Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway’s 2009 SK Modified® rookie class has added Chris Matthews to the list of drivers who will try to win the 2009 Reliable Welding and Speed Rookie of the Year honors. With the addition of Matthews, the SK Modified® division now has a total of 10 rookie drivers signed up for competition, with half of those drivers coming from Stafford’s SK Light Modified division. Of the five drivers who have SK Light experience at Stafford, both Matthews and Joe Allegro, Jr. are former track champions, making the 2009 SK Modified® rookie class one of the most talented rookie classes in recent memory at Stafford.
In the short three-year existence of the SK Light Modified division at Stafford, Matthews has established himself as the most successful driver, with 18 feature victories and the track championship in 2007 on his SK Light resume. Matthews drove to his SK Light success using a Brad Hietala created chassis, and it was a quick conversation with Brad and his wife Linda that led to his arrival in the SK Modified® division for the 2009 season.
“After the season, I was talking with Brad and Linda about moving up to the SK Modified® division and they said they would put a third car together for me,” said Matthews.
While he won’t be driving the same chassis that he drove in the SK Light division, Matthews is looking forward to continuing a relationship that was forged three seasons ago when Matthews began his first season of SK Light competition driving a Hietala created chassis.
“My SK Light car was an old car that Brad had put together,” said Matthews. “This season I’ll be driving a car that Todd Owen drove and I think it we’ll have a big advantage for us to have three cars sharing information. Todd and Brad have been a big help to me the last couple years with setups on the SK Light and I’m looking forward to working with them on getting the SK to get around the track.”
As he prepares for his rookie campaign in the SK Modified® division, Matthews acknowledges that he faces a learning curve even though he has enjoyed a great deal of success in open wheel modified competition at Stafford.
“It’s a whole new game for sure,” said Matthews. “There’s a lot of tough drivers and really good cars. I think the SK Light experience will give me an idea of what to expect, but I’m sure that there will be a learning curve. Our goals are to get seat time, try to finish all the races, and shoot for the Rookie of the Year award. There’s a lot of talented rookie drivers this year and it’s going to be tough to be the best rookie.”
The chase for 2009 Reliable Welding and Speed SK Modified® Rookie of the Year honors kicks off during the 38th Annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, scheduled for April 24th through April 26th. Tickets for “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are now on sale at the Stafford Motor Speedway box office. Tickets are priced at $35.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, $38.00 for reserved seats, and free for children ages 5 & under. Tickets are good for admission to the Saturday April 25, and Sunday, April 26 portions of the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, with the Friday, April 24 practice session open to the public free of charge.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR