(Stafford Springs, CT)—For Manchester native Glenn Bartkowski, the world of weekly NASCAR short track racing has proven to be both a rewarding and trying experience. Bartkowski began his weekly racing career in Stafford’s DARE Stock division in 1997 and he ran in that division through the 2004 season before taking a season off and then moving up to the Limited Late Model division in 2006. Bartkowski raced either parts of a season with Norm Sears sharing his car or a full season and until last year, had only one win in the DARE Stock division to show for his efforts. Bartkowski won his first Limited Late Model feature on the final Friday night of the 2014 season and he backed that win up with his second win in last Friday night’s Limited Late Model feature.
“I started racing in 1997 in the DARE Stock division and I moved up to Limited Late Models in 2006,” said Bartkowski. “Due to conflicts with work and sharing the car with Norm Sears I was unable to race weekly. There were a few nights where we just didn’t know what was going on with the car and we wanted to put another driver in the car and get their feedback. There’s nothing else like racing to get that adrenaline rush every Friday night and that’s what kept me coming back every week along with the comradery in the Limited division. With my guys and the other guys in the division, I think it’s a great bunch who can race side by side with each together without a lot of incidents.”
Bartkowski currently sits 8th in the Limited Late Model points standings despite missing the second race of the year. Bartkowski says he made one adjustment behind the wheel and his team also made one adjustment that has helped him improve as a driver from when he first began racing.
“I think one thing is I’ve been able to stay a lot calmer behind the wheel then when I first started racing,” said Bartkowski. “The most important thing is that we used to always pay attention to what other guys were doing and it was around the end of the 2013 season when we really started paying attention to what we were doing. There was a lot of guys who would tell us to try this or do that, but once we started tracking details on our car like taking tire pressures after practice, scaling the car multiple times during practice and scaling it after the feature, that’s what made a huge difference for us. We’ve also gotten the car to handle how I like it to handle. I know what I have in the car, other guys probably wouldn’t like the setup.”
Now that Bartkowski has a win midway through the season, he is feeling confident that he and his crew can have more performances like he had last Friday night and possibly win a few more races.
“I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think we’re really going in the right direction with the car,” said Bartkowski. “With the handicapping system, we’re going to be starting towards the back but as long as we can keep showing the speed in the car that we’ve shown so far, I think we have more good finishes ahead of us this season. That first win last year with the Limited was definitely the hardest and I was really happy to get that win last Friday to show everyone that our win last year wasn’t a one-off. It was good for team morale and very beneficial to everyone on the team. It had been a while since I had won a race and the guys come and help you out week after week, it was really nice for them. I really have to thank Barry from Fluckiger Race Chassis, R.A.D. Automachine for the power, and my crew guys, crew chief Art Salve, Tim West, Ken Ricard, and Wendy.”
With a little hard work and perseverance, anything is possible and Glenn Bartkowski is living proof that dreams can come true.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.