Stafford Speedway Drivers Will Once Again Race for Xtra Dollars In 2014 Thanks to Xtra Mart Xtra D Bonus Program

Stafford Springs, CT — For the third consecutive season, Stafford Motor Speedway’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers will be racing for extra bonus money thanks to Xtra Mart Convenience Stores. Stafford’s Xtra Mart Xtra D program gives drivers from each of their five weekly divisions the opportunity to race in an extra distance feature and the top-5 finishers from each Xtra Mart Xtra D feature will receive a cash bonus. For the 2014 season, Xtra Mart Convenience Stores will contribute a total of $3,750 that will be split up among the five races that will make up the Xtra Mart Xtra D Series.

The 2014 Xtra Mart Xtra D Series kicks off with the Late Model Xtra D 60-lap feature on Friday, May 9. That event will pay each of the top-5 finishers a bonus of $200 for a total of $1,000. Stafford’s DARE Stocks are next up in the Xtra Mart Xtra D rotation with a 20-lap feature on May 16th that will split $250 among the top-5 finishers. The Limited Late Models are next up with a 25-lap race on May 30th; the SK Modified® division will race for Xtra dollars on June 6th with a 45-lap feature, and the SK Lights will close out the Xtra Mart Xtra D Series with a 25-lap feature on June 27th. The SK Light and Limited Late Model Xtra Mart Xtra D features will each split $500 among the top-5 finishers while the SK Modified® 45-lap feature will split $1,500 among the top-5 finishers.

“We’re very pleased to once again have Xtra Mart as one of our contingency program partners for the 2014 season,” said SMS COO/GM Mark Arute. “The Xtra Mart Xtra D program has been a great program that offers an opportunity for all of our competitors to earn some bonus money during the season. Whenever we have an extra distance race at Stafford the intensity and excitement factors are always raised up and we’re looking forward to some exciting races again this season.”

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4th Annual Champions for Charities Race Returns to Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway’s Champions for Charities race will return for a 4th consecutive season on Friday, June 27th. The event has collectively raised over $150,000 throughout the past 3 seasons for numerous charities. This year’s 15-lap feature will have a total of 11 open-wheeled championship drivers competing to raise money for the charity of their choice in Wild Thing Senior Outlaw Karts.

Each driver will be competing on and off the track in attempts to raise the most money for their charity. The driver who raises the highest amount will start on the pole, and the rest of the lineup will fall in descending order according to the total drivers have raised for their charity. Over the past 3 years, drivers have utilized different fund raising opportunities that have included an annual golf tournament, bowling events, track walk, auction items, and other challenges to increase their bottom line and give them a better starting position for the 15-lap feature event.

Last year’s pole sitter, David Arute, raised an impressive total of $7,205 for the Lustgarten Foundation while last year’s feature winner, Richie Pallai, Jr., started 6th after raising a total of $4,246 for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. These drivers will be returning for the popular race event and to bring awareness to their respective charities.

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New England Racing Fuel Renews Stafford Speedway Contingency Program Sponsorship With Sunoco Gasoline

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that New England Racing Fuel, Sunoco Brand with John Holland and Mike Joy, have renewed their participation in the track’s Contingency Program for the upcoming 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season. New England Racing Fuel was one of the very first companies to join the SMS Contingency Program when it was created prior to the 1999 season and they have been part of the program every year since. The 2014 season will mark the 16th consecutive season that New England Racing Fuel has been a member of the SMS Contingency Program.

“We’re happy to once again be part of the contingency program at Stafford Speedway,” said John Holland of New England Racing Fuel. “We like to be able to give something back to the competitors who support us by using our product. We’ve had a longstanding relationship with the track and the Arute family, and the Arute’s have always been about putting something back into the competitor’s hands. I remember when Mark [Arute] first approached us and pitched the idea about joining the contingency program, we thought it was a good plan and we signed on. We’ve been a part of the program every year since and being a contingency sponsor benefits both New England Racing Fuel as well as the track. The contingency program gives us good exposure and we continue to get excellent competitor feedback year after year , and that’s what keeps bringing us back each season. We’re looking forward to another exciting season of racing at Stafford.”

