Dick Dunn , one of the Modified stars at New London-Waterford (CT) Speedbowl, passed away. The Middletown, CT driver won four consecutive championships from 1972-75. Dunn was part of the 50 Favorite Drivers class on July 29, 2000.
The No. 3 car was synonymous with car owner Peg Gaudreau. The car was named ‘Buddah’s Bullet’ in deference to her husband Al Gaudreau. Dunn was the last member of the combination. Al passed away in 2013. Peg battled ALS before her passing last year.
Dunn won 47 races at New London-Waterford. His 40 in the Modifieds rank fourth in the division, tied with Hall of Famer Bill Slater. His best season came in 1973 with nine wins. He led the division with 15 consecutive winning seasons from 1964-78. He had early success in 1959-60 with seven Bomber division wins.
I spoke with historian Tom ‘Sid’ DiMaggio of SpeedbowlHistory.com.
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Comcast Business to be primary paint scheme during KOBALT 400 in Las Vegas and Food City 500 in Bristol; XFINITY to be primary during Sylvania 300 in New Hampshire and Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 in Martinsville
Comcast announced today it will join Carl Edwards and the No. 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing as primary sponsor for four races in 2015.
The partnership will kick off at the KOBALT 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8, with Comcast Business as the primary paint scheme for Edwards’ Toyota Camry, marking the first major sponsorship deal in NASCAR for Comcast’s business services unit that provides data, Internet, TV and other communication services to organizations of all sizes. Comcast Business will also be featured at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19. The four-race partnership will round out with XFINITY, the company’s residential brand for Internet, TV and other communication services, taking over as primary paint scheme for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 27, and Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on November 1.
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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Next Race: Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500
The Place: Martinsville Speedway
The Date: Sunday, Oct. 26
The Time: 1:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN, 1 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90
Distance: 263 miles (500 laps)
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Wins Prestigious Late Model Stock Special Event For Second Time
MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Lee Pulliam realized a few weeks ago that he didn’t have a chance to win his third straight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship but what he accomplished Sunday might ease a little bit of his frustration at not getting another title.
Pulliam took the lead on the restart of a green-white-checkered finish from Peyton Sellers and went on to win his second grandfather clock winning the MDCU 300 for the second time in four years. Pulliam’s first Martinsville victory came in 2011.
On Sunday’s final restart on Lap 198, Pulliam was able to pull ahead of Sellers and take the lead. On the final lap, Sellers and Sam Yarbrough got together in Turn 1. The contact sent Sellers into a spin in front of the field. Anthony Anders, 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion, was unable to miss Sellers and was collected as well.
[Photo Gallery] by Brad Newman
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Drivers Deke Astle, Jim Martel, Mike Rowe, Fred Schulz, Ron Wyckoff, drag racing icon Bob Tasca, historian R.A. Silvia and car builder/mechanic Dave Tourigny make up the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame’s class of 2014.
They, along with the still to be announced pioneer class, will be inducted at NEAR’s 16th Hall of Fame banquet Sunday, Nov. 16th, at The Lodge at Maneeley’s in South Windsor, CT.
Banquet ticket information will be announced shortly and will be posted on the New England’s Antique Racers’ website (NEAR1.org) in the near future.
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Sellers Team Member Chasing Wins
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late model driver Matt Bowling excels in special events.
Last month he won the 200-lap Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. In 2012 he won the prestigious Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., and took the late model track championship at South Boston. In 2013 he had top-10 finishes in the late model portion of the UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway and the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Bowling drives for Sellers Racing of Danville, Va. The company fields cars for four full time drivers. Teammates include Peyton Sellers, the 2005 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion, Michael Maresca and 2009-10 South Boston champ Justin Johnson. Sellers’ brother, H.C., is crew chief.
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High Expectations for Icebreaker Winner
Change is good for Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, NY, who began the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season in victory lane. The Icebreaker was his second victory at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for Ken Massa’s M3 Technology team. Bonsignore led three times for 14 laps, including the final eight circuits. He bested Coors Light Pole Award winner Woody Pitkat and former champion Doug Coby for the victory. Long Islanders Timmy Solomito and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five.
