Archive for March 11th, 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.
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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.

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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