STEFANIK FINISHES 4th AT STAFFORD AFTER STARTING
and Flamingo Motorsports turned around what could have been a disastrous
weekend by posting a fourth place finish in the Whelen Modified Tour’s
CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway Sunday. An
excessive amount of water got into the fuel tank and effected the
engines performance in their No. 16 Diversified Metals Chevrolet forcing
the team to take a provisional starting spot.
“It was quite a triumph after the weekend we had,” said
Stefanik after the race. “We haven’t had much driving time with this car
and it hasn’t been a banner start. We were able to use a provisional and
get through the pack. We led a few laps so that was encouraging. We
deserved about a fourth and that’s what we got. It could have been a lot
During practice Saturday afternoon, the Flamingo Motorsports
crew spent most of their time diagnosing a lackluster engine.
Eventually, they discovered the fuel was watered down – a problem that
is not easily solved in a short time.
“It took us a while to figure out what the problem was, but
the motor wouldn’t run very well,” Stefanik explained. “We couldn’t get
all the water out before time trials. We needed to get the foam out of
the fuel cell and blow it out, and we couldn’t get that done before
qualifying so we decided not to take time.”
Things didn’t get any easier either. The last half-hour
practice session was rained out and the team had no idea how the car
would react to their changes. Without any practice at all, Stefanik and
the Flamingo Motorsports team would be heading into the race blind.
NASCAR agreed to let them go out for two laps with the permission of
Stafford Motor Speedway management.
“The motor seemed to run better, but we did find water on
race morning. It was very little. We were shooting from the hip because
we never had a chance to do anything,” said Stefanik.
Once the race went green, Stefanik got into a groove, and by
lap 112 was the race leader. He led for 11 laps before giving it up to
Jerry Marquis. Despite 14 cautions, Stefanik was able to pull off the
fourth place finish and earn the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award
and Powerade Power Move of the Race Award.
“It didn’t run too bad but the motor suffered some severe
damage due to the water,” Stefanik said. “We were definitely fortunate
to finish fourth because the motor was hurting.”
Stefanik shifts his focus now to the upcoming “Flash” race at
Wall Township Speedway scheduled for Sunday, May 6th. Drivers from the
Whelen Modified Tour will be competing in two 50-lap heat races, and a
50 lap feature. Drivers will have a blind draw for starting positions in
the qualifying races, and then run the same tires in the feature.
Drivers with even numbers in the point standings will compete in the
first heat race, while odd-numbered drivers will compete in the second
heat race. There are three “Flash” races scheduled in 2007.
May 3, 2007