“That was wild,” Bonsignore said. “I hope everybody enjoyed it. If they didn’t enjoy that I don’t know what they’re going to post on Facebook but great car. Oh my God. I was hoping I wasn’t going to be the guy to mess it up the last 25 laps. I knew I had a little bit better car.”
“He’s (Pitkat) going to win his fair share of them,” Bonsignore said. “Hopefully we go back and forth this year … He had a great car. I knew he was going to be the guy we had to beat. They tested here last week. Everybody said they were real quick. They showed it all weekend that they were real quick. They were a tick off on their pit stop and we were just a tick better and that’s all it took. The competition is so close you guys can see it. Just drove my butt off and was able to get it done.”
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NASCAR Galvanizing Fans, Industry And Partners Around Theme Of Protecting, Preserving The Environment
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 28, 2014) — Celebrating the sport’s commitment to protecting and preserving the environment, NASCAR today officially kicked off its second annual NASCAR Race to Green™ initiative at Martinsville Speedway. NASCAR is sports’ sustainability leader and this effort is intended to build awareness around the programs the sanctioning body, industry, and a wide range of partners have in place to help reduce the sport’s carbon footprint.
A key pillar of the initiative is a call-to-action for fans and the industry to donate trees that will be planted across the country as well as in a number of areas recently devastated by natural disasters. NASCAR fans can visit www.NASCAR.com/green to donate trees – $1 per tree for a 2-3 foot sapling – to be planted in those areas with the support of The Arbor Day Foundation. Fans are encouraged to share their own efforts around green innovation by using the hashtag #NASCARGreen. Social media highlights of the industry’s sustainability efforts will be featured on NASCAR.com/Green.
“When we introduced NASCAR Race to Green last year, we were overwhelmed by the level of dedication displayed across our sport to positively impact the environment,” said Dr. Mike Lynch, vice president, NASCAR Green Innovation. “This month-long initiative will recognize the efforts our fans, partners and industry continue to implement to help pass along a cleaner and healthier environment for generations to come.”
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NASCAR Debuts Latest Version Of Cutting-Edge Track-Drying Technology
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 28, 2014) – NASCAR introduced an evolution in innovation today – the results of which will continue to elevate a fan’s race-viewing experience to an even greater level.
The Toyota-hauled next generation of Air Titan, the cutting-edge track-drying technology, made its race weekend debut at Martinsville Speedway today. Air Titan 2.0 is a more compact, more nimble and more environmentally friendly version of its innovative predecessor – one that since its introduction in February 2013 has rescued multiple races, including this year’s Daytona 500.
Air Titan 2.0 signals a major step forward in NASCAR’s innovation cycle. It replaces the bulky support vehicles required by Air Titan 1.0 with a single, self-contained unit that’s perched on the bed of a Toyota Tundra. By addressing the size of the power source, NASCAR now has the ability to deploy up to 21 units in Toyota Tundras at larger venues and operate more efficiently on smaller tracks.
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SWM-NEMCO Motorsports Steps Up Schedule for 16-Year-Old Driver
After turning heads in the first two races of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career in 2013, 16-year-old John Hunter Nemechek is ready to compete at the front of the field with a more aggressive schedule in 2014.
Nemechek will pilot the No. 8 Toyota Tundra in 10 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events with SWM-NEMCO Motorsports. The 10-race slate consists of all the tracks the second-generation driver can compete on under NASCAR’s age requirements, but the mix of short tracks and one-mile ovals coupled with a road course and a dirt track makes for an exciting opportunity for Nemechek to gain more NCWTS experience.
“Our goals for the year are to finish top 10 in each race,” said Nemechek. “I know it’s going to be tough racing against all the veterans that we’ll compete with each race, but I think we’ll have the team to do it. It’s all about getting as much experience as I can while continuing to move up into the bigger cars.”
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Steals 300 After Late Wreck Takes Out Leaders
MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Late-race fireworks set the stage for an improbable finish and Tommy Lemons Jr. seized the moment as he took home the famed grandfather clock in the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
With two-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Lee Pulliam pacing the field on a Lap 201 restart, third-place Deac McCaskill took out Pulliam entering Turn 1 and set the race on its top.
