(Stafford Springs, CT)—For the third consecutive season, Call Before You Dig has partnered with Stafford Speedway to present the CBYD 811 Challenge as a unique way to raise awareness about CBYD’s 811 number to call before beginning an excavation project. The CBYD 811 Challenge is open to drivers in each of Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions and awards five drivers an $811 bonus at the conclusion of the August 7th feature events utilizing a special points system. This year’s $4,055 in bonus money from CBYD brings the 3-year total for the program to over $12,000 distributed to Stafford drivers.
“Call Before You Dig was very happy with the 811 Challenge this year,” said Derek Brown, Vice President of Damage Prevention and Education for Call Before You Dig. “With the fact that we’ve not had any rainouts this season, it’s really changed up the points accumulation and we were happy to see the bonus money go to five teams who were all deserving of some extra help. With the CBYD 811 Challenge ending on August 7th, it gave us a great way to remind everyone that August 11 is National 811 Day and to always call 811 before you start an excavation project.”
The five drivers that came closest to 811 points without going over were Matt Galko from the SK Modified® division, Geoff Boisjolie and Tony Membrino, Jr. from the SK Light division, Kelsey Rottino from the Limited Late Model division, and Nicole Chambrello from the DARE Stock division.
For former 2-time SK Light champion Galko, the 2015 season has represented his best season to date in Stafford’s premier SK Modified® division. The Meriden native had a career best finish of second back on July 3rd and he has posted 5 top-5 and 11 top-10 finishes through the first 16 races of the year behind the wheel of the #3 Fazzino NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet. Galko currently occupies fourth place in the SK Modified® points standings.
“Especially with how few rainouts we’ve had this season, money becomes an issue so this $811 is going to go a long way for us and it’s pretty awesome for all the people from Call Before You Dig to put up the money and give us the chance to compete for a very nice bonus,” said Galko. “We’ve tried to win this bonus for a couple years now and we haven’t been close, so to not only win it, but to be the closest driver to 811 points, is pretty cool. We knew we were projecting to be pretty close to the 811 point limit and the only way we weren’t going to go over was to have two not fantastic finishes. We finished 9th each of the last 2 weeks and while that isn’t quite what we’re shooting for, it worked out in the long run and I guess things happen for a reason. This is a really awesome deal and I think I speak for most of the drivers in the paddock when I say we can’t be thankful enough that we have good people like Call Before You Dig putting on a program like this. It’s a bold challenge and it makes things interesting and it gives the fans and drivers both something to keep looking at throughout the season. We’re really close to getting our first win and that’s the only thing that we haven’t accomplished this year yet.”
Geoff Boisjolie is another driver who is enjoying a career best season. In his third season of SK Light competition, Boisjolie is currently in 4th place in the SK Light points standings and he has recorded 5 top-5 and 11 top-10 finishes in the first 16 races of the 2015 season with the #3 Industrial Handling Systems Chevrolet. Boisjolie has twice finished second this year and the $811 bonus from CBYD could be the final variable that the #3 team needs to collect their first win at Stafford.
“Being a team like ours with a small budget and nearly running out of money a few weeks ago, this is an awesome boost and a great chance for another opportunity for us,” said Boisjolie. “This gives us an upper hand going forward. With missing work on Fridays, you can only afford so many tires and gas so this is definitely nice to have a little something extra to lean back on. This is going to get us a lot further than we normally could have gone so a big thanks to CBYD for putting this program together. The last couple of races for us is going to be all about getting our first win. If we had finished where we were running last week, we probably would have gone over the 811 point barrier, so while I felt bad about our finish, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”
For former SK Light champion Tony Membrino, Jr., the 2015 season has been a year filled with peaks and valleys. The #44 Additive Manufacturing of New England team has won 2 races as part of 9 top-5 and 10 top-10 finishes this season, but they also have four finishes of 14th or worse this year. An engine issue prevented Membrino from running the most recent feature event but taking home a piece of the CBYD 811 Challenge will get the team right back on track for the final 7 races.
“We didn’t get to run the last night because of a motor issue, so I totally wrote us out of the equation for winning the CBYD 811 Challenge,” said Membrino. “Geoff Boisjolie called me on Monday to tell me that we were both $811 richer, so that was a nice surprise for me. Luckily our motor issue wasn’t a major or expensive one, so this $811 bonus will cover our expenses for the motor. It’s a big deal for someone like Call Before You Dig to do a program that puts a great deal of attention on every driver from every division rather than just the premier division. Our motor issue may have destroyed our chances at winning the championship this season so our focus is now on going out and winning races.”
After two near misses, Kelsey Rottino, driver of the #36 Don’s Home Improvements Limited Late Model, was finally able to get close enough to the 811 point barrier without going over to be one of the lucky five drivers taking home an $811 bonus. Rottino has also had his fair share of ups and downs in 2015, with 2 top-5 and 12 top-10 finishes. Rotino is currently 9th in the Ltd. LM standings and after a practice crash relegated him to the sidelines last week, he says that both he and the team are ready to come back stronger and better than before thanks to CBYD’s $811 bonus.
“After the roller coaster year that we’ve had, to even be considered a contender for the 811 Challenge bonus was a little surreal,” said Rottino. “When I found out that we were one of the winners, I could have done jumping jacks. This is going to help us get the car back on the track and it will definitely help us get the car where it needs to be to contend for a win. It’s pretty amazing that Call Before You Dig is a part of our racing community. I really hope that CBYD continues this program for years to come because since they first started this program, we’ve all been excited about who is in the running to get the bonus money and who was going to miss out. I think the first year of this program we missed winning the bonus by about 15 points and then last year we missed it by only a couple of spots, so it was really cool to finally hit it the third time. It’s a great program and with the year we’ve had, something had to go right for us and we’re really happy this was it. I have to thank Don, Mike, and the entire Cote family as well as Kickback Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to drive the car and our mission now is to get a win before the end of the year. Thanks to Stafford Speedway and Call Before You Dig, I think we can accomplish that goal.”
Nicole Chambrello rounds out the field of CBYD 811 Challenge winners and she is currently sitting in 7th place in the DARE Stock points standings. The driver of the #16 FLN-MAR Rubber and Plastics Chevrolet has recorded 2 top-5 and 12 top-10 finishes thusfar in 2015 with a season best finish of fifth on May 15th and July 24th. Chambrello says that the bonus will not only help her team this season, but for seasons to come.
“Winning this bonus is huge,” said Chambrello. “Especially for us, we’ve been saving all season long to upgrade our engine to the crate motor. We have a 3-year old 305 engine in the car now so we’re super happy that we’ll be able to put this towards the crate engine. The 305 isn’t super competitive and we’ve been making sacrifices on the car with that. We needed this because it’s mostly me and my Dad and this will help us out greatly. We had a stretch of four weeks in a row that we wrecked, which didn’t help our budget. We’d like to thank CBYD for this program and this is going to definitely help put us back on track.”
Call Before You Dig is a non-profit organization funded by public utility companies with facilities located in Connecticut. Call Before You Dig is a free service that provides homeowners and professional excavators an easy way to learn just what underground utilities lie within their proposed work area. 811 is a free call to make, and calling Call Before You Dig before using mechanized excavating equipment is the law in Connecticut. Call Before You Dig can be found online at www.cbyd.com for more detailed information and guidance. Contractors can use the cbyd.com website to get an E-ticket, in which case they wouldn’t have to call. The E-ticket is available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.