Stafford Springs, CT — NASCAR’s “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” gets the green light this weekend April 25 and 26 at the Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway. The CARQUEST Spring Sizzler is a two day speedfest that includes SK Modifieds, Late Model Stock Cars, Dare Stocks, Pro Stocks, Legends Cars and NASCAR’s touring division; the Featherlite Modified Series. Over 200 cars are expected to tackle Stafford’s new pavement including a 200 lap test for the Modifieds. Testing indicates that every record at the half miler is in jeopardy. “Those records won’t be broken,” says track President and ABC Sportscaster Jack Arute, Jr. “They will be shattered!”
The large field of cars has prompted track officials to not only offer time trials for the Modified Series, but also for their own SK Modifieds as well. The time trial sessions will highlight Saturdays action along with features for both the Legends Cars and the Dare Stocks. “We wanted to give our weekly competitors the opportunity to experience the exercise of time trials, says track CEO Mark Arute. ” We already offer them infield pitting, but now our SK drivers will have all the tools when they move to the Modified Tour”
The CARQUEST Spring Sizzler kicks off Stafford’s 1998 season which will see almost $1 Million dollars in prize money awarded by season’s end. The track’s Winston Racing Series schedule will start Friday, May 1st.
The Modified Series stop at Stafford offers defending Champion Mike Stefanik and his Burnham Boilers Team the opportunity to become the only 4 time CARQUEST Spring Sizzler winner. Stefanik captured the Sizzler in 1989, ’90 and ’97 to join Maynard Troyer ( 1979, ’78, ’79) and Richie Evans (1975, ’76 ’85) as the race’s only three time winners; an accomplishment that will be the focus of a special 30 minute multi-media pre-race show that will precede the 3:15 Sunday start of the 200 Modified race.
In keeping with the Spring Sizzler’s original 80 lap distance, the track’s SK Modifieds will compete in two races of 40 laps each. The 80 laps have been split into two separate features in an effort to assist teams pursuing the Northeast Regional Championship offered by NASCAR and Winston. Last year’s twin 40’s played a crucial role in Jimmy Broderick’s run to the regional title.
The CarQuest Spring Sizzler will also offer fans the opportunity to meet their favorite drivers with the track’s annual “Pit Party” scheduled for an 11:00AM start on Sunday. “Stafford is the home of the Pit Party,” says Mark Arute. “It’s one of our more important traditions. Others may imitate our pit party but they cannot duplicate it.”
Tickets continue on sale for the Spring Sizzler and my be purchased in advance at the speedway offices or at the gate. For a detailed run down of all the activities planned for Spring Sizzler weekend (including starting times) fans are encouraged to visit Stafford’s Award winning web site www.staffordspeedway.com.
Sources: Stafford Motor Speedway PR