Statistical Advance: Analyzing the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford

The 25th season of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will continue with the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler presented by CARQUEST at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 26.

Stafford Motor Speedway Data
Race #2 of 14 (4-26-09)
Track Layout: .5-mile flat oval

  • A horse racing track for more than seven decades, the half-mile dirt oval started holding auto races following WW II.
  • Became a NASCAR track in 1959 and was paved in 1967.
  • Has held a total of 90 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races.
  • This is the first of four races that the NWMT will hold at Stafford Motor Speedway in 2009.

Qualifying/Race Data
2008 pole winner: Ryan Preece (98.684 mph, 18.057 seconds)
2008 race winner: Ted Christopher (56.057 mph, 1:47.20)
Track qualifying record: Matt Hirschman (99.905 mph, 18.009 seconds, 4-28-07)



NWMT Active Win Leaders at SMS
1. Mike Stefanik, 20
2. Reggie Ruggiero, 9
3. Ted Christopher, 8
4. Ed Flemke Jr., 3
5. Todd Szegedy, 3

NWMT Active Pole Leaders at SMS
1. Mike Stefanik, 15
2. Reggie Ruggiero, 7
3. Donny Lia, 6
4. Rob Summers, 4
5. four drivers with, 2

At Stafford Motor Speedway:

  • Since the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour formed in 1985, there have been 90 races at Stafford Motor Speedway.
  • There have been 28 different race winners at SMS, led by Mike Stefanik’s 20 victories.
  • There have been 34 different pole winners at SMS, led by Stefanik’s 15.
  • Ted Christopher, Chuck Hossfeld, Jimmy Blewett and Stefanik reached Victory Lane at SMS in 2008.
  • Christopher had the longest win streak in the history of the NWMT at SMS with four-straight victories from Sept. 30, 2001 to Aug. 23, 2002.
  • The entry list for the 2009 Spring Sizzler features nine drivers who have won at SMS during their careers.

Last Time Out:

  • Ted Christopher earned the Coors Light Pole Award and a trip to Victory Lane as he led 111 of the 150 laps in the season-opening Icebreaker at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on April 5 … The win push his streak for consecutive seasons with a victory to 11.
  • Jamie Tomaino made his 500th career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start and led 25 laps in the race before finishing 13th.
  • In addition to Christopher and Tomaino, Mike Stefanik and Doug Coby also recorded laps led.
  • Johnny Bush made his first NWMT start since 1997 and finished 30th.

Selected Driver Highlights:
Eric Beers (No. 46 Chevrolet)

  • Has two wins and nine poles in 128 career starts … Has earned two poles at Stafford Motor Speedway.
  • Finished sixth in the 2008 NWMT season standings … Career-best points finish was fifth in 2005. 
  • Registered finishes of 2nd, 5th, 5th and 5th in four starts at SMS in 2008.

Jimmy Blewett (No. 12 Chevrolet)

  • Has four wins and one pole in 63 career starts … Earned his first win at SMS in 2008.
  • Finished ninth in the 2008 standings … Career-best points finish was eighth in 2007.
  • Had finishes of 23rd, 31st, 1st and 13th in four races at SMS in 2008.
  • Returns to the No. 12 car for 2009 after driving the No. 19 in 2008 … Finished second to Christopher in the 2009 opener at Thompson International Speedway.

Ted Christopher (No. 36 Chevrolet)

  • The 2008 NWMT champion.
  • Has 32 wins and 19 poles in 266 career starts … Has at least one win in 11 consecutive seasons … His 32 wins rank fourth on the all-time list and his 19 pole total ranks ninth.
  • Earned the Coors Light Pole Award and a trip to Victory Lane in the 2009 opener at TIS on April 5.
  • Has eight wins and two poles in his NWMT career at SMS … Is the defending winner of the Spring Sizzler and also won the race in 2002 and 2003.
  • Had finishes of 1st, 3rd, 28th and 6th at SMS a year ago.
  • Has NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour wins this year at Concord (N.C.) Speedway and Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.
  • The 2001 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion, he plans to run for the national crown again in 2008 by competing weekly at TIS, SMS and possibly a partial season Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl.

Doug Coby (No. 19 Chevrolet)

  • Has one win, one pole and 27 top 10s in 82 career starts … His win came in the 2006 Spring Sizzler.
  • Recorded three top 10s in five 2008 starts driving the No. 28 … Finished 3rd and 21st in his two starts at SMS.
  • Will run a partial-to-full season in the No. 19 in 2009 … Led nine laps and finished eighth in the 2009 season opener at TIS.

Ed Flemke Jr. (No. 10 Chevrolet)

  • Has 17 wins and 15 poles in 371 career starts … He has three wins and two poles at SMS.
  • Has made a record 312 consecutive starts … The last time he did not start an NWMT race was on July 22, 1992 at Riverside Park Speedway.
  • Finished 11th in the 2008 NWMT standings … Best career points finishes were runner-up campaigns in 2004 and 2006.
  • Had finishes of 27th, 6th, 2nd and 11th in four races at SMS in 2008.

