By: Paul Arute
(Stafford Springs, CT)—The Bud Light Open Modified 80 schedule for Friday, July 12th marks the 3rd Open Modified 80 event of 2019 and the 5th event in the last 2 years. Since its inception the Open Modified events have played host to a wide array of drivers ranging from Stafford SK Modified® and SK Light drivers, to Modified Tour drivers, and even a Monster Energy Cup Series driver. Friday’s Bud Light Open 80 may be the most diverse roster to date with multiple new drivers added to the entry-list including Anthony Sesely, Austin Kochenash, and James Pritchard, Jr.
Sesely, from Port Monmouth, NJ, and a regular at the Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall, NJ, will pilot the #27 Kluth Motorsports 2Kwik Chassis car in Friday’s 80 lap event. Sesely has made 9 starts at Stafford on the Whelen Modified Tour, scoring a career best finish of 8th in his last start in 2008. Sesely most recently piloted the Kluth car to a 12th place finish at Seekonk Speedway.
“I haven’t been to Stafford in about 10 years,” explained Sesely. “My last race was the Fall Final in either ’08 or ’09 and I actually was just looking at how to get to Stafford it’s been so long since I was last there. I’m looking forward to the race, I always liked coming to Stafford because it’s a track where you can run good one time and then come back a second time with the same setup and it wouldn’t work at all. Each time you went to Stafford you had to do something different and it was always good racing. The car will be good, it’s the driver who gets a little stupid. If we could be strong all day and get a top-10 finish, that would be good for us. We’re still in the phase of working with Rick where he’s still trying to figure out when I’m serious and when I’m crying about things with the car.”
Another NJ driver, James Pritchard from Oak Ridge, has filed an entry for his #7 Rico Pan Bakery Troyer chassis. Pritchard is another driver who has made limited starts at Stafford, with 2 starts coming in 2007 and 2008 in the K&N Pro Series resulting in a 28th and 25th place finishes. The Bud Light Open 80 will mark the first time Pritchard will wheel a Modified on the half-mile.
“I’ve run 2 K&N Pro Series races at Stafford and I’m excited about coming to race a modified,” explained Pritchard. “We bought one of Max Zachem’s Modifieds a couple years back and the car is fast. Having been to Stafford before I have high expectations and a top-5 would be my goal. I can’t wait to get to a bigger track after racing the bullrings around here. Max was kind enough to give us a setup in the car when we bought it from him so we’re not coming to Stafford out to lunch. There’s definitely tough competition at Stafford, but that’s why we do what we do. If I didn’t feel like I had a good shot, I wouldn’t be coming to race. We ran an event at Evergreen but want to see what the car has on a track that has some straightaway to use the horsepower and see how we stack up against some of the big guys. I always watched the Modifieds when I was in the K&N Series and now we have the same horsepower, 5 inches more tire, and 1,000 pounds lighter, so I’m excited about the race.”
Coming off a strong run in the Tri-Track event at Seekonk [MA] Speedway that saw him run in the top-5 and finish 7th, Austin Kochenash of Danielsville, PA will make his Stafford debut this Friday in the Bud Light Open Modified 80. Kochenash, a regular on the bullrings of Central PA and Western NY, will pilot his #66 Loikits Industrial Services 2Kwick chassis on the half-mile.
“I think Stafford is similar to some of the tracks that we run in Western New York like Spencer and Lancaster,” noted Kochenash. “If we could finish in the top-5 for our first time there, that would be satisfying for us. We ran decent in the Tri-Track race at Seekonk and we’re looking for another good run. Guys that race weekly and have experience are always going to have an advantage knowing what the track does. There’s a lot of good drivers at Stafford so it’s not going to be easy by any stretch. We’ve run R.O.C., some of the open shows down here, and a couple of Tri-Track races and this is my 7th year of racing Modifieds.”
All three drivers are set to square off against a tough cast of drivers including some of the top talent in Northeast Modified racing. 33 drivers have filed entries for the 80 lap event including 18 drivers who have a Stafford win on their resume. A full entry list is available by CLICKING HERE.
The Bud Light Open Modified 80 will once again be paired with a packed card of racing including the 2nd Annual TC 13 SK Modified Shootout. Stafford’s Late Models, SK Lights, Limited Late Models, and Street Stocks will also all be in action. Tickets for the Bud Light Open Modified 80 / TC 13 SK Shootout are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seat tickets are $32.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight camping 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.