Archive for April, 2013

Hebert Retains Point Lead, ACT Turns to Devils Bowl

The Merchants Bank 150 at Barre’s Thunder Road cranked up the heat on the American Canadian Tour, shaking up the point standings before a key showdown takes place at the Spring Green 113 this Sunday, May 5 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT.
Sophomore sensation Jimmy Hebert, who started the year off with his first-ever ACT victory in the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup two weeks ago at Lee, backed up his opening day win with a seventh place finish at his home track, Thunder Road. ACT Rookie-of-the-Year contender Bobby Therrien was impressive in just his third ACT start with a fifth-place finish after battling up front all day, pushing forward a youth movement that continues to gain traction on the Tour. With his finish on Sunday he secured a position inside the top ten in overall points, joining young standouts Rowland Robinson, Jr. and Ben Lynch who currently sit seventh and eighth and look to ride their opening momentum into West Haven for the Spring Green 113.

Tiverton, RI’s Ray Parent brought home a tenth place finish in the Merchants Bank 150, and looks to Devil’s Bowl Speedway to continue his best start to an ACT season yet. He vowed at the beginning of the year to be a championship contender, and after two races, sits third in the overall points – just 17 markers out of the series lead -as the Tour heads into one of his favorite race tracks.

Defending ACT Champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. climbed to fourth overall after the Merchants Bank 150, righting the ship after a tough start to his season at his home track Lee. It was last year at Devil’s Bowl that Helliwell took the point lead after his first ACT victory and went on to win his first American Canadian Tour Title, but Devil’s Bowl has proven to be a tricky venue on the Tour. In the two years that ACT has raced at the fast half-mile, only two drivers have finished in the top ten in both events.

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Points Leaders Try To Stay On Top For PASS North Return To Beech Ridge

NAPLES, ME — Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, ME has long been one of the stalwarts on the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North Super Late Model schedule. The facility has hosted PASS events since 2006 and provides some of the closest action seen anywhere on the circuit. And, much like the first event of the season at Oxford Plains Speedway, this weekend’s Southern Maine Motors 150 will serve as a precursor to one of the biggest races of the season, the PASS 400 weekend at Beech Ridge in September. In fact, the racing has been so competitive that in the last five PASS events at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, five different drivers have gone to victory lane. Among those drivers is Joey Doiron, who scored his first career PASS North victory in last year’s Southern Maine Motors 150. And, if last year’s races are any indication, Doiron believes there will be no substitution for a good setup.

“Well Beech Ridge over the last two years has become a one groove racetrack and the key to success there is to make sure your car can pass on the bottom because everyone else usually lines up on the outside,” said Doiron.

Doiron comes to Beech Ridge in 2013 riding a wave of momentum. He started the season off in February with a big PASS National Series win in the Florida Winter Meltdown and heads into Saturday’s Southern Maine Motors 150 second in points after a runner-up finish at Oxford Plains. Doiron hopes that knowledge gained in previous events at Beech Ridge can produce another win this weekend.

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Coates Takes Surprise Victory at the Waterford Speedbowl

Waterford, CT — It might not have been a surprise to some people that Corey Coates took down the victory on Saturday night at the Waterford Speed bowl. But for the rest of the field, it was a surprise as Coates jumped into a truck he had never driven, started last in the race and took the lead with five laps to go to take down the feature event win.

The night started out with Glen Noll on the pole in truck #72 with his brother Duane Noll right alongside in truck #2. As the field came down for the start, Duane Noll got the jump and led the pack off of turn two. As the field came down to complete lap one, Glen Noll would come up the track and make contact with Corey Coates bringing out the first caution of the race. As bad as it looks, both trucks were able to drive away and rejoin at the tail end of the field. On the restart, D. Noll would find himself now on the pole with Tom Metcalf alongside in truck # 8x. As the green flag waived again, Noll would jump out front followed by Metcalf, Chris Correll in truck #7 and Brad Caddick in truck #44. The green would not stay out for long as Caddick and Tony Lafo in the #151 would make contact off turn four sending Caddick to the pits for repairs.

Once back under green, Noll would continue to lead the field but once again trouble would hit as Correll would break in the middle of turn two dropping fluid on the track. Pete Cayer would spin in the oil with truck #5 bringing out the final caution of the event. As the field went back to racing, it was the defending series champion Duane Noll leading the way but Coates had been quietly making his way back up through the field and now found himself in second place. These two would pull away from the field and start battling for the lead. At the same time, Lafo would also find himself in a heated battle with Metcalf for the third spot. With less than five laps to go Coates made the move and put the Chapman #22 truck out front for the final time and held on for the final laps to take down the victory. Duane Noll would have a solid finish in second place with Lafo holding off Metcalf for third.

