(Stafford Springs, CT)—When the Valenti Modified Racing Series makes its first of three visits to Stafford on May 22 for the VMRS 80, Todd Szegedy will be looking to make it two wins in a row at the Connecticut half-mile. Szegedy won the VMRS 80 last year at Stafford in the Kevin Stuart owned #85 and after a second place effort in the 200-lap NAPA Spring Sizzler driving Bob Garbarino’s #4 Whelen Modified Tour car three weeks ago, he is looking forward to returning to one of his favorite tracks.
“I know the car is good and it’s capable of winning,” said Szegedy. “I like racing at Stafford and I feel like I have the ability to win every time I race at Stafford. I believe in the team and the car and I think we have a good shot at winning again. The only unknown for us is the weight increase with running a steel headed motor so we might have to work on the balance of the car a little during practice, but we have a great notebook for Stafford. Confidence is high, you can’t ever predict the circumstances of a race so you just have to go out and do what you feel is right and hopefully that will be enough to win the race.”
Szegedy will head into the VMRS 80 with winning momentum on his side. Szegedy piloted the #85 to a win in the MRS season opening race at Monadnock back on May 2nd, leading 55 of the race’s 100 laps, his third career victory in the MRS.
“We ended last year on not such a great note and we parked the car,” said Szegedy. “The win at the opening race was great. I like Kevin and the whole 85 team, they’re a lot of fun to be around. It’s good to win, it builds confidence in everyone involved with the team. Especially with us not running the full schedule, we’re going to the track to win races and we’re going to continue to try to win at every track we go to, including at Stafford.”
Szegedy certainly knows how to win at Stafford. In last year’s VMRS 80, he started third behind Ted Christopher and Tom Carey, Jr. and spent the first half of the race running anywhere between third and fifth before he began to make his move forward following a mid-race caution. Christopher and Kevin Goodale combined to lead the first 58 laps of the race, but once Szegedy put the #85 out front on lap-59, he slowly pulled away from the competition to capture the checkered flag.
“You certainly have to save your equipment in the MRS versus the Tour,” said Szegedy. “You can run the Tour car more aggressively and the tires last longer. For a percentage, some tracks with the MRS you might run 20%-50% for the first half of the race where you’re running probably 90%-100% with the Tour car. You want to have something left in the car for the last 15 or 20 laps of the race.”
In addition to his MRS duties, Szegedy will also be looking to improve by one spot and come home a winner when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Stafford on June 5th for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125. Szegedy started ninth and he led twice for 43 of the NAPA Spring Sizzler’s 200 laps before finishing second behind Woody Pitkat
“Things have been really good with Bob’s team,” said Szegedy. “We’ve had great communication and it helps that I’ve worked with Don Barker in the past. He can almost tell what I need without me saying anything. We’re all working well together and that’s a big thing. We were really good at the Sizzler and had a real fast car. I prefer the night races at Stafford and that being said, we just have to go one spot better when we come back in June. I definitely think we can go out and win the race. We have a few things with the car that we need to tweak and I think that will put us right there with everyone else.”
The May 22 VMRS 80 will be the first of three Valenti Modified Racing Series events to be held at Stafford during the 2015 season. The VMRS returns to Stafford June 26th and September 4th. Tickets for all three VMRS events are available and on sale now. Tickets for the May 22 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.
For the 25th 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.
Tickets for the June 5 TSI Harley-Davidson 125 are also available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available.
For more information, please contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.