(Stafford Springs, CT)—After nearly winning the SK Light Modified championship one year ago at Stafford Motor Speedway, Tony Membrino, Jr. was a model of consistency as he drove to the track title this season. Membrino drove his #44 CWPM / Equipment Services machine to 17 top-10 finishes in 18 starts, including 3 wins to take the championship by a 4-point margin over Chase Dowling.
Membrino’s level of consistency this season was such that he finished 16 of the 18 races this year in the top-6 with his other two finishes 8th and 12th. But as consistent as Membrino was this year, he had to play catch up to Dowling for much of the season.
Dowling won the first race of the season and he won again on May 31st to establish himself as the early season point’s leader. A three-race run of second and two wins at the end of June and beginning of July further cemented himself as the point’s leader. As strong as Dowling was running, Membrino was never far behind and the turning point of the championship fight came on July 26th where an early race accident left Dowling with a 17th place finish while Membrino won the race. The result of that one race saw Membrino go from 18 points behind Dowling to 14 points in front in the chase for the championship. Dowling retook the points lead with three more wins in the next five races following his 17th place finish but again Membrino was never more than a handful of points behind.
As they headed into the CARQUEST Fall Final Membrino was 4 points or two positions on the track behind Dowling. Membrino clinched the championship in grand style by winning the race while Dowling ran in the top-5 for most of the race but couldn’t climb higher than fifth at the checkered flag, which gave Membrino the title by a 4-point margin.
“The competition was stiff this year,” said Membrino. “Chase [Dowling] is one heck of a driver and he shouldn’t be disappointed this year at all. If not for a mishap he had earlier in the season, he probably would be the champion. We weren’t really thinking championship this year because my Dad practically had a heart attack back when we won the DARE championship. My brother, my family, my whole TMR team, there’s so many people to thank. What a road to get here. I’m super happy for my team and thanks to all my sponsors, without them I’d be squat. Equipment Services, Nick Dinsmore was responsible for helping us out and he passed away so I think this might be a blessing from him, CWPM, Richards Corporation, Embroidery Works, NAPA Valley Auto Parts, J Paul Auto, JMW Construction, Waddell Communications, Magnus Transmissions, T/A Engines for the power, Raceworks Chassis, and everybody who helped me out, thank you and I can’t believe it.”
For the year, Membrino posted 3 wins, 12 top-5 finishes, and 17 top-10 finishes for an average finish of 4.3 over the 18 race 2013 SK Light Modified season. Membrino will officially be crowned the 2013 SK Modified® track champion at the 44th Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 22 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.