(Stafford Springs, CT)—The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its first of three visits during the 2016 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 3rd Annual VMRS 80. Taking the checkered flag was Rowan Pennink, who also won the SK Modified® feature.
Rowan Pennink and Woody Pitkat led the field to green and Pennink took the early lead with Pitkat behind him. Anthony Nocella moved up to third with Keith Rocco behind him and Donnie Lashua in fifth. Rocco took third on lap-3 from Nocella and Pitkat got around Pennink to move to the lead on lap-4.
The top-3 ran in line until lap-11 when Rocco made a move around Pennink to take over second as Pitkat continued to lead. Dave Etheridge was now in fourth and charging his way towards the front and Nocella was fifth. Etheridge took third from Pennink on lap-14 and he was closing in on Rocco for second as Pitkat was slowly starting to pull away in the lead.
At the midway point of the race, Pitkat was still out front but Etheridge and Rocco were starting to swap second place back and forth between themselves. Pennink was still in fourth with Dave Schneider up to fifth.
Pennink moved around Etheridge to take over third place on lap-51 as Pitkat was still in command with Rocco running in second. As Pitkat was navigating his way through lapped traffic, Rocco and Pennink were beginning to close up the gap that Pitkat had built up since taking over the lead.
Pennink got around Rocco to move into second and with 20 laps to go, he was slowly eating away at Pitkat’s lead. The caution flew for the first time with 60 laps complete as Schneider spun in turn 3+4.
The action was heated up on the restart as Pennink powered his way by Pitkat to take over the lead. Rocco was third with Etheridge fourth and Mike Willis, Jr. up to fifth. Rocco was all over Pitkat’s back bumper, looking for a way to get by and move into second.
Pennink led the final 20-laps of the race to collect his first career VMRS win at Stafford. Pitkat finished second, with Rocco, Etheridge, and Willis rounding out the top-5.