(Stafford Springs, CT)—After racking up four victories and a runner-up championship finish during 2 full and 2 partial seasons of SK Light competition at Stafford Motor Speedway, Prospect native Nick Salva is ready to make the jump up to the SK Modified® division for the 2016 season and run for Rookie of the Year honors. Salva has carried sponsorship from J.G. Poulin Drywall with Jean-Guy and Brigitte Poulin for the past several seasons on his #98 SK Light machine, and it was their support that helped make a dream come true for Salva as he prepares to embark on his rookie campaign of SK Modified® racing.
“Jean and Brigitte decided that they wanted to see me give it a shot in the SK’s and help me out,” said Salva. “Without them, this move wouldn’t have been possible. I got a text message from Brigitte saying she needed to talk to me and after that conversation I was on cloud nine. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to race in the SK division. I am bouncing off the walls right now and I can’t wait for the season to get started. I’ve heard for years that SK racing is hard, balls to the wall racing and I can’t wait to be a part of that. It’s going to be a totally new driving experience for me with having a spotter on the radio. There’s definitely going to be a learning curve. I’ve driven an SK at Thompson and Waterford and I drove Teddy’s car a couple of times in practice so I feel like I got my feet wet enough that it won’t totally be brand new to me.”
“Both Jean and I are excited for this new opportunity with Nick,” said Brigitte Poulin. “We support him 100% and we believe that he is a young driver that is just starting to show what he is capable of. Nick has an entire team that is behind him and this is a perfect fit for us. The PPP team that we had formed with Ryan [Preece] was the best team that we’ve ever had and we’re looking forward to duplicating that this season with Nick and his team.”
Salva knows he will face a rookie learning curve in making the transition to the SK Modified® division, but he feels like he has a couple of aces up his sleeve that will help to narrow that learning curve. Salva ran several SK Modified® events last season and he can always lean on his uncle Bo Gunning, who is second on the all-time SK Modified® feature win list with 47 career wins and he also has 3 SK Modified® track championships at Stafford.
“I’d love to be a top-10 car every week but as I’m sure everyone knows, I can’t think of a more competitive or consistent field of cars anywhere than the SK Modified® division at Stafford,” said Salva. “It’s definitely going to be a challenge and I think the biggest challenge will be the level of driver ability. I’ve seen Keith [Rocco], Teddy [Christopher], Rowan [Pennink], Ryan [Preece], and a bunch of other guys drive the wheels off of their cars and when you’re sitting in the stands watching them you go, ‘Wow, that was a great move.’ And now that’s what I’m going to be racing against. I’m lucky that the one SK race I ran at Waterford was a 150-lap race so I learned a little about pacing yourself and not beating the heck out of the car. Having someone like Bo to go to for information with the experience he has is an invaluable tool. Like they say, Bo knows best. I’m going to have the same crew coming back and we’ll have J.G. Poulin, Del’s Vinyl Siding, and Northeast Racecars coming back as sponsors on the car.”
The SK Modified® division won’t be the only new division that Salva will find himself in this season. Salva has teamed with Wayne Darling to run a part time schedule on the Whelen Modified Tour and one of his scheduled starts will be the 45th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler.
“We’re planning on the Sizzler and Fall Final at Stafford, Waterford, the middle of season and World Series races at Thompson, one of the New Hampshire races, and Seekonk,” said Salva. “The Sizzler weekend is going to be very busy for us. Our goal will be to learn a lot and keep the car in one piece. With the Tour, you have to know your car and know when you can and can’t push to bring it home. A top-10 finish would be great and if we could somehow get in the top-5, I don’t even know what I’d do.”
The 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler gets underway Friday, April 22 with a practice session for Stafford’s weekly divisions and the Mr. Rooter Trucks. The practice session will be open to the public at no charge. Action continues on Saturday, April 23 with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions, the U.S. Legend Cars, and the Mr. Rooter Trucks. Saturday will wrap up with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, DARE Stock, Legend Cars, and Mr. Rooter Trucks. Spring Sizzler action continues on Sunday, April 24 with the NAPA Auto Parts Pit Party from 11am-12noon followed by Stafford’s SK Modifieds® in a special 45-lap feature and Late Models joining the Whelen Modified Tour in feature action.
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 will be priced at $42.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. NAPA Spring Sizzler tickets can be ordered online by CLICKING HERE.
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.