CURT BRAINARD READY TO TACKLE CHALLENGE OF CARQUEST SK 150 TWIN 75-LAP FEATURES NEXT FRIDAY AT STAFFORD SPEEDWAY
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Next Friday, July 20th, is the 9th Annual CARQUEST SK 150 Twin 75’s at Stafford Speedway. The CARQUEST SK 150 is the biggest weekly racing event of the calendar year at Stafford and it carries with it total posted awards of over $25,000. One driver who is ready to tackle the challenge of dual 75-lap feature events is SK Modified® veteran Curt Brainard. Having finished in the top-10 of the SK Modifeid® points standings every year since 2006, Brainard knows what it takes to be successful at Stafford and he says that the phenomenon of two 75-lap features in one night presents a unique challenge for SK Modified® drivers.
“It can be pretty stressful with two races in one night,” said Brainard. “You want to be able to complete the first race and hopefully move on to the second race. You really change your whole strategy in the first race to be conservative enough so you’re there for second race without forfeiting the first race. I’m sure it will give some people a big advantage to make up some points and unfortunately there will probably be a few guys who will get shuffled back in the opposite direction in the standings. It’s two weeks of racing in one. That’s the fun part of it, you have 2 opportunities, and it can swing both ways. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and everyone will be there for the second race. It’s a unique challenge for sure.”
Another challenge for the SK Modified® drivers will be car setup. While drivers are normally preparing their cars for one 40-lap feature event, they will now have to properly prepare their cars for twin 75-lap feature events, which Brainard says takes a car setup that is definitively different than what drivers are used to. The different car setups that are required make the afternoon practice session an all important session for SK Modified® drivers and teams to formulate a strategy for race time.
“Car setup is definitely a challenge for this race,” said Brainard. “These cars definitely handle differently after 60 or 70 laps than they do after 40 laps. We’ll have to adjust accordingly during the first race, but we’ll have to also be prepared to go into the second 75-lap race as well. With two 75-lap races, it’s kind of like setting the car up for a 150-lap race, so the setup will be completely different than what we normally run. You can see what Frank Ruocco has done in the last 3 100 lap races. He’s rode around in the back until around 30 to go and he’s driven up to second each time, so tire management and car management are a big deal, and you have to have a good car at the end of the race. Practice sessions are always important. You find out how much you have to adjust your perspective based on what we think will happen with the track. The second race will be probably one of the latest races we have this year, so it will be much cooler and that is a challenge.”
Brainard is currently sixth in the SK Modified® points standings and he is in search of his first SK Modified® feature win since the 2000 season at Stafford. The CARQUEST SK 150 would be a great place for Brainard to get the monkey off of his back and get back into CARQUEST Victory Lane.
“Any time you can participate in something special, whether it’s a 100, 150, or twin 75’s, there’s more mystique to the race and you get more pumped up for it,” said Brainard. “It’s always exciting when you have something out of the ordinary. A win in this race would be as big for me as it was for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. It’s been a long dry spell for me, but there’s a lot of competition at Stafford right now. It seems that each year the quality of the cars becomes more equal with the performance of the cars. Just like in Sprint Cup, there’s hardly any difference between the fastest cars and the slowest cars. I think there’s about 10 cars that win on any night at Stafford, where it used to be maybe three or four guys that could win. We’ve had 6 winners so far and there’s probably about another half dozen or so cars that are top shelf. I’m optimistic about the second half of the year. We struggled for a few weeks with some handling issues in the first half of the year, and I think we found that issue. We’ve been hovering right around the top-5 for most of the year and I think with the right set of circumstances on the right night, we could get back into victory lane.”
The 9th annual CARQUEST SK 150 is scheduled for July 20th. Tickets are priced at $27.50 for adult general admission, $5.00 for children ages 6-14 general admission, and Free for Children ages 5 & under. Reserved seating is available for $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. Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking, with overnight parking available.
For more information, or to order tickets to the 9th Annual CARQUEST SK 150, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.