(Stafford Springs, CT)—After racing Legend Cars from 2014-2016, Westbrook native Cassandra Cole made her debut in the SK Light division at Stafford Motor Speedway last July. Cole made 9 starts over the final 11 races of the 2017 season in her #09 MAWC Accounting machine, posting a best finish of 10th on August 4th. Cole used her time to get acclimated to a new style of car and racing and the team managed to get her #09 car faster week by week and by the end of the season, Cole found herself in the top-2 on the speed charts during practice sessions.
“I feel confident coming into this season,” said Cole. “I gained a lot of knowledge last year and learned a lot every event. We gained some speed each week and our main goal was to have fun, not wreck the car, and try to be faster than we were the previous week. We’re going to keep on trying to learn and we’re going to run for points so we need to be consistent and not wreck the car, but that’s what everyone wants to do. It seems like last year we were always in the wrong place at the wrong time. I feel like we’ll have a better shot at getting into the top-10 this year because last year I wasn’t that confident with the car. We’d be happy with top-10 finishes this season but we’d really love it if we could get into the top-5 or even in the top-3 on the podium. A podium finish would be awesome because then I’d be able to give a shout out to all my sponsors who have helped me get to this point.”
In making the move from Legend Cars to the open wheel world of SK Light racing, Cole had to learn a new car, how to race against new competition and also contend with racing around the half-mile Stafford layout for the very first time.
“It took me a while to get confident with passing cars with the difference in size between a Legend Car and the SK Light,” said Cole. “Learning how to keep your forward momentum up in the SK Light car was a big thing for me. With the Legend Car you can just floor it and the car will go but with the SK Light you have to keep the speed up and be smooth through the corners. It also took me a couple of weeks to get used to the track. I definitely didn’t have it down the first couple weeks but towards the end of the season I felt more confident with the car and we ended up having the fastest time in a couple of practice rounds in the last two Friday night races.”
Cole and the #09 team hooked up with Keith Rocco for their rookie campaign with Rocco helping to supply the team with car setups. Cole says that working with the 3-time Stafford SK Modified® track champion was a blessing and helped shorten her learning curve with how to get an optimal car setup for Stafford.
“It’s awesome having Keith to work with,” said Cole. “He definitely knows what he’s doing and he has an answer for everything. When something is wrong with the car, you name it, and he has it figured out. Thanks to Keith, our setup was always on point when we showed up to the track so there wasn’t much we had to change on the car. This winter we’ve been putting a lot of upgrades on the car. It’s a lot of little things that will all add up in the end.”
With her 9-race rookie season under her belt and Keith Rocco once again helping out with the car setups, Cole is excited to get her 2018 season started.
“I’m very excited to get started this season,” said Cole. “I’ve been going to On Track Karting every week to get my racing fix. That’s how I’ve been spending my off-season and I’m counting down the days to the Spring Sizzler. I have to thank MAWC Accounting, The Garage Door Guys, Tri-State Glass Co., Downey Septic and Excavation, my Dad, my brother, and my Mom for all their support and Keith Rocco Racing for giving me a fast setup every week. The competition is going to be super stiff this year. Bryan Narducci is moving up and he’s fast, Marcello Rufrano is fast, there’s a lot of fast cars and I think Stafford has the best of the best SK Light drivers. If you’re good at Stafford, I think you can be good at any track. I have lot of confidence knowing our car is fast and it’s all going to come down to me being able to get through traffic and being more confident passing cars.”
The 2018 SK Light season will begin at the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® on April 27-29. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $40.00 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 priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Discount Spring Sizzler® tickets will be available beginning in March at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.