(Stafford Springs, CT)—In the short 9 year life span of Stafford’s SK Light Modified division, the track championship has been won three times by a rookie driver. The 2015 season could see a fourth rookie champion in 10 years. Acton, MA native Matt Swanson will look to join Michael Gervais, Jr., Matt Galko, and Jeremy Sorel as rookie champions when he makes his Stafford SK Light debut at the April 24-26 NAPA Spring Sizzler. Swanson is making the move to Stafford after winning the Modified track championship at Star Speedway as a 14-year old this past season.
“Being 14, it was a huge achievement and a big honor for me to be able to win the championship this season and put my name on the board with guys like Bobby Santos, III who have won championships at such a young age,” said Swanson. “I’ve been racing Tour-Type Modifieds for 2 seasons now at Star Speedway. We won rookie of the year last year and we won the championship this season. We really like Stafford and we think it’s a really nice facility to race at. There’s always great crowds on Friday nights, there’s a real family atmosphere, and I’ve wanted to race at Stafford ever since I was a kid. Being able to race at Stafford in any class will be a real honor for me. I’m counting down the days already until the Sizzler. It’s only been a few weeks since the race season ended, but I’m ready for it to get back started up again.”
Swanson faces an unusual situation in his move to Stafford’s SK Light division. Whereas most rookie drivers in the SK Light ranks are making a step up in horsepower, Swanson will actually be making a step down in horsepower. Although Swanson might not be facing the same challenges that most other rookie drivers go through, he still says there is a learning curve that he will have to adapt to in his first season of SK Light competition and he has his eyes on the $1,000 Rookie of the Year bonus from R.A.D. Automachine and T/A Engines.
“There’s still going to be a learning curve although I’ve driven tour type modifieds,” said Swanson. “You can always learn something new each time you go out on the track. All I can do is log laps and see what we can do this year. The biggest thing for me is to already have 2 years of modified experience. It would definitely be cool to win Rookie of the Year again. It was an honor to win that award at Star and $1,000 would be the biggest payday I’ve ever had so that would be pretty cool to win that money. I’ve never been on a big track like Stafford. I’m more used to short quarter mile tracks like Lee and Star. I went to Oswego with the midgets once, so that’s been the biggest track I’ve been on so far. Horsepower wise I think I’ll be ready but track size-wise, I think there are some things that I’m going to have to learn like I know there is small draft at Stafford.”
Not only does Swanson have his sights set on the R.A.D. Automachine / T/A Engines Rookie of the Year Award and getting some feature wins during his rookie season at Stafford, but he also has some other races lined up for what should amount to an extremely busy year behind the wheel.
“We’re going to try to win some races,” said Swanson. “Kenny [Barry] knows the track really well and he is going to help us as much as he can along with doing the parts truck at Stafford. I’ll also have my father and brothers working with me on the car. We’re also going to try to run 10-12 races split among MRS shows, some open shows, and maybe at the end of the year a Whelen Modified Tour show if my father and I think I’m ready. It should be a fun and eventful modified year for me. I also started driving a NEMA Lite car for Bobby Seymour last year and I’m going to run that again this year, so I should have about a 50 race schedule this year. I’d like to be able to prove what I can do on the track and show everyone just how fast SPAFCO Chassis cars are. They’re great cars and I really like how they handle. There isn’t really a lot of SPAFCO cars at Stafford right now and I think SPAFCO can be a big thing again one day.”
Swanson will begin his rookie campaign 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.