Stafford Springs, CT — This weekend’s CARQUEST Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway has four track championships up for grabs. Although Ryan Preece has already staked his claim to the SK Modified® track championship, there are 4 track championships that will be decided on the track this weekend.
In Stafford’s Late Model division, the championship race comes down to a pair of hometown drivers, Ryan Posocco and Woody Pitkat. Posocco already holds the Stafford record with 5 Late Model championships, and he will be looking to add a sixth title to his resume, while Pitkat is in search of his second Late Model track title. Posocco took the points lead after the second race of the season, but soon he fell behind Jim Mavlouganes in the standings after a 15th place finish on May 20th. Posocco regained the points lead after the June 10th race and he has been at the front of the standings ever since. The road for Pitkat has been a bit bumpier than Posocco’s as he had only one top-5 finish in the first four races of the 2011 season, which left him in 15th place in the standings and nearly 100 points behind. But since that May 20th event, Pitkat hasn’t finished lower than fourth and he has won 5 times to get him to within 24 points of Posocco entering this weekend’s CARQUEST Fall Final. Should Posocco finish 12th or better, he will clinch his sixth championship regardless of where Pitkat finishes. Pitkat needs to finish at least 12 spots ahead of Posocco to lay claim to the Late Model title for the second time in his career.
After 1-2 finishes in the first two SK Light features this season, defending track champion Matt Galko and Joey Cipriano served notice that they were going to be counted among the title contenders. Between the two of them, Galko and Cipriano have accounted for 10 of the 18 race wins in the SK Light division this season and they enter the CARQUEST Fall Final separated by 36 points in the title fight. Galko needs to finish 18th or better to wrap up his second consecutive track title, while Cipriano needs to finish at least 18 spots ahead of Galko in order to become the 2011 SK Light track champion.
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Stafford Springs, CT — As part of the 39th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend festivities at Stafford Motor Speedway this weekend, the DARE Stock division will partake in the 15th Annual Paradiso-Muska DARE Stock Shoot-Out. The Paradiso-Muska DARE Stock Shoot-Out pits the 2011 DARE Stock feature winners as well as several wild card drivers against each other in an all-star 8-lap dash. The race winner will take home double what the normal DARE Stock winners’ share is, and with the big money, short lap format, the Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out is the premier DARE Stock race of the season.
In 14 races since the Inaugural Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out in 1997, there has been 13 different winners with Scott Hitchcock the only driver who has won the race twice. Cliff Saunders is the defending champion of the Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out, and coming off a win in the Sept. 16 Final Friday Night Shoot-Out, Saunders is looking forward to trying to join Hitchcock as the only multiple winners of the Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out.
“The Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out is a pretty cool race with all of the feature winners from the season,” said Saunders. “It’s the best DARE Stock drivers from the season, and to hold off guys like Don and Josh Wood and Kyle Casagrande last year was a pretty cool race for me to win. My car seems to be better on the short runs, and we didn’t make any changes to the car last year, so our plan is to leave the car as it is and try to win the race again.”
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Stafford Springs, CT — Chris Kopec, a former regular competitor on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, will make his return to the series this weekend at Stafford Speedway for the 39th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend. Kopec will take over the driving duties of the #79 Hillbilly Racing car that was piloted by James Civali in the first 14 events of the 2011 season.
“I got the call on Monday night and it was definitely a surprise to me,” said Kopec. “I’m excited about having the opportunity to drive again. You always miss being in the driver’s seat and I kind of got the bug again this year after driving Dylan’s SK Light a couple of times. I feel bad what happened with the Hills and James. The Hills have good equipment and James is a good driver, for whatever reason they just had some bad luck. With this sport being performance based, I think maybe the Hills were looking for something that will work. We’re all friends and I wanted to make sure it stayed that way before I accepted the ride. It’s exciting for me to be back on the driver’s side of the fence.”
After making selected Whelen Modified Tour starts from 1990-1992, Kopec was a Tour regular from 1995-2003 before an injury kept him out of action for the 2004 season. Kopec made 9 starts in the 2005 season, but he hasn’t been behind the wheel of a Tour car since.
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Tonight’s racing at Thompson International Speedway has been postponed to Thursday, October 6 due to rain. This is the final points race for all divisions.
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Thompson, CT — For the third consecutive week, rain has forced the postponement of Thompson Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder race program. The track will attempt to run the final track points race of the year next Thursday, October 6th.
The amazing string of rainy Thursdays has frustrated racers, fans and track management. However, Thompson Owner and Promoter, Don Hoenig, today expressed his thanks to loyal fans and competitors for their understanding and said that he hopes that we all will get a break in a weather pattern that has targeted Thursdays in New England.
Four of Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions still have championship battles that Hoenig would like to see settled on the race track. “We have had so many shows rained out that it seems only the right thing to do to keep trying to give our competitors every chance possible to settle their quests for a division championship. We have one more Thursday night before the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing and we hope that the weather will finally cooperate,” he said.
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