(Stafford Springs, CT)—Prior to the start of the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season Rowan Pennink and the #3 Boehler Racing Enterprises team joined forces and the new team combination has been strong during the first 3 races. The team notched a 3rd place finish in the NAPA Spring Sizzler® in April and both Pennink and the #3 team are looking forward to come back to Stafford for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 on June 3.
“Things have been going pretty well so far,” said Pennink. “We’ve had some really strong runs with the 3 car and we had a great finish last time out at Stafford. I think we can build off of that and have another good run for the TSI 125 coming up.”
The Pennink/Boehler combination finished 9th in the season opener at Thompson and then followed that up with a third place effort in the Sizzler®. Despite a strong qualifying effort at Waterford, a radiator leak after qualifying saw the #3 car start at the rear of the field which resulted in getting caught in an early wreck that relegated the team to an 18th place finish. Pennink currently sits sixth in the NWMT points standings, only 22 points behind leader Doug Coby. Pennink is confident that the team has more strong runs in their future.
“I always expect to do well whenever I get behind the wheel,” said Pennink. “We had some bad luck at Waterford but we had a strong car and I feel like we could have been in contention for the win if we hadn’t got caught up in a wreck at the beginning of the race. I think we’ve done about how we expected to do so far and I’m expecting that we can get a couple of wins before the season ends. We had a great car for the Sizzler and I’m excited about coming back to Stafford because I think we can make the car even better than it was. I know all the guys on the 3 team are working on that and I think we’ll be pretty strong.”
Not only will the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 be 75 laps shorter in length than the NAPA Spring Sizzler®, but it is also an impound race which means that teams will have to have their race setups in the car when they go out to qualify.
“I think the only real change from the Sizzler® is going to be pit strategy,” said Pennink. “In the Sizzler we had to make one stop for fuel and one stop for tires so we’ll see what we have to change up for our strategy and do what it takes to put the car in good position to go for the win at the end of the race. I’m sure the setup will be a little different from the Sizzler because this is an impound race where the Sizzler was a 2-day show and we could make changes to the car after qualifying.”
As much as Pennink is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Boehler #3, he is also itching to get back in the seat of his #99 NAPA Van Wickle Auto Supply / Independent Wheel SK Modified® machine. Pennink and the #99 team changed crew chiefs over the winter but that didn’t slow them down as they won the NAPA Spring Sizzler® feature event for the second season in a row. Pennink is also looking forward to his first start of the season driving Gary Casella’s #25 Modified Racing Series machine this Friday night for the VMRS 80 at Stafford.
“I’ve been dying to get back behind the wheel of the 99 car after we won the Sizzler and then got rained out the next 2 weeks,” said Pennink. “The Sizzler win was huge. With a new crew chief it was a huge confidence booster for me and the whole team to come out and win that race for the second year in a row. Hopefully that win can propel us to have another great season like we did last year. We tested the 25 car at Stafford at the beginning of the year and we were really happy with the car and I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of that car as well.”
The June 3rd TSI Harley-Davidson 125 will be the second of four Whelen Modified Tour events to be held at Stafford during the 2016 season. The NWMT returns to Stafford August 5th for the Stafford 150 and then October 1-2 for the NAPA Fall Final. Tickets for all three NWMT events are available and on sale now. Tickets for the June 3 TSI Harley-Davidson 125 are priced at $33.00 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 $35.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.
The May 20th VMRS 80 will be the first of three Valenti Modified Racing Series events to be held at Stafford during the 2016 season. The VMRS returns to Stafford June 24th and September 2nd. Tickets for all three VMRS events are available and on sale now. Tickets for the May 20 VMRS 80 are priced at $27.50 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. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Reserved seating is $30.00 for all ages. For the 26th consecutive season the month of May is Youth Organization Month at Stafford Speedway. All children 14 and under are admitted FREE when wearing a youth organization team shirt or uniform and accompanied by a paying adult.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.