Stafford Springs, CT — After several seasons and two victories in Stafford’s SK Light division, Granby, MA native Heather DesRochers made the move up the Stafford ladder into the SK Modified® division for the 2011 season. DesRochers and her #24 Gunsmoke Stables team qualified for every race during the 2011 season, and she posted two top-10 finishes this year to finish in 16th place in the SK Modified® standings and win the Reliable Welding and Speed Rookie of the Year award.
“Before the season started, we were thinking about our goals and our focus was to get better each week,” said DesRochers. “We knew it was going to be like starting all over again with moving up to the SK Modified® division, but we couldn’t be happier about winning the Rookie of the Year.”
The 2011 season began on a bit of an ominous note for DesRochers, as a mechanical problem eliminated her from the season opening CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler feature event before she completed a lap. But throughout the 2011 season, the #24 continued to get closer and closer towards a top-10 finish, and DesRochers was able to post both of her top-10 finishes in the final six races of the season.
“The season wasn’t what we expected, but we were really happy with how the season turned out for us,” said DesRochers. “We seemed to be plagued by some mechanical issues throughout the year, but in the races that we didn’t have any mechanical issues, we finished every race except for one where we crashed. I think that by the end of the year we had a pretty good setup on the car, it still needs some tweaking, but we have a lot of knowledge of the car for next season.”
While DesRochers was making the move from the SK Light to SK Modified® division this season, she says that her biggest challenge came from logistical issues rather than the difference in how the cars drive.
“I think our biggest issue this year was having higher demands with things like infield pitting and other things you need to be successful in the SK Modified® division rather than getting used to the car,” said DesRochers. “We had infield pitting for the first time this year, so we had to make sure everyone had NASCAR Licenses and we had to be sure that everyone was here on Friday nights, which was tough sometimes. There wasn’t much difference in the car, I think by the second or third time I drove the SK car it felt the same to me as the SK Light car. I would like to thank my parents, Don and Betsy DesRochers, my crew members Conrad and Cecilia DesRochers, Pat Howe, Ryan Spaulding, Jim Banas, and my spotter Roger for all their dedication, support, and hard work. I would also like to thank my sponsors: Harvey Morris, Western Mass Collision, Capa Di Roma, Don DesRochers Excavating, Frasco Fuel Oil, Valley Wines and Liquor Square, A. Crane Construction, Victory Motorsports Marketing, and especially Gunsmoke Stables for giving me the opportunity to race an SK Modified this season.”
DesRochers will officially be crowned the 2011 Reliable Welding and Speed SK Modified® Rookie of the Year at the 42nd Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 18 at the La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor.
Tickets to the 42nd Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony are $45 per person and can be ordered by calling the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or by downloading an order form by CLICKING HERE and mailing the form to the track office.