Archive for April 22nd, 2011

Rain or Shine; Join Us at FANtasy Drive Today!

Loudon, NH — The green flag has dropped on the 2011 season of speed at FANtasy Drive 2. Join us today for a free admission, exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of New England’s largest sports and entertainment facility including, Bruton Smith’s (Chairman of the Board of New Hampshire Motor Speedway) luxury suite, the Hospitality Courtyard, NASCAR race control featuring live timing and scoring from the speedway’s pace car, the ESPN/TNT/SPEED television broadcast booths, the garage areas, and more.

If you have purchased a ticket to any of the speedway’s major events, experience the ride of a lifetime by taking three laps around “The Magic Mile” in your own car, just like the cars and stars of NASCAR and INDYCAR. After you drive your car around NHMS, celebrate in victory lane and have your picture taken hoisting the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 trophy over your head!

Have the need for speed? Put your online racing skills to the test with several iRacing simulators that will be available throughout the day.

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CARQUEST Champions for Charities Driver Spotlight: Richie Pallai, Jr.

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 over 50 championships among 14 drivers. This week’s driver spotlight falls on Richie Pallai, Jr., the 2009 Spring Sizzler SK Modified® Champion, who will be racing to help support The Danbury Animal Welfare Society.

The Danbury Animal Welfare Society is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization dedicated to improving the lives of animals in our community and beyond. They promote responsible pet guardianship and the humane treatment of animals, and work toward ending animal overpopulation through education and a variety of programs. Danbury Animal Welfare Society gives shelter and care for homeless companion animals while they wait for people like you to give them a loving, forever home.

“I have a personal love of animals,” said Pallai. “I hate to see animals harmed, especially if they have to be euthanized because they have no place to live or someone to care for them. I wanted to be able to help the cause and make sure animals have food and shelter, so we decided to partner up with D.A.W.S.”

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Call Before You Dig Renews Contingency Sponsorship with Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that Call Before You Dig will return for the 2011 season as an SK Modified® contingency sponsor and track partner. For the past four seasons, Call Before You Dig has served as the title sponsor of the track’s Technical Inspection Zone, and they will once again serve in that capacity for the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season. Call Before You Dig will also provide a weekly $125 bonus to the 2nd place finisher in each SK Modified® feature event during the 2011 season for the second consecutive year.

In addition to sponsoring the Inspection Zone and providing a weekly contingency bonus, Call Before You Dig will maintain an advertising presence in the Stafford Speedway PitStopper Magazine as well as a billboard display along the track’s backstretch.

“We’re please to have Call Before You Dig as part of our family of sponsors for another season,” said Mark Arute, SMS COO/GM. “With the current economic climate, sponsors are harder and harder to find and it’s especially difficult to maintain a continuous relationship with a sponsor. This will be the fifth consecutive season that we have been partnered with Call Before You Dig, which is a great testament to the benefits of being an advertising partner here at Stafford. Call Before You Dig has been a great partner to work with and we hope that we can continue our partnership well into the future.”

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Shark Cycle Returns as Title Sposor of September Modified Racing Series Event at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — For the second consecutive season, the Valenti Modified Racing Series will make a September appearance at Stafford Motor Speedway with race title sponsorship from Shark Cycle of Stafford Springs. Last year’s Shark Cycle race was the first ever appearance by the Valenti Modified Racing Series at Stafford and the race was won by Ted Christopher, who is Stafford’s winningest driver in history with 110 feature victories.

“Last year’s race was a great event for us to be involved with,” said Bob Charland, owner of Shark Cycle. “We had a lot of customer feedback from our sponsorship and we’re looking forward to being part of another exciting night of modified racing at Stafford Speedway.”

The Shark Cycle Valenti Modified Racing Series event last season was a duel between Stafford veterans and Valenti Modfied Series regulars. The Stafford veterans held the edge over the series regulars when the checkered flag fell as the top-6 spots and 9 of the top-10 positions were filled by drivers with SK Modified® or Whelen Modified Tour experience at Stafford.

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5-Time SK MODIFIED® Champion Bob Potter to Serve as Grand Marshal of 40th Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that 5-time SK Modified® track champion Bob Potter will serve as the grand marshal of the 40th Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler. 40 years after Potter took the green flag in the very first Spring Sizzler and finished 9th, he will send the Whelen Modified Tour field on its way this year with the most famous words in motorsports, “Drivers start your engines.”

