(Stafford Springs, CT)—Racing can be a fickle game and one needs to look no further than Rowan Pennink and the #99 Van Wickle NAPA Auto Supply SK Modified® team at Stafford Motor Speedway to see how fortunes can change in the course of a calendar year. Pennink joined the #99 team prior to the start of the 2014 season and things couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. In 7 races, Pennink’s best finish was 18th and he missed two of those races completely. But their fortunes turned for the better starting with their win in last year’s NAPA SK 5k. In the 21 SK Modified® races run at Stafford since that win, Pennink has recorded 10 wins, 17 top-5, and 19 top-10 finishes. His 5 wins this season already match the 5 wins he accumulated last season and he heads into this year’s NAPA SK 5k as the point leader in the SK Modified division and full of confidence that he can repeat his SK 5k victory.
“I’m excited for the race and I’ve been looking forward to this race since the season got started,” said Pennink. “We’ve had a real strong car for the first half of the season and I can’t wait to run the long distance race for big money. Before the SK 5k last year, it seemed like we couldn’t finish a race and then we ended up winning 5 races. Now we have 5 wins before the 5k this year and hopefully we can finish the season like we did last year and win the 5k again like we did last year. Being the inaugural winner of the race, if we can win it again we can still say we’re the only ones to have won it. There’s certainly a lot of ups and downs and humbling moments in the sport of racing and we’re just going to keep on doing what we’ve been doing because that seems to have been working for us.”
While Stafford Speedway’s fan vote will continue up until race time, the leading vote getter for the number of laps is 100 by a 2 to 1 margin over the other two choices of 50 and 80 laps. Although the race will presumably be 60 laps longer than a normal Friday night SK Modified® feature, Pennink says that he and the #99 crew don’t have much to change on the car and will prepare just like any other Friday night race.
“We’re obviously pretty confident with the car and the team is confident with me as the driver,” said Pennink. “The competition at Stafford has to be the toughest competition in weekly racing anywhere in the country. There’s a lot of strong cars that can win on any given night but I think we can do it. For a 100-lap race, we’ll change the car up a little to try to make it the fastest it can be at lap-100 rather than lap-40. The guys had the car perfect last year to put me in position to win the race and I’m sure they’ll have some good notes to work off of and I’m sure we’ll make the same changes to the car that we made last year.”
Joining the SK Modified® division in feature action will be the Late Models, SK Lights, Limited Late Models, DARE Stocks and U.S. Legend Cars. Stafford Speedway will also host the Savage Brothers Band for a prerace concert and the 4now Band for a post-race concert. In addition, there will be a barbeque taking place on the midway behind the turn 4 grandstands with some great food available to race fans for just $10.
Tickets for the July 10th NAPA SK 5K are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office or discount tickets are available at participating NAPA Auto Parts Stores. Tickets purchased through NAPA Auto Parts also include the barbeque dinner and a NAPA goodie bag. As part of the festivities, NAPA Auto Parts will also be raffling some fantastic prizes all to benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
Tickets are priced at $27.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for kids ages 6-14, and kids 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $30.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Speedway offers free parking with free overnight parking for self-contained RV’s available.
For more information on the July 10th NAPA SK 5K, 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.