Stafford Springs, CT — The race for the 2012 Limited Late Model championship at Stafford Motor Speedway has been a tight two-car race all season long between Cory Casagrande and Josh Wood. Both drivers are graduates from Stafford’s DARE Stock division and they have been neck and neck with each other for the majority of the 2012 season. Wood got off to a hot start, winning 6 of the first 8 races of the season, and as late as August 3rd, Wood enjoyed a 16-point advantage over Casagrande. Since Casagrande picked up his first win of the season on August 17th, he has won 4 out of the 6 races leading into next weekend’s CARQUEST Fall Final and has gained 22 points on Wood to hold a 6-point lead. Casagrande says that he and his crew will stick to their game plan for the final race rather than change things up.
“I think we have no choice but to approach it like any other race,” said Casagrande. “We go into every race expecting to win and if we can win the race, then we’ll win the championship, which is the main priority. All year, we weren’t really paying attention to the points, we were just trying to win races. If you start winning, you’re going to gain points and winning is the easiest way to gain points. We’ll probably keep the car the same, we don’t really want to wear anything out on Friday. We’ll do one run on Friday to make sure everything is all set, get the car dialed in on Saturday, take it easy in the heat race, and then try to get after it in the feature.”
The amazing thing about the Limited Late Model championship chase is how close Casagrande and Wood are in the standings. Casagrande has finished in top-3 in all but one race this season, while Wood has only one finish lower than 5th this season. Casagrande fell behind early in the season with Wood taking down 6 wins, but Casagrande says once he and his crew figured out a winning setup, it was all downhill from there.
“We were struggling all year with the car keeping it good on a long run,” said Casagrande. “Once we got it, we kind of worked on that setup and it’s worked out for us. It was just getting the car comfortable for me and keeping the tires in good shape. We’ve had a good car every race, we just haven’t had a great car or a bad car all year long. We’ve had a decent car all year long and if you take the fast five cars, a decent car will usually finish somewhere in the middle.”
Although Casagrande has the point lead heading into the final race, he says that he isn’t comfortable and he knows he has to have another top-3 finish if Wood wins the race.
“I don’t think it matters much what position you’re in going into this last race,” said Casagrande. “We’ve been behind for pretty much the whole season. We’ve tried to not think about it too much and just stick to our game plan and finish races. If we can’t win the race then we have to salvage a top-3 finish. There’s no comfort because things can change in a second. We were involved in a wreck on the first lap last week and I thought we were done. You never know what can happen and 6 points is so little, you have to make sure you beat the other guy.”
Regardless of the outcome next weekend, Casagrande says that he will have no regrets this season, but he is hoping to win his very first championship.
“We were hoping to be racing for the championship this season,” said Casagrande. “I was hoping it wasn’t going to take us so long to win a race, but I’m happy with the season no matter how it turns out. It’s been a great season for us, we’ve worked hard, and we can’t complain if one race goes bad. It would be nice to be able to say I’ve finally won a championship.”
Tickets for the September 29th & Sept. 30th 40th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend 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 CARQUEST Fall Final tickets are good for admission on both Saturday and Sunday. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax and Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
For more information on the 40th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend, 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