“I really appreciate Mark & Lisa [Arute] asking me to do this, it’s a great honor for me,” said Potter. “I’ve done this once before at Waterford and it really makes you feel great to be asked to be the grand marshal. I used to love sitting in the race car and hear those words, it gave me goose bumps when I heard those words and started the car up. I’m sure this will be a little bit different than sitting in the car, but I’m sure that I’ll have goose bumps again when I give the command. The Spring Sizzler is always the best race and I’m sure that this year is going to be one heck of a race.”

Potter is one of the most successful drivers in Stafford’s SK Modified® history. He ranks 4th on Stafford’s all-time SK Modified® winners list with 24 career victories, and he has won 5 SK Modified® track championships. Potter enjoyed one of the most dominant runs in the division’s history at Stafford, with four of his five championships coming in a five-year span from 1991-1995. Only Mike Christopher, who won the championship in 1993, broke up Potter’s stranglehold on the SK Modified® championship. Potter’s five Stafford SK Modified® track championships was a division record that stood until Ted Christopher won his sixth track championship in 2007.

“To me, Stafford was always a driver’s track,” said Potter. “I saw a lot of guys try Stafford who didn’t make it. It takes a special driver to be able to win at Stafford. The turns are different from each other and sometimes you have to remember what turn you’re in. I always said that if you can win a race at Stafford, then you could win a race anywhere. As a driver, you really had to be dialed in to win at Stafford. Three things I always tried to focus on was concentration, dedication, and the will to win, and we usually did pretty well when we came to Stafford to race.”

For his career, Potter made a total of 7 starts in the Spring Sizzler, including the very first Sizzler in 1972 where he drove the #110 for car owner Roger Bonville. In his 7 Spring Sizzler starts, his best finish was second in 1988, the year that the SK Modified® division was the headline division at the Spring Sizzler. In that 1988 Spring Sizzler, Potter finished runner-up to Ted Christopher and just in front of Bo Gunning, making a podium that combined for 15 Stafford SK Modified® track championships and 163 Stafford SK Modified® feature victories.

The 2011 CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler gets underway Friday, April 29 with a practice session for Stafford’s weekly divisions. The practice session will be open to the public at no charge. Action continues on Saturday, April 30 with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions. Saturday will conclude with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions. The Sizzler continues on Sunday, May 1 with the CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party followed by Stafford’s SK Modifieds® and Late Models joining the Whelen Modified Tour in feature action.

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 on the 40th annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler®, or to order tickets, 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

“Ole Blue” Boheler Racing Equipment Car Will Return to Stafford in Celebration of 40 Years of Spring Sizzler Tradition

Stafford Springs, CT — As the 40th Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler draws closer to a green flag, Stafford Speedway will welcome back a car that spent many a Friday night in victory lane. The Boehler Racing Equipment #3, known as “Ole Blue”, will return to Stafford to pace the Whelen Modified Tour field, 40 years after Fred DeSarro drove it to victory in the inaugural Sizzler in 1972. Fred DeSarro’s son Gary will be behind the wheel of “Ole Blue” to bring the field around the track on their pace laps.

“We’re putting this deal together for Gary DeSarro and the DeSarro family,” said Michael Boehler. “I’m sure that seeing “Ole Blue” will be great for the fans, but it will be very special for Gary to be able to drive that car around the track and honor his father in front of the race fans. Over the years, we’ve been very lucky, we’ve had a great family run organization with some great drivers and great sponsors to work with. We have Matt [Hirschman] driving the car this year and we’re searching for some more great sponsors to be part of the team and help keep us going.”

While the #3 Boehler car wasn’t always the best looking machine at the track; it got its nickname “Ole Blue” due to a rough exterior of dents, rust, and junkyard parts; it was certainly one of the most formidable cars of its time with its big block engine and driver roster that reads like a who’s who of modified racers. Drivers who have driven “Ole Blue” include: Tony Cortes, Don Hall, Bugsy Stevens, Fred DeSarro, Leo Cleary, Ron & Ken Bouchard, Gomer Taylor, S.J. Evonsion, Mike McLaughlin, Kerry Malone, Jamie Tomaino, Doug Heveron, Wayne Anderson, Tony Hirschman, Tommy Cravenho, Jerry Marquis, Eric Beers, Todd Szegedy, Bobby Santos, III, Bobby Grigas, III, Ryan Preece, and Matt Hirschman. Three of those “Ole Blue” pilots, Stevens, DeSarro, and Tony Hirschman, are on NASCAR’s top-10 modified drivers of all-time list.

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