Stafford Springs, CT — After a 2011 season that saw Joe Nogiec and the #00 Adopt a Pet team post a career best 9 top-10 finishes as well as a career best finish of 11th in the points standings, Nogiec and his team will look to continue that forward trend in the 2012 season at Stafford Motor Speedway. Nogiec will have a new car with which to carry on his momentum from the 2011 season. Nogiec and his team have purchased the #38 car from Gary Bienkowski that was driven to 5 wins and a second place finish in the 2011 standings by George Nocera, Jr, and they are looking forward the 2012 season after what Nogiec says was a trying 2011 season.
"We had an opportunity to buy the 38 car, so we jumped on it and hopefully we can get something going for next year," said Nogiec. "Last year was an abomination for us, we've definitely had better years than we had last year. It was a tough year, I was ready to hang it up after the season was over. We were so close to finishing in the top-10, but we had an awful last race and Carla [Botticello] got by us for that spot. But we had a lot of great support from guys like Norm Sears and Shawn Thibeault in our division as well as drivers from other divisions, and we appreciated everyone's support throughout the season. With this new car, it seems like we have a new life and we're looking forward to coming to the track. We're putting the same equipment back into the car that was taken out of it before we bought it, so we're feeling good about the 2012 season. We have Adopt A Pet coming back on board with us as a sponsor and I'd like to give them a special thanks for their support, and I'd also like to thank the guys at Civali's Auto Service for their support."
With the new car seeming to be half of the success equation for Nogiec and the #00 team, Nogiec knows the second half of success will be to improve his driving style on track.
"We've taken care of the car part this winter, so now I have to work on my driving style come April," said Nogiec. "I know I have to work on my patience behind the wheel. I've learned that Stafford is a patience track and I find that sometimes I try to do too much too quickly. We need to work on setup and get a handle on the car. Although this will be our 4th season at Stafford, I feel like I still have a lot to learn to be better. Right now, I'm only touching the tip of the iceberg. Norm [Sears] and Shawn [Thibeault] took my car out a couple of times in practice this year and they were seeing some of the same things wrong with the car that I was, so that was a good confidence builder in my feedback to the team with them being Stafford veterans."
While Nogiec enjoyed a career high in top-10 finishes this past season with 9, his best career finish was a second place effort at the 2010 Fall Final feature event, and Nogiec and his team have their sights set on repeating that second place performance as many times as they can during the 2012 season.
"I remember that race like it was yesterday," said Nogiec. "While it felt really good to be on the podium that day, we kind of fell into that second place and this year we want to be able to earn second place finishes. Our main goal is to be in the mix every week and be in the top-5 every week. If we could win a race or two, that would be super. It's been a while since we've won a race, so we're all hungry and this is our best opportunity to win in a long time. We really have good hopes for the 2012 season."
One thing that Nogiec can depend on is his family. His crew consists of himself, his father Mike, his wife Amanda, his uncle Dave, and his cousin Josh
"Good or bad, my family is always there for me," said Nogiec. "My wife does a lot more than any other racing wife, she gives me great support win or lose. We all have some revived faith for the upcoming season and we'd like to be able to win it all at the end of the year."
The 2012 Limited Late Model season kicks off with the 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, scheduled for April 27-29, 2012. Tickets for the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler are available and on sale now through the SMS Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 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 will be priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
For more information on the 41st 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