(Stafford Springs, CT)—For Tony Membrino, Jr. and the #44 Additive Manufacturing of New England SK Light team, the 2016 season at Stafford Motor Speedway was only supposed to be a part time thing as they were going to focus on a full-time effort at Waterford Speedbowl. But those plans were interrupted when Membrino won four out of the first five races of the season and a full season was back on the cards. Membrino parlayed his early season success into a season long duel with Joey Ferrigno for the SK Light championship that saw Membrino take home his second career SK Light title and his third overall Stafford championship.
“Amazing doesn’t begin to describe what I’m feeling,” said Membrino. “We were only planning on doing 8 races here at Stafford and we won the Sizzler so we had to come back. Then we won the next one and the next one, and it was like we had to keep on coming back. I might sound like I’m complaining but it was a lot of hard work to make this happen. Lots of people say they have the hardest working crew in the paddock area but I don’t think anyone touches what my crew has done with running over 30 races between Stafford and Waterford having to change things out overnight Friday to Saturday. I’m just so thankful for my Dad, Ed Flemke, all the guys and girls on this TMR team are the best. Additive Manufacturing of New England, CWPM, Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer, Maneeley’s Banquet and Catering, John’s Academy of Gymnastics, FK Rod Ends, Goodrich, Mohawk Northest, Midstate Air Compressor, big thanks for helping to put this Raceworks chassis/T/A Engines/Magnus Transmissions machine to the front. It was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears doing 30 plus races with one car and one motor and I’m so thankful for everyone.”
While Membrino was the dominant car in the SK Light ranks this season with 7 wins, Ferrigno was a model of consistency during the year with 9 podium finishes. Ferrigno and Membrino actually swapped the point lead several times during the summer and both drivers found themselves at the front of the field dueling for the win in the season ending NAPA Fall Final race. Ferrigno faded back to fifth after a late race restart while Membrino put an exclamation point on his championship in style with his 7th victory of the season.
“I think anybody would agree that’s the way you want to do it instead of putting around,” said Membrino. “I drove like I have all year long and what better story can you have than the top-2 drivers going for the championship and the win. Props to Joey Ferrigno, he drove great all year long and it was an absolute blast racing with him week after week. My Dad and I talked a couple nights ago about how cool would it be to have Joey and myself racing for the win and the championship. We both come to the track to win and this was just like another Friday night showdown for the both of us. We raced each other with respect, he maybe leaned on me a little harder than he has all year and I don’t blame him for that. But he drove me like gentleman and I have to thank him for that and I hope it was a great show for all the fans. I was sweating bullets getting while I was in the moment and I hope we can race each other again next year.”
For the season, Membrino posted 7 wins, 11 top-5, and 13 top-10 finishes. Membrino will officially be crowned as the 2016 SK Light track champion at the 47th Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 18 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor.
Tickets to the 47th Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony are $48 per person and can be ordered by calling the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or by downloading an order form from www.staffordspeedway.com and returning the form to the track office.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.