular when Tri Track returns to Star Speedway on July 24.
“Just off to a really bad start this year, tore up a lot of equipment, it seemed like we had a monkey on our back,” McKennedy said. “It feels so great to get a Modified win here at Star Speedway again. Great race, great competition. It feels great. Great to be back home at Star.”
Matt Swanson was second and Pasteryak third.
In a race that saw varying pit strategies throughout the field, Chase Dowling took the lead early and looked to have the dominant car. While McKennedy, Swanson and Pasteryak elected to pit early, Dowling tried the opposite strategy -- pit late and hoped to make his way through the field. It didn’t work out for the Roxbury, Connecticut, native, who finished 15th.
McKennedy failed to finish his qualifying race after contact and had to qualify for the race through a consi round. He started deep in the 28-car field, and drove his way to the victory. McKennedy also collected a $500 bonus courtesy of Green Construction Management LLC for being the Hard Charger of the race and gaining the most positions from start to finish.
A pair of No. 16 entries -- Anthony Sesely and Ron Silk -- finished the top-five in the feature. Cam McDermott was sixth, collecting a $500 bonus courtesy of Rameau Family Motorsports, while Ronnie Williams, Woody Pitkat, Les Hinckley and Anthony Nocella finished the top-10.
Matt Hirschman, who finished 13th after suffering from a vibration, collected the Jerico Performance Products Fast Lap of the Race award, worth $300. Max Zachem, Tommy Barrett, Pasteryak, Williams and Hirschman won qualifying heat races (Hirschman also won the consi), worth $300 each as part of the Pepsi Challenge.
“We had the car to do it but the driver left a little bit on the table,” Boehler Racing driver Matt Swanson said. “Three second-place finishes here in a row, we are bound to get one. I just can’t thank all of my BRE guys and my sponsors enough. They brought a winning race car to the track today.”
The Tri Track Open Modified Series returns to the track on Wednesday, June 30 at Seekonk Speedway for the annual $10,000 to win Open Wheel Wednesday.
For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit TriTrackModifieds.com.