For the 2014 season, New England Racing Fuel will once again provide fuel certificates in the amount of $50 to the third place finishers in each SK Modified® and Late Model feature event, and a $25 fuel certificate to the first, second, and third place finishers in each SK Light Modified, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock feature events. New England Racing Fuel will also offer $25 fuel certificates to the top-3 finishing SK Modified® and Late Model cars who compete with the SMS Spec Engine in each feature event during the 2014 season.

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Matt Hirschman Looking to Be a Contender in 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, one of the favorites for the checkered flag will be the combination of Matt Hirschman and the #52 Furnace and Duct Supply team owned by Wayne Darling. The Darling team has won 4 of the last 8 races at Stafford with Doug Coby behind the wheel and Hirschman has 4 top-5 and 13 top-10 finishes at Stafford in 19 career starts. While the combination of the two is new for the 2014 season, they are rekindling a connection that was in existence on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour from 2006-2009.

“It’s good to know I’m going to be in a car that has a good setup for Stafford,” said Hirschman. “It’s obvious that they’ve been the car to beat the last couple years at Stafford so that gives me a lot of confidence going into the race. We’ve raced together before and I believe we have a great group of people from top to bottom, from the ownership and leadership right on down through the crew and our supporting staff. Our results at Thompson didn’t show what type of performance we were capable of. We were a top-5 car and things just didn’t work out at the end and before you know it the race was over and we finished 11th. We were as high as second and we were still in fifth with 12 laps to go so we’re looking forward to putting that mediocre start behind us and have a strong run at Stafford.”

Although Hirschman is winless in 19 career starts at Stafford, he has been close to victory lane on several occasions. Hirschman’s father Tony was the Sizzler winner in 2005 and Matt would like nothing more than to make his first victory at Stafford a Sizzler victory.

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New England Modified Legend Billy Greco to Serve as Grand Marshal of 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that New England modified racing legend Billy Greco will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler. Greco began his career in the early 1950′s driving the #44 for Sharkey Gaudiosi and he made a name for himself by teaming up with his brother George and racing the #43. Greco recorded over 300 feature wins in his career with wins at West Haven, Riverside, Plainville Stadium, Rhinebeck, Lonsdale, Menands, Stafford, Waterford, Freeport, Eastern States, Islip, and the Pine Bowl. Greco claimed track championships at West Haven, Riverside, and Albany Saratoga.

“I had good times and bad times, but it was mostly good times as far as racing went,” said Greco. “My big track was Riverside. I did a lot of racing at Stafford too but I couldn’t keep up with guys like Troyer, Bodine, and Bugsy because I didn’t have the money and the equipment that they did. I wish I had been able to do a little better at Stafford than I did. It’s a great honor for me to be the Grand Marshal of the Spring Sizzler, I’ve never been asked to do something like this before. I’ll certainly treasure the opportunity.”

With all of Greco’s racing accomplishments, he is perhaps most known for his exploits at Riverside Park Speedway, which include 7 Riverside 500 Team Race victories. Greco teamed with names like Bob Stefanik, Danny Galullo, and Jocco Maggiacamo for his 500 team wins, but he says his victory with Maggiacamo was one of his favorites.

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McCallum Memorial/Life Celebration at Thompson Saturday

The Thompson Speedway Club House will host the Jimmy McCallum Memorial/Life Celebration on Saturday, April 19 at 6:30pm. The event recalls McCallum of Fall River, MA, who passed away on September 20. Sign ins begin at 6:30 pm. Texas Hold ‘Em is at 7:30. The event will feature hot and cold appetizers and music.

One of McCallum’s daughters, Lisa Fuller, took the opportunity to recall a local racing legend and support the future. The fundraiser will benefit the Little T Quarter Midget Club. Fuller believes an event that combines her father’s two passions has him “smiling down upon us,” Fuller said. I think he highly would approve.”

“In just going through the process and talking to all these people, that we’re connected to him has been great for me,” Fuller said.”It’s been great for my sisters. It’s helped with a lot of closure.”

