(Stafford Springs, CT)—After taking a year away from racing, Windsor Locks native Jeremy Lavoie is ready to get back in the saddle at Stafford Speedway. Lavoie got started in the DARE Stock division 2012 and in 2013 he won 4 races and challenged for the championship. The 2015 season will see Lavoie move up to the Limited Late Model division and challenge for R.A.D. Automachine / T/A Engines Rookie of the Year honors.
“I’m more or less excited to get back in the car,” said Lavoie. “I’m a little nervous, but I’m sure that will all go away once I get strapped in. I figured I already had a couple of years experience in the DARE Stocks and we had a pretty successful second year, so I thought I’d make the transition and move up to the standard transmission and a higher class of competition and see how we roll. I don’t plan being able to come in and light up the field, but we can learn a lot.”
In his time away from the track Lavoie purchased a car and engine along with attending races to help get a feel of what to expect when he makes his Limited Late Model debut.
“We bought Joe Nogiec’s 2013 car and we’ve been building it up from the roll cage and we got a used 602 crate engine that has been refreshed,” said Lavoie. “We’ve got the car about 80% done and we’re hoping to run the full season. If something happens to the car, we may have to miss a week or two, but we want to run the entire season. I tried to get to as many races last year as I could but I got the itch and wanted to get something going and we bought the car around May last year. After the first couple of weeks, I couldn’t take watching much more. It’s tough to be a race fan but I tried to take notice of who was fast week in and week out, which guys like to race where on the rack, and just get an overall feel for the division before I started racing with them.”
In addition to winning the $1,000 bonus from R.A.D. Automachine and T/A Engines for winning Rookie of the Year, Lavoie has his sights set squarely on picking up his first Ltd. Late Model victory. Lavoie won a single race in his rookie DARE Stock season in 2012 and he followed that up with a four win season in 2013.
“My big goal is to get my first Limited Late Model win,” said Lavoie. “I know that is aiming high for my first season because the division is competitive and there’s a lot of strong cars out there, but that’s something I’d really like to strive for. I feel like we won’t be too far off. I think what we’ve learned in the DARE Stock division will help us out and there’s always room for improvement. We’re always learning something new every week and the main thing is to find more speed in the car. We’ll find out during the practice day how good we are but I don’t expect to be too far off. I wouldn’t expect to be at the same level we were at in the DARE Stock and we’re going to do everything we can to improve each week. That bonus is awesome. I have to thank R.A.D. and T/A for putting that bonus money up for us to race for. I’m sure there will be a couple other rookies coming in this year so we’ll have our hands full but we’re definitely going to be shooting to win that bonus and we’ll give it our best shot. I’d also like to thank Mr. Rooter and New England Racing Fuel for their involvement with the contingency program for the Limited teams. It’s really great to have the support of those companies.”
As Lavoie gets ready for his Ltd. Late Model debut, he already has a good idea of the challenge he will face in going from the DARE Stock car to the Ltd. Late Model car and the goals that he has in mind for his rookie season. Lavoie is also in sponsor search mode.
“The Ltd. Late Model is more driver skill,” said Lavoie. “You kind of drive the DARE car aggressively but with the Limited car, with more power you have to feather the throttle a little more and it takes more skill to get around the track. A successful year would be to win rookie of the year and to get a couple of wins. Keeping the car in one piece will also be key for us as well as learning about the car and taking good notes. We won’t be disappointed if we don’t win, but until you get out on the track you don’t know. One week you could win and the next week you can get caught up in something and be on the wrecker. I’d like to be in the top-5 in points at the end of the year, but realistically it will probably be somewhere in the top-10. We’re diligently looking for some sponsors. We have a few prospects, but nothing set in stone as of yet.”
Lavoie will take to the track and make his first Limited Late Model start with the running of the 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 24-26. 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.
For more information on the 44th 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.