Also collected were three-time Martinsville 300 winner Philip Morris and CE Falk III, who were restarting third and fifth, respectively.
[Photo Gallery] by Brad Newman
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National Champ’s Next Goal: Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The newly crowned NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion has one more mighty goal on his 2013 racing calendar – a victory at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Lee Pulliam, coming off his second straight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship, will compete in the post-season Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 300 for NASCAR Late Models at Martinsville on Oct. 6. Eighty-seven cars were on hand for a test session on Sept. 25.
The race day includes four 20-lap qualifying races, a 20-lap last chance race, and the 42-car, 200-lap main event. Practice is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5.
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Sunday, October 6: it’s a date NASCAR Late Model Stock drivers from across the country have had circled on their calendars for months, the date of the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
It is the race that drivers refer to as their Daytona 500 or their Super Bowl. It’s the richest NASCAR Late Model Stock race in the country, $25,000 to the winner, with bonuses that could take it to $35,000. And of course there is the iconic grandfather clock trophy to the winner and the prestige of winning on a track where the history of racing runs so deep.
The field is truly a who’s who of NASCAR Late Model racing. Two-time defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Lee Pulliam is entered, as is four-time national champion Philip Morris. Morris is the defending Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 winner; Pulliam won the event two years ago. Morris is the only driver with three Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 wins to his credit.
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MARTINSVILLE, VA — The largest field of cars in recent history put the old “practice makes perfect” adage to test Wednesday in an open practice session for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway on October 6.
Eighty-seven cars packed the infield as drivers and their teams worked to fine tune cars for NASCAR’s most prestigious Late Model Stock race, which pays $25,000 to the winner and carries even more prestige.
Practice day is always a fun day for drivers, but it is also a day of hard work that is vital to success in the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300.
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MARTINSVILLE, VA – It’s difficult to find the correct word to describe Lee Pulliam’s season. Tremendous would work. So would amazing. Unprecedented? Well, that also could be argued.
But one thing is certain: there have been only a small handful of drivers in the history of weekly short-track racing that ever matched the numbers Pulliam put up in 2013.
First, he backed up his 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship with another in 2013. Only two drivers – Larry Phillips and Philip Morris – had previously won back-to-back national titles in the series’ history.
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Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 Schedule
Friday, October 4
12:00 p.m.: Registration and haulers enter; selection and mounting of practice tires only.
Saturday, October 5
6:00 a.m.: Garage and registration opens
6:15 a.m.: Mandatory crew chief and/or team representative meeting
6:30 a.m.: Inspection begins
9:00 a.m.: Fan gates open
10:00 a.m.: Transponder pick-up at the NASCAR hauler
11:00 a.m.: Track services meeting, Infield Care Center
1:00 p.m.: Practice begins (time approximate)
4:00 p.m.: Qualifying practice
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MARTINSVILLE, VA — Expect a few minor tweaks and tons of excitement when the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 NASCAR Late Model Stock race rolls into Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, October 6.
For the second straight year the field for the prestigious NASCAR Late Model race will be determined by heat races and a last-chance race instead of time trials.
The field will be set from four 20-lap qualifying races on Sunday, October 6, followed by a 20-lap last chance race. Eight drivers will advance from each qualifying race and 10 will come from the last-chance race to fill out the 42-car field for the 200-lap feature.
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FOOTE, Melvin “Red,” 85, of Chesterfield, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, February 3, 2013. Red is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Loretta Foote; his stepdaughter, Linda Strasburg; stepgrandson, Michael (TiAnna) Talley; stepgranddaughter, Michelle (Richard) King; sisters-in-law, Rev. Beverly J. Samford and Julianna Duke.
Red enjoyed racing stockcars for 35 years, is formerly known as one of the “Eastern Bandits” and was inducted into the New England Hall of Fame for racecar drivers in 1999. After retirement he spent much time at Newpoint Campground on his boat fishing. Red was devoted to his cats and his good friends at Dutchgap. Red will be remembered for his quick wit, humor and willingness to help others and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 7 at Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, 6500 Iron Bridge Rd (Rte 10). His graveside service will be February 8, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Bethel UMC Cemetery in Alberta, Va., with the Rev. Beverly J. Samford officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Richmond SPCA at 2519 Hermitage Road, Richmond, Va. 23220.