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Former Speedbowl Championship Owner Al Gaudreau Passes

Waterford, CT — aterford Speedbowl management was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Al Gaudreau this past Saturday. Gaudreau, of Norwich, CT, operated one of the most successful race teams of all-time at the famed shoreline oval. He passed away at the age of 70.

Al, affectionately known as “Buddha” by the racing community, along with his wife Margaret “Peg” Gaudreau owned Modifieds during the 1970’s with Dick Dunn behind the wheel. Their number 3 car became widely known across the northeast as “Buddha’s Bullet”. The combination won five consecutive Modified division owner’s titles at the Speedbowl from 1972-1976 and more races than anyone during the decade.

In the 1990’s Gaudreau and his son Tommy competed in the Late Model division. Tommy along with drivers such as Tom Fox piloted the car to numerous more victories and championships. In recent years Gaudreau enjoyed his son’s drag racing efforts at the track on Friday nights.

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Pennink to Lead Valenti Modifieds to Thompson on May 19th

THOMPSON, CT — Rowan Pennink, fresh off of a second place finish at the Thompson Speedway’s Icebreaker, will lead a full field of Valenti Modified Racing Series cars and stars to the Thompson Speedway on Sunday, May 19th. The Pennsylvania driver is the current points leader in the VMRS. He gained the top spot as a result of a 4th place finish in the season-opening race at the Waterford Speedbowl and then a win at the Monadnock Speedway. Pennink, like many drivers, competes with the Valenti Modified Racing Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

“I think we have a pretty good chance at Thompson”, Pennink said. “With the # 25 car, Thompson seems to be our best track. Gary (Casella) has a really good setup for that track and we have had great motors from Mike Pettit. Generally, we unload the car at Thompson and don’t touch it. The setup has been that good,” Pennink concluded.

When asked about the challenge of competing in every race on both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the Valenti Modified Racing Series, Pennink said that they plan to run them all. He did indicate that there are a couple of races that are scheduled pretty close, but he indicated that the teams felt that if all went well they would be able to make every race.

[VMRS Roster]
[Parking Map]
[Event Schedule]

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ISMA Supers Highlight Oswego’s 63rd Season Opener

OSWEGO, NY — For the 63rd consecutive season, Oswego Speedway will open its gates for racing at the lake side facility known as the ‘Steel Palace’ on May 4.

The night’s racing, which will feature round one of the Shea Concrete ‘Steel Palace’ ISMA SuperSeries as well as the Pathfinder Bank SBS division, will be presented by Gater Racing News and North Country Home Builders.

WHAT: Shea Concrete ‘Steel Palace’ ISMA SuperSeries round #1. ISMA Supermodified 50-lap main event, plus a 35-lap Pathfinder Bank SBS main event.

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Waterford Championship Car Owner Al Gaudreau Passes at 70

Albert E Gaudreau
June 23, 1942 – April 27, 2013

NORWICH – Albert E. Gaudreau, 70, passed away in Norwich on Saturday, April 27th with family by his side.
He was born on June 23, 1942, the son of the late Albert J. and Annie (Mazarelli) Gaudreau. He was the beloved husband of Margaret “Peg” (Rude) Gaudreau who survives him. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary just last year.

Albert was born and raised in Norwich along with his brother Tom who now resides in Griswold with his wife Mary (Frye) Gaudreau.
Al graduated from NFA in 1960. After high school he worked as a welder at Electric Boat and for the plumbers and pipe fitters union. In 1976 he started Al’s Quality Auto and Marine Electric in New London which he ran until 2005.

Al and his wife Peg were avid auto racers. He built and owned many winning race cars in New England. He made many lifelong friends in the racing community and affectionately earned the nickname, “Buddha”. During the 70’s his car, called “Buddha’s Bullet” won 5 modified championships at the Waterford Speedbowl. In the 90’s he and his son Tommy raced Late Models and won two championships. In recent seasons he was been involved with his son Tom in a successful drag racing team. He was a great competitor and was rewarded with many checkered flags and victory lane celebrations.


