(Stafford Springs, CT)—When Stafford Speedway’s Late Model division takes the green flag during 45th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler Weekend to kick off the 2016 season, there will be a new team combination as part of the starting grid. Modified veteran Glen Reen has teamed up with Rob Russell to take over the driving duties of the #31 LifeCare Family Chiropractic Chevrolet. Both parties are excited about the possibilities that await the new combination when they hit the track with the #31 Late Model machine.
“We ran a limited schedule with Rick Lanagan the past couple of years and now we’re definitely looking to get some more track time with Glen in the #31 car, build up some points and a handicap, and run with the big boys,” said Russell. “I’ve had some good success in the past in the Spring Sizzler with J.J. Hill, we were able to win the race back in 2013, and we’re hungry to get another Sizzler win with Glen behind the wheel.”
“I’m pretty excited,” said Reen. “I really have to thank Rob for the opportunity to drive the #31. I’ve never run a full fendered car other than an ARCA and K&N test that I did down south. All in all it’s a racecar and I think I’ll be able to adapt to it pretty quickly and we’re really excited for the season to get started.”
Going into the 2016 season, the plan is for the #31 car to run 12 races during the 2016 season, but Russell and Reen both say that if they can find additional sponsorship, they could run the full schedule and make a run at the track championship.
“Our goal is to try to hit our target of 12 races this season,” said Russell. “It all comes down to if we can get some more funding in time for this season then we can do more races this year. We’d love to be able to run for the championship. The team has been working hard on making sure everything is ready to go regardless of what our schedule turns out to be and we have lots of spare parts ready to go. LifeCare Family Chiropractic is on board and they’re really excited about having Glen as the driver. We have some feelers out there to other potential sponsors and we’re hoping we can find some additional sponsorship. Now that we’re making this announcement, we’re hoping that some folks might see this and think it would be a good combination to be a part of.”
“If we end up doing really well and we can find some extra sponsorship money, we could run the whole season and go for the championship,” said Reen. “Our goal is to win races but it’s a new car, it’s heavier than a modified, and it has less tire. I have thousands of laps here at Stafford and I don’t want to count out a win, but I also want to log laps and learn. We’re here to learn, have some fun, and try to win some races. I would say the fact that the Late Model has less grip is going to be the biggest challenge. I’ll have to back up the corner entry a little, I can’t carry modified speed into the corner in the Late Model because I won’t make it. I’ve been visiting the shop and we all get along so we have a really good team morale and one of the things I’m most excited about is me being an outsider to the Late Model. Coming from modifieds, I might say the car is perfect where another driver in Late Models might say the car is either X, Y, or Z. I’ll be looking at things with an open mind where more familiar guys might be closed minded so what you don’t know doesn’t hurt you and the more you know might hurt you. We have a good vibe going between us, they’re a fun bunch of guys, and I think we’re going to have a really good time.”
While Reen has been primarily a modified driver during his racing career, it was a chance encounter at last year’s NAPA Fall Final that led to Reen and Russell first working together and Reen landing the driver’s seat for the 2016 season.
“It was fall final last year and we were having some issues with the drivability of the car,” said Russell. “We thought let’s put another driver in the car and see what they give for feedback. We were trying to figure out who we were going to put into the car and one of our crew guys Billy brought up Glen’s name and after a few conversations and dinners during the winter, here we are this season with Glen as our driver. The team is ecstatic and everyone feels like Glen’s an accomplished driver who is very professional and knows how to handle himself. The whole team has done a 180 in terms of their excitement level and we’re all looking forward to getting started.”
Reen and Russell will kick off their Late Model partnership with the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 22-24. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 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. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Discount Tickets will be available at all 57 participating NAPA Auto Parts stores beginning on Monday April 4th. For a full list of the 57 locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island, call the speedway office or visit us on the web at www.staffordmotorspeedway.com/participating-napa-auto-parts-stores.
For more information on the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.