Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the 2017 DARE Stock season at Stafford Motor Speedway, Hopkinton, MA native Nick Bendiak will be living out his dream. Bendiak has been part of racing for the past 8 seasons helping his father Jim and brother Patrick and he has even made several starts himself behind the wheel. But the 2017 season will mark his first full-time season behind the wheel of a race car and he is itching to get started.
“I’ve done three World Series races and two races at Stafford,” said Bendiak. “We’ve been racing at Thompson for 8 years, my brother and father both drove 4 years each and now it’s my turn to be the driver. We were never really competitive, we just raced for fun. It was more of a thing being able to work with my Dad in the garage. We finally have a real motor in the car from Don Wood at R.A.D. and he’s been a big help with us getting the right gearing and drivetrain. We ran at Stafford a couple years ago when they were doing a test program and I love the track. It’s a much more of a driver’s track instead of the car needing raw horsepower like at Thompson.”
Despite his lack of racing experience behind the wheel, Bendiak is itching to get his season started. Bendiak is not focused on winning races or a championship, but rather he is looking to have fun working with his father and brother as well as seeing if he has what it takes to be successful behind the wheel. With a BFR chassis and a R.A.D. Automachine engine, Bendiak has the equipment he feels he needs to be successful and his driving aptitude will determine how much success he enjoys this season.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Bendiak. “Our main goal is to just get the car to go. As long as we’re going fast we’ll be happy. I think we have a car that is capable of winning races and it’s going to come down to driver ability and the big test for me will be to see if I can really drive or not. I have a lap time in mind and if I can’t reach that lap time, we might put my brother Patrick in the car. We didn’t put all the money in the car over the winter to just ride around at the back. We have a BFR chassis and a R.A.D. engine and we know what we need for a setup, so the car should go. In the past, we did just what we needed to to get it to the track each week and now we had a little bit of extra money in our pockets and the crate engine really turned things around for us and that has allowed us to race at Stafford this season. I think we definitely have a top-10 car and if I can drive then I’d like to get a couple of top-5 finishes.”
Bendiak says he prefers racing at Stafford since it offers the chance for the driver to be a bigger part of the equation than how much horsepower a driver has under the hood. Bendiak also feels like his experience working as a crew member with his father and brother will be a benefit to him in getting his #31 car towards the front of the DARE Stock pack.
“You really have to ease the car into the corners. For whatever reason, we seemed to hook up pretty good the last time we were at Stafford. That was only my second race ever driving and we finished 9th out of 15 cars. You can’t overdrive the track, you have to let the track come to you unlike Thompson, which is basically two drag strips with corners at the end. I’ve always been helping either my father or my brother and now I get to drive and set things up how I want them. From working with my father and brother I really understand how the car works and I think that will be to my benefit this season in the DARE Stocks.”
Bendiak and the rest of the DARE Stock division will take to the track for the first time in 2017 as part of the 46th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 28-30. Tickets are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $40.00 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 $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. Tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Discount Tickets will be available at all 71 participating NAPA Auto Parts stores beginning on Monday, April 3rd. For a full list of the 71 locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, please call the speedway office or visit us on the web at www.staffordmotorspeedway.com/participating-napa-auto-parts-stores.
For more information or to order tickets for the 46th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®, 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