(Stafford Springs, CT)—With the Valenti Modified Racing Series set to make its second of three 2015 appearances at Stafford Motor Speedway, one driver who is looking forward to the race is Richmond, NH native Todd Patnode. In what was his first VMRS start at Stafford back in May, Patnode started 13th and he methodically drove his way through the field to end up fifth at the end of the 80-lap feature in his #05 Allstate Asphalt machine. With such a great result on his Stafford debut, Patnode is excited about his chances for his second visit to Stafford and a repeat of his top-5 effort.
“Yes, that’s what we’re hoping for,” said Patnode. “We weren’t’ really expecting that our first time out with the MRS at Stafford, but we were real happy with the result. We ran Stafford once last year in the SK’s but we had a Sportsman motor in the car so basically I rode around and watched the field drive away. It was a good surprise for us. We were figuring to get a 10th place finish if we were lucky. We hit the setup right out of the box and we never made a change on the car all day long. I thought the track drove fairly easily and the car was stable throughout the whole race. We weren’t close to the top-3 cars but we had some space between us and Kirk [Alexander] to the guys who were running behind us, so we were in a pretty comfortable space during the race.”
As good as Patnode’s car was to come from 13th and finish 5th, he thinks there is even more speed for him and his #05 team to find this Friday night.
“We’re looking to repeat and get back into the top-5” said Patnode. “I think the car was a twitch off the last race and I think we can fix it and make it even better than it was. We didn’t make any changes to the car last time we were there, but I think some of that was down to me getting comfortable with the track. Once I was comfortable with the track during the feature, I would have changed one or two things on the setup.”
As Patnode will look to repeat or improve upon his 5th place finish this Friday, his lack of experience at Stafford could throw a wrench into his plans. In the prior 12 VMRS races held at Stafford, 9 races have been won by drivers who were either current or former weekly competitors at Stafford. Tommy Barrett, Jr. leads the way with 3 wins, Keith Rocco has 2 wins, and Ted Christopher, Ryan Preece, Todd Szegedy, and Woody Pitakt have each won once. Despite his lack of experience, Patnode is looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s always hard to overcome experience on the racetrack,” said Patnode. “Those guys know all the weak spots on the track while I’m still learning the track. I think we were off the pace just a bit during the warmups but once I got out there and started racing people during the feature, we found speed pretty quickly. Once you figure out where the lift points are and all that stuff, the rest of it comes in pretty quick. Stafford is a super clean facility, I think it’s the cleanest track we go to during the year, and we love the track. Everyone treats you real nice, there’s plenty of room in the pits, and we’re looking forward to the race.”
The June 26 VMRS 80 will be the second of three Valenti Modified Racing Series events to be held at Stafford during 2015, with the third and final VMRS race to be held on September 4th. Tickets for both races are on sale now and 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. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking for self contained Recreational Vehicles.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.