STEFANIK BACK IN FORM WITH TOP 10 FINISH AT
There were no victory lane celebrations, no champagne corks popping, but
Mike Stefanik, defending 7-time Champion and driver of the No. 16
Diversified Metals Chevrolet on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, could
not be happier after finishing seventh at Twin State Speedway this past
“We definitely flexed our muscles,” Stefanik said. “The car
was extremely fast. I have to thank my team for giving me a car that
made me feel like I was 18 years old again. I just haven’t had that kind
of car for so long so I was totally enjoying myself out there.”
Stefanik has been eager to rebound from what has been a
frustrating season after the team discovered the source of their
problems to be in a set of shocks.
“We asked for some performance shocks tailored to what we
felt would be an advantage. It was something that we wanted, but you
have to be careful what you wish for,” said Stefanik. “I don’t think you
can be a dominant force if you don’t try a few new things. Sometimes you
take a few steps forward, and sometimes you take a few steps backwards.
I want to thank everyone out there for being patient while we struggled.
It’s an ugly road, but everyone experiences it. Fortunately, I think we
have turned off that road. It does venture into every camp in
motorsports. I don’t care who you are.”
At Twin State Speedway, the second of three flash races
scheduled for the 2007 season, the Coventry, RI-native qualified fifth
fastest. As one of the top six cars in time trials, Stefanik and the
Diversified Metals team were able to sit out the heats that have come to
define the new flash format.
In the feature, the Diversified Metals Chevrolet started
third, and the team knew from the drop of the green how good the car
was. A battle for the lead came down to Stefanik and Ronnie Silk. Happy
to be in a competitive car, Stefanik admits he got a little anxious.
“I battled the polesitter for the lead. I tried the outside. He wasn’t
very accommodating so I went to the bottom. I wanted it all and I wanted
it now. I was a little too aggressive,” he explained. “We just have been
struggling so bad for so long. I got on the speedbumps and cut way too
low. I wasn’t going to make Ronnie Silk pay for my mistake so I spun and
went back to 20th. I was very apologetic to the team on the radio. I’m
very capable of making errors out there, and usually I can hide them
pretty well, but I wasn’t able to hide that one.”
Stefanik worked his way back up through the field only to get
shuffled back again. He continued to battle his way through, but the
100-lap distance came to an end quickly.
“Pretty much every time I lost a spot or two it was because I
would get stuck behind someone. It got real ugly for whatever reason. I
just can’t figure it out. I clawed my way back up and got used up. I
thought we had a real good car. I’m not saying I would have won, but we
definitely had a very competitive car. I had a lot of fun driving it and
I look forward to the rest of year,” he said.
Stefanik and the Flamingo Motorsports team will have plenty
of time to relish in their renewed enthusiasm. The Whelen Modified Tour
is off until August 4th when the series invades Riverhead Raceway.
Aicardi/Flamingo Motorsports PR
July 9, 2007