(Stafford Springs, CT)—While most young drivers take the path in racing to get started in quarter midgets or karts or legend cars before moving onto more complex competition, 15-year old Hamden native Chris Sanford is skipping through those steps as he embarks on his rookie season of DARE Stock competition at Stafford Speedway.
Prior to the 2016, the only racing experience that Sanford had under his belt was indoor kart racing at OnTrack Karting, and some formula car experience at the Bertil Roos Racing School in Pennsylvania, racing around a road course built into the 2.5 mile Pocono Raceway. Sanford has proved to be a quick study behind the wheel by winning 3 championships and holding the Super Pro Kart lap record at the Brookfield OnTrack Karting location.
“My passion is racing and we’re taking a shot at it,” said Sanford. “Where most guys try to do too much too early in their careers, my father has helped me to focus on gaining seat time and getting some experience.”
Sanford got his start this season by racing with the Rent A Racecar team before purchasing the #5 car that was previously driven by Bryan Granger.
“An opportunity presented itself when Brian’s car became available and we’re going to try to gain more experience and see what we can do in the DARE Stock division. We looked Rent a Racecar up online and we met with Gary Spinnato and he and his crew have been very accommodating. I’ve tried all three of their cars to get used to the feel of the car and it has been a great starting point for me. Going from karts to formula cars at school and then to a stock car, the stock car handles much different and the track was different. It was like another acclimation to get used to and I enjoy racing stock cars.”
While Sanford’s best finish to date during the 2016 season was a 10th place run on June 17th, he says his goal is to learn and get seat time before he starts thinking about winning races.
“We started out at the Sizzler and we were a little below average, but I think we’ve picked up speed each race since then,” said Sanford. “I’ve learned about hitting the apexes in the corners and braking harder and later going into the corners. Stafford is a very technical track and racing Gary’s cars has definitely helped prepare me to get into Bryan’s car with a 602 crate engine in it. Our goal is to get more seat time and get used to having more power in the engine. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep up with the frontrunners in the division. Ultimately getting a win would be great, but that’s more of a goal for next season.”
While Sanford is learning his trade on track during Friday nights, he is also getting a better understanding of what it takes to make a car go fast as an Auto Technology student at Emmett O’Brien Tech School in Ansonia.
“Tech school has definitely given me a basic understanding of everything automotive and I’m sure I’ll be able to put those skills to use in my racing,” said Sanford.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.