“(People) expressed a desire to remember my father,” Fuller said.”And the kids at the track desperately need a scoreboard and I just mulled it around, and I connected the two. My dad loved Thompson. My dad loved racing. He loved playing cards. He loved everything about racing and cards. Since I was a baby that’s been his greatest love. So I decided that I should combine the two and use his connections to the community to help raise money for a scoreboard, which I then could in turn donate in his honor.”

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Food Bank Night scheduled for Late Model 20/20 Sprint race on May 15

We are excited to be partnering with ACCESS Agency Food Bank and TEEG for our May 15 race night! We will be offering $2 off a ticket to anyone that brings a can of non-perishable food for donation.

We will also be accepting donations at the event for basket giveaways with items from local businesses and sponsors. These donations will all go directly to ACCESS Food Bank.

So come join us for a night at the races featuring our Late Model division and four other divisions of racing, and help us give back to the community!

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Bond Awards $10,000 for Invitational Bonuses

Fans Can Win Free Tickets and VIP Experiences

Bond Auto Parts has announced a new program for the American Canadian Tour competitors who win qualifying events and attend the prestigious Bond ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 20. Bond has put up a total of $10,000 spread across nine qualifying events for drivers and fans.

Bond has announced that they will award ACT competitors $1,000 for their first win in the nine qualifying events. Repeat winners will receive $500 for each additional win, while the other $500 will be awarded to the highest finishing driver who has not yet won or received a bonus in a qualifying event. The nine events include the first seven American Canadian Tour point counting events, as well as the Vermont Governor’s Cup at Thunder Road and the International race at Airborne. Along with the $1,000 bonus, Bond Auto will also award the 15th place finisher in each of the nine events with a $100 Bond Auto gift card.

“This sponsorship is a great way to connect the drivers and the fans of ACT throughout their season leading up to the big race at New Hampshire,” said Mark Mast, vice president of marketing at Bond Auto. “These guys are really motivated to qualify for this race, but a little extra change in their pockets only sweetens the deal.”

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140 BUZZ Partners with Racing4Vets

Huntersville, NC (April 16, 2014) – 140 BUZZ is pleased to announce their partnership with Racing4Vets for the First Annual Veteran Kart Challenge to Benefit Service Disabled Veterans. 140 BUZZ will be working with the non-profit group to handle the public relations and social media coverage of the event.

The First Annual Racing4Vets Veteran Kart Challenge will take place on May 19, 2014 at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, North Carolina.

The event will feature NASCAR stars racing high performance karts in a 2-hour team relay format. Each four person team will include a professional racer paired with race fans. An auction will allow fans to win a seat on a professional’s team. Racing4Vets will also field a team of veterans for the race.

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Kostecki to Appear at New York Auto Show

Raising Awareness For Canine Companions Program

At 14, Brodie Kostecki achieved more wins than any other driver his age in United States Auto Club racing history. Now 16 years old, Kostecki has moved up to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in his No. 43 Arcoplate Racing Toyota.

The native of Perth, Australia, scored his first top-10 finish in his new series on March 22 at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway.

Kostecki is also a strong supporter of Canine Companions for Independence, the nation’s largestn non-profit provider of highly-trained assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities. What do race cars and assistance dogs have in common? Performance! NASCAR drivers want the best for their vehicles and people with disabilities need high-performing assistance dogs. Kostecki’s love for dogs and wanting to help people with disabilities is a perfect match to partner with Canine Companions for Independence.

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NASCAR, FOX Sports Announce TV Schedule

K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tours Set For FOX Sports 1

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR announced today the broadcast schedule for the remainder of the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours Championship events on FOX Sports 1.

The schedule includes 28 events for NASCAR’s touring series including previously aired races from Bristol Motor Speedway, Greenville Pickens Speedway, and Irwindale Speedway.

“The NASCAR K&N Pro Series features the next generation of top-level NASCAR stars competing alongside accomplished veterans and FOX Sports’ coverage of the series provides a great platform to showcase these drivers,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “The select NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events are always exciting shows and shouldn’t be missed.”
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Whelen So. Modified News & Notes: Caraway

The Brunnhoelzl & Seuss Show Returns To Caraway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Once teammates, and longtime checkered flag contenders, the ties that bind George Brunnhoelzl III and Andy Seuss seem to become more entangled by the week.

