RACE FOR MODIFIED
TITLE IS WIDE-OPEN
Contenders to Vie for Championship
With Donny Lia, the 2007 champion, having moved on to the NASCAR
Craftsman Trucks Series, a host of drivers have lined up to take his
place as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion in 2008.
Nearly six months of offseason preparation will be put to the
test this coming weekend as the 24th season of the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour – and 61st of NASCAR Modified racing overall – commences
with the Icebreaker at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on
Sunday, April 6.
Toddy Szegedy, who was tabbed the media favorite in a
preseason poll last week, leads a pack of strong title contenders in
2008. Szegedy, who won the championship in 2003, was the runner-up to
Lia last year, and has finished in the top-five in more than one-third
of his career starts — with one win every eight outings.
With 27 career wins, and top-five points finishes in six straight
seasons, Ted Christopher is a title contender year-in and year-out.
Christopher finished third in preseason balloting behind Matt Hirschman,
son of five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion Tony Hirschman,
and the third-place finisher in the 2007 standings.
In just 39 career starts, the younger Hirschman has already
compiled 18 top-10s, and leads a strong contingent of 20-somethings that
are poised to run up front in 2008.
The 2008 season will be special for fans and race teams, both
on and off the track. NASCAR will celebrate ‘60 Years of Modified
Champions’ throughout the season as it recognizes the many
accomplishments of its past champion. There is no better example of past
and present success than Mike Stefanik, who will look to contend for his
eighth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title in 2008.
Stefanik, who has also won two NASCAR Camping World Series
East titles, is searching for his NASCAR-record 10th championship. One
more championship would break the tie Stefanik has with nine-time NASCAR
Modified champion Richie Evans.
Stefanik also holds the tour record with 68 wins, including
the season finale last year at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
The Icebreaker, a 150-lap race, is scheduled to go green this Sunday at
approximately 3:15 p.m., following a pre-race show that will include the
honoring of past NASCAR Modified champions Evans, Lia and Frankie
Schneider. For ticket information, please visit Thompson’s official Web