Stafford Springs, CT — As teams prepare for the 2012 season at Stafford Motor Speedway, Limited Late Model driver Jesse Hinze is hard at work preparing his car in hopes of reaching victory lane for the first time in his career at Stafford. The 2012 season will be Hinze’s 7th season at Stafford, he spent the first three years of his career in the DARE Stock division before moving into the Limited Late Model division in 2009. The move to the Ltd. Late Model division has seen Hinze become a consistent driver, finishing 8th in points for three consecutive seasons. After coming close on more than one occasion to winning a feature, Hinze is looking to break into the win column this year at Stafford.
In order for Hinze to realize that goal of winning his first race, he first needs a motor for his car. The Limited Late Model Spec Engine is the only approved engine for the 2012 season, and Hinze and his Crazy Bruce’s Liquors team are unsure if they will have a spec engine in their car to race this year.
“The car is ready to go, we’re just waiting on a motor,” said Hinze. “We have a new rear end in the car, we’ve put new body panels on the car, and we ‘re redoing the interior tin, we just don’t have the motor yet. I run my own lawn care business and I think if we can get one more good snowstorm before the spring, that should put us in position to where we can pick up a spec engine. I think there’s a good chance that things will work out, but there’s always a chance that it might not work out. I’m certainly hoping that things work out, I’ve been to Thompson, Waterford, and Monadnock, but there’s no track like Stafford. It would be nice if we could pick up another sponsor or two to help us out with the motor.”
Hinze has carried sponsorship from Crazy Bruce’s Liquors since the 2009 season when he first moved into the Limited Late Model division. Hinze has developed a great relationship with Crazy Bruce’s over the past three years, and he is hopeful to carry the Crazy Bruce’s name into victory lane this season.
“Mark Wilson, who is the owner of Crazy Bruce’s, is a great guy and we’ve had a great relationship with him over the years,” said Hinze. “Mark is always looking to help and he is a big supporter of charity. He does a lot of work with the Reach Foundation and supporting sick children, and he’s always been there for us anytime we’ve needed anything for the car. Last year we made up some team tee-shirts and the plan was to split the cost 50/50 between Mark and myself, but he told me not to worry about my half when I went to pay him my half. Mark donates 20% of his profits to charity and he’s just a really great guy and I hope we can get him into victory lane this year to thank him for all of his support.”
Should Hinze come up with an engine for the 2012 season, he feels like he has all the parts and pieces properly in place to record his first career victory.
"We’ve come close a couple of times to winning,” said Hinze. “I thought we had the race won for sure at the Fall Final this past season. We got into the lead and we were gone until about halfway through the race I could feel a tire start to go bad. Cory Casagrande caught us and he went on to win the race, we’ve had several things like that happen to us, but I feel pretty confident that we can get that first win this year. I always thought that winning would be easy, we could just go out there and drive by people like it was a NASCAR video game, but I quickly found out that wasn’t the case. But we have a great crew, sponsor, car, and experience, and I feel like we know the track well enough to get our first win and run in the top-5 or top-10 every week. But you can’t say you’re going to win until you actually go out and do it.”
The 2012 season kicks off at Stafford Motor Speedway with the 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on April 27-29. 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. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. 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