(Stafford Springs, CT)—After running a partial schedule in Stafford Speedway’s Legend Cars division, Springfield, MA native Mike Hopkins is ready to make the transition to full fendered action in Stafford’s DARE Stock division for the 2016 season. Hopkins has a taste for racing around the half mile after his one season of competition on the track’s mini-mile.
“Honestly I wanted to run the big track,” said Hopkins. “Right now our main goal is to get the car put together. The car we got was a Thompson Sportsman car so we have a lot of front end stuff to change around and then it’s going to BFR for a couple of upgrades. If you want to go fast at Stafford, he’s definitely the guy to talk to and we’re getting our motor from R.A.D. Automachine. I really wanted to go SK Light racing but the DARE Stock car fits my budget the best for now. We’re looking for some sponsorship and if we could get a fuel and tire sponsor for the season, I think we’ll be in pretty good shape.”
Prior to the 2015 season, Hopkins had very little experience behind the wheel with only 2 years of go kart racing to his resume. Despite the relative lack of behind the wheel experience, Hopkins acquired a wealth of knowledge as a crew member working with Lloyd Agor and the O’Sullivan family, which is experience that Hopkins will be leaning on to ease his transition into the world of full bodied racing. While the DARE Stock is a vastly different machine than a Legend Car, Hopkins says there is a lot of information that he’ll be able to take with him from his one year behind the wheel.
“I think my experience as a crew member can’t hurt as a driver,” said Hopkins. “We did pretty well with an underfunded car in the Legend Cars division this season and we had a couple of top-5’s and I think we could have won a race if we didn’t get taken out of the lead one night. It was kind of like bringing a knife to a gun fight but we learned a lot and I think understanding how the car works will help in making changes to go faster. With the Legend Cars, things happen so much quicker that anything I learned there I’ll be able to bring over to the DARE Stock car. Our overall goal is to go out and have some fun.”
Hopkins and the rest of the DARE Stock field will get their first on track experience opportunity of the new year at the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 22-24. 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 45th 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.