Donny Lia (No. 4 Dodge)

  • The 2007 NWMT champion.
  • Has 11 wins, 13 poles and 44 top 10s in 98 career starts … Has two wins and six poles at SMS … Both wins, which included the Spring Sizzler, came during his 2007 championship season.
  • Finished third in the season opener at TIS on April 5.
  • Has returned to the No. 4 full-time in 2009 after winning the NWMT title in the car in 2007 … Ran in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2008.

Chris Pasteryak (No. 52 Chevrolet)

  • Has four top 10s in 15 career starts.
  • Will compete full-time in the NWMT in 2009 after running partial schedules in 2005 and 2006 and serving as crew chief for his father, Charlie, in 2007 and 2008.
  • Captured the True Value Modified Racing Series championship in 2008.

Rowan Pennink (No. 93 Chevrolet)

  • Has nine top 10s in 31 career starts.
  • Finished ninth in the opener at TIS.
  • Had finishes of 6th, 11th, 7th and 7th in four races at SMS in 2008.
  • Improved from 17th in points as a rookie in 2007 to eighth as a sophomore a year ago.

Woody Pitkat (No. 28 Chevrolet)

  • Has seven top 10s in 18 career starts.
  • Hometown is Stafford, Conn.
  • Had one start at SMS in 2008 and finished 17th.
  • Will drive the No. 28 full-time in 2009 after making seven starts with the team last year.

Ryan Preece (No. 3 Chevrolet)

  • Has two poles, a win and 11 top 10s in 31 career starts.
  • Recorded finishes of 29th, 7th, 18th and 28th in four starts at SMS in 2008 … Set fast time in qualifying for the Spring Sizzler, becoming the youngest driver in NWMT history to earn a pole.
  • Finished 10th in points as a sophomore in 2008 after a 19th place showing as a rookie in 2007.

Erick Rudolph (No. 59 Chevrolet)

  • Has five top 10s in 10 career starts … Finished 24th, 9th and 17th in three starts at SMS in 2008.
  • Recorded five top 10s in nine starts as a rookie in 2008 … Earned Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors in six of those nine outings.
  • Finished 31st in the NWMT opener at TIS … Has finishes of fifth and seventh in two NWSMT starts in 2009.

Reggie Ruggiero (No. 14 Ford)

  • Has 44 wins, 27 poles and 225 top 10s in 414 career starts … His 44 wins rank second in series history and his 27 poles are tied for fourth with Jan Leaty.
  • Has eight wins and seven poles in his career at SMS … Last win came in May, 1993.
  • Recorded finishes of 32nd, 28th and 29th in three starts at SMS in 2008.

Ron Silk (No. 79 Pontiac)

  • Has three wins, a pole and 24 top-10s in 57 career starts … All three wins have come at TIS.
  • Registered finishes of 28th, 15th, 27th and 15th in four starts at SMS in 2008.
  • Finished sixth in the NWMT season opener at TIS and has top 10s in both NWSMT starts this year.
  • Has finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the points standings the last two seasons.

Mike Stefanik (No. 16 Pontiac)

  • The 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006 NWMT champion.
  • Has 69 wins, 42 poles and 255 top 10s in 382 career starts … Holds NWMT record for most championships, wins, poles, top fives and top 10s.
  • Is the all-time wins and poles leader at SMS with 20 and 15, respectively … Won the Spring Sizzler in 1989, 1990, 1997 and 1998.
  • Registered finishes of 4th, 4th, 7th and 1st in the four races at SMS in 2008.

Todd Szegedy (No. 2 Ford)

  • The 2003 NWMT champion.
  • Has 13 wins, five poles and 68 top 10s in 111 career starts … Three wins and two poles have come at SMS.
  • Recorded finishes of 9th, 2nd, 16th and 4th in four starts at SMS in 2008.
  • Has the best win percentage of any active driver, earning a trip to Victory Lane one out of every 8.5 starts.
  • Has finished in the top five in the points standings in each of the last three years. 

Jamie Tomaino (No. 99 Chevrolet)

  • The 1990 NWMT champion.
  • Has three wins, six poles and 234 top 10s in 500 career starts.
  • His 25 laps led in the opener at TIS were his first since the 2005 Spring Sizzler.
  • Become the first driver in series history to start 500 races at the Icebreaker … Has missed only four of the 504 races in the history of the NWMT (1985-pr.) … Is the only driver along with Carl Pasteryak to make a start in each of the first 25 years of the NWMT.
  • Has more starts than any driver in any NASCAR series, other than the Sprint Cup Series, and has 61 more than any other NWMT competitor.
  • One of his three career wins was the 1986 Fall Final at SMS.

Upcoming Milestones/Benchmarks:

  • Ed Flemke Jr. is expected to extend his record consecutive starts streak to 313.
  • Jamie Tomaino is slated to extend his series record for starts to 501.
  • Mike Stefanik’s next victory would make him the eighth driver in NASCAR history to earn 70 wins in a series … All others on the list accomplished the feat in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
  • Donny Lia’s next win would place him in a tie with Richie Evans and George Kent for 14th on the all-time series wins list at 12 … He is also two starts shy of 100 for his career.
  • Wade Cole is one start away from 150 for his career.

 Sources: Jason Cunningham/NASCAR WMT PR

April 2009
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