(Stafford Springs, CT)—For Adam Gray and the #97 Meadows Motor Car Late Model team, the 2014 season is picking up right where their 2013 season ended. After recording 16 consecutive podium finishes to help propel himself to the Late Model championship last season, Gray has started out the 2014 season with a win and a second place finish in the first two races to once again sit atop the Late Model points standings. Next up for the Late Model division is the 60-lap Xtra Mart Xtra D event and Gray won both extra distance held during the 2013 season for the Late Models.
“We’re on the program and we’re not struggling right now,” said Gray. “Last year was the first time I ever had any luck in an extra distance race. Before then we’ve either not finished or gotten caught up in wrecks. We have a good car and if we can stay out of trouble we should be ok. Obviously we’re going to be starting at the back of the field with our results in the first two races but we can definitely get the job done. But there’s always things that can go wrong, someone could miss a shift on a restart and you could get caught up in a wreck. Restarts frequently seem to create havoc.”
In addition to building upon his extra distance experience of last season, Gray has another ace up his sleeve. Gray has been using the same set of tires for the first two races of the season, allowing him to have a fresh set of four tires available to him for this Friday night’s 60-lap race.
“We have a new set available that we’re going to scrub in during practice,” said Gray. “We’ve been able to maintain the first 2 weeks on one set of tires so we could have a new set for this week. Our car is very friendly on the tires and the car usually comes in around halfway, so I’m thinking we should be pretty good as long as we don’t get caught up in anything. If an opportunity arises early on, I’m going to do the best I can to get to the front.”
In the last 27 Late Model races at Stafford dating back to August of 2012, Gray has a phenomenal record. In that timespan, Gray has recorded 9 wins and 23 top-5 finishes. If Gray can maintain that kind of up front consistency for the remainder of the 2014 season, he may collect another track championship.
“We have all the right ingredients for it and as long as we can stay out of trouble, I think we can maintain and have another season like we did last year,” said Gray. “Last year was definitely a confidence booster for me and the team but when you have the caliber of drivers out there that we do at Stafford, it’s not a given. You have to earn everything you get at Stafford. There’s half to three-quarters of the field who can win on any given night. I think the championship is going to come down to DNF’s and bad finishes. If we can keep from having them, I think we’ll have a very good shot at another championship.”
This Friday night’s Late Model / DARE Stock Xtra Mart Xtra D event gets underway at 6:15pm with qualifying heats and the man event feature events will begin around 7:00. Tickets are priced at $20.00 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 $23.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax and Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking in self contained Recreational Vehicles.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.