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Hoar Steals Second Merchants Bank 150

The sun shined on eight-time American Canadian Tour Champion Brian Hoar, as his trademark patience brought him his second Merchants Bank 150 in as many years on a beautiful afternoon at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road on Sunday, April 28. Middlesex, VT’s Dave Pembroke came home a stout second, and 7-time ACT Champion Jean-Paul Cyr brought home a third place finish.

The race began with pole sitter Jay Laquerre running to a large lead in the early going, but it wasn’t long before Pembroke and Hoar muscled their way to the front in the outside lane, with Pembroke snatching the lead on lap 36. From there Pembroke surged, making short work of lap traffic and building his lead during a long 82-lap green flag run. ACT Rookie of the Year competitor Bobby Therrien impressed early, working his way towards the front of the pack as high as third in his third career ACT event before the caution.

When the race restarted, Pembroke was away again while young Therrien battled the veteran Hoar for second place. Meanwhile, Cyr, 2012 King of the Road Nick Sweet, and New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 Champion Jimmy Hebert crept through the field on their way to the leaders. When lap 100 struck, the veterans knew it was time to show their hand.

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Santos Superb In Stafford Spring Sizzler

Gains 9th Career Win In Whelen Modified Tour, 5th At Stafford

STAFFORD, Conn. – Bobby Santos dominated NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action in winning the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday, giving him back-to-back wins at the historic half-mile track.

The 2010 tour champion from Franklin, Mass., led nearly all 200 laps – holding on in a dash to the finish after a late-race restart.

It marks the ninth career tour win for Santos, who had notched his ninth career Coors Light Pole Award in qualifying on Saturday. He was the Spring Sizzler runner-up during his title campaign and followed that with a win in the 2011 event. Sunday’s victory marks the fifth overall Stafford win for the No. 44 Curb Records/Brendan Kelley Music Chevrolet driver.

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NOTEBOOK: Strategy Yields Sizzling Finish

Varied Pit Work Helps Get Drivers To Podium

STAFFORD, Conn. – After winning his ninth career Coors Light Pole Award on Saturday afternoon, Bobby Santos said that track position was more crucial at Stafford Motor Speedway than it is anywhere else on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule.

And after leading a whopping 197 of 200 laps in the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler 200 on Sunday afternoon at the half-mile oval, Santos proved his point. Even over a handful of restarts in the final quarter of the event, Santos was able to steer away from trouble and win virtually unchallenged.

But he also made quick note that there was cause for concern on restarts.

“On those restarts, anything can happen. Especially with Ryan (Preece) outside of me, you don’t really want him out there. Anything can happen with him,” Santos said. “I think the biggest thing is just the equipment. I’m lucky to have really good equipment I’m driving.”

Continue reading ‘NOTEBOOK: Strategy Yields Sizzling Finish’

Preece and Hill Score Carquest Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Sunday Feature Victories at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway’s 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend continued on Sunday with feature events for the SK Modified® and Late Model divisions. Ryan Preece scored a dominating win in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, and J.J. Hill scored a wire to wire victory in the 30-lap Late Model feature event.

In the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Woody Pitkat streaked into the lead from the pole at the drop of the green flag. Glen Reen moved into second, with Sean Foster, Ryan Preece, and Dan Avery lined up behind him. Reen made a move around Pitkat to take over the lead, but the caution came out with 3 laps complete for Eric Berndt, who came to a stop in turn 4. The caution put Pitkat back in front of Reen for the restart. Under the caution, Keith Rocco came to pit road for a driver swap and Mike Stefanik took over Rocco’s ride as Rocco is nursing a left wrist injury.

Back under green, Reen got a good run to the outside of Pitkat to streak into the lead. Preece was also able to get by Pitkat for second and he moved to the inside Reen for the lead, but the caution came back out with 4 laps complete for Tommy Membrino, Jr. and Matt Galko, who spun and came to a stop against the backstretch wall.

Continue reading ‘Preece and Hill Score Carquest Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Sunday Feature Victories at Stafford’

Monadnock Speedway Victories to Stebbins, Johnston, Stebbins, Davis and Lawrence

Dan Stebbins Takes the Monadnock Sportsman Modified Win

Winchester, NH — After his 15th place finish in last week’s opening event, Stebbins took advantage of his outside pole start. It wasn’t all fun and games as pole setter Ken Thompson bogged down at the green flag and Alyssa Rivera climbed over his rear tire, putting Thompson out for the remainder and Alyssa to the rear.

The new restart put Stebbins on the pole and Joe Kendall on the outside. Stebbins would not be dangerously challenged for the lead, but there was all kinds of action behind him. Bill Kimball quickly drove inside Kendall for second and then Keith Carzello made an inside move on Kendall for 3rd.