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East Windsor, CT — On Sunday January 29, The New England Antique Racers (NEAR), presented the 15th annual New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Inductions. Award-winning sportswriter Matt Buckler served as Master of Ceremonies for the well-attended event held at LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT.
Receiving induction honors this year were drivers Reggie Ruggiero, Joey Kourafas, Moe Gherzi, Jerry Humiston, and Roland Lapierre Sr., owner/mechanics Mario Fiore and Jim Jorgensen and track operator Irene Venditti.
Though not present due to prior commitments, longtime Northern media personality Dave Moody was the recipient of the prestigious “Jack Ratta Memorial Media Award.” Veteran auto racing journalist and Hall of Fame Member Pete Zanardi received the Danny Pardi Memorial Award for his many contributions to NEAR over the years.
A pivotal figure during the formative years of the sport and truly one of the regions earliest stars, Moe Gherzi came to stock cars following a brief fling with midget racing during the busy post-war era. Gherzi won for some of the best teams in the early days of the sport while displaying a flashy style which became his trademark. Nicknamed “Moneybags” owed to a knack of winning many big-dollar events, he tasted success at virtually all of the regions tracks. He later served as the longtime Racing Director at Connecticut’s Plainville Stadium. Accepting for her late father from presenter Dave Dykes was Ms. Alma Michaud.
[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
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New York Star Won Nine NASCAR Modified Series Titles In Hall Of Fame Career
Daytona Beach, FL — Richard Ernest “Richie” Evans certainly was the face of NASCAR – and modified racing – in the northeast, winning an estimated 475 times in approximately 1,300 starts. It equates to a win in every three starts (a 36.5% clip), something unheard of in modern racing at any level.
Evans will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, one of five members of the Hall’s third class comprised of the New York native, legendary crew chief Dale Inman, team owner Glen Wood and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough. He is the first of 15 inductees without a connection to NASCAR’s premier series.
The 2012 enshrinement ceremony kicks off NASCAR Acceleration 2012 weekend, which includes the NASCAR Preview 2012 Presented by Sprint, where fans can interact with the sport’s legends and current stars in person, get autographs and catch a sneak peek at the upcoming season. Fans can go to NASCARacceleration2012.com for more information.
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A trio of modified racing pioneers – Moe Gherzi, Jerry Humiston and Roland Lapierre – are the veterans committee selections to join the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
The trio will be inducted along with drivers Reggie Ruggiero and Joey Kourafas, owner/mechanics Mario Fiore and Jim Jorgensen and track operators/promoters Irene Venditti and Donald Hoenig at the 15th annual Hall of Fame Banquet on Sunday Jan. 29 at the LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT.
Ticket information and order forms will be available soon on the NEAR website (www.NEAR1.com).
The colorful Gherzi was one of Southern New England’s first racing stars. Driving for a number of owners including the Scambato and Garuti families, Gherzi, who started in the Midgets, built an impressive stock car resume in the formative years at Plainville Stadium, Riverside Park and the Waterford Speedbowl. Following his 25-plus years in the cockpit, Gherzi was racing director at Plainville.
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Equal parts talent, lifestyle and legend earn Evans his Hall call
Every Christmas Day, no matter how cold or how much snow was on the ground, Richie Evans would drive his race car over to The Rusty Nail, the Rome, N.Y., bar that also sponsored his famous orange and black No. 61, to celebrate the holiday. For Evans was never far from his roots.
This week, short-track fans up and down the East Coast were celebrating the announcement that Evans would be one of five people inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Evans made his name with eye-popping statistics from his career in a Modified.
But Evans cemented his legend a long time ago with the stories that surrounded his career.
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2012 class includes Yarborough, Wood, Inman, Waltrip
1981 - Richie Evans at Stafford
Members of the 55-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2012. The announcement was made by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Great Hall.”
