(Stafford Springs, CT)—As he prepares to enter his third season of Late Model competition at Stafford Speedway, Feura Bush, NY native Michael Scorzelli is ready to mount a bid for the track championship. Scorzelli finished 8th in points during his rookie season and he improved to fourth in the points this past season while scoring his first career Stafford victory.
“I think we’re going to be really good this year,” said Scorzelli. “With all the changes they made to the cars, I think everyone is going to be starting with a new template and we’ve really improved things since our rookie season. I think there is still going to be the standouts like Adam Gray and Tom Fearn, but I feel like we’re ready to run with the best of them. We’re ready to go racing and this is the earliest I’ve ever been ready for a season.”
Scorzelli’s 2014 season was a mixed bag of results. During the first half of the year, Scorzelli’s best finish was fourth in the season opening NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler and he had an average finish of 8.6. The second half of the year went much better as Scorzelli posted an average finish of 6.0 with four podium finishes, including his very first victory on the final Friday night of the season. Scorzelli’s second half results have him eager to return to racing and get the 2015 season started.
“I’m very much looking forward to the start of the season,” said Scorzelli. “That win was bigger than my first win at Thompson and it was the highlight of my racing career. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything that felt as good as that and I don’t think I ever will, it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. It was a huge accomplishment and it proved to ourselves that we can run up front and win. It felt really good to look into the rear view mirror and see a guy like Tom Fearn chasing me. He knows how to get around the track and he has a lot of experience at Stafford, so I felt very accomplished. From what we’ve learned and we found some things on the car towards the end of the season last year, we’re going to be quite a bit better. Towards the middle of the year we were going the wrong way on some adjustments and we made the car worse and worse every week. Stafford is a tough track to get a handle on but we got some advice from Bob Fill and we went the opposite way of what we were doing with the car and I really feel like we gained by leaps and bounds the last month of the 2014 season.”
Scorzelli and the rest of the Late Model division will have several new shock and sway bar rules along with a new tire to get to grips with once the 2015 season gets underway. The new rules and tire will make every lap a driver can get on track count and Scorzelli has his eye on the open practice session preceding the NAPA Spring Sizzler to iron out his car setup and and any mechanical gremlins that may present themselves.
“With the sway bar and spring changes, I was originally a little leery but every car out there is on the same thing and guys are going to have to start with a new notebook,” said Scorzelli. “Practice time is going to be important to get before the first race and I think things are kind of going to be like they were during my first season at Stafford. Because we’re a BFR car and Bob shares all his information among his cars, it won’t take too long for us to get right on track. Bob listens to all of his cars out there and that’s a nice advantage for us to have being a BFR car. After that first practice you’re going to know what you need to do for the race and you’ll make some minor adjustments for the Sizzler. I think anyone who misses that first practice is going to be at a huge disadvantage. You don’t really know how the car is going to react to the rule changes and that’s why nothing beats seat time. I was one of the cars that tested on the new tires and I loved the tires. Any time we can get on the track, I don’t care what I have to do, I’m going to be there.”
After closing out the 2014 season with a win and a third place finish in the NAPA Fall Final, Scorzelli and his Syracuse Utilities team have been busy going through their #18 machine to get it ready to make a run at the track championship. Scorzelli says his goal is to finish on the podium every week, which would make him a contender for the title.
“We’ve freshened up the engine and we’ve gone all through the chassis,” said Scorzelli. “We’re trying to alleviate any problems before we get to the track so we can come out of the box pretty good. We’d like to be a contender for the championship and we’d like to be on the podium every week. Last year we just wanted to finish in the top-5 in points and we did that and we won a race. We have to set the bar higher every year or there’s no reason to be out there racing. If I can put the car in a position to stay out of trouble I think we can be there. I can’t say I’m confident about winning every race, I’m not Adam Gray, but if you are in position to win, we’ll be ok. This is one of the first seasons where I’m looking forward to getting back out there.”
Scorzelli’s first opportunity to take a podium finish win will be 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.