(Stafford Springs, CT)—While 2003 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion Todd Szegedy has always looked forward to racing at Stafford, he is especially looking forward to coming back to the Connecticut half-mile facility after picking up not only his first win of the 2015 season at Loudon, but his first win together with the Bob Garbarino owned #4 Mystic Missile team.
“Stafford has always been a good track for me and my goal for this year was to get four top-5 finishes and we’re halfway to achieving that goal,” said Szegedy. “It’s a good racing track and it’s a good drivers track so I enjoy coming to Stafford. That was a big deal to win at Loudon. It’s big to win any race and it was nice to get our first win together. That race was extra special for me because in 2013, I took a win away from Donny Lia at Loudon, who was driving Bob’s car at the time. By winning that race, I feel like I gave a win back to those guys. I think it’s very possible for us to win a couple more races this season but it’s also going to be very tough to do that. Getting our first win out of the way was a great feeling but there are a lot of great drivers and teams on the Whelen Modified Tour.”
Another reason why Szegedy enjoys racing at Stafford is the amount of track experience he has through his time as an SK Modified® regular plus his NWMT experience. But now Szegedy has another reason to look forward to coming back to Stafford. Szegedy’s Loudon victory was the first time that the Mystic Missile car had utilized the NASCAR Spec Engine and Szegedy feels like that factor will give him and the #4 team an added boost for the remainder of the 2015 season.
“I’m pretty sure we’ll be running that motor for the rest of the year,” said Szegedy. “It’s a lot of work to change the engines back and forth so I’d say it’s probably going to be in the car for a while. We were running pretty well with what we had so it’s going to be interesting to see how the car will drive. The first impression I got at Loudon with the new engine is the car was easier to drive. It was less aggressive on the bottom end which tells me it will probably be better for the long run. We’ve been looking for that little bit extra and maybe this will be just what we need to get to the next level. The engine is about 70 to 80 pounds lighter and that’s weight that you can bolt on the car wherever you want, which helps your center of gravity and makes the handling much better.”
Although Stafford hosts four NWMT races, it may be the track on the 2015 schedule that throws teams the biggest curveball in terms of car setup. The NAPA Spring Sizzler in April is 200 laps in length, while the TSI Harley-Davidson race in June was 125 laps long. The Call Before You Dig 150 and the NAPA Fall Final are both the traditional distance of 150 laps and Szegedy says that striking a balance between setups for those three distances can be hard to find.
“It’s hard to say how we’re going to prepare the car,” said Szegedy. “Weather is going to play a big role because it can be either a hot and humid day, or it could be a cooler day. The #4 team has a great notebook and I have a lot of experience at Stafford so we’ll practice and hopefully make a few adjustments to get a good starting position for the race.”
While the NWMT will make one more stop at Monadnock before coming to Stafford on Aug. 7, Szegedy has climbed up to third in the 2015 standings with his victory at Loudon. Szegedy is only 19 points behind Ryan Preece in the chase for the championship but Szegedy says that he is not at all focused on points when he goes to the racetrack.
“I haven’t thought about points this season,” said Szegedy. “My goal is to go to each race and do the best that I can do and give my team the best information that I can and if all that gets us a win that’s great. I’m not going to change anything because what I’ve been doing is working.”
Tickets for the August 7th Call Before You Dig 150 are on sale now and 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 and all ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available 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.