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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




With the spring season fast approaching, yet another season of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competition is set to kick off at Stafford Motor Speedway with the 39th annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Presented by CARQUEST. “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring” will officially begin Stafford’s 52nd season of hosting weekly NASCAR events.

The Tech-Net Spring Sizzler is the oldest and longest running race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule. The Sizzler tradition began in 1972 with Fred DeSarro winning in front of a standing room only crowd of over 10,000. Jack Arute, Sr. bought the rights to the race in 1973, and it has since become the signature event of the half-mile, with some of the greatest names in modified racing tasting the fruits of victory.

Since the inaugural Sizzler in 1972, there have been 22 different winners with 8 drivers winning the race multiple times. Of those 22 winners, 9 drivers have won a Whelen Modified Tour championship. In 2003, NASCAR released a list of the top-10 modified drivers of all-time, and of those 10 names, 8 were Sizzler winners: Richie Evans, Mike Stefanik, Geoff Bodine, Tony Hirschman, Bugsy Stevens, Fred DeSarro, Jimmy Spencer, and Reggie Ruggiero. Other names who have driven to Sizzler victories include Ed Flemke, Maynard Troyer, Bob Polverari, Greg Sacks, Brian Ross, Ted Christopher, Jeff and Rick Fuller, Mike Ewanitsko, Jan Leaty, John Blewett, III, Jerry Marquis, and Doug Coby. Ted Christopher’s win last season leapfrogged him ahead of Mike Stefanik for the most career Sizzler victories with 5. Stefanik has 4, while Rick Fuller, Maynard Troyer, and Richie Evans have 3 Sizzler wins each.

The Tech-Net Spring Sizzler is a race that is deep in modified tradition. The starting field of 33 cars is an homage to the Indianapolis 500, the greatest open wheel spectacle in the world. The tradition ranges from DeSarro winning the inaugural Sizzler after Ed Flemke, Sr. had a faulty water pump while leading with 10 laps to go all the way to last year’s Sizzler, which saw Ted Christopher have to fight his way through traffic after spinning on the backstretch during the second half of the race.

Other stories of Sizzler lore include Richie Evans winning the 1975 race using 10 inch Late Model Sportsman tires, Maynard Troyer becoming the only driver to win the Sizzler three years in a row, Geoff Bodine coming back to Stafford from North Carolina to win for the final time at Stafford in 1980, Greg Sacks winning two in a row including pitting for tires and coming back through the field, Reggie Ruggiero pitting twice and winning in 1987, the SK Modified® cars taking center stage in 1988 with Christopher taking the victory, Mike Stefanik and Christopher each winning the Sizzler twice in a row, and Jerry Marquis taking the Ole Blue #3 to victory in 2004. But perhaps the greatest Sizzler story of all-time was the 1981 Spring Sizzler that was won by Bob Polverari.

Richie Evans had set a new track record in qualifying for the 1981 Spring Sizzler and he led the early laps until he pitted for fresh tires, handing the lead to Maynard Troyer. Troyer held the lead until lap-71, when a faulty clutch handed the lead over to Polverari. Evans had worked his way back through the field to move into second place when the caution came out with only four laps to go. Polverari and Evans dueled side by side for the final four laps of the race with Polverari taking victory by a matter of inches ahead of Evans. Stafford Motor Speedway Online has a complete race-by-race history where you can relive your favorite Sizzler memories at

The 2010 Tech-Net Spring Sizzler gets underway Friday, April 23 with a practice session for Stafford’s weekly divisions. The practice session will be open to the public at no charge. Action continues on Saturday, April 24 with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions. Saturday will conclude with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions. The Sizzler concludes on Sunday, April 25 with the Tech-Net Pit Party followed by Stafford’s SK Modifieds® and Late Models joining the Whelen Modified Tour in feature action.

Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $35.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $38.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.

For more information on the 39th annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler®, 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
Posted: March 12, 2010

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