Six of the last eight NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races have finished with the pair atop the rundown – three of the last four to end 2013 and three of the first four to begin 2014. In all it has happened 14 times since 2009, including this past Saturday at Langley Speedway.

So who has the edge? In those 14 instances of 1-2 finishes, Seuss has the advantage 11-3. When you talk about overall wins, Brunnhoelzl maintains a 21-17 edge. Then there’s the matter of the four championships for Brunnhoelzl, a category Seuss has yet to register a tally, which is the ultimate tiebreaker.

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Waterford Speedbowl Blastoff Weekend Results

Waterford, CT (April 13, 2014) – Waterford Speedbowl’s Blastoff Weekend continued Sunday with the final six races of the event card being completed. Keith Rocco of Berlin dominated the day, turning in a memorable performance as he took a victory in all three events he entered. He reached the winner’s circle in the Valenti Modified Racing Series season opening race, joining his triumphs in the Speedbowl’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® and Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model divisions to tie a 54-year old track record for number of victories in a single day. Other race wins on Sunday went to Josh Galvin of Franklin in the Street Stock race and Ian Brew of Wood River Junction in the Mini Stocks, while Avery Stoehr of Lakeville, MA continued a family tradition of winning in the Northeastern Midget Association feature.

Rocco from green to checkered flags in the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature, the popular New England based open-wheel touring division. Rocco was pushed over the first half of the race by rival Ted Christopher. Christopher, from Plainville, moved to second place on lap-22 and pressed Rocco into a fast pace until he lost an engine in his car on lap-42. That put oil down on the speedway and triggered a big wreck behind Rocco, collecting many of the top-ten cars behind.

Former Speedbowl driver Chris Pasteryak was able to steer clear of the wreckage and keep pace with Rocco over the second half of the race, however was unable to mount a serious challenge. Rocco navigated lapped traffic over the final twenty laps and survived a final restart on lap-84 to take the win. Pasteryak finished the race with a solid second place effort while Todd Szegedy rebounded from getting caught up in the lap-42 melee to finish third. Keith’s brother Jeff Rocco finished fourth and Max Zachem was fifth. All but Szegedy began their racing careers at the Speedbowl.

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Waterford Speedbowl Budweiser Blastoff Saturday 4/12 Results

Waterford, CT (April 12, 2014) – Stock car racing returned to the Connecticut shoreline Saturday as Waterford Speedbowl hosted hundreds of racers for its annual Budweiser Blastoff event, part of a two-day blockbuster of racing. In total 13 race divisions saw action on the three-eighths mile oval, with seven feature races run Saturday evening. Rick Williams of Haddam scored a first-ever victory in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modified race. Westport’s Dylan Izzo continued his domination of the INEX Legend Cars division winning for the second straight week while Zach Thomas of New London and Jon Porter of Canterbury won for consecutive weeks in the X-Car and Super X-Cars, respectively. In touring series races, P.J. Stergios of Candia, NH won the NEMA Lite feature and Chris Turbush of Riverhead, NY won the New England Truck Series race. Oakdale’s Derek Debbis checkered the INEX Bandolero feature for the youth racing class.

Williams ran strong in the 25-lap SK Light Modified race to capture his first career win, which ran from green-to-checkered flags without incident. Williams has competed in the division for five seasons at Stafford Motor Speedway. Larry Goss got the jump over Williams at the start of the race, leading the opening eight laps. Williams raced close behind while Corey Barry and Randy Churchill were also in the mix.

The top-four cars raced tightly when Williams pulled out of line and went to the outside of Goss. He seized control and began to pull ahead as Barry worked outside Goss to move into second position on lap-10. Churchill was not far behind and followed suit to third place a lap later as the field was well spaced around the speedway. Further back, former division champion Paul French was moving up from his scratch starting position.

