Stafford Springs, CT — For Zach Aszklar and the #28 Beecher and Bennett Funeral Service SK Light team, the 2012 season at Stafford Motor Speedway has seen a remarkable turn of fortunes for the Wallingford, CT native. Aszklar’s first two full seasons in the SK Light division showed signs of promise at times, but were filled with inconsistent finishes. The 2012 season has seen Aszklar finish on the podium in 5 of the 9 SK Light races thusfar, and his only finish lower than 6th was when he got caught up in a wreck and finished 17th on June 8th. Aszklar credits working with Mike Paquette from CD Chassis as one of the main reasons for his newfound consistency this season.
“This season has been going pretty good so far,” said Aszklar. “We’ve been consistent in the top-5 every week, we really haven’t had a bad day, so it’s going good so far, a lot better than I thought it was going to go. We’re finding ourselves in the right spots this year, we’re avoiding the wrecks, and we finally have the car figured out. Last year we made some changes to the car and we couldn’t quite dial it in. This year we’re working with Mike Paquette from CD, and we’re doing a lot better.”
After finishing 11th and 14th in the points standings in his first 2 seasons of SK Light competition, Aszklar’s newfound consistency, along with capturing his very first SK Light feature victory last Friday night, have propelled him into the SK Light points lead. While Aszklar is the current points leader, his lead is only 2 points, or one spot on the track, over Dylan Kopec, who won four of the first five SK Light races this season. While Aszklar is happy to be in the points lead, he knows he has to remain consistent if he wants to be in championship contention at the end of the season.
"It feels good to have our first win,” said Aszklar. “We came close last year, but we ended up being too low on the ride height pad, so we lost it. But it feels good to get one that counts, we don’t have to worry about that anymore. What do they say, you get one and the rest will come? We have to try to give [Dylan] Kopec a run for his money. We were a little worried the week that we had a wreck, but then the next week Dylan had a wreck. We’re only 2 points ahead, and that’s only one spot. If he beats me on Friday, we’re back tied or he’ll be ahead of me again. We’re keeping an eye on him. I don’t want to count out anyone else, but I think he’s our closest competition right now.”
While Aszklar is the points leader heading into this Friday night’s 5-Star Series Mid-Season Stretch, the top of the points standings isn’t exactly where Aszklar had planned to be at this point of the season.
“We’re keeping an eye on the points, but I wasn’t planning on this,” said Aszklar. “My first two years in the SK Light were kind of rough, we were lucky to finish in the top-10. This year, I was planning for another rough year, so I figured we’d run half the season and if we weren’t in the top-5 in points, we’d move up to the SK Modified® division and see what happened. Now, we’re going to delay that plan to next season and finish out this year and hopefully we can walk away with a second [place finish] or a championship. It would be nice to get a title before we move up. We just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing. Keep the nose clean, think before I make a pass, make sure I don’t do anything stupid to take myself out of the race, and just try to bring the car home in the top-5. A couple of wins would be nice, but the goal is to just try to finish races.”
As Aszklar is preparing to make the move up the Stafford ladder to the SK Modified® division, he has been part of Nichole Morgillo’s crew, working on her car as well as his own car. Asklar feels like the experience will pay off for himself once he decides to make the move to the SK Modified® division, as well as getting an idea for himself of what changes will and won’t work.
“I do a lot of work on the 55 at the shop and the track this year,” said Aszklar. “I make more changes on Nichole’s car than I do on my own car. It seems like the more power the car has, the more sensitive it is to changes. With the SK Light, once it hooks up, it hooks up. We usually get 3 weeks out of a set of tires, so it might not be as fast one or two weeks later because the car is definitely the best it’s going to be on new tires. We just have to compensate for the tires.”
In addition to Beecher and Bennett Funeral Service, Aszklar counts Brothers Pool, New Generation Salon, and Apollo Refrigeration among his sponsors. Aszklar also has a unique tale of crew help on his #28 car.
“For the crew, it’s pretty much my Mom and Dad and me,” said Aszklar. “My Mom is the cook, my Dad is the crew chief, and I do all the crashing and fixing on the car.”
If Aszklar can maintain the level of top-5 consistency he has shown during the first half of the season, he may be among the championship contenders this year and he won’t have to worry about crashing and fixing his car.
For more information, 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