The class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
As was the case for the first two classes of the NASCAR Hall Of Fame, the results of this year’s voting were competitive. Yarborough led with 85 percent of the vote, followed by Waltrip (82%), Inman (78%), Evans (50%) and Wood (44%).
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Made in America Whelen 200 will be Shown Nov. 11
Daytona Beach, FL — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race that was held at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway earlier this year will be telecast by SPEED on Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. ET.
The Made In American Whelen 200, contested on June 6, was the fourth race of the recently-completed season. It was one of four wins on the year by Bobby Santos, who earned the Whelen Modified Tour championship last week at Thompson (Conn) International Speedway.
With the Martinsville telecast date now set, 10 of the 14 races during the Whelen Modified Tour’s 2010 season received coverage between SPEED and VERSUS.
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Claims Third Checkered In Four Starts With Whelen 200 Victory
Martinsville, VA — Bobby Santos’ dream season continued Sunday at Martinsville Speedway as he captured the checkered flag in the Made In America Whelen 200.
Santos pulled away from the field on a green-white-checkered finish to claim his third win in four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races to start the 2010 season.
Rookie Justin Bonsignore had a career-best second-place finish, followed by Todd Szegedy. Mike Stefanik, the defending race winner, settled for fourth. Stefanik, who won the Coors Light Pole Award Saturday, lined up on the outside of the front row on the final restart but was shuffled back on the final two laps. Burt Myers finished fifth.
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Earned Fifth Coors Light Pole Award At Martinsville
Martinsville, VA — Mike Stefanik continued to showcase his mastery of Martinsville Speedway. Already a five-time winner at the track, Stefanik notched his record fifth Coors Light Pole Award Saturday in qualifying for Sunday’s Made In America Whelen 200.
Stefanik’s time of 19.053 seconds (99.386 mph) around the flat half-mile allowed him to break a tie he had with Jan Leaty and Jeff Fuller for most poles at the historic track. Stefanik also extended his Tour career record with his 43rd pole. It was his first since Oct. 12, 2008 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
Todd Szegedy qualified second at 19.128 (98.996) and Ron Silk was third at 19.135 (98.960). George Brunnhoelzl III and Bobby Santos rounded out the top five. Santos had won the pole for the first three events of the season.
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Daytona Beach, FL — NASCAR has announced the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule, which is highlighted by 14 events in five states with two venues added.
Staples on the schedule since the Whelen Modified Tour’s inception, Connecticut ovals Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson International Speedway will once again play host to seven combined events in 2010. The half mile at Stafford will entertain the Tour four times and Thompson three, including the season-opener on April 11 and the finale on Oct. 17.
Also returning to the schedule will be the traditional events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 26 and Sept. 18 in Loudon, N.H. The Whelen Modified Tour, which has a history of producing exciting finishes at the “Magic Mile,” held its 50th all-time event at The Granite State oval this past fall.
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NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour veteran Burt Myers (No. 1 Capital Bank Ford) is going to have a busy Saturday this weekend.
Myers will start his day at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va., early in the day and finish it at Caraway Speedway. He will be at Martinsville making his first start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the Martinsville 250. Myers was able to put together a last-minute deal and was fitted for his seat last Thursday, so now he knows one of his racing dreams will come true.
“I have spoken with teams before but in the past, something has come up that took me out of the ride,” said Myers. “I am just excited and grateful to get this opportunity. We are going to go up to Martinsville and give it 100 percent.”
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Fifth win at Martinsville, 70th of career
Martinsville, VA — As the most successful competitor in the 25 years of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, there are few milestones that Mike Stefanik has yet to attain. On Sunday in the Made In America Whelen 300 at Martinsville Speedway, Stefanik crossed two more off the list.
Stefanik wrestled the lead away from Todd Szegedy on Lap 180 and kept it through two late restarts to earn the 70th victory of his illustrious career in the combination race with the NASCAR Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours. A seven-time Whelen Modified Tour champion, and the winningest driver in Tour history, Stefanik also notched his fifth career win at the 0.526-mile oval on Sunday, a Tour record at the historic facility.
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