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Brunnhoelzl Adds Langley to His List

Whelen Southern Mod Wins Leader Conquers Hampton Track

HAMPTON, Va. - George Brunnhoelzl III added another track to his résumé, claiming the Courtyard by Marriott/Pepsi 150 Saturday night at Langley Speedway. It is the 11th different track the four-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion has won at.

Brunnhoelzl led the final 67 laps after passing points leader Andy Seuss, and survived a green-white-checkered finish for his first win of the season. Twice in the previous three races this year, Brunnhoelzl finished second to Seuss.

It also extended Brunnhoelzl’s tour record for career wins to 21.

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QUALIFYING: Record Run for Preece

Sets Langley Mark, Collects 4th Straight Southern Tour Pole

HAMPTON, Va. — Ryan Preece continued his mastery of NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour tracks, earning the Coors Light Pole Award Saturday for the Courtyard by Marriott/Pepsi 150 with a track-record at Langley Speedway.

Preece, the defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, collected his fourth straight pole award in the southern tour with a lap of 14.675 seconds (97.145 mph) around the .396-mile oval. He broke the mark set by Andy Seuss of 14.711 (96.513) in 2013.

Seuss qualified second Saturday at 14.817 (96.214). The points leader has won two of the first three races of the season.

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PRACTICE: Loftin Leads at Langley

Fastest In Courtyard by Marriott/Pepsi 150 Sessions

HAMPTON, Va. – Brian Loftin led the way in NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour practice Saturday afternoon at Langley Speedway in advance of the Courtyard by Marriott/Pepsi 150.

Loftin, from Lexington, N.C., piloted his No. 23 L&R Transmissions Chevrolet to a fast lap of 14.772 seconds (96.507 mph) around the .396-mile oval in final practice. He ranked 11th in first practice.

Loftin’s practice pace was not far behind that of Andy Seuss’s qualifying record set last year of 14.711 (96.513).
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Justin Bonsignore Looking to Continue 2014 Winning Ways in NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — Fresh off of his win in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season opening race, Justin Bonsignore heads to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler with a ton of momentum on his side. In the season opener at Thompson, Bonsignore and his #51 M3 Technology team qualified second and ran in the top-3 for the entire race before Bonsignore made the winning pass around Woody Pitkat with 9 laps to go.

“That win was huge for our team,” said Bonsignore. “Any time you can start the season off with a real good finish it just gets everything started off on the right foot and to be able to do that with a win is that much better. We’re looking forward to Stafford, we had a real good run there last year in the Sizzler and it would be nice to continue the streak we’ve been on lately and get another win.”

Over the winter, Bonsignore and the #51 M3 Technology team made several changes. They acquired a SPAFCO chassis, a NASCAR Spec Engine, and they have a new crew chief in Billy Michael. The new combination got off to a slow start in Daytona with mechanical issues relegating them to a 18th place finish, but that all got turned around in the season opening event and Bonsignore’s win has him looking forward to the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford.

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Jimmy Zacharias to Pilot “Ole Blue” #3 at NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, there will be a familiar car in the lineup with a new driver behind the wheel. Jimmy Zacharias, the Candor, NY native and 3-time Chemung Speedrome Modified Track Champion, will take over the driving duties of one of the most famous modified cars in “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring”. The #3 “Ole Blue” owned by the Boehler family, will have Zacharias as the newest driver to handle the reins of the famous ride.

“I’m pretty excited to be able to drive a famous car that’s had so much success in previous years in modified racing,” said Zacharias. “My dad had called them and they were talking about Thompson and we were going to use their number 3 for points. They got to talking a bit and we put a deal together for me to get behind the wheel of the car.”

The Boehler “Ole Blue” #3 has been to victory lane at the Spring Sizzler in 1972 with Fred DeSarro and then again in 2004 with Jerry Marquis behind the wheel. Zacharias is relatively new to both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Stafford, but he is hopeful that he will have a solid run in the #3 Cape Cod Copper machine.

