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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




As August approaches, that means it is time for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to return to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 20th Annual Town Fair Tire 150 on August 6th. As the Tour gears up for the third of four visits to Stafford during the 2010 season, Whelen Modified Tour rookie Richie Pallai, Jr. is looking forward to returning to his home track, which he surprisingly says has been his most difficult track to master during his first year on Tour.

“Stafford has actually been our worst track race-wise this season,” said Pallai. “It’s been our best qualifying track, but we haven’t had the best races there so far. We were running good at the Sizzler and we had a tire problem which put us a lap down and we came back to finish 12th. Then in May, we qualified 6th and we were in the top-5 for the first half of the race, but the car just went away in the second half and we finished 16th.”

While Stafford has not been kind to Pallai thusfar in 2010, he and his team feel confident that they will be good when the Tour returns to Stafford. “I think the biggest thing was for the first two Stafford races, we weren’t guaranteed a starting position because the provisional spots went by 2009 points,” said Pallai. “When we come back to Stafford, we’ll be locked into the field and we can focus on race setup stuff during practice instead of placing our focus on qualifying setup. Plus when you race weekly, when you come back into the pits after a heat race, you can make as many changes to the car as you want, or you can make no changes. On the Tour, the car is impounded after qualifying and you can’t change anything, so that’s been tough to get adapted to. I can guarantee we’ll have a good run at Stafford in August.”

Aside from his race struggles at Stafford, the 2010 season has been a great season for Pallai and the #39 Bosch Spark Plugs team. Through 6 races this season, Pallai is tied with Chuck Hossfeld for 9th place in the points standings and he recorded his first career top-10 finish at Martinsville. Pallai will look to follow in the footsteps of James Civali, who scored his first career Whelen Modified Tour victory in the Town Fair Tire 150 in 2006 when he outdueled Reggie Ruggiero in the closing laps.

“We’ve had a great year up until Lime Rock,” said Pallai. “I didn’t have a good qualifying lap, but we started 12th and we were up to 6th on lap-10 before we ended up breaking a torque arm and the driveshaft. Realistically, this season has been better than we had hoped for. There’s a lot of competition on the Tour, there are around 15 cars that can win a race on a given night. We’re a lot closer to winning a race than I thought we would be, we’re not too far off for only having 6 races under our belt. We were fourth at Martinsville with 40-laps to go, which is one restart away from possibly being in the lead. I think it would be a shocker to people if we won a race, but I definitely think that we can win a race. We have the best equipment and my father, Denis Pruchnik, and Chuck Madigan put in a ton of effort on the car during the week. They work their jobs during the day and then work on the car in the evenings. I have the easy job of driving the car and I want to win a race for them for all their hard work, I’m very appreciative of everything that they do for me.”

Tickets for the 20th Annual Town Fair Tire 150 are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office and are price at $30.00 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 $32.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.

For more information, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783
or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

  Source: Scott Running / Stafford Motor Speedway
Posted: July 15, 2010

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