Stafford Springs, CT — As the 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Stafford Motor Speedway draws closer to taking the green flag, Kevin Gambacorta has his sights set on the 2010 Limited Late Model track championship. The Ellington, CT resident was the inaugural DARE Stock champion at Stafford in 2004 and he added a Limited Late Model crown in 2006, and after finishing the 2009 season in fifth place, he eyes a return to the top of the mountain for the third time in his career.
“The goal for us this year is the championship and to win a bunch of races,” said Gambacorta. “I feel like we should have won a whole lot more races last year than we did. We were up front a lot and we led a lot of races, we just didn’t have the best of luck and I feel like we gave a lot of races away that we should have won.”
During the off-season, Gambacorta’s long-time transmission man, Ken Gilli, passed away. Gambacorta and his team are going to dedicate their performance during the 2010 season to Ken Gilli’s memory.
“No matter how we do, we want to dedicate our performance this season to Ken Gilli,” said Gambacorta. “Kenny took care of my transmissions since I started in the Limited Late Model division and he was a good friend to us, so this season is going to be for him.”
The 2009 season at Stafford was a resurgence of sorts for Gambacorta and his #23 Rafferty Fine Grading team. Gambacorta picked up three victories last season, his first wins in the division since his championship season of 2006. Gambacorta and his team look to build upon their solid 2009 performance and exhibit a greater level of on-track consistency that they believe will carry them to another championship season.
“We really struggled the last couple years and that’s because we got behind on our equipment a little bit,” said Gambacorta. “When I came into the division, we had what amounted to DARE Stock equipment on the car and as the division grew, guys started coming to the track with better and better equipment and we fell behind. Stafford made some rule changes before the 2009 season and we knew then that we had to upgrade our car to be able to keep up with everyone. Jay Stuart built us a new car and Dave Miller from Auto Machine gave us a really great engine and the car was really fast all year long. We’re excited about the 2010 season, we have the same equipment that we ran last year and we feel like we’re one of the fastest cars in the division.”
Along with a new car and engine combination, Gambacorta received a huge boost mid-season last year when Rafferty Fine Grading of Enfield, CT came on board as the primary sponsor.
“Having Rafferty Fine Grading become our sponsor was huge for us,” said Gambacorta. “I’ve had sponsors before, but never to the level that Rafferty stepped up to for us. They’re really nice people and they made our team feel like a part of their family, which was great. My favorite racing memory was last August when we won. I didn’t know that Kurt [Rafferty] was in the grandstands that night and he came down and met us in victory lane. We gave him one of the trophies and it was all pretty cool, I’ll never forget that night.”
As Gambacorta and his team gear up for the 2010 season, they have a second car registered that just may have a familiar face behind the wheel as a teammate.
“Jay Stuart built us a great car and we’ve been talking with him this off-season about possibly driving our second car either on a part-time or full-time basis,” said Gambacorta. “We’re talking things over at the moment, and if he does end up in the second car, he’s going to be tough competition for sure.”
Gambacorta looks to kick off his 2010 season in fine style at the 39th Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, scheduled for April 23-25, 2010. 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 24, and Sunday, April 25 portions of the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, with the Friday, April 23 practice session open to the public free of charge.
For more information, or to order CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web.
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR