Archive for March, 2011

Jeremy Frankoski Readies NEMA Season Opener

Huntersville, NC — USAC Ford Focus Carolina champion Jeremy Frankoski is readily preparing for his NorthEastern Midget Association (NEMA) season debut this weekend at Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, Connecticut with the help of an old sponsor and a new sponsor.

Jeremy Frankoski Racing (JFR) in affiliation with Adam Cantor Racing (ACR) officially announced today that K&N Pro Filters will return as a sponsor on his No. 7NY IGA / Reichert Group Mopar for a fourth consecutive season while welcoming Lucas Oil onboard as well for 2011.

“I am very excited about representing these two great companies who are highly involved with the Motorsports community,” said Frankoski. “I’m excited to get the NEMA season rolling and feel like we have as good of a shot as anyone to have our K&N and Lucas Oil machine as a contender.”

Frankoski continued, “I’ve enjoyed a little bit of everything over the last couple of years. From open-wheels to some Late Model Racing, it’s been good. Returning to racing roots is always humbling. I’m thankful to Adam Cantor Racing, their supporters and everyone with Jeremy Frankoski Racing for standing behind me.”

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State-of-the-Art Panasonic Video Scoreboard Getting Final Touches

Loudon, NH — A piece of history was removed from New Hampshire Motor Speedway today, while a three-story structure popped up into view, as construction continues on the new $1.2 million Panasonic video scoreboard. The new state-of-the-art scoreboard will be ready when NASCAR and INDYCAR return to the largest sports and entertainment facility in New England this summer.

A 150-ton crane hoisted up the final major piece onto the 80-foot tall scoreboard. The steel frame is the largest component to be added so far and will support three 32-foot-by-18-foot Panasonic TV screens, providing impressive views of race action and instant replays. Below the video boards will be a scrolling leaderboard with color graphics that gives fans running positions and lap times for all 43 drivers, along with interesting race statistics and event information.

The historical seven position “Magic Mile” scoreboard was torn down in preparation for the season of speed. New Hampshire Motor Speedway will auction off the old scoreboard at a later date with all proceeds benefitting the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.

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Season of Speed Fast Approaching

Loudon, NH — Racing fever has hit New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the entire staff is gearing up for a historic and highly anticipated season of speed. Executive vice president and general manager, Jerry Gappens joined the fun Saturday, by taking calls from fans and selling tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301.

Gappens and the guest services department worked throughout the weekend speaking with revved up fans about the two upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 on July 17 and the SYLVANIA 300 on Sept. 25 as well as for INDYCAR 225 on Aug. 14. Great seats are going fast, as everyone counts the days until the return of racing to “The Magic Mile.”

The 2011 season of speed will provide race fans with top-quality action in all forms of racing including the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Firestone Indy Lights and the American Canadian Tour.

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Speedbowl ready for Budweiser Blastoff Weekend

Track champions ready to defend turf

Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl will swing open its gates this weekend for the 61st consecutive year with Budweiser Blastoff 2011. Fourteen divisions will see action in New England’s kickoff to racing led by the season opening event for the Valenti Modified Racing Series, the popular Northeastern based open-wheel series. The NEMA Midgets also begin another historic campaign at the Speedbowl at Blastoff.

The Speedbowl’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions also start their championship chases this weekend and four track champions from a year ago seek promising starts to their 2011 efforts.

Keith Rocco will look to pick up where he left off in 2010 when he claimed the Speedbowl’s SK Modified® track championship in record fashion. His 10 victories a year ago were the most ever in a single season in the division. That domination helped catapult Rocco to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national title, the first by a driver from the ‘Bowl. Ron Yuhas Jr., Rob Janovic, Tyler Chadwick, and Jeff Pearl are among those looking to unseat Rocco. The second-generation Rocco will be busy at Blastoff, wheeling a Valenti Modified and Late Model in addition to the Pane #57 SK Mod.

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New Hampshire Motor Speedway Vice President and General Manager Receives Seven Seals Award

Loudon, NH — New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager, Jerry Gappens was recently honored with the Seven Seals award by the Department of Defense Committee for Employer Support within the National Guard and Reserve on Saturday, March 26, in Portsmouth, N.H.

The Seven Seals Award is given to a limited number of citizens by the State Chairman of each Employer Support Committee. It recognizes the efforts of individuals, organizations and businesses whose supportive deeds benefit all reserve components.

Gappens and “The Magic Mile” were selected as a recipient of the prestigious award for their continued support with local Reservists providing Combined-Services Color Guard for pre-race ceremonies, during NASCAR event weekends.

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Countdown to Thompson’s Icebreaker is On

Thompson, CT — The countdown to the 2011 Icebreaker at The Thompson International Speedway is well underway by competitors and New England race fans. The weekend of April 9th & 10th is coming fast and everyone is ready for a brand new racing season to get started.

This year’s Icebreaker will feature eight racing divisions topped by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Thompson’s own “Super 6” NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions along with the visiting Sunoco Lite Modifieds will fill the two-day event at southern New England’s largest and fastest oval race track.

The race for divisional championships begins on day one of the season and Bobby Santos III, the 2010 WMT title holder, will be on hand to begin his defense of that crown. The race for the WMT title begins at Thompson and is usually decided at the final race of the “Tour’s” season which is also held at Thompson. This highly competitive division of open wheel race cars is a favorite of New England race fans and Thompson’s Icebreaker gives those fans their first look at what many feel will be one of the most competitive WMT seasons ever.

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Waterford Champ Jordan Moves to Valenti Modified Racing Series

Canaan, NH — Two-time Waterford Speedbowl Late Model champion Timmy Jordan of Plainfield, CT, will move to open-wheel racing and the Valenti Modified Racing Series when the tour opens its 2011 season at the famed race track Saturday and Sunday, April 2 & 3. The two-day event marks the second consecutive season the VMRS will be part of the annual Budweiser Blast-Off Weekend.

Jordan, who started his racing career at Waterford in the mini-stock division, moved to the full-bodied Late Models where he garnered 22 wins over the last five years. Although open wheel racing will be new to the 26-year-old high school teacher, Jordan feels he has good experience to tap into, to lean on for information and input.

Jordan’s sister Lindsay is married to 2008 VMRS champion Chris Pasteryak,of Lisbon, CT. That up close exposure to the Pasteryak modified teams has been beneficial. “My brother-in-law has been a big help and his father Charlie has been huge. Being around their operation has given me the opportunity to see what the series is about and we like what we saw. Plus racing at different race tracks is something we are interested in.”

Continue reading ‘Waterford Champ Jordan Moves to Valenti Modified Racing Series’

Thompson Practice Photo Gallery

[Photo Galleryby Nicholas Teto

Walt Wosko, Jr. Welcomes Miners, Inc. Lumber & Building Supply of Canton as Newest Sponsor for 2011 Season at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — For Stafford Late Model driver Walt Wosko, Jr., the 2011 season has brought about a new sponsor in Miner’s Inc. Lumber & Building Supply of Canton, CT for the #71 team. Miner’s Inc. joins Spargo Construction and Connecticut Custom Cars as the team’s sponsors. The new sponsorship has allowed the team to purchase a new engine as well as chassis updates for the 2011 season at Stafford Motor Speedway.

“Having Miner’s come on board with us this year was a big boost to the whole team, it was like a godsend,” said Wosko.

The #71 team is entering their 6th season of Late Model competition at Stafford, and they are looking to build upon a foundation they set at the start of the 2010 season before a blown engine ended their season after seven starts.

“Billy the Kid has given us a phenomenal motor for this season,” said Wosko. “We also have to thank Jason Moore from JMR Chassis. Without his help, we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are now with the car. He’s been helping us out with the chassis and with his help, we were in the top-5 on the practice sheets last year, which was better than we’ve ever been at Stafford. We had the car really going good and then the motor blew and money was tight so we decided to end our season and build for this year. We thought we were going to really have a good year last year, but we’re all excited for this year with Miner’s joining Spargo Construction and Connecticut Custom Cars as our sponsors. With our new Billy the Kid engine and Jason Moore helping us again with our chassis stuff, we are super happy and we’re ready to go racing this season.”

Continue reading ‘Walt Wosko, Jr. Welcomes Miners, Inc. Lumber & Building Supply of Canton as Newest Sponsor for 2011 Season at Stafford’

5-Time SK Modified Champion Bob Potter Recalls Inaugural CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on May 1st this year, it will mark the start of the 40th edition of “The Greatest Race In The History of Spring.” The CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler is the longest continuous running event on the Whelen Modified Tour calendar and the Sizzler has had some of the biggest and best names in modified racing find their way to CARQUEST Victory Lane.

The Spring Sizzler was born in 1972 with Dr. Dick Berggren, Lew Boyd, and Bruce Cohen putting the race together at a time when all the prestigious events were held in the fall. Their new idea for a major race in the springtime was an overwhelming success with over 100 cars in the paddock area and an overflow crowd of 11,500 packing the Stafford grandstands. Jack Arute purchased the rights to the race from Berggren, Boyd, and Cohen after that inaugural Sizzler and it has been the showcase event of the Stafford schedule every year since.

As part of the celebration of 40 years of the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, Stafford Speedway is inviting drivers who took part in the Inaugural Spring Sizzler to take part in a special pre-race. One of those drivers is Bob Potter, who after placing ninth in that inaugural Sizzler, would go on to record 5 Stafford SK Modified® track championships, a record that stood until 2007 when Ted Christopher recorded his sixth Stafford track championship. Driving for Roger Bonville in the #110 Coupe, Potter recalls the grand spectacle that was and continues to be the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler.

Continue reading ‘5-Time SK Modified Champion Bob Potter Recalls Inaugural CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway’

CARQUEST Champions for Charities Driver Spotlight: Chris Perley

Stafford Springs, CT — The CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday Champions for Charities Event at Stafford Motor Speedway scheduled for June 28th is building in momentum and excitement as the drivers gear up to raise funds for their respective charities. The impressive field of open wheeled division champion drivers represents 42 championships among 12 drivers. This week’s spotlight is on Chris Perley, the 6-time ISMA Supermodified Champion, and he will be racing to raise funds for the North Shore Arthritis Walk in Honor of Katie Blouin.

“We’re family acquaintances of Katie, and having a daughter myself, when something like this affects someone in your community, it definitely hits home,” said Perley. “Katie has rheumatoid arthritis and that is something that she is going to have to deal with for the rest of her life, so we want to help raise some money that will go towards finding a cure. Katie was the ambassador for last year’s Arthritis Walk, and she is a great girl and she comes from a great family. This is the first time I’ve been part of something like this and I’ll be part of the Arthritis Walk on May 22nd.”

When it comes to ISMA Supermodified competition, there are not many drivers that can match Perley’s accomplishments. Perley won 6 ISMA Supermodified championships from 2003-2009 and he has over 50 career victories. Perley has enjoyed a fair share of success at Stafford behind the wheel of his ISMA Supermodified machine, winning four of the first seven CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday Events. Perley will face a new challenge when he gets behind the wheel of the Senior Outlaw Kart for the 20-lap CARQUEST Champions For Charities around the Stafford Mini-Mile.

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CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party to Usher in 2011 Season at Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — The CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party is a Stafford Speedway tradition that has spanned the better part of two decades, with the first CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party taking place during CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend on September 30, 1990. The CARQUEST Belts and Hose Pit Party tradition will continue at Stafford on Sunday, May 1st as part of the 40th Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler pre-race festivities.

That 1990 CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend was the first time that a pit party was held at a weekly NASCAR track as part of the pre-race festivities. As the CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party has gained in popularity, the concept has spread to other area tracks and today is a mainstay in allowing race fans unique access to their favorite drivers and cars. Chris Kopec, Dan Avery, and Tom Bolles, who were each on hand for that Inaugural CARQUEST Betls & Hose Pit Party at Stafford, share their thoughts and memories of that first Pit Party and how it has grown into the event it is today.

“What I remember the most is being at the Pit Party with the Modified Tour car,” said Chris Kopec. “In the past we had done autograph sessions and things like that, but the Pit Party was a whole new way for drivers to be able to interact with the fans. No one had ever done anything like the Pit Party. I remember wondering how that first pit party was going to go because normally on race day you don’t get to meet the people who are in the grandstands. Once the Pit Party concept got going and became popular, the fans started showing up early just to be part of the Pit Party and see the cars and drivers up close. The coolest part was seeing kids getting close to the cars and the drivers. Over the years, it’s become a great event. I don’t think you ever see anyone going back to the grandstands empty handed with all the different things that drivers are handing out now.”

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Emergency Driving Skills and St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Tap For New Hampshire Motor Speedway This Weekend

Loudon, NH — The harsh New England winter may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean the unexpected can’t happen while driving. Join New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Stevens Advanced Driving School this weekend as they promote safe driving techniques for people of all ages.

The Stevens Advanced Driving School offers a unique driving program featuring effective emergency braking techniques; best hand and seating position for control; precision steering and car control; tire care, mirrors and blind spots; emergency lane changes and the dangers of tailgating.

The emergency skills program begins at 9 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. For more information or to register for an upcoming session please visit http://stevensdriving.com/index.php.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take on the Auto Club Speedway, a 2-mile oval in Fontana, Calif., this weekend with the fifth race in the 2011 season. Coverage begins Sunday at 3 p.m. (ET) on FOX.

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For the Thrill of a Lifetime Drive Your Car Around New Hampshire Motor Speedway at FANtasy Drive 2

Loudon, NH — You can’t run the bases with the Red Sox, shoot a free-throw with the Celtics, skate the ice like a Bruin, and you definitely can’t score a touchdown with the Patriots. But, you can drive your own car into Turn 1 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway just like Jeff Gordon during FANtasy Drive 2 on Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This unique opportunity allows fans that have purchased a ticket to any of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events or the IZOD INDYCAR Series race to drive around the “The Magic Mile.”

FANtasy Drive 2 is a free admission open house that gives guests a sneak peek into the game-day experience at New England’s largest sports and entertainment facility, by virtually opening every door at the racetrack that day. Fans will have the opportunity to visit Bruton Smith’s exclusive suite; the television broadcast booths, the NASCAR/INDYCAR garages, victory lane and the highly restricted timing and scoring area, the flag stand and Checkered Flag restaurant.

For any sports fan who has ever dreamed of performing the national anthem in front of thousands of people, the New Hampshire chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities and WGIR’s “The Morning Buzz” will host the first-ever Speedway Star competition from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day as well. The two winners chosen that day will perform at either the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, July 16, or the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Continue reading ‘For the Thrill of a Lifetime Drive Your Car Around New Hampshire Motor Speedway at FANtasy Drive 2′

Some NEMA Opening Day History

Waterford Speedbowl will host the 2011 Northeastern Midget Association opener, the club scheduled to make its 59th season debut at the Budweiser Blast Off. NEMA is the region’s oldest sanctioning body in terms of consistency.

Chris Leonard hopes to join an impressive list with a second straight season-opener win. It’s happened only eight times, Randy Cabral the last to do it in 2008 and ‘09. Bill Eldridge (1954-55), Dutch Schaefer (1959-60), Walt Gale (1966-67), Johnny Coy (1970-71), Armond Holley (1976-77), Drew Fornoro (1982-83) and Ben Seitz (2004-05) are the others.

Russ Stoehr and Randy Cabral join a group seeking to become the 13th driver to win the opener and go on to win the championship. Despite six titles including last year, Stoehr has never done it. Cabral has done it twice (2008-09), short of Drew Fornoro’s record three times (’83, ’86 and ’98). Eldridge (’54, ’58) and Ben Seitz (’04-05) did it twice; Dick Brown (’61), Johnny Mann (’72), Holley (’76) and Joey Coy (’91) once.

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A Look at the 2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Season

Kip Childress has been the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Series Director for the past couple seasons. If you’re ever at a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race, you’ll always see Childress walking around and talking to the teams and drivers and just have a big smile on his face. This season the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will have 12 races in 2011. On the schedule this year is four brand new tracks. One of the tracks is Bowman Gray Stadium down in Winston-Salem, NC. “The flat quarter-mile bullring is the madhouse that everyone come to know and love. Were looking forward to getting there. How often will our guys have an opportunity to get in front of 18,000 people around a quarter mile football field essentially. It will be packed. Their (Bowman Gray) excited to have us there. Our teams are excited to go. They know it’s going to be a rough and tumble race. I think that one of the things that will show everybody is that our guys will be able to race even on the close quarters of Bowman Gray.” Childress stated

The other three new tracks that the series will go is Richmond International Raceway on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend. That race will be held on Thursday April28th. The Bowman Gray Stadium race will be held on Saturday June 4th a trip Langley Speedway on Saturday June 18th, and Columbus Motor Speedway in Columbus, OH on Saturday July 23rd.

In the past few years, we have seen the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams put their development drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East as a stepping stone for the next big level. We have seen guys like Joey Logano, 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, Austin Dillon, Ryan Truex and many others. This year Michael Waltrip Racing will have Brett Moffitt in the driver’s seat for a run at the championship as Ryan Truex has moved up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Max Gresham will return to the seat at Joe Gibbs Racing and make a run at the championship. Childress during the off season has received phone calls from Late Models team that want to make that jump to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. With the NASCAR Nationwide Series going with their brand new car this season. It will make it more affordable for teams to buy Nationwide cars to run in the Series.

Continue reading ‘A Look at the 2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Season’

Get Up Close to the Cars and Stars of NASCAR and INDYCAR With a New Hampshire Motor Speedway Pre-Race Pit Pass or Garage Pass

Loudon, NH — New Hampshire Motor Speedway race fans of ALL ages can rev up their race-day experience by purchasing a pre-race pit pass or garage pass for either of the track’s two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends or the IZOD INDYCAR Series event.

Racing offers some of the best behind-the-scenes access in all of professional sports and, for the first time, “The Magic Mile” is welcoming children into the infield, pit road and garage area to witness the excitement of race day during a NASCAR or INDYCAR weekend.

With a pre-race pit pass, fans can experience pit road from a crew member’s perspective during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 on July 17 and for the SYLVANIA 300 on Sept. 25.

On Sunday, Aug. 14, New Hampshire Motor Speedway will allow race fans ages 9 and older into the IZOD INDYCAR garage area for an exclusive look at America’s fastest and most versatile race cars and drivers.

Continue reading ‘Get Up Close to the Cars and Stars of NASCAR and INDYCAR With a New Hampshire Motor Speedway Pre-Race Pit Pass or Garage Pass’

First of Two Open Practice Sessions This Weekend at Thompson

Thompson, CT — Race cars of all shapes and sizes will be headed to the Thompson International Speedway this Saturday for the first of two scheduled open practice sessions. The race track will be open from 11 AM until 6 PM for any safe race car wishing to take advantage of some pre-season, on-track time. The second such session will be held next Saturday, April 2nd, at the same times. In the event of rain, these open practice sessions will be held the following day (Sunday) beginning at 12 Noon. These dates are set aside each year to give competitors an opportunity to test and fine tune their race cars for the new season that begins with the Icebreaker on the weekend of April 9th & 10th.

During the 2011 racing season, there will be many different types of race cars and trucks that will be in competition at Thompson and all are welcome to participate in these open practice sessions. Race cars ranging from the NASCAR Whelen All-American series divisions, NEMA Midgets, ISMA Super Modifieds, Whelen Modified Tour, Modified Racing Series, race trucks, Classic and Antique race cars and many more are all invited to take advantage of these two day-long open track sessions.

These two open practice days are designed to offer competitors an opportunity to prepare their cars for the annual Icebreaker and beyond. Thompson’s Icebreaker will be held on the weekend of April 9th & 10th. However, the open practice is a great time for virtually any safe race car to be tested on the high banks of Thompson

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Dillon Moltz Renews Sponsorship with AAA Driver Training for 2011 Late Model Season at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — For Stafford Late Model competitor Dillon Moltz, the dawn of a new racing season has brought he and his team some great news. Moltz’s #94 team has renewed their agreement with AAA Driver Training to return as their primary sponsor for the 2011 season and will once again challenge for the track championship. The news couldn’t have come at a better time for Moltz and his team, who weren’t sure if they would be racing at all this year.

“We’re happy to have AAA Driver Training back with us this, that made our season happen,” said Moltz. “Without them coming back with us, we wouldn’t have been racing this year. We had enough money to get the car ready to race and to do a couple of races, but with AAA we can now race the entire season. We have a new body and we’ve made some small changes, but we’re coming back with pretty much the same car we had last season. It was a bit of a late start for us because we didn’t want to do anything with the car until we were sure that we would be racing, but we’re excited about the new season.”

When the green flag drops on the 2011 season, Moltz will most likely be counted among the favorites to win the championship. In three and a half seasons of Late Model competition at Stafford, Moltz has accumulated 14 feature victories, a total that puts him in 8th place on the All-Time Late Model Winners List. Moltz had to sit out the first 7 races of his rookie season in 2007 because he hadn’t yet reached his 16th birthday. But once he got behind the wheel, he took 2 wins in his first 13 starts and finished the season 18th in points. The 2008 and 2009 seasons saw him win 5 races in each season and he finished second and third in the standings. His win total last year dropped down to 2, but he still finished third in the standings despite missing a race.

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Stafford Native J.J. Hill Looking for Big Things in Stafford Speedway’s Late Model Divison

Stafford Springs, CT — With the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season set to kick off in a little more than a month’s time, Stafford Springs native J.J. Hill is excited about his chances in Stafford’s Late Model division. Last season saw Hill capture his first career victory in the most prestigious race of the season, the Late Model 100, and Hill is looking to use that win as the building foundation for a run at a top-5 finish in the Late Model points standings with the #41 Life Care Family Chiropractic team.

“We’re working our way towards winning more than one race and running up front every week,” said Hill. “We want to be higher in points this year, but our main goal is to be consistent. There’s no reason why we can’t run in the top-5 every week. They always say that the first win is the hardest one and once you get that first one, they start coming after that, so hopefully we can do that and get a couple of wins this year. Our main focus is to finish in the top-5 in the points and if we can do that, it wouldn’t matter if we win or not. We should definitely be improved from where we were last year.”

The road to CARQUEST Victory Lane was a long and oftentimes uphill battle for Hill and the #41 team. Hill began his Late Model career in 2005 with a rough season that saw him not qualify 6 times and a 27th place finish in the points standings. Hill’s next three seasons were a combination of struggles and tough luck that saw him finish 26th in the points standings each year with one top-10 finish. But Hill had a breakout season in 2009, taking 5 top-10 and 10 top-10 finishes to wind up 7th in the points standings. Although he slipped down to 12th in the points last year, Hill took his first victory along with 4 more top-5 and 6 top-10 finishes.

“After 5 years of racing, you start to wonder if you can win or not,” said Hill. “The win really didn’t sink in for us until the end of the season. Now we know we did it once, so why can’t we go out there and do it again? Last year we started off the season around 20th in points after the first couple of races, so it was a nice climb back up in the standings for us.”

Another reason Hill has optimism for the 2011 season is the addition of Rob Russell as a team and chassis consultant.

“This will be our second season working with Rob,” said Hill. “Having Rob helping us last year got us turned around 180 degrees from where we were. Having Rob help us out gets everyone involved and excited about working on the car. Rob is like the heart of our team he gets everyone pumping. We started working on the car the week after the Fall Final. We stripped the car down and we decided to start from scratch. We improved some parts and pieces on the car and we still have some older stuff on the car. Rob really gives us a lot of knowledge and we’re all excited about getting back on the track with how we started to run more consistent at the end of last year. The whole team is much more confident than we were at this time last year.”

Hill will carry sponsorship from Life Care Family Chiropractic this season in his quest to make the top-5 in the final points standings, and like most other teams, he is searching for additional sponsorship.

“We have Life Care Family Chiropractic on the car and we’re looking for additional sponsors,” said Hill. “Life Care is a great sponsor to have, they’re big fans of racing and they’ve been helping us out all winter long with the car. If we can’t find more sponsors before the season starts, hopefully we can run well enough that we will attract some sponsors. We’re going to have a little different look to the car for this year, we’re changing up the paint to make it easier to pick out of a crowd. We can’t wait to get back out on the track and try to win some races.”

The 2011 Late Model season kicks off with the 40th Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, scheduled for April 29-May 1. The Whelen Modified Tour will headline the Sizzler with Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions joining them on the card. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $35.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $38.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.

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

Frank Ruocco Ready to Challenge for Second SK Modified® Track Championship at Stafford Motor Speedway in 2011

Stafford Springs, CT —  With the dawn of a new season rising above Stafford Motor Speedway, SK Modified® driver Frank Ruocco is ready to challenge for his second track championship at the famed half-mile oval. Ruocco is the 2006 Stafford SK Modified® track champion, and he is eager to get back to that position after a season in which he finished third in the standings behind Keith Rocco and Woody Pitkat in what he describes as the toughest division in the country.

“Over the winter we’ve gone through the cars down to the chassis, we redid everything, and now we’re ready to go,” said Ruocco. “Our cars were fast all year long and they’ve been fast for the past couple of years, but in the SKs at Stafford, everyone is so close. I would argue that there isn’t a more competitive field anywhere than we have in the SK Modified® division at Stafford.”

Rocco’s 2010 season was a mix of peaks and valleys. Ruocco consistently had one of the fastest cars every Friday night, but his finishes didn’t always match the pace of his car. Ruocco won the second race of the year after an 18th place showing in the season opening CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, but he had 5 finishes of 16th or worse in the first half of the year. The turning point for Ruocco was the midway point of the year, when he made a crew chief change that saw Steve Butova take over the role. In their first race together, Ruocco came home as the race winner and began a streak that saw them win 3 times and finish on the podium a total of 7 times over the final 10 races of the 2010 season.

Continue reading ‘Frank Ruocco Ready to Challenge for Second SK Modified® Track Championship at Stafford Motor Speedway in 2011′

Stafford Speedway Adds IZOD IndyCar Veteran Davey Hamilton to CARQUEST Champions for Charities Driver Lineup

Stafford Springs, CT — The June 28th CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday Champions for Charities Event at Stafford Motor Speedway has added an Indy 500 flair with the addition of “500” Veteran Davey Hamilton. Hamilton will take part in the CARQUEST Champions For Charities go kart race while racing for The Victory Junction Gang Camp. The Victory Junction Gang Camp was built in honor of Adam Petty and they provide life-changing experiences for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.

“I love to be able to help kids,” said Hamilton. “We’re very fortunate in that we are able to do what we do racing cars and anytime I can do something for kids, I always like to help out.”

Hamilton is a veteran of West Coast Supermodified competition, winning a total of 6 championships from 1987-1991 in Northwest Supermodified Association, Western States Supermodified Tour, Supermodified Racing Association, and Injected Fire and Fury Series supermodified competition. Hamilton’s Supermodified success carried him to the world of IndyCars.

Continue reading ‘Stafford Speedway Adds IZOD IndyCar Veteran Davey Hamilton to CARQUEST Champions for Charities Driver Lineup’

Statement On The Passing Of Melissa Loftin, Wife Of Southern Tour Driver Brian Loftin

Daytona Beach, FL — Melissa Loftin, the wife of NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver Brian Loftin, passed away Tuesday following an automobile accident in North Carolina.

“On behalf of NASCAR and the France family, we send out our thoughts and prayers to Brian, the Loftin family and the entire Whelen Southern Modified Tour community,” said Richard Buck, NASCAR’s director of touring series. “Melissa was a warm and recognizable face in the garage, and she will be missed.”

Loftin, the 2008 Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, earned the Coors Light Pole Award and finished 18th in the season-opener on March 13 following a late-race incident while contending for the lead.

Continue reading ‘Statement On The Passing Of Melissa Loftin, Wife Of Southern Tour Driver Brian Loftin’

NEMA First Timers A Speedbowl Trait

The Budweiser Blast Off April 2-3 will mark the seventh time since 1999 that the Northeastern Midget Association has opened its season at Waterford Speedbowl. The NEMA Lites are also part of the festivities as the club kicks off its 59th campaign.

Last year, Chris Leonard was the third driver in that span to score his first NEMA win at a Speedbowl lid lifter. The others are Rudy Boetticher in 2000 and Ben Seitz in 2004. Seitz went on to win the first of four straight championships that season.

“The best you run all year often happens at Waterford,” says Russ Stoehr, who’ll begin the defense of his 2010 title at the Blast Off. He won twice there last year in the Dumo’s Desire #45.

The all-time Waterford NEMA and Midget winner is Randy Cabral with eight. He has not won there since 2008 and will looking to end that streak at the Blast Off in Tim Bertrand’s #47 Drinan/Esslinger. Bertrand also has a driving win.

Continue reading ‘NEMA First Timers A Speedbowl Trait’

NETS Racing New England Style in 2011

The New England Truck Series Director Lorraine Pard, has announced NETS 12 race set schedule for the 2011 season. The track lineups include Monadnock Speedway NH, Thompson International Speedway CT, and Waterford Speedbowl CT.

Pard states, “This season’s race schedule is condensed to gear it towards racers and teams economic needs in today’s economy.” The announced line-up features a debut to Waterford, CT. Speedbowl for the tracks season opener April 1-3 Budweiser Blastoff Weekend. The former A.B. CDL Driving Training Center Truck Division at Waterford has merged with the New England Truck Series (NETS) in an effort to keep the trucks a solid part of the tracks 2011 program and produce more exciting racing for the NETS touring division. The A.B. CDL Driving Training Center coordinating with Waterford Speedbowl is currently planning to continue to be a supporting factor to the truck series for this upcoming season. NETS will return to Waterford Speedbowl April 30.

Saturday May 21, Armed Forces Day at Monadnock Speedway will be NETS first race of this season in NH, and returning on June 4 for the second time. June 18, NETS returns to the Waterford Speedbowl in CT. July 9 th and August 6 th continues the summer visits at Monadnock with the finale on September 17 th . July 23 NETS 50 lap race will be held at Waterford Speedbowl, and finishing the bowl season at the finale on October 7-8. Thompson Speedway first race is TBA with the World Series October 14-16 being NETS Championship race of 2011.

Continue reading ‘NETS Racing New England Style in 2011′

Michael Bennett Looks to Challenge for Late Model Track Championship in 2011 at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — At the start of any racing season, optimism is rampant and that is no different for Michael Bennett and the #64 Davidson Co. Late Model team at Stafford Motor Speedway. The team had their most successful season with 2 wins last year, which helped them to finish 5th in the points standings. Bennett and his team have been hard at work during the winter and are looking forward to building upon the winning foundation they laid last season.

“We’re coming back with the same crew and the same car we had last year,” said Bennett. “We’ve gone through the car and we’ve fitted some replacement parts and we had the motor refreshed by Billy the Kid. We were real happy with the performance of the car last year and we don’t see any reason why we can’t build on what we had going last year and win some more races this year and contend for the championship.”

Bennett will once again carry the familiar colors of The Davidson Company, a relationship that began in 2006 when Bennett moved from the DARE Stock division into the Limited Late Model division and won the track championship. Bennett will also have help from a bevy of associate sponsors this season as he tries to chase the Late Model championship.
Continue reading ‘Michael Bennett Looks to Challenge for Late Model Track Championship in 2011 at Stafford Speedway’

Former Whelen Modified Tour Driver Anthony Sesely Joins Joins SK Modifed® Division at Stafford Speedway for 2011 Season

Stafford Springs, CT — Former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitor Anthony Sesely plans to join the ranks of the SK Modified® division at Stafford Motor Speedway for the 2011 season. Sesely has put together a brand new Troyer chassis car for the 2011 season and he is looking forward to the challenge of racing in the SK Modified® division at Stafford. While Sesely usually carried the number 11 on his cars, his SK Modified® at Stafford will carry the number 6.

“This will be my first time in an SK car,” said Sesely. “We have 2-barrel modified racing here in New Jersey, but they’re a bit different from the SK cars at Stafford. Stafford is the toughest game in town and that is where we are headed. Stafford is a nice big half-mile track and after racing the last couple years at Wall and Mahonig, it’s nice to look forward to racing at a track like Stafford. I’ve seen guys go from the Tour to the SK’s before and not be able to be up to speed with the competition, hopefully we won’t be one of those guys. With guys like Teddy [Christopher], [Keith] Rocco, [Ryan] Preece, and [Doug] Coby, the SK Modified® division is a very tough division but I love racing against those guys. I love it when they come down here for the Turkey Derby because it’s fun racing against them. At Stafford, you find out who the real cars and the real drivers are.”

From 2005-2009, Sesely made a total of 40 starts in Whelen Modified Tour competition with three top-10 finishes. Two of those top-10 finishes came at Stafford, so while Sesely feels good about the track, he knows he faces an adjustment in going from a WMT car to an SK car. But Sesely has won a 8 feature events the past 2 years in New Jersey and Pennsylvania while racing 2-barrel modified cars, so he has some experience to lean on as he heads to Stafford.

Continue reading ‘Former Whelen Modified Tour Driver Anthony Sesely Joins Joins SK Modifed® Division at Stafford Speedway for 2011 Season’

CARQUEST Champions for Charities Driver Spotlight: Frank Ruocco

Stafford Springs, CT — The CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday Champions for Charities Event at Stafford Motor Speedway scheduled for June 28th is building in momentum and excitement as the drivers gear up to raise funds for their respective charities. The impressive field of open wheeled division champion drivers represents 42 championships among 12 drivers. This week’s spotlight is on Frank Ruocco, the 2006 Stafford Motor Speedway SK Modified® Champion, and he will be racing to raise funds for the Lustgarten Foundation in the fight to defeat pancreatic cancer.

Ruocco has taken the challenge to fundraise to a higher level as he will be sponsoring and participating in the Bill Tamburro, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament on Monday, May 16th at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, CT. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Lustgarten Foundation. The tournament has already signed on sponsors such as Hurricane Motorsports, Sign-Pro, DP Motorsports, Rocco’s Restaurant, Stafford Speedway, and Jeff Jolly Financial Services. For more information on how you can beomce a tournament sponsor and/or play a round, please CLICK HERE.

“Over the years, I’ve become close with Mark and Lisa Arute, and being that it was Lisa’s brother Bill who passed away from pancreatic cancer, that gives a personal touch to it,” said Ruocco. “All charities are worthwhile, but it’s always better when you have a personal connection. Golf is my favorite sport. In golf, the worst thing that can happen is you lose a little white ball while in racing you can lose an entire car. The tournament is going to be a lot of fun, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone that I normally see at the track out on the golf course.”

Ruocco began racing in Stafford’s SK Modified® division in 2002, where he finished 25th in the points standings. Since that first season of SK Modified® competition, Ruocco has not finished lower than 6th in points. Ruocco has won at least one feature race every year since 2005, with a career high 4 wins coming last season. Ruocco won only once during his championship season of 2006, the only season during his current 6-year race win streak that he has not won at least twice during the year. Ruocco heads into 2011 tied with John Anderson for 8th place on the all-time Stafford SK Modified® winners list. While Ruocco has an extensive list of success in Stafford’s premier division, he will face a new challenge when he gets behind the wheel of the Senior Outlaw Kart for the CARQUEST Champions For Charities event on June 28th as part of the 8th Annual CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday.