The first of 3 yellow flags flew on lap 5 for Keith Patnode and Jeremy McCutcheons spin off turn 2. On the restart Stebbins drove away again, but on lap 7 Steve Fifield made his presence be known by slipping by a fading Kendall for 4th. The next lap Kendall lost another spot to Adam Norton, but on lap 12 Norton and Fifield made contact on the front stretch. Norton slid through the infield and pitted with a broken rack and pinion. This restart bunched up the leaders and on lap 13 Carzello powered by Kimball into the 2nd spot. A caution on lap 13 was the result of Russ Hersey, last years’ track champion, and Tyler Jarvenpaa making contact on the front straightaway. The remainder of the race ran caution free. Stebbins and Carzello started pulling away from the pack while on lap 18 Fifields’ mount overheated, forcing him to give up 5th spot to pit.

[Photo Gallery] by Crystal Snape

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Canaan Fair Speedway Up Next for Granite State Pro Stock Series

With the season opener for the 2013 season firmly behind, the Granite State Pro Stock Series heads north on Saturday, May 4th, back to the Granite State for their first appearance of the season at the Canaan Fair Speedway. This will be the second appearance at the Mid NH speed plant for the series

While 23 cars were on hand at Thompson, and many of them have noted their intention on being a part of this Canaan 100, there are still several drivers that will be making their season debut on May 4th. Fran “Jr” Colson will be making his seasonal debut, after waiting for his power plant to arrive, forcing him to miss the season opener.

Scott “Zig” Geno has recovered from his recent off season surgery, and is ready to rock his home track once again. Babe Branscombe, Zach Jewett, Jimmy Renfrew, John-Michael Shenette and possibly a few others will be ready to tackle the 1/3 mile oval. They will go head to head with reigning Canaan Fair Pro Stock Champion Jeremy Davis, and other GSPSS standouts such as the Icebreaker runner-up Mike O’Sullivan, Jake Vanada, Barry Gray, Mike Parks and Josh King, all who had top ten finishes at Thompson.

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Saturday 4/27 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results

Waterford, CT — Ideal weather conditions blessed Waterford Speedbowl for another round of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing on Saturday. Fans were treated to a show that placed third-generation racer Joe Gada of Salem in the winner’s circle, claiming the night’s 35-lap SK Modified® main event in dominating fashion. Defending division champion Dillon Moltz of Waterford won the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race, Josh Galvin of Franklin won a thrilling Street Stock feature and Ian Brew of Wood River Junction, RI took his first Mini Stock feature win of the year. Corey Coates of Ledyard won the visiting New England Truck Series feature. Dave Garbo Jr. of Stonington won the night’s INEX Legend Cars race.

Tyler Jackson led a full field of open-wheel ground pounders to green for their 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature. Jackson took the early lead over Jeffrey Gallup with Gada holding third. After settling in for the opening laps, Gada moved by Gallup’s inside for second on lap-4. Gada continued his forward progress and found room to Jackson’s inside in turn one the next lap and was scored as the new leader on lap-6. Craig Lutz followed suit and was in second. Jeff Rocco got loose to Jackson’s inside in turn one causing the field behind to stack up, resulting in Ed Puleo and Justin Gaydosh coming together to bring out the caution. Puleo was unable to resume.

Gada led the restart over Lutz, who settled into second. Only two laps more were completed before bumper tag headed into turn one again caused trouble, this time with Kyle James stranded in the infield to bring out the second caution flag on lap-8. Damage to James’ car was severe enough that he did not return.

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Dowling, Wood, & Fluckiger Score CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Saturday Feature Victories at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway opened its doors for racing in 2013 with feature events for its SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions as part of the Saturday CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend festivities. Stafford’s three NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions were joined by the Northeast Mini Stock Tour for a total of four feature events on the day to kick off the new season. Chase Dowling took the checkered flag in the 20-lap SK Light feature in his first career Stafford start, Josh Wood was the winner of the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature for the second year in a row, Kris Fluckiger won the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, and Emerson Cayer was the winner of the 25-lap Northeast Mini Stock Tour feature event.

In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Joey Ferrigno took the lead at the green, but Rick Williams spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. On the restart, Ferrigno took the lead ahead of Tony Membrino, Jr. as Bob Charland spun in turn 2. The entire field avoided Charland and the race stayed green but it was only for one lap as Tyler Hines took a hard hit into the turn 1 wall to bring the caution back out. Just as the caution came out, Ferrigno spun at the front of the pack. But because the caution had already come out, Ferrigno was able to keep the number one position for the restart with Membrino alongside.

