WINCHESTER, N.H. -- Rob Goodenough fans rejoice. Kirk Alexander fans cringe. Dwight Jarvis fans stand proud. Jon McKennedy fans take what they can get. And every fan goes home a winner.
The True Value Modified Racing Series opened its sixth season in fine style at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. on Saturday night, with a wild finish that brought the packed grandstand crowd to its feet.
For the first 89 laps of Saturday night's Bond Auto Spring Dash 100, three-time series champion Alexander looked as though he would take his fifteenth TVMRS victory at Monadnock, until he attempted to put a lap on Kenny White, Jr. The two inadvertantly made contact at full speed, sending leader Alexander hard into the Turn 2 wall, ending his race and opening the door for a barnburner of a finish.
Enter Goodenough, McKennedy, and Jarvis.
Running in positions two through four at the time of Alexander's demise, the trio suddenly found themselves playing the lead roles in the final act of the season opener. As the green flag flew for the restart on lap 89, Goodenough and McKennedy, who made up the front row, banged wheels, sending a plume of smoke into the air from the middle of Turn 4 all the way down the frontstretch to Turn 1 before they seperated. As McKennedy slowed only momentarily to regroup, Jarvis snuck under him and into second place.
Jarvis, who drove from 22nd place after pitting under caution on lap 21, raced, as one fan put it, "the hardest he's driven in years," and stirred his fans into a minor frenzy that grew louder with each pass. Mike Holdridge followed Jarvis on lap 92, taking third place away as McKennedy slapped the frontstretch wall, but just seconds before Holdridge's car lost power and came to a stop, bringing out the ninth and final caution flag.
As True Value Modified rules dictate, restarts inside 10 laps to go require single-file formation. As Goodenough held his line to protect the lead, Jarvis looked high and low each lap until the white flag flew, when he made a banzai run on the outside entering Turn 3, drawing even with Goodenough's car. But the drag race went to Goodenough by a bumper, handing the driver from nearby Swanzey, N.H. his first TVMRS win since a Monadnock score in 2007.
"It was very fast-paced, rough, it was (deep breath)... it was interesting out there," said Goodenough. "I needed that break (Alexander's crash), I admit it, yeah, he had a fast car and he would have won this race unless something happened like it did. (But) that's what being a strong second-place competitor does, it just pays off one of these nights, and that's just what it did today."
Alexander took his fate in stride, sparing White of any direct blame. "The car was awesome, just lapped traffic, you know, things got out of control there. Maybe I should have backed off, maybe not," he said. "It looked like the 77 (White) was trying to hang it down, I don't know if he got his left-front caught on the guy in front of him or something, but it looked like he shot right, and I just turned right with him and locked up my brakes and that was the end of that. It kinda sucks, but what are you gonna do, get mad about it? Big deal, we'll come back and win next week." Alexander was not hurt in the crash.
Once Alexander met his end, Goodenough and Jarvis stole the show.
"I was trying to hold it down to the bottom because this thing was getting really loose," said Goodenough. "I thought (Jarvis) was coming up the outside of me, and he did one of his famous moves. I think he was looking out there and snuck it back down to the bottom and then went back out. I knew he was going to go anywhere he could go. I was just trying to keep it in one groove, and the guys told me I was going to have to be on my toes for the last couple of laps because he had something for me. They were right."
"I knew I was going to have a good run, the car was there and it hooked up good," said Jarvis, of Ascutney. "I'm pretty happy, and I was pretty confident we'd head back up through (after pitting). The car was real loose at the end. I think if I could have got up beside (Goodenough) I had something for him, but I had it all hanging out, she was loose."
McKennedy, of Chelmsford, Mass., held on for third place ahead of Eddie Dachenhausen and Sean Bodreau. The unofficial top-ten was completed in order by Rowan Pennink, Mike Douglas, Joe Doucette, Jack Bateman, and Bill Park. Peter Jarvis, Alexander, and Dachenhausen won the qualifying heats, while Pennink won the last-chance consi.
Feature winners in Monadnock Speedway's weekly divisions were Russ Hersey (Outlaw Pro Stock), Matt Mead (Super Stock), and Tim Jackson (Mini Stock).
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS - Bond Auto Spring Dash 100
True Value Modified Racing Series - Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, N.H.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
1. Rob Goodenough, Swanzey, N.H.
2. Dwight Jarvis, Ascutney
3. Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass.
4. Eddie Dachenhausen, Danbury, Conn.
5. Sean Bodreau, Claremont, N.H.
6. Rowan Pennink, Huntington Valley, Penn.
7. Mike Douglas, Jr., Auburn, N.H.
8. Joe Doucette, Framingham, Mass.
9. Jack Bateman, Canaan, N.H.
10. Bill Park, Manorville, L.I., N.Y.
11. Peter Jarvis, Ascutney
12. Jimmy Dolan, Bethel, Conn.
13. John Cleary, Madison, Conn.
14. Steve Masse, Bellingham, Mass.
15. Mike Holdridge, Madison, Conn.
16. Kirk Alexander, West Swanzey, N.H.
17. Kenny White, Jr., Weare, N.H.
18. Todd Annarummo, Swansea, Mass.
19. Todd Patnode, Swanzey, N.H.
20. Jacob Dore, Sanford, Me.
21. Kevin Iannarelli, Maynard, Mass.
22. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, Conn.
23. Tony Ricci, Westbrook, Me.
24. Butch Perry, Ashaway, R.I.
(Photo 1: Bond Auto 100 winner Rob Goodenough celebrates his victory. Photo 2: (L-R) Runner-up Dwight Jarvis, winner Rob Goodenough, third-place Jon McKennedy. Photos by Justin St. Louis/VMM)