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DATTCO Sales & Service Renews Participation in Stafford Contingency Program; Brings SK Modified® Winner’s Check to $1,700

Stafford Springs, CT — DATTCO Sales & Service of New Britain has renewed their participation in Stafford Motor Speedway’s Contingency Program as a first place SK Modified® sponsor. DATTCO Sales & Service will once again provide a $150 bonus to each SK Modified® feature winner during the 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season, which will bring the potential SK Modified® feature winner’s check to $1,700. In order to claim the full $1,700 amount, SK Modified® drivers must have decals on their cars from DATTCO Sales & Service and Call Before You Dig.

“Operating within the trucking and automotive repair industries, with multiple collision repair and vehicle service locations, the DATTCO Sales & Service team is comprised of over 100 certified technicians throughout New England,” said Bryan Miller, VP DATTCO Sales & Service. “Partnering with Stafford Speedway and the drivers and teams in the SK Modified® division is a natural fit for us. We enjoyed our participation during the 2013 and we’re looking forward to being part of another exciting season of NASCAR Racing in 2014 at Stafford.”

DATTCO is a family owned, full service transportation solutions company; headquartered in New Britain, Connecticut. DATTCO maintains additional offices, terminal, service, and collision repair and parts facilities throughout New England. DATTCO’s Sales and Service division provides transportation solutions for the transportation and transport refrigeration industries. Their Sales & Service division specializes in Fleet Repair Services, Heavy Duty Parts, Collision Repair, Vehicle Sales & Leasing and Thermo King Northeast. For more information about DATTCO Sales & Service, please visit them on the web at www.dattco.com, or call them at 800-229-4879.

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Blastoff Weekend at Speedbowl Saturday and Sunday

13-divisions racing in event

Waterford, CT (April 11, 2014) – Waterford Speedbowl opens its gates this Saturday and Sunday welcoming hundreds of racecars and thousands of fans for its annual Blastoff Weekend event. The show marks the shoreline oval’s 64th consecutive season of operation and gives race fans a taste of the speed and excitement the track has in store for 2014. In total thirteen race divisions will provide the on-track entertainment at Blastoff with qualifying races plus seven main events Saturday evening. The remaining six feature races take place on Sunday highlighted by a 100-lap race for the Valenti Modified Racing Series. Blastoff Weekend was originally scheduled for March 30 & 31 but had to be rescheduled due to wet weather.

The popular Valenti Modified Racing Series and Northeastern Midget Association, both long-standing race series rich in history in New England, each begin their 2014 seasons at Blastoff. The New England Truck Series will also visit plus all the Speedbowl’s regular racing divisions from its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday racing series round out the weekend’s card.

Blastoff Weekend gets underway early Saturday when the pit gates open for race teams at 7:30am. Practice rounds commence at 9:00am, with spectator grandstands opening at 11:30am. Qualifying races will set the feature race lineups for all 13-divisions Saturday and go to post at 2:30pm, including for the Valenti Modified Racing Series which expects a large turnout of racers. Feature races are scheduled to begin at 5:00pm.

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Gray Ready for Stafford Opener

Old Car Still A Championship Performer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A third change of course in his racing career ultimately helped Adam Gray win a second NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championship at a second track.

Gray, 26, of Granby, Mass., won the 2013 NASCAR late model title at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. He concedes his season was uncommonly successful, but he’s not conceding anything else. Gray hopes to be a championship contender again this year.

“The car’s been stripped, cleaned and freshened. We found some small stuff to fix but we didn’t change much. I don’t know if we can expect to have a season like last year. We’ll just do our homework and see where we end up,” Gray said.

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Dual Threat: Bonsignore Takes on NASCAR WMT & VMRS Competition

High Expectations for Icebreaker Winner

Change is good for Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, NY, who began the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season in victory lane. The Icebreaker was his second victory at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for Ken Massa’s M3 Technology team. Bonsignore led three times for 14 laps, including the final eight circuits. He bested Coors Light Pole Award winner Woody Pitkat and former champion Doug Coby for the victory. Long Islanders Timmy Solomito and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five.

“That was wild,” Bonsignore said. “I hope everybody enjoyed it. If they didn’t enjoy that I don’t know what they’re going to post on Facebook but great car. Oh my God. I was hoping I wasn’t going to be the guy to mess it up the last 25 laps. I knew I had a little bit better car.”

