The Chrome Horn News



    The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Stafford Motor Speedway for its second of four visits during the 2008 season on Friday, May 23rd for the 18th Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 150. Todd Szegedy, the 2003 Whelen Modified Tour champion, currently sits in fifth place in the 2008 points standings and will be looking to use the TSI Harley Davidson 150 as a race to get his team back on track as they try to march towards a championship in 2008.
    Szegedy has found success at Stafford, recording 3 of his 12 career Whelen Modified Tour victories at the Connecticut half-mile, and he also has several years of SK Modified® racing experience to Stafford to draw from. But the 2008 Spring Sizzler didn’t quite go as planned for Szegedy and the Wisk sponsored team owned by Mike Smeriglio, III. Szegedy qualified only 23rd fastest and then had to fight with race traffic all day long to come home with a 9th place finish. Szegedy says they can expect much better results this time around.
    “We were a little off at Stafford for the Sizzler,” says Szegedy. “We know what we need to do to fix the car. We just missed the setup with the track conditions and the new SK tire, and when you miss the setup at Stafford, you’re going to struggle. Stafford is a real tough track to win at, there’s a lot of good competition out there.”
    Over the past several years, the TSI Harley-Davidson 150 at Stafford has become a stop on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule that is known for producing great finishes. In the 2003 TSI Harley Davidson 150, Szegedy led 108 laps and appeared headed to victory. But Jerry Marquis ran Szegedy down in the final laps and passed him for the lead and the win on the final lap of the race.
    The 2004 race saw Tony Hirschman held off a hard charging Reggie Ruggiero in the closing laps, the 2005 race saw Ted Christopher pit several times to make changes to his car and he blistered through the field in the closing laps on fresh tires to take the win, the 2006 race saw John Blewett III outduel his brother Jimmy for the win in a one-two brother finish, and last year’s race saw Donny Lia hold off James Civali at the finish. Lia’s win in last year’s event helped propel him to the 2007 championship, a path that Szegedy would like to follow.
    “We said coming into this year that if we couldn’t win races that we were going to take the best finish we could get,” said Szegedy. “I think we should have won at Thompson, and we were just a little off at the Spring Sizzler. We’re fifth in the points, which is better than we were last year after two races. We just have to be consistent and let the cards fall where they may. Our goal is to be there every week competing for the win and hopefully we can have a little luck on our side and we can win another championship. I’m in a real good situation right now. Mike [Smeriglio] is a great car owner, we have a great team, great equipment, and the guys always give me a car that is capable of winning.”
    Tickets for the 18th Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 150 are now on sale at the Stafford Motor Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, $32.00 for reserved seats, and free for children ages 5 & under. As part of Youth Organization Month at Stafford, any child age 14 and under wearing a youth organization team shirt or uniform (Little League, Scouts, etc.) will receive free admission when accompanied by an adult.
    For more information on the 18th Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 150, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at


Source:  Scott Running / Stafford Motor Speedway PR
Posted:  May 13, 2008

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