“I’ve never driven one of these karts before,” said Ruocco. “After looking at the list of drivers that I’ll be competing against, I don’t know that I would bet on myself to win the race. I think the only chance I might have at winning this race would be if I drove my SK. But we’re all racing for good causes and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The starting lineups for the CARQUEST Champions For Charities qualifying races will be determined by how much money each driver raises for their selected charity. The starting grid will be set with the drivers who have raised the most money starting up front. Fans are encouraged to get involved in the event by donating to their favorite driver or favorite charity. To make a donation to the The Lustgarten Foundation on behalf of Frank Ruocco, and for more information on the event, please refer to the CARQUEST Champions for Charities donation page located at www.staffordspeedway.com. Stay tuned to www.staffordspeedway.com for more driver spotlights and exciting information regarding the CARQUEST Champions for Charities event.

Pancreatic cancer is the nation’s fourth leading cancer killer. Currently the only way to cure pancreatic cancer is to detect it early enough to be removed surgically, but there are no tests for early detection of pancreatic cancer at the moment. The Lustgarten Foundation’s mission is to advance the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer. For more information about the Lustgarten Foundation and how you can make a donation, please visit the Lustgarten Foundation link found by CLICKING HERE.

CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday will take place on June 28, 2011 and will also feature the ISMA Super Modifieds, NEMA Midgets, and Pro-4 Modifieds. Tickets for CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office and are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $32.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.

For more information, or to order tickets to the 8th Annual CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday event, 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

Anticipation Builds at Thompson

Thompson, CT — As the snow and ice begins to disappear; the anticipation of a brand new racing season at Thompson International Speedway has begun to build with track officials, competitors and fans alike. The warmer temperatures and the heavy rains have worked wonders on the deep snow left from the seemingly endless series of storms this past winter.

With the first of two open practice session slated for Saturday, March 26th, and the second set for April 2nd, track officials and optimistic and are working very hard to get the facility ready for race action. There is much work to do since the fierce winter left the track buried under three to four feet of hard packed ice and snow. Yet the recent warm days and work by track personnel seems to be paying off very nicely. Everyone has high hopes that the opening events will be able to go off as scheduled. Open practice times for both days are scheduled from 11 AM until 6 PM.

The open practice sessions on March 26th and April 2nd, are very important to competitors as they get ready for the season-opening Icebreaker event on the weekend of April 9th & 10th, 2011. This year’s Icebreaker will feature eight different racing divisions with the headliner being the season’s first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race. The WMT will be joined by Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All-American “Super 6” divisions along with the popular Sunoco Lite Modifieds.

Continue reading ‘Anticipation Builds at Thompson’

Two-Car NEMA Effort for Bertrand

Brockton, MA – Two-time Northeastern Midget Association car owner champion Tim Bertrand has “taken himself out” of the race for 2011 honors. He has, however, made a deeper investment in the “let’s have some fun” fraternity.

Bertrand’s driver Randy Cabral will, however, be in the championship picture. The 2008-09 king will be making the bid in two different but familiar race cars. Cabral will drive the #47 Drinan/Esslinger 75 percent of the time including the club’s season opener, Waterford Speedowl’s Budweiser Blast off April 2-3.

The remainder of the races, notably the smaller tracks, Cabral will be in the completely refurbished, 32-year old #35 Edmonds chassis which will be Autocraft powered. Cabral’s first ever NEMA win, the 2000 Boston Louie, came in the car as did his first Speedbowl checkered. “It’s like going home for Randy,” said Bertrand.

Defending champions Russ Stoehr and the #45 Dumo’s Desire Beast/Esslinger, lead the return to the Speedbowl for the club’s 59th season opener. The team won twice at Waterford last season. The NEMA Lites will also be part of Blast Off.

Bertrand says the #35’s performance with Anthony Marvuglio aboard in last year’s Louie – leading the first 13 laps – was the impetus. “Obviously, Randy’s dad Glenn has a great love for the car but they have never had the opportunity to run it at its full potential. We decided to help toward that end and we’d also like to prove we can win with a 30-year old racer.”

“Already feeling different,” Bertrand, about to become a father (wife Cara is due in May) and with increased business responsibilities, welcomes the “lack of pressure” his decision involving the championship brings. Bertrand Motorsports, however, appears no less busy.

Younger brother Todd, a winner in the NEMA Lites, starts his tenure in the family #39, powered by Honda, at the opener. The team has also had a hand in the Drinan/Esslinger (“a replica of the #47) that Bertrand believes makes John Zych Jr. “a definite contender.”

Blast Off will also mark the debut of Jeremy Frankowski in the Cantor #7ny. He replaces Adam Cantor, now the crew chief. Others expected at Waterford are Chris Leonard and Chris deRitis, both winners there last season. deRitis will be in the Cicconi #75. Among the other contenders are veterans Greg Stoehr, Keith Botelho, Jim Miller, Lee Bundy, Paul Scally and Mike Horn.

Sources: Pete Zanardi/NEMA PR