“He’s (Pitkat) going to win his fair share of them,” Bonsignore said. “Hopefully we go back and forth this year … He had a great car. I knew he was going to be the guy we had to beat. They tested here last week. Everybody said they were real quick. They showed it all weekend that they were real quick. They were a tick off on their pit stop and we were just a tick better and that’s all it took. The competition is so close you guys can see it. Just drove my butt off and was able to get it done.”

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Jimmy Zacharias to Drive BRE #3 at Spring Sizzler

One of the most successful cars in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour history will return for the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler. Rookie Jimmy Zacharias of Candor, NY will pilot the Boehler Racing Enterprises (BRE) #3 at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 26-27.

“ My dad and Michael (Boehler) just started talking and put the deal together,” Zacharias said. “… Hopefully all goes well and we can continue out the season on the tour and run for Rookie of the Year. I’ll also be at Chemung Speedrome on Friday nights defending my NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified championship.”

Zacharias will be driving for one of the most storied team’s in local Modified racing. The Boehler family has fielded a race car since 1957. Bugs Stevens became the first driver to win three consecutive national Modified championships in Lenny Boehler’s Ole Blue. Wayne Anderson captured the 1994 crown, while Tony Hirschman, Jr. captured back to back championships in 1995 and 1996. The inaugural Spring Sizzler was won by the late Fred DeSarro in 1972.

“It’s awesome ,” Zacharias said. “I’m so thankful that they allowed me an opportunity. The car and team have been around Modified racing for a very long time. And the car has a great deal of success over the years with some great Modified drivers behind the wheel.”

Zacharias is hopeful that his sponsors will provide financial support to the BRE team. The BRE crew will work on the car, with possibly some of Zacharias’ crew members assisting. 

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ACT Late Models Enter 23rd Season with Lee Opener

The field takes the green at the ACT Late Model Season Opener at Lee USA Speedway in 2013. (Photo credit: Alan Ward)

Waterbury, VT – The American Canadian Tour Late Models are set to enter their 23rd season of competition with their season opener at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH this Sunday, April 13. This will be the seventh time the 3/8ths-mile speedway has hosted the season opener. Norm Andrews won the first ever ACT Late Model event at Sanair Super Speedway in 1992 and the first event of the season has seen a variety of tracks and winners ever since.

Over the past 22 seasons, the ACT Late Model season opener has been hosted by seven different tracks and seen 16 different winners. Only four drivers have won more than one season opener, led by ACT Champions Brian Hoar (1997, 2011, 2012) and Jean-Paul Cyr (1996, 2004, 2006). Dennis Demers (1993, 1994) and Cris Michaud (2001, 2005) are the only other drivers with multiple season opener wins.

Last year’s season opening winner Jimmy Hebert joined Andrews (1992), Demers (1993), Chris Fisher (1998), Tracie Bellerose (2000), Michaud (2001), Randy Potter (2007) and Nick Sweet (2010) as the only eight drivers to earn their first career ACT wins during a season opening event.

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Racing Community Rallies for Tyler

The local racing season began this weekend, but Sunday was an important day beyond competition. Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park hosted a special guest for Fan Appreciation Day. Tyler Seddon, a seven-year-old racing fan battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, attended the driver’s meeting as a guest of General Manager Josh Vanada. The Fan Appreciation Party was dedicated to him and teams put a special decal on their cars.

A crew member with Jeff Malave for many years, Dan Grenier of Pascoag, RI created Tyler’s Racing Troops in the wake of a good deed. Tyler received national attention last month when over 1,000 emergency personnel responded to a birthday request by visiting him in Burrillville, RI.

“I am very ignorant when it comes to my community,” Grenier said. “I do not watch television. I do not read the papers. One day I just happened to hear about Tyler. … I read his story, what firefighters, police (officers), and EMTs did for him across the country on his birthday. It opened up my eyes to my community. I only live five houses away from Tyler and I never knew about (it). His story broke my heart. I wanted to help out. That’s why I communicated with the staff members at Thompson and ask(ed) them if we could do something for Tyler at the Icebreaker. By then, (I) started Tyler’s Racing Troops, invited all my friends to join the page and show Tyler support. My slogan for the page is building a smile turn by turn track to track.”

