Speedbowl SK-Modified competitor Frank Mucciacciaro Jr. is the consummate “low-buck” competitor. He’ll begin his 15th season trying to gain a spot in the 12th annual SK-150, the centerpiece of the Speedbowl’s season-opening, 10-division Budweiser Modified Nationals April 11-12.
“We’ve always been a low buck team,” says Mucciacciaro “It’s a matter of doing the best with what you have, working extra-hard and fabricating a lot of stuff in house to save money. Our desire to win, however, is no-less than teams with more resources.”
A successful “150” is part of the strategy. “Starting off with a long-distance event that includes time trials actually plays into our favor,” he explains. “Over the years we’ve gotten a pretty good handle on time trials. We’ve usually been able to start near the front.”
That, he continues “is where you want to be” as opposed to being collected in the mid-pack, early-lap skirmishes. “It gives you a chance to settle-in for a while and figure out your game plan,” he sums up.
Mucciacciaro started in the Modifieds rather than taking a few seasons to learn the ropes in a support division. “I think about it now, and while some might not agree, it’s the best way to go. There was a lot less to un-learn from the other divisions.”
He came to the Speedbowl with an early Troyer chassis. He started to gain momentum and become competitive” after purchasing a car from the LaJeunesse team.
Mucciacciaro had a three-year (2004-06) win streak end last year. The first win continues to stand out. “We’d been at it for a long time by then, and it seemed as if victory was never going to come,” he recalls. “They handed me the checkered flag and let me take a victory lap like the old days. I was thinking ‘I’m doing what all the great drivers I watched as a kid – Fred DeSarro, Ron Bouchard, Bugsy – did.’ it was unreal.”
A road construction superintendent in Ansonia, he heaps praise on his crew and sponsors (All-State Traffic Control and Coleman Performance Engines). “We’re a small crew but we manage to get it done,” he says.
His dad plays a key role working “tirelessly on the car. I can’t begin to tell you how much money he saves with his skills as a fabricator. Rather than buying things, my dad comes up with a way to make stuff. There’s not much on the car that he’s not had his hands on. We do 99 percent of the work in-house, and that enables us to go racing.”
Mucciacciaro is bent on returning to Victory Lane. “We had kind of a disappointing 2007,” he says. “We were consistent enough, but fell-short. Hopefully a good finish in the opener will give us an extra shot of momentum.”
Sources: Dave Dykes/Waterford Speedbowl PR