The field took the green flag with Ferrigno back in the lead ahead of Membrino, Shayne Prucker, Ronnie Williams, and Glenn Griswold. The caution came back out with three laps complete for a spin by Dylan Menditto.

Continue reading ‘Dowling, Wood, & Fluckiger Score CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Saturday Feature Victories at Stafford’

QUALIFYING: Santos Scores Sizzler Pole

Ninth Career Coors Light Pole For Whelen Modified Tour Veteran

STAFFORD, Conn. – Bobby Santos has the inside track in his quest for back-to-back NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victories at Stafford Motor Speedway after earning the Coors Light Pole Award Saturday afternoon for Sunday’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler.

Santos, from Franklin, Mass., laid down a fast lap of 18.082 seconds (99.547 mph) in qualifying at the historic half mile for his ninth career Whelen Modified Tour pole. It marked the second time he’s captured the top-qualifying spot for the famed Spring Sizzler weekend, and fourth time overall at Stafford.

Todd Szegedy will join Santos in the front row for Sunday’s 200-lap Whelen Modified Tour feature after he registered a quick lap of 18.084 (99.536). The second row will consist of Rowan Pennink (18.087/99.464) and Chuck Hossfeld (18.101/99.442).

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PRACTICE: Santos Leads At Stafford

Fastest In Whelen Modified Spring Sizzler Session

STAFFORD, Conn. – Bobby Santos picked up right where he left off in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s last visit to Stafford Motor Speedway when he led CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler practice Saturday afternoon.

Santos, winner of the CARQUEST Fall Final last September at Stafford, posted a quick lap of 17.938 seconds (100.346 mph) during the 75-minute practice session. A winner of the Coors Light Pole Award three times in his career at Stafford, Santos’ lap was just behind the track qualifying record established by Ryan Preece in this event last year at 17.924 (100.424).

Santos was followed on the speed chart by Justin Bonsignore at 17.946 (100.301) and Donny Lia at 17.971 (100.161). They were the only three to top the 100 mph mark.

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Austin Bessette Looking for Big Things in 2013 as he Moves from DARE Stocks to Ltd. Late Models

Stafford Springs, CT — Hometown driver Austin Bessette is looking for big things in 2013 at Stafford Motor Speedway. After scoring three wins last year and finishing second in the DARE Stock points standings, Bessette has made the move up the Stafford ladder into the Limited Late Model division for the 2013 season. After the initial open practice session that was held on April 20 in preparation for the 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler this weekend, Bessette is excited about his prospects for the season.

“Practice went great, and the power difference was amazing,” said Bessette. “We started off with a pretty decent car, we made some minor adjustments and tried some different things to see how it went. I thought we’d be a little slower since we were new at it, but we actually ended up being pretty decent towards the top of the speed chart.”

Bessette makes the move into the Ltd. Late Model division with the engine that propelled Cory Casagrande to the division championship last season, and he has a former Bill Davis car built by BFR for his chassis.

“I think we have a pretty good setup with the car, Rick Casagrande helped us out with the setup and Bob Fill installed a new front clip for us,” said Bessette. “We got the engine and rear end from Rick, and we know the motor ran well last year with Cory, so we feel pretty confident with the engine. The car is an old Bill Davis car, it had been sitting for two years with a brand new front clip on it. Bill never ran the new clip, but the car has some wins on it, so we’re hoping we can win with it. I think we can get to victory lane at least once this year.”

As Bessette chases after a trip to the top step of the podium during the 2013 season, he says his goal is to just be on the podium as many times as he can rather than focus on points and the championship. But if Bessette can achieve his stated goal, he may just end up achieving a second goal as Cory Casagrande proved last year that podium finishes can carry you to a championship.

“Our main goal for the year is to get as many podium finishes as we can,” said Bessette. “We’re not really focused on points or the championship, that will come in time. I think we have everything we need to have a great year, and I’m really looking forward to getting started, I like this division a lot better than the DARE Stock division already.”

Bessette will have the backing of a brand new sponsor in Brickenmore in 2013, a partnership that should help Bessette in his pursuit of CARQUEST Victory Lane.