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Whelen So. Mod Tour Stat Advance: Langley

Analyzing The Courtyard By Marriott/Pepsi 150 At Langley

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will return to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the second week in a row to contest the Courtyard by Marriott/Pepsi 150 at Langley Speedway on Saturday, April 12. Below is a statistical look at the performance of selected drivers at the Hampton, Va., track:

Courtyard by Marriott/Pepsi 150 Setup:
• Each of the previous four NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races at Langley Speedway have seen a different driver reach Victory Lane.

• Points leader Andy Seuss has won two of the season’s first three events. The 2011 Langley victor, Seuss has won five of the last seven NWSMT races dating back to the end of the 2013 season.
• Langley is one of just two tracks on the 2014 schedule that four-time champion George Brunnhoelzl III has yet to register a win at. He also enters this week with the second-longest winless drought of his career.
• There will be two events at Langley this season for the first time since the NWSMT began racing there in 2010.

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Whelen So. Mod Tour News & Notes: Langley

Seuss Goes For A Spring Sweep In Virginia

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Andy Seuss will look to continue his sizzling start to the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season with a sweep of the spring races in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Seuss earned a decisive victory last week at South Boston Speedway, and he hopes to continue his Old Dominion State dominance as the tour rolls on to Langley Speedway for Saturday’s Courtyard by Marriott/Pepsi 150.

A second-straight win would also mean another milestone for the New Hampshire native. Seuss became the Whelen Southern Modified Tour’s first multi-time winner at South Boston last Saturday, a feat he could match this week at Langley. Seuss was previously triumphant at the .396-mile oval in 2011.

Seuss has unquestionably been the southern tour’s hottest racer since last fall. Starting at Caraway Speedway on Sept. 8, 2013, he has won five of the last seven races, including two of three in 2014.

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No. 1 Late Model Team Penalized for Rules Violations at Icebreaker

THOMPSON, CT: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) announced today the No. 1 team that competes in the Late Model Division has been penalized as a result of rules violations committed April 6 at the Icebreaker, presented by Town Fair Tire. 

The No. 1 car was found to be in violation of the ACT Late Model Crate Engine package (flywheel and external balancing). 

Keith Rocco, driver, of the No. 1 car, has been disqualified from his finishing position and will receive no purse money. 

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Waterford Speedbowl 4/5 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results

Waterford, CT (April 5, 2014) – Waterford Speedbowl opened its 64th consecutive season of racing Saturday evening with a seven division NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program. Chilly weather greeted fans in attendance but the action on the track was hot as a first-time winner emerged in the SK Modified® ranks. Ed Puleo held off all challengers including a late rally by defending division champion Keith Rocco. Puleo made it two wins on the night by also picking up the Street Stock victory. Rocco would not be outdone in the Valenti Auto Mall Late Models, scoring the win. Another first-timer found the winner’s circle in the Mini Stocks as Doug Curry took a popular victory. Jon Porter and Zach Thomas won the night’s Super X-Car and X-Car divisions respectively, and defending Legend Cars champion Dylan Izzo checkered that division’s opening race of the year.

The 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® feature was brought to the green flag by Puleo and Craig Lutz. The pair had some opening jitters with two false starts delaying things before a clean third attempt. The opening two laps pitted the two in a side-by-side battle with Puleo able to seize command. Caution quickly flew on lap-2 when Rocco, the defending track champion, went spinning down the front stretch from his mid-pack starting position. Everyone narrowly avoided missing Rocco including former Legend Cars standout and newcomer Paul Kusheba who spun to avoid Rocco, kicking up moisture onto the racing surface in turn one causing a clean-up.

Lutz got away from Puleo on the restart, using the outside lane as Puleo tip-toed through speedi-dry left behind in the racing groove from the caution period. Great racing was on display throughout the field over the next four laps as competitors felt out their cars in the early going. Ted Christopher was trying to march to the front using the outside lane, however he got into the back chute wall on lap-7. The contact caused enough damage to send Christopher spinning in turn four for the second caution flag of the race and sidelined him for the night.

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