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Ronnie Williams Scores Thunder Road Win – Driver Reactions, Race Recap


The Monoco Modified Tri-Track Series (MMTS) made their debut at Thunder Road Speedbowl Memorial Day Weekend 2022. The fast-paced racing, great facilities and northern hospitality were a win-win for the series and the decision was made to add Thunder Road to the 2023 race schedule.

Defending 2022 series champion Matt Hirschman from Northampton, PA., and 2022 Granite City 100 winner Chase Dowling of Roxbury, CT, returned to challenge for the $10,000 winner’s share. Both were on the point for their heat race with the third heat race winner being Woody Pitkat. Pitkat had a trifecta day going into the race after scoring fastest in practice, tire scuff and marking a win in the third heat race.

With the luck of the re-draw for the top 7 positions, Austin Beers of Northampton, PA., brought the field around to the green flag start. The three heat race winners found themselves back three positions at start (Pitkat – 5; Hirschman – 6; Dowling – 7).

The first caution occurred on Lap 8 when Les Hinckley III of Windsor Locks, CT., and Chris Pasteryak of Moosup, Ct., vied for the same track space coming around turn four. With tight racing quarters and the two running for fifteenth position, Pasteryak spun and Hinckley ran the wall both coming to a final rest under the starter stand.  Pasteryak pulled away while Hinckley was towed to the pits. Pasteryak took full blame for the mishap believing he took up too much track territory. “It was my own fault I should have gave Les More room.” stated Pasteryak about the mishap. “He (Les Hinckley) turned me around and he got wrecked but it was not his fault. It was my fault. My left rear was flat when that happened. There was no real damage to the wheel so I am not certain if that led to what happened.”

On the first attempt to go back green, Anthony Nocella of Berlin, MA. and Hirschman made contact as the two raced for position. Hirschman ended up with a right front flat tire.

Coby made his way by leader Beers on Lap 8 bringing Dowling along with him for second. Beers was off his mark soon after and slid back in the field.

The race ran green flag laps for 10 laps when caution flag was thrown for Sammy Rameau from Westminster, MA. Rameau it appears snapped around on his own.  While under caution veteran racer Kirk Alexander of West Swanzey, NH., kissed the wall hard just after turn 3 after a pit stop. Alexander’s No. 76 sustained so much damage that it was towed to the pits. Both driver’s race day now ended at Lap 16.

Ronnie Williams of Lebanon, CT. sailed by Coby to take the lead on Lap 36. “Ronnie is known to go really hard and I did not want to go that hard.” Stated Coby about the pass. “So when he went by me I was content to let him go knowing with the ‘Cone Rule’ I could start 3rd every time during a caution. I was content running 2nd.

There was only one more yellow on Lap 88, when No. 3 modified of Beers suffered broken front end suspension. The car pitted with the front wheels in different direction.  The green flag flew and Williams went forward to cross the finish line first taking the checkers, a $10,000 paycheck and his first 2023 MMTTS win in 2023.

“It was a good race. We started 12th. We picked the right lanes on the restarts which got us close to the front. We had a fast car and we passed Doug (Coby).” Confessed Williams after the race. “We had a fast and just had a good car. My spotter Gerry gave me the lap times and let me know where he (Doug Coby) was running. That really made a difference. I started out good and the car never fell off. You do not always have a good car and you have to make the most of it.”

Coby held onto second spot and in the end was happy with his run. “He (Williams) was driving a line that I thought maybe if I could get some good forward drive, I could close in on him when I wanted to. But we got a little too free at corners, so I had to make sure that I did not kill the thing trying to get to him.” Coby noted. “The last ten laps I was going as hard as I could and I think that he was getting a little nervous. But as far as the race go it is a fun place. Racing is supposed to be fun. This is the 1st race this year for my team. The car was fast all day with a super comfortable ride.”

Pitkat scored a podium finish. “All and all it was a good day. This car got wrecked at the Ice Breaker and needed a rear clip. So, to be able to come back is a reflection on the effort of my crew chief Cam (McDermott), his dad and my crew. It was a great day after a long weekend. To be able to come out of here on a podium it was a very good day.” Pitkat admitted.

If there was a Survivor Award for the Series it definitely would have gone to Pasteryak. He did not let an incident on Lap 7 dampen his spirits. He bounced back and went forward for a solid fourth place finish. “After the accident it kind of put me in a position where I was happy to keep going. So, I was just taking what the track and race gave me. I took the bottom on every restart. I did not care if I lost spots. It was just that I was happy to be still racing. And it ended up setting us up real good at the end of the race. It but us in a position where we could come in. It did take the right rear because the car was a little free. Even after that, I thought that we are just lucky to keep going and I will take the bottom. The car took off on the last restart. I was in the right lane and we ended up 4th.”

The next MMTTS race is scheduled for Wednesday, June 28th at Seekonk Speedway. Join us then for Open Wheel Wednesday and another great night of short-track racing.

*Story Photo courtesy of Jim DuPont.