The Chrome Horn News



    When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour concluded its season in 2006, Todd Szegedy was sitting in Victory Lane at Stafford ( Conn. ) Motor Speedway. With the Tour opener slated for April 15 at Thompson ( Conn. ) International Speedway, Szegedy is hoping to carry the momentum into 2007.
“That was a great way to finish out the year,” Szegedy said. “It was my first year driving for Mike Smeriglio and we ended up with two wins during the season..”
    The Icebreaker is the traditional opening event for NASCAR’s oldest open-wheeled series. It’s the first of five events scheduled to be run at Thompson during the 2007 season. Szegedy’s other victory in 2006 came in the June race at Thompson and the 5/8-mile track is one in which he enjoys competing at.
    “One of my goals was to win a race at Thompson,” Szegedy said, “and I was able to accomplish that last season.”
    There will be some changes in 2007 to the Wisk/Snuggle Ford race team Szegedy drives for. Phil Moran, crew chief for Szegedy last year, has headed down south and is working for Bill Davis Racing.
    “Mike Paquette will be the crew chief at the start of the season,” Szegedy said. “Mike is also going to be working with Ryan Stone, who joined the team in the offseason.”
    Another individual who is back with Szegedy is Don Barker. Barker owned the cars Szegedy drove to a championship in 2003.
    “Don is going to have a role of a team manager,” Szegedy said. “It’s great having him work with us this year.”
    Szegedy has a lot of confidence heading onto the season.
    “We’ve tested good,” he said. “We are capable of top-five or top-10 finishes every week, which is what you need to win a championship. I am excited about the upcoming season.”
    The 150-lap Icebreaker is scheduled to get the green at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday April 15 to start the 23rd year for the series.


Posted awards are $89,186 for the 150-lap race. Bud Pole qualifying is scheduled for 2:45 pm on Saturday, April 14 to determine positions 1-32. Four provisional starting positions (two owner & two driver) based on 2006 Whelen Modified Tour point standings and one past champion provisional are available for a maximum starting field of 37 cars.

The Icebreaker will start at approximately 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 15.

Mike Stefanik is the defending champion of the Icebreaker. He also won this event in 1998.

As of April 6, 27 teams have filed entries for the Icebreaker.

The Icebreaker will be the first of five series events scheduled to be held at Thompson in 2007.

Several other drivers currently competing on the series have scored icebreaker wins. They are: Ted Christopher (2004 and 2005) Chuck Hossfeld (2003) Tony Hirschman (1990), Mike Ewanitsko (1988 and 1999), Rick Fuller (1991, 1997, and 2001) and Jerry Marquis (2002)

Thompson International Speedway has hosted more Whelen Modified Tour races than any other speedway. There have been 91 series events at Thompson since 1985 including the first series race on March 31, 1985.

Drivers currently competing in the series who raced at the 1985 Icebreaker are: Ken Bouchard, Rick Fuller, Carl Pasteryak and Jamie Tomaino.

Special Awards for the 2007 season include the $600 Bud Pole Award to the driver with the fastest qualifying time. The $500 Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award will go to the driver who improves their finishing position the highest from the previous event. And the $600 Powerade Power Move of the Race Award will be paid to the driver who advances the most positions during the race. Whelen Engineering will award $ 500.00 to the winner of the race. Sunoco Race Fuels will award $300 to the highest finishing eligible rookie.


Source: Mark Mockovac/NASCAR WMT PR
Posted:  April 11, 2007

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