“We have a new sponsor this year with Brickenmore,” said Bessette. “They called us and wanted to sponsor us because they saw how well we ran last year with the DARE Stock. They talked with us last year, and they were just looking, and over the winter they called us up and wanted to sponsor us this year. We also have Mainline Heating, NAPA of Tolland, Casey’s Café, and John the Jackman as sponsors this year. I can’t wait to hit the track this weekend for the Sizzler.”

Bessette will take his first shot at CARQUEST Victory Lane this weekend with the 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” may be ordered by calling the Speedway 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 is $42.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.

For more information on the 42nd 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

Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR

New England Racing Fuel Renews Stafford Speedway Contingency Program Sponsorship with Sunoco Gasoline

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that New England Racing Fuel with John Holland and Mike Joy have renewed their participation in the track’s Contingency Program for the upcoming 2013 season. New England Racing Fuel was the first company along with CARQUEST Auto Parts to join the SMS Contingency Program for the 1999 season and they have been part of the program every year since. The 2013 season will mark the 15th consecutive season that New England Racing Fuel has been a member of the SMS Contingency Program.

“We’re looking forward to another season at Stafford,” said John Holland of New England Racing Fuel. “We are a charter member of the contingency program and this will be our 15th season in the program. Our relationship with Stafford is our longest running and one of our most successful programs that we have done with tracks throughout the years. The competitors at Stafford give us the most feedback of any track thanking us for our support, which really shows us the value of being involved with Stafford Motor Speedway as a contingency sponsor.”

For the 2013 season, New England Racing Fuel will once again provide fuel certificates in the amount of $50 to third place finishers in each SK Modified® and Late Model feature event, and a $25 fuel certificate to the first, second, and third place finishers in each SK Light Modified, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock feature events. New England Racing Fuel will also offer $25 fuel certificates to the top-3 finishing SK Modified® and Late Model cars who compete with the SMS Spec Engine in each feature event during the 2013 season.

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R.A.D. Automachine Signs On as Newest Member of Stafford Speedway Contingency Program

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced the formation of a Rookie of the Year award for DARE Stock drivers that will be sponsored by R.A.D. Automachine of Ludlow, MA. In order for a driver to be eligible to win the R.A.D. Automachine DARE Stock Rookie of the Year Award, a driver must not have competed in more than 5 races in the DARE Stock or a higher division at Stafford in any previous season. The award will be worth a $400 bonus to the highest finishing DARE Stock rookie driver in the 2013 points standings and will be presented at the end of season awards banquet that will be held at Maneeley’s Banquet Facility in South Windsor on Friday, November 22nd.

“This is something I wanted to do to help out the lower divisions,” said Don Wood, owner of R.A.D. Automachine. “Back when I started racing in the DARE Stock division, there was no points and the DARE Stocks have really evolved and developed as a racing division since then. I thought they could use a rookie award with all the young kids that are getting started out in the DARE Stocks. The DARE Stocks are just as competitive as every other division at Stafford, they might be slower, but they’re just as much fun to drive and race and this will be a nice bonus for someone to win this year.”

The Rookie of the Year award is not where the bonus money comes to an end from R.A.D. Automachine in 2013. With the introduction of a spec engine for the DARE Stocks this year, R.A.D. Automachine will present a weekly $30 bonus to the highest finishing spec engine DARE Stock from each feature event this season.

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Eric Berndt Looking To Get 2013 Season On Track With Strong Finish In 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — For Cromwell native Eric Berndt, the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season got off to a less than desired beginning. Berndt qualified 18th of 29 cars and he finished last after oil issues sidelined him after only completing 38 of 150 laps. But if there is one track that can get Berndt and the #46 Cape Cod Aggregates / North End Auto Parts team back on track, it is Stafford Motor Speedway.

Berndt has 2 career pole positions in his NWMT career with one of those poles coming at Stafford. While Berndt has yet to win a NWMT race, he nearly took his first checkered flag in the 2010 TSI Harley-Davidson 125, but a late caution erased his lead and he was a sitting duck on older tires and finished the race in sixth place. With his knowledge of Stafford from his SK Modified® experience, Berndt is looking forward to getting his 2013 season back on track.

“I like our chances going to Stafford,” said Berndt. “We’ve qualified well there in the past and we want to be able to solidify our position and get a top-5 or top-10 finish in the Sizzler. I think we should have a good car and a good shot at achieving that goal as long as nothing stupid happens to us. We just need to be there at the end. Three years ago in the May race, I think we led all but about 20 or 25 laps in that race. The caution came out around lap-105 of 125 and we were on old tires. We had some oil issues at Thompson with our backup engine, so we’re coming to Stafford with one of my family engines in the #46 and we’re looking for a good finish.”

