Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has again lined up an impressive field of current and former open wheel champions for its CARQUEST Champions For Charities Event as part of CARQUEST Super Saturday on June 30th. During the coming weeks, SMS will offer a profile on each of its championship winning drivers and the charity they will be racing for and this week's CARQUEST Champions For Charities spotlight falls on 2-time Wild Thing Kart Senior Champ Champion (2010, 2011) Ron Midford, Jr., who will be racing to help support The Greg Caron Family Fund.
On November 11, 2011, Ellington native Greg Caron, while serving a second tour with his Marine Corp unit, lost both of his legs, the tip of his finger, and broke his collar bone after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan. The Greg Caron Family Fund was established to help Greg adjust to a new lifestyle and Ron Midford, Jr. will be representing the Greg Caron Family Fund in his CARQUEST Champions For Charities effort.
"My parents are good friends with Greg's parents, they ride motorcycles and play golf together, so there's a family connection," said Midford. "Greg Hurlburt, who owns the kart I'll be driving, is also friends with the Caron family. We were both in the stands last year for the CARQUEST Champions For Charities event and enjoyed watching the race. When we heard about what happened to Greg Caron, Greg Hurlburt and I were motivated to get in this race to help raise money for he and his family.” Greg Hurlburt’s son Cole races in the Tiger A division on Monday nights in Stafford. “Greg (Hurlburt) bought a Sr. Outlaw kart and motor that I will run in the Champions for Charities Race and Cole will use when he moves to the Sr. Outlaw division. I feel we take for granted what our soldiers do for us on a daily basis. They protect our freedoms and allow us to live our lives the way we do. We are all extremely fortunate to have soldiers like Greg Caron defending our country and it’s nice to be able to give something back.”
As part of Midford's fundraising efforts, there will be a Greg Caron Poker Run on June 30th, the morning of the CARQUEST Champions For Charities event. The Poker Run will be from TSI Harley-Davidson in Ellington to Stafford Motor Speedway. Registration is from 9-11:30am at TSI Harley-Davidson, which is located at 398 Somers Road in Ellington, CT. The cost for the Poker Run is $30 per bike and proceeds will benefit the Greg Caron Foundation.
"This poker run is great way to be able to raise some money for Greg," said Midford. "We have some great sponsors in TSI Harley-Davidson, Trantolo and Trantolo, Kar Kare Auto Body a Division of Bolles Motors, and Stafford Motor Speedway that all pitched in to help put this Poker Run together. I wanted to especially thank Lisa Arute for allowing us to be in the race and organizing the Poker Run. We hope to have a big turnout of riders for the Poker Run help raise money for Greg."
While Midford got a late start in his own racing career, he has been around racing his entire life thanks to his familial ties to the Bolles family. Despite the late start, Midford has taken quickly to the Senior Champ Kart ranks, winning the championship in each of the last 2 seasons. In addition to his Stafford achievements, Midford has also done well racing his kart in indoor events in both Atlantic City, NJ and Providence, RI.
"I've only been racing at Stafford for 5 years in the Sr. Champ division, but I've been around racing my entire life with my uncles Tom and Brian Bolles as drivers, and my grandfather Ed Bolles owning their cars," said Midford. "I competed in soccer and track when I was younger and didn't really get into racing. As I got older, I started to get the itch. I lived on the west coast for a year and I worked for a company that owned Adams Kart Track in Riverside, California. I would go there a lot after work and I really started to enjoy racing. When I moved back home, I saw Stafford had started racing karts and I thought I'd try it out. It's a division that I can afford and we have a lot of fun with it. My dad, Ron Midford, Sr., is my crew chief and my whole family is involved. My mom, Doreen Midford, and my wife, Renee Midford come to all the races and my brother, Steven Midford, races a kart on occasion too. In addition to Stafford, we've had some pretty good success at bigger events, like the indoor races in Providence and Atlantic City. Over the last 5 years we’ve had 1 top 5 and 2 top 10’s finishes in Atlantic City, an event that usually gets around 60 karts. In Providence, there are usually about 45 karts and we have three top 5’s and 2 top 10’s, so whenever we branch out to a larger stage we do pretty well."
When it comes to the 15-lap Senior Outlaw race, Midford may have an advantage over the other championship-winning drivers with the level of experience he has racing in a kart around Stafford's mini-mile. But when asked about a possible advantage, Midford is quick to play down any notion of having an advantage.
"It should be interesting," said Midford. "It should be a good event and the main thing is to be able to raise money for The Greg Caron Family Fund. The Senior Champ Kart is a little different from the Senior Outlaw Kart in that our karts are built from multiple chassis builders across the country, while Wade Gagner builds all the Senior Outlaw chassis. Senior Champ Karts have a set of rules and parameters that chassis builders build our karts to. On any given night there could be as many as 6 or 7 different types of Senior Champ Kart chassis on the track. Another difference is that our karts don't have full containment seats and our seats are a little lower to the ground than the Senior Outlaw karts. I do have a lot of laps on the mini mile, but all those guys are champions and they've been racing cars that have a lot more horsepower than my kart has, so I'm sure they'll be fine."
The starting lineup for the CARQUEST Champions For Charities feature event will be determined by how much money each driver raises for their selected charity. The starting grid will be set with the drivers who have raised the most money starting up front. Fans are encouraged to get involved in the event by donating to their favorite driver or favorite charity. To make a donation to The Greg Caron Family Fund on behalf of Ron Midford, Jr., please refer to the Greg Caron Family Fund donation page by CLICKING HERE. Stay tuned to www.staffordspeedway.com for more driver spotlights and exciting information regarding the CARQUEST Champions for Charities event.
CARQUEST Super Saturday will take place on Saturday, June 30, 2012 and will feature the ISMA Super Modifieds, NEMA Midgets, and Pro-4 Modifieds in addition to the Senior Outlaw Wild Thing Karts. Tickets for CARQUEST Super Saturday are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office and are priced at $33.00 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 is priced at $35.00 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, or to order tickets to the 9th Annual CARQUEST Super Saturday event, 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