Archive for September 1st, 2011

Dave Etheridge Looking Forward to Shark Cycle 80 MRS Race at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — When the Modified Racing Series made their first visit of the 2011 season to Stafford in June, Dave Etheridge had one of the strongest cars and looked to be a contender for victory. Then the rain forced the race to be resumed in August and Etheridge fought his way to a 10th place finish. When the MRS comes back to Stafford next Friday night, Sept. 9 for the Shark Cycle 80, Etheridge will be looking to repeat his June performance and be a contender for the checkered flag.

“I don’t know if it was the weather difference or what,” said Etheridge. “That first time around in June, it seemed like it was going to be our night. Then when we came back the second time and it seemed like everyone picked up a little bit and we didn’t pick up. That first night was a bit cloudy and overcast with cooler temperatures, and the second time around it was a nice hot night, and Stafford is a temperature sensitive track. I honestly believe we can win the race, I have a lot of laps at Stafford and it’s a bit of an advantage to have laps at Stafford.”

A key to performing well in the Shark Cycle 80 will be a good starting position. The Modified Racing Series has a unique qualifying format where the driver who passes the most cars and finishes in a qualified position in the heat race will start on the pole, and Etheridge says that makes the race more interesting for the drivers and the fans.

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Todd Owen Looks to Improve by One Position in Shark Cycle 80 at Stafford Speedway on Sept. 9th

Stafford Springs, CT — When the Modified Racing Series made their first visit of the 2011 season to Stafford for the rain interrupted Lincoln Tech 80, Todd Owen had a car that was nearly the class of the field. After starting the feature from the 20th position, Owen had worked his way into 7th place before rain halted the race with 32 laps complete. When the race resumed in August, Owen continued his charge to the front and he nearly won the race, finishing second to Keith Rocco. Owen is returning to Stafford with the same car for the Shark Cycle 80 on Sept. 9th and he will be looking to improve his previous result by one position.

“I’m definitely looking forward to the race,” said Owen. “We had a good run and we’re coming back with the same car setup. The car was fast in practice, the heat, and the race the first time, so maybe we can find a little more. It should be an interesting race, everyone can work on their cars since the last race and make them better. I have an idea on how to make my car a little better and if we can have as much fun as we had in the last race, it will be a good night.”

One thing Owen will be focusing on is getting a better finish in his heat race. With the MRS procedure of the driver who passes the most cars in the heat will start on the pole for the feature, Owen went from 9th to 7th in his heat, but he missed being a qualified car by one spot, so he had to start the race from the 20th position. With a better starting position, Owen feels like he will once again be a contender for the checkered flag.

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Stafford Late Model Title Fight Again Coming Down to Hometown Drivers Ryan Posocco & Woody Pitkat

Stafford Springs, CT — Just as it was one year ago, the fight for the Stafford Speedway Late Model track championship is coming down to two hometown drivers, Ryan Posocco and Woody Pitkat. Posocco currently leads Pitkat by 32 points in the chase for the championship with 4 races left on the 2011 calendar. Last season, the championship was not decided until the final lap of the CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend race. At this time last season, Posocco led Pitkat by 38 points, but a crash by Posocco, combined with a win by Pitkat, tightened up the championship fight for the final 2 races of the season. The 2010 championship was decided by only 2 points, or one position on the track, in Posocco’s favor, and both drivers know that although time is running out, anything can happen.

“There’s 4 races to go and 200 points left,” said Posocco. “Anything can happen in those four races and it will probably come down to the Fall Final, pretty much the same situation as it was last season. All it takes is one bad night from us for Woody to make up the difference. We know we can’t sit back and relax because Woody has a good car and a good team, and they’re going to be going for wins, so we just have to do what we have to do.”

“We had two DQ’s and a DNF early in the season, so who would have thought that we’d even be this close right now,” said Pitkat. “After the first four races this season, we were something like 15th in the points standings and there were 18 races left in the season at that point and our goal was to try to win 10 of those races. We didn’t win 10, but we won the first two of those races and now we’re close. It’s going to be hard for us to win the championship, Ryan and the 48 team have won championships before and they know what to do, our strategy right now is to try to win every race and let the points fall wherever they fall.”

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First time winners populate Victory Lane – Pappa, Molleur and Cassidy score wins; Voglesong and Beal join night’s winners

Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl lit up the night sky in the wake of Hurricane Irene, providing fans with an action packed night of Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday motorsports at the shoreline oval. Visiting Victory Lane on the night included a host of first-time winners for the Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday racing program. Fourteen-year old Matthew Pappa of Nassau, NY took his first Speedbowl checkered flag in the Legends Cars, while Andrew Molleur of Shelton became the track’s youngest winner in its 61-year history, taking down the win in the night’s Bandolero race at age eight. In the X-Cars a veteran racer took the checkered flag as Brad Voglesong of Middletown crossed the finish line first. Charles Beal of Ledyard won the night’s Wacky Race and Ken Cassidy Sr. was awarded the win in the Super X-Car feature, a first for the veteran driver from Lisbon at the track’s Wednesday series.

An entertaining 20-lap Legends Cars feature had Ed Field on the pole. He took the early lead ahead of fellow veteran racer Carl Blandina. Angelo Belsito moved to third position on lap-3 while Pappa was hot on his tail and followed into fourth place. That would not last for long as Pappa raced past Belsito on lap-4. He was not content to ride in third for long, and shot past the inside of Blandina on lap-6. He took up pursuit of Field for the lead from there.

The battle for the race lead intensified as Pappa pressured Field. He looked to Field’s inside exiting the corners, with field holding him off for a lap until they raced off turn four to lap-8. Pappa made an inside bid, however made slight contact with Field sending him spinning in front of the field. The turmoil collected Dave Garbo Jr., Belsito, Dana Dimatteo and others and drew the yellow and red flags to clear the track. Pappa resumed the race at the rear of the field.

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History awaits at Speedbowl’s Budweiser Modified Nationals

Several expected entries looking to add to event record books

Waterford, CT — When the field of SK Modified® competitors assembles at Waterford Speedbowl this Saturday, September 3 for the 15th annual Budweiser Modified Nationals, multiple competitors will be seeking to make event history. The, event, carrying a $20,000 purse, is part of an eight-division program for Thunder on the Sound, quickly becoming a Labor Day tradition at the shoreline oval. The event is presented by the Connecticut National Guard.

The list of those looking for success in the 150-lap Budweiser Modified Nationals begins with current SK Modified® championship point leader Keith Rocco. The defending track and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion has been shut out in previous editions of the division’s crown jewel event. Last year, Rocco dueled with 1999 Mod Nationals titlist Ted Christopher at the head of the field in an entertaining battle that endured for much of the race. While the two swapped the lead several times, in the end two-time race winner Ron Yuhas Jr. came out with the checkered flag. Yuhas pitted for fresher tires just past halfway, then watched Rocco and Christopher battle before asserting himself over an exciting conclusion to the race to walk away with the $5,000 winning payday.

While Rocco seeks his first win, Christopher will be on hand looking for his second win in the 150. Yuhas has a unique opportunity to race for his third straight Mod Nationals checkered flag which would put him alone as the only three-time winner in event history.

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September 2011
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