Continue reading ‘Eric Berndt Looking To Get 2013 Season On Track With Strong Finish In 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler’

Jimmy Blewett Looking to Keep Stafford Success Going in 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler this Weekend

Stafford Springs, CT — As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour comes to Stafford Motor Speedway this weekend for the 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, one driver who will be looking forward to the trip is Jimmy Blewett. Blewett has scored two of his five career WMT wins at Stafford, and he recorded top-9 finishes in each of the four WMT races at Stafford last season, including a pole position and third place finish in the CARQUEST Fall Final.

“I always enjoy coming to Stafford,” said Blewett. “Stafford is one of the best tracks on the schedule, the fans there are always great, and I feel like it’s my best track,” said Blewett. “I really enjoy a challenge, and Stafford is one of the toughest tracks we go to. We usually have a good car at Stafford, so we’re feeling pretty good. With the equipment that my grandfather has given me, I definitely feel like we can come up to Stafford and go home with a win. I feel like my strong point is the longer races because the longer the race goes, the better I get, so the Sizzler being 200 laps long is a good distance.”

While Blewett’s best career finish in the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler is fifth place, that finish came in last year’s Sizzler, and with 2 Stafford wins to his credit, he knows what it will take to be victorious this Sunday.

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CARQUEST Champions for Charities Driver Spotlight: Doug Coby

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 defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby, who will be racing to help support The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

As a result of winning the 2012 Whelen Modified Tour championship, Coby had a host of functions to attend during NASCAR Champions Week in Charlotte and that is where he met NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion Lee Pulliam and his girlfriend, Carrie Hendrick. When Coby met up again with Pulliam and Hendrick at Daytona for the UNOH Battle at the Beach, Coby learned that Hendrick had been diagnosed as having early stages of ovarian cancer, which is what propelled him to choose the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund as his charity of choice.

“I met Lee at a photoshoot during Champions Week as soon as we landed in Charlotte,” said Coby. “We introduced ourselves right away and when you see the same people at the same places during the course of the week, you get to chatting and you learn more about what they do inside and outside of racing. With Lee battling with Keith Rocco all year for the national championship, he was definitely someone that I wanted to meet. My sister Kelly went down to the banquet with me, and she and Carrie got to do some ladies only things together, and they bonded pretty quickly. I heard from Carrie about her cancer diagnosis right before the Daytona race. I think they caught it early, so there’s a good chance for recovery. Carrie is still pretty young and she has her whole life ahead of her, but now she has to fight the cancer and go through chemo, so there’s a lot of uncertainty there. Her situation made me think of all of the important women who support drivers at our tracks, and I know every driver has wives, girlfriends, sisters, and mothers who support them in the shop and at the track. I asked her if it would be ok to use her name to help support and bring awareness to that type of cancer research. While the money won’t be directly helping her, any money that we can raise for Ovarian Cancer Research is a big help.”

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Whelen Southern Modified Driver Brown Penalized For Caraway Incident

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver Tim Brown has been penalized by NASCAR following his involvement in an April 20 incident at Caraway Speedway near Asheboro, N.C.

Brown, driver of the No. 02 car was found to have violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing. Altercation with another competitor on the race track after the race had concluded.) of the 2013 rule book.

As a result of this violation, Brown has been fined $500, suspended from NASCAR until the fine is paid and placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 28.

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Whelen Mod Tour Stat Advance: Stafford

Analyzing The CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler At Stafford

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will headline the racing action during CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler weekend at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 28. Below is a statistical look at the performance of series and selected drivers at the track:

Stafford Race Setup:
• Ted Christopher is not only the all-time winningest driver in Stafford Motor Speedway history, but he also possesses the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour record for most victories in the Spring Sizzler with five.
• Mike Stefanik is one behind Christopher on the Sizzler win list with four, but he holds the NWMT record for total Stafford triumphs with 20.
• Reigning NWMT champion Doug Coby won three of the four races at Stafford last year, including the Spring Sizzler.
• Four of the previous eight winners of the Spring Sizzler have gone on to capture the season championship, including the defending race winner Coby.

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Bourgoine Adds to Impressive Resume at Speedway 95

Hermon, ME – The Amsoil Nelcar Legends Tour returned to northern Maine this past weekend to do battle at Speedway 95. The 3/8th mile is famous for its tough surface and its progressive banking that makes the long way around the fast way around. The start of a double header weekend for the Tour showed 14 of the tour’s best driver’s work to make their mark in the first of two trips to the track in the 2013 season.

For the first heat race it was the 81 of third year Legends driver Dan Winter on the pole with the 399 of four time tour champion Bob Weymouth on his outside. Weymouth would use the outside to his advantage as he drove off with the heat win ahead of Ryan Hammar in the 2 car and rookie John Peters in the 51 machine.

The front row of the second heat race consisted of Alan Smith from nearby Lincoln and the 84 of standout driver Matt Grant on the outside. The two fought hard for the lead while the 38 of defending tour champion Matt Bourgoine made his way to the front. A great race between Grant and Bourgoine saw the champ get the upper hand with Smith rounding out the top three.

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Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Stafford

Coby Returns To Where Title Campaign Started

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Even though Stafford Motor Speedway is 75 miles from Doug Coby’s hometown, but during his 2012 championship season Coby might as well have called it “Home Sweet Home.”

Coby, from Milford, Conn., launched his title campaign in earnest with a victory in last year’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at the Connecticut oval, then strengthened it with wins in two of the remaining three races there on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule. Without those three Stafford checkered flags, who knows how Coby’s season would have gone.

The tour’s record book for Stafford is dominated with accomplishments from Ted Christopher and Mike Stefanik, but Coby is positioning himself as the present-day master of the historic half mile. Including those three wins from last year, Coby has seven-straight top-10 finishes at Stafford and has led laps in six of his last 10 Whelen Modified Tour races there.

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Valenti Modifieds Next on Thompson Calendar

THOMPSON, CT — The Valenti Modified Racing Series will make its first of three stops this year at Thompson Speedway on Sunday, May 19th. The VMRS will headline the six-division race program that will also feature Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly divisions.

The VMRS is celebrating its 10th anniversary season and is expected to bring a large field of race teams to Thompson. Over seventy teams have registered this season for VMRS competition with many of them well known to Thompson fans. A host of drivers from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour are regulars on the VMRS as are a number of All-American Series competitors. Defending WMT champion Doug Coby is a registered VMRS competitor as are Rowan Pennink, Ryan Preece, Keith Rocco, Richard Savary and Woody Pitkat. Some other well-known VMRS regulars are Steve Masse, two-time champions Chris Pasteryak and Kirk Alexander, Todd Owen, Tommy Barrett and many more.

Race number one of the VMRS season was won by Steve Masse and Rowan Pennink picked up the victory in race number two this past weekend. Thompson is the third event on the VMRS schedule and it’s anyone’s guess who will walk away with a victory in the 75-lap main event.

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Brian Whitney Scores in Maine Stock Car Season Opener at Unity Raceway

Unity, Maine – Brian Whitney of Burnham added another extra-distance main event first-place trophy to his collection, outgunning reigning track champion Jeff Burgess of Fairfield in the 52-lap Late Model division main event on Opening Day at Unity Raceway on Saturday.

Whitney and Burgess swapped the race lead, and a little bit of paint, a couple of times during the closing laps in a competitive feature race highlighting the first stock car racing card in Maine this season. Whitney, who has been most successful in extra-distance event in recent seasons at Unity Raceway, led the vast majority of the race, first battling Palmyra racer Ajay Picard for supremacy.

Late in the event Whitney had not only the reigning track kingpin challenging, but the returning prodigy breathing down his tailpipes as well. Three-time Unity Raceway champion Frank Moulton of Burnham, who took a year off from competition at Maine’s Toughest Racing Oval, was in the mix as the laps wound down, eventually settling for a third-place finish behind Whitney and Burgess.

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Pennink Celebrates Spring Dash Win at Monadnock

Winchester, NH. – With the Valenti Modified Racing Series celebrating it’s 10th anniversary and where the series got it’s start, Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, PA, did his own celebrating when he captured the Bond Auto Parts “Spring Dash 100” Saturday night at Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, NH. The victory, Pennink’s eighth series win, makes him the sixth different driver to win the annual April race.

The series second event of the year felt more like a winter-fest as 40-degree temperatures and blustery winds chilled a good crowd on hand considering the conditions.

Pennink took the lead on a lap 94 restart when he bolted by local favorite Todd Patnode, of Richmond, NH. A fast closing late race charge from Tommy Barrett, of Millis Mass, pressured Pennink to the finish.

[Photo Gallery] by Crystal Snape

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April 2013
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