Stafford Springs, CT — As the Valenti Modified Series returns to Stafford for the Lincoln Tech 80, Todd Owen will be looking to improve on his 5th place finish in the Shark Cycle 80 and pick up his first VMRS win behind the wheel of the #17 car. If there is a track that best suits Owen, it is Stafford Motor Speedway. Owen is a regular SK Modified® competitor and in the two VMRS races held last season, Owen finished second and was running in the top-5 before a broken power steering belt forced him to retire the car.
“I definitely think we have a good shot at winning,” said Owen. “Last race we finished 5th, and we had to go to the back a couple of times too. We ran really good and we know what we need to do to make things better since the car wasn’t perfect. Some of the things we talked about after the race, we’ll see if we can make it work when we come back. Hopefully we don’t start as far back as we did last week. The plus-minus deal is tough. We drew the pole for our heat, so we had no chance to pass any cars. Ideally you want to draw in the back so you have the opportunity to pass some cars and get a good plus rating.”
While Owen says that the VMRS teams don’t usually get a good baseline of how good their car is in practice due to running on older tires, he says the fact that the two Stafford races are so close together will play into team’s hands.
“It’s tough to get a good base because you’re on such old tires in practice,” said Owen. “It’s kind of a neat deal for us to go back to Stafford so soon because hopefully what we learned last Friday will help us in this next race. I think the setups will be real close."
Another fact that gives Owen confidence as he prepares for the Lincoln Tech 80 is the fact that he finished 5th in the Shark Cycle 80 after having to come from the back of the pack twice during the race in addition to starting 14th.
“About lap 40 we were up in the top-10 and we went to the back, and then about lap-60 or so we went to the back again,” said Owen. “It was pretty fun those last few laps. I think we definitely would have had a better finish if we didn’t go to the back twice, we wouldn’t have had to pass all those cars again. I was trying to save my tires as much as I possibly could, but it’s tough to do when you’re that far back.”
With track experience and good results to fall back on in previous VMRS events at Stafford, Owen has a good idea of what it is going to take to win the Lincoln Tech 80.
“We’ll need to save the tires, have a good setup on the car, and stay out of trouble,” said Owen. “The 17 car handles real well, so we’re looking forward to going back to Stafford. I think we have a good chance at Stafford at getting our first win with the 17 car.”
Tickets for the 2nd Annual Lincoln Tech 80 are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $27.50 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 $30.00 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 2nd